When studying English at Oxford English Academy, you don’t only learn about the English language but also about the customs and etiquette of English. It’s not easy to understand the etiquette of cultures different from your own. Things that may be rude in your own language can be perfectly polite in English, and some things that you may consider polite are rude to an English speaker. Learning about English etiquette is quite necessary if you want to make English-speaking friends.
Of course, you can always excuse yourself if you accidentally insult someone. But what if you don’t realize that you’ve been insulting?
Here are some tips to help you avoid any embarrassing moments when being a guest in an English speaking house.
I’m so glad you could come! Your host might say this when you arrive.
Thank you for inviting me. You should thank your host politely. They will probably answer by saying, “It’s a pleasure having you.”
Please make yourself at home. This expression means ‘make yourself comfortable’, or ‘behave as you would in your own home’.
Your home is very beautiful! You should compliment the host or hostess on their house, even if it is not really true!
Here are some flowers for your wife. It is common to bring a small gift like flowers or dessert for your hosts.
You shouldn’t have! Say this to thank your host if they have gone to a lot of trouble to do something for you.
Would you like a second helping? Your host will usually ask you to have some more food.
It was delicious, but I really couldn’t eat any more! You can refuse politely by saying this.
How do you take your coffee? This is another way of asking how much sugar or milk you like in your coffee. You could respond with, for example, “one milk, two sugars, please.”
Thanks for your hospitality. This expression can be used at the end of the evening to thank your hosts.