I'm using Google Translate to translate some stuff for work, and I'm noticing it keeps taking out the word "please" and uses subjunctive instead. Is this appropriate or should I add the pleases back?


"Please fill out the following form..." = "complete el siguiente formulario"

"If you have any questions, please contact..." = "si tiene alguna pregunta, comuníquese con..."

"Please note that..." = "Tenga en cuenta que.."

Any explanations would be great. Thank you!

  • Trevor, take my advice: do not use Google translate for work docs. Hire a professional (not just any) translator. It will pay off in the end. And you are asking at least three questions. As a pro translator myself, I am annoyed by this sort of thing. However, to show goodwill, bear in mind: to fill out a form in Spanish is rellenar un formulario.
    – Lambie
    Jul 30, 2021 at 14:56
  • 1
    Hi @Lambie, that is certainly not going to be possible where I work. In fact you are seeing here the extent of the resources that will be devoted to ensuring we get a decent translation for this project. I will continue to try to do a good job!
    – Trevor
    Jul 30, 2021 at 15:19
  • "Le rogamos rellenar el formulario que aparece a continuación" is the way to go. Le rogamos here stands for please, or is a way of showing politeness.
    – Lambie
    Jul 30, 2021 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


It may seem odd to an Anglophone but Spanish norms of politeness are different. You do not usually need to say por favor as the same thing is provided by the use of the subjunctive. The nearest English equivalent is to start your request with "Would you mind .. " then you do not need please.

  • This is excellent, thank you so much!
    – Trevor
    Jul 30, 2021 at 15:11
  • You don't actually show how to use the subjunctive here or say would you mind.
    – Lambie
    Jul 30, 2021 at 15:31
  • @Lambie true, my focus was on the different norms of politeness which can come as a shock to the unwary rather than giving an answer about grammar (which would also have been valuable).
    – mdewey
    Jul 30, 2021 at 15:50
  • I don't think the subjunctive is often associated with being polite. It is more associated with some kind of modified imperative.
    – Lambie
    Jul 30, 2021 at 15:53
  • @Lambie another reason for not giving a mention of how to use the subjunctive is that I do not feel competent to do so so I refrained.
    – mdewey
    Jul 30, 2021 at 17:36

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