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  1. #1
    karafiatka is offline Newbie
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    Default Is it true that...?

    In modern American society there `s a tendency to ask not: #Does your wife work?# but it`s more polite to ask:#Does your wife work outside home or in society?#
    I found this in one research devoted to modern american English...If it`s true, how to understand the phrase:Does your wife work in society? that she stays at home with kids. doing work about the house, etc.? Or something else?
    I`m totally confused...
    Thank you!

  2. #2
    SlickVic9000's Avatar
    SlickVic9000 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Is it true that...?

    (Not a Teacher)

    I don't think most folks would be offended if you asked "Does your wife work?". "Does your wife work outside home/ the house?" is also acceptable. However, "Does your wife work in society?" is a bit strange. I would never ask that.

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Is it true that...?

    The general idea is that devoting yourself full-time to taking care of your children and your house is hardly time spent in leisure, so the idea that she doesn't "work" if she doesn't have a paying job is insulting.

    A more neutral question is "What does your wife do?" because it allows answers that include being a full-time mom or a neurosurgeon.

    If you said "Does your wife work" and she did not have a paying job, I hope he would answer something like "She sure does - taking care of me and our kids is a full-time job!" instead of "No, she's just a housewife."

    I would suggest that you not ask a woman herself "Do you work?" Whether it's outside the home for a salary or as a full-time mom, she's working at something. (Unless, of course, she's one of those rich people with a nanny for the kids and a housekeeper for the house, but that's beyong my understanding. If you're able to be home all day, why wouldn't you want to be with your kids?)

    PS - Welcome to Using English.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    karafiatka is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is it true that...?

    Quote Originally Posted by SlickVic9000 View Post
    (Not a Teacher)

    I don't think most folks would be offended if you asked "Does your wife work?". "Does your wife work outside home/ the house?" is also acceptable. However, "Does your wife work in society?" is a bit strange. I would never ask that.
    Oh, thanks! you made me feel better ) I suppose, it also depends on a person who you are talking to. When talking with a very-very notable person I`d rather ask Does your wife work outside home?...otherwise he could blame me of political correctness unawareness.

  5. #5
    karafiatka is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is it true that...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    The general idea is that devoting yourself full-time to taking care of your children and your house is hardly time spent in leisure, so the idea that she doesn't "work" if she doesn't have a paying job is insulting.

    A more neutral question is "What does your wife do?" because it allows answers that include being a full-time mom or a neurosurgeon.

    If you said "Does your wife work" and she did not have a paying job, I hope he would answer something like "She sure does - taking care of me and our kids is a full-time job!" instead of "No, she's just a housewife."

    I would suggest that you not ask a woman herself "Do you work?" Whether it's outside the home for a salary or as a full-time mom, she's working at something. (Unless, of course, she's one of those rich people with a nanny for the kids and a housekeeper for the house, but that's beyong my understanding. If you're able to be home all day, why wouldn't you want to be with your kids?)

    PS - Welcome to Using English.
    ok, thanks a lot! I see what you mean as I`ve been staying with a child for 3 years already without any big income but still working hard at home)) It`s a good idea just to ask "What does your wife do?

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