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  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 17,555
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    #11

    Re: entering a wrong room

    You talk to people in the elevator?
    In the US, you stare straight ahead, no eye contact, no verbal interaction, aside from "thank you" if they hold the door for you and "excuse me" if you're in the back and need to exit.
    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.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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      • Retired English Teacher
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      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
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    #12

    Re: entering a wrong room

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    You talk to people in the elevator?
    In the Czech Republic we don't speak, but it is polite to say 'goodbye' when we leave. I seem to remember that in Germany I used to greet on entering as well as saying goodbye on leaving.

    The situation in the UK is very similar to that in the USA, which is why my occasional 'goodbye' surprises people.

  3. VivienneM's Avatar
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      • Interested in Language
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      • English
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      • Great Britain
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    #13

    Re: entering a wrong room

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Side question:
    If you didn't hear what someone said, do you use "excuse me?" for that?
    Not really. Again, it would be "I'm sorry?" or "Pardon?"

    Going back to the bumping into someone scenario, both parties would tend to say "I'm sorry" in Britain -- one for doing the bumping, and the other for being in their way.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

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    • Posts: 16,020
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    #14

    Re: entering a wrong room

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Side question:
    If you didn't hear what someone said, do you use "excuse me?" for that?
    'Pardon?'

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 17,555
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    #15

    Re: entering a wrong room

    Quote Originally Posted by VivienneM View Post
    Going back to the bumping into someone scenario, both parties would tend to say "I'm sorry" in Britain -- one for doing the bumping, and the other for being in their way.
    There was an episode of a TV show where one the characters was from Canada and there was a bar frequented by Canadians. She took her American friend to the Canadian bar, and to show they were surrounded by Canadians, she basically body slammed one of them, who promptly turned around an apologized. It was a cute little scene.


    Here you'll get anything from a growled "Well, watch it next time, will ya?!" to "No worries/It's okay/It's fine" to an apology as you describe.

    (I'm sorry for failing to welcome you earlier. Welcome to UE.)
    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.

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