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Making Suggestions

When you're working in a group, you often have to make suggestions. In this article, learn the language you need to make suggestions appropriately.

In the discussion, the students made a lot of suggestions. They used different phrases to do this. Here are some phrases from the discussion:

How about…
How about we roll up four sheets of newspaper diagonally?
We could…
We could roll them really tightly.
Why don’t…
Why don’t we roll up four sheets of newspaper like Omar said, but horizontally, not diagonally?
What about…
What about rolling up four sheets of newspaper diagonally like Omar said – really tight – but instead of keeping the legs straight, we bend them?
What if…
What if we turn the A-shaped legs upside down?
Let’s…
Let’s just make a box using the rolled-up newspaper.

Form

It’s important to learn how to use these phrases in a sentence. They’re not all used in the same way.
Here’s how we use them:
We could / Let’s
Phrase Infinitive
We could / Let’s roll up
Why don’t
Phrase Subject + infinitive
Why don’t we roll up
What if
Phrase Subject + present simple
What if we roll up
How about / What about
Phrase Subject + present simple OR -ing form
How about / What about we roll up OR rolling up
Notice that a full stop is used at the end of sentences using We could and Let’s:
We could roll them really tightly.
Let’s just make a box using the rolled-up newspaper.
However, a question mark is used with the others:
How about we roll up four sheets of newspaper diagonally?
Why don’t we roll up four sheets of newspaper like Omar said, but horizontally, not diagonally?
What about rolling up four sheets of newspaper diagonally like Omar said – really tight – but instead of keeping the legs straight, we bend them?
What if we turn the A-shaped legs upside down?

Discussion

Use one of these phrases to make your own suggestion about how to build the table.

Post your suggestion in the comments below.

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