thanks God Thanks God

Thank God or Thanks God?

Do we say Thank God or Thanks God? In this short video we show you how we use these phrases and fix a common (and funny) English mistake.
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Thank God or Thanks God?

We’re going to fix a very common and funny mistake today and it won’t take long. Do we say ‘Thank God’ or ‘Thanks God’?
Let’s jump straight in and see these phrases in action.

God, I’m late and I can’t find my cell phone! Oh God!
Did you call me?
Who are you?
I’m God.
Really? But I thought God was, you know, a guy.
No, I’m definitely female. What did you want?
I’ve lost my cell phone.
Well, when did you last have it?
I can’t remember.
Hmmm. I’ll call it
Ha! Thanks God.
You’re welcome. Bye.
Thank God she could help.

If we’re thanking people directly, so talking to them in person, we say ‘Thanks’ or ‘Thank you’.

Here’s your coffee.
Oh thanks, Jay.

But if we want to say we’re pleased about something we say ‘Thank God’, with no s on thank. If you say ‘Thanks God’, it sounds funny because it sounds like you’re talking to God directly.

Thanks God!
You’re welcome.

So if you’re very pleased about something, make sure you say thank without the s.

Thank God I’ve found my phone.

And that’s it. Make sure you subscribe and see you next Friday everyone. Bye.

Click here to see more videos with every day English.
Click here to fix more vocabulary mistakes.

Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl

Conversation and slang with Philadelphia Eagles fans

Come join the Eagles fans on the streets of Philadelphia as they celebrate a Super Bowl win. You’ll get listening practice with natural spoken English and learn some informal colloquial expressions and slang. Go Birds!

Click here to see some different people singing the Eagles fight song on YouTube
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Click here to join us on a road trip to Cape May.

Philadelphia Eagles fans having a blast

Today you’re going to meet lots of very happy people, and get some great listening practice with natural spoken English. You’re going to learn some colloquial expressions and slang. So come with me and let’s hit the streets of Philadelphia.

You’re here today celebrating at the parade. Have you been to the parade?
Yes we did. It was lit.
Last Sunday the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, and today milions of people have come to the city to celebrate at the parade.
Where have you come from?
Err, South Philly.
OK. Wow, the celebrations must have been big there.
It is. We followed the whole parade all the way up.
Where have you come from today?
I came from Delaware County.
Delaware County. So quite a journey. Was it difficult getting in?
It wasn’t too bad. We took the train. It took about an hour and then we had to take a subway ride.
Was it worth it?
Absolutely! This was worth it ten times over. It’s the best day of my life. I’m getting married next year. That’ll be the best day, but right now, this is the best day of my life. Great day, great day, great day. Go Birds!
Are you an Eagles fan?
Oh yeah!
What did you think of the game on Sunday?
Well I was actually there. My Dad took me.
Yeah.
And well, I was like frozen for like an hour when I found out that the Eagles won. So like, I… I was speechless.
Oh, it was phenomenal. It was a great game. I mean Philly did amazing. But I mean in general both teams played wonderfully, but obviously Philly came out.
It was a wish come true for every Eagles fan.
What do you think of the celebrations today?
Oh it was wild. It was really cold out here, but you know what, being around all of the other Eagles fans made it good. It was a blast. We had an absolute blast today.
It’s been great. Nothing really bad happening. Everyone’s loving it. People are.. I mean people are drinking, but people are having a good time. It’s like everyone’s supporting people. High fiving everyone. It’s really a good time.
It is, isn’t it? It’s a very happy crowd.
Great celebrations, yeah. I mean… There’s no one better in the entire nation than Philly fans. Philly fans are so dedicated but everyone’s being safe so it’s a good day today.

We heard lots slang and informal expressions there, so let’s take a look at some. Did you know this phrase?

Have you been to the parade?
Yes we did. It was lit.

This is a slang expression and ‘lit’ means exciting. So if a party is lit, it’s exciting. Next one.

Where have you come from?
Err, South Philly.

Philly – this is what the locals call Philadelphia. It’s an abbreviation. So South Philly is the south part of Philadelphia. Easy huh? Next one.

This is the best day of my life. Great day, great day, great day. Go Birds!

The name of the Philadelphia football team is the Eagles, and an eagle is a bird. So another word people use for the team is the birds. But notice the word ‘go’ here. This is like an instruction, telling the birds to advance and attack. In informal spoken English, people say ‘go’ to encourage one another – especially in American English. Great. Next one? This guy was interesting.

And well, I was like frozen for like an hour when I found out that the Eagles won. So like, I… I was speechless.

Speechless means not able to speak, and in this case it was because he was so happy and surprised. But notice how he uses the word ‘like’ here.
Like has lots of meanings in English and in colloquial English, you’ll hear it used as a filler word, especially among young people. We all use noises like err and um when we need to think. They fill gaps and spaces and make our speech flow more smoothly. ‘Like’ is another one and with young people it can sometimes signal an exaggeration. OK. Next one. Is this phrase grammatical?

Oh it was phenomenal. It was a great game. I mean Philly did amazing.

It’s NOT grammatical. You’d have to say Philly did amazingly to make it correct. BUT if you listen to the next bit, you can see this guy knows how to use adverbs correctly.

But I mean in general both teams played wonderfully but obviously Philly came out.

He used the adverb there. So what’s happening here? Well, ‘They did amazing’ is just a phrase we say in informal spoken English. Sports commentators say things like ‘He kicked the ball in magic’ instead of ‘He kicked it in magically’. Using an adjective instead of an adverb is common in some spoken English expressions and I think they’re examples of how the language is changing. OK, last one.

It was really cold out here. But you know what, being around all the other Eagles fans made it good. It was a blast. We had an absolute blast today.

A blast can mean a sudden gust of wind, or a sudden loud noise, but here it means something different. Again it’s an informal expression and it means an enjoyable and exciting experience. Like, everyone had a blast at the parade today and we had a blast making today’s video. We hope you enjoyed it too. If you did, please make sure you subscribe to our channel and see you next Friday.

Fly Eagles, fly!
On the road to victory.
Fight Eagles, fight.
Score a touch down 1,2,3.
Hit ’em low. Hit ’em high.
And watch our Eagles fly.
Fly Eagles, fly.
On the road to victory.
E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES!

Click here to see some different people singing the Eagles fight song on YouTube
Click here to see more videos about everyday English.
Click here to join us on a road trip to Cape May.

How to use Can, Could and May to ask for permission

How to use Can, Could and May to ask for permission

Can, could and may are all modal verbs and we use them all to ask if it’s OK to do something. So how are they different and how do we respond when we want to agree to a permission request, and also to refuse? In this video you’ll find out.

Click here to see more everyday English conversation videos.
Click here to learn how we pronounce can’t differently in British and American English.
Click here to learn about the modal verbs can and could and the verb be able to.

Can Could May Permission Video

How are these questions different? And how do we answer them? In this lesson we’ll find out.
We use all these phrases to ask if it’s OK to do something. Let’s look at three examples.

Can I park here, officer?
No, it’s not allowed.

Could I borrow your toothbrush?
What’s wrong with yours?
I lost it.

Oh, Vicki. I’ve got a yoga class this evening and I don’t want to be late. May I leave work early?
Yeah, OK. Maybe I’ll come with you.
That would be great.

‘Can I…’, ‘Could I…’ and ‘May I…’ They all mean the same thing here. Look, we can change them round and the meanings stay the same.
We use all these phrases to ask for permission to do something.

You can’t park here. You don’t have permission.

So is there a difference? Well yes, it’s about the situation we’re in and how careful we want to be about being correct and polite.
‘May’ is the most formal. ‘Can’ is the most informal. And ‘could’ is a little more formal than ‘can’.
When I was a child, my mum told me I should use ‘May I’ to ask for permission. It was a common rule back then and the old grammar books said ‘May I’ was more polite.
But the way we speak has changed over time and these days ‘Can I’ is much more frequent. In fact English speakers are now ten times more likely to say ‘Can I’ than ‘May I’. Yeah, ten times!
So do you need to learn ‘May I’ or can you forget it? You ned it because there are particular situations where we still use it. Maybe if someone’s giving a talk or speech to a group of people.

May I begin by thanking you all for being with us today?

Or perhaps they’re providing a service to a customer.

This is Rachel speaking. Sorry to keep you waiting. How may I help you?

Or perhaps they’re in a business meeting, and they want to make a suggestion.

I don’t think so.
Why not?
It’s not a good idea.
Yes it is.
May I suggest we come back to this later if we have time?

So ‘may I’, ‘could I’, ‘can I’ – they’re all useful when you need to ask for permission. But most of the time you’re going to say ‘Can I’ or ‘Could I’.
Now next thing. How should you respond if someone asks these questions?
Let’s look at some more examples, but this time pay attention to the answers. You’re going to hear six different replies. Are you ready?

Vicki, can I have a word?
Sure.

May I come in?
Mr Hale! Why, certainly.
Congratulations.
Thank you very much.

My battery’s flat. Can I use your phone?
Yes, of course.
Thank you.
You’re welcome.

Could I borrow these?
Yeah, OK.
May I serve tea now Miss Angorda?
Yes, please do, Warner.

Oh pizza. Can I have some?
Sure.
May I have some too?
Yes, help yourself.

Here are the replies you heard. They all mean ‘yes’ and they’re all polite. But which two are most formal? What do you think?
It’s these two: ‘Why certainly’ and ‘Please do’ are a little more formal. Also, notice ’Help yourself’. It’s a little different. We say this when we want someone to serve themselves or to take something.

Oh pizza. Can I have some?
Sure.
May I have some too?
Yes, help yourself.

OK, now that’s how we say yes, but what if we want to say no? Well, sometimes we apologise.

Can I borrow these?
Oh no. I’m afraid I need them.
That’s OK.

I’m afraid. It means ‘I’m sorry’ here so it’s a gentle, polite no. Of course we can also give a firm or definite no.

Oh Kathy!
How are you?
Fine.
Do you have a moment?
Can we speak with you about the Boston project?
What about it?
It’s the deadline. We’re a little behind.
Could we have another week?
No way. You need to finish by Friday?
Well, then can we hire an assistant?
Not on your life.
You don’t like the idea then?
In a word, no.

These phrases are all definite no’s and the last one means you won’t even discuss it.
Great! So that’s it. Now you know how we use ‘can’, ‘could’ and ‘may’ to ask for permission in English. And you also know some different ways to reply.
If you enjoyed this video, can I make a suggestion? Why not subscribe to our channel? And could I suggest you share this video with a friend? Perhaps they’ll enjoy it too. See you all next week! Bye now!
Click here to see more everyday English conversation videos.
Click here to learn how we pronounce can’t differently in British and American English.
Click here to learn about the modal verbs can and could and the verb be able to.

of course

How to use the phrase ‘of course’ – it’s not always polite

There’s a curious thing about the phrase of course. Use it correctly and it’s polite. But use it wrongly and it causes problems. Learn how to use it correctly in this video.

Click here to learn how to use can, could and may to ask for permission
Click here to learn how to use the verb mind in polite requests
Click here to learn more polite phrases for everyday English conversation

Of Course Video Script

‘Of course.’ This is such a useful English phrase, but be careful. If you use it wrongly people might think you’re angry or when you’re not, or they might think that you think they’re stupid. That’s no good! You don’t want to get it wrong, but don’t worry. In this video you’ll learn how to use it correctly.
‘Of course’ is a dangerous phrase because it can be polite or it can be rude. Let’s start by looking at some polite ways to use it.

Are you coming to my party on Saturday?
Yes, of course! I’m looking forward to it. Erm… I was wondering. Can I bring a friend?
Yes, of course. Please do.
Thank you.

‘Of course’ is polite and friendly here. It’s like definitely, certainly. It emphasizes that what we’re saying is true or correct. Of course I’m going to Geri’s party because I REALLY want to go. And Geri will be VERY happy if I bring a friend. When we’re saying yes, ‘of course’ can add emphasis.
The most common way we use ‘of course’ is to reply to requests.

I’m going to lunch.
Oh, can I come too?
Yes, of course.

‘Of course’ means ‘please do – you’re very welcome. OK, here’s another way to use ‘of course’ politely.

Oh. I’m sorry to hear that. OK. Good-bye. We’ve lost a customer.
Oh.
I tried my best.
Of course you did.
I did everything I could.
Of course, I know you did. Don’t worry about it.

I’m agreeing with Jay here. I’m sympathetic and ‘of course’ is a polite way to agree with what he said.
Now is ‘of course’ always polite? No. So what’s an impolite way to use ‘of course’? Let’s look at one.

Do you need some help?
Of course I do!

Jay is criticizing me here. He’s complaining that I wasn’t helping. If he had asked for help though, it could be different.

Vicki, can you help?
Yes, of course.
Thank you.

Of course is polite here and we’re both happy. So what’s going on? Sometimes ‘of course’ is polite and sometimes it’s not. Well, to understand this, you need to know what ‘of course’ really means.

Double word score. Ha ha. We’re playing scrabble today. I love scrabble.
Vicki’s winning, of course.
By fifty points.
She always wins.

So what does ‘of course’ mean? It means obviously.

I’m really good at scrabble so of course I’m going to win. It’s obvious

If something is obvious – easy to see or understand – we can say ‘of course’. And that’s why we often use ‘of course’ when we say ‘yes’ to requests.

My battery’s flat. Can I use your phone?
Yes, of course.

Of course means the answer is obvious. You know I want to help. Please go ahead. So when people ask us for something, we often say ‘of course’.

Can I borrow these?
Of course!

‘Of course’ means ‘yes’ here and it implies you should already know the answer. Obviously I’m happy for you borrow them.
Now that was a request, but what about offers? When someone offers us something, can we say ‘of course’? Let’s see.

Do you want some more water?
Of course.

Of course isn’t polite here. If an answer is obvious you should know it already.

Of course I want some more water. Why are you asking? Are you an idiot?

‘Of course’ means he thinks I’m stupid. That’s not nice. So what’s the polite way to respond to an offer?

Do you want some more water?
Yes, please.

A simple yes. That’s what you need. Just say ‘yes’ without ‘of course’. Let’s look at another example. Suppose I ask about you about the weather.

What’s the forecast? Is it going to rain?
Yes, of course.

Of course is strange here. It could be a rude because it implies ‘Why are you asking me this? You should already know the answer.’ But I didn’t know the answer. Here’s a better response.

What’s the forecast? Is it going to rain?
Yes, it is.
Oh. I’ve got my car so I can give you a lift if you like.
Thank you very much.

Now that conversation is polite. If someone asks a question and they don’t know the answer, say a simple yes.
Now one more thing. The opposite of course is ‘Of course not’. Again, we say it to add emphasis.

Are you wearing my perfume?
Of course not!

‘Of course not’ means definitely not. Absolutely not.
So can we use ‘of course not’ reply to requests in a polite way? Well possibly. It can happen when we use the verb ‘mind’.

Do you mind if I borrow these?
Of course not.
Thank you.

‘Of course not’ is polite here because of the word ‘mind’. ‘Do you mind?’ means ‘do you object?’ So ‘of course not’ means, ‘No, I don’t object – Obviously I’m happy for you to borrow them’. ‘Mind’ is an unusual verb and we’ve made another video about it. I’ll put a link here.
OK. Let’s check you’ve understood. You’re going to see Geri asking me two questions. Are my answers appropriate or not? And if not, what should I say?

Are you ready?
I love your necklace. Is it new?
Yes, of course.

Did you hear the storm last night?
Yes, of course

Were my answers appropriate? No! Geri’s questions were normal questions, not requests, and she didn’t know what my answer would be. Let’s look at what I should have said.

I love your necklace. Is it new?
Yes. I bought it last week.
It’s very nice.

Did you hear the storm last night?
Yes, I certainly did! Wasn’t it loud?
Lots of thunder.
Yes and lightning too.

Did you get them right? Well done.
OK. I have one more question for you. Do you want to see some more of our videos? I hope you said ‘Yes, of course’. You can subscribe to our channel and if you click the little bell icon too, you’ll get notified when we make a new video. Thanks so much for watching and see you next week! Bye!

Click here to learn how to use can, could and may to ask for permission
Click here to learn how to use the verb mind in polite requests
Click here to learn more polite phrases for everyday English conversation

hints indirect requests

Why it’s sometimes hard to understand English speakers (Hints)

One of reasons it’s hard to understand English speakers is we don’t say what we mean. Really! We often say one thing, when we mean another!

In this video you’ll learn how to understand English speakers when they drop hints and make indirect requests. We look at some common ambiguous English phrases and explore the social benefits that ambiguity can bring.


To learn the key phrases you need to ask for things more directly, click here .
To learn lots of polite everyday English phrases and expressions, click here.

Hints and Indirect Requests Video Script

There are lots of reasons why English speakers can be hard to understand and today we’re going to look at one of them. The thing is sometimes we don’t say what we mean. We say one thing but we mean another. This lesson is going to help you understand us, even when we’re indirect.
Let’s look at an example.

Is that pizza?
Yeah, come and have some.
Oh thank you.

Look at what Jay said here. Did he really mean ‘Is that pizza?’ Of course it was pizza. He really meant ‘I want some pizza’? So what’s happening here is Jay’s dropping a hint. A hint is something we say that suggests something indirectly.
When people want things, they often drop hints. Let’s look at some more examples. Lisa’s going to ask three questions. What does she really mean?

Are you going past a mail box on your way home?
Oh, are you going to get coffee?
Have you got a moment?

Did you understand her? Let’s see what she really meant.

Are you going past a mail box on your way home?
Yes, do you want me to post something for you?
Yes, I would like that.

So she meant ‘I want you to post a letter for me’. OK, next one.

OK, I’m off
Are you going to get coffee?
Yes, would you like me to get one for you too?
I would like that very much.

So she wants me to get her a coffee. OK. Last one.

Have you got a moment?
Yes, how can I help?

She wants some help. Now notice Lisa’s questions were all ambiguous. They might mean one thing, or they might mean another.
Maybe she wanted to know my route home. Maybe she wanted to know where I was going. Maybe she wanted to know how much time I have. Her questions weren’t 100% clear. They were ambiguous.
Researchers have found people are often ambiguous when they make requests and it seems to have two important social benefits. Firstly, being ambiguous can create the appearance of agreement and harmony. We like to agree with one another if we can.
Suppose you have a tray of biscuits and I say, ‘Mmmm. Those biscuits look nice’ What will you say? I hope you’ll say ‘Oh, please have one’, then I’m happy because I get a biscuit and you’re happy because you want to give me one. We both get what we want and the world is harmonious.

Oh those cookies look really good.
Have one. Jason, have one too.
Thank you

Now the other reason we’re ambiguous. It’s because it makes it easier to say ‘no’. Let’s see how it works.

Oh those cookies look really good.
Yes, I made them for Jason’s kids.
How old are your kids Jason?
Oliver’s eleven and Lola’s six.

So do you see what happened there? We could all pretend that Jay hadn’t asked for a cookie and I didn’t have to say no.
Here’s another example.

Can I have some of that pizza?
Errr, I bought it for the internet team.
Oh, no problem
Sorry.

Now that conversation was more difficult. Jay asked directly and Kathy had to say no. She felt bad. But what if Jay’s ambiguous.

Is that pizza?
Yes, it’s for the internet team. They’re going to be working late tonight.
Oh, is there a problem?
Yeah, the servers down.
Oh my.

That conversation was easier. He and Kathy both pretended he’d never asked.
So if you ask directly, you go on record. People have to say no. But if you’re ambiguous you can take back the request and the conversation can take a different path. Ambiguous requests can be good for relationships and that’s why people are often indirect.
OK, now it’s your turn. You’re going to see Jason making four indirect requests – dropping four hints. You have to decide if Jay’s answers are appropriate, and if not how should he reply? Are you ready?

Is that door open?
Yup.
Is it cold in here or is it just me?
It’s just you.
Is that today’s paper?
Uhuh.
Vicki said you’re going to the movies tonight.
Yes, we are.

Were Jay’s answers appropriate? No. What should he have said? Let’s see.

Is that door open?
Oh yes. I’ll close it.
Is it cold in here or is it just me?
Ooo. I’ll put the heating up.
Is that today’s paper?
Yeah, here you are.
Ah, thanks.
Jay said you’re going to the movies tonight.
Yeah, do you want to come too?
Oh I’d love to.

Did you get them right? That’s great. Then now you should know how to understand English speakers when they don’t say what they mean.
If you want to say what you mean very clearly in English, we have lots of videos with natural English conversations to help you. Make sure you subscribe to our channel and check out some more of our lessons.

To learn the key phrases you need to ask for things more directly, click here .
To learn lots of polite everyday English phrases and expressions, click here.

orders requests suggestions

Get what you want in English – orders, requests and suggestions

Learn three ways to get people to do what you want in English.

In this lesson we contrast orders, requests and suggestions with the help of our special guest: Super Agent Awesome.

At it’s heart, this is a lesson in English pragmatics and in particular, directives. We compare the force that typically goes with structures like ‘Do it’, ‘Could you do it?’ and ‘Why don’t you do it?’

English directives video script

Orders, requests and suggestions. What’s the difference and how and when do we make them in English? Let’s find out.

Aaron, take that away.
I need to work. Could you play somewhere else?
Are you bored, Aaron? Why don’t you go outside to play?

Do you need to get people to do what you want in English? Then this lessons for you. There are lots of different ways but we’re going to look at three common ones today and compare them. First, orders.

Oh, well give me your number. Give me your pen.
I need it.
Just for a moment.
You’ll give it back.
I just want to borrow it. Sorry, what was that?

Oh, well give me your number. Give me your pen.
I need it.
Just for a moment.
You’ll give it back.
I just want to borrow it. Sorry, what was that?

Instructions like these are direct and to the point. We just say what they have to do. But we can be less direct and ask people to do things instead. So here’s a second way.

Could you pass the cheese?
Sure.
Thank you.

Could you pass the cheese?
Sure.
Thank you.

So instead of telling people to do things, we can ask them with requests like this. OK, so what’s the third way of getting people to do what you want? Well, we can be even more indirect and make suggestions.

Ahhh. I am so tired.
Why don’t you go and lie down?
That’s a really good idea.

Ahhh. I am so tired.
Why don’t you go and lie down?
That’s a really good idea.

So orders, requests, suggestions – what’s the difference? In theory we use orders when we can force someone to do something. If we have power, we can command them.

Aaron, take that away.
Aaron, take that away.

Requests are a bit different because if we ask someone to do something, they have a choice.

I need to work. Could you play somewhere else?
I need to work. Could you play somewhere else?

So how are requests different from suggestions? Well, the idea is we use requests when we think something will be good for us. And we use suggestions when it’ll be good for them.

Are you bored Aaron? Why don’t you go outside to play?
Are you bored Aaron? Why don’t you go outside to play?

Researchers have found that English speakers often make requests and suggestions where, in other languages, people might just give orders. It’s like we want to pretend that the other person has a choice even when they don’t. Why do we do that? I don’t know. It’s just a custom.
But it theory it’s like this: order, request, suggestion. Forcing them, good for us, good for them – in theory. In practice it’s a bit more complicated because it depends who’s talking and what the situation is and we have lots of other ways to get people to do what we want. Make sure you subscribe to our channel so we can show you more in our future videos.

Where are you?
I’m right here.
Oh look at this. Special Agent Awesome. And Special Agent Awesome has a special message about why you should watch Simple English Videos.
It teaches people how to speak English in the right way.
Oh that’s great. Thank you for appearing in a video with us. You are a star yourself.
You’re welcome. Simple English Videos is the best way to learn English on Youtube. Subscribe right now. And that’s it. This is the special announcement over, so cut!

We just have one more special announcement. Starting this Sunday, The English Show is live on YouTube. We’ll be there and our good friend Fluency MC will be live in Paris. So come and join us. You don’t want to miss this.

Sometimes people aren’t direct and they don’t say what they want clearly.  Click here and learn how English speakers sometimes say one thing when they mean another. 
We have a free checklist to help you fix common English mistakes. Click here to learn more about Fix It.

embarrassing

You’re not fat! Greeting someone who’s pregnant

Sometimes Jay can be so embarrassing! Here’s what you shouldn’t say when you greet someone who’s pregnant.

Knock on door
Rachel.
Hi Rachel.
Come in sit down. How are you?
Fine thanks.
Have you put on weight?
Don’t be silly Jay. Rachel’s expecting
You’re going to have a baby
Yes.
Oh congratulations! So you’re not fat.

https://www.simpleenglishvideos.com/wait-hope-expect-look-forward-to/ to learn how we use the verb expecting to talk about pregnancy.
Click here to see more conversations for speaking practice.

How to use the magic word ‘please’ politely in English

How to use the magic word ‘please’ politely in English

In this video lesson we learn how American and British native English speakers use the word please in natural conversation. We look at its different uses, the different positions please takes in a sentence and also what that means for politeness.

Parents teach their children that please is a magic word.

Oh Mom. I wanna a bottle of coca cola.
No Sonny.
I wanna bottle of coca cola.
Sonny!

To get what they want, children have to ask nicely and say ‘please’. That’s why it’s a magic word. Most languages have a word like ‘please’, but they’re often used a little differently. So in today’s lesson we’re looking at some different ways we use ‘please’ in English. OK, the first use.

Do you want a cup of tea? Ooo yes please. I’ll be right back. Thank you.
So to accept an offer, say ‘yes please’.
Would you like some cheese? Ooo yes please.
Now here’s something interesting. We can also accept by saying ‘thank you’.
Hi. Hi. Newspaper? Thanks.
Hello Mary. How about a bottle of coca cola? Oh thank you Mr Thompkins.
We often say thank you if we’re refusing, but not please.
Have some more Marmite Jay. No thank you.

So say ‘yes please’ or ‘thank you’ to accept things, and say ‘no, thank you’ to refuse. Easy huh?
OK, the next use of please:

So you’re suggesting that we go with the green one? [Jay is heard talking about a baseball game.] Yes, not the gold one.
Incredible. Ha!
Jay. Take the call somewhere else.
Yes. Take the call somewhere else, please.

Please is a magic word here because it turns an order into a request.
Which phrase is more polite? Well the one with please, of course.
We use ‘please’ a lot in requests, especially small requests.

How much is it? Three pounds 70, please. Oh, OK.
Are you ready to order? Another minute, please.
Room service, please. Come in.
Your attention, please. I have an announcement.
Which floor? Seven please.

So we add please to small requests. We might add it to big requests too, but we have other ways of handling them. I’ll make another video about them another day.
Now notice that please comes at the end in these small requests. We can put it at the start too, and it generally sounds more forceful if we do that.

Please, stay here with me.
Why?
Are you scared or lonesome?
Both.

Putting please at the start adds emphasis. We might do this when we’re begging.

Jay!
Please can I have another?
No, you’ve had six already.

Vera. Open the door. Please open the door. Vera Open the door. Don’t use the phone. Listen to me.
I don’t like you Robert.
Vera. Open the door. Please open the door. Vera Open the door. Don’t use the phone. Listen to me.
I don’t like you Robert.

Now there’s another situation where we put please at the start. Again it adds force or emphasis, but it’s not begging.

Mmm. These candies are great.
Oh, please have another one.
Thanks.

When we’re inviting people to do something, we can say please.

Come in.
Oh hi Vicki. Please sit down.
Thank you.

Please come and see me Mrs Bailey.
Oh I’d love to.
And you too lieutenant.
Thank you. Good-bye. Goodbye.
Nice to have met you.

Now there’s a lttle difference between American and British English. Linguists have found that British people (like me) say ‘please’ more often when they make routine requests like ordering food in a restaurant.

Anything to drink?
I’ll have a coke, please.
And I’d like an iced tea.

British people say please more in this situation. Are we more polite? No. It’s just the customs are different. In American English, it’s perfectly polite to skip the please here.

Hi there, fellas.
Hi.
Howdy.
Two bottles of coca cola.
Coming up.

Let’s look at another restaurant conversation.

Are you ready to order?
Yes, I’d like a hamburger.
Would you like french fries with that?
Please.
Sure.

So there’s another use of please. Sometimes we use ‘please’ instead of ‘yes’.

Oh, can I give you a hand with that?
Please.
Where would you like it?
Over there.
Sure.

So let’s review. Please is a magic word because it can turn an order into a request. We can also use please to make and accept offers and invitations. We generally put ‘please’ at the end of requests, and at the start of invitations and offers. If we put it at the start of a request it adds emphasis. It sounds like we’re begging. Please do it!
OK. Now what about putting please in the middle? Well, that’s possible too, but be careful.

Now I want you to look carefully at this. July’s numbers are up…. Excuse me. Could you please concentrate on these figures?
Sorry.
Sorry, Rachel.

Please in the middle of a request is unusual or marked. It can signal extra politeness but usually it signals you’re annoyed. What’s annoyed? It means a little angry

Well, will you please hurry? I’ve got to be at the airport in ten minutes. I’m going as fast as I can.
Well, will you please hurry? I’ve got to be at the airport in ten minutes. I’m going as fast as I can.

Yes?
I’ve asked you three times. Could we please have the bill?
Yeah, yeah.

So be careful. If you put ‘please’ in the middle of a request and your intonation isn’t exactly right, you could signal that you’re annoyed. In fact we sometimes use please on its own to show we’re annoyed.

Jay, please! I’m trying to work.

And that’s it. Now you know how to use ‘please’ in English. If you’ve enjoyed today’s lesson, please share it. And make sure you subscribe to our channel so you catch all our future videos. Until next week! Bye!

airport English check in

How to Check In at an Airport and Answer Security Questions in English

Learn the English phrases you need to check in at an airport in this video, including security questions and how to answer them.

We made this video with our friend Rachel of Rachel’s English. She has a terrific website and YouTube channel on American English pronunciation.  

Click here to find lots more practical videos for everyday situations.
Click here to learn how to use the words Travel, Trip and Journey.

Airport Check in English Video Script

This bag’s too big for carry on
Well yes.
Where’s the check in desk?
I think we have to use the machines.
The machines? I hate the machines.
It’s not working
Let’s go to the check in desk.

We’re going flying in today’s lesson and we have a very special guest. Rachel of the wonderfulo Rachel’s English channel is here to help us. If you haven’t subscribed to Rachel’s YouTube channel yet, do it right away. It’s the best place to improve your pronunciation. OK, let’s check in for our flight.

Good afternoon
Hi. Hi, we need to check in.
The machine didn’t recognize my passport.
I can help. Where are you flying to today?
Rio Recife
We’re flying to Rio and then we have a connecting flight to Recife.
What are you looking for?
My reading glasses.
They’re on your head.
Oh. I had a bottle of water.
I threw that away. Why? You can’t take liquids on the plane.
Are you checking any bags?
Yes, just one
Can you put it on the scale?
Sure. Did you pack my gloves?
Gloves?
Well it could be cold.
No, it’s summer in Recife.
Oh, of course. Can you check our bag through to Recife?
No, I can’t. You’ll need to pick it up in Rio to go through customs.
And then we have to check it in again for Recife?
That’s right
How much time do we have? How long is our layover?
About two and a half hours.
That’s plenty of time.
I need to ask you some security questions. Who packed your bags?
Me. Me. We both did
When did you pack it?
Last night.
And has it been with you since you packed it?
Yes. Yes.
And are you carrying anything for anybody else?
No. No.
Great. Here are your boarding passes. Thank you.
Your flight leaves from gate 19 and boarding begins at 11:20.
11.20. Yes. Your seat numbers are 16E and 16F.
Do we have an aisle seat?
Yes, you have an aisle seat and a middle seat.
And how do we get to the gate?
You follow the signs to Departures
OK. Thank you very much.
Have a great trip. We will.
I’ve got another security question.
What?
Did we lock the front door?

Let’s look at some language again. Passengers often check in at machines that print their boarding passes – the document they need to get on a flight.
Passengers can take small bags onto the plane with them as carryon luggage – but not big ones.

This bag’s too big for carry on. Well yes.

Large bags must be checked in.

Are you checking any bags?
Yes, just one
Can you put it on the scale?
Sure.

Bags are usually checked through to the final destination, but not always.

Can you check our bags through to Recife?
No, I can’t. You’ll need to pick it up in Rio to go through customs.
And then we have to check it in again for Recife?
That’s right

We had connecting flights with a layover. A layover is a short stay between parts of a journey.

How much time do we have? How long is our layover?
About two and a half hours.
That’s plenty of time.

The check in clerk asks security questions. They could be WH- questions, so questions that begin with words like these.

I need to ask you some security questions. Who packed your bag?
Me. Me.

Who packed your bag?
When did you pack it?
Where was it packed?

Other times they ask questions you need to answer yes or no.

Has your bag been with you since you packed it?
Yes
Are you carrying anything for anyone else?
No.

Listen carefully. Here are some more questions you’ll need to answer ‘no’.

Has your bag been out of your sight at any time?
Does it contain any prohibited or dangerous articles?
Are you carrying anything for anyone else?
Has anyone given you anything to carry for them on this flight?

She told us the gate number. A gate is the place where passengers wait to get on their flight.

Your flight leaves from gate 19 and boarding begins at 11:20.

The boarding time is the time passengers start getting onto the plane.

Do we have an aisle seat?
Yes, you have an aisle seat and a middle seat.

We will have an aisle seat and a middle seat. We won’t have a window seat. But first we need to go to departures.

And how do we get to the gate?
You follow the signs to Departures
OK. Thank you very much.
Have a great trip.
We will.

And that’s it. Now you’re ready for your flight!
Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel and to Rachel’s channel too. Together we’re going to help your English take off.

Click here to find lots more practical videos for everyday situations.
Click here to learn how to use the words Travel, Trip and Journey.

avoid a question

How to avoid a question by changing the subject – English conversation

Sometimes we want to avoid a question because we don’t want to answer it. See how Vicki, and then Jay change the subject in order to avoid answering a question in this funny English conversation.

So what did you think of my presentation?
Oh, I wonder if the coffee’s ready? Let’s get some?
No. I want to know what you thought of my presentation.
Maybe they’ll have doughnuts.
Stop avoiding the question. If you didn’t like it, tell me.
You pronounced the name of the product wrongly
Really?
Eight times. The customer complained.
Oh.
But never mind. What did you think of your presentation?
I wonder if the coffee’s ready. Let’s get some.