offering presents


Please consider this situation: Today is Marry’s birthday and Anne offers her a present. On meeting Marry, Anne gives the present to Anne and says: “This is for you”

=> The situation is quite normal, but I just want to ask what we should say when we offer something to people older than us (a teacher, for example). I somehow find “This is for you” a bit informal in such a case. So what should we say? :slight_smile:

Many thanks

There won’t really be any distinction between what we say to people who are older than we are and to those who are the same age we are. English doesn’t make many of those distinctions.

However, I don’t really like Mary saying, “This is for you.” You’d have to have a huge smile on your face and generate a lot of personal warmth for that to sound friendly.

Usually, we’d say something like, “I’d like you to have this,” “This is something I’d like you to have,” “I’ve brought you this for your birthday,” or even just, “Happy birthday!”

Yes, I’d vote for “Happy Birthday!” as you hand the gift to her.

I too would vote for “Happy birthday!”


Thanks a lot, everybody :slight_smile:

“Happy birthday” is surely the best choice in this case, but how about other cases? especially cases in which we offer presents to someone with no reason. :stuck_out_tongue:

Have you any more ideas, please?

Many thanks

You can do what we do: Think it over and improvise something. Say it from the heart.

We don’t use ritual phrases as much as we just say what we feel.