Good Manners: What to Say and Do (Polite English)

http://www.engvid.com/ Learning English? Then you must learn about English culture and etiquette too. I’ll tell you the one secret you MUST know to be accepted in North American and British cultures. You’ll also learn 12 other good habits if you’re studying, working, living, or traveling overseas. This is a cross-cultural English lesson you cannot afford to miss. Take a quiz on this lesson here: http://www.engvid.com/good-manners-polite-english/

TRANSCRIPT

Hi, my name is Rebecca from www.engvid.com. In today’s lesson, we will be talking about good manners or what can also be referred to sometimes as cross-cultural skills. What does that mean? It’s the skills that you need to function effectively in a different culture than your own. So for example: if I were to come to your country and learn your language, do you think that would be enough? Not really, because along with the language, I also need to learn what’s acceptable, what’s not okay in that particular culture. So today, we’ll be talking about 12 things that you need to say and do when you’re living or working in an English speaking environment. Okay? Let’s get started.

So first we’ll talk about what you should say. The first one is using the word: “please”. Now, everybody knows that you should say “please”, but not everybody remembers to actually say it. So for example: if you go into a coffee shop, don’t just say: “Coffee.” Say: “Coffee, please.” Or if you’re asking someone else to do something, also remember: “Could you please turn off your cellphone?”, for example. All right?

Next: remember to say “thank you” whenever somebody does something. “Thank you”, “You’re welcome”: these are phrases that we do use very often in English. And it could be for anything simple like somebody holding the door for you or it could be for something more elaborate like somebody giving you a birthday present. Okay? The way you say it, say it from your heart. Okay? “Thank you.”, “Thank you very much.” And so on.

The next one is to say “sorry”, or even better to say “I’m sorry”, because “I’m sorry” is more personal. But otherwise, at least say “sorry”. And again, you can say “sorry” for little things like perhaps stepping on someone’s foot or if you bang into someone by mistake, you bump into someone by mistake somewhere in a crowded place, still apologize, say: “I’m sorry.”, “I’m sorry.”, “I’m sorry.” Okay? We do use that quite often.

Next one: “Excuse me.” Now, “excuse me” you can say when you sneeze. Right? [Achoo!]. “Excuse me.” Or if you need to ask somebody for some information, you can say: “Excuse me, would you know where the nearest subway is?” Right? So this is a very useful expression and it’s also a polite expression.

The next one is to remember to greet people and also to wish people. By greeting people, even at work if you’re working in an English speaking environment, remember we do say “good morning”, “good night”, “happy birthday”, “happy New Year”, “congratulations”. So greet people, and also wish them on the appropriate days. The next one might seem obvious also, but again, it’s the way that you do it. Even if you work in an office, in the morning, we can say: “Hey, good morning. How are you?” And when you ask: “How are you?” even though you’re not expected to give a full answer, but whatever answer someone gives you, remember to listen. Don’t start talking right away. Wait to hear if the other person is saying: “Oh, pretty good. I’m fine. How are you?” Hear all of that before you start speaking about your own disposition, your own state of mind. Okay? Listen to the answer. All right? So these are six things that you must remember to do; they are taken for granted and they are expected of you.

Next: let’s look at what you should do. This seventh one here says: “Smile.” Smiling creates a more friendly environment and it’s certainly expected. So try to do that, again, it doesn’t mean you have to keep smiling, but when you meet someone, give them a smile. If you don’t smile, they might think that you’re nervous, they might think you’re angry or unhappy about something. Okay? Or they might take it a little bit aggressively. So try to smile, it makes the… It also gives people the message that everything is okay, not just that you’re happy to meet them, but that everything is fine with you. So it says two things: something about you and something about the other person.

Next: shake hands. Now, that’s usually in a more business-like situation; in an office or somewhere, and certainly when you meet somebody for the first time. In an English speaking environment, you are expected to shake hands and shake hands rather firmly. Don’t shake hands very weakly or just hold a part of the hand. Hold the entire hand and shake it firmly. All right? That’s, again, part of the office expectation and the business norm.

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