Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Lately we’ve talked a lot about how to avoid nosy people and how to say no to them when they ask you an awkward question but what if you want to be the nosy person?

Find out how to do it with the right words and phrases today.

We created this episode to help one of our students who is preparing to go to the United States to work in a science lab.

She is a researcher and wants to ask some colleagues about their protocols or their formulas but in the research science world this could be top secret so she cannot just come out and ask it.

She is afraid to ask it.

However, there is a way to open up the question carefully while checking to see if it’s okay as you go deeper into the question.

We’ll show you how to do that today.


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Situations where you might be prying:

In business:

  • Salaries and promotions
  • Secret company formulas, patents, algorithms, protocols
  • Status of someone’s job-are they on probation? Are they on an improvement plan?


In your personal life:

  • Someone’s marriage or relationship and how it’s going
  • Divorce
  • Behavioral problems with their child (they got arrested, they were suspended from school)
  • Money issues like the cost of someone’s mortgage or the cost of a new item like a car


We’ve taught you not to be nosy when it comes to these topics in American culture so why are we teaching you how to do it now?

Sometimes there are certain circumstances where you want to show your support like when someone’s getting a divorce or when someone got fired.

Sometimes you need information by finding out the status of your job which you could infer from someone else’s meeting with the boss

If you are from another culture you might not know if you are prying or not when it comes to certain topics so it’s always better to use these phrases and err on the side of caution.


The phrases in business:

  • Could I ask how you develop your protocols?
  • Would it be okay if I asked how you created your algorithm for your app?
  • If it’s not a problem for me to ask, I am wondering about how your meeting went with the CEO?


The phrases in your personal life:

  • Not to pry but I was just wondering how much you paid for that car.
  • Can I ask how things are going with your son?
  • I don’t want to intrude but I heard you and Jim are getting a divorce. How are you doing with everything?

Bonus phrase: *You don’t have to answer this but…


What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Let us know in the comments below.

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