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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

  • else

  • 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

  • everything

  • 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.

Hi. I'm Anne Marie with Speak Confident

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A2 US complain reservation problem frustrated complaint mistake

8 Ways to Complain in English

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    Samuel posted on 2018/08/29
Video vocabulary