will you?/would you?/won't you? [politeness in tag questions]


Senior Member

a. Open the door, will you? b. Open the door, would you? c. Open the door, won't you?

As far as I know, these three sentences are correct.

Question : Sentence(b) is more polite expression than sentence(a)? and sentence(c) is the most polite expression of all?

Thank you always~.
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I can only imagine saying sentence a in anger, and prefixing it with 'Just . . .' To me, it's not a polite request at all.

    And personally, I don't think the difference between b and c is to do with politeness. The difference is very subtle. To me, b is more of a request, and c is almost an instruction.


    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    None of these strike me as particularly polite. Open the door is an imperative, an order. If you want to sound polite you should say.
    Would you like to open the door please.
    Please open the door for me.
    This sort of request is often made for a third person.
    Henry (addressing small son) please open the door for Mrs Smith, she has both hands full.


    New Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I really think as heypresto and djmc: The way the sentences are posted, there aren't any politness envolved.
    The a. question is an order (envolving some rudeness)... b. question is a strong suggestion...(under the semi-polite "Would") (to open that door)... c. question "is almost an instruction"...

    I think more polite should be something like: Please, could you open the door?
    Or some of the suggestions of ​djmc...
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