Making suggestions in English conversations is not difficult. Learn to use these natural expressions and sound like a native speaker.
You can make suggestions in English with a few key phrases.
1) Shall we – Shall we go out for dinner?
2) Why don’t we – Why don’t we order a pizza?
3) Let’s – Let’s get an extra-large pepperoni pizza!
4) How/What about – How about double cheese?
|Making suggestions phrases – How to use them|
|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.|
Watch the video at the end of this post to review the grammar and improve your English listening skills.
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 …?
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.
How about starting a study group with your classmates?
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?
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.)
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3 common phrases we use to make suggestions: in English
Why don’t we…
These suggestions use the infinitive form of the verb without to.
“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 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 suggest 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 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.
- 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!
Watch my Making Suggestions in English video
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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