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How To


- Making a complaint


- Saying sorry


- Accepting an apology


- Pointing out the positive


- Making a complaint (informal)


- Expressing annoyance

Three men talking

Pointing out the positive side of a situation

In this programme, we find out what you can say when someone complains and you want to tell them to ‘look on the bright side' of the situation! As you'll hear, there are several easy expressions that you can use to reply to complaints and point out the positive side of the situation.

After you've listened to the programme, get some more practice by doing the activity at the bottom of the page.

Language for pointing out the positive side of a situation Examples
At least...

My flatmate, Sue, is always borrowing my CDs and she only gives them back when I go and ask her for them!
Well, at least she returns them to you.

But... My mum always calls me in the evenings when I'm trying to study.
Yeah, but she does call you! My family never call me. I have to call them!
But when you think about it...

We had a great time but I'm not sure he's right for me.
Yeah, but when you think about it, you haven't had much time to get to know each other yet - it was just your first date!

On the other hand...

I'm really pleased! I've got a job in a bar near my college. The only problem is I'm the only person working there who can't speak English very well.
That's tough - on the other hand, it's a good way to practise your English.

Don't forget...

I always hate going to the boss to ask for a pay rise!
Well, don't forget, she's the only person who can help you get a pay rise!


Use the expressions above to respond to these complaints.

I'm really enjoying my new job, but the bus journey into the city takes a long time!

I've met a really nice guy although we don't have the same taste in music!

My brother is always late for family occasions and so he's always saying sorry to my parents – it really annoys me!

Sarah is a loyal friend though she's very forgetful about when and where we arrange to meet!

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