Use of would

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subhajit123

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Hi there, I know 'would' is preferred while making requests to someone. And it is generally used with 'please'. I just want to know if I can use "'would' without it in the following sentence and such sentences.

"Hi sir, would you (please) give me your water bottle?"
 

Tarheel

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The word "would" is used in making requests. Example:

Would you help me with this?

It is often used without "please".
 

Tdol

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Yes, you can- it is a polite form. I would say Hi, sir, ....
 

Roman55

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emsr2d2

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I've never addressed anyone as "sir" in my life and I don't intend to. To be clear, the same applies to "madam/ma'am". I'm referring to speech. I have probably addressed a few letters to "Dear Sir/Madam" but I rarely write to someone whose name I don't know.
 

Tdol

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I use sir and madam in speech if I have to speak to a complete stranger for some reason, for instance when trying to attract their attention to tell them they've forgotten something.
 

Rover_KE

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I use sir, ma'am and miss all the time.

Politeness costs nothing.
 

GoesStation

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Many Americans would address an unknown older male as ​sir.
 

Roman55

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I've never addressed anyone as "sir" in my life and I don't intend to.

I knew someone once who made it a point of honour to never utter the word sir, despite being in a work environment at the time that required its use. That being said, I spent all my years at grammar school saying sir to the teachers about a hundred times a day.
 

bubbha

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People working in customer service commonly use "sir" and "ma'am". Then, of course, in the military, that's how enlisted personnel address officers. It's also a polite way to call the attention of a stranger.
 

emsr2d2

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Either side of my time teaching English in Madrid, I have worked in customer service. I have never used those terms. They're simply not as common in BrE as they are in AmE.
 

GoesStation

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This is a new one on me. In an American hotel, for example, if a male desk agent is visible in the back and I have an urgent question, I might call out "Sir? Excuse me. Can you help me with something please?"

Would the "Sir?" be offensive in Britain? How would you phrase this politely?
 

Raymott

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In Australia, we appear to be taking on the American custom of using 'sir'. It's generally used by serving staff. I don't think I've ever used it myself.
In my youth, the situation was as in Britain, though you could attract someone's attention with "[Hey], Mister/Miss/Mrs/Lady".
 

Rover_KE

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So do I, but the men, women and teenage girls who serve me in coffee shops and on market stalls never bat an eyelid when they hear sir, ma'am or miss, and some seem quite pleased about it.

Mind you, I've not been in ems's shop yet.:-?
 

emsr2d2

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You can call me anything you like (within reason) in my shop, just don't expect to be called "sir" by me. I can't speak for what my colleagues call people.
 
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