Spoken English: Phrases for Giving Compliments

Giving a sincere compliment can make someone’s day (= make the person feel very good, as a very positive point in their day). Here are some spoken English phrases for giving compliments in various situations. Listen to the phrases and repeat them to practice your English speaking:

Phrases for complimenting a person’s clothes / appearance

  • You look nice.
  • You look amazing!
    This phrase is usually used for very special occasions, like when someone is dressed in especially elegant clothing for a formal banquet.
  • What a lovely necklace!
  • I like your shirt – where did you get it?
  • I love your shoes. Are they new?
  • That color looks great on you. (or: You look great in blue)
  • I like your new haircut.

Phrases for complimenting someone’s cooking

  • The lasagna is delicious.
  • This soup is very tasty.
    tasty = delicious
  • You’re a fantastic cook.
  • Did you make this from scratch?
    “From scratch” means from basic/original ingredients, not using pre-prepared foods
  • You’ve got to give me the recipe for this chicken dish!
  • The cherry pie is out of this world.
    “Out of this world” means VERY good, incredible, wonderful
  • That was delicious. My compliments to the chef!
    You can say this at the end of the meal. In this case, the “chef” is not referring to a professional, but instead to the person who cooked the food

Phrases for complimenting someone’s home

  • What a nice apartment!
  • You have a beautiful home.
  • Where did you get that lovely table?
  • I love the decor. Did you do it yourself?
    The word “decor” refers to the interior decoration of the house or apartment.

Phrases for complimenting babies / children

  • Oh, what an adorable face!
  • He/she’s so cute!
    Make sure you know if the baby is a boy or a girl before saying “he” or “she”!
  • Your children are very well-behaved.
  • Your son/daughter is a smart cookie.
    The idiom “a smart cookie” means someone who is intelligent and clever
  • Your kids are a lot of fun.

Formulas for Giving Compliments

Many compliments can be created by following one of these formulas:

1. Your + Noun Phrase + is/looks + (really) + Adjective

  • Your dress is really elegant.
  • Your hair looks great!

2. I + (really) + like/love + Noun Phrase

  • I really like your earrings.
  • I love this vegetable soup!

3. This/That + is + (really) + Adjective + Noun Phrase

  • This is a really nice painting.
  • That’s an awesome car.

4. What a/an + Adjective + Noun Phrase

  • What a lovely apartment!
  • What a cute puppy!

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