Common Phrases

This page provides a list of common messages on signs in public places such as retail outlets, food courts, common spaces in buildings, etc. It serves as a reference for the planning and crafting of English language signs for public places. Besides signs, there are also all manner of special notices and advertisements put up by commercial establishments in public places. Over the years, the Speak Good English Movement has found many of these to have the wrong use of English words, wrong spelling of words and incorrect or awkward phrasing that skewed the intended message or otherwise reflect poor usage of the English language.

Courtesy and Consideration
  • No honking.
  • Please put your mobile phones to silent mode.
  • Silence please.
  • Please speak in a soft tone.
  • Please stand on the left (of escalator/travelator)
  • Please give your seat to a person in need.
  • Please clear your table for the next user.
  • Please return your used tray and utensils.
  • Thank you for not smoking.
  • If you must speak on your mobile phone, please do so softly. (For lifts and public transport.)
  • In event of fire, break glass.
  • Turn on valve before pulling out the hose.
  • In the event of lift breakdown, call ___ .
  • If there is water overflow from storage tank, please call ___ .
Environmental Protection
  • Please do not litter.
  • Please clean up after your dog.
  • Please take a poo bag to clean up after your dog.
  • Please do not pluck fruits or flowers in the park.
  • Caution. Look out for pedestrain crossing.
  • Caution. Look out for children crossing.
  • Please keep away from the doorway.
  • Look out for heavy vehicles exiting.
  • Wheelchairs are not allowed on escalator.
  • Please mind your head.
  • No bicycles allowed.
  • Keep out of the pond.
  • Stay away from the canal.
  • Smoking is not allowed in these premises.
  • Look out for bicycles.
  • Please report to security counter if you see any unattended bag or other suspicious looking objects.
  • No horseplay in the swimming pool.
Parks and Playgrounds
  • Please keep out of the pond.
  • Please do not feed the animals and birds.
  • Please ensure that your dog is leashed.
  • Please do not litter.
  • Look out for bicycles.
  • No bicycling.
  • No camping without a permit.
  • Please clean up after your dog in this park.
Car Parks
  • Please do not park your car in an unauthorised manner.
  • Vehicles parked in an unauthorised manner will be wheel-clamped. $___ or removal of wheel clamp.
  • Please remember where you parked your car.
  • Reserved parking only.
  • Cashcard topping-up station at Level ___.
  • The building owner and manager take no responsibility for any loss or damage of vehicles parked on these premises.
  • Children above ___ years of age must use toilets of their gender.
  • Please flush urinal after use.
  • Did you leave anything behind?
  • This way back to shops.
  • Do keep the toilet clean for the next user.
  • Please keep the toilet floor dry.
  • Please throw used paper into the bin.
  • This toilet is for use by patrons of this shop only.
Retail Stores
  • Please do not take more than 3 items into the fitting room.
  • Please handle all items with care.
  • Fragile items. Please handle them with care.
  • Please do not remove the plastic wrapping of books. Ask our staff for assistance.
  • Buy two for the price of one.
  • Buy one and get another free.
  • No trying of underwear.
  • This store has ceased operation.
  • Out for lunch. Back at ___ am/pm.
  • Get a gift for every $ ___ worth of purchases.
  • You will receive a (gift, shopping voucher, lucky draw ticket ___) with every purchase worth $___ or more.
  • Please use the other door.
  • Thank you for your patronage. Please come again.
  • If you need assistance, just approach any of our staff.
  • Waiter wanted. Please enquire at counter.
Public Transport
  • Please keep clear of the doorway.
  • Please give up your seat to a person with special needs.
  • Please take a queue number.
  • Queue numbers may not be called in sequence.
  • Please wait to be seated.
  • Please pay at the cashier.
  • Please place your orders at the counter.
  • Pets are not allowed in the restaurant.
  • No GST is charged in this restaurant.
  • Please pay when food is served.
  • Closed from ___ to ___ for private event. Business as usual on ___.
  • Water is not served. Please help yourself to the water at the service counter.
Food Courts
  • Please return your used trays and utensils.
  • Please clear your table after your meal. Leave no trace.
  • Please do not take any tray or utensils out of the food court.
  • No food from elsewhere, please.
  • Take only one tea bag for each cup.
  • More seating space in the rear.
  • Please queue in this direction.
Building Premises
  • Visitors are to report at the Security Counter at Level ___.
  • Visitors are to exchange their IDs for security passes at the Information Counter at Level ___.
  • Please display your identification/visitor pass at all times.
  • This lift is temporarily not in operation.
  • This lift is reserved.
  • This lift is under servicing.
  • In the event of a fire, please do not use the lift.
  • Have you returned your visitor pass?
  • Slippery floor. Please walk carefully.
  • Fire drill today from ___ to ___. Please do not be alarmed.
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