Giving compliments makes people feel good about themselves, and we all need that at times. Hotel guests and staff are no exceptions. Guests may give hotel staff compliments for the quality of their service, for their English ability, for their appearance in an unique uniform, or for doing something a little extra for the guest.

A hotel staff may give a guest a compliment about how they look in a newly purchased outfit, or for their patience when a problem arises, or for a beautiful new hair style after visiting a beauty parlor.

Look at the expressions below that can be used when giving and responding to compliments.

Expressions for giving compliments

That’s a very nice …(dress).
Great job on the …(presentation).
You look very good in … (that new hair-do).
This dish is delicious, my compliments to the chef.
That … (tie) looks great on you.

Responses to compliments

How kind of you to say so.
Thank you.
I’m glad you like it.
It was nothing really. (an expression of modesty and humility)

Dialogues- Compliments

Staff: What a beautiful dress, Ms. Elliot.
Guest: Thanks, I’m glad you like it.

Staff: Your new hair-do looks absolutely gorgeous, Mrs. Simpson.
Guest: How kind of you to say so.

Guest: My compliments to the chef. This linguine is superb.
Staff: Thank you ma’am. I’ll be sure to let the chef know.

Guest: Your English is very good.
Staff: Thank you very much.

Staff: Excellent game Mr. Johnson. You really gave me a workout.
Guest: Thanks, I guess all those private lessons are finally paying off.

Guest: I really appreciate all the extra work you did on helping us solve that problem. It
truly went above and beyond. My compliments to your work ethic.
Staff: Thank you sir, how kind of you to say so.

Practice Activities, Giving Compliments
Remember that one of the best was to improve your English skills is to use the language over and over again. It may sound boring and tedious but it works to make the language readily accessible for use when needed.

1. Role Play

Practice using the above expressions by having a dialogue similar to the ones above with a partner, one partner taking the role of the guest and the other the role of the staff. For additional practice, switch roles. Practice the dialogue several times, trying to use all of the expressions noted above.

Remember that one the of best was to improve your English skills is to use the language over and over again. It may sound boring and tedious but it works to make the language readily accessible for use when needed.

2. Pair work

Compliment your partner about the following items. Your partner should respond appropriately, but with humility.

A new dress or shirt
A new hair cut
A nose job
A meal they just cook
Their handling of a rude guest

3. Group Activity- Appropriate Responses

One student makes a typical compliment that a guest or staff may receive. Other students give a response. The teacher decides which student gave the best response based on language, grammar use, and pronunciation. The person with the best response gets a point. The student with the most points wins. Have the students give several compliments.

4. Group Activity- Develop a Skit

Divide the class into groups of 2 or 3. Students work together to develop a skit that is grammatically correct about guests complimenting staff for something. Staff should be very humble, but the guests should continue to lavish compliments on the staff. Once the skit is developed, students present it to the teacher and the rest of class. The teacher judges the skit based on language, grammar use, originality, and acting ability. Be creative and have fun!

5. Discussion

Have a discussion about the things that staff could compliment their guests on. Do they ever compliment guests? Give an description of one compliment given. Do they mean it or are they just being polite? How often do they compliment guests? Does complimenting guest lead to bigger tips? The group could also discuss compliments they get from guests. What are they for? Give a specific instance. What would they like to be complimented for, but aren’t. Do their supervisors compliment their work? How often? What for?

6. Whole Class Activity- First To Know

Put the list of compliments (in bold) on the board. The teacher reads the response. Students listen to the response and decide what the compliment is. The first student who identifies the compliment races to the board and circles the complaint and puts their initials in the circle. The student with the most initials wins.

New Tie
Thanks, My kids bought it for me for Father’s Day. It really does go great with this shirt.

Spaghetti Dinner
That was delicious. The tomatoes used in the sauce must have been very fresh, right off the vine.

Hair Cut
Thank you. It cost me a small fortune, but I think well worth it. The new Italian stylist at the
beauty salon downtown really knows hair.

Thanks, I’m glad you like it. It took about three weeks to complete. It seemed to take forever
to get the colors blended just right and the brush strokes perfect.

Nose Job
Thanks, I like it too. I think it completely changes the whole look of my face. It was worth all the
pain and suffering.

Use of a foreign language
I really appreciate that. I have studied for the last 10 years, but I think I still I have a way to go to be fluent.

T-bone Steak
I’m glad you liked it. The secret is to first sauté thinly sliced garlic and onions in olive oil and
butter and then marinate the meat in the sauce at least two hours before cooking.

New Coat
Thanks a lot. It’s made from genuine leather and lined with rabbit fur. It’s incredibly warm.

Work Sheets for giving compliments

Other Links

Accepting Compliments
Getting Compliments