In our daily life, there are occassions where we feel that we should offer help, a service, or something to friends, work colleagues, or other people in order to be polite, kind and friendly. We do that for a social purpose, to maintain and improve good relationships with people around us. Offering help or something can be a great way to show them that we care and appreciate them. Now, if you’re not sure what to say when you want to make an offer in English, don’t worry. Below you’ll find common expressions you can use in making and responding to an offer.
A. Making an Offer
|Shall I ...?|
|Can I ...?|
|Would you like ...?|
|How about ...?|
|What about ...?|
|Do you want me to ...?|
|I'll ..., if you like.|
Also read "Offering and Asking for a Favor or Help" HERE
Making an offer is different from giving advice and suggestion. Learn "Asking For, Giving, and Responding to Advice and Suggestions" HERE
B. Responding to an OfferTo accept or refuse an offer, you can use one of the following expressions.
|Accepting an Offer||Refusing an Offer|
C. Example DialogueRead and practice the dialogue between two friends, which contains offers and responses to offers, below.
|Andy:||Good afternoon, Anne.|
|Anne:||Good afternoon, Andy. How are you?|
|Andy:||I'm very well, thank you, Anne. How are you?|
|Anne:||I'm well, thank you. I'm glad that you feel well again.|
|Andy:||Yes, I don't have a cold now. My head isn't aching, and I'm not coughing, and I'm not sneezing.|
|Anne:||That's wonderful! Andy, afternoon tea is ready now. Would you like some tea?|
|Andy:||Oh yes, please, Anne.|
|Anne:||Would you like to sit here, Andy?|
|Andy:||Yes. Aah, this chair feels comfortable.|
|Anne:||Here's your tea.|
|Anne:||Would you like some sugar, Andy?|
|Andy:||Yes, please Anne.|
|Anne:||I think your tea is very strong. Is it too strong?|
|Andy:||No, no, Anne. It's very good. I don't like weak tea. I like strong tea.|
|Anne:||Oh, I don't. I like weak tea. Would you like a biscuit, Andy? Or a piece of cake?|
|Andy:||I'd like some cake, please, Anne. Mmmmmm, it's lovely!|
|Anne:||Is it good? It's home-made.|
|Andy:||Really? Oh, you're a very good cook, Anne. Do you often make cakes?|
|Anne:||Yes, I do. Oh, but your cup is empty now. Would you like some more tea, Andy?|
|Andy:||No, thank you, Anne. But I have a cigarette here. I think I'll have a cigarette. Would you mind if I smoked?|
|Anne:||Not at all, Andy. Please do. But I think you should stop your smoking habit.|
|Andy:||Oh dear, where's my lighter? I can't find it.|
|Anne:||There it is, under the chair. You may have dropped it.|
|Andy:||Oh thank you, Anne.|
|Anne:||Where's Linda today? Is she at home?|
|Andy:||No, she isn't, Anne. She's visiting some friends.|
|Anne:||Oh, but she has a cold! She should stay at home.|
|Andy:||No, she doesn't have a cold now. She's well again.|
|Andy:||Yes, it's good. When she's sick, I make tea for her - and I always do something wrong!|
|Anne:||Oh, poor Andy. But now she's well, and she makes tea for you.|
|Anne:||Well, I hope you don't get another cold!|
|Andy:||Yes, I hope so.|
|Anne:||I'm sure you catch colds because you smoke much. Smoking decreases your immune system.|
|Andy:||You're right. I've read about that too.|
|Anne:||So, why don't you try to quit smoking and start living a healthy life?|
|Andy:||I'm thinking about it. Linda doesn't like my smoking either.|
"Would you like" is different from "Do you like". Learn the difference HERE
- Read the above dialogue again and identify all offers and the responses you can find, then write them in the table below. Number 1 has been done as an example.
- Write polite offers using the expressions and gambits you have learned. Look at the example.
- Some bread?
Answer: Would you like some bread?
- go to the beach?
Answer: How about going to the beach? / Would you like to go to the beach?
- try our new dish?
- some candies?
- use my umbrella?
- give you a lift?
- try to repair your printer?
- Some bread?
- Write an appropriate polite response for each of the following situations.
- Your teacher is carrying a pile of books. You offer to help her with it.
- Your colleague is printing a very important document. Suddenly, her printer broke down. You offer her to print the document using your printer.
- You are receiving a call from someone who wants to speak to your manager, but your manager is not available. You offer him/her to leave a message or call back later.
- The commuter train is full when an elderly woman gets on and she can't find a seat. You offer your seat to her.
- You are a shop assistant at a fashion store. You are serving a customer who does not seem satisfied with the dress she has just tried on. You offer another style of dress.
|Offering||Responding to an offer|
1. Would you like some tea?
Oh yes, please.