Top tips for complimenting in English

By Jennifer Rieck

 

Who doesn’t like to be complimented? Complimenting someone is a friendly way to approach them and to let them know you are interested in talking to them. In English, it’s also a great conversation starter, when used in the right way and in the right situation of course! Here is some advice on appropriate ways to compliment someone on their looks, personality, and success and so on.

 

PERSONAL APPEARANCE

I love your hair, where do you get it cut?/ I love your outfit, where do you shop?

Appreciating somebody’s hairstyle or choice of clothes can make them feel great about themselves, it can really make their day! It is appropriate in almost all situations and can even be used as a conversation starter if you don’t know the person you are complimenting. When you make a person feel special they might feel more open to talk to you.

 

COMPLIMENTING A HOME

Your house is really beautiful, you have great taste!/ I love what you’ve done with the place!

If you have been invited to a friend’s home for the first time it is polite to comment on something you like about it. Since a home is the most intimate space, complimenting your friend’s choice of furniture or personal style can make them feel appreciated in a unique way. It is also another way to get the conversation going as it will encourage questions such as “Where did you get these curtains?” Or “Do you think you could give me some decorating tips?”

 

ACHIEVEMENTS

You’ve done a really good job, well done!/ Great work!/ Good job!

Complimenting a friend or even an acquaintance when they have achieved something or been successful is an important part of English culture. It is considered polite. We all like to be told when we’ve done something well – it’s rewarding!

 

COMPLIMENTING THE CHEF

Compliments to the chef!/ That meal was delicious, I hope you’ll invite me for dinner again!/ That was so good, I think I’ll have a second helping!

If someone has cooked for you it is only right to let them know you enjoyed it! (Even if it wasn’t your favourite). In some cultures it is not necessary to compliment a meal but in Britain it is considered polite and almost mandatory! So be sure to let your chef know that you appreciate their special efforts! Also, this can easily be followed up with some further questions to keep the conversation going such as “Can I have a copy of the recipe?” Or “How did you make it?”

 

PERSONAL QUALITIES

You are such a friendly person, you always manage to cheer me up!/ You’re so smiley, being in your company lifts my mood!/ You really brighten up my day/ You’re a great listener, it means a lot to have a friend like you!

If someone makes you feel good, let them know it! Not only is this a perfect way to show your appreciation for someone, it will even take your friendship to the next level. Any compliment is satisfying but to know that you are changing the way that others feel in a positive way is especially fulfilling.

Posted in The LTC Blog, Student Top Tips |