Some ways of offering something to someone, and some ways of accepting or refusing an offer:
Would you like…? is the most usual way of offering something to someone, or inviting them to do something.
Do you want…? is a more informal way of offering something to someone:
‘Would you like a magazine to read while you’re waiting?’ ‘Thanks very much, that would be great.’
‘Do you want another coffee?’ ‘No, thanks – I must be going.’
Would you care for…? is a very formal way of asking someone if they would like something:
‘Would you care for dessert, madam?’ ‘Thank you, I’ll have the apple pie.’
(Do you) fancy…? (British English) and How about…? are informal ways of asking someone if they would like something:
‘Fancy an ice cream?’ ‘No, thanks, I’m on a diet.’ ‘How about a cold drink then?’ ‘OK, I’ll have a diet cola.’
Who wants…? is used when offering something to a group of people.
Can I get you…? is used especially when offering someone food or drink:
‘Who wants another glass of wine?’ ‘I’d love one.’
‘Can I get you anything?’ ‘I’m fine, thanks.’
What will you have? and What can I get you? are used when asking someone what they would like, especially in a restaurant, bar or café:
‘It’s my turn to get the drinks. What will you have?’ ‘An orange juice, please.’
I couldn’t and Not for me, thanks are both ways of politely refusing food or drink that someone has offered you. Not for me, thanks is more informal:
‘Would you like another piece of cake?’ ‘I couldn’t. It was delicious though.’
‘Do you want salad with your pizza?’ ‘Not for me, thanks.’
Some ways of saying you think you know something but are not completely sure:
perhaps/maybe: used for saying that you are not certain about something, or that something may or may not be true. Perhaps is more formal and is used more in writing while maybe is used more in speech:
I wondered if perhaps he had fallen ill.
‘When can you give me an answer?’ ‘I don’t know. Maybe tomorrow.’
probably/possibly: probably is used for saying that something is likely to be true, and possibly that it may be true but you are not certain:
If prices are low, it’s probably because of lack of demand.
‘Would you consider moving to another country for your work?’ ‘Possibly, I’m not sure.’
apparently: used when what you are saying is based on what you have heard, not on what you are certain is true:
Apparently, she resigned because she had an argument with her boss.
As far as I know: used for saying what you think is true when you think that there may be facts that you do not know:
No one has complained, as far as I know.
To the best of my knowledge/recollection/belief: used for saying that you think something is true, but you are not completely certain. These are fairly formal expressions:
To the best of my knowledge, no similar book has been published.
To the best of my recollection, we’ve never met.
Not to my knowledge: used for saying that you think something is not true, although you are not completely certain:
‘Have the letters been written yet?’ ‘Not to my knowledge.’
I imagine/suppose: used for saying that you think something is probably true, but you can’t be sure:
I imagine they’ve left already.
It’s difficult, I imagine, to keep your interest alive after doing the job for 30 years.
I suppose she must be delighted about getting the job.
Other ways of saying ‘I don’t know‘:
Dunno: used informally, in spoken language:
‘Are you coming out later?’ ‘Dunno. Depends on the weather.’
I have no idea/I haven’t a clue/I haven’t the faintest idea: used when you have no information and you are unable to guess the answer to a question:
‘What time does the film start?’ ‘I have no idea. Why don’t you call the cinema?’
‘I don’t suppose you know where Braganza Street is?’ ‘I haven’t a clue. Sorry.’
‘Could somebody please explain how this car ended up in my driveway?’ ‘I haven’t the faintest idea.’
How should I know?/Don’t ask me/Search me: used when you do not know something and you feel annoyed that someone is asking you about it:
‘Who left this rubbish all over the table?’ ‘How should I know? I’ve only just come home.’
‘Why didn’t he call me himself?’ ‘Don’t ask me. I’m only the messenger.’
‘Why didn’t he say he wasn’t coming?’ ‘Search me. He never tells me anything.’
Who knows?/It’s anyone’s guess: used for saying that you don’t know something because it is impossible for anyone to know it:
‘When will this situation ever be resolved?’ ‘Who knows? It’s been going on for so long now.’
‘How the situation will develop from here is anyone’s guess.’
Your guess is as good as mine: used for saying that you know as little about something as the person who asked you about it:
‘Do you think the store will be open on Sunday?’ ‘Your guess is as good as mine.’
Not as far as I know: used for saying that something may be true, but you do not have enough information to know whether it is or not:
‘Has James left the company? I haven’t seen him for ages.’ ‘Not as far as I know, but I haven’t seen him recently either.’
It beats me: used for saying that you do not know or understand something:
‘Why did he do such a stupid thing?’ ‘It beats me.’
ways of suggesting something:
How about…?/What about…? an informal way of suggesting something
How about/What about going out to dinner tonight?
What if I…? an informal way of suggesting something that you can do to help someone
What if I babysat for you tonight? Then you could both go to the party.
Let’s… an informal way of suggesting to the people you are with something that you could all do together
I know, let’s go swimming!
Why don’t I/you/we/they…? a way of suggesting something when you are introducing a new idea that other people have not thought of
Why don’t you try phoning their office number instead?
What would you say to…?/What do you say I/we…? a way of asking whether someone would accept a suggestion
What would you say to a weekend by the seaside? ♦ What do you say we have dinner at that restaurant by the beach?
Perhaps we/you/they could… a way of suggesting something, especially when you are not completely sure if it is a good idea
Perhaps we could ask Jerry’s father if he has a tent he could lend us?
We/You could always… a way of suggesting something when most other possibilities have already been considered
I suppose we could always go to the cinema instead.
May/Can I suggest…? a polite and formal way of suggesting something
May I suggest that we postpone discussing this until the next meeting?
May/Can/Could I make a suggestion? a way of suggesting something, often used when interrupting people who are already discussing what to do
Could I make a suggestion? Why don’t we put all the guests on the first floor and then everyone will be happy?
I suggest… a way of suggesting something in a slightly annoyed way, especially when you think someone has been silly or has done something wrong
In future, I suggest you ask your father’s permission before you borrow his car.