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Good Manners — Polite Forms

Average: 2.4 (2410 votes)

Being polite and having good manners are essential skills in English. Although English may seem a little too formal to non-native speakers, it is a super important part of effective communication - especially in business situations.

These expressions show respect and politeness when asking for something.

Look at these two examples and decide which one is more appropriate.

A) Give me the coffee.
B) Would you pass the coffee please?

Using the appropriate question form creates a better dynamic and there is more chance that the other person “warms” to you and will therefore be more co-operative and helpful, not to mention friendly.


Have a look at the examples of use below. Then, complete the following question starters in the most appropriate form. Check your answers by typing them in a Google Search.

Examples of use (2 each):

1 – Will you get a move on please, we are going to be late? / Will you close the door please; my hands are full?

2 – Would you lend me $10 please; I forgot my wallet at home? / Would you consider working in Australia?

3 – Would you please give me a hand here; I’m going to drop something? / Would you please bring your personal computer to work; as all the ones here have viruses?

4 – Could you come in to work this Saturday? / Could you please make sure you are on time for the meeting?

5 – Could you possibly stay on at work till 10pm today as we have a conference call with the USA? / Could you possibly wear a costume for the fancy-dress party?

6 – Would you kindly help me with this coffee tray; it’s too heavy for me? / Would you kindly assist me with filling out this form?

7 – Would you mind if I came in to work an hour late tomorrow; I have a dentist appointment. / Would you mind if I brought my dog to work next week?

8 – Would you be so kind as to assist me with this job, it’s too difficult for me? / Would you be so kind as to give me a lift home from work; my car is at the mechanic?

Try it yourself!

1 – Will you……?

2 – Would you…...?

3 – Would you please…….?

4 – Could you (please)………?

5 – Could you possibly………?

6 – Would you kindly………?

7 – Would you mind……….?

8 – Would you be so kind as to……….?