The words and the formality of the language we choose to use are often based on our relationship to the people we talk to. This can be difficult if English isn’t your first language. How do you know if you’re unintentionally being too informal or even offensive?
In this episode, we’ll look at some expressions that you may have heard in TV Series, films or from native speakers and we’ll give you some more polite alternatives that you can use just to be on the safe side.
We’re nearly at episode 500. What’s been your favourite podcast episode so far? Send us a voice message and let us know:
Voice message from Javi from Madrid
a massive number
What are your Top Three British Comedy series of all time?
Javi’s Top Three
- The Inbetweeners
- This Country
- Utopia (it was cancelled or discontinued, not called off) We call off a meeting, an agreement, a sporting event, a press conference etc.
Craig’s Top Three
Reza’s Top Three
- Fawlty Towers
- The Two Ronnies (especially their trademark plays on words)
- Monty Python’s Flying Circus (for its originality at the time)
(an honorary mention for The Office and Blackadder)
Recommended British TV crime series
Expressions that could be rude and impolite
What? (pardon? I beg your pardon? I didn’t catch that? Could you repeat that? Can you say that again?)
Shut up! – Please be quiet, Could you make less noise?
Get lost! – Please go away, you’re bothering me, Would you mind leaving?
You’re wrong – You may be mistaken
I don’t agree with you – I’m not sure about that
Mind your own business! / That’s nothing to do with you. – I’d rather not answer that. Why do you ask?
Using the imperative: give me, show me, take me…
Would you mind + gerund
Do you think you could…
How to be Indirect and make polite requests in English https://www.inglespodcast.com/345
Indirect questions and travel in Morocco with special guest Nicola https://www.inglespodcast.com/50
She/He’s dead – passed away
fired/sacked – laid off
unemployed – between jobs, looking for work
Toilet – men’s/ladies’ (room), powder room, little boy’s room, bathroom, restroom (US)
I want… – I’d like…
Do you want… – would you like…
What do you want? – How can I help you?
Use the passive:
Susan gave me the wrong information – I was given the wrong information.
Harry hasn’t signed the contract yet – The contract hasn’t been signed yet.
My friend’s using this seat – This seat has been taken
Your information is wrong – You have been misinformed
Use ‘excuse me’ and polite intonation:
Is this seat free?
Can you repeat that?
What’s time’s the next bus?
Where’s the supermarket?
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English. We’re nearly at episode 500. What’s been your favourite podcast episode so far?
Send us a voice message. https://www.speakpipe.com/inglespodcast
Send us an email with a comment or question to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
This podcast is sponsored, in part, by mansionIngles.com. Visit the online store: https://store.mansioningles.net/
Thank you to our Patreon supporters. Join our Patreon program for as little as $1.50 per month and you get instant access to the transcriptions of this podcast. https://www.patreon.com/inglespodcast
Welcome to our new Patreon supporters who have joined us this month:
José María Rodríguez
Juan Miguel Marabel González
Miguel M R
Raquel Muñoz Mallada
In next week’s episode: Learn English for Aviation
If you enjoyed this podcast, please tell your friends.
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’