“Tell Me” – Use in US English

Posted On: June 24, 2014

In India, “tell me”, or more appropriately, its Indian language equivalent is often heard as a typical phone greeting, sometimes before hello or any other greeting is said! 

To many foreigners, and especially Westerners, this may seem odd. However, if we look at Indian languages, the translation of this phrase “tell me” can be said in a polite (formal), informal or a rude way depending on the form of the verb. 

Because of this, for those who may tend to say “tell me” when answering the phone or as a conversation sparker during a conversation, I often request them to remove this from their vocabulary especially when speaking to native English speaking Western clients.

For more on this topic, listen to the podcast below.

Jennifer Kumar helps Indians communicate more effectively with their native English speaking Western counterparts to build rapport and good business relationships in a global business environment. Contact her to fill your onsite and offshore business training needs. 

Related Posts: 
Avoid “Ok” or “Yes” as Answers  
V and W – One letter in Indian Languages, Two Letters and Two Sounds in English  
Importance of Questions to Americans 

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