Politeness

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Learn how to say please, thank you, and you’re welcome in English. Click on each link to hear that word or phrase pronounced.

 

Please   Sometimes called the "magic word," please is what you must use when asking for something.
Thank you When someone does something for you or gives you something, say "thank you." In the United Kingdom, ta and cheers can also be used. When you are really pleased, you can say thank you very much.
 
There are three different expressions that you can use to respond to thank you:
you’re welcome   basic
my pleasure expresses the idea that you were happy to do it
don’t mention it informal
 
Apologizing
Pardon me
Excuse me
These can be used if you bump into someone or need to get someone’s attention, as well as if you want to ask for information.

I’m sorry to bother you This is only used when you want to ask for information (and is more polite than "pardon me" and "excuse me").

I’m sorry Use this when you have made a mistake.
 
Special Expressions
Bless you   This is a polite expression used after someone sneezes.
Cheers When making a toast (where you clink your glasses together with friends or family), "cheers" is the expression used most.
My condolences Used with somebody who has suffered a death in the family or a friend.
 
Titles
There are different titles that you use to address different people, depending on their gender (male or female), age, and whether you know their names.

When talking to a man, you will either use sir (if you don’t know his name) or Mister plus his last name.

When talking to a woman who is married or over 30 years old, use ma’am (if you don’t know her name) or Mrs. plus her last name.

When talking to a woman who is unmarried or under 30, use miss (if you don’t know her name) or Miss plus her last name.

In the United States, there is another title which is used by women who feel that their age and marital status do not need to be part of their title: Ms.

More English vocabulary:

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