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Session 4

How to be more polite! Join Helen as she helps another student improve his English.

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Session 4 score

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Stop saying

Indirect questions

We have a question from Igor from Brazil, who's studying English at Rose of York school in London. He wants to know how to ask questions more politely in English.

Lucky for him, Helen has some tips on this very subject. Watch her video and practise together.

Watch the video and complete the activity


Notice how we use these phrases to make questions more polite:

  • Do you know...
  • Could you tell me...
  • Would you mind...
  • Is there any chance...

1) Direct: Where is the cafe?

Indirect: Do you know where the cafe is?

2) Direct: When will you finish the report?

Indirect: Could you tell me when you'll finish the report?

3) Direct: Where is the toilet?

Indirect: Would you mind telling me where the toilets are?

4) Direct: Can you help me?

Indirect: Is there any chance you could help me with this?

We can also use if and whether, like this:

I wonder if you can help me?

Do you know if there's a bank near here?

Could you tell me whether Mark prefers fish or chicken curry?

To do

Read these five sentences:

1) Where is the hotel?

2) When will the guests arrive?

3) Where is the exit?

4) Can you help me?

5) Is Mike coming? 

Be polite, please!

5 Questions

Can you make polite questions using these words?

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End of Session 4

In the next session we take a seat in the White Elephant restaurant. Join us for more adventures as we learn some phrases connected to annoyance.