1. Direct Complaints: several Strategies1 Explanation of Purpose/Warning for the Forthcoming Complaint
Indirect complaints usually begin with an introductory expression like one of the following:
2. Indirect Complaints
3. TEACHER TIPS for Indirect Complaints
Although the common image of complaining is negative, indirect complaints are utilized frequently in a positive manner to establish points of commonality -- ELT textbooks tend to center on direct complaints and exclude important information on this underlying social strategies.
B: Hi ... . What's happening?
A: Nothing much. I'm just watching a debate on TV. It's about banning smoking in public buildings.
B: Oh, yeah. So, what do you think about it?
A: Well, I don't think people should be allowed to smoke in public places, so I support the ban.
B: Really? I'm surprised. I'm a smoker, so I should have the right to smoke whenever I want.
A: But don't you think that non-smokers have rights, too?
B: Sure. You don't have to smoke if you don't want to. What's the problem?
A: Well, I think that I should have the right not to breathe smoke.
B: So why can't you just go outside if it bothers you?
B: Well, smoking is part of my lifestyle. I can think better if I have a cigarette.
A: I can breathe better if I don't have to breathe smoke. Smoking is bad for your health. Doctors say that even breathing second-hand smoke can cause cancer.
B: Well, I'm a smoker, and my health is good.
A: Yes, but will it be good in fifteen years?
B: I hope so.
A: I hope so, too. Listen, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree about this subject. Do you want to watch the debate with me?
Talking on a Second Channel Using Parentheticals (W. B. Dickerson)source http://exchanges.state.gov/education/engteaching/pragmatics/dickerson.htm
B: I was looking for a 10-speed bíke.
A: So you cruised the gárage sales.
B: You're ríght, as a matter of fact, and I found a really níce one.
A: What did you páy for it?
B: 35 búcks
B: I was looking for a 10-speed bíke --a used one, of course.
A: So you cruised the gárage sales, I'll bet.
B: You're ríght, as a matter of fact, and I found a really níce one, luckily.
A: What did you páy for it, you poor creature?
B: 35 búcks, can you believe it!
Bare-Bones Dialogue with Hints
A. How's your uncle, (.......................1 address form)?
B. He's doing better (........................... 2 assessment expression). The accident wasn't as serious as it might have been (...........................3 sentence adverbial).
A. Can I help in any way? I could bring over some food, do the shopping, pick up his mail. (................................... 4 exemplifier).
B. It's nice of you to offer. But I think we can manage O.K., (................ 5 polite expression).