Understanding English Etiquette

11167677_10152697224387610_8701434560510836257_nDifferent cultures have different rules for polite exchanges. As you learn a new language, you will need to know when to say please and thank you to others. In the same way, understanding English language etiquette will enable you to converse successfully and respectfully with others. Polite exchanges between people are a simple way to show others kindness, and this basic respect can be an effective way to improve communication between people and enhance social graces.


Making Requests

Whenever you make a verbal request of another person, you should use the word “please” in your request. You can say “please” at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of your question. For example, you might say, “Would you please turn on that light?”


Expressing Gratitude

If someone does you a favor or gives you something, proper English language etiquette requires you to always say “thank you” to acknowledge the gesture. If you make a request of someone and the person completes the request, say a simple “thank you” to the person. For example, you might say, “Thank you very much for your help today.”


Using “Excuse Me”

Several situations are applicable for asking someone to excuse you. In public, if you need to get a stranger’s attention, you might begin your exchange by saying, “Excuse me, can you tell me where I would find the hardware section of the store?” If someone is blocking your way, you can also say, “Excuse me, can I get past you?”

Don’t allow a hurried pace or shyness prevent you from using English language etiquette in your exchanges with other people. Reaching out with respectful words can help others feel positive after speaking with you. These people may be more inclined to use the same social graces in their conversations with other people after hearing your example.


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