Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Funny grammar class

The free classes from Teacher Holly on Saturdays include practice in English grammar, pronunciation, speaking. We discussed about traveling and I told my story:
I found the photo of the small hotel in Greece. But I didn't find information about a safe. I phoned to this hotel and asked "can we find the safe?". The person who answered me, she didn't understand me, she thought that I was asking about protection, about a criminal situation. She ensured us that it is a very safe place. I explained to her that I meant a box for keeping passport, money. She exclaimed "Ah, not to safe, a safe!"
When I told this story during online English class, the Teacher Holly developed a new line in this funny story. The teacher said "I thought when you are looking for the safe so you could open. They would refund your money that you can stay in another hotel" Ha-ha ...
As Holly explained, the right phrase would be: "Do you have a safe?" or more politely "I was wondering if you have a safe for guests' to store valuables"
It is better sometimes to use past tense to create a little bit a languages distance. It reduces the pressure and it sounds more polite.
The phrases like: "I was wondering ..." or "I wanted to ask you ..." are universal and appropriated for many situations, but it another story.

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