Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How Should One Phrase the Request for Shoes-Off at the Door?


How do you ask visitors to remvoe their shoes in your home?

Shoes off, please.

This is not very polite. Only suitable for family members and close friends who do not really need telling.

Could you take your shoes off, please?

Very simple and direct.

Would you mind removing your shoes?

This is very polite, but it is rather negative. It implies that it would be an endurance for the guest to take his or her shoes off. They would probably be more comfortable for having removed their shoes.

We have a house rule here that we do not wear shoes in the house.

Avoid the word house rule. Your guests will feel that they are being treated like children.

We want to look after our carpet. Please take your shoes off.

Best not to say this. It implies that you care more about the carpet than your guests. This is probably true, but you must not show it.

We have small children and they play on the floor. Could you take your shoes off, please?

If you do have small children, use this one. It will not be refused.

Could you put these slippers on, please?

See below for my thoughts on guest slippers. Most English guests would find this a bit weird.

Feel free to take your shoes off.

Very positive. Women will probably take the hint, but it is too subtle for the average bloke. Or they might just call your bluff.

Feel free to take your shoes off, please.

Not very grammatical, but a bit less subtle.

We all take our shoes off here.

This may work, it is human nature to try and fit in with others. Again, they might call your bluff.

(in Summer only) I get Hayfever. Could you take your shoes off, so as not to bring any pollen in?

Medical reasons are the best.


The IBEX Scribe said...

I usually ask if people would mind taking their shoes off. That seems to be the most polite way to ask, at least to this American.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Angie, have you ever worked in sales or marketing?

You are putting a negative thought in people's minds. That phrase implies that removing shoes is a bad thing, when in fact it is a good thing which they should want to do.

God Bless


The IBEX Scribe said...

I sincerely disagree that saying "would you mind" would put a negative thought when it is a very common thing to say and is really considered one of the most polite ways to ask someone to do something. Most other ways of asking sound either pushy or rude.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

It certainly is very polite.

Redeemed said...

I do remember this post! I think my favorite is "Feel free to take your shoes off, please". It's simple, yet polite.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

But what if they replied:

"No thanks, I shall keep my shoes on."

Redeemed said...

good question, but I think guests would get the hint and remove their shoes. But if they don't, then I guess I shall have to be more blunt and ask them to remove their shoes.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Hopefully they would get the hint, especially in Canada where it is the norm (unless you one day move somewhere else). But some people are rude and a lot of men dont pick up hints very well.

God Bless