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Life skills tip of the week: approval and disapproval

Express-Yourself-MEDO-Web-232x300pxAs part of this year’s pragmatics series, we bring more useful content and tips from the Macmillan Dictionary on expressing yourself.

The previous language tip looked at some of the ways of adding emphasis to what you say and write.



This week’s tip looks at a few of the very many ways of expressing approval and disapproval.

One way to express approval is to use a positive adjective such as good, great, amazing, fantastic, perfect or wonderful with the verb to be:
That is/was great/amazing/fantastic.
That’s a good/great/excellent idea.

You can also use one of these adjectives with the verbs to look or to sound:
It looks/it’s looking good/great.
Looks good/great to me!
That sounds great/perfect.

You can say you like or love the way someone does something:
I really like the way you’ve decorated this room.
I love the way she writes.

An informal way of expressing approval for something is to use the present continuous form  of the verbs like or love:
I am loving this five-day weekend!
I’m really liking my new phone.

You can also use phrases such as  good for you or well done to show approval for something someone has done. American English uses the phrase good job:
“Then I did a post grad in business studies.” “Yeah? Good for you!”
Well done for having such an excellent website.
Good job on following up on that report.

There are very many ways of showing disapproval. Here are a few of them:
It’s not looking (too/that) good/great.
That doesn’t sound/seem like a very good idea.
I don’t really like the way she speaks to her children.
We only see each other about 3 hours a day, and I am not liking that at all. 
I’m not impressed with their customer service.

Would you like to learn more about pragmatics? Keep a close eye on our pragmatics page where the tenth of our life skills lesson plans was published recently. For more information about Life Skills, visit the Macmillan Life Skills page.

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Liz Potter

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