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Suggesting, extending help, complaining

Equipping oneself with the expressions suited to various situations in a foreign language is necessary. For example English has become one of the languages of India. We can go to an extent to say that after the regional language of any state English is the mostly used language. The problem here is though one studies in the English medium one can get the proficiency while talking on the subject which they have been pursuing but not the casual talk. Because, neither they study it in their books nor use it in their daily life. For the reason though some are very good at their subjects they are not good at conversation fillers.

We have been practicing various expressions that are used in diverse situations. Study a few more expressions.

Offering help
When our friends or people who are closer to our lives are in need of help we offer it before they ask for it. The humane instinct drives us to help not only the closer ones but also the strangers. For instance, if some one is scrambling with a bundle of books we naturally offer help. Hence offering help is quite common in conversation. It includes the meaning of suggestion. There are several ways of offering help to the others.

Read the following

Siddu: Hai Nishi!
Nishi: Hi, Siddu
Siddu: What’s wrong with your car?
Nishi: Em! Don’t know. Suddenly got struck and I’m trying to find out.
Siddu: Is there anything that I can do…?
Nishi: Do you know the mechanism of a car?
Siddu: yah! to some extent. I will try to do it for you.
Nishi: thank you so much for the help.

Husband: What are you doing there?
Wife: I have been trying to wash the clothes.
Husband: May I be of any assistance?
Wife: yah!
Husband: What can I do for you?
Wife: Please keep these cloths in the dryer.
Husband: Sure.

Expressions used
Expression Purpose
Can I help you?
What can I get for you?
Do you need anything?
May I help you in any way?
Let me do the task for you.
Would you like to have something?
Would you like to have these?
Are you looking for something?
These are used to express
statements, for specific purpose,


We usually complain when we are not happy with what some one does, either for us or others. It is an expression of displeasure. It may be an oral or written complaint. After expressing we expect a positive reply / a solution from others. Polite ways of complaining always give effective desired results. Complaining in a rude manner hurts others, if the other person does it unintentionally. It breaks relationships. Hence it should be polite.

Receptionist: Good morning, this is Pavan Electronics. What can I do for you?
Prakash: Good Morning! May I speak to the Sales representative Mr. Ram.
Receptionist: Please hold on.
Ram: Hello! What can I do for you?
Prakash: Hello! I’m Prakash staying in Dwarakanagar. We bought a Washing machine at your shop two months back. I’m sorry to say that there is a problem and it is not working.
Ram: I’m sorry for the trouble caused. May I know what exactly the problem is?
Prakash: It gets stopped for every five minutes.
Ram: We will see into the problem and try to repair it as soon as possible.
Prakash: Thank you.

Read another dialogue

Receptionist: Good morning, this is Pavan. What can I do for you?
Prakash: Good Morning! Call Sales representative Mr. Ram.
Receptionist: Please hold on.
Ram: Hello! What can I do for you?
Prakash: What worse products you sell in the market. We bought a Washing machine two months back at your shop. It is a troublesome job working with it
Ram: I’m sorry for the trouble caused. May I know what exactly the problem is?
Prakash: Who knows what the hell it is? It gets stopped for every five minutes
Ram: We will see into the problem and try to repair it as soon as possible.
Prakash: If you do not respond immediately, I will lodge a complain at Consumer’s court.

We can make the people work for us without hurting their feelings. Polite way of complaining always brings positive result.

Expressions used to complain
  • Sorry to bring this up…
  • Sorry to say this…
  • Want to complain…
  • Wish to…
  • Would like to…

Beginning problem
I want to / wish to/ would like to
complain about
We want to / wish to/ would like to
complain about
The cheap quality cloths.
additional charges.
problems in the new TV
improper servicing
lost property.
frequent power cuts.
garbage thrown on the road
May you forgot to
I’m sorry to say this
I’m sorry to bother you
I’m sorry to bring this up
but the room has not been cleaned.
the water heater is not working.
the food is really bad.
you are very rude.

Offering Suggestions

In the day to day life we will offer and receive suggestions. Suggestions are offered when others are in confusion or in any other need. They are mostly made when team work goes for planning and organizing events. A right suggestion at the right time gives confidence to the needy. There are a number of formulas used when making suggestions in English. Here are some of the common expressions.

Read the dialogue

Siddu: Hai ! Nishi.
Nishi: Hai! Siddu.
Siddu: Why don't we go to Robo movie tonight?
Nishi: That’s a good idea. But I do not have a vehicle.
Siddu: What about asking your brother for it?
Nishi: Let me find out. He hasn’t returned from his office.
Siddu: would you call me later?
Nishi: sure. Bye

Expressions used
  • Shall we start…?
  • Let’s do…
  • How about going to …
  • I think we should go to…
  • Why don’t we do...?

Expressing ‘no’ politely
Sometimes you need to say no when someone makes a suggestion, offers something or asks you to do something for them. We can not just say ‘no’ because it is rude and hurts others. Here are some of the common expressions to say 'no' and to reject/ to express inability to attend to something politely. We often say 'thank you' before refusing the offer. When someone makes an offer it is polite to first thank and then say no, often offering an excuse for not wanting or being able to do something.

Siddu: Hai! Abhi, how about going to Robo movie tonight?
Abhi: I’ really sorry, I have to complete my project work.

  • I’m really sorry…
  • I’m afraid I can’t…
  • Sorry, but I have to / I really have to…
  • I'd really rather not…
  • Thank you but, I have to...
I do not really like / particularly like …

Almost all expressions take present tense base form of the verb since we are talking about present. Observe the expressions given.

In suggestions and offers usually verb base form is used in statements.

  • Shall we go to a movie? Let’s also takes the base form
  • Let’s go to a movie. If the statement begins with how about/ what about the verb form is added with –ing
  • How about going to a movie? The use of ‘like’ in the main clause always takes –ing form of the verb.
  • I really do not like doing that.
1. Are you looking for something? (suggestion)
2. Would you like some help? (offering help)
3. Lets go to a picnic.
4. I’m sorry, but I have to attend to another party.
5. I wish to complain about frequent power cuts in our area.

What would you say in the following situations?
1. Your friend has invited you to late show. But you do not like going to late shows.
Answer: Sorry, but I really do not prefer late shows.
2. Your friend is in need of money. You have noticed it. How do you offer help?
Answer: If you do not mind may I lend you some money.
3. You are driving on a road the person behind you is continuously blowing horn. How do you complain?
Answer: Would you please stop blowing horn. There is much traffic ahead.
Published date : 29 Sep 2010 04:47PM

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