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How to ask for things politely in English?

It’s important to be polite when making requests in English and this means being less direct!

Here are some tips to help you sound more polite in English:

  • Use could and would when making offers or asking questions:

Could you answer the phone please?

Would you like some coffee?

  • Use do you mind or would you mind to check if something is ok with the other person:

Would you mind postponing the meeting?

Do you mind closing the window?

  • Use I was hoping, I was thinking and I was wondering to make a request:

I was hoping I could have next Friday off

I was wondering if you could give us a discount

I was thinking of leaving early today

  • Use sorry but and sorry to … but to make a polite request:

Sorry but could you move your car please? You’ve parked in my space

Sorry to interrupt but could you check this email for me please?

And remember to always use please, thank you and you’re welcome!