Being friendly in English
Having good social skills is important if you want to make a good impression on the people you meet. Here's some advice on what is considered polite or impolite in English-speaking cultures.
1. Please, thank you, excuse me and I'm sorry
These polite expressions are used a lot in spoken English, and not using them can make you appear rude. As politeness is considered perhaps the most important quality in relationships, make sure you use them! Don't worry if you think you use them too frequently: the worst that people will think of you is that you are sweet and charming:))
Please = use whenever you want someone to do something for you, or if you want something from another person
Can you tell me where the post office is, please?
Can you pass me that newspaper please?
Never use imperative forms unless you are giving someone directions. So although you can say to someone "Take the 130 bus to Croydon and get off at Asda supermarket", you can't say to someone "Pass me that newspaper".
Thank you = use whenever someone does something for you, or gives you something.
Excuse me = use when you want to introduce a request to someone, or if you want to get past someone
Excuse me, can you tell me where the post office is, please?
Excuse me, is this the right platform for the London train?
I'm sorry = use any time that you inconvenience someone, tread on someone's toes in a crowded train, or if someone asks you something that you can't do.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand. Is the post office on the left or the right?
Is Mr Jones in the office?
I'm sorry, he's out this morning.
2. Ask permission before doing something that may inconvenience others
Do you mind if I open the window?
Can I take this chair?
3. Avoid controversial topics when you meet someone new
Some topics of conversation can lead to arguments, so unless you know someone well, it's best to avoid them. These topics are politics, religion and financial information such as how much money you earn. If you are in doubt about what to talk about, let the other person take the lead, and respond to them. This leads on to the next point:
4. Keep the conversation going
If someone asks you a question, respond to it. Avoid one-word answers, and try to say at least a few words. Then you can return the question.
For example, if someone says "Terrible weather, isn't it", avoid just saying "yes". Instead you can say "Yes, I wish it would stop raining" or "Yes, it wasn't like this last summer, was it?"
Some cultural tips
– in Britain, queuing is considered polite. If you "jump the queue" (go to the front, rather than stand behind the last person in the queue) or push the people in front of you, you will make yourself very unpopular!
– don't stand too close to people. Stand at least an arm's length away if you can. On crowded public transport this isn't possible, but people rarely talk to each other in these situations.
– keep eye contact when you talk
68 commentspaing paing
I have been learning and teching english for a long time. These kind of article useful for me. Thank you very much.Best regards
Thank you very very much
Very useful advice. Thank you.
It's very clear and easy, thanks a lot ! A+1
Very interesting A+1
itx realy helpfull for us. i can caary on to learn english
thanks ...its great to learn it..a+1
Useful article. Nice!
Very Interesting A+1
thanks for your big effort
Adetola Akinola Wahab
very useful +1
Very interesting A+1
Thank you so much this artical is Very Very Interesting A+1
I like this article :)I'm learning English and I'd like to go to England and I think these advices are very useful for me.Thanks
Thank you very much Iam really enjoy it
Thanks a lot a+1
thank you very much for teaching us like that
Thanks a lot! A+++++
thanks a lot ..for this!!
i'd like to progress in my english
thanks a bunch! it is clear and accurate.
Thank you very much for great article. This is help me to improve my english skill
thanks for the lecture
very interesting to and easily to understand
it helped me a lot.
thanks a lot.it helped me.
Thanks a lot!
teaching very good
very usefull advcethank you
Thank you! It's useful.
Fantastic....thanks a million
Jose Alves de Oliveira
Thank you for all tips and advices. I guess that I am more polite now.
thank you it's usufel things
Thank you for this beautiful Education :)
thanks a bunch....for this convenience
excellent...thank u :D
thank u for this education.....
Thank you so much for this kind of teaching methods. It's been making more perfect to us by this method teaching. hank you once again.
Thank you indeed
Get a FREE English Short Story!
Like to learn English? Join 19,600+ people who read our newsletter and get more help with:
We won't share your email address and you can unsubscribe any time.