Making Suggestions Easily in English Conversation (with Video)

Learn to easily make suggestions in English conversations. Use these natural expressions to sound like a native speaker.

Common examples of phrases you can use to make suggestions
How about/What about (used with a verb in its gerund form)
How about ordering a pizza for dinner?
What about getting Indian?
Shall we… /Why don’t we… /Let’s… (used with the infinitive form of the verb without to)
Shall we leave now?
Why don’t we get a coffee?
Let’s watch a movie tonight.

Making suggestions in English

In English when we make a suggestion, we mention a possible action or share an idea we have for an activity (with another person or other people.)

Here are some example phrases that we use to make suggestions.

How about …?
What about …?

Making suggestions in English - How about starting a study group with your classmates?

We can use these phrases with a verb in its gerund form, this means the verb + -ing.
In the gerund form, the verb acts as a noun, it describes an action.

A: My math class is really hard this year.
B: What about asking your sister for help, she’s good at math.
asking (gerund)

OR

How about starting a study group with your classmates? 
starting (gerund)

Making suggestions examples

We can also use the phrase How about with the simple present tense of a verb.

The kitchen is a mess! How about we order pizza for dinner tonight?

Making suggestions in English
How about we order pizza for dinner tonight?

How about I call the new pizza place on South street?

Answering questions with suggestions

We also use these phrases with a noun, especially when you answer a question.

A: What would like for dinner tonight?
B: How about pizza? What about hamburgers?
(I am suggesting we have pizza or hamburgers for dinner tonight.)

3 common phrases we use to make suggestions: in English

Shall we…
Why don’t we… 
Let’s…

These suggestions use the infinitive form of the verb without to.

Shall we

Shall we study some natural English conversation today?” (We don’t use to with these phrases.)
to study (infinitive)
study ((infinitive without to) 

Shall we is used to suggest that you and the person or people you are talking with do something together, as a group.

Shall we go to the cafe for some coffee after we’re done shopping?

Shall we go to the cafe for some coffee after we’re done shopping?

Shall we eat something while we’re waiting?​

Why don’t we

Why don’t we practice using some natural English?

Why don’t we is like asking “Do you think my idea sounds good?”

Why don’t we invite Derrick to our beach party tonight, I heard he’s in town.”

This is like saying I think that inviting Derrick is a good idea. Don’t you agree?

The subject “we” can change depending on who you are talking about.

A: “I never have enough money.”
B: “Why don’t you get a part-time job?”

Why don’t I get some hamburgers for us on my way home from work tonight?”

Why don’t you try to quit smoking?
Why doesn’t Jeff try to quit smoking?
Why doesn’t he try to quit smoking?

The phrase why not is another useful way to suggesting something, this has the same feeling as Why don’t you…

Why not ask Andrea on a date? I think she likes you! 

“It’s a nice day, why don’t you kids play outside?”

Let’s

Let’s is my favorite suggestion phrase and it’s the phrase I hear and use the most.

I’m bored, let’s go out!

This also has the feeling of doing something together with the person or people you are talking to. 

Let’s go to the fireworks display this weekend.

Making suggestions in English
Let's go see a movie tonight.

Let’s go see a movie tonight.

Watch this grammar presentation as a video, review the lesson, and improve your English listening skills. Listening is the most important part of your language journey, don’t forget to do it!

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Helpful website I used when making this video:http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/functions/suggestionshttps://english.stackexchange.com/questions/3610/usage-of-shall-we

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