Would you mind?

“Would you mind?” is a fixed expression that means “Is it OK with you?” or “Do you have any objection?”
It is used to make polite requests or ask for permission.
For example:
Would you mind if I borrowed your pen?
Would you mind opening the window?

I am asking | wanting (polite)

C2 English Grammar Profile point 38 in the category of PRESENT/continuous is defined as: POLITENESS: with verbs that are not usually used in this form to make statements and requests sound less direct. EXAMPLES: I am asking us to use our power to choose. I am asking us to level up. TED We are asking businesses not to produce and consumers not to go out and consume. TED An iWeb search for I|We am|are asking|wanting * …

I am asking | wanting (polite) Read More »

If possible

Using “if-” clauses with “possible” is a way to soften language and show respect for the listener’s autonomy. It acknowledges that the listener has the choice to fulfill the request or not, without feeling pressured. This construction is commonly used in various social situations to maintain politeness and avoid sounding too demanding or forceful.

I thought… (polite)

English Grammar Profile C1 point 80 in the category of PAST is defined as: past simple ‘I thought’ as a politeness structure to sound less direct. However, there is no way to formally decide if this is actually a politeness construction.  If it is not, it might still contain B2 modal passive or B1 reporting structures. For …

I thought… (polite) Read More »

if you should

C1 points: 114 in CLAUSES/conditional is defined as: subordinate conditional clauses with ‘if you should’, in polite, formal contexts *Most of the English Grammar Profile examples include: ‘if you should have any’ (questions|concerns|problems) + don’t hesitate…’ Therefore, this is offering help or giving advice.  ‘should’ here gives a slight feeling of  ‘it is unlikely’ or …

if you should Read More »

(conditional) inverted SHOULD + WOULD clause

In the English Grammar Profile, C2 point 120 in the category of CLAUSES/conditional is defined as: inverted ‘should’, + ‘would’ in the main clause to talk about possible future outcomes, in polite or formal contexts. Example: Should they come forward, that would be a tricky situation for us. Listen In the COCA corpus we can do a …

(conditional) inverted SHOULD + WOULD clause Read More »

conjunction + past simple

In the English Grammar Profile, there are two points that overlap.  B2 point 55 is defined as: PAST simple after ‘if’ as a politeness structure, especially in letters and emails. B2 point 72 is defined as: the past simple with a range of subordinating conjunctions, including ‘as soon as’, ‘before’, ‘if’, ‘once’, ‘since’, ‘so’, ‘until’, …

conjunction + past simple Read More »

would like

“Would like” is a polite expression used to indicate a desire or wish, often in making requests, invitations, or offers. The structure typically follows “subject + would like + (noun phrase OR infinitive verb)”. For instance, “I’d like to see you again” or “Would you like a drink?”. The negative form, “wouldn’t like”, can imply a hypothetical situation, such as “If I told you, you wouldn’t like it.” This phrase is commonly used in various contexts, including wanting to see, know, thank, be, have, say, use, get, add, share, make, take, ask, try, hear, think, point out, give, start and go among others.

May I?

There are four entries in the English Grammar Profile that capture “May I…?”  Point 97 are polite questions.  They probably are not really asking for permission.  119 is literally asking for permission.  Yet, for the purposes of designating a complexity level, this matters little.  The interpretation of this structure becomes more difficult once we jump …

May I? Read More »