Home MH STATE BOARD 1.2 On Saying ‘Please’-Maharashtra State Board-Class 12-English

1.2 On Saying ‘Please’-Maharashtra State Board-Class 12-English

1.2 On Saying Please by A.G. Gardiner

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1.2: On Saying ‘Please’
Maharashtra State Board
Class 12, English

A.G. Gardiner

  • Born on June 2, 1865
  • Started literary career as Journalist
  • Editor of the Daily News, London
  • His essays are Uniformly Elegant, Graceful and Humorous
  • Able to teach Basic Truths of Life in Easy & Amusing Way
  • Died on March 3, 1946

A.G. Gardiner, or Alfred George Gardiner, was a renowned British journalist and author, celebrated for his essays that combined wit, wisdom, and a keen observation of human nature. Born in 1865, he gained fame through his work as the editor of the Daily News, where he championed liberal causes and social reform. Gardiner’s essays, often penned under the pseudonym “Alpha of the Plough,” are admired for their elegance, humor, and thoughtful reflections on everyday life. His writing continues to be appreciated for its timeless insights and graceful style.

On Saying ‘Please’

A.G. Gardiner’s essay “On Saying Please” emphasizes the significance of politeness and the impact of courteous behavior in everyday interactions. Gardiner illustrates how simple acts of kindness, such as saying “please” and “thank you,” can create a pleasant and harmonious social environment. He contrasts these acts of civility with rudeness, arguing that while politeness costs nothing, it yields substantial benefits in fostering goodwill and smooth human relationships. Through engaging anecdotes and clear reasoning, Gardiner highlights the power of politeness in enhancing our daily lives and interactions. The essay is focused on the Bad-mannered Liftman and Well-mannered Bus-Conductor.

प्रस्तूत पाठामध्ये लेखक ए.जी.गार्डीनर यांनी सामाजिक जीवनातील चांगल्या शिष्टाचाराचे मूल्य, त्याचबरोबर दैनंदिन वर्तनातील सभ्यता व विनम्रता यांचे महत्व विषद केले आहे. बोलण्यातील नम्रतेने व वागण्यातील सभ्यतेने आपल्या सभोवतालच्या वातावरणामध्ये किती गोडवा निर्माण होतो, त्याचबरोबर असभ्यता व वाईट गोष्टी सभोवतालचे वातावरण किती खराब व दुषित करतात यावर देखील लेखकाने प्रकाश टाकलेला आहे.


Activity: List the words of Courtesy that we use in our daily life. Explain the purpose of using each:

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Activity: Listed below are a few character traits of people. Some are positive while others are not. Tick the ones you feel desirable:

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Activity: Etiquette & Manners are very important. Read the following and put them in proper columns:

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Activity: Explain the following words with examples:

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Activity: Group Discussion.

A discussion of a group of people who gathered formally or informally together to discuss ideas, solve problems or make comments on a particular subject.

Group discussion is an important activity in academic, business and administrative spheres. It is a systematic and purposeful interactive oral process. Here the exchange of ideas, thoughts and feelings take place through oral communication. It also takes place in a systematic and structured way. The participants sit facing each other almost in a semi-circle and express their views on the given topic, issue or problem.

As a student, it helps you to train yourself to discuss and argue about the topic given. It also helps you to express your views on serious subjects and in formal situations. It improves your thinking, listening and speaking skills. It also increases your confidence level.

Have a Group Discussion on the topic ‘The Need of Soft Skills at Work Place’ with the help of the given points:

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Activity: State whether True or False:

  • Bitter problems in day-to-day life can be solved by sweet words.
    – TRUE
  • Great wars could have been avoided by a little courtesy.
    – TRUE
  • Observance of etiquette in a normal situation is important but more important is their observance when the situation is adverse.
    – TRUE
  • Words like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ help us in making our passage through life uneasy.
    – FALSE
    Correction: Words like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ help us in making our passage    through life easy.
  • The law permits anybody to use violence, if another person is discourteous.
    – FALSE
    Correction– The law does not permit anybody to use violence, if another person is discourteous. It’s not a legal offence.

Activity: Select the most appropriate sentences which suggest the Theme of the essay:

a. The essay tells us about courtesy, civility, morality, responsibility and control.
b. The essay explores the difficulties that can be incurred by an individual when dealing with the public.
c. One can keep one’s peace of mind without having to lower themselves to the level of the perceived offender.
d. People with low self-esteem are generally difficult to work with and they look down upon others to get a feeling of superiority.


a. The essay tells us about courtesy, civility, morality, responsibility and control.
c. One can keep one’s peace of mind without having to lower themselves to the level of the perceived offender.

Activity: Find the Reasons for the lift-man’s Uncivilized Behaviour:

  • The liftman felt insulted by unknown passenger
  • The liftman did not like passenger’s rude behavior
  • The liftman could not bear passenger’s discourtesy
  • The liftman’s self-esteem was hurt by passenger
  • Lack of courtesy from the passenger
  • Personal pride and dignity
  • Frustration and accumulated grievances
  • Lack of emotional regulation

Activity: List the people and their behaviour that made the passenger rude and ill-mannered:

Housemaid → Wife → Employer → Employee → Liftman → Passenger
  • Very rude behaviour of Housemaid with cook.
  • Very rude behaviour of cook with passenger’s wife.
  • Employer is henpecked at breakfast.
  • Employer avoided to say ‘Good Morning’ to passenger.
  • Very rude & ill-mannered behaviour of passenger with the lift-man.
  • Liftman pushed passenger out of lift.

Activity: Good manners are required in our daily life for making our social contacts more cooperative and friendly. Illustrate the behaviour of the polite conductor with different people in various situations:

 Situation Behaviour
1. The writer’s sensitive toe was  trampled on The conductor said sorry with an apology and courtesy
2. In the rainy season dealing with people Gave a tip that there was ‘room inside’
3. Dealing with old people Behaved as a considerate son
4. Dealing with children Remained as solicitous as a father
5. Dealing with young people Involved in merry jest with them
6. Dealing with a blind man Set down safely on the pavement

Activity: Write the impact of good temper and kindness on society, in the light of good-mannered conductor:

The good-mannered conductor exemplifies the positive impact of good temper and kindness on society. Here’s how these qualities influence society, as illustrated by the conductor’s behavior:

  • Creates a Pleasant Atmosphere: The conductor’s good temper and kindness create a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere on the bus. Passengers feel more comfortable and relaxed, which can make their daily commute more enjoyable. 
  • Reduces Tension and Conflict: By handling situations with a calm and cheerful demeanor, the conductor diffuses potential conflicts. His ability to remain courteous even in challenging situations prevents escalation and promotes peaceful interactions. 
  • Encourages Positive Behavior: The conductor’s behavior sets a positive example for others to follow. When people witness acts of kindness and good temper, they are more likely to emulate these behaviors. 
  • Builds Community Spirit: Kindness and good temper foster a sense of community and solidarity. When people treat each other with respect and consideration, it strengthens social bonds and promotes a sense of belonging. 
  • Enhances Emotional Well-being: Acts of kindness and displays of good temper have a positive impact on emotional well-being. Both the giver and the receiver of kindness experience increased happiness and satisfaction. 
  • Promotes a Culture of Respect: The conductor’s consistent politeness reinforces the importance of respect and civility in society. It demonstrates that treating others with kindness and consideration is not just a personal virtue but a social responsibility.

Activity: ‘A modest calling can be made dignified by good temper and kindly feeling’. Explain the statement with example:

The statement “A modest calling can be made dignified by good temper and kindly feeling” means that even simple jobs can be respected and valued if the person doing the job is kind and has a good attitude.

No matter what your job is, you can make it honorable and respected by being nice and having a good attitude. Being kind and cheerful can make any job seem important and worthy of respect.

Think about a bus conductor. This job might seem simple and not very important. But if the conductor is always smiling, polite, and helpful to passengers, people will appreciate and respect him. His kindness and good attitude make his job seem important and dignified. Passengers enjoy their ride more because of his friendly behavior, and he feels proud of his work because he is making a positive difference in people’s day.

So, even if a job is modest, it can be made dignified by the good temper and kindly feeling of the person doing it.

Activity: The service of the Police is necessary for the implementation of law in our society. Write whether we require this service for good social environment:

Yes, the service of the police is essential for maintaining a good social environment. Here’s why:

  • Law and Order: The police play a crucial role in enforcing laws and regulations. By doing so, they help maintain order in society and ensure that people follow the rules. 
  • Crime Prevention: Police officers work to prevent crimes by patrolling neighborhoods, investigating suspicious activities, and taking proactive measures to deter criminal behavior. 
  • Safety and Security: The police protect citizens from harm by responding to emergencies, investigating crimes, and apprehending criminals. This sense of security allows people to go about their daily lives without constant fear of violence or theft.
  • Conflict Resolution: Police officers help resolve disputes and conflicts that could otherwise escalate into violence. They mediate in situations ranging from domestic disputes to neighborhood disagreements, ensuring peaceful resolutions.
  • Community Trust: When the police interact positively with the community, they build trust and cooperation. This relationship is vital for effective law enforcement, as citizens are more likely to report crimes and provide information when they trust the police.
  • Support in Emergencies: Police provide critical assistance during emergencies, such as natural disasters or accidents. They coordinate rescue efforts, offer first aid, and ensure public safety during crises.
  • Public Education: Police often engage in community outreach and educational programs, teaching citizens about safety, crime prevention, and legal rights. This helps create an informed and responsible community.

Activity: Grammar- COLLOCATIONS

  • Collocation refers to a meaningful group of words that often used together or that are likely to occur together.
  • Collocation is a combination of words that are often used together and sound natural to native speakers.
  • These combinations follow patterns that are familiar and predictable.

For example: great admiration, great anger, large amount, large collection, strong argument, broad daylight, strong smell, strong tea, deep thought, fast train, heavy rain, heavy snow etc.

Find out the words in column B which collocate with the words in column B:

Make Collocations and use in your own sentences:

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Use in Sentences:

  • They made a big mistake.
  • His dying was not any big surprise.
  • That was the big failure of the team.
  • Marriage is a big decision.
  • There was a big improvement in economy.
  • This audition is a big deal for Smith.
  • John won big money in USA last year.
  • It isn’t easy for me; I’m a big talker.

  • Her children are always very well dressed.
  • Sachin is well known cricketer.
  • The board was old and well worn.
  • He is intelligent and well educated.
  • The teacher is well aware of the situation.
  • He eats a well balanced meal.
  • They behave well together.
  • The castle is well worth a visit.

Activity: Sometimes while using a word in a sentence, we have to change its word class. We can make several more words from the root word:

Word Usage

  • I asked Sumit to sharpen my pencil for me. (sharp)
  • Leena was eating a very crunchy apple and obviously enjoying it. (crunch)
  • This picture looks colourful. (colour)
  • I’m afraid that your behaviour is just not acceptable. (accept)
  • I like my elder brother. He is very helpful. (help)

Activity: Complete the TABLE:

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Activity: Write appropriate expressions and words used while facing interview:

  • ‘May I come in?’
  • ‘Excuse me.’ 
  • ‘Yes, I am.’
  • ‘No, I don’t.’ 
  • ‘Sure, I can.’
  • ‘Could you repeat that please?’
  • ‘It’s my pleasure.’
  • ‘Nice to meet you.’
  • ‘Thanks a lot.’
  • ‘Have a nice day.’
  • “I believe…”
  • “In my experience…”
  • “I am particularly skilled at…”
  • “One of my strengths is…”
  • “I have a strong background in…”
  • “I am passionate about…”
  • “I handled a similar situation by…”
  • “My previous role involved…”

Useful Expressions in English Speaking

Activity: You are writing a Letter of Complaint. List the proper expressions that you would like to write:

  • “I disagree…”
  • “I’m afraid that…”
  • “I expect that…”
  • “This caused me to…”
  • “We’re still hopeful…”
  • “I wish to draw your attention…”
  • “I’d like to complain about…”
  • “I would be grateful if you…”
  • “We’re disappointed…”
  • “I await your reply…”
  • “I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with…”
  • “I wish to lodge a complaint regarding…”
  • “I am writing to bring to your attention…”
  • “I was extremely disappointed with…”
  • “The issue I have encountered is…”
  • “The service/product did not meet my expectations because…”
  • “I look forward to your prompt response.”
  • “Thank you for your attention to this matter.”
  • “I hope to hear from you soon regarding a resolution.”

Letter Writing

Activity: Distinguish between a Legal Offence & Moral Offence on the basis of the given text:

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Activity: Find out the meanings of the following phrases. Use them in your own sentences:

  • Give and take: compromise, exchange or mutual concession.
    → Once the positions are set, real negotiations would begin, with give-and-take on both sides.  
  • A black eye: to punish someone severely.
    → Whenever political parties become more corruptive, voters tend to give them a black eye.
  • Lower than the angles: less than perfect.
    → Some students in the class are lower than the angles in Mathematics.  
  • Knock someone down: to hit or push someone accidently.
    → My neighbor was knocked down by a truck.

Activity: Find out the words with Prefixes and Suffixes from the text and write them down:

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Activity: Complete the table with polite expressions that we must use in our day-to-day life:

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Useful Expressions in English Speaking

Activity: Edit the given paragraph using a/an/the wherever necessary:

“Rakesh is an ideal son who remains devoted to his father as he grows professionally to become a famous doctor. As his father grows old, he takes care to spend time with his father, bringing him tea in the morning and taking him out for a walk in the evening.”

Activity: Spot the Errors and correct them:

a) Radha brought pens and distributed them between her five children.
Ans- Radha brought pens and distributed them among her five children.

b) Jayshree and Sujata sat besides each other in complete silence.
Ans- Jayshree and Sujata sat beside each other in complete silence.

c) His best friend Vijay was blind within one eye.
Ans- His best friend Vijay was blind in one eye.

d) One could dare to encroach on his rights.
Ans- One could dare to encroach upon his rights.

e) She was taken with surprise when she saw the famous Taj Mahal.
Ans- She was taken by in surprise when she saw the famous Taj Mahal.

f) It is not possible to exchange the goods once the sale has been completed.
Ans- It is not possible to exchange goods once the sale has been completed.

g) Dr. Sengupta has been trying to master the craft for the last five years.
Ans- No error.

h) The top-ranking candidates will be appointed in senior jobs in banks.
Ans- The top-ranking candidates will be appointed to senior jobs in banks.

i) She knows very well what is expected from her but she is unable to perform.
Ans- She knows very well what is expected of her but she is unable to perform.

j) They will put on a note in this regard for your consideration.
Ans- They will put up a note in this regard for your consideration.

More examples for practice

Activity: Santosh purchased a computer. He read the operating manual and followed the instructions:

a) He linked the monitor, keyboard and printer.
b) He plugged in the main cable.
c) He switched on the monitor at the back.
d) When the light appeared on the screen, he placed the Day Disk in Drive A.
e) He pushed in the disk until the button clicked out. (It took about 30 seconds for the computer to load the programme.)
f) He pressed the Drive button and the disk shot out.
g) He replaced the Day Disk with the Document Disk.
h) He pressed function key 7.

Now convert the above sentences into passive voice by filling in the blank:

Firstly the monitor, keyboard and printer were linked up. Then the main cable was plugged in. The monitor was switched on at the back. When the light appeared on the screen, the Day Disk was placed in Drive A. The disk was pushed in until the button was clicked out. It took the computer 30 seconds to load the programme. The drive button was pressed and the disk shot out. The Day Disk was replaced with Document Disk. Finally, the function key 7 was pressed. The word processor was then ready to use.

Activity: Speech: Write a speech on the topic ‘Courtesy is the Light of Life’. Use following points:
i. People have a good impression of you
ii. You will be acknowledged and appreciated by all
iii. You will be happier and contented with life.

Good morning/afternoon everyone,

Today, I want to talk about how important courtesy is in our lives. Courtesy means being polite and respectful to others, and it can truly light up our lives in many ways. Let’s look at three reasons why courtesy is so important.

When we are courteous, people have a good impression of us. Simple actions like saying “please” and “thank you,” holding the door open for someone, or even just smiling can make a big difference. These small acts show that we care about others and respect them. 

Courtesy helps us to be acknowledged and appreciated by all. When we treat others with kindness and respect, they notice and remember us. Whether it’s in our families, among friends, or at work, being polite and considerate makes people feel valued. They are more likely to return the kindness, appreciate our efforts, and support us when we need it. 

Being courteous makes us happier and more contented with life. When we are kind to others, it creates a positive environment around us. Acts of courtesy reduce stress and conflict, leading to more harmonious interactions. 

Courtesy is truly the light of life. It helps us make a good impression, ensures we are acknowledged and appreciated by everyone, and brings happiness and contentment into our lives.

Thank you very much.

More Speeches for Practice

Activity: ‘Manners maketh man’Expand the idea in your own words with proper examples:

The saying “Manners maketh man” means that how we behave towards others defines who we are. Good manners, such as saying “please” and “thank you,” listening without interrupting, and showing respect for others’ personal space, are essential. These actions reflect our values and character. For example, when you hold the door open for someone, it shows that you are considerate and thoughtful. Similarly, apologizing when you’ve made a mistake demonstrates humility and respect for the other person’s feelings.

Having good manners helps build strong and positive relationships. People appreciate when others are polite and respectful, making interactions more pleasant and meaningful. For instance, arriving on time for an appointment shows that you respect the other person’s time, while writing a thank-you note after receiving a gift shows gratitude. These small acts of kindness and respect go a long way in creating a positive impression and fostering goodwill.

Expansion of Idea

Activity: Read A.G. Gardiner’s essay ‘The Open Window’ and compare its theme with the essay ‘On Saying Please’:

Theme The Open Window On Saying ‘Please’
Main Idea Tolerance and understanding Courtesy and good manners
Core Message Be patient and try to understand others Politeness improves social interactions
Key Example Passenger insists on keeping window open Polite liftman vs. rude bus conductor
Author’s Suggestion Respond calmly to inconveniences Use words like “please” and “thank you”
Outcome of Theme Maintains harmony despite annoyances Creates a pleasant environment for everyone
Common Goal Promote better society through behavior Promote better society through behavior
Focus Patience and tolerance Politeness and respect

  • Both essays advocate for positive personal behavior to enhance social harmony.
  • “The Open Window” emphasizes patience and understanding, while “On Saying Please” highlights the power of good manners.

Activity: ‘Nothing clears up my spirits like a fine day’ – Keats. Collect the information of the poet Keats:

John Keats was an English poet who lived from 1795 to 1821. He is one of the most famous poets of the Romantic era. His poetry is known for its beautiful language and deep emotions.John Keats.

  • Early Life: Keats was born in London, England. He lost both of his parents at a young age and was raised by his grandmother.
  • Education: He went to school in Enfield, where he developed a love for literature and poetry.
  • Career: Keats initially trained to be a doctor but decided to pursue poetry instead. He began writing poetry in his late teens and published his first collection of poems in 1817.
  • Famous Works: Some of his most famous poems include “Ode to a Nightingale,” “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” and “To Autumn.” These poems are celebrated for their vivid imagery and exploration of beauty_ and nature.
  • Health: Keats suffered from poor health throughout his life. He had tuberculosis, which was a common and often deadly disease at the time.
  • Death: Keats died young, at the age of 25, in Rome, Italy. Despite his short life, his work has had a lasting impact and he is considered one of the greatest English poets.


  • Soft skills are the personal attributes, social abilities, and communication skills that help people interact effectively and harmoniously with others.
  • They include things like teamwork, empathy, problem-solving, and good communication.
  • Unlike technical skills, which are job-specific, soft skills are more about how you work and relate to others.
  • They are important in all areas of life, including work, school, and personal relationships.
  • Soft skills are broadly applicable across job titles and industries. The term ‘Soft Skill’ is very broad and unique. It tests People Skill & Personal Ability.

Important Soft Skills_1

Top Soft Skill Training Institutions in India:

Job Opportunities for Soft Skill:

Job opportunities that rely heavily on Soft skills are abundant and span across various industries. Here are some roles where soft skills are particularly valuable:

  • Customer Service Representative: Requires excellent communication, patience, and problem-solving skills to handle customer inquiries and issues.
  • Salesperson: Needs strong interpersonal skills, persuasion, and the ability to build relationships with clients.
  • Human Resources Specialist: Involves conflict resolution, empathy, and effective communication to manage employee relations and recruitment.
  • Project Manager: Requires leadership, teamwork, and organizational skills to oversee projects and coordinate teams.
  • Teacher/Educator: Needs communication, empathy, and the ability to inspire and manage a classroom effectively.
  • Healthcare Professional (e.g., Nurse, Doctor): Requires empathy, communication, and problem-solving skills to interact with patients and provide care.
  • Event Planner: Involves organizational skills, attention to detail, and effective communication to coordinate events successfully.
  • Consultant: Requires problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills to provide expert advice to clients.
  • Manager/Supervisor: Needs leadership, communication, and conflict resolution skills to manage a team effectively.
  • Marketing and Public Relations Specialist: Involves creativity, communication, and the ability to build and maintain relationships with the public and media.

Soft skills enhance employability and are often considered as important as technical skills by employers, making them valuable in almost any job.

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