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Hi. I'm Anne Marie with Speak Confident
English and welcome to your Confident
English Wednesday lesson. So let's be
honest, all of us have bad days when
something happens that is out of our
control and we feel so annoyed or
irritated, frustrated, and we need to fix
it. So we need to complain sometimes.
Sometimes we have to complain to someone
for example maybe a travel agent who
made a mistake with a travel reservation.
Maybe you need to complain to a company
that made a mistake with an order or
something was delivered late. Maybe
you're at a restaurant and they bring
your food and it's super cold so you
want to make a complaint. And then there
are times when we're just frustrated and
we want to tell our friend, our family
member that we're annoyed and we need a
good way to complain about that. That is
exactly what we're going to focus on in
English today. We're going to look at two
situations: how you can complain politely
in English this is for professional,
business situations, when you are dealing
with another company and you want them
to fix the problem. We have some very
specific ways that we do that in English.
And then we will also have some fun with
some more informal ways to complain even
a vulgar expression that we use in
English that we keep to use with our
friends or family when we are just
beyond annoyed or very irritated with
something. Now before we go any further I
want to make a quick note: if you haven't
noticed, I do have subtitles available on
this video. In fact they are available on
many of my videos. If you see that little
mark below, that CC, which means closed
captioning or it's also used for
subtitles, just click on that little
button down
below at the bottom of this video and
you'll be able to read as you listen. Now
let's go ahead and get into our first
group of ways to complain in English
where we want to be professional, we want
to be business-like and diplomatic, we
want someone to help us resolve the
problem. In the examples that I give you,
you will notice that we often use words
like "I'm sorry" or "excuse me" before we
make the complaint and the language is
very soft. Native English speakers don't
complain too directly or aggressively in
the language. We feel that it can be
offensive or rude, it's too strong and
many times if we are too aggressive when
we complain about something, the other
person doesn't want to help us. So
there's really no point if we complain
but we're too aggressive or too angry. We
want someone to help us resolve the
problem. If you're working with a travel
agent and you're going to an
international conference for work, maybe
they make a mistake with your hotel
reservations, the flight reservation and
you're really frustrated. You need it
fixed. A great way to make a complaint
and try to get some help for that
situation would be: I'm sorry but I think
there's been a mistake with my
reservation. I'm sorry but I think
there's been a mistake
with the reservation. Now there are those
key words that I talked about: I'm sorry.
It isn't my fault. I didn't make the
reservation but I'm trying to make the
language soft, diplomatic and make it
easy for us to work together to resolve
the situation. I could also say: Excuse me,
I think there's a problem with this
reservation. Excuse me, I think there's a
problem with this reservation. Another
useful expression: I'm afraid there's
been a mistake
or I'm afraid
is a problem. We could use this with the
situation that we've already talked
about: a problem with the travel agent. Or
maybe you're working with a new client, a
new company, your company has partnered
with another organization and there's a
problem. Maybe the delivery is late or
the company didn't meet the deadline,
you might start your complaint with: I'm
afraid there's a problem with this
delivery or I'm afraid there's a problem
with this deadline. And then you would
continue to talk about the problem, the
issue, what happened, what was wrong in a
calm relaxed way. Now sometimes there is
a problem in public. Maybe you're at a
restaurant with a really important
business partner and the restaurant
completely makes a mistake with the
order and you're really frustrated
you're angry but you don't want the
entire restaurant to know about the
problem. You might start a conversation
with the manager of the restaurant or
the server by saying: I don't want to
make a scene but this is unacceptable. I
don't want to make a scene but this
mistake or this error is unacceptable.
The next time you have a problem at work
or with someone in public and you don't
want to create a lot of drama but you
want to resolve the situation, use one of
those four ways to help you begin to
express that complaint in a calm,
diplomatic, appropriate way. Now with our
friends and our family members we're not
usually so diplomatic. Sometimes we want
to complain to our family member, maybe
your children leave toys all around the
house all the time and you're tired. You
come home from work, you have to cook
dinner and the house is a disaster.
Sometimes that just is irritating and
you want to complain about it. Or maybe
you're having lunch with your best
friend and you both have had a terrible
day so you're just talking about
went wrong. Some really useful
expressions that we use for that are:
I've had it up to here. I've had it up to
here. We don't really know where here is
but it's our limit. We've reached the
limit. We are so frustrated, annoyed, angry
about something for example: I've had it
up to here with my boss at work. Maybe
there's a problem going on and you are
just stressed and annoyed about it. Maybe
at the end of a long day you come home
from work and, as we discussed there are
toys and laundry all over the house.
You're exhausted and the last thing that
you want to do is to pick up all of the
laundry, pick up the toys, so you might
say: I'm sick and tired of picking up
toys every day after work. I'm sick and
tired. That expression allows us to
express our frustration or anger over
something. now this next expression is
definitely not for polite company. And if
you have children in the room who are
maybe also learning English maybe have
them go out of the room for a minute
because it's probably not the best
expression for them to learn. To be
pissed off about something. Now this is a
phrasal verb - this is a not polite way
of vulgar way of saying to urinate. To be
pissed off is to be extremely angry. For
example you might say: I'm pissed off
that my boss has asked me to work this
Saturday because it's my birthday. I'm
pissed off that my boss has asked me to
work this Saturday because it's my
birthday. As I said that's not polite
language so definitely don't use that
with your boss at work. And finally, again,
if we're talking to our friend or a
family member and we want to express
shock, dismay. We want to say that we
can't believe something has happened.
We could say: can you believe that my
boss asked me to work on my birthday? Or
can you believe that the boss has asked
everyone to work this weekend? And now
you have eight new ways to effectively
complain in English whether it's for a
polite business situation or when you
want to be really honest with your
friends and family about how you feel.
So here's my challenge for you today: go
to the comments section just below this
video and share an example using one of
these expressions. If you're working
with a new company or you recently had
something really frustrating happen at
work, try using one of those more
diplomatic polite expressions. Or if you
want to try using one of those more
honest real ways to express anger and
frustration, talk about something that
really frustrated you, made you feel
angry, something that you want to
complain about and share with me your
example sentence in the comments below.
Thank you for being here. I love having
you here every Wednesday and I'll see
you next week for your Confident English
Wednesday lesson.
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8 Ways to Complain in English

990 Folder Collection
Samuel published on August 28, 2018
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