Извините, скажите, пожалуйста...

Niyeneden

New Member
Turkish
извините, скажите, пожалуйста

Do Russian speakers use these words excessively? Isn't те in скажите presents politeness, do we really need other phrases to make it more kind? I don't want to sound like a pretentiously polite person neither. What is the most common sounding way to ask a question?
 
  • Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    Hi Niyeneden, and welcome to the Russian Forum.

    I'm not sure what do you mean "excessively", but using verbs in Plural Second Person is the only way to address politely to those you do not know (at least if you are both adults; if at least one of you is a teenager or younger, variants are possible; also variants are possible among some social groups).
    So, yes, -те marks politeness, however not excessive, but rather minimally necessary. If you want to ask somebody in the street, this is very natural to start with: Извините (простите), скажите, пожалуйста...
     

    learnerr

    Senior Member
    Russian
    If you want to ask somebody in the street, this is very natural to start with: Извините (простите), скажите, пожалуйста...
    As a variant: "-//-, не могли бы вы [под]сказать/мне помочь разобраться" (instead of "скажите, пожалуйста").
    These variants above do not sound excessively polite. Some other variants may express more commonness, but it takes to have experience in order to use them well, and their use may depend on the question and the exact situation, too. One of them is "скажите" alone: sometimes it is rude (and you need to add "пожалуйста"), sometimes it is not.

    As for "извините/простите" or "извините/простите, пожалуйста", it is actually more an address than a way to ask a question: it has the same function as "monsieur" has or had in French.
     
    Last edited:

    Niyeneden

    New Member
    Turkish
    Thank you for your answers Maroesika and learnerr.

    I asked this question because when I was learning English I always been told to use polite words such as "can you" "please" "sir" "maam". After a while i realized that if you use all of these phrases in one sentece it would only look ridicilous.

    So i suppose it does not make sentece sound bizarre as "Excuse me dear ma'am, could you possibly tell me how can i go to metro station please?"
     

    learnerr

    Senior Member
    Russian
    So i suppose it does not make sentece sound bizarre as "Excuse me dear ma'am, could you possibly tell me how can i go to metro station please?"
    «Простите, не могли бы вы мне подсказать, как дойти до метро?» Perfectly fine, the markers of politeness are not even felt, they just do their job.
     

    Niyeneden

    New Member
    Turkish
    «Простите, не могли бы вы мне подсказать, как дойти до метро?» Perfectly fine, the markers of politeness are not even felt, they just do their job.
    It makes more sense in a sentence. I understood the way of politiness in Russian. Before asking the thing i should ask it politely and it will sound perfectly fitting.

    Much obliged.
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    In some cases Subjunctive construction can be a bit too much and can be replaced by the Future Tense: instead of "Простите, не могли бы вы подсказать...?" you can say just "Простите, вы не подскажете...?". It seems to me the most neutral variant.
     
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