Choose one of the sentences below and compete to make it more and more polite.
I can’t hear you
British Council. Alex speaking.
We were cut off.
We can’t give you a refund.
The product that you sent me doesn’t work.
I got your email yesterday
Write back soon
Phone me back
Say “Hi” to your family from me
Any more questions, just ask
I have to go
This is going to have to be really quick
Here’s the file
This is about the meeting next week
He’s not here
Forward this to Mr Jones
You okay to talk?
Work together to change all the sentences to a more suitable level of politeness.
Telephone and email politeness competition game – Suggested answers
I can’t hear you – I’m afraid I can’t hear you very well.
Hold on – Just a moment, please.
British Council. Alex speaking. – Good morning. This is the British Council. Alex speaking. How can I help you?
We were cut off – We seem to have been cut off.
We can’t give you a refund – I’m afraid a refund won’t be possible at this time.
Say again – Could you repeat that, please?
The product that you sent me doesn’t work – Unfortunately, the product doesn’t quite work as well as I expected.
I got your email yesterday – Thank you for your email of 17 March.
Write back soon – I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Phone me back – Could you phone me back (whenever you have the chance)?
Say “Hi” to your family from me – Give my regards to your family.
Any more questions, just ask – If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I have to go – I’m afraid there’s a meeting that I have to go to in a couple of minutes.
This is going to have to be really quick – This is just a quick call/ note to say…
Here’s the file – Please find the file attached.
This is about the meeting next week – I am writing to your concerning the meeting on 24 May.
I can’t – I’m afraid that is not really possible at this time.
He’s not here – I’m afraid he is out of the office.
Forward this to Mr Jones – Could you send this to Mr Jones?
You okay to talk? – I hope I haven’t called at a bad time.
PDF for easy saving and printing: telephone and email politeness
16 politeness competition games (TEFLtastic Classics Part 13)