Where Exactly To Put “Please” In A Sentence

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In English, we use the word “please” to make requests and orders more polite – but have you ever considered where exactly to put the word “please” in your sentence? In today’s lesson we’ll show you several correct places to put the word “please” as well as a couple that sound unnatural, which you should avoid.

"Please" is a word we use every day, so we want to use it correctly. It’s really important to know the most common words and phrases so that you can be more confident speaking English in daily life. 


Let’s look at some examples of orders/commands:

  • Please clean your room.
  • Please finish the textbook by Friday.
  • Please contact me if you have any questions.

With orders/commands, we usually say “please” at the beginning of the sentence, and it’s especially important to include the word “please” in direct orders, otherwise they sound too direct or too commanding.

It is also possible to put “please” at the end of a command, typically when speaking (instead of writing). So before dinner, you might tell your kids “Wash your hands, please.


Requests are phrased as questions, using “can you,” “could you,” and occasionally “would you,” although that’s less common. In these cases, we can put please in one of two places: at the end, or after “you”:

  • Could you close the door, please?
  • Could you please close the door?
  • Can you pass me that pen, please?
  • Can you please pass me that pen?

With requests/questions, we usually don’t put “please” at the beginning – so we wouldn’t normally say “Please could you close the door?” That’s not wrong… but it’s much less common, so we recommend putting “please” either at the end or after “you.”

Once place we avoid putting “please” is in between the verb and its object, so don’t say “Could you close please the door?” or “Can you turn down please the volume?” – those don’t sound natural in English, even though that word order might be fine in other languages.

March, 2023

Posted by Oxford Language Club

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