What’s one of the best ways to start a conversation in English? Give a compliment! Tell somebody you like their shoes, and it can lead to a long chat about where you both like to shop. Not only that, but compliments make people feel good! So how do you compliment in English? Just focus on the positive in these four areas.
“You did a great job.” English speakers often compliment one another on a job well done. It can apply to work, sports, school, hobbies – any activity somebody has done well. For example, your colleague gave an excellent presentation, and you could tell she put a lot of work into it. You could say, “You did a great job on the presentation.” Or, “I liked the way you gave the presentation.” Regardless of the situation, the easiest way to compliment a performance is just to state what the person did well: “You played a great game today.” “You wrote a clear report.” “Your speech was excellent.”
It’s very common to compliment people on their hair and clothing. Start these compliments with I like or I love. For example, if someone gets a new haircut, you can say, “I like your haircut.” Or, “I love your hair today,” if they styled it differently. You can phrase compliments about clothes the same way: “I like your skirt.” A great way to continue the conversation is by asking, “Where did you get it?”
Be careful with compliments about appearance, though. If someone looks particularly good one day, you can make a general statement: “You look great today!” But be sure not to compliment someone’s body. Don’t say, “I like your nose,” unless you know them very, very well.
English speakers often compliment each other on things they own. For example, if a colleague comes to work with a new mobile phone you can say, “What a cool phone!” Or if you’re invited to someone’s home, it’s appropriate to compliment certain aspects about it that you like. You can make a general statement: “You have a beautiful home.” Or try something specific: “I love this couch.”
Compliment someone on their qualities, and you’ll make a new friend! For example, if you like how a work associate is always happy, then tell them. Say, “You are always so happy. It makes my day better!” This kind of compliment can be used for any quality that you appreciate in a person. Maybe you like how organized another colleague is. Tell them, “I really appreciate how organized you are. I hope to be more organized, too.”