How do you politely ask a location?

Asking for things in English doesnt need to be stressful. Just remember some key phrases, and youll be able to deal with most situations smoothly and confidently!Asking clerks or a

How do you politely ask a location?

Asking for things in English doesnt need to be stressful. Just remember some key phrases, and youll be able to deal with most situations smoothly and confidently!

Asking clerks or at help desks

(Hello.) Can / Could I have .. please? (Falling intonation)

(Good morning.) Can / Could you give / get me .. please?

(Good evening.) A table for two, please.

Interrupting people to ask them for something

Excuse me

. Do you know if?
. Do you have?
. Do you accept . (credit cards)?
. Is this the right way for. (the Post Office)?
. Could you tell me if . (theres a Post Office near here)?

In more formal situations

Excuse me

. Would you mind . (keeping an eye on my luggage?)
. I wonder if you could . (move your suitcase a little.)

Responding to questions

You ask for something, then the person you have asked needs more information. He or she asks you a question. If you havent expected this, you can play for time  say something to give you time to think. Say something like Oh, Ah, Um, or Er to give you a second or two to formulate an answer. Remember, complete silence makes the other person feel uneasy!

You: Two tickets to Glasgow, please.
Clerk: Single or return?
You: Um, return please. Were coming back tomorrow.

(You are at the bureau de change)
Clerk: How would you like your money?
You: Oh, er, three tens and a five, please.

You: Hello. Can I have a leaflet about London museums, please.
Clerk: Sure. Anything else?
You: Um, do you have any information about musicals?

Tips

When you ask someone for something, or you ask them to do something for you, it is essential to be as polite as possible. Here are some ways that you can be polite.

Say hello

A hello and a smile go a long way! Say hello at the beginning of your request.

Hello. (Id like) a travel card, please.

In more formal situations, you can say Good morning, Good afternoon or Good evening. (Remember, we only say Good night if were saying Good bye at the end of the day.)

Good evening. Weve booked a table for four.

Remember please and thank you

Please normally goes at the end of the sentence:

Two tickets please.
Can you give me directions to Oxford Street, please.

Say thank you after you have received something:

Heres your change.
Thank you.

You can use Yes, please or No, thank you in response to a question:

Would you like salad with your pizza?
Yes, please or No, thank you.

Say excuse me

If you ask someone who is doing something else, remember to say excuse me:

Excuse me, do yo have this dress in a smaller size? (In a shop)
Excuse me, do you know where the nearest bank is? (On the street)

Structure of an example conversation

1. Clerk greets you

(Good morning.) How can I help you?
What can I do for you?

2. You ask for something

Hello. Id like some information about
Can I have.
Three stamps for Europe, please.

3. Clerk asks you a question

Single or return?
Air-mail or surface mail?

4. You answer

Oh, er, single thanks.
Um, let me see. Air-mail please.

5. Clerk asks you if you need anything else

Will that be all?
(Is there) anything else?

6. You answer

Ah, actually Id also like
No, thats it thanks / thank you.

See also Making requests in the Speaking section.

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