To impose/ to intrude


Senior Member
french belgium

You are in a shop and ask someone some advice regarding a project.
Would you say excuse sir I don’t want to impose or to intrude but I have a couple of questions if you don t mind.

Thank you

  • volver

    Senior Member
    french belgium
    Well, basically he’s a stranger but he’s English. An English in Belgium. That’s going to help my project. It’s about English culture anyway could I use intrude or impose in that case or would it be better to say I don’t want to bother you...?

    Thank you.



    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    In my (UK) experience, strangers who accost you in the street or in shops just say "Excuse me... " and launch straight into whatever they're trying to sell you or ask you about.


    English - England
    In broad terms:
    You impose (on someone) if you are going to ask them to do something that will be time-consuming and that might be inconvenient for them.
    You intrude (on someone) if you interrupt what they are doing (usually, but not always when, they are clearly concentrating on something.)

    Both of them are probably far too formal and too strong unless the person in question is very important/of high status and is not well know to you personally.
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