Polite English

In today’s blog post we will learn all about how to ask or request something in a way that is more polite in English by using a few verbal phrases and different conjugation strategies! This skill can be useful not only for navigating everyday life situations with ease but also at work when writing email to colleagues that you need to request information from!

Generally, in English, in order to be seen as more polite, it is a good idea to try and refrain from being to direct when requesting information or assistance. There are of course a group of polite words that we can tac on to the beginning or end of sentences to make them more polite:

  • Excuse me
    • This is great to use right before asking a question!
    • Ie: Excuse me, do you know how to get to the cafe in town?
  • Please
    • This is great to add onto the end of a sentence when you are asking for something in a short phrase.
    • Ie: I would like one brioche please!
  • Thank you
    • We use when someone has completed an action for us.
    • Here is an example based off of the previous scenario:
      • Waiter: Here is your brioche.e
      • You: Thank you so much!

We can use the auxiliary verbs would, could, and should instead of verbs like can and will. Here are some examples of all three:

Instead of saying: Will you bring my my luggage?

You could say:  Would you bring me my luggage?

*** if you wanted to make it even more polite you could use the verbal phrase “would you mind + verb  with gerund”. Would you mind means would you be willing to do this?

For example: Would you mind bringing me my luggage?


Instead of saying: Can I have a pizza?

Say: Could I have a pizza please?


Instead of saying: Brush your teeth more!

Say:  I think, maybe, you should brush your teeth more.


The fun of this is that you can combine a mixture of all of these strategies to make sentences extra polite! Here are some examples of some seriously polite senteces using combinations:


  • Go to bed earlier!
    • I think it could be a good idea if you went go to bed earlier.
  • Bring me my purse!
    • Excuse me, but would you mind bringing me my purse please?
  • Where is the metro?
    • Excuse me, but do you happen to know where the metro is?

      Polite English quiz

      Now try to pick the polite version of these sentences! Note that you can communicate these sentences politely in more than one way. However, in the options below there is only one polite sentence to choose!

0, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Conditional or “if clauses”

There are so many type of if clauses in English it is important to know when it is the right context to use each type!

Today we will learn what type of probability each “if clause” type implies so that you can correctly use them in the future!


Type zero

  • In type zero you use : present simple + present simple
  • You use this type when something is a general or scientific fact.


  • If it is hot, ice cream melts.
  • If you wash your clothes, they stink less.


First Conditional

  • Present simple + will/won’t + verb
  • The first conditional is used for things that are likely even probable to occur in the future.


  • If you shake the soda can, it will explode.
  • If you work hard, you will see results.


Second Conditional

  • Past simple + would OR wouldn’t + verb
  • You only use this if clause when something is unlikely to occur in the future!
  • **** note that with the verb to be we use were


  • If I were rich, I would buy a big house.
  • If she had a car, she would drive to work.
  • If I had a green thumb, I would grow more plants in my house.


Third Conditional

  • Past perfect + would have + past participle
  • You use this clause for situations that are in the past and imagined. The have no way to be true because they are situated in the past.


  • If I had been good at math, I would have studied economics in college.
  • If I hadn’t hurt my back, we could’ve taken a walk together last evening.


“if clause” exercise

Now let’s put it to the test with some questions, fill in the blanks:

Different ways you could express or react to an opinion

Welcome to the Scrambled Eggs blog! Here you can find many different resources with which you can learn English. There are listening exercises, grammar exercises, vocabulary boosters and all kind of interesting articles on a variety of topics! Learning English should be fun, so we hope you like what you see and hear. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need to voice your opinion in a formal way? Well today’s blog is all about expressing yourself in formal situations.

What are the different ways you could express or react to an opinion?

When you are interjecting with agreeance to someone else’s opinion you can say:

  • “I figured as much”
    • It is raining this weekend, so I am going to move the pool party to Sunday.
    • I figured as much when I saw the weather.
  • “I suppose”
    • I tried the soup and I think it needs more salt, what do you think?
    • I suppose so, it did seem a bit bland.
  • “Am I ever”
    • Are you excited to come to my 30th birthday party this weekend?
    • Am I ever! I have been waiting to celebrate for weeks!

What about when you are defending your opinion to someone else?

You can say:

  • “Keep in mind that”
    • Keep in mind that the weather is supposed to change next week for our trip, so you should pack warmer sweaters.”
  • “Especially considering”
    • I think we will win first place, especially considering we were the only ones who had our speech memorized.
  • “I’d go as far as to say”
    • That was very good pizza, I’d go as far as to say it was some of the best pizza I have ever had!
  • “There’s no question that”
    • There’s no question that he is one of the best players on the team, especially since he is the top goal scorer!

Lastly, when you are discussing your intentions with someone you can say:

  • “I understand that”
    • I understand that you are frustrated with the delay in shipment, but we will try to get your package to you as soon as possible.
  • “We are prepared to”
    • We are prepared to call the coach and ask him why the best player on the team did not play at all last game.


Different ways you could express or react to an opinion quiz

Using all of the phrases from this lesson, put the appropriate phrase into each sentence.