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Summary of Strategies

Let’s review all the apologizing strategies we have seen in the exercises.

  • The strategies in red are core apologizing strategies, without which your utterance wouldn’t be recognized as an apology

  • The strategies appearing in blue are particularly important supporting strategies that can enhance or expand upon your apology.

  • You will see in black additional strategies that can also help you perform apologies, but they are not essential.

  • The strategies in green are general strategies that can be applied not only to apologies but also to other speech acts.

Giving Compliments:


 Making the complimenting statement

  • Making the complimenting statement
  • Using appropriate complimenting expressions according to the interlocutor and the situation (Ex. 3, 4, 6, 9, all others)


 Using an appropriate level of politeness throughout the interaction (Ex.1. 2, 9, 10)


 Abiding by the cultural norms for complimenting

  • Phrasing a compliment appropriately according to the interlocutor (Ex. 1, 9)
  • Maintaining an appropriate distance (Ex.1, 2, 9)
  • Avoiding complimenting family members at the presence of a third party (Ex. 5)
  • Adhering to the typical frequency of compliments (Ex. 8)


 Using an appropriate tone of voice

  • Using intensifiers and pronounce them emphatically
  • Extending the compliment again if rejected (Ex. 8)

Responding to Compliments:


 Making the response statement

  • Making the response statement
  • Using appropriate response expressions according to the interlocutor and the situation (Ex. 6, 7)


 Using an appropriate level of politeness throughout the interaction (Ex. 6, 10)


 Using compliment response strategies

  • Disagreeing with a compliment (Ex.. 6)
  • Thanking (Ex.. 6, 7, 10)
  • Providing no answer or shifting topics (Ex. 6, 7)
  • Providing positive comments (Ex. 7)
  • Questioning (Ex. 7, 10)
  • Returning a compliment (Ex. 7)
  • Offering background information (Ex. 7)
  • Shifting credit to others (Ex. 7)
  • Expressing surprise (Ex. 7)
  • Downgrading (Ex. 7)
  • Making a joke (Ex. 7)
  • Disagreeing (Ex. 7)
  • Doubting the sincerity of compliments (Ex. 7)

Learning Strategies for All Speech Acts


 Finding an informant (a native or non-native expert of the culture) who can answer your questions regarding  sociolinguistic or sociocultural norms in the target language/culture.


 Listening to other speakers carefully to observe the cultural norms and language of their speech.  Making your own  hypotheses or hunches regarding appropriate use of the target language and being willing to renew them as  necessary. 


 Finding resources that can inform you of the target language and culture.


Barnlund & Araki (1985), Daikuhara (1986), Furukawa (2001), Koike (2000), Nakamura (1989), Nomura (1998), Takasaki (1988), Terao (1996), Torikai (1985), Yokota (1986)

View the Annotated Bibliography
of the Articles Used to Create the Exercises

View More Information about Compliments and Responses to Compliments

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