How to Ask Questions Correctly

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Has anyone ever told you how rude you sound? 

Well, in writing, I mean.

Especially when it comes to asking questions (you are too direct) or offering suggestions (you come across as too aggressive).

It’s unfortunate, isn’t it? Because you are such a sweetheart in real life! 

Blame it on English and the rules of forming questions! 

As it turns out, there’s more to it than simply putting a question mark at the end of your sentences.

You have to know how to use the ‘be‘, ‘do‘ and ‘have‘ verbs, the modal verbs for politeness, and certain phrases to avoid being too direct.

You also have to avoid poor translation from our native language. (“Ada apa-apa masalah?” is not “What’s your problem?”.)

Learn the many ways you can sound polite when asking questions, making offers, and offering advice in this two-part episode right here.

You can also listen to these episodes on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Could you ever be so kind as to share this blogpost with your well-meaning colleagues? 

Perhaps they will thank you for reminding them that putting a little bit of effort to sound “indirect” can help them get what they want. 

I’d best be off before I take too much of your time. 

Take care!


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Hi there!

We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

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