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summary

Let's
Why don't we...?
Shall we...?
Fancy...?
what/how about...?
We could (always)
-ing + is one idea
It would be nice to...
..., What do you think?


Responses
- accepting
- refusing


Sample conversations


Note for Spanish speakers

Level: Level: Easy

Suggestions: taking decisions together

We make suggestions when deciding what to do with our friends (together), or giving them advice on what they might do in a certain situation. For the second case (giving advice) CLICK HERE. suggestions

Some structures sound rather imposing, almost an order sometimes, and we use them when we want to make our preference very clear, when we want to influence on the other person’s choice. Other structures are more neutral or show more interest in the listener’s choice. We will call the first group strong suggestions and the second mild suggestions.

STRONG

LET’S + bare infinitive
I’m bored. Let’s play a video game or something
Hey, let’s go for a walk

WHY DON’T WE...?
Why don’t we have another beer? I’m so thirsty
Why don’t we look for a better beach? This one is packed with people

SHALL WE?
Shall we go for a walk? I need to talk to you
Shall we stay at home? I’m so tired

WHAT/HOW ABOUT? + ing or noun
What about taking a taxi? I can’t give another step
Do you want to watch a movie? How about ‘Forrest Gump’?

 proposal


MILD

FANCY + ing (colloquial)
Fancy seeing a film tonight?
Do you fancy playing tennis tomorrow?

... HOW ABOUT YOU?
I’d love some pizza. How about you?
I prefer to stay at home tonight. How about you?

WE COULD (ALWAYS)...
Oh, it’s raining. We could always stay at home and watch television
Flying to Hawaii is too expensive, but we could always think of some island near here.
We could go to Italy this summer, they say it’s very nice there

-ING + IS ONE IDEA
Having the party in the garden is one idea
Telling Sam is one idea. Or we can also tell Mike

suggestions

IT WOULD BE NICE TO...
It would be nice to go to the swimming pool this afternoon
I think it would be nice to have another drink, don’t you think?

... WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Peter wants us to go to his party. What do you think?
We can call your brother and go out. What do you think?


 

RESPONDING TO A SUGGESTION

    Accepting

Ok / Fine / Sure / Alright
That’s a good idea
That sounds good
Sounds like a great idea
Sounds good to me
accepting

 

    Refusing

Nah
Sorry, I can’t / I don’t like it / I don’t think it’s a good idea
What? You must be kidding!
No way
Uhm... Can’t we think of something different?
That’s a good idea but...
I’d love to, but...
That would be great, but...
refusing


When refusing it is very usual to give a reason or an excuse, for example:

- Shall we go to the theatre tonight? It’s a very good play.
- No, sorry. I’m not much of a theatre man. I can’t stay still for so long.
Or:
- Sounds good, but tonight I have plans already. Maybe some other time.

 

It is also common to give an alternative. For this, we often use INSTEAD /ɪnsted/:

- Why don't we go to the movies tomorrow night?
- Tomorrow night? No, let's go for a drink instead

- Shall we go for a walk? I need to talk with you.
- Well, why don't we stay at home instead? We can talk over a cup of coffee.

 




Here is an example of a conversation:

- Tomorrow’s Saturday. Why don’t we do something interesting?
- That’s a good idea. How about going to the beach?
- Uhm... sorry, I don’t like beaches too much, I prefer something quieter.
- Ok then, we could go to the forest and have a picnic there.
- Sounds good. Shall we tell Mike and Kelly?
- Oh, I don’t think it’s a good idea. I think it would be nice to go just the two of us for a change.
- Ok, no problem. We can go next to the river, what do you think?
- Oh, why don’t we go to the mountain side? There’s a nice restaurant there.
- Sorry, but I prefer a picnic, I want to be outdoors, not inside a room again.
- Alright, it’s fine with me.

Of course, if you are talking to a close friend or family, you can use more informal and less polite alternatives:

- Hey Tom, let’s go and have a drink with Mike and Calvin
- What? Are you nuts? No way man, last time I went out with them I got a nervous breakdown. You go with them if you want to, I’ll phone Jessy.
- Ok, ok, we can go with Jessy then, I don’t mind. Shall we go to the theatre?
- Man, you’re so out of fashion sometimes. What about a nice cool disco club?
- Fine, sounds good. Fancy a pizza before partying?
- Sure man, sounds great to me. It would be nice to tell Megan too.
- That would be great, but you know she doesn’t like pizza, so we’ll probably end up going to a burger instead.
- Yea, you’re right. Let’s only tell Jessy and then we can meet Megan later.
- Good idea. Let’s do that.
- Cool. See you later then.

conversations

 


NOTE FOR SPANISH SPEAKERS


Let's think of something unusual = Vamos a pensar algo especial
Why don't we have another beer? = Por qué no nos tomamos otra cervecita
Shall we have a pizza? = ¿Nos pedimos una pizza?
What about going to the beach? = ¿Te parece si nos vamos a la playa?
Fancy having lunch now? = ¿Te apetece comer ahora?
I'd like to go out. How about you? = Me gustaría salir, ¿y a ti?
We could always leave it for later = Igual lo podríamos dejar para más tarde, ¿no?
Going to the cinema is one idea = Por ejemplo podríamos ir al cine
It would be nice to stay here = Me encantaría quedarme aquí
We can take the bus. What do you think? = Podemos tomar el autobús ¿qué te parece?

respuestas

That sounds good / Sounds good to me = Me parece bien
You must be kidding = Estarás de broma, ¿no?
No way = En absoluto / Para nada

 
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