Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do people ever cut in front of you in line?

How do you respond if they do?

In your culture is it acceptable to do this?

Lining up and the overall concept of fairness can vary dramatically across cultures.

In the United States lines are important.

If you cut in line people will get mad at you.

However, today we’ll show you what to do if you have some kind of emergency and you need to cut in front of someone else.

We’ll tell you what to say and how to approach the situation.

We’ll also show you what to say if someone cuts in line in front of you.


Rules to remember if you cut in line or if someone cuts in front of you:

  • Understand that you are breaking a cultural norm if you cut in line in the US. People generally don’t like it when others cut in line. This might not be true in your culture.
  • Be confident
  • Be polite (intonation, smiling)
  • Be patient

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What can you say if you need to cut in line?

You can open with:

  • “Excuse me”
  • “I’m sorry”
  • “I’m so sorry. Could I get in front of you?”


What to say if someone cuts in front of you?

  1. “Excuse me miss/sir? The line starts over this way.” 
  2. “Excuse me, I think I was in line before you.”
  3. “I’m sorry, I was actually next in line.”


Let us know about your culture.

Are lines important? Do people cut in line? Is that accepted or not?

What questions do you have from today?

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