很多人都以為"please"和"thank you"是最有禮貌的字眼,只要說了就沒錯,其實錯了。

Sally臨時想調一份資料出來,但還不熟悉公司系統,於是請資深的同事協助,她說了"Please send me the background file on the new customer. Thank you."(請把新客戶的背景資料寄給我。謝謝!)

Sally很敏感地察覺資深的同事有些不悅,不是都講了please跟thank you?敞開溝通之後,才發現原來禮貌不禮貌和Please這字的「位置」大有關係。

Please雖然是英文裡面表達客氣的說法,但是放在一個句子的開頭,卻是一種命令的口氣,像是主管在對下屬說:「請你5點前將報表寄出!」這裡的請,就沒有想像中那麼客氣了吧。

Please若放在句首,給人一種急迫、甚至含有命令的口氣,在英文裡想請別人協助做什麼事、詢問,請記得把please放在最後說,把please在句首,甚至會有頤指氣使的感覺。

先比較以下兩組句子:

可以再做一次嗎?

Could you do that again, please?(最客氣)

Could you please do that again?(還算客氣)

Please could you do that again?(不客氣,有命令的意味)

從這裡就可以知道please的客氣程度是

英文句子加上

【職場上】 please放後面,避免口氣太直接

特別是下屬對老闆想要要求、詢問什麼事,請記得把please放在最後面,才是最保險的方式:

我今天可以提早離開嗎?

(O)May I leave early today, please?

(X)Please may I leave early today?

【教室裡】 

please可放前面,讓指令明確

Please open your book.(=Open your book, please.)(請打開書。)

Please submit your report before or by Monday.(請在周一前交報告。)

【生活中】 

please表達接受幫助

Would you like a cup of coffee?Yes, please.(要不要來一杯咖啡。好啊!)

May I help you?Yes, please. I'd like to…(需要幫忙嗎?好啊,我想要……)

please表達請求

Could you give me a hand, please?(可以幫我忙嗎?)

May I use your pen, please?(我可以用你的筆嗎?)

真正要表達客氣和禮貌,也不一定要用please,用could跟would一樣可以表達請求

Could you possibly send me the file?(可以寄檔案給我嗎?)

Would you mind sending me the file? 

Would you be able to send me the file? 

Could I have it within ten minutes please?(我可以10分鐘內收到檔案嗎?)

三個月英文脫胎換骨的一對一:http://goo.gl/5eIOmf