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  1. Lenka's Avatar

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    #1

    imperative, asking sb to do sth

    If I want somebody to be quiet, in what ways can I say it? (Or should I say "...how can I say it?" instead?)

    I'll try to write as many ways as I can below. Could you correct them?

    1) Be quiet, please.
    2) Could you be quiet, please?
    3) Why aren't you quiet? (or "don't you be"? Probably not, right?)
    4) Shut up!

    I can't think out any other sentences...

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    #2

    Re: imperative, asking sb to do sth

    "...how can I say it?" is better for your first question.

    1, 2, and 4 are good.

    For number 3, if you say "Why aren't you quiet?", you are asking the person a question. The person is making a noise and you want to know why.

    This could be an indirect way of asking someone to be quiet - Imagine a teacher tells his class of children to be quiet. 5 minutes later, they start talking. So he says angrily, "What aren't you quiet?" ...and the children stop talking.

    "Why don't you be quiet" is correct.

    Keith

  2. retro's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: imperative, asking sb to do sth

    Quote Originally Posted by keith t View Post
    "...how can I say it?" is better for your first question.

    1, 2, and 4 are good.

    For number 3, if you say "Why aren't you quiet?", you are asking the person a question. The person is making a noise and you want to know why.

    This could be an indirect way of asking someone to be quiet - Imagine a teacher tells his class of children to be quiet. 5 minutes later, they start talking. So he says angrily, "What aren't you quiet?" ...and the children stop talking.

    "Why don't you be quiet" is correct.

    Keith
    The chair umpire at tennis matches etc., says: quiet, please.


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    #4

    Re: imperative, asking sb to do sth

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    If I want somebody to be quiet, in what ways can I say it? (Or should I say "...how can I say it?" instead?)

    I'll try to write as many ways as I can below. Could you correct them?

    1) Be quiet, please.
    2) Could you be quiet, please?
    3) Why aren't you quiet? (or "don't you be"? Probably not, right?)
    4) Shut up!

    5) I was wondering if I could get you to be a little more quiet.

    6) Would you mind being a bit more quiet?

    7) Would you mind quietening it down a bit?

    There are certainly more.


    I can't think out any other sentences...
    After you've used #5, 6 or 7 which are really polite, then you can resort to these REALLY strong orders, Lenka. Be warned, they are strong!

    Zip your lip!/Shut the f**k up!/Can it!/Zip it!/ ...

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: imperative, asking sb to do sth

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    After you've used #5, 6 or 7 which are really polite, then you can resort to these REALLY strong orders, Lenka. Be warned, they are strong!
    Zip your lip!/Shut the f**k up!/Can it!/Zip it!/ ...
    .. or, instead of that, you could resort to metaphor:

    'I want to be able to hear a pin drop.'

    ... or sarcasm:

    'That's strange. I could have sworn I asked you to be quiet.'

    With very young children, you might have some success with this:

    'Fingers on lips.' [The idea is that you do it and they all copy you.]


    b

  4. Lenka's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: imperative, asking sb to do sth

    Thank you all very much! It's really beautiful how many ways of expressing just one idea there are!
    Last edited by Lenka; 11-Mar-2007 at 18:38.

  5. Lenka's Avatar

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    #7

    Re: imperative, asking sb to do sth

    By the way, the sentence "Why don't you be quiet ?/. " - should be finished with a dot or with a question mark?

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