Politeness is a virtue that’s going out of fashion in our world. Sometimes, free speech can be taken to its extreme and others may talk to you rudely. But you on the other hand can make a difference by being polite in your speech.
Life presents us with different opportunities to speak with other people daily, whether in person or virtually.
Circumstances vary for everyone, but the most basic places where you may have to ask someone if they have done something include – at home, in school if you are a teacher, and at work if you own a business or you have subordinates.
They say it’s harder to ask the right question. This article is here to make it easy for you with the best 20 polite ways to ask if someone has done something.
Asking questions like “Have you had a chance to complete that task yet?” or, “I’m just checking in to see if you’ve prepared to expectations” are great ways to politely ask if someone has done something.
But it doesn’t end there, there are more polite ways of asking. Let’s get to it.
20 Politely Ways of Asking If Someone Has Done Something
1. Have you had a chance to do…yet?
Asking this way is polite because you are taking into consideration the fact that the person may be busy with other things. It is the show of consideration that makes this question polite.
- Have you had the chance to do the dishes yet?
- Have you had the chance to cut the hedges yet?
2. I was wondering if you’ve had an opportunity to complete…?
This question is polite in that it does not assume that you have the time and are refusing to do the work.
The question suggests that you are busy and may actually not have been able to get around to doing the task you have been asked to do.
Here too, there is no assumption. Just a curious, polite question.
- I was wondering if you’ve had an opportunity to complete the assignment from the last class.
- I was wondering if you’ve had an opportunity to complete the IELTS exam.
3. Have you had time to… yet?
Asking someone if they’ve had the time to do something instead of accusing them of not doing it is very polite and respectful.
Respect is a virtue the world needs more of. Understanding that people can sometimes not do a task for varying reasons is the first step to achieving politeness.
And for those who work jobs, their different roles can make carrying out a task in a timely fashion a difficult task in itself.
- Have you had time to prepare the minutes for the meeting yet?
- Have you had time to pack your bags for the holidays yet?
4. I’m just checking in to see if you’ve been able to…
If you don’t want to make someone feel like you’re breathing down their neck, then you should definitely use this question.
The politeness in this question comes from the use of the phrase ‘checking in.’ Checking in can give you the opportunity to talk about other things, not just the task.
This can lighten the mood and relax an employee or a child.
- I’m just checking in to see if you’ve been able to do your assignment
- I’m just checking in to see if you’ve been able to write your thesis.
5. Can you give me an update on…?
This option is one of the best ones to use when there is an urgency to the completion of the task. But you still don’t want to put undue stress on the other person.
Instead of asking for completion, you ask for an update. That is, you are interested in how far the person has gone.
- Can you give me an update on the manuscript?
- Can you give me an update on the project?
6. Is…completed yet?
This is the kind of polite question you ask with your head poking through the door. The tone is important here as well.
You don’t want to be all over the person, yet, you do not want them to think the task is unimportant. So you ask, is the project complete yet?
- Is the crochet project completed yet?
- Is your thesis completed yet?
7. Have you made any progress on…?
You can also politely ask someone if they have made progress, rather than ask if they have completed a task.
This is based on the premise that progress is more important than perfection. It also serves to acknowledge effort, rather than perfection.
Completion is important, but even more important is progress that is measurable and qualitative.
- Have you made any progress on writing the business plan?
- Have you made any progress on your DIY project?
Instead of asking if the person has completed the task, it is more polite to ask how the task is going. This is almost similar to asking about the progress of a task.
It acknowledges the effort the person is making in getting the work done. This option is especially effective in workplace environments or school.
- How’s your birthday preparation going?
- How’s the collation of the results going?
9. I hope everything’s going well with… have you had a chance to complete it?
This is a polite way of asking for both progress and completion of a task. This question will also go with a respectful tone.
The use of the word ‘hope’ and ‘chance’ suggests that you are not putting the person under pressure. You are basically just checking with them.
- I hope e everything’s going well with your project. Have you had a chance to complete it?
- I hope everything’s going well with your manuscript. Have you had a chance to complete it?
10. Would you mind letting me know if you’ve done…yet?
With this option, you are politely asking to know the status of the task. But you want the other person to determine the truth about the task. The tone here is respectful and imploring.
- Would you mind letting me know if you’ve done the project yet?
- Would you let me know if you’ve written the business plan yet?
11. May I ask if you’ve had a chance to complete…yet?
If you tell someone, may I, it is a very polite inquiry. It suggests respect and honor. Though you are interested in the completion of the task, you are mindful not to impugn on the person’s time and space.
This option is a favorite of people in workplace situations. It is also a polite question you ask a boss or a subordinate.
- May I ask if you’ve had the chance to complete the report yet?
- May I ask if you’ve had the chance to complete the manuscript yet?
12. Can you confirm if you’ve done…yet?
If someone makes a mistake about the completion of a task, rather than accuse them, you can ask as shown above.
A situation where this is most appropriate is when the person is not in town. Or if it is a task that involves a team.
Here you are asking the person to confirm, you are not assuming anything.
- Can you confirm if you’ve done the report yet?
- Can you confirm if the manuscript has been completed yet?
13. Just wanted to follow up and see if you’ve had the chance to do…yet?
Team leaders sometimes use this option when they don’t want their members to feel too much pressure. Saying you just want to follow up on the task is a way to show that there’s no pressure at all.
Also, asking if the person has had the chance to do the task is a way to show you respect for their time.
- Just wanted to follow up and ask if you’ve written the business plan
- Just wanted to follow up and find out if you’ve finished the manuscript
14. How’s…coming along?
“How’s it coming along is an inquiry” devoid of pressure, and it is a polite way of asking if someone has done something.
You want to know the nature of the progress and possibly provide assistance if needed. You are asking how the task is coming along.
- How’s your project coming along?
- How’s your assignment coming along?
- How’s the preparation for your birthday coming along?
15. I was just wondering if you’ve made any headway on…
This is another polite way of asking about a task by focusing on progress. The politeness comes from the use of the word ‘headway.’
This question is apt especially if you perceive the task is a difficult one. You are rooting for the person to do a good job too.
You wonder how the person is carrying on with the task. You will likely be available to assist the person too.
- I was just wondering if you’ve made headway on the project.
- I was just wondering if you’ve made headway with the business plan
16. Are you able to update me on whether or not you’ve completed the…?
This is an inquiry into the status of the task. You are asking for an update, that is, you want to know the stage the person has attained with the task.
Even with this, you are not making demands of the person, and here’s where the politeness is. Of course, this question is not about the progress of the task. You are concerned about the completion.
This option is apt for people who work with teams or groups.
- Are you able to update me on whether or not you have a completely written manuscript?
- Are you able to update me on whether or not you have completed the project?
17. I hope you’ve had the chance to do…can you confirm?
If the task is for the person to relay information to another person, this question will be an appropriate one to ask. It can also be a work situation too.
You want to know if the person has done a task. Also, it is a task that yields physically verifiable results, which is why you want the person to confirm.
- I hope you’ve had the chance to do the adjustments on the list. Can you confirm?
- I hope you’ve had the chance to effect the changes to the manuscript. Can you confirm?
18. Have you had any luck completing…?
This is a light-hearted way of asking about a task’s completion. You ask if the person has had any luck with the task.
It is likely a difficult task that you have evaded and the person has been saddled with the responsibility of completing it.
- Have you had any luck completing the codes?
- Have you had any luck completing the project?
19. Is there anything you need from me in order to complete…?
With this question, you know the status of the task, you know it isn’t completed yet. You want to see the person succeed with the task so you go straight to asking if there’s any way you can assist.
Your aim is the completion of the task, but you don’t want to be in the way of anything or constitute a hindrance.
- Is there anything you need from me to complete the project?
- Is there anything you need from me to complete the maintenance?
20. Do you need any assistance with…to get it done?
Like the last option, this is an inquiry into whatever it takes to complete the task. You want the person to know you are a team player.
You are interested in his success and that of the team or group. You suspect the person needs help and they seem shy to ask.
- Do you need any assistance with the manuscript to get it done?
- Do you need any assistance with your thesis to get it done?
With this list you no longer have difficulties being polite when dealing with others whether at work or in other areas of life.
To make a success of being polite, don’t forget tone, facial expression, and the almighty one – a smile.