“Mind if I squeeze past you guys?”

English Lesson: Mind if I squeeze past you guys?

You're at a very crowded restaurant. You need to get to the door, but two people are standing in front of it. You politely ask to get past them.

Mind if I squeeze past you guys?

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you guys

People use "you guys" when talking to a group of people that may include men and women. For example, a waiter might say this to a large family eating at a restaurant:

Have you guys been here before?

English has a problem because "you" is used for both one person and a group of people. It can be confusing. To fix this, people in different regions use different words to talk to a group. In Southern areas of the U.S., some people say "y'all":

Have y'all covered exponents yet?

People in other areas of the country think this sounds really dumb, though.

"You guys" is still considered casual English, but it's very common for younger people and people from the West Coast of the U.S. to use this phrase.

Do you mind if I (do something)

"Do you mind if I ___?" is a friendly-sounding and light way of asking "Can I ___?"

Use "Do you mind if I ___?" to ask for permission when you think that the answer will probably be "yes". If you think that the person might say "no", use a different kind of question like:

Is there any way I could sleep on your couch for a few nights?

Could I sleep on your couch for a few nights?

Note that English speakers often skip “Do you” when asking a question, but in writing it should be included.

squeeze past (someone)

You “squeeze” your body into a very small place or thing:

I’ll have to squeeze into my skinny jeans.

Try to squeeze in between those guys so you can see.

When you do this, you make your body as small as possible so the fit is more comfortable.

In a crowded place, you have to stand and walk very close to other people, in tight spaces, which sometimes feels a little uncomfortable, like you’re being “squeezed.” Asking to “squeeze past” someone is a friendly way to deal with an uncomfortable situation.

For example, imagine you are walking to the restroom at a crowded bar. Someone is standing in line for a drink. You say:

Mind if I squeeze past you? I just need to get to the restroom here.