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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