Making Suggestions In English

Why not…?

One way of making suggestions is to use the phrase Why not…?

• ‘Susie is really angry with me.’ ‘Why not send her some flowers?’

• ‘Sally is in the hospital.’ ‘Why not go and see her?’

Why don’t…? can be used in the same way.

•Why don’t you send her some flowers?

• Why don’t we go and see Sally?

Why + verb can be used to suggest that an action is pointless.

• Why ask him? He’s not going to help you.

• Why argue with him? He’s not going to change his mind.

• Why wait for her? She’s not going to come.


Use let’s to make a polite suggestion.

• Let’s buy something to eat.

• Let’s go for a walk.

• Let’s do it later.

• Let’s wait a bit longer.

You can make these suggestions sound more polite by adding the question tag Shall we…?

• Let’s invite Andrew, shall we?

• Let’s take a break, shall we?

Shall we / Shall I…?

Use shall we to see if other people agree with you.

• Shall we go and see Julie?

• Shall I get you something to drink?

• Shall we ask his opinion?