Would you be so kind + ?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Ellouder, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. Ellouder

    Ellouder Senior Member


    What would be the correct construction for this sentence?

    Would you be so kind of...?
    Would you be so kind as...?
    Would you be so kind to...?
    Would you be so kind as to...?

    <<...>> I want someone to send me by e-mail some documents...

    Would you be so kind ... send to me those documents?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2010
  2. sarcie Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    Correct construction marked. Alternative:

    I would be very grateful if you could send me those documents.

    I would use this alternative in an e-mail, as the construction you used is a bit overly formal, in my opinion.
  3. tantan Member

    Concur with Sarcie
  4. winklepicker

    winklepicker Senior Member

    English (UK)
    Yes - egregiously polite! Perhaps better - because simpler - would be:

    Please send me those documents.
  5. jmfari New Member

    Español - Argentina
    Hi! I'd like to know if that structure is followed by the verb ending in ing or just by the infinitive form. I mean: would you be so kind as to... (?)

  6. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Hello jmfari - welcome to WordReference :)

    It's followed by the infinitive form, never the -ing form.
  7. jmfari New Member

    Español - Argentina
    Thanks panjandrum for both giving me an answer so quickly and making me feel welcome :).
    I had to write this message twice, apparently I need to get used to this website. LOL. Have a nice day.
  8. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I think most of the time, I encounter this construction when it is used with a heavy dose of sarcasm, as in Would you be so kind as to remove your finger from the pie? :)
  9. Traduvina

    Traduvina Senior Member

    España, español
    What about

    Could you please send me those documents?

    I didn't know Would you be so kind... was sarcastic, I have always thought it was really polite, but not in a bad way :S
  10. ayed

    ayed Senior Member

    It depend on the context. I am very fond of this construction because it flows smoothly on my tongue tip.Please no more criticism:)
  11. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Ayed, I said that it sounded sarcastic most of the time - but obviously it can also be used, in formal situations, to show politeness. This is still possible, so please don't let me stop you from using this construction in the appropriate context! :)
  12. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    I always think of this as being the highest level of politeness in speech - I might only ever use it if I met a queen or an emperor etc. I use it as an example that English does have different levels (and word choices and forms) of politeness, a concept seemingly unknown to English speakers when they start to learn, for example, Japanese in which it is all very formalized.
  13. jigsaw89 New Member

    Would you be so kind as to give me your address in order to send you something one day ?

    is that sentence correct ??
  14. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Welcome to the Forum, Jigsaw! :)

    Yes, the sentence is grammatical. You might also want to say 'in order for me to send you something one day', for greater clarity. But take note of the earlier comments on this thread: this construction can be heard as being sarcastic.
  15. preppie Senior Member

    Mid Atlantic, US
    American English (Mostly MidAtlantic)
    I use the "Would you be so kind .." quite often..and not always sarcastically (even though NJ is the sarcasm center of the world !) I rarely use "Could you" as that is questioning if they are physically capable. A "yes" would inform me that they are able to fulfuill my request but not necessarily that they will. "Would you .." asks if they are willing to fulfill my request (and do so). I use the "Would you.." construct in business both verbal and written and it has not been taken as sarcasm.

    Once again, context is the key. "Would you be so kind as to take your foot out of my mouth" would hardly be serious but asking for an email/document/ other business oriented request would and should be taken as a serious question and not sarcastic. It also depends highly on the source. Although I may chat with my clients - being sarcastic with them would probably shorten their client lifespan with my company.

Share This Page