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In-Depth Tips from Dr English

doceng3Dr English is the resident expert in language and communication training at Workplace English Training E-Platform (WETE). The informative and often in-depth articles below will help more advanced learners to understand and improve various aspects of their English, especially the English they need for work. You can read Dr English's tips on your PC, laptop or mobile device. These articles are only available for members of WETE. If you would like to subscribe and receive email notifications of future postings, please subscribe by clicking the Newsletter link above.

Complimenting Someone at Work

13 Oct 2021

complimentsWhat is a compliment? If you say something nice about someone, that’s a compliment. You can “pay someone a compliment” by telling them how nice their new hairstyle or dress is, for example.

How often do you pay a compliment to your work colleagues? We all like to receive positive comments about how we look, but how you do it is important. To avoid making someone feel uncomfortable in a business or work situation, men should generally only compliment men, and women should stick to complimenting other women. This is especially true when commenting on someone’s appearance or clothes.

If you are complimenting someone on their work, performance, etc., then it’s acceptable to compliment the opposite sex. But beware, people who compliment too often are seen as being “phony” or fake, which is not a good thing.

Here’s some useful language for different situations:

Men complimenting men (clothes)

I really like that shirt.
That’s a nice jacket.
I like your shoes.
That tie (really) suits you.
It looks good on you.
It (really) suits you.

Women complimenting women (clothes)

Your bag is so cute.
Your dress is beautiful.
It looks great on you.
It really suits you.
It’s lovely.
I love that bag.
It looks great with your…..
That’s a lovely necklace you’re wearing.

Women complimenting women (hair, figure)

You look really fabulous today.
I love your (new) hairstyle.
Have you lost weight?
Are you on a diet?
You’ve lost loads of weight.
You look so slim.

Boss complimenting subordinate on job well done or performance

You did a (really) great job on….
I’m impressed.
I was impressed with….
I’m (really) pleased with…
Your presentation was excellent.
Keep up the good work.

Colleagues complimenting colleagues on success

I just wanted to congratulate you on …..
I’d (personally) like to thank everyone for….
Congratulations on your promotion.
I (just) wanted to let you know that I liked your…..

Responding to compliments

Thanks a lot.
Well, thanks.
Thank you so much.
Yes, I love it..
Thanks for noticing.
I appreciate that.
Thanks for your comments.
Thanks for letting me know.
Thanks. That means a lot to me.

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