→"with all due respect;失礼ながら、お言葉を返すようですが"
→"take offense;怒る"、"no offense;悪気はない、気を悪くしないで"
→"It’s not a big deal.;たいしたことないよ、簡単だよ"
→"You are so mean;いじわるいな"
"up to scratch;一定の水準に達して、準備ができて"
"a little over the top;わずかに度を超えた"
→"go a little over the top;少し度を超えたことをする"
- Hello everyone, and welcome back to English with Lucy.
Today we are going to talk about
alternatives for one of the most hated phrases
in the English language.
Is there a more offensive phrase than no offence?
When somebody says no offence,
but you know they're going to follow that
with something offensive.
It's just the way people are.
So I have 11 alternatives for you
that you can use to give criticism politely.
So this video is perfect for improving your vocabulary,
but if you want to improve your listening skills
and your pronunciation skills even further,
then I highly recommend the special method
of reading a book whilst listening
to the audiobook version on Audible.
It sounds a bit odd, but let me explain.
It's a really good method.
Take a book that you have already read in English
or a book that you would like to read in English and read it
whilst listening to the audiobook version on Audible.
Reading alone will not help you with your pronunciation.
The way a word is spelled in English
doesn't necessarily give you much information
as to how it's pronounced in English.
If you listen to a word as you read it,
your brain will start making connections
and the next time you see that word written down,
you'll know exactly how to say it, how it's meant to sound,
the pronunciation and the next time you hear that word
you'll know exactly how it should be spelled.
You're combining two skills
but developing all of your skills.
It's such an effective method
and the best part is you can get one free audiobook,
that's a 30 day free trial on Audible.
All you've got to do is click on the link
in the description box and sign up.
Then you can download one of my many recommendations
which are also in the description box.
Give it a try.
It really works.
Right, number one is with respect
or with all due respect.
With all due respect, that's slightly more formal.
This is something you can add
before you are going to say something that could
potentially cause offence.
You're showing the listener that you're not trying
to be disrespectful.
You're saying it in a respectful way.
An example, with all due respect,
I really don't think it's appropriate
to wear a white dress as a wedding guest.
Is this a thing in your country and culture?
I know not all cultures have white wedding dresses,
we do here in the UK
and it is extremely frowned upon to wear white
to someone's wedding.
And I went to a wedding last summer
and there was a woman in a long white dress
and I was appalled, I tell you.
Did I say anything about it to her?
No I didn't because I'm British.
Did I silently judge her?
Of course, I did because I'm British.
Number two is I'm going to be very honest with you
or I'm gonna be honest with you.
If you want to be a bit more informal
and speak using slang terms like gonna.
This is something you can say again
before you say something that could be offensive.
You are preparing the listener for the criticism
that is going to come next.
An example, I'm going to be very honest with you,
I wasn't happy with how you behaved in my party.
Now, this was said in all English speaking countries,
but especially in Britain
because we do have a habit of not being honest.
The example I gave before
of how I didn't tell the woman
that she shouldn't have worn white.
Well, that's pretty common behaviour.
We don't necessarily say things.
We like to avoid confrontation,
so for us, if we are going to confront someone,
it's a big deal and we need to prepare them.
I'm going to be honest with you.
That brings me onto my next one.
Number three, let's be frank.
Let's be frank.
To be frank is to be honest and direct.
If somebody is a frank person
then they are very to the point,
this means pretty much the same thing,
but it kind of opens the opportunity
to have an honest conversation.
Let's be honest with one another.
Let's have an honest conversation.
It's not me saying, I'm going to be honest with you,
it's saying, let's be frank,
let's be honest with each other.
An example, let's be frank.
You haven't excelled in your exams this year.
Number four is a very, very common one
and it's actually considered more slang in the UK.
It's actually a phrase that I think
a lot of people might think is overused
or becoming overused.
It is, I'm not going to lie
or now just shortened down to, not gonna lie, (chuckles)
not gonna lie.
And you say it before you're about to criticise someone
or something, or maybe when you're gonna give
a really honest, negative opinion about someone,
not gonna lie, your singing wasn't great.
Not gonna lie, her top was the ugliest top
I've ever seen in my life.
My God, that's so, so mean.
But it's one that is thrown around a lot.
It is used a lot and it can be very confusing
because you might think, well, of course you shouldn't lie.
Why would you lie?
It's just a phrase.
Now, number five,
sometimes you do just want to say, no offence,
but we can say it in a much
more formal way.
We could say, I don't mean to offend,
but, or I don't mean to offend you,
but, this sounds a little bit nicer.
Sometimes you just can't escape using no offence. (chuckles)
We can also say, without meaning to offend you
or without meaning to offend.
An example, without meaning to offend you,
your work hasn't been up to scratch recently.
Up to scratch means up to the standard.
Number six is another slang one.
It's very commonly used.
It's, don't get me wrong.
Don't get me wrong,
and we're using get here as in receive.
I've got a video all about the many uses of get.
There are a lot, I warn you,
but we're saying, don't receive me in the wrong way.
Don't interpret what I'm saying in the wrong way.
It basically means don't misunderstand me.
An example, don't get me wrong,
but I think we need to have a chat about the incident.
You wouldn't really use this in a formal situation.
This is more between friends and acquaintances.
Number seven is a nice phrase that you can say
instead of, I've been watching you
and I've seen that you've done something wrong.
If you want to of course, express
that you have been watching someone
and they have been doing something wrong,
you can say, I've noticed that.
I've noticed that,
this is something that's said a lot in offices.
I've noticed that you've been spending
a lot of time by the water cooler
or I've noticed that you aren't always
reaching your deadlines.
It's a nice way of saying,
I've been observing you and you're not doing anything right.
Number eight, a way of saying you're doing
lots of things wrong
and you're really not performing as you should.
You could say, there's room for improvement,
there's room for improvement.
You're doing okay,
but there's still a little room for improvement.
An example, I appreciate how hard you've worked,
but there still is room for improvement here.
Now, number nine,
is using a conditional to express criticism.
It is this lovely phrase, if you can learn it
and use it as a set phrase, that's fantastic.
If I were you, I would,
and then the advice, what you would do.
Instead of saying you should do this,
which people don't necessarily like.
If I were you, I would do it this way.
Oh, people love that.
An example, if I were you,
I would look at implementing a different strategy.
Translates roughly as change your strategy. (chuckles)
Number 10 what about a nice rhetorical question
to set off some criticism?
Oh, I love them.
If you want to give someone some constructive criticism,
you could say, believe it or not,
could I offer you a bit of constructive criticism?
They can't exactly say no, can they?
Especially if you're their boss. (laughing)
An example, can I offer you a little constructive criticism?
Try using a spellchecker
before handing in your assignment. (chuckles)
Now, number 11, is something that we actually
add to the end of sentences
to emphasise them a little bit.
In English, especially in British English,
we have the habit,
a huge habit of reducing everything,
trying to make things seem not quite as important
or profound as they actually are.
For example, if you gave me the most disgusting
cup of tea ever, I would say,
oh, well, it's not the worst tea I've ever had,
or oh yes, I think I could get used to it.
It's a real issue, and we often use this technique
whilst delivering criticism,
but if you decide that you actually do want the receiver
of the criticism to realise how badly they've performed,
you can add to say the least onto the end.
I think you could have done better, to say the least.
Or to put it mildly,
you don't smell great, to put it mildly.
Both of these are used to suggest that something
is far worse or more extreme than you are saying.
It does make the English language quite complex
because we don't actually say what we mean,
but don't shoot the messenger.
I'm just trying to help out. (laughing)
An example, you behaved in appropriately
at the staff party, to say the least.
And number 12, this one is used in the middle
of a criticising sentence,
and this one actually is quite different
to the previous one.
This one is used to make a statement
or criticism appear less severe or offensive.
It is, shall we say.
Shall we say.
An example, your report was, shall we say, a little lacking.
It's almost like, how do I put this?
How can I choose a non-offensive term
to describe the monstrosity
with which I have been presented?
Your report was, shall we say, a little lacking,
or your reaction was, shall we say, a little over the top,
meaning your reaction was completely
and utterly over the top right. (laughing)
Right, that's it for today's lesson,
how to say offensive things
and give criticism without causing offence
in a polite, or at least British manner.
Don't forget to check out Audible.
You can claim your free audiobook.
I've got loads of recommendations
down in the description box,
and the link to claim your book is there too.
Don't forget to connect with me on all of my social media.
I've got my Facebook, my Instagram, my Twitter,
and my new, kind of new personal channel,
my Lucy Bella Earl channel where I talk about
everything that isn't English, lifestyle, et cetera.
I will see you soon for another lesson.
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