too much of an imposition

Allegro molto

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello

I'd like to stay if it's not too much of an imposition on you.
(from a dictionary)

Under what circumstances is the sentence above used?
A case which occurred to me. Someone got lost in bad weather late at night with no means of transportation nearby for returning home and asked at a dwelling house, not a hotel.

Thank you
 
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I admit that some of the dictionary definitions make it a little hard to understand what impose means in this context. However, Macmillan has quite a good one:
    to cause extra work for someone by asking them to do something that may not be convenient for them

    An imposition is an instance or example of doing this. The sentence means something like "I'd like to stay if that is not too much trouble for you". It's quite formally polite, I would say.
     

    St. Nick

    Senior Member
    English
    "If it's not too much of an imposition on you, would you please call a taxi for me?"

    This expression works, but only when said in a sincerely humble tone of voice. Often, it is used sarcastically:

    "If it's not too much of an imposition on you, would mind doing your job instead of talking on the phone all day."

    Notice that this is a rhetorical question and that a question mark isn't needed.
     

    Allegro molto

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    "If it's not too much of an imposition on you, would you please call a taxi for me?"

    "If it's not too much of an imposition on you, would mind doing your job instead of talking on the phone all day."
    Hello, St. Nick

    I like both these sentences. Thank you very much.
     
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