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    #1

    Polite form of addressing a teacher

    Hi, I live in a country where we don't address teachers by their names but we say "Mr(s). teacher". So it is quite odd for students of English as second language to address a teacher using his/her name. So, when they have an English lesson, what is a polite form for a 12-18 year-old student to address a teacher? Does "Sorry teacher, I have forgot my textbook" sound polite to native English speakers? If not, what would be a polite alternative without using a name? Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: Polite form of addressing a teacher

    You could say sir to a man and ma'am (pronounced 'mam' to a woman).

  1. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Polite form of addressing a teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    You could say sir to a man and ma'am (pronounced 'mam' to a woman).
    I have often heard 'ma'am' used. Is 'madam' used instead of 'ma'am'?
    Thank you.

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    #4

    Re: Polite form of addressing a teacher

    No.

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    #5

    Re: Polite form of addressing a teacher

    "Miss" can be used with a young lady.

  2. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Polite form of addressing a teacher

    I've become accustomed to being addressed as Teacher and find it acceptable. About half of my students use this form of address, while the other half use my first name. (Brazil is a very informal country and we frequently don't know even our doctors' family names.)

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    #7

    Re: Polite form of addressing a teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    "Miss" can be used with a young lady.
    And also to flatter an older lady.

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    #8

    Re: Polite form of addressing a teacher

    Thanks. Is "Mr. teacher" possible/correct/natural?

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Polite form of addressing a teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    And also to flatter an older lady.
    Though not too old as to imply that she's been "left on the shelf". I know that's sexist, but I wouldn't use 'Miss' to flatter an old lady ... not that I'm saying she's old, er ... I don't think there's a way out of this.

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    #10

    Re: Polite form of addressing a teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Enchanter View Post
    Is "Mr. teacher" possible/correct/natural?
    It's possible but not natural.

    If you called a teacher that and he didn't like it, he'd just say 'Call me "sir" or "Mr Surname"'.

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