All Ears English Podcast - 1918: I Say You Listen Today - How to Confidently Make Suggestions in English

This is an All Ears English podcast, episode 1918.

I say you listen today, how to confidently make suggestions in English.

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When you have life experience, you have opinions.

Today, find out how to present your suggestions in English about what should be done in a

way that is both firm and friendly.

Before we get started with today’s episode, I want to say thank you to our listeners who

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Thanks for listening to the podcast.

Hey there, Michelle, how’s it going today?

Hey, Lindsay, good, good.

You know what?

I say we aim for two episodes and then take a break.

What do you think?


That sounds just about right, Michelle.


Go ahead.

What did you say?

What did you say?

You said what?

I said, I say, which is weird because why do I need to say I say when I’m saying it?

You’re already saying it.

What’s the point?


I mean, this is great.


Guys, we’re going to talk about this unique structure to state your opinion and like kind

of a very confident way.

I think.

What do you think, Lindsay?

I would say it does add confidence.

It’s genuine.

It’s wholehearted.

It’s not hiding.

It’s not hedging.

It is straightforward.

And there’s something we’ve said on the show.

There’s something really, like I said, genuine and good about just being straightforward,

just saying what you suggest.





So we’re going to talk about this today, guys.

We want to remind you to hit follow on All Ears English because we don’t want you to

miss anything.

Yeah, exactly.

Hit follow.

Hit the follow button, guys.

And also make sure you go over and check out our Business English podcast.

It’s a brand new show just launched a few months ago.

And those episodes are hand curated for you.

Just ones that are business related.

Right, Michelle?


I love them.

I love having this specific podcast for business.

It’s great.


It’s so good.

All right.

So let’s get back to the teaching today for our listeners.

Where do we start today?

So again, this is just a unique structure.

So it’s funny because it sounds redundant.

I say, why would I say I’m saying it?

You know I’m saying it.

What are we doing?


But this is just like a way to say, I think we should, or let’s, let’s do this.


Or more formally, I suggest, but that’s a little too formal in a way, I think.

And I’m sure we’ll have some alternatives later.

But yeah, it’s a way of saying, this is what I think we should do.


This is my suggestion.







And you know what?

I, the reason that I came up with this episode was because I used this construction with

my husband and I, and I, and I kind of like was like, Whoa, what did I, Hmm, that’s interesting.

Um, to talk about something with my son.

Like I think I said, I say we do 7 p.m. bedtime.


I like that we’re talking about this today for our listeners, because this could be in

the top, top 25 of the most useful and commonly used phrases.

I say it all the time too.

I say we do this.

I say, I say, I say, I say we go for this, right?




So, well, does it sound bossy?

If I say to my husband, I say we do 7 p.m. bedtime.

Does it sound like bossy or like, what does it sound like to you?

I think it strikes a nice balance between being firm of what you think we should do.

And you know, it’s not, it’s not bossy.

It’s not, you know, there’s different language you could use if you want to be bossy, quote

unquote, right?

Um, we have to do this or, you know, this is what we’re doing, but that’s not what you’re

doing here.

You’re making a suggestion.

I think it strikes a nice middle ground, Michelle.




It’s kind of, it’s nice in there.

It’s just, you know, yeah.

It doesn’t sound bossy to me.

Um, so guys, the, the structure is, I say we, right, X, right.

And usually it’s a base verb.

So like, you know, I say we eat dinner at seven, uh, you know, something like that.

I say we eat dinner at seven.


Mm hmm.

Mm hmm.


Which we, you know, we, uh, maybe we didn’t use in the beginning of the episode.

I don’t know why I said that.

Um, um, but like you could say something like, I say, uh, we aim for, you can put them together.

I say we aim for 60 new clients by the end of the year.

Mm hmm.

Or you could say, let’s aim for 60 new clients by the end of the year.

So these are all different ways to just sort of talk about goals and intentions, things

you want to achieve.

Mm hmm.



So, um, let’s give a couple other examples of how this might show up.

So here we go.


Um, hmm.

Should we eat at that new place today or our spot?

I say we try something new.

Good idea.


I mean, especially here because you’re asking me for my opinion, right?

So this is an obvious time to use this.



But it doesn’t just have to be limited to when you’re asked for your opinion.



You can just start off with something.

So like in this next example, Lindsey, go ahead.

We have to be there at eight.

So I say we leave at seven.

Sounds good.



And it’s got to think as you like the older you get, the more you get ideas about life

and you want to assert your opinion more often because maybe you’ve done something the wrong

way once before, you know, like you went to a picnic and you forgot to pack X, Y, Z something.

Um, so you want to correct that mistake, right?


You’re learning from experience, especially as a mother, I would imagine as a mother,

Rochelle, you’re saying this more and more because with your son, maybe you made some

mistakes and now you’re repeat, you’re trying not to repeat those.



And getting out the door is a huge event, especially now with two every morning.

Oh, my gosh.

You should see if you could only how much time in advance do you get ready?

When do you like, OK, if you know you have to leave at nine, what time are you getting


I mean, you have to like, well, like, for example, this morning, so I knew I was recording

with you, so like I started getting nervous about like what time we were leaving because

sometimes we can leave late and then he only likes to go to school like when his friend

is they both ride their scooters to school.

And so, like, he’ll say, I don’t want to go to school.

And then I said, well, but your friend is going to say, oh, like as if we don’t do that

every single morning.

But like then he’ll say, like, oh, I want to eat my breakfast.

I’m like, well, you have to get dressed, you know, it’s just like a whole yeah, that’s

so funny.

And then the baby and then.


So it’s it’s all.

So you’re probably using a lot like what maybe with your husband or something, you’re using

a lot of, hey, I say this, I say that because you’ve learned these things, right?



So to like make these like because you have to like anticipate a lot of problems like

you have to like I have to anticipate like my son doesn’t take a nap.

But if we’re going to be in the in the car at like five p.m. driving home from something,

that’s what’s going to happen.

He’s going to fall asleep in the car and then he’s not going to be in bed, bed until like

10 p.m., you know.

So we might be use this to anticipate something like, oh, I say we leave early so that he

doesn’t, you know, like so that he doesn’t go to sleep too late, things like that.



This is.


I bet a lot of our listeners who are parents can totally empathize with you here.

They know what you’re talking about, you know, and this is how language is built around

our experience.

You know, we shape our language based on what we’ve learned.

So I love that.

Well, can we use this, Michelle, at the workplace, would you say?

I think so.

I mean, like, I don’t know if if you would say it necessarily to a superior, like to

your boss, if you would say like, oh, I say we do this, but it’s not I don’t think it’s


What do you think?

Yeah, I think it’s OK.

I think sometimes, you know, managers want to hear your opinion.

The point is, do you like do you just say that and insist on that?

Then you’re impossible to work with.

It’s more like you’re throwing out you’re kind of throwing out an idea.

It’s a little stronger than throwing out an idea.

It’s asserting an opinion as long as it’s based on some data, not just what you feel

like doing, because it’s easy for you as long as it’s based on data you’ve learned at work

of what actually works, then that should be received well by your manager.



True, true, true.



And then you can sound confident with that.


I think.


There’s a distinction there.

Like you mentioned.

Yeah, exactly.

Mm hmm.


But I think it’s.

Oh, whoops.

Michelle, what were you going to say?

Um, I think it’s great just for giving an opinion or suggesting something.



Let’s keep going, Michelle.

Let’s keep going.


So again, guys, it’s I say blank, right?

I say we blank.

So like now, like I feel like it’s usually we like I don’t like I feel like it’s not

off like I wouldn’t say like I say I well, no, that’s not true.

If I’m making a plan, I could say like I say I pick up the cake at six and you go get the,

you know.




The party hats at seven and then right back here.

So it’s possible.

I take that back.


That’s just kind of you explaining what what should happen.


Mm hmm.


So you could say like I say she goes to dinner at five with your parents and then we pick

her up after.


Mm hmm.

But yeah, I think it’s a lot of times for like making plans like, oh, I say we but it

could be either.


So let’s show our listeners how it’s done in a role play and then we’ll go back and

we’ll break it down a little bit more.

Are we ready?

Let’s do it.


So here you and I are working on a school project.

Here we go.


So when do you think you’ll be done with the slides?


Do you like the blue or the pink slides?

I say we use pink because it pops more.

Well, that’s true.

Where should we put the pole?

I say we put it towards the end to really shock the audience.

Then we can ask for questions after.


All right.

So we had twice.

We use this in here.


Because in both cases, the person was asking for an opinion.



Mm hmm.





That’s it.

That’s a really a key here.

So if somebody is asking you your opinion about like what should be done.


Give this give this a try.

So like I said, do you like the blue or the pink slides?

And you said I say we use pink.


Because it pops more.

And what does that mean?

It pops more.

That’s a fun.


That’s fun.

It’s brighter.

It stands out.


You know, a good example of something that pops is hopefully our podcast cover.

All right.


That’s what I was thinking.

Oh, yeah.

You can’t miss it.


Yellow really pops.

It pops.

Like, you know, stands out.

So, um, I mean, you could have said when I said, do you like the blue or the pinks?

You could have said, I like the pinks or I think we should use pink.

Mm hmm.

I feel like this is shorter.


We use.


Save some time.

You mean saves.


It’s actually shorter to say.

Or you I mean, you could have said like like when I said, do you like blue or pink?

You could have just said pink because it pops more.

But right.

And you know, all of those are good options.

All good options.

You are different.


The point of the show, guys, is to give you vocabulary options.

You can choose depending on how it feels, the situation, who you’re talking to, where

you are.

But now you have options.

That’s the key.

And then you said, I said, where should we put the poll?

And you said again, I.

I say we put it towards the end to really shock the audience.


I like it again.

And it’s a firm, you know, again, there’s something admirable, especially at work.

I think, though, you know, to go back to that work conversation.

This is business English, guys, because, again, your co-workers want to know that you have

an opinion.

The worst thing is when someone doesn’t have an opinion on something.

That means that they haven’t necessarily been paying attention to what works, what has worked


Let’s say for marketing, for example.


So you should have an opinion.

And it’s OK if people say, oh, no, that’s not going to work because but at least you

gave something to your co-workers in terms of an idea.




Yeah, I like that.


I just I like this kind of confident way of sharing your opinion, but not overly.

I mean, certainly if you said it like I say we do this.



But that changes it.

But I think just by the nature of the phrase, it’s not like that.

It’s not like that.

There’s something about it that’s friendly, but assertive at the same time.

So it’s a really nice way of saying what you want, being assertive, but not bossy.

I think.




I love it.


I mean, I think you summed it up perfectly.

Love it.

So good.

So, guys, don’t forget to hit follow on this podcast and then go over and find business

English from All Ears English.

We publish three days a week over there.

We’ve got tons of hand curated episodes just for your business English challenges, because

Michelle, we know that business English is a key part for career success for our listeners.

So to be able to pull out those episodes just focused on business is huge, don’t you think?

I totally agree, guys.

Definitely listen to the business English podcast.

And it’s also, you know, it’s it’s the same kind of format, right?


It’s going to it’s fun to listen to, like, it’s just focusing on business.

So I think you’ll really like it.


It’s it’s you and me on the mic, as always.

All the good stuff.

You know, there’s no reason why we have to be boring when we’re talking about business.

Business can still be fun because business is human beings.



Yeah, exactly.


So good.



All right.

I’ll talk to you soon.

You have a good day.

Bye, Lindsay.

You too.


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