Make it more polite

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    Spotlight Audio 2/2021
    A German man reading a book about politeness

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    We’re going to take some simple phrases and make them more polite. I’ll give you a very simple phrase, which is rather rudeunhöflichrude, like “Leave me alone!” and I’ll also give you the beginning of a nicer way to say the same thing. You should put the two together and say the whole polite phrase. Listen to the example first.

    David: Leave me alone! Could I ask you …
    Melita: Could I ask you to leave me alone?
    David: Could I ask you to leave me alone? or Could I ask you to leave me alone for a moment, please?

    Now you do the same.

    • Leave me alone! Could I ask you …
    • Could I ask you to leave me alone? or Could I ask you to leave me alone for a moment, please.
     
    • Hold the door! Would you mind …
    • Would you mind holding the door? or Would you mind holding the door for me, please?
     
    • Call me back! I’d appreciate …
    • I’d appreciate it if you could call me back.
     
    • Sit down! I’d feel more comfortable if ...
    • I’d feel more comfortable if you sat down, or if we sat down, or if we were sitting down.
     
    • Show me your ticket! Would you mind …
    • Would you mind showing me your ticket, please?
     

    Well done. Just one last polite phrase from me — and it’s: thank you! Thank you for joining me and I hope you found these exercises helpful.

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