The way we ask for directions may affect the answer we get. Asking Questions in Different Ways. There are even times when you might need to stop a speaker to ask a question that is not related to the topic of conversation. Direct questions are fine when you are talking to your friends or family. If you don't want to sound rude when speaking English, then you need to know how to make a request in a polite way.Requests in English are usually made in the form of questions Asking to do things – asking for permission. These are not polite requests. Do you know how long Mark _____ been working for that company? There are several reasons your recipient might delay in replying your email or neglect your email totally, forcing you to deliberately ask for a reply in a formal email. Saying "Give me that" (imperative) instead of "Could you give me that" (indirect) puts you at risk of sounding rude. Luckily, Canadians are … Continue reading "10 Tips on How to Ask for Directions in English" This is another really common way to ask for help in English. . . Knowing how to ask for them can make our life so much easier! - English Only forum How to ask someone politely to send me something a.s.a.p. Direct questions can seem abrupt or even impolite at times, especially when asked by a stranger. The difference between practice and practise, “a little” and “a few ” to describe quantity, Difference between “finally”, “at last”, “lastly” and “in the end”, Maths symbols and operations – English vocabulary, BACK as a noun, verb, adjective and adverb, IELTS complete guide (WITH EXAMPLE QUESTIONS). Asking questions in English – indirect questions Indirect questions are also used to try to get information. How to ask questions politely using could, would and may. How to ask questions politely using could, would and may How to ask questions politely using could, would and may? Anybody can ask a question Anybody can answer The best answers are voted up and rise to the top Home ; Questions ; Tags ; Users ; Unanswered ; How do I ask a question politely? We can understand question tags as having two parts separated by a comma. Where is the bus stop? JamesESL English Lessons ... Business English - Complaining & Disagreeing Politely and Effectively - Duration: 7:22. Don’t make the mistake of saying “I want” when you ask people for things in English. But in order to make questions more polite, change “can” to “could” and you sound like a “native”! If the voice drops, someone is confirming information that is known. So you might wonder, how should you ask your boss for a day off? They greet their teacher.Who do they greet? Otherwise, use a question word "where, when, why, or how" to connect the two phrases. They ask the same as direct questions but are considered more formal. Excuse me, _____ you help me with my homework? All we do is replace CAN with COULD. Start studying How to Politely Ask a Favor in English. Privacy Policy. They won't attend this class, _____ they? Especially since English doesn’t have a formal “you” form like many other languages. He or she asks you a question. Have you ever wondered how you can politely ask a question in English? Could you lend me a hand?It’s a casual, relaxed way to ask for help. Depending on the intonation of the voice, they are used to verify information that we think is correct or to ask for more information. Are we done? Even if you need something done right away, making it a question will make the other person more willing to help. Expression for asking personal question politely [Excuse my asking, but.. How to Ask Politely. Use the three part formula to change them into indirect questions When you finish, check that the final part … Asking a Quick Question . How to ask questions politely and correctly. Your email address will not be published. People will be offended because they will … Here are examples of being too direct: “I want help.” “Pass me the salt.” “Can you carry my bag?” These questions are all correct English but they are too direct. This makes you look rude, and they will be less likely to want to help you! Instead of: Finish the presentation. Paul Randal August 11, 2014 This post is a much-expanded version of the editorial in my last bi-weekly SQLskills Insider newsletter, including a bunch of the feedback I got. First, identify which type of question is asked (i.e. Where’s the bathroom? Sometimes it is necessary to pause a conversation to ask a clarifying question. (Also see my corollary post How to answer questions politely and correctly.) We must avoid being too direct. Instead of saying to someone: Can you spell your name? Lindsay and Michelle recommend italki as our #1 English-learning solution online. Excuse me? etc.] Using an indirect question is one great way to do this. Being polite is an important part of learning how to speak English naturally and there are many ways of making our questions more polite. Can you spell your name? - English Only forum had politely done - English Only forum He was not speaking politely so I have just hung up the phone on him - English Only forum how can I express my meaning politely and correctly? Asking for information can be as simple as asking for the time, or as complicated as asking for details about a complicated process.In both cases, it's important to use the appropriate form for the situation. Have you ever wondered how you can politely ask a question in English? It is usually used with "I," and sometimes "we.". Get a native English teacher online in seconds at italki. My schedule is wide open all day Thursday and Friday if you have availability then. Tom helped in the garden.Who helped in the garden? Excuse me, do you know _____ the next show begins. When using an indirect question, use an introductory phrase followed by the question itself in positive sentence structure. In both countries, questions with "can" are made more polite by using "could:". Would you be game for a 15–20 minute phone call next week? It only takes a minute to sign up. etc.] Instead, here are some better, more polite ways to ask for things. There are many different ways of making polite requests in English. So, even if your English is at a beginner’s level, using these simple words can help you sound more polite. NOTE: If you are asking a "yes-no" question, use "if" to connect the introductory phrase with the actual question statement. One form to avoid when asking for things is the imperative form. Direct questions place the helping verb before the subject of the question: (Question word) + Helping Verb + Subject + Verb + Objects ? - English Only forum How to ask someone politely to send me something a.s.a.p. I’m a longtime admirer of your work and have the greatest respect for your filmmaking expertise. Introductory phrase + question word (or "if") + positive sentence. Indirect questions always begin with an introductory phrase and unlike direct questions, they do not invert the subject. Here are some more examples in different contexts with different tenses.Can you give me a hand with these … Introductory Phrase + Question Word/"If"/"Whether" + Subject + Helping Verb + Main Verb? Sorry. The first part uses the subject followed by a helping verb as used in direct questions ("Has she"). Make sure that you’re giving the other person the chance to say no. One form to avoid when asking for things is the imperative form. In the United Kingdom, the word is not frowned upon. Which would be a direct way of asking a question and can be interpreted as being rude or arrogant. It only takes a minute to sign up. Your Relationship with the Recipient . Saying "Give me that" (imperative) instead of "Could you give me that" (indirect) puts you at risk of sounding rude. To learn more about how to ask polite questions, and use each form correctly, check out the overview below. Are you looking for a professional, native English teacher online? I use this expression all the time.Can you give me a hand for a minute? This may sound awkward but it is true. For example, when asking for information from a friend, use a more informal or colloquial form. Please should not appear at the beginning of the question: "May" is used as a formal means to ask for permission and is very polite. In the United States, "can" is considered to be incorrect for written English in particular because, in the past, it was not a word used when asking for something. In this spoken English lesson, you will learn several methods to make polite requests and ask questions. English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Since we are asking someone for help, it is important to be polite. Ask Question … Kenneth Beare is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and course developer with over three decades of teaching experience. Indirect questions request the same information as direct questions, but they are considered more formal. Each of these three question types can be used politely, but certain indirect forms are more formal and polite than other types of questions. A request is when we ask someone for something. Where are you? ______ me, what time does the train leave? I would love to ask you a few questions about how you financed your first film. Direct questions ask for information immediately without including extra language such as "I wonder" or "Can you tell me.". However, we use indirect questions if we want to ask a more personal or formal question. The second part uses the opposite form of the helping verb followed by the same subject ("Hasn't she"). Who - asking for a person and animal: object: do, does, did. Sign up to join this community. English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. When you ask somebody like that in a direct manner. Could You Possibly/Is There Any Way You Could One form to avoid when asking for things is the imperative form. Direct questions are either yes/no questions such as "Are you married?" Choose from more than 400 teachers to work on your business English or to pass your next big exam. What time is it? Cambridge University publishes English teaching materials with the phrase "Can you lend me," "Can I have," etc. Instead of telling people to help you with tasks, you can turn your statement into a question. I promise to keep it brief. For example: In informal situations, one could use the word "can" in a direct sentence. Write down five open and five closed direct questions. Question tags turn statements into questions. Asking for directions is the first thing we do when we arrive to a different country, or even when we are just trying to find a place. Notice that indirect questions begin with a phrase ("I wonder," "Do you think," "Would you mind," etc.). direct, indirect, or question tag). Usually it’s used when what you’re asking doesn’t require a huge amount of effort from the person that you’re asking for help. Pardon? Requests - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary I wonder ______ you like chocolate or not. - English Only forum had politely done - English Only forum He was not speaking politely so I have just hung up the phone on him - English Only forum how can I express my meaning politely and correctly? To learn more about how to ask polite questions, and use each form … Ask a question or clarify something; Join a conversation or express your opinion on the topic; The key is knowing how to interrupt someone politely. Anybody can ask a question Anybody can answer The best answers are voted up and rise to the top Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered Politely ask someone not to do something. Using an indirect question is one great way to do this. What you can do is, simply say: Simply say: Could you please spell your name? They are in fact quite rude. Consider the following important points carefully. The questions ‘do you mind’ or ‘do you care’ usually cause a lot of confusion for many English as a Second language users. Say something like “Oh”, “Ah”, “Um”, or “Er” to give you a second or two to formulate an answer. Sign up to join this community. Saying "May I have" instead of "Can I have" is preferred in the U.S. They are examples of formal English. Remember, complete silence makes the other person feel uneasy! Using indirect question forms is especially polite. How much does that book cost? “Can you show me,” “Can I have,” “Can I sit”, etc. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. "Would" can also be used to make questions more polite: Another way of making direct questions more polite is to add "please" at the end of the question. Do you mind repeating that? … Forming Questions The use of question words and how to ask questions in English. Using questionsmakes you sound nicer and more considerate (thoughtful and nice). Say: Can you finish the presentation? You ask for something, then the person you have asked needs more information. Who - asking for a person and animal: subject: no do, does, did. How should you ask a stranger where the nearest bus stop is? Connect the two phrases with the question word or 'if' in the case the question is a yes/no question. Direct and indirect questions are used to ask for information you do not know, while question tags are generally used to clarify or confirm the information you think you know. It’s also possible to use ‘can’ in informal situations. So you might wonder, how should you ask your boss for a day off? No matter what the situation, these short phrases allow for brief questions during a conversation. To form an indirect question, use an introductory phrase followed by question words for information questions, and "if" or "whether" for yes/no questions. Do well to check it out and share. There are three types of questions in English: direct, indirect, and question tags. Indirect questions are more polite than direct questions. If you haven’t expected this, you can “play for time” – say something to give you time to think. To help you do that, I want to share essential tips and common phrases we use in English. Saying "Give me that" (imperative) instead of "Could you give me that" (indirect) puts you at risk of sounding rude. If the voice goes up at the end of the sentence, the person is asking for more information. or information questions such as "Where do you live?" Each of these three question types can be used politely, but certain indirect forms are more formal and polite than other types of questions. Not to worry, I have addressed this in a post titled, How to Answer Tag Questions. Basic Conversations for English Language Learners, English as a Second Language (ESL) Expert, Key Words That Make Direct Questions More Polite, Asking Indirect Questions to Be Especially Polite, Workplace Communication Skills for ESL Learners, Rhetorical Questions for English Learners, Ask Questions in English Class to Help You Learn, Phrases for Performing Well in Business Meetings, ESL: How to Ask for, Grant and Refuse Permission, Giving and Requesting Personal Information, Check Your Knowledge: Basic English Questions, Check Your Knowledge: Introductions and Greetings, Check Your Knowledge: "How Much" and "How Many", Check Your Knowledge: Eating at a Restaurant, Check Your Knowledge: Going to the Doctor, M.A., Music Performance, Cologne University of Music, B.A., Vocal Performance, Eastman School of Music. Next, provide a missing word to fill in the gap to complete the question. When you ask a direct question, you ask directly, or simply, for exactly what you need. Expression for asking personal question politely [Excuse my asking, but.. Daily grammar lesson with Elo Kasia. In the video below, you can also check out ways to reply when people ask you what you want. How to Politely Ask Someone to Repeat Something in english; Would you mind repeating that? Can I use your phone? Are you working this weekend? English Grammar - How to ask questions - Duration: 19:03. For example, if you come up to someone and ask: There is nothing wrong with asking questions in this manner, but to sound more polite, it's very common to add "excuse me" or "pardon me" at the beginning of a question. Each of these three question types can be used politely, but certain indirect forms are more formal and polite than other types of questions. Indirect questions can start with introductory phrases such as these: Can you tell me . Subject + Helping verb + Objects + , + Opposite Helping Verb + Subject? And they are also … Jane opened the door.Who opened the door? When we want to be more polite we often use indirect question forms. Reasons To Politely Ask for a Reply in a Formal Email. Especially since English doesn’t have a formal “you” form like many other languages. How should you ask a stranger where the nearest bus stop is? Get our special offer before it runs out! When, why, or simply, for exactly what you need when... Hand? it ’ s also possible to use ‘ can ’ in informal situations or if. Could, would and may you time to think making it a and! That is known you do that, I have addressed this in a formal Email materials with the itself. ”, etc, someone is confirming information that is known '' instead of `` can you me! Information from a friend, use an introductory phrase followed by the question in. Some better, more polite by using `` could: '' things is the imperative form day?... – say something to give you time to think either yes/no questions such as these: can you me. 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Or colloquial form identify which type of question words and how to ask someone for.. Feel uneasy have addressed this in a formal Email I wonder '' ``... And unlike direct questions English Grammar - how to politely ask a clarifying question someone politely to send me a.s.a.p! One could use the word `` where, when, why, simply! Subject ( `` Has n't she '' ) Kingdom, the person is asking for things is the form. The case the question word or 'if ' in the garden you mind repeating that married? uses. Reasons to politely ask for them can make our life so much easier a formal you... Politely using could, would and may to your friends or family ``... Things in English you haven ’ t have a formal Email, and more considerate ( thoughtful and )... The voice drops, someone is confirming information that is known questionsmakes sound. Because they will … instead of `` can I have '' is preferred in the?... 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