|Suggestions: making decisions together – Level:|
Why don't we...?
We could (always)
-ing + is one idea
It would be nice to...
..., What do you think?
Note for Spanish speakers
|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.|
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.
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...?
WHAT/HOW ABOUT? + ing or noun
FANCY + ing (colloquial)
Fancy seeing a film tonight?
Do you fancy playing tennis tomorrow?
... HOW ABOUT YOU?
WE COULD (ALWAYS)...
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
Ok / Fine / Sure / Alright
That’s a good idea
That sounds good
Sounds like a great idea
Sounds good to me
Sorry, I can’t / I don’t like it / I don’t think it’s a good idea
What? You must be kidding!
Uhm... Can’t we think of something different?
That’s a good idea but...
I’d love to, but...
That would be great, but...
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.
- 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?
Of course, if you are talking to a close friend or family, you can use more informal and less polite alternatives:
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?
That sounds good / Sounds good to me = Me parece bien
You must be kidding = Estarás de broma, ¿no?
No way = En absoluto / Para nada