I was wondering if <I> .....

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Dorsa, Apr 21, 2017 at 5:25 PM.

  1. Dorsa Senior Member

    Persian - Iran
    Hello,
    Would you tell me whether this sentence is polite request or not? ( you are on a bus and you see one empty seat, beside which someone is sitting.)
    I was wondering if I could sit here?
    I've asked this question because I usually hear 'if you' after 'was wondering' for polite requests?
    Thanks a lot :)
     
  2. The Newt

    The Newt Senior Member

    USA / EEUU
    English - US
    "I was wondering if I..." is fine. In your situation I'd probably just say "May I sit there?" or "Is that seat taken?"
     
  3. Retired-teacher Senior Member

    British English
    You recently started another thread about the same point. You were told on that thread that "I was wondering if I . . ." is acceptable.
     
  4. I also would prefer "there" to "here".

    I think we might have a general tendency to regard the actual sitting space of a seat to be some distance away from us and our eyes as we look down at it.

    "Here" is also used, though, and is not incorrect.
     
  5. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
    No need to back into a reasonable request.

    Well, actually "I was wondering" is not a request except insofar as we expect the person addressed to consider it as such.
     
  6. Dorsa Senior Member

    Persian - Iran
    Thank you so much everybody :)
     
  7. Dorsa Senior Member

    Persian - Iran
    Is it
    Many thanks for your answer :)
    I just wanted to know the other comments
     
  8. Dorsa Senior Member

    Persian - Iran
    Would you tell me if my beginning sentence is appropriate, please?
    "I was wondering if you could answer my question"
    Thank you :)
     
  9. DonnyB

    DonnyB Senior Member

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Well, whether it's "appropriate" or not is going to depend on who you're asking and what the question was.

    But in general terms, the formula "I was wondering if..." is a commonly used way of starting a very polite request for help or for someone to do you a favour.

    So, "I was wondering if you could answer my question" works, although it could possibly suggest that you'd already asked the question and were simply waiting for the person to reply.

    Alternatively, you could start the conversation by saying something like: "I was wondering if I could ask you a question." :)
     
  10. Dorsa Senior Member

    Persian - Iran
    Thank you so much :)
     
  11. Dorsa Senior Member

    Persian - Iran
    So it always depends on the person addressed?!
     
  12. Dorsa Senior Member

    Persian - Iran
    Sorry just in your third paragraph, with this possible impression "although it could possibly suggest ...", is it still the same polite request just with different time?
     
  13. DonnyB

    DonnyB Senior Member

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Yes, I think so. I was just pointing out there that "... if you could answer my question" could refer both to a question which you were just about to ask, and one which you had already asked (and were just waiting for an answer to). :)
     
  14. Dorsa Senior Member

    Persian - Iran
    Many thanks :)
     
Loading...
Similar Threads - I was wondering Forum Date
I was wondering / I am wondering English Only May 24, 2015
I was wondering,, English Only Nov 20, 2010
I was/am wondering... English Only Oct 16, 2007
I was wondering/wondered... English Only Jul 28, 2015
I was wondering if English Only Jun 8, 2014

Share This Page

Loading...