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When you make a suggestion, you're putting forward a plan or an idea for another person to consider. People make suggestions when they're deciding what to do, offering advice, or helping a visitor. Learning how to make a suggestion is a good way to improve your English conversational skills. If you already know how to tell time, ask for directions, and hold a basic conversation, you're ready to learn how to make a suggestion! Try out this role-play exercise with a friend or classmate to practice.
What Shall We Do?
In this exercise, two friends are trying to decide what to do for the weekend. By making suggestions, Jean and Chris make a decision that they're both happy with. See if you can identify where the suggestion is.
Jean: Hi Chris, would you like to do something with me this weekend?
Chris: Sure. What shall we do?
Jean: I don't know. Do you have any ideas?
Chris: Why don't we see a film?
Jean: That's sounds good to me. Which film shall we see?
Chris: Let's see "Action Man 4."
Jean: I'd rather not. I don't like violent films. How about going to "Mad Doctor Brown?" I hear it's quite a funny film.
Chris: OK. Let's go see that. When is it on?
Jean: It's on at 8 p.m. at the Rex. Shall we have a bite to eat before the film?
Chris: Sure, that sounds great. What about going to that new Italian restaurant Michetti's?
Jean: Great idea! Let's meet there at 6.
Chris: OK. I'll see you at Michetti's at 6. Bye.
Chris: See you later!
When Jean says, "I'd rather not. I don't like violent films. How about going to 'Mad Doctor Brown?' I hear it's quite a funny film," he is making a suggestion.
Once you've mastered the dialogue above, challenge yourself with some additional role-playing exercises. What suggestions would you make if a friend said to you:
- Why don't you/we go to the movies tonight?
- You/we could visit New York while you're/we're there.
- Let's go to the travel agent's this afternoon to book our ticket.
- What about asking your brother for help?
- How about going to Hawaii for your vacation?
- I suggest you/we take all the factors into consideration before we decide.
Before answering, think about your response. What will you suggest? What related information should you tell your friend? Think about the necessary details, such as time or location.
If you're being asked to make a decision, that suggestion usually comes in the form of a question. For example:
- Would you like to… ?
- (What) shall we go… ?
If someone else has made a decision and they want your opinion, it may be made as a statement instead. For example:
- Let's go…
- Why don't we go…
- How about going…
- What about going…