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Spoken English Lesson 2: Sentences of Etiquette

English is a sweet language. There are a lot of words and phrases that help to express your gratitude and politeness easily. Such phrases are considered part of English etiquettes. If you use such phrases in your day-to-day conversation, your conversation becomes more polite. We don't generally use such expressions in our mother tongue. But they are an inevitable part of English etiquette and are used widely in spoken English. Let's study some such expressions and their uses today.

1. Uses of Please:

When you ask someone for something or tell them to do something for you, never forget to use the word 'please'. It expresses your politeness and is part of English etiquette. Please can be used either at the beginning or end of sentences. It can sometimes be used in the middle. Look at the examples below:

Please give me some money.

Will you help me please?

What is the time please?

Please bring me a glass of water.

Please sit down.

Please help me.

Would you please go there?

Could you please tell me the time?

2. Uses of Thank you and Thanks:

When someone offers you even a little help, whether they answer something you asked or show you the road or offer you some physical help, never forget to say 'Thank you' or 'Thanks'. Thank you is formal. Thanks is informal.

Would you please go there?

No thank you.

Take a cup of tea, please.

No thanks.

3. Uses of Welcome, You're welcome, No problem, No mention, It's my pleasure, My Pleasure, It's fine, It's all right etc. 

When someone says 'Thank you' or 'Thanks to you', use the following phrases to express your politeness


You're welcome

No problem

No mention

It's my pleasure

My pleasure

It's fine

It's all right

4. When someone asks you for something and you permit them to do or take it from you, you can say the following:

It's my pleasure.

With great pleasure.


Of course

5. Uses of Sorry:

Sorry is used to ask for forgiveness. For every mistake you make, you can say Sorry. It doesn't matter if the mistake is big or small.

For example:

If you say a word wrongly

Sorry it is Mumbai, not Delhi.

If you fail to attend a programme in time

Sorry I am late. 

if you have accidentally stepped on someone's toe or foot or if you have dropped a glass of water

Sorry. (Only Sorry can be used in such situations)

if you have forgotten something, you can say

Sorry I don't remember it now.

6. Uses of Excuse me:

Excuse me is mainly used to attract someone's attention politely:

If you are attending a meeting in a room and need to go out of the room, you can just say

Excuse me (or)

Excuse me, I need to make a phone call

If you want to talk to someone who is busy talking to another person or doing some work, you can say

Excuse me (or)

Excuse me, (Tell what you are willing to tell)

When someone is in your way and you need to tell them to move, you can say

Excuse me (or)

Excuse me, would you please move a little?

When entering someone's room, you can attract his attention by saying

Excuse me (or)

Excuse me, may I come in?

Excuse me, how can I help you?

7. Pardon:

Pardon is also used to ask for forgiveness. In Indian English, it is mostly used when you have not heard something someone has told you. Both sorry and pardon can be used in such situations.


Sorry, I couldn't hear you (Or you can just say)


8. Uses of Allow me, Let me and May

When you want to help someone to do something, you can say

Please allow me to help you (or)

Please let me help you (or)

May I help you please.