English is a wider and preferred language globally. It is also a compulsory language in many nations, and most companies and universities use it for communication purposes.
Well, there are many common ways of communicating and conveying what one feels. But where most of us get stuck in to find out the most polite and decent way of sharing our thoughts and responding to others’ statements. At the time one might sound too rude even when he/she does not intend to do so. So the basic reason behind this is that there is a lack of understanding about the polite way of asking things. And since people cannot read each others’ minds, one might sound rude even when he/she is not!
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Common English Phrases and Expressions
So the difference is made only through the usage of a few of the works.
Here is a brief on some common English phrases and expressions and the most polite manners of talking to one another. Mastering this list will surely help you get saved from embarrassment and leave any false impacts. This will also improve the fluency and eradicate all the inconvenient pauses that one takes while speaking in English.
Before learning more about these phrases and expressions, let us understand how to make them a part of the daily speech.
- Start with picking any two phrases and expressions each day and then look forward to more chances for using them. If there is no availability of the right situation, just imagine some hypothetical situations and use them while speaking out loud in front of a mirror.
- Before using any of these expressions, you must first try out saying it loudly for at least 2 to 3 times in some complete sentences to get more comfortable using them.
Introducing yourself and your friend – Introducing self:
There are three ways of introducing:
- Hi, I am X.
- Hi, my name is X. What is your name?
- Hi, I don’t think we have met. Let me introduce myself. I am X.
Note: Speaking ‘What is your good name?’ is not considered good, ‘What is your name?’ is sufficient alone.
Replying to the introduction:
- Hi X, I am Y.
- X – Nice to meet you, Y.
- Y – Nice to meet you too.
Note: Suppose you did not get what one said. You must not say ‘sorry’ or ‘sorry what,’ as it is considered impolite. You must go ahead by saying, ‘I am sorry.’
Introducing a friend:
There are three major ways of doing it, so that is:
- Y, this is my friend X.
- Y, I would like you to meet my friend X.
- Y, please meet my friend X.
Greeting others –
There are some polite ways in which you can greet others:
- How is it going on?
- How are you doing/today?
In response to a greeting, you must use the following to be more polite and if everything is all good:
- Very well/ great, thanks. How are you doing? (or ‘How about you?’)
To sound polite and expressing how things are not too good, or you are a bit stressed, you must start with:
- Not so well/good. I am a bit overworked these days.
- I am fine; I have just been caught up with some work. How are you doing?
When you see someone after a long time:
X – Hi, long time no see. How have you been?
Y – Not much, just some regular office work.
Making some request –
Request in a lift:
X – Can you please press for the ninth floor? OR Can you press ‘9’, please?
Y – Yes, Sure. OR Sure, no issues.
Request for passing a book:
X – Would you mind passing that book?
Y – Not at all.
X – I would be highly grateful if you could pass that book.
Y – Here it is.
Or if there is a refusal, you can start with ‘I am sorry.’ Like:
Y – I am Sorry, but I guess someone was reading it earlier. Can you first ask the person after he/she returns?
Request for borrowing something:
X – Can I borrow your notes for some time?
X – Would you mind lending me your notes for a while?
Y – I am sorry. I would need them for my work.
Y – I would have loved helping you, but I would need them for some work.
Y – I wish I could help you, but I already promised them to someone else.
Y – Sorry, I am afraid I can’t.
A request while the other person is busy with some work:
- Sorry to disturb/ bother you, but can you please tell me how to reach this address?
Saying Bye –
X – Have a good day ahead (informal). OR, Bye (formal). OR, Take Care (for someone close).
X – I am sorry, but I have to leave now. Speak to you later.
Y – See you soon/ later. OR, see you.
X – I must go. Let us catch up later.
Y – Sure, see you later/ soon.
X – Bye. It was a pleasure seeing you.
Y – The pleasure is all mines. I hope to see you again soon.
On-call conversations –
Receiving a call:
Receiver – I am X from PQ Ltd. How can I help you?
Caller – Hi, I would like to speak to Y. OR. Hi, Can I speak to Y?
Receiver – Can you please share your name?
Receiver – I am afraid you have got the wrong number. (If dialed wrong)
Caller – I am Z, I am calling from …
If Y cannot come on call:
Receiver – I am afraid; he is not in the office. OR, I am sorry he is attending a meeting presently.
Caller – Not an issue. Can I leave a message for him?
Caller – Not an issue. What will be the right time to call back then?
Asking to hold the call:
Receiver – Wait for a moment, please…
Receiver – Could you please hold on?
Receiver – May I put you on hold?
Receiver – Can you please hang on for a moment?
Caller – Sure, no worries.
There are some ways to ask for repeating, which are:
- Sorry, I cannot hear you. Could you please repeat yourself?
- Sorry, I cannot hear you; there is some disturbance in the line. Could you please repeat what you said earlier?
- I am afraid I could not hear what you said, could you please call back?
Note: Many people often say ‘your voice is breaking cracking/ breaking’ in such situations, which is not the right way for this problem.
Leaving a message:
Receiver – Would you like to leave a message for Y?
Receiver – Would you like to call back in some time?
Caller – Yes, actually, I wanted to speak to him for…
Ending the call:
Receiver – Thanks for calling PQ Ltd., have a great day ahead.
Caller – You too.
Receiver – Thank you for calling, is there anything else that I can help you with?
Caller – No, thank you.
Reception conversations –
Receptionist – Hello, how may I help you?
Customer – Hi, I am here from PQ Ltd., and I have an appointment with Mr. Y.
Receptionist – Sir/ Ma’am, please wait for a while. I will just inform him.
Receptionist – I am sorry, sir, currently he is busy in a meeting and will be available in 10 minutes. Please wait for him in the lounge area. Meanwhile, can I get you something to drink/ eat?
Thanking or receiving a thank you –
For saying thank you, you can use the following statements:
- Thanks a lot.
- Thank you.
- Thank you so much.
- I appreciate your advice/ help.
- That is very kind of you.
You can receive a thank you with:
- You are welcome.
- My pleasure.
If X tried doing something but couldn’t achieve it:
X – I tried but could not fix it.
Y – Thank you anyway.
Saying sorry –
You can say sorry using:
- I am sorry, that was my fault.
- I am sorry about that.
- I apologize.
- My apologies.
You can receive a sorry with:
- No worries.
- That is Ok.
- Not an issue.
- That is alright.
- It is fine, don’t worry.
Complimenting others –
To compliment anyone, one must use the following set of statements:
- You are looking gorgeous.
- I loved your outfit. Where did you get it from?
- Your perfume smells amazing. Which brand is it?
- That was a good one (When anyone tells a joke).
- You rock!
- You have made my day.
- Great/ good job. Keep up with the work.
- You look amazing today.
- I loved the way you handled all the queries after the presentation.
Conversation while hosting a dinner/ lunch –
Host – Would you like to have some more Xyz?
Guest – Yes, sure.
Host – Can I get some more vegetables for you?
Guest – I have had enough. Thank you.
Guest – Thank you, but I cannot take anymore. I am stuffed.
Host – Here are the desserts. Please have some.
Guest – This is so delicious. Can I have some more?
Asking a colleague for some tea or coffee –
When the response is ‘yes’:
X – Would you like to have some tea?
Y – Yes, sure. (OR) Yes, why not?
X – Can I get you a cup of tea?
Y – That would be amazing. Thank You.
When the response is ‘no’:
X – Would you like to have some tea? (OR) May I get you some coffee?
Y – No, Thanks.
Y – Not now, thanks.
Y – Thanks, but I just had one.
Interrupting anyone –
Interrupting in a conversation:
X – Sorry for interrupting you.
Y – Yes, please go on.
OR, if they do not want to be interrupted,
Y – Let me finish first.
Interrupting anyone for some other reason:
- Excuse me, Sir/ Ma’am. Can you please tell me where to find this address?
- Excuse me, Sir/ Ma’am, you just dropped this paper.
Asking someone to repeat –
To do so, you can go with the following statements:
- I am sorry, I cannot hear you. Could you please speak a bit louder?
- I am sorry; I did not get that. Could you please repeat yourself?
- I did not catch the last part. Can you please repeat it?
Seeking permission –
X – Would you mind if I leave my bag here? I will be right back in 5 minutes.
Y – Yes, please do.
Y – I am sorry, but I do not know you. (OR) I am not sure if I would be here by then. (OR) I am sorry, but I am about to leave.
Declining an invitation –
To do so, choose any of the given statements:
- That sounds like a great plan, but I am sorry. I already planned something else.
- I appreciate your invitation, but I would not be able to come as I am going out of town for some days.
- I wish I could come, but a few of my relatives are coming over.
There are hundreds of common phrases and expressions that will make your communication skills amazing and life easier. This is a brief on a few of the most common and usable phrases and expressions, and one must have a clear idea of them with better practice to be a pro!