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5 Polite Expressions to sound less direct in English

Polite Expressions

5 Polite Expressions to sound less direct in English

Do you want to know more Polite Expressions in English to sound less direct and assertive? Can you remember those times when you needed something from someone else, perhaps a favour, their time, some help, etc., and you weren’t quite sure how to ask what you wanted in a polite way? It could be that you wanted to sound a little more indirect but you were not quite sure how to.

Our top 5 Polite expressions in English

Here are our top 5 Polite expressions for you to use so that you can sound more polite in English when asking for things. 

Polite Expressions — Introduction

When it comes to wanting something from someone else, sometimes it pays to make use of expressions that are a tad less direct so that you can sound more polite when asking.

I was wondering if…? — This is the best Polite Expression for extra politeness!

This expression is great for sounding extra polite when you are requesting something. Let’s compare the direct way to request something with the more indirect way of doing it. 

Direct>Indirect
Can you help me out with my project? Please let me know what time is best for you. >I was wondering if you might/could help me out with my project. I wonder if you could let me know what time is best for you. 

Would you mind…?

Perhaps you would like someone to stop doing something that might be annoying. Although this meaning is not the only meaning, it’s certainly one of the most popular. 

Direct>Indirect
Can you please turn down your music, please? Excuse me, I would like you to reschedule our appointment. >Would you mind turning down your music, please? Excuse me, would you mind rescheduling our appointment? 

Any chance you could…?

This one is great for sounding less direct and more polite when making requests. 

Direct>Indirect
Do you have any more information about my flight delay? What’s the problem? >Any chance you could give me any more information about my flight delay? Any chance you could let me know what the problem is? 

Would you happen to…?

When there is a slight chance that someone might have the thing you are requesting, then this expression works really well for sounding more polite!

Direct>Indirect
Do you have the time? Do you know much about this topic? >Would you happen to have the time? Would you happen to know much about this topic? 

It would be lovely if…

This is a great expression for sounding all so sweet, courteous and polite when making requests. You should definitely add this expression to your lexicon!

Direct>Indirect
Can you make me a tea, please? If you like this video, could you please give it a “like” and “subscribe”? >It would be lovely if you made me a tea. If you like this video, it would be lovely if you gave it a “like” and “subscribe”. 

Polite expressions in English — A summary

So, that sums it up for our top 5 expressions for sounding more polite in English.

  • Was wondering if…?
  • Would you mind…?
  • Any chance you could…?
  • Would you happen to…?
  • It would be lovely if…

If you happen to have any doubts, questions or comments, it would be lovely if you let us know in the comments section. 

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