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Could I say 'pass on a message'?



 
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ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
When to use "have" | Expression: blobs of gilt
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Could I say 'pass on a message'? #1 (permalink) Wed Apr 11, 2007 17:09 pm   Could I say 'pass on a message'?
 

Hi,Alan, Mister Micawber, Yankee

There is one situation. If I phone to someone,and he/she is not there. Could I please the secretary that 'Could you pass on a message to him/her?'? Is this a polite way? Or people how to describle this situation? Thanks in advance!

Greetings!

Maggie :?:
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Could I say 'pass on a message'? #2 (permalink) Wed Apr 11, 2007 18:07 pm   Could I say 'pass on a message'?
 

One way to do it:

"Could (or "Would...") you please tell her that..."

Another way to do it:

"Could you leave a message, please? Please tell her that..."

Or if you only want her to call you back:

"Could you please have her (or "ask her to...") call me back? My number is..."
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Could I say 'pass on a message'? #3 (permalink) Wed Apr 11, 2007 18:25 pm   Could I say 'pass on a message'?
 

Hi, Prezbucky

I just cant figure out why you wrote "Could you leave a message"
In my book, if I call smbd, and he/she is absent and his/her colleague answers the phone, maybe I should say "Could I leave a message" ? (because It is I who want to leave a message)
Or you meant another thing?

thanks
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Could I say 'pass on a message'? #4 (permalink) Wed Apr 11, 2007 18:43 pm   Could I say 'pass on a message'?
 

I'm asking the person if he or she will leave/deliver a message for/to the person I want to contact.

In this case, it is implied that the message being delivered is from me.

"Would you please leave a message for her (from me)? Please tell her that..."

It could be done your way as well. Either way, the person to whom you're speaking will (hopefully...) grab a pen or pencil and take the message... and put it in a place where the target will see it.
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Could I say 'pass on a message'? #5 (permalink) Wed Apr 11, 2007 19:27 pm   Could I say 'pass on a message'?
 

Hi LS and Maggie

Instead of Tom's original sentence, I would recommend this version: "Could you leave her a message, please? Please tell her that..."

Or you can say these:
Could I leave a message? (as LS suggested)
Could you take a message?

Also, saying "Could you ask her to (do something)" sounds a little more polite than "Could you tell her to (do something)":

"Could you ask her to call me back, please?"

Using 'ask someone to do something' means that you are making a polite request. Using 'tell someone to do something' sounds like a command (i.e. less polite).
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Could I say 'pass on a message'? #6 (permalink) Wed Apr 11, 2007 19:44 pm   Could I say 'pass on a message'?
 

Much of the form of delivery has to do with the familiarity between you and the message-taker.
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Could I say 'pass on a message'? #7 (permalink) Wed Apr 11, 2007 20:45 pm   Could I say 'pass on a message'?
 

I agree, Tom. The choice of words can depend on other things, too -- such as whether it's a boss-employee relationship, a company-customer relationship, the nature of the request itself, etc. The nice thing about so-called "standard phrases/sentences" is that they're safe to use in a wide variety of situations.

Maggie wrote:
Could I please the secretary that 'Could you pass on a message to him/her?'? Is this a polite way?

Maggie, you used the word "please" in your sentence. I think the word you wanted to use was "ask". Here is my suggested version of your original question:
Could I ask the secretary (this): 'Could you give him/her a message?'

The phrasal verb "pass on" is not wrong, and you could also use "pass along", but neither one of these is as typical as "give".
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