When giving a complement in English it is important to know what words to use and how to use them. This is why teaching you English vocabulary is important to me. Any good English teacher will give you many examples, and what we call “non examples” of how to use a word. Non examples will show you what use of an English word is incorrect, but keep in mind even if you use a word correctly you could offend someone if you don’t use the word in the correct context.
That’s why today’s lesson is all about using our personality trait vocabulary in a way that compliments, or makes a person feel happy, and not offended. You don’t want to intentionally be rude.
Compliments are an important part of making friends, or business relations with English speakers, especially in America. Compliments should be genuine, or true. Don’t lie to a person when giving a compliment, tell them what you like about them. That being said let’s practice six compliments that you could give a person today about their personality. We will also review English phrases that could be offensive, or perceived as rude.
When using the word perfectionist be careful you are not offending someone. While being a perfectionist may seem like a good thing, it can imply that you want things to be “too” perfect, or you are annoyed with the way perfectionists work. In English we often use the phrase “lighten up”, you may say this when a person is being too intense or is acting like they have stress.
Instead of calling someone a perfectionist try complimenting their hard work to make them feel good. Americans do pride themselves on being productive or working hard. Complimenting someone’s work, by telling them they are a hard worker would surely make someone happy.
If you say “you are so excited about that” it may tell a person that you don’t agree with their excitement. If you instead use the word enthusiasm, it is perceived as a good thing.
Americans value other’s enthusiasm, it shows we enjoy what we are doing.
While the first statement is not necessarily offensive, it is a boring English sentence. Stating that another person gives a lot to others is not very complimentary either.
Using the phrase “I admire” to tell someone what you like about them is how a fluent English speaker would say this. Remember, if someone is altruistic, or has altruism, they give lots to others and are selfless.
In English to obsess means to constantly think about someone or something. For instance if you are obsessed with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you will think about them and message them all day even when you aren’t with them.
Many times in America if we tell someone they are obsessed with something it means we think they are acting crazy, so the first phrase here could be seen as offensive or rude.
Loyalty however is seen more positively here, so telling someone they are a loyal friend implies they are kind, and trustworthy. This is an excellent compliment to give to someone.
Here is another complicated word in English: overachiever. While it may be good in school and work to achieve more than what is expected, sometimes calling someone an overachiever can be seen as rude. Be careful calling someone an overachiever, i’ll teach you a phrase to use to give a kind compliment.
“Above and beyond”, it means that the person has done more than they needed it implies that they are very helpful. If a person was very helpful to you, maybe they did extra work for you at your job, you could thank them for “going above and beyond”.
If you tell someone they ask so many questions, it implies you are annoyed with them. However the word inquisitive, if more complimentary. Inquisitiveness is generally seen a trait of someone who is also intelligent.
Thank you for reading today’s English lesson with me Kayla, I would love to be friends with you on social media @englishwithkayla on instagram and facebook, and if you enjoyed today’s lesson, please share it with your friends.
You can also learn more vocabulary on my English Vocabulary Help Podcast. I make new lessons each week.
Thank you for reading. Good luck learning English.