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  1. azhu's Avatar
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    #1

    Red face What does "please" here mean?

    Here is a conversation from a novel called "Tom Brown's Schooldays", a simplified version novel.
    Though I say it's a novel, this conversation below looks like drama; it's because there are some parts in this story written in conversation forms(which I don't get why...).

    Doctor: Well, my boys, what makes you so late?
    Tom: Please, sir, we were running with the Hare-and-Hounds
    (*a kind of chasing game), and lost our way.

    My question is: Why does the little boy use "please"?
    "Please" to me is like asking other people to do a favor, but Tom isn't asking his teacher to do anything.

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    #2

    Re: What does "please" here mean?

    In the days when 'Tom Brown's Schooldays' was written (1857), British schoolchildren had to preface every remark to their teachers with 'Please, sir'.

    In fact, the practice continued long after that. You could probably find examples of its use until late in the 20th century, including this TV and film series.

    Rover

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: What does "please" here mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    In the days when 'Tom Brown's Schooldays' was written (1857), British schoolchildren had to preface every remark to their teachers with 'Please, sir'.

    In fact, the practice continued long after that. You could probably find examples of its use until late in the 20th century, including this TV and film series.

    Rover
    It was certainly the case in the 50s and 60s when I was at school.

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