Speaking English – How to give criticism and compliments

Speaking English – How to give criticism and compliments

Learn to speak English with me! A “compliment” has the same meaning as “praise” and means to say nice things about people. The opposite of that is “to criticize”. It is never easy to criticize politely. Find out how to do just that in this useful lesson on compliments and criticism. In this video, you will learn how to give praise in English and also how to tell people what they are doing wrong. You will also learn the meaning of other words like “critique” and “critic”. Avoid being rude or awkward, and learn how to achieve constructive results when talking to people about good and bad things!


[Singing] E, what you…? Hi. James from engVid. I’ve noticed my friend, E, is putting butter all over his little wormy body, and standing in the sun. I think he wants to be tanned. This is not the best way to get a tan, by the way. I’m just telling you. Don’t put butter on yourself and sit in the sun. But this is strange: “Butter me up, baby.” Hmm. And then: “Flattery will get you everywhere with Mr. E.” What does that mean? That’s today’s lesson.

What we want to talk about is “criticism” and “praise”, or “criticize” and “praise”. We have synonyms we’re going to work with, and then some common popular expressions. Right? To help you be able to use them in real life, so you can become like a native speaker. And let’s go to the board to start.

We have a little seesaw here. or heehaw, whatever. And you notice a balance, it’s balancing down for criticize, because criticism is usually considered negative. Okay? And praise is usually considered good. So you can think of devil – dun-dun-dun-dun”, or angel – aaah. Okay?

So, when we say somebody criticizes something it’s they say something bad about something. Okay? “The food is too salty, it’s too hot. The room’s too warm. The car’s too big.” They criticize it. When they praise it, they might say: “It’s very roomy”, or: “The food is full of flavour”, or: “You did a good job.” To praise. Opposites. Right?

So let’s go start over here because I’m that kind of guy, and I’m going to look at “critic”. So the noun, a person who criticizes is a critic. Now, a critic doesn’t necessarily always have to be negative. It’s considered negative, because when a critic speaks, they’re going to talk about the things that didn’t go well or weren’t as good as they thought. Okay? Now, a critic is also a job, because they might go see a movie or a book, and they’ll tell you what they loved about the book. But no critic will keep their jobs if they just say: “Everything was just great. I loved everything. I love all of the movies.” They won’t have a job very long, because people say: “Not everything’s good.” So a critic’s job is to look at things, maybe say some things are good, but to tell you what was missing and what could have been done better. So that’s an official job, a critic. But a critic could also be someone who finds faults, so we mean they look for things to be wrong, and then mention it. They can’t just be happy. You’re eating dinner, it’s a good restaurant, but the lighting’s not quite right and they’re like: “Everything good, but the lighting wasn’t right and I don’t like it.” Why do you got to be such a critic? Why do you have to bring something negative?

The second one is “cynic”. Oh, sorry, I’m wrong. “Pessimist”. A pessimist… Unlike a critic, a critic as I said can be a job or someone who finds some fault. A pessimist sees almost everything in a negative light. They see any situation, in a person – they see the worst or something bad. You say: -“It’s a beautiful sunny day. Like the birds are out, children are smiling. I got a new car, a new job.” -“It’s going to rain soon.” -“Why you got to bring that up? The children are out, everything’s good. Why do you have to talk about it?” -“It will rain. It always does.” -“Yes, but not today.” Okay? So a pessimist will say something will happen or you go: -“Look at my brand new car.” -“It will break down.” -“Okay. Leave it alone. I just got it. Okay?” Pessimist.

So, cynic, we get it. Could be a job or someone finds some fault in something. Okay? A pessimist sees everything is negative, there’s always a negative something to everything. It’s not just looking at a book. Life’s a bad situation. “You’re born and you’re going to die.” This is a pessimist. They can’t see: but you are alive.

So what’s a “cynic”? Or what’s this “kynikos”, kynikos, kynikos. K9, k-ni-, kyninikini. Well, let’s look. This is actually a Greek word, and this Greek word has to do with doglike. So what does doglike and cynic have to do? Well, the pessimist is negative about everything. Everything’s bad. Sun: “Oh, the sun’s out. You’re going to get cancer.”