General English Level 2 V 3
UNIT 04 Eating and drinking TOPIC 02 We've booked a table for four
LANGUAGE FOCUS 04 Making a complaint

1. Making a complaint

Eriko, Jessica and Tim say:
I think there's been a mistake. I ordered a chicken salad.
Jessica: Oh and what about our water?
Tim: I'm afraid my steak is rare. I ordered medium. I really can't eat it like this.

Eriko, Jessica and Tim have a problem. They make a complaint.

Excuse me, I ordered chicken but I got steak.
Sorry but white wine. This is red.
I'm afraid I asked for some water 20 minutes ago.    
There's been a mistake. chips but I got mashed potatoes.

In English, when we complain, it is important to be polite.

To be polite, you can start the complaint with these words:

Excuse me
(I'm) Sorry but
I'm afraid

I'm afraid
does not mean you are scared. It means excuse me or sorry.


2. Answering a complaint

The waitress says:
I'm really sorry. We're so busy tonight.

To answer a complaint politely, we say:

I'm very/really/so sorry
Yes certainly
Of course
I apologise

And then we offer to fix the problem:

I'll fix it immediately
I'll get you another one


Now go to 05 PRACTICE Making a complaint.


© 2002 acl Pty Ltd