How to give & receive compliments in English? - eAge Tutor

How to give & receive compliments in English?


"I can live for two months on a good compliment." - Mark Twain

Sounds true, a compliment is always so unexpected and hence, puts us in an awkward situation. Many English learners in our class raise a question on how to receive compliments well such that the giver does not feel uncomfortable. Also, many of us are not good at giving compliments. Today, our English learning blog will focus on ways to give and receive compliments in English.


Giving a compliment

You may compliment an individual on his good work, fine dressing, and funny jokes and so on. A compliment should make the other person feel nice about him/her. To give compliment is simpler than receiving one. Let us see how you can give compliments that are well received by others.

Be sincere and honest. Your compliment will be well received when you say it from your heart and does not come across as fake. It is easier for a woman to compliment a woman but the situation is not the same when a woman is complimenting a man. Your behavior may come across as flirtatious. If as a woman, you don’t want to come across as flirtatious, give compliments that are impersonal. For instance, ‘That’s a nice formal wear’, rather than ‘You look handsome in this formal wear.’

Make sure to maintain an eye contact whenever you are giving a compliment to somebody. What you say is as important as how you say it.

Receiving a compliment

For most individuals, receiving a compliment is difficult. Our natural response is to draw away the attention from us or perhaps say a negative comment immediately. However, one should avoid doing so as it doesn’t come across as graceful. The compliment giver may feel awkward or unappreciated.

The most common or regular response should be a ‘Thank you’ extended with a smile. If you feel comfortable, you could say a phrase such as, ‘how nice of you to say that’. Such an appreciation will render a compliment giver much happiness as you value his words. Make sure to maintain an eye contact when you extend a thank you. You may want to blush or turn aside, but refrain from doing so.


English is a beautiful language and learners can take help of adjective to give and receive compliments. Hope the above article will set you in the right direction. To learn more, join our online spoken English class and be a pro at speaking English.

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- By Chander Madan

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