Please and thank you (and sorry), part V: please

We wrap up this series on everyday pleasantries (until I think of one I forgot) with the word “please.”

Turkish swiped its word for “please” from Arabic, as it turns out that for most uses you will use lütfen. Take, for example, the phrase lütfen penceresi açın, or “please open the window.” You might also use the phrase rica ederim, which we’ve also seen as a possible response to being thanked and which, come to think of it, is also swiped from Arabic (rica is, anyway).

You might also use isterseniz, which derives from the verb istemek, “to want,” and means “if you want.” It’s a polite way to couch a request just as “please” is.


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