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    #1

    how to express compaints in English

    Hello.

    Suppose your family is in the habit of always leaving the water taps dripping for hours.

    We could say: What/who is the water running for? or Why are you always leaving the taps dripping/on? or Why are you always leaving the water running/dripping?

    The same might apply to energy saving.

    We could say: Who is the light switched on for? or Who is the light left on for?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 13-Sep-2015 at 21:59. Reason: Reducing font size.

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    #2

    Re: how to express compaints in English

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Many books tell us that one of the purposes of the passive is to make our questions less harsh.

    ACTIVE: Who is leaving the lights on at night?

    PASSIVE: Why are the lights being left on at night (by someone)?


    ACTIVE: Who ate the last piece of lemon pie?

    PASSIVE: I have just noticed that the last piece of lemon pie has been eaten (by a very selfish person)!

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    #3

    Re: how to express compaints in English

    Are your answers typical answers used by English people in their daily lives? If no, maybe someone could provide such answers.

  1. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: how to express compaints in English

    I think it depends on how tactful you need to be when making your complaint. TheParser has shown you how you might phrase those sort of complaints. They would probably be used at work, or with people with whom you are not particularly familiar, or with those to whom you are not related, or where tact is vital.

    At home, or with close friends and relatives you need to decide yourself whether or not tact is required. If you need to be more direct, or very direct, with this closer group of people you could use:

    "Why do you always leave the tap on?"
    "Why don't you ever turn the tap off?"
    "Why do you always leave the light on?"
    "Why do you never turn the light off?"
    "Would you please shut the door?" [Emphasis to indicate that this is probably the 100th time you've asked them to do it.]
    "Why do you need to have the volume so loud?" [For example on a television, CD player, or radio.]
    "Would you please turn the volume down?" [The same context as the previous sentence.]

    Are those the type of sentences you are seeking?
    Last edited by Eckaslike; 13-Sep-2015 at 20:21.

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: how to express compaints in English

    If you don't know who has done it, why not just ask?

    Who left the lights on?
    Who left the kitchen faucet on/dripping?

    If you suspect somebody in particular:

    Did you leave the lights on?
    Did you leave the kitchen faucet running/dripping?

    If you know who's done it:
    Why did you leave the lights on in an empty room?
    Why did you leave the kitchen faucet dripping/running?

    If they've done this before, you could insert 'again' before the question mark on any of these.

    Since this is family, I don't see the need for tact, especially if it's the parent asking kids. Be direct.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: how to express compaints in English

    Then there's this approach: For the love of all that's holy, would you turn the freaking lights off when you leave the room?!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #7

    Re: how to express compaints in English

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Then there's this approach: For the love of all that's holy, would you turn the freaking lights off when you leave the room?!
    Is this the American way of saying it?
    I am not a teacher.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: how to express compaints in English

    It is an American way of saying it.

  5. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: how to express compaints in English

    I think it is very effective, albeit boderline scary, and as a result I'm sorry Barb__D I promise I will never leave a light on again!

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: how to express compaints in English

    And you didn't even have to see my "angry mom eyes" !
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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