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Ways to Complain in English

Published by My Lingua Academy on

How many times have you complained about your food or drinks in a restaurant? Or in a hotel, maybe even a travel agency or at work? I’m sure you know how to complain in your native language. But, do you know how to complain in English? In case you’re not quite sure, I’ll try to show you some useful and effective ways to complain in English.


First of all, you should never complain directly. Always use introductory sentence such as “pardon me”, “excuse me”, “sorry to bother you, but…”, which are also useful for drawing people’s attention.


You can try some of the following phrases:

  • I’m afraid I have a complaint about…
  • I have a complaint to make…
  • There seems to be a problem/something wrong with…
  • Look, I’m sorry to bother you, but…
  • Sorry to bother you, but I wish to complain about…
  • I would be very grateful if we could find a solution to this problem.
  • I know it’s not your fault, but…
  • I’m sorry, but I’d like to report an issue of…


So, imagine you’re in a cafe and you ordered coffee. The waiter overheard your order and brought you a cup of tea. Try not no tell him “This isn’t what I ordered!”. Use an indirect phrase. Tell him: “Sorry to bother you, but I’m afraid you’ve mistaken my order. I’ve ordered coffee.” I assure you you’ll be properly served after such a polite phrase.


Remember that intonation may also be important, so try to sound polite, instead of sounding nervous, impatient and aggressive.

Ways to complain in English

If you really want to learn English but you don’t know how to do it and where to start, please contact us. We will help you continue your learning where you once stopped. Book a free online English lesson with one of our expert native English teachers and take a test and consultation.

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My Lingua Academy

My Lingua Academy is an online school of English language. We give one-on-one lessons to students of English of all ages and all levels of knowledge all around the world. With us you can prepare for written assignments and exams, attend a general or business English course, or have conversation classes with qualified native English teachers who have years of experience.

1 Comment

Ferdinando Soares · 17 Jun 2020 at 2:14 am

Thank you for sharing
These words are useful for me to get rid to the top

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