This article covers the following areas –
- The Direct Approach to Asking for the Price
- Asking for the Price of Something Specific
- Making Requests to Ask for the Price
- How to Ask When You Need the Full Price Picture?
- Asking about the Price Amongst Friends
- How to Ask the Price Online?
- 10 Tips to Ask for the Prices in English
- Final Words
- FAQ: How to Ask for the Prices in English
When it comes to shopping or availing of services, especially in a country where English is the primary language, knowing how to inquire about prices is a fundamental skill. Whether you’re at a bustling market, a serene boutique, or even online shopping, asking for the price in English can be done smoothly with a few simple phrases.
To ask about prices in English, use polite expressions such as “How much does this cost?” or “What’s the price of…?” To ask for the price of any service, say, “What do you charge for…?” or “Could you provide me with a quote for…?”
Do you know any different expressions to ask someone about the price of something? Let us know in the comment box. If you don’t, no worries. In this post further, I will explain how you can ask for the price in different situations. The examples I will provide here will be primarily situational, which will undoubtedly help you ask for the price in better ways. You can easily use them in your real-life situations, too.
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The Direct Approach to Asking for the Price
When shopping, it’s crucial to know how to ask for the price of an item effectively. The direct approach is a straightforward method involving simple questions that elicit the cost from the seller. This method is particularly useful in fast-paced retail environments or when you need information quickly without much conversation.
How much is this?
“How much is this?” is the most common way of asking for the price. We frequently use this in our everyday shopping. If you are in a super shop and wondering how much the can of cashew nuts costs that you are holding or pointing to, you can ask the Sales Assistant by saying—
How much is this/that?
Or you can be more specific by uttering the name of the product. You can say—
How much is this/that cashew nuts?
A few similar examples are given below—
- How much is this bun?
- How much is this toothpaste?
- How much is that fish?
Note that when we ask the prices of two or more items, we should use “How much are these?” instead of “How much is this?” Let’s think of a situation where you are buying two jackets for your brothers. You can ask the salesperson pointing to the jackets—
How much are these/those?
Or you can be more specific by uttering the name of the products. You can say—
How much are these/those jackets?
Some similar examples can be—
- How much are these knives?
- How much are those vegetables?
- How much are these sunglasses?
To soften the request, you can easily add ‘please’ to the phrase, saying, “How much is this/these, please?” Politeness goes a long way in any language, and English is no exception. This small addition can make the interaction more pleasant for both parties.
Sample Conversation: Price Inquiry at a Clothing Store
Situation: In a bustling clothing store during a sale, John is looking for jackets to buy for the upcoming winter. He finds a couple that catch his eye but notices that the price tags are missing. He approaches a store assistant named Lisa for help.
John: Excuse me, could you help me out for a moment?
Lisa: Of course! What do you need assistance with?
John: I’m interested in these two jackets here, but I can’t seem to find the price on either. How much are these, please?
Lisa: Let me check that for you. This leather jacket is $120, and the denim one is $75.
John: Thank you, Lisa. I’ll take the denim one. Can you tell me where I can find the sizes?
Lisa: Absolutely, they are just right over there in the section by the window. Would you like me to check if we have your size available?
John: Yes, please, that would be great. I appreciate your help!
Asking for the Price of Something Specific
In the realm of commerce, being specific when asking for prices can lead to better communication and quicker transactions. Different phrasing may suit various shopping scenarios, from casual market purchases to significant investments.
How much does this cost?
“How much does this cost?” is frequently used for asking for the price like “How much is this?” However, When you know the item’s name, you can get more specific by asking, “How much does this [the item] cost?” Inserting the name of the item provides clarity, especially in a store with a multitude of products. For instance, “How much does the silk scarf cost?”—
- How much does this/that umbrella cost?
- How much does this watermelon cost?
- How much does that football cost?
To ask for the price of more than one item, we can follow the examples below—
- How much do these biscuits cost?
- How much do those fruits cost?
- How much do these nuts cost?
What is the price of this?
Though we can use this expression like the above ones, we usually use “What is the price of this?” to discuss the price of something that requires a substantial amount to buy. To be specific, we can mention the name of the thing. Examples are—
- What is the price of this/that black car?
- What is the price of this bungalow?
- What is the price of that machine?
To ask the price in the plural, follow the examples below—
- What is the price of these/those cars?
- What is the price of these bungalows?
- What is the price of those machines?
What is the asking price of this?
When we buy something that costs a significant amount of money or if there is any scope of negotiation, we usually ask the price this way—
What is the asking price of this/that?
You can also specifically talk about the price of that particular thing that you are about to buy by saying—
What is the asking price of this/that flat?
Let’s check some similar examples—
- What is the asking price of this house?
- What is the asking price of that piece of land?
- What is the asking price of this lot?
How much is the cost of this?
“How much is the cost of this? is commonly used to ask someone about the price of something. This expression can be replaced by “How much is this?” and “How much does this cost?”
However, in this kind of expression, you can mention the name of the specific thing that you expect to know the price. Let’s see some examples—
- How much is the cost of this/that dress?
- How much is the cost of this mobile phone?
- How much is the cost of that Bluetooth?
As a general rule, you can always replace the pronoun “this” with “these” if there is more than one thing you ask for the price.
- How much is the cost of these books?
- How much is the cost of those toys?
- How much is the cost of these chocolates?
Sample Conversation: Enquiring About Electronic Prices
Situation: At an electronics store, Maria is looking for a new laptop and smartphone. She spots two models that seem to fit her needs but realizes there are no price tags displayed. She seeks assistance from Alex, a store employee.
Maria: Hi there, could I get some help, please?
Alex: Sure, what can I do for you today?
Maria: I’m torn between these two laptops, and I’m also interested in that smartphone over there. Could you tell me how much each of these costs?
Alex: Of course, let me check for you. This laptop is priced at $999, and the other one is $1299. As for the smartphone, it’s on sale for $499.
Maria: Perfect, thanks. The smartphone price is good. Can I get more details on the specs?
Alex: Definitely! This smartphone comes with 128GB of storage, an excellent camera, and a two-year warranty. Would you like to see some reviews?
Maria: That would be helpful, Alex. Thank you!
Making Requests to Ask for the Price
Asking for the price by making a request is more than just a question; it’s a sign of courtesy, contributing to a pleasant shopping experience. When you ask politely, it not only reflects well on you but also fosters a respectful interaction with the seller. This approach can pave the way for better service, and occasionally, it might even lead to a more favorable price. It’s a simple yet effective way to ensure your shopping interactions are positive and productive.
Would you please tell me the price of this?
This is a very polite and formal expression of asking for a price. You can use this expression to talk to anybody about the price, even to someone you have met for the first time. You can say—
Would you please tell me the price of this/that?
You can mention the specific product in the sentence, too.
- Would you please tell me the price of this microphone?
- Would you please tell me the price of that speaker?
When it comes to more than one product or something, you can say—
Would you please tell me the price of these/those?
To be specific, these examples would help—
- Would you please tell me the price of these curtains?
- Would you please tell me the price of those earphones?
However, you can use the following expression to request someone to help you with the price of something.
Would you please check the price of this for me?
When we shop from super shops, we usually check the price by ourselves, but of course, we can ask for help from others. We can politely request the salesperson to help us find the price. You can say—
Would you please check the price of this/that for me?
Let’s look at some specific examples—
- Would you please check the price of this spoon set?
- Would you please check the price of that spatula for me?
When we need the price of more than one item, we can also say—
Would you please check the price of these/those for me?
Some examples can be—
- Would you please check the price of these nuts for me?
- Would you please check the price of those cookies for me?
Would you mind telling me the price of this?
This is a polite expression for asking for the price like the previous one. Though it seems like an interrogative sentence, it is a request. To politely ask someone for the price of something, you can say—
Would you mind telling me the price of this/that?
- Would you mind telling me the price of this toy bike?
- Would you mind telling me the price of that soft toy?
In case of more than one thing, you can say—
Would you mind telling me the price of these/those?
- Would you mind telling me the price of these diaries?
- Would you mind telling me the price of those albums?
Sample Conversation: Requesting Price Information at a Homeware Store
Situation: At a homeware store, James is searching for some kitchenware and gadgets. He has selected a few items but needs to know the prices, as they are not listed. He approaches Olivia, an employee at the store.
James: Excuse me, could I trouble you for a moment?
Olivia: Absolutely; how may I assist you?
James: I’ve found a couple of items that interest me, but I can’t seem to find the price tags. Would you please tell me the price of this coffee maker and that blender?
Olivia: I’d be happy to help you with that. The coffee maker is $89, and the blender is currently on promotion for $120.
James: That’s great to hear. Would you please check the price of this knife set for me?
Olivia: Sure thing, just a second. This knife set is $45.95.
James: I see; thanks for that. Would you mind telling me the price of those wine glasses on the top shelf?
Olivia: Not at all. Those wine glasses are part of a premium collection and are priced at $60 for a set of four.
James: Perfect, I appreciate your help. Could I get some information on the material of the wine glasses?
Olivia: Of course, they’re made from high-quality crystal and are dishwasher-safe. We’ve received excellent feedback on that set.
James: That’s exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for your assistance, Olivia!
How to Ask When You Need the Full Price Picture?
There are times when the price tag doesn’t tell you everything. You might find extra costs like taxes or fees added on. Knowing all about these can help you stay within your budget or give you a chance to negotiate the price. Here’s how to ask for all the details about a price and tips for bargaining when it’s part of the shopping culture.
How to Ask for a Price Breakdown?
When there’s more to the price than one number, like a dinner bill with tax, understanding each charge is helpful. For example, if you’re looking at a package for a wedding, you could ask, “What does this price cover?” This way, you might find areas where you can cut costs. Here are 10 ways to ask for a price breakdown:
- Can you itemize the costs for me?
- What exactly am I being charged for here?
- Could you explain the different charges included in the total?
- Can you break down the price into individual elements?
- What are the separate costs that add up to the final amount?
- Could you list the services and their corresponding prices?
- I’d like to understand the components of the total cost; can you detail them?
- Can you show me the breakdown of expenses?
- Are there any additional fees included in this price?
- What are all the charges that make up the full price?
Sample Conversation: Understanding the Complete Cost of a Travel Package
Situation: In a travel agency, Emily is considering purchasing a travel package for a vacation in Italy. She’s looking at the advertised price, but she wants to ensure there are no hidden costs. She discusses this with Jacob, the travel agent.
Emily: Hi, I’m interested in the Italy travel package, but I want to make sure I understand the total cost. Can you itemize the costs for me?
Jacob: Absolutely, Emily. The base price of the package is $2500, which includes your flights, hotel stays, and a daily breakfast.
Emily: Okay, and what exactly am I being charged for here besides the basics?
Jacob: Well, apart from the basics, the package includes guided tours at each city you’ll visit, which are $300. There’s also a dining experience package for $200, which covers authentic Italian dinners.
Emily: I see. Could you explain the different charges included in the total? Are there any service fees or taxes?
Jacob: Sure. There’s a $150 service fee for the entire package. Taxes come to about 10% of the total cost, and there’s also a $100 booking fee.
Emily: I wasn’t expecting the service and booking fees. Can you break down the price into individual elements for me?
Jacob: Certainly. The flight is $1100, accommodation totals $900, the tours are $300, dining is $200, the service fee is $150, the booking fee is $100, and the estimated taxes are around $250.
Emily: Thank you for clarifying. Are there any additional fees included in this price that we haven’t discussed?
Jacob: Everything is included in the breakdown I provided. There are no hidden costs.
Emily: Alright, that gives me a clear picture. What are all the charges that make up the full price if I decide to opt out of the dining experience package?
Jacob: If you exclude the dining package, your total, with fees and taxes, would be $2800.
Emily: That’s more within my budget. Thank you, Jacob. I’ll need a little time to think about it.
Jacob: Of course, take all the time you need. If you have any more questions or decide to customize the package further, feel free to ask.
How to Bargain?
Bargaining can be a key part of shopping in some cultures. It’s not just about getting a lower price but also respecting the local way of doing business. If you’re in a place where price negotiation is common, you can ask, “Is there any wiggle room on the price?” Remember to be kind and fair – the seller also needs to make a living. Here are 10 expressions to use when bargaining:
- Is this the best price you can offer?
- Can we find a middle ground on the price?
- Would you be willing to go any lower?
- Is there a discount if I buy more than one?
- Do you have any promotions or discounts available?
- I’m interested, but the price is a bit high for me. Can we negotiate?
- What’s the lowest you could accept for this?
- I saw this item for less elsewhere; could you match that price?
- I really like this, but it’s just outside my budget. Is the price flexible?
- If I pay in cash, can we work out a better price?
When you shop this way, you’re not just buying—you’re getting smart with your money. You can split up the price to understand it better or join in on haggling to get a good deal. How you talk about prices can help you learn the true worth of things and might even save you some cash.
Sample Conversation: Bargaining at a Market
Situation: In a local market, Sam is interested in buying a handmade rug. He’s speaking with Anita, the shop owner, about the price.
Sam: This rug is gorgeous. Is this the best price you can offer?
Anita: It’s one of our finest pieces, priced at $200. But I can give you a little discount. How about $180?
Sam: I appreciate that, but I’m still looking for something a bit more within my budget. What’s the lowest you could accept for this?
Anita: For you, I can go down to $160.
Sam: It’s a deal if you can go to $150. I saw a similar one for $140 at another stall.
Anita: Okay, $150 is fair. It’s a deal!
Sam: Thank you, Anita! I’m glad we could make it work.
Anita: You’re welcome; enjoy the rug! If you need more, I’ll gladly offer a discount for multiple purchases next time.
Asking about the Price Amongst Friends
Curiosity about the cost of new purchases is a common social interaction, particularly among friends. When you spot a sleek gadget or a stylish accessory with your friend, it’s natural to wonder about the price tag. However, how we ask about price can vary based on our relationship with the person and the context. Here’s how to navigate this sensitive topic gracefully.
How much did it cost?
When we want to know the price of something that is already bought, we use this expression. Suppose you are at your best friend’s house and you like his/her new mobile phone that s/he bought recently. You can obviously ask the price by saying—
How much did it/this/that cost?
Let’s see some similar kinds of expressions as examples—
- How much did this cost?
- How much did that mobile phone cost?
- How much did this umbrella cost?
To ask the price of more than one thing, you can use the following expression.
How much did they/these/those cost?
Let us check some examples—
- How much did they cost?
- How much did these pencils cost?
- How much did those gadgets cost?
Note: Do not ask someone about the price of something they already bought if they are not close to you. One may feel embarrassed if you ask the price of a dress s/he is wearing.
Do you know how much it costs?
We usually use this expression to ask someone directly about the price of something. Usually, when we feel like knowing the price of something from our friend or someone we already know, we use—
Do you know how much it/this/that costs?
Let’s see some examples using this expression.
- Do you know how much this laptop costs?
- Do you know how much that camera costs?
- Do you know how much this showpiece costs?
To ask the price in the plural using this expression, check the examples given below—
- Do you know how much these pens cost?
- Do you know how much those books cost?
- Do you know how much these cups cost?
Sample Conversation: Price Inquiry Among Friends
Situation: At a casual get-together, Sarah notices a stylish pair of headphones around her friend Tom’s neck. She’s been considering buying a new pair for herself and is curious about his recent purchase.
Sarah: Hey Tom, those are cool headphones! I’ve been looking for a new pair myself.
Tom: Thanks, Sarah! Yeah, I’m pretty happy with these.
Sarah: They look pretty high-tech. How much did they cost?
Tom: I got a good deal, actually. They were $150 on sale.
Sarah: Not bad at all for a good pair of headphones. Do you know how much they cost without the sale?
Tom: I think they usually go for about $200.
Sarah: Alright, thanks! I might check them out. Do you know if that sale is still on?
Tom: Last I checked, it was until the end of the week.
Sarah: Perfect, I’ll take a look. Thanks, Tom!
How to Ask the Price Online?
In the digital age, where e-commerce has become a cornerstone of retail, understanding the etiquette and methods of online price inquiries can greatly enhance your shopping experience. Whether it’s a rare collectible, a new tech gadget, or a service you’re looking to hire, the approach to discovering prices online varies. It’s about balancing the desire for information with respect for the seller’s time and business protocols.
Email is a formal and documented means of communication, ideal for detailed inquiries or when seeking a quote from a company. When drafting an email to inquire about prices, it’s crucial to be clear and concise. Start with a greeting and introduce yourself. Then, specify the item or service you’re interested in and any particular details that may affect its price, such as quantity, model, or specific service requirements.
How to Write a Perfect Email
- Subject Line: This should be attention-grabbing and informative. For example, “Inquiry about Custom Cake Pricing” or “Price Request for Bulk Stationery Order.”
- Introduction: Briefly state your purpose. “I am reaching out to inquire about the pricing for…”
- Body: Include specifics. If it’s a product, mention the model or any particular variant. For services, outline the scope or the particular service tier you’re interested in.
- Closing: End with a polite call to action. “Could you please provide me with the pricing details at your earliest convenience?”
Remember, a well-structured email reflects your professionalism and increases the likelihood of a prompt response. Here is a sample email for you.
From: [Your Email Address]
Subject: Inquiry About High-Performance Laptops for Professional Graphic Design
Dear [Company Name] Sales Team,
I hope you’re having a productive day. My name is [Your Name]. I am writing to inquire about your high-performance laptops, which I believe may be ideal for my professional requirements in graphic design and video editing.
As I frequently use software like Adobe Creative Suite and Final Cut Pro, I’m looking for a laptop with robust processing power, advanced graphics support, and substantial memory. Could you please provide me with detailed pricing and configuration options for laptops that meet these criteria?
I am also interested in understanding any after-sales support services you offer, as well as warranty terms. If there are any seasonal offers or discounts for first-time buyers, I would be keen to know about those as well.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your prompt response.
[Your Full Name]
[Your Job Title]
[Your Company/Organization Name]
[Your Contact Number]
Real-time chat services on websites offer immediacy that emails can’t match. Most retail websites have integrated chatbots or live support for quick queries like price inquiries. When initiating a chat, politeness goes a long way, even if you’re talking to a bot.
Chat Inquiry Tips
- Introduction: Even in a chat, start with a “Hello” or “Good day.”
- Direct Query: Clearly state the product or service you’re interested in. It helps the agent or bot to provide the information you need efficiently.
- Patience is Key: Although chats are faster, sometimes you may need to wait for a live agent. Be patient and avoid sending multiple messages.
Here’s a sample chat that follows the tips provided. This chat reflects a straightforward and informal conversation that efficiently provides the customer with the desired information.
Customer: Hi there!
Chat Agent/Bot: Hello! How can I assist you?
Customer: Can you tell me the price of the ProTech 15-inch laptop, the one with an i7 and 16GB RAM?
Chat Agent/Bot: Sure, it’s $1,499.00 currently.
Customer: Is there a discount for first-time buyers?
Chat Agent/Bot: Yes, there’s a 10% discount for new customers.
Customer: And the warranty period?
Chat Agent/Bot: It comes with a two-year warranty.
Customer: Great, thanks!
Chat Agent/Bot: You’re welcome! Let me know if you need anything else.
How to Ask for the Price on Social Media
Social media platforms are increasingly becoming a customer service hub for many brands. It’s common to slide into the direct messages (DMs) of a company’s profile to ask for prices.
The Social Approach
- Follow Protocol: Some companies prefer that you comment on a post for a price, while others encourage DMs. Follow their lead.
- Be Discreet: If using DMs, your approach can be similar to an email but more informal. “Hi there, I saw your post about handmade wallets, and I’m interested. Could you tell me how much they cost?”
- Interact with Posts: Sometimes, prices are mentioned in the comments section of a post, so check there before asking.
Forum and Community Inquiries
For items not sold directly through a retailer, such as collectibles or second-hand goods, forums and community groups are valuable resources. Be respectful of community norms when asking for prices.
Engaging the Community
- Search First: Often, prices are discussed in previous threads. A quick search may yield your answer without having to post.
- Be Specific: If posting a new thread or comment, be clear about what item you’re referring to and any condition specifics, like new, used, or refurbished.
By mastering these online price inquiry methods, you can shop more effectively and build better relationships with sellers. Always remember that the digital world thrives on swift and polite communication. Whether it’s an email, a chat message, a social media interaction, or a community forum post, the right approach can make all the difference in your online shopping endeavors.
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10 Tips to Ask for the Prices in English
Asking for prices in English doesn’t have to be daunting. Whether you’re a native speaker or learning English as a second language, here are 10 tips to help you inquire about prices confidently and courteously:
- Start with a Greeting: Whether it’s a casual or formal situation, always begin with a polite greeting such as “Hello,” “Hi,” or “Good [morning/afternoon/evening].”
- Be Specific: Clearly state the item or service you’re inquiring about. For instance, “Could you tell me the price of this hand-crafted vase?”
- Use Polite Phrases: Soften your request with phrases like “Could you please…?” or “Would you mind…?” which are perceived as more polite.
- Mention Your Interest: Expressing your genuine interest can make the interaction friendlier. Try, “I’m really interested in this piece; what’s the price?”
- Ask for Additional Costs: Always inquire if the price includes everything, such as “Is tax included in that price?”
- Inquire About Deals: Don’t hesitate to ask about ongoing promotions, like “Are there any discounts available for this?”
- Be Prepared for Follow-up Questions: Especially in services, be ready to provide more details, as prices might vary based on specifics.
- Ask for a Price Range: If you’re not ready to commit, asking for a range can be less direct but still informative: “What’s the price range for your evening dresses?”
- Acknowledge the Response: Whether the price is within your budget or not, acknowledge the information given with a “Thank you.”
- Close Politely: Regardless of your decision, end the conversation gracefully, such as “Thank you for your help, I’ll think about it.”
Using these tips will make your price inquiries in English more effective and pleasant for both you and the seller.
asking for prices in English is a simple process that involves clear communication, politeness, and a bit of tact. Whether you’re asking face-to-face, over the phone, or online, remember to always start with a friendly greeting.
Be specific about what you’re asking for, and don’t forget to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ It shows respect and can make the interaction more pleasant. If you’re discussing more detailed pricing, like for a travel package or a service, don’t hesitate to ask for a full breakdown of the costs. This will help you understand exactly what you’re paying for and why.
When talking with friends, keep the conversation casual but still clear. And finally, when asking for prices online, whether by email or through a chat service, maintain a polite tone just as you would in person.
By following these straightforward and courteous methods, you’ll be able to navigate price inquiries in English with ease and confidence.
FAQ: How to Ask for the Prices in English
1. How do I ask for the price of an item in a store?
To inquire about an item’s price in a store, you can use phrases like “Could you tell me how much this costs?” or “What’s the price of this item?” These are polite and straightforward ways to ask for pricing information.
2. Is it rude to ask for the price of something?
Asking for the price is a completely acceptable practice and is not considered rude as long as the question is asked politely. It’s a fundamental aspect of purchasing and customer service.
3. What should I say if I’m asking for the price on the phone?
When asking for the price over the phone, you might say, “Hello, I’d like to know the price of [item/service]. Could you please provide that information?” This is a respectful way to request pricing details.
4. How can I ask for a price when there’s no price tag?
If an item lacks a price tag, approach an employee and ask, “I noticed there isn’t a price tag on this; could you tell me how much it costs?” This politely brings attention to the missing information.
5. What’s a formal way to ask for a price in an email?
In a formal email inquiry about the price, you could write something like, “I am writing to inquire about the price of [item/service]. Could you please provide the details at your earliest convenience?”
6. Can I bargain or ask for a discount?
Bargaining is part of the shopping culture in many places. To negotiate a price, you might ask, “Is the price negotiable?” or “Do you offer any discounts?” This opens the door to discussions about price adjustments.
7. How do I ask for the price of a service, like a haircut or a spa treatment?
To ask about the cost of a service, you can directly ask, “How much do you charge for a haircut?” or “What are your rates for a full spa treatment?” This clearly communicates that you’re interested in the service and need to know the cost.
8. What if I need a breakdown of the cost?
If you require a detailed explanation of costs, you can request, “Could you provide an itemized breakdown of the total cost?” This is especially useful when dealing with complex services or large purchases.
9. Is it okay to ask for the price range of items or services?
It’s perfectly acceptable to inquire about price ranges. You can ask questions like, “Can you give me a price range for your handbags?” or “What’s the typical price range for your catering services?” This gives you a general idea of the expected costs.
10. How can I follow up if someone doesn’t give me a direct answer about the price?
If the initial response doesn’t include specific pricing, you can follow up with a request for clarity: “I appreciate the information, but could you clarify the exact cost?” This indicates that you need a more precise figure to make a decision.
If you have further questions or suggestions about anything specific related to this topic or anything else related to learning English as a second language, feel free to ask me in the comment box. You may also help the ESLA community by putting your valuable suggestions here to help every member improve their English language skills.