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PLEASE is a magic word because it turns an order into a request.



PLEASE is a magic word because it turns an order into a request. Saying please is sure to please just about everyone, although different things please different people. 

"Your attention, please. I have an announcement."
A: "Which floor?" B: "Seven please."

Please often comes at the end in small requests, typically made with can, could and would. 

"Could you say that again, please?"

Please can also be placed before the verb when asking a polite question. In this position it is often stressed.

"Would you please help me with this?"
"Could you please explain the grammar again?"

Please in the middle of a request is unusual or marked to many users though. It can add extra politeness or make the request stronger but it often signals that you're annoyed.

"Will you please hurry? I've got to be at the airport in ten minutes."
"I've asked you three times. Could we please have the bill?"

Please is used with the imperative form of a verb to express a polite request or order. We often find this in a classroom or in polite notices. It is often put at the start, esp. in written requests.

"Please turn to page 10."
"Please send your application, including details of your skills, qualifications and work achievements, to …"

In speaking, we often use please to make an order less direct.

"Pass the salt, please."

Please is generally put at the start of invitations and offers.

"Hi Vicki. Please sit down."

Many users feel that please at the end here sounds much less friendly. Not exactly an order, but you are in a serious mood – no time for jokes! To others, either is fine as long as the intonation is matching.

"We need to have a little conversation, young lady. Sit down, please."

Putting please at the start can add emphasis and make the request sound stronger, almost like an order. 

"Please, stay here with me." (sounds forceful)

When talking to adults, children often use please in front position when making a request or asking for permission.

"Please can I leave early today, sir?" (child to teacher)
"Can I leave early today, please?" (employee to boss)

It might indicate begging.

A: "Please can I have another?" B: "No, you've had six already." A: "Please? Pleeease! Pretty please? Pretty please with a cherry on top?" 

It might also express encouragement.

A: "Mmm. These candies are great." B: "Oh, please have another one."
A: "I'll give you a call if I hear anything more." B: "Please do." 

Please is also used on its own to express disbelief, surprise or annoyance. 

"Please. Just stop doing that. It's really irritating."
 A: "They took a taxi 100 meters down the road." B: "Oh, please. I can't believe that."

We often use please to accept something politely, particularly with food and drink. It is also used to confirm an offer using the phrase "Yes, please."

A: "What would you like to drink?" B: "Orange juice, please."
A: "I’m making a cup of tea. Would you like one?" B: "Yes, please."

Sometimes "please" is used instead of "yes".

A: "Can I give you a hand with that?" B: "Please."

There's a little difference between American and British English. Brits seem to say please more often when they make routine requests like ordering food in a restaurant.

A: "Anything to drink?" B: "I'll have a coke, please."

In AmE, it's perfectly polite to skip the please here.

A: "Hi there, fellas. Two bottles of Coca Cola." B: "Coming up."

It may be worth noting that "please" is nothing without his sister "thank you", especially in Britain. And don't just use them once. A typical exchange with, say, a shop assistant, the pub landlord, etc. will contain multiple instances of pleases and thank yous, which foreigners often find amusing but which are the crucial lubricant in any conversation with strangers.

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