- Order me a coffee, please. → Would you get me a coffee, please?
- Please leave. I have to take this phone call. → Could you step out of the room for a moment? I have to take this phone call.
- Send me those documents before the end of the day. → Could you send me those documents by the end of the day?
- I need to borrow your pen for a moment. → May I borrow your pen for a moment?
was / were hoping … 表达一种试探性的，委婉的语气。
I was hoping you could marry me.
- Do you have time to meet tomorrow to discuss this?
- → I wondered if you had time to meet tomorrow.
- → I was wondering if you had time to meet tomorrow.
- → I’m wondering if you have time to meet tomorrow.
- What is your name? → What did you say your name was?
- I’d like to finish this meeting by 4:00 p.m. → I was hoping to finish this meeting by 4:00 p.m.
- Can I ask a question about the agenda? –> I wanted to ask a question about the agenda.
- I think you need help with the deadline. → I thought you might like some help with the deadline.
Vague language means not too specific or too direct. We often use expressions such as: a bit, around, kind of, -ish, a few, quite, slightly, a little
We use these expressions – or qualifiers – to provide less direct information, for example with times or quantities.
- I’d like you to spend around 4 hours to get this project completed. If you can’t complete it by then, let’s talk so we can make necessary changes.
- Why don’t you come to my office at 2:00-ish ( = around 2:00) for a quick meeting.
- That’s not quite what I had in mind. What if we made a few changes?
- That estimate is a bit high, don’t you think?
- Chickens slaughtered in the United States, claim officials in Brussels, are not fit to grace European tables. (… are of poor quality, … don’t meet European standards.)
- We need to review these documents one more time. → Don’t you think that we should review these figures one last time?
- Yes, we’ve met before. I met you at the conference last year. → Haven’t we met before? I think it was at the conference last year.
- You must consider how the client might respond. → Shouldn’t we consider how the client might respond?
- I don’t imagine that you have time to help me with this.
- I would love to but I have to work late that night.
- Unfortunately, he isn’t available.
- I’m afraid we can’t change the date of the meeting next week.
- I’m sorry to say that your proposal has not been approved.
- With respect, I have to disagree with you.
In more professional situations, we sometimes have to tell someone that we can’t do something.
- I can’t complete this project by 4:00 p.m.
- I can’t meet you tomorrow.
To say “I can’t” can be negative and it could sound like a failure. Instead, you can use the words “not able to” or “unable to” to soften the language.
- I’m not able to complete this project by 4:00 p.m. but I should have it finished tomorrow morning.
- I’m unable to meet you tomorrow. I’m sorry.
- I’m really sorry but I’m not able to come to your dinner party on Saturday evening.
would / do you mind doing
Would you mind waiting outside?
No, not at all. Not at all. Certainly not.
Of course not. No, that’s quite all right.
Not at all, I’d be happy / glad to.
would / do you mind my / our doing
do you mind if(真实语气:一般现在时)
would you mind if(虚拟语气:一般过去时)
Would you mind my smoking here?
Do you mind if I smoke here?
Would you mind if I smoked here?
No, not at all. Not at all. Certainly not. Of course not. Go ahead.
I wish you wouldn’t. You’d better not.
I’m sorry, but … I’m afraid …
Do you mind if I smoke here?
I’m afraid this is a non-smoking office.
leave: n. permission
I take leave to do sth. (say / doubt / think )
The senator asked leave to take the floor.
Forgive me for saying so, but what you said is nonsense.
I venture to do
had better do sth.
You’d better pay him a visit tomorrow.
You might as well do …
It might be better to do …
I suggest you do …
Why not do
Why not try to train your character?
- unemployed = between jobs
- She is pregnant. = She is knitting a tiny garment. She is expecting.
- dustman = garbologist
- butcher = meat technologist
- housewife = domestic engineer
- the disabled / handicapped
- the physically challenged
- the mentally challenged
- the vertically challenged
- the horizontally challenged
He told him he had better return it or he would call the police.
had better do sth. or (else) …
You’d better go out at once or (else) I’ll throw you out of the window.
do sth. before …
Get away from here before I call the police.
Put on a heavy coat, otherwise / or (else) you’ll catch a cold.