4 Making Complaints and Giving Warnings

Useful Expressions

Making Complaints:

Pardon me, I wonder if it would be too much trouble to …

I hate to have to(I'm sorry to) say this, but …

I wonder if you could help me…

Excuse me, would you mind (not)…

It’s getting on my nerves!

Hey, for goodness sake.

How irritating / annoying!

Isn’t it irritating?

What a terrible / horrible / awful / dreadful luck!

I’m totally unsatisfied.

I’m not at all satisfied with the atmosphere here.

I want to complain in the strongest terms about your poor service.

I’m afraid I’ve got a complaint about …

Giving Warnings:

Be careful!/ Watch out! / Mind!/ Look out!

Be careful of / Be aware of / Watch out for (the hot iron / pickpockets!)!

Be careful not to (break the glass)! / I would be extremely careful not to … if I were you. Take care (not to wake the baby)!

You’d better (not)…

Behave yourself!

Don’t try any tricks!

Let it alone!

Fire! / Gas! /Your cigarette!

Mind the wet paint/ the traffic!

Mind(Watch)your hand/head/step.

Don’t you think you should…?

I think it would be a good idea to …

Culture Tips:

● A Complaint is to show our feelings of annoyance, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, etc. in most

situations, people usually make indirect complaints. A direct complaint shows strong dissatisfaction and should be done only when absolutely necessary. For example, when you complain to a new teacher about his class, you say “I wonder if you could raise your voice a little bit in class.” It is uncommon and impolite for you to say “We can’t hear you clearly in class. Just speak up!”

● When making a complaint, you may show your reluctance and hesitation by a controlled

tone, repetition and filled pauses to break the news to (委婉地把坏消息告诉某人)the hearer. For example, I, [pause]er, I’m not exactly sure how to put this, but, um [pause]…

Another point of a polite complaint is that you have to take the other party’s interest into consideration. For example, I’m sorry to bother you, but…[pause]. There’s something you could help me with. ●

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