Let me cut to the chase.
What do so many other languages have that we don’t have in English?
It’s a formal and informal way of saying ‘you’.
We don’t have U or je, vous or tu, usted or tu, du or Sie (which just auto corrected to ‘do or die’, which made me laugh, but that’s a sidebar for now..).
We’ve got none of those gorgeous formal and informal alternatives.
We only have you.
You are all we have.
We need you.
We love you.
But we use you.
All the time.
Because you are all we’ve got.
So….what do we do to show formality in English?
We use modal verbs.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you need help with something.
You could say:
“Can you help me?“
But this might not be professional enough to ask your new boss (and you really love this job and want to make a good impression), so you might say this instead:
“Could you help me, please?”
You just jumped up the ladder by using the right modal verb- ‘could’ – which is more formal (and appropriate!) than ‘can’.
And if you are talking to the Queen, you might just ask
“Would you mind helping me for a moment, please?”
Wow. Now you’re at the top of the ladder. ‘Would you mind + the ‘ing’ form of the verb’ is super mega ultra formal.
You see, if you only know one way to ask something, it’s not going to work all the time for you. Trust me. I see people falling into this trap every day.
You need lots of different words in your Word Wardrobe (yes, that’s a thing, and I just made it up, hope you like it) so that you can choose the right outfit every time, no matter where you are or who you are talking to.
If you’re ready to find new ways to express yourself, there are so many options I’d love to help you with!
1. You can order my Talk Nerdy To Me Cards (49.95E) which will help you laugh and add more color to your language
2. You can get my book ‘100 Ways to Save Your Ass in English‘, which covers this (and so much more) in detail (it’s 14.95E)
3. You can book in a Personal Coaching Session – I only see 1 client a day in a VIP Deep Dive (1000E)
4. You can grab a ticket to one of my fabulous events – the English Confidence Boo(s)tcamp, Let’s Take Care Of Business, or Preparing Perfect Presentationsin 2019 , where we work for 1 or 2 days intensively on making you feel like a rockstar in English (starting at 199E – Early Bird Price ends on December 31st)
5. You can have me get down and dirty with your whole team/staff/department in a tailor-made Corporate Training Program (which is also fantastic for team-building and brainstorming in English)
6. You can download my (scroll down on my homepage) Free Telephone Cheat Sheet if you need to work on your phone skills
7. You can hit ‘reply‘ and write me back, and then I can write you back, and then you’ve done something active in English today!
I hope this helps you take the next step in English.
I wrote this for you.
I mean vous.
Wait, I mean tu…
Anyway, just get active in English!
And yes, I mean you.