Being Polite

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This is a presentation on how to be polite in English


<ul><li> 1. </li></ul> <p> 2. 3. </p> <ul><li>1. Wrong </li></ul> <ul><li>HELP! </li></ul> <ul><li>2. Right </li></ul> <ul><li>Excuse me, Sir, Im terribly sorry to bother you, but I wonder if you would mind helping me a moment, as long as its no trouble, of course </li></ul> <p> 4. 5. </p> <ul><li>EXERCISE </li></ul> <ul><li>Sort the following list of 20 words and expressions into formal and informal and match each formal expression with an informal equivalent (there are 10 of each). </li></ul> <p> 6. </p> <ul><li>A great deal </li></ul> <ul><li>I suggest we start </li></ul> <ul><li>Create problems </li></ul> <ul><li>Lets get started </li></ul> <ul><li>Whats her name </li></ul> <ul><li>Get </li></ul> <ul><li>Tons </li></ul> <ul><li>Damn well </li></ul> <ul><li>Reach </li></ul> <ul><li>Object </li></ul> <ul><li>You know John, dont you? </li></ul> <ul><li>Give someone a hard time </li></ul> <ul><li>Why dont you? </li></ul> <ul><li>I dont remember her name </li></ul> <ul><li>I believe you Know John </li></ul> <ul><li>Receive </li></ul> <ul><li>Would you like? </li></ul> <ul><li>Whatsit </li></ul> <ul><li>Definitely </li></ul> <ul><li>Get to </li></ul> <p> 7. </p> <ul><li>Americans tend to be relatively informal in business while the British are usually more formal, especially older people and in more traditional businesses. </li></ul> <ul><li>Here are few characteristic moderately informal phrases and expressions commonly used in memos and e-mails, with their moderately formal equivalents. Match them. </li></ul> <p> 8. </p> <ul><li>Would you like to </li></ul> <ul><li>Arrive / reach </li></ul> <ul><li>A great deal of </li></ul> <ul><li>Ive just received </li></ul> <ul><li>Best wishes </li></ul> <ul><li>Great to hear your news. </li></ul> <ul><li>Love </li></ul> <ul><li>So long! </li></ul> <ul><li>Tons / loads of </li></ul> <ul><li>Return </li></ul> <ul><li>It was very pleasant to hear from you </li></ul> <ul><li>Dear John </li></ul> <ul><li>Goodbye for now </li></ul> <ul><li>Hi John! </li></ul> <ul><li>Get back </li></ul> <ul><li>Get to </li></ul> <ul><li>Why not? </li></ul> <ul><li>Ive just got </li></ul> <p> 9. </p> <ul><li>Politeness in requests can be marked in a variety of ways in English, not only with the word "please". </li></ul> <ul><li>Asking other people to do things is known as making a request.</li></ul> <ul><li>Requests take many different forms and may be polite or not very polite (rude). ACTIVITY: look at the list of requests. They need to sort the request forms into two categories: Polite and Not Very Polite (there will be some differences in opinion). Sort these request forms into the two categories: </li></ul> <p> 10. </p> <ul><li>Won't you sit down? </li></ul> <ul><li>Could you sit down? </li></ul> <ul><li>Can't you sit down? </li></ul> <ul><li>Sit down, why don't you! </li></ul> <ul><li>Would you like to sit down? </li></ul> <ul><li>Please sit down. </li></ul> <ul><li>May I ask you to sit down? </li></ul> <ul><li>Will you sit down? </li></ul> <ul><li>Would you sit down, please? </li></ul> <ul><li>Please! (gesture towards the chair to indicate sitting down) </li></ul> <ul><li>I'd like you to sit down. </li></ul> <ul><li>Sit down. </li></ul> <ul><li>Sit down, will you. </li></ul> <ul><li>Sit down would you. </li></ul> <ul><li>Would you mind sitting down? </li></ul> <ul><li>I was wondering if you would like to sit down. </li></ul> <ul><li>Could I get you to sit down? </li></ul> <p> 11. </p> <ul><li>In English there are many ways we show politeness and respectand, despite what people think, the use ofsirandma'amis not an important one.</li></ul> <p> 12. </p> <ul><li>In Britain it is unusual for someone in the street to say</li></ul> <ul><li>Excuse me, sir - can you tell me the way to the station?</li></ul> <ul><li>The people who use the wordsirin this way are usually expecting some money for a service - a taxi driver or a waiter, for example:</li></ul> <ul><li>That will be 12, sir. Thank you! </li></ul> <p> 13. </p> <ul><li>The wordpleaseis used with almost every request in Britain.</li></ul> <ul><li>Many visitors don't realise that, when they go into a cafe and sayA coffeeorI want a coffeeor evenCan I have a coffee?(which might be perfectly all right in their own language) they appear to be impolite, and cannot understand it when the person serving spills the coffee all over them!</li></ul> <p> 14. </p> <ul><li>Just adding a simplepleasewould make an immediate difference and possibly even merit a smile -A coffee, please.OrI would like a coffee, please. </li></ul> <p> 15. </p> <ul><li>Let's look at polite ways of asking questions and favours of people: </li></ul> <ul><li>Instead of a direct question we often useCan youandCould youbefore we say what we want. Look at these examples, which are from a normal conversation at home between husband and wife: </li></ul> <ul><li>Can you carry this bag into the house please? </li></ul> <ul><li>Could you move the table against the wall, please? </li></ul> <p> 16. </p> <ul><li>Couldis a little more polite thanCanbut both questions contain the wordplease. </li></ul> <ul><li>Carry this bag into the house</li></ul> <ul><li>or </li></ul> <ul><li>Move the table up against the wall </li></ul> <ul><li>are possible, but English speakers would know when they could make requests in this way without causing offence, and the correct intonation is important. </li></ul> <ul><li>UseCanandCouldto introduce a request is wise. It's courteous and makes a good impression.</li></ul> <p> 17. </p> <ul><li>In fact, you can be even more polite:</li></ul> <ul><li>Sorry - could you tell me the way to Oxford Street, please?</li></ul> <ul><li>Sorry - could you tell me your name again, please?</li></ul> <ul><li>It's very common to start a request with the wordsorry .</li></ul> <ul><li>What it really means isI'm sorry to give you a problem </li></ul> <ul><li>but we use it very often in everyday situations and it is polite and courteous. </li></ul> <p> 18. </p> <ul><li>If you need a special favour, try</li></ul> <ul><li>I'm sorry to bother you but could you possibly help me, please? </li></ul> <ul><li>You might say to a friend</li></ul> <ul><li>Hey John - lend me 100, will you? </li></ul> <ul><li>but you couldn't say this to somebody you do not know well. </li></ul> <p> 19. </p> <ul><li>If you're sitting in a restaurant and you need another chair then you would go to another table and ask</li></ul> <ul><li>Sorry - could I take this chair, please? </li></ul> <ul><li>And here's another way of saying it - a little more difficult, but equally polite:</li></ul> <ul><li>Sorry, would you mind if I took this chair, please? </li></ul> <ul><li>Or</li></ul> <ul><li>Would it be all right if I took this chair, please? </li></ul> <p> 20. </p> <ul><li>This is a common way of asking politely for something. But you have to start withWouldand then put the other verb in the Past. </li></ul> <ul><li>Now look at the answer to the request</li></ul> <ul><li>Sorry - Would you mind if I closed the window, please? No - that's fine. </li></ul> <ul><li>Why do we sayNo ? Becausewould you mindmeansis it a problem? , and the answer isno ! </li></ul> <p> 21. </p> <ul><li>Other answers to "would you mind...." are: </li></ul> <ul><li>"Would you mind if I closed the window?" "No, that's perfectly OK." </li></ul> <ul><li>"Would you mind if I took this chair, please?" "Go ahead!" "That's ok." </li></ul> <p> 22. </p> <ul><li>Most non-native speakers of English, when entering their English Class late, automatically say "Excuse me" when in fact they should say "Sorry". </li></ul> <p> 23. </p> <ul><li>But first let us examine the phrase"excuse me". </li></ul> <ul><li>We use thisnot to apologisebutto ask permission to do something- for example, when arriving late for the theatre and asking permission to move along the row of seats to our own seat.</li></ul> <p> 24. </p> <ul><li>In this particular situation we might also say "sorry" as we pass along the row causing people to have to stand up or move their legs. So you might hear someone saying "Excuse me, please" asking permission to pass, and the "Sorry!" after the other person has had to move!</li></ul> <p> 25. </p> <ul><li>In fact, while people in most countries are usually polite to people they do know, and are not so polite to those they do not know, in Britain it's the opposite: we treat strangers with politeness, yet acquaintances and friends with the very minimum of courtesy! </li></ul> <p> 26. </p> <ul><li>Business people often have to answer questions. You may have to respond to questions during a meeting or negotiation or after you have given a presentation. There are several possible responses to such questions. You can:</li></ul> <ul><li>1. answer directly ("Yes", "No", "I'm..", etc); </li></ul> <ul><li>2. ask for clarification of the question; </li></ul> <ul><li>3. reassure the questioner; </li></ul> <ul><li>4. give yourself time to think; </li></ul> <ul><li>5. avoid answering. </li></ul> <ul><li>The language you use becomes very important. It can provide you with certain helpful tactics to use in various situations. Look at these useful phrases: </li></ul> <p> 27. </p> <ul><li>Would you mind rephrasing the question? I didn't quite understand it. </li></ul> <ul><li>Have I understood you correctly? </li></ul> <ul><li>If I understand you you're asking... </li></ul> <ul><li>When you you mean...? </li></ul> <ul><li>I'm sorry, I'm not sure about ... Could you tell me what it means? </li></ul> <ul><li>What exactly do you mean by ... ? </li></ul> <ul><li>Could you clarify ... for me? </li></ul> <p> 28. </p> <ul><li>I don't think I've understood all that. What exactly is ... ?</li></ul> <ul><li>Would you mind defining ... a little more precisely? </li></ul> <ul><li>Can / could you possibly give me an explanation of ... ? </li></ul> <ul><li>Can / could you explain what ... is? </li></ul> <ul><li>When you say ... , do you mean ... ? </li></ul> <ul><li>I think I've understood, but could / would you give me an example of ... ?</li></ul> <ul><li>Am I right in thinking ... means ... ? </li></ul> <p> 29. </p> <ul><li>I'd like to reassure you about that </li></ul> <ul><li>There is no need for concern on that point </li></ul> <ul><li>You need have no worries on that front </li></ul> <ul><li>I can understand your concern but... </li></ul> <p> 30. </p> <ul><li>I'm glad you asked that question </li></ul> <ul><li>That's a veryinteresting question </li></ul> <p> 31. </p> <ul><li>I'm afraid I can't give you an answer to that question at the moment </li></ul> <ul><li>I'd prefer not to comment on that for the moment </li></ul> <ul><li>Perhaps I could answer that question later</li></ul> <ul><li>Well, that would depend on various factors </li></ul> <p> 32. </p> <ul><li>Most people connect the wordstylewith fashion, particularly with clothes.</li></ul> <ul><li>In a sense, language too is either "dressed up" or "dressed down", depending on the situation you are in or who you are talking to.</li></ul> <ul><li>Style covers a variety of subjects but two aspects of style which are vitally important in business communication are formality and diplomacy.</li></ul> <p> 33. </p> <ul><li>Another aspect of formality which is important in report writing is the use of the passive voice. </li></ul> <ul><li>If you were giving advice in spoken English, for example, you would probably use an "active" sentence, such as "if I were you, I'd relocate the factory."</li></ul> <ul><li>This type of sentence would not be used in a business letter or report. The sentence would probably read: "It is recommended that the factory be relocated."</li></ul> <ul><li>In formal written English, it is also often preferable to avoid using personal pronouns, such asIorwe , in order to make the text more impersonal. </li></ul> <p> 34. </p> <ul><li>English is different from many other languages in that its spoken form differs considerably from its written form. Naturally, written English tends to be more formal. </li></ul> <ul><li>Spoken English contains a great many contractions such as"it's" , meaning"it is"or"it has" ,"I've" , meaning"I have" ,"he's" , meaning"he is"or"he has" ,"we'd" , meaning"we would"or"we had" . These contractions, used widely in conversation, are not used in written English (except, perhaps, in informal friendly letters). They would not be used in a formal letter or report. </li></ul> <p> 35. </p> <ul><li>Another aspect of formality which is important in report writing is the use of the passive voice.</li></ul> <ul><li>If you were giving advice in spoken English, for example, you would probably use an "active" sentence, such as "if I were you, I'd relocate the factory." This type of sentence would not be used in a business letter or report.</li></ul> <ul><li>The sentence would probably read: "It is recommended that the factory be relocated. </li></ul> <p> 36. </p> <ul><li>In addition to formal written style, English also has a unique diplomatic spoken style. Native speakers often try not to sound too direct.</li></ul> <ul><li>Examples of this tactful style include usingI'd likeinstead ofI want , e.g. "I'd like to hear your proposals", rather than "I want to hear your proposals...". Another example is "Perhaps we should now consider..." rather than "Now, it's time to consider...". </li></ul> <p> 37. </p> <ul><li>Thank you very much for your attention! </li></ul>