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Kindly and Please


Kindly and Please
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This week we received a question from Evewero in Nigeria.

Question:

What is the difference between “please” and “kindly.” Some … use the two words together, e.g. “please kindly assist.”

- Evewero, Nigeria

Answer:

Dear Evewero,

Thank you kindly for writing to us.

Kindly

“Kindly” can be an adverb, a word that usually describes a verb. If your teacher says, "Kindly hand in your homework," she is using kindly as an adverb to make a polite request. Another way to use the word as an adverb is:

The animal doctor always treats our pets kindly.

“Kindly” is also an adjective. If someone helped you at the post office, you might say:

A kindly man helped me mail my letter.

There, kindly describes “man” which is a noun. You could also use the word “nice” to express the same idea.

Please

“Please” can be an adverb or a verb. It also can be used to make a request politely:

Would you please pass the salt?

Please give me your homework.

And, Americans almost always use “please” when making a request in the form of a statement as opposed to a question:

Give me two tickets, please.

Please, sir, help us!

I hope this answer “pleases” you - there, I used it as a verb.

“Kindly” visit our website again for more lessons!

Your questions

What questions do you have about English? Send us an email at learningenglish@voanews.com.

And that's Ask a Teacher for this week.

I’m Jill Robbins.

Dr. Jill Robbins wrote this story for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in This Story

politeadj. having or showing good manners or respect for other people

Do you have a question for the teacher? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or send us an email at learningenglish@voanews.com.

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