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Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. Welcome back to Top Words. Today, we're going to talk about 10 Ways to Give Criticism. Let's go.
"What do you think about…"
The first expression is "What do you think about blah, blah, blah?" "What do you think about something, something?" You say, "What do you think about." Then, you suggest a change to the item you are criticizing or to the work you're criticizing. What do you think about blah, blah, blah? You're giving advice or you're giving a suggestion. For example, "What do you think about removing some of the effects?"
"I think it would be better if…"
"I think it would be better if…." I think it would be better if. Try to make this short. "I think it would be better if blah, blah, blah." Again, you suggest a change. Something you think is an improvement or would be an improvement to the current work or to the current situation. In a sentence, "I think it would be better if you make the video shorter."
"I'm not sure I like…"
"I'm not sure I like." You can say, This is an unsure feeling, an I don't know feeling about a certain work or a certain situation. I'm not sure I like this. I'm not sure I like that. You can point to or mention a specific thing you dislike or, maybe, you don't like very much about the situation or about the work. In a sentence, "I'm not sure I like this part."
"How about if you…"
The next expression is "How about if you blah, blah, blah?" "How about if you do something?" How about if you and recommend a change. Recommend a different course of action, recommend the listener do something or change something. "How about if you order pizza instead of cooking that difficult meal tonight? It takes too much time." Or, "How about if you dye your hair back to its original color? I think it looks nicer that way." Give some suggestion, give your advice after this expression. How about you? It's a little bit soft, but it's a good way, a soft way to give your criticism. In a sentence, "How about if you include more information about your project?"
"You could improve this by…"
The next one is quite a direct way to give a criticism. You might here this, maybe, from a teacher or a professor, or maybe an editor of some kind. Like, "You could improve this by blah, blah, blah." I would use a gerund form of the verb here. "You could improve this by changing." "You could improve this by adding." "You could improve this by subtracting." Something like that. Using the gerund form of the verb here could be good. This expression suggests, this work, this situation, whatever you're discussing, could be better, or the speaker thinks it could be better and they are suggesting how to make it better. "You could improve this by talking slower." "You could improve this by cooking some interesting side dishes to accompany the meal," for example. In a sentence, "You could improve this by explaining in more detail."
"Have you thought about…"
"Have you thought about." "Have you thought about" is a good way, another soft way to give criticism, to give a recommendation to the listener. Like, "Have you thought about spending a little more time on this project?" Or, "Have you thought about studying this topic a little more in-depth?" Or, "Have you thought about talking to this person?" Give your criticism as a light suggestion. "Have you thought about blah, blah, blah?" In a sentence, "Have you thought about adding some images to your presentation?" for example. That's a way to give constructive criticism.
"Maybe you could…"
The next expression is "Maybe you could." "Maybe you could blah, blah, blah." "Maybe you could." Again, a very soft suggestion, a way to give some more constructive criticism. For example, "Maybe you could write this in a different font," or, "Maybe you could prepare this in a different software," or, "Maybe you could call a little earlier next time," for example. Again, a very light suggestion but it implies criticism, the things the situation could be improved. In another sentence, "Maybe you could share with the marketing team for some more specific feedback?"
"I think you should…"
The next expression is "I think you should." "I think you should" is just a useful opinion phrase or a useful recommendation phrase. "I think you should go home," or, "I think you should stop drinking." These are small criticisms, right? A little bit of criticism, something the speaker thinks can be improved. You should go home. You should stop drinking. You should exercise more. These are small criticisms, a little in a way. "I think you should" is a very easy way to give constructive criticism in a professional setting also. "I think you should think a little more deeply about this plan." "I think you should talk to your team about this project," for example. In another sentence, "I think you should revise this section for clarity."
Now, let's go to a couple expressions for criticism that are very rude. Until now, up until this point, I talked about constructive criticisms, how to explain you think an improvement is possible. However, to criticize without being constructive, just to criticize, just to make a negative comment, these are a few ways to do it, two ways I'll talk about.
"This sucks."
The next one is "This sucks." This sucks. Or, "that sucks." "That sucks," as well. Sucks does not mean to pull air from one place to another. The expression, "This sucks. This sucks. It sucks," means it is very bad, the situation is just not good. It's a very, very casual, very direct, somewhat rude phrase that expresses criticism. If you are unhappy with the situation, you could say, "This sucks," about the situation. Like, "My train is late. This sucks. I'm late for work now." Or, "My boss forgot to pay me. This sucks." Something that just is not a good situation, we can use it in that case, but you might also see this on TV, especially on reality TV shows to express criticism for show contestants. Maybe, you've seen a cooking show where the chef in the show, the judge is super mean, is super angry, the contestant cook something bad and they might say, "This sucks." It's a very direct, rather rude expression to express criticism of someone's work, too. Like, "Your presentation sucks." You can use it in past tense, "That sucked. Your performance sucked today." Again, very direct, very rude. I would feel very, very unhappy if someone told me that. But, it is an expression you can use. If you've heard that, like, "This sucks," especially on TV, that's what it means. The situation is bad, or something that happened was unpleasant, not good, very bad. This sucks. In a sentence, "Really, Mom? I can't go out tonight? That sucks."
"This is not good"
Another one that it's just pure criticism, no improvement, nothing constructive, another expression is "This is not good." This is not good. Especially for food or drink. Like, "I drink a beer a couple of months ago. There was greenish blue color. Then, the flavor was bad. Actually, my friend said, 'Yeah, that beer is not good.'" It's just there's nothing we could do. We can't change the flavor of the beer. It's just not good. In those situations, you can say, "Ah, this is not good," or, "that's not good." A restaurant, for example, you can criticize a restaurant by saying, "Yeah, that restaurant is not good." We can't speak directly to the restaurant and say, "You should improve this restaurant, doing this and this." Just to share a critical opinion, you can say, "This is not good. That's not good. These are not good. Those are not good." You can use "not good" to express just flat criticism, just regular criticism, in that case. In a sentence, "I had a bite of this steak and wow, it is not good."
Those are 10 ways to give a criticism. Some of them, most of them are constructive ways to give criticism. Some of them are very casual and direct ways to give straight criticism, just to complain, essentially. Think about them carefully the next time you want to help someone improve. I hope that these were useful for you. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments in the comment section below this video. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Top Words and I'll see you again soon. Bye!