Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

by all means

by all means
Meaning(s)
1) giving permission to take an action
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • by all means, go ahead
  • Analysis
     If someone makes a request and you respond by answering 'by all means', it is the equivalent of saying 'yes, certainly, of course'. As a response to a question, 'by all means' is an affirmative answer and is also used to grant permission or a way of saying 'in every way'. In this way, it is used as a polite phrase in social and professional contexts.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. Tom: Do you mind if I go first? Mary: By all means, please do.
    2. Man: I'm going to order dinner. Would you like me to order for you? Woman: Sure, by all means.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. If you would like to deliver your presentation before me, then by all means, please do. I'm not in a hurry to give mine!
    2. If anyone has anything they would like to add to the discussion, by all means, let us hear it now.
  • Further Suggestions
2) no matter what happens
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional MediumSocial
    • avoid by all means
  • Analysis
    A 'means of doing something' is a way of doing it. If you ask someone what 'means' they're going to use to do something, you're asking which processes they are going to use or what resources they require. Saying 'by all means' indicates to the other person that all resources and possibilities are available to them: "By all means, stay away from that company" - use all the tools at your disposal not to have contact with the company. "By all means, we will ensure you can study at University" - we will do everything in our power to make this a possibility. This is a formal phrase used in professional and social contexts, although it is most likely found in the form 'by whatever means (necessary)'. Similar in meaning to 'do everything in my power', and 'help you in any way I can'.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. They were told to avoid the dangerous route by all means.
    2. By all means avoid clickings suspicious links sent on social media or by email they can quickly infect your computer with malware.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. By all means, you should avoid dealing with that vendor from now on. They're clearly not reliable.
    2. By all means Mr Khatri is a very intelligent and professional man with lots of experience, it would be great to have him on the board.
  • Further Suggestions
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