Spoken English

The Quintessential Manners in English Speaking


English, originally, is a language of the British and they are the ones who introduced India to the Queen's language. Even though, nowadays Indians speak varieties of English – UK accent, American Accent, Australian accent or our very own version of 'Hinglish', an amalgamation of Hindi and English – the fact remains that the Indians have the Britishers to thank for opening a world of opportunities for us by giving us our first brush with English.English_Speaking_Manners

English is a vast language, with over 10 lac odd words that make up the whole vocabulary. Each word denotes a unique thing, and some words have over a hundred different meanings! There are a number of words to denote anger, happiness, sadness, and other such emotions. Then there are words that are used for facilitating communication. Then there are words to denote the period of time, place, or reasons. And then, there are words and phrases that speak a lot about the manners of the speaker.

Britishers lay a lot of stress on manners and etiquettes. If you have ever seen a British person in real or in the movies, you will know about what we are talking. From wearing a freshly ironed suit, wearing the right tie to having the perfect hat, a British man always turns out at his best. The same applies to their women as well.

Although, in these times, certainly no Britisher dresses up like the bygone era, the manners and etiquettes have stuck true. Saying a simple 'thank you' to a bus driver does not take much of an effort, but certainly makes the driver's day.

Learn manners too, not just English!

When you are in the primary stages of learning spoken English, make sure that you also pick up the manners. There are words in English that represent manners and lend some politeness to the sentences. Learning and using these words in your speech will make you come across as a warm and courteous person.

• Please: When you need someone to do something for you, you say 'please'. For example: you are shopping for a dress and would like the shop attendant to give a specific dress to you, this is what you say, "could you please pass that green dress to me". Another word you can use in such conditions is 'kindly'. "Kindly pass that green dress to me."

• Thank you: After the shop attendant gives you the dress you asked for, you reply with a 'Thank you'. When a young boy helps you carry your heavy bags, you reply with a "Thank you. That was very kind of you." One uses thank you in lieu of a helpful act. It is also an act of kindness to thank people who provide services to you; like your milkman, paper delivery boy or even a cab driver.

• Sorry: Sorry is used in two situations: when you have done something wrong or hurtful, or when you hear of someone's loss. When you accidently spill some milk on the floor, which someone else has to clean, you say, "I am sorry for this mess." On the other hand, when you hear that your friend's uncle passed away, you say, "I am sorry to hear about your loss."

• Excuse me: When walking in a crowded aisle, you need someone to move and make space for you; you say 'Excuse me'. When you need to disturb a colleague, to ask him a question, you say, "Excuse me". This phrase is used to get people's attention so that they make way, or time for you.

If you are trying to improve English speaking skills, it is always a good idea to work on your manners as well. Spoken English, accompanied by good manners will always make you stand out!



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