Meaning of Polite Imperatives and their use
Imperatives give commands, warnings and, instructions, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be polite, hence the Polite Imperative. I guess I should say, please keep reading.
Polite Imperatives often make use of the word “please.” And, “please” is usually followed by a Verb, like in a sentence:
“Please pass the peas.”
In the above sentence, “pass” is the Imperative and the Verb. It means to move or cause to move in a specified direction. And so, “pass the peas” means to give a plate of peas to a person who’s sitting at the same table as you.
You can try a Polite Imperative yourself by adding “please” before any command. And, almost any Verb can follow “please.” For example, you may want to say,
“Please bring me pie.”
This means that you would like any kind of pie because the type of pie wasn’t specified. You could get more specific by saying:
“Please bring me a cherry pie.”
The above sentence simply includes the Adjective “cherry.”
A Final Note: Polite Imperatives at Work
What do I need to know about polite imperatives in a business setting?
Polite Imperatives are very important, especially in business. Over the years, I’ve worked with many international teams and not using the word “please” before or after a command comes across badly. Speaking of using “please” at the end of an imperative, it’s easy to do. For instance, “Please pass the peas” becomes:
“Pass the peas, please.”
Not sure if you noticed, but “Please keep reading,” the last sentence of the first paragraph is a Polite Imperative.
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