Polite way to address person older than you.

abigailmartin

Member
India - Malayalam
Just got one more question, what do you think would be the most polite way to address someone older to you, like a shopkeeper, someone at the busstop etc.?
 
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Something in my bicycle pannier fell out one Saturday. A passer-by called out, 'Sir, you dropped something!' (Me: in my 40s, passer-by: male, maybe 30) I don't really use sir a lot, but on this occasion, I remember being pleased. So it could be effective.

    (I think I am en 'excuse me' or 'hello' person, like Divisortheory.)
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Perhaps you can tell us why you're addressing them in the first place. To get their attention? To wish them a nice day? Or some other reason?
     

    abigailmartin

    Member
    India - Malayalam
    The context I was looking at was, 'you know the shopkeeper as you are a regular customer of the shop, but you don't know his name'.

    [I liked natkretep's example. Ya, that gave me an idea to address a stranger.]
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    As a regular customer of the store, you can simply use the usual: Hello! Good morning, Good afternoon. Etc. Followed by the usual pleasantries: How are you? Lovely weather. Raining like crazy. Etc.

    At some point, if you want to know his name, you can just say, "You know, I've been coming here long enough that I should introduce myself: I'm Abigail." Then, if he has any manners, he'll reply with his name. :)
     
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