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Describing Satisfaction

Aim: This exercise is to help you to write report findings and conclusions that describe satisfaction.
Click here if you would like a version of this explanation and exercise in MS Word format.

Introduction:
The Findings section of a report often describes the results of questionnaires or interviews. These often ask participants how satisfied they were with something. However, students sometimes have grammatical problems in describing these findings.

Here is an example questionnaire item on satisfaction:

  Very Satisfied Satisfied Not Satisfied Not at all Satisfied
  1. How satisfied were you with our services?

The results of the questionnaire can be written down in a table, like this:

Table1: Results of a Questionnaire on Customer Satisfaction (n=200)
Question % Very Satisfied % Satisfied % Not Satisfied % Not at all Satisfied
  1. How satisfied were you with our services?
30 60 5 5
  1. How satisfied are you with our products?
10 30 50 10
  1. How satisfied are you with our company overall?
20 50 20 10

Note: (n=200) means that 200 customers answered the questionnaire correctly, and their answers are summarised here. 'n' stands for 'number'.

Example

Findings:
As shown in Table 1, there was a high level of satisfaction with our services, with 90% of our customers saying that they were satisfied or very satisfied. However, our products are not as satisfactory, because half of our customers indicated that they were not satisfied, and one-tenth said that they were not at all satisfied. Overall, satisfaction with our company was high, with half the customers saying that they were satisfied, and one-fifth describing a high degree of satisfaction.

Grammar to describe satisfaction:

Word Part of Speech Example Phrase Example Sentence
satisfy verb (infinitive form) - this did not satisfy him
- this could satisfy them
Our products satisfy our customers less than our service.
satisfying verb (continuous tenses) - it is satisfying their needs Our services are satisfying our customers' needs.
adjective - it is a satisfying experience They said that our services were satisfying.
satisfied verb (past tense) - it satisfied them Our level of service satisfied the customers.
adjective - he was satisfied with...
- he feels satisfied with...
- he is not satisfied with...
In general, customers were satisfied with our company, but not satisfied with our products.
dissatisfied adjective (meaning: not satisfied with the quality) - they were dissatisfied with...
- they felt dissatisfied with...
Our customers are increasingly dissatisfied with our products.
unsatisfied adjective (meaning: not satisfied with the quantity)
This word is very uncommon.
- they were unsatisfied by...
- they felt unsatisfied with...
The meal left me feeling unsatisfied. I was still hungry. There is unsatisfied demand for our products. We could make more.
satisfactory adjective
(more general or impersonal than 'satisfying')
- it is satisfactory
- Highly Satisfactory
The level of service was satisfactory.
unsatisfactory adjective (negative) - it is an unsatisfactory situation
- Highly Unsatisfactory
The products were unsatisfactory.
satisfactorily adverb - has satisfactorily explained No-one has satisfactorily explained the cause of this problem.
satisfaction noun
(uncountable)
- the level of satisfaction
- the degree of satisfaction
The level of satisfaction with our services was high.
dissatisfaction noun
(uncountable)
- the level of dissatisfaction
- the degree of dissatisfaction
The level of dissatisfaction with our services was low.

Examples
Click here to see examples of these words. Click on the link in the examples to see the full sentence.

Note on Prepositions:
'satisfied', 'dissatisfied' and 'satisfaction' can be followed by 'with' or 'by'.

Exercise
Choose the correct word from the drop-down list:

  1. We don't think any of the redundancies are because of bad behaviour or with their services.

     

    Answer:
    We don't think any of the redundancies are because of bad behaviour or dissatisfaction with their services.

    Explanation:
    Redundancies (people losing their jobs) are bad, and behaviour is a noun, so the answer is a negative noun - dissatisfaction.

  2. The new product was launched against a background of increasing sales and substantial improvement in customer as a result of better quality.

     

    Answer:
    The new product was launched against a background of increasing sales and substantial improvement in customer satisfaction as a result of better quality.

    Explanation:
    Increasing sales are good and 'improvement in' is followed by a noun, so the answer is 'satisfaction'.

  3. No one has justified why the two men were at his house or even in that neighbourhood.

     

    Answer:
    No one has satisfactorily justified why the two men were at his house or even in that neighbourhood.

    Explanation:
    'Justified' is a verb, and should be modified by an adverb, so the answer is 'satisfactorily'.

  4. He changed his mind when he heard she had joined the union and they negotiated a much more deal.

     

    Answer:
    He changed his mind when he heard she had joined the union and they negotiated a much more satisfactory / satisfying deal.

    Explanation:
    'Deal' is a noun, and should be modified by an adjective, so the answer is 'satisfactory' or 'satisfying'.

  5. We are that their work is of a very high standard.

     

    Answer:
    We are satisfied that their work is of a very high standard.

    Explanation:
    'Are' is often followed by an adjective, and this adjective describes the feelings of the 'We' people. As feelings should be described by '_ed', rather than '_ing', adjectives, the answer is 'satisfied'.

  6. A pharmacist, however, has to supervise the sale of the drug and he can stop the sale if he is not that the customer is taking it for medical purposes.

     

    Answer:
    A pharmacist, however, has to supervise the sale of the drug and he can stop the sale if he is not satisfied that the customer is taking it for medical purposes.

    Explanation:
    'Is' is often followed by an adjective', and this adjective describes the opinions of the pharmacist. As opinions should be described by '_ed', rather than '_ing', adjectives, the answer is 'satisfied'.

  7. He has become increasingly with the slow pace of reform in the country.

     

    Answer:
    He has become increasingly dissatisfied with the slow pace of reform in the country.

    Explanation:
    If reform is increasingly slow, people usually have negative opinions. The answer describes an opinion or feeling, so the word should be an adjective: 'dissatisfied' or 'unsatisfied'. 'Dissatisfied' is used after 'increasingly', because the prefix 'dis' often describes a process of reducing something, and because 'unsatisfied' is very uncommon.

  8. More than 75 per cent of people who expressed an opinion about his policy address said they were either satisfied or very with it.

     

    Answer:
    More than 75 per cent of people who expressed an opinion about his policy address said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with it.

    Explanation:
    'Very' is followed by an adjective, and this adjective describes the opinions of the people. As opinions should be described by '_ed', rather than '_ing', adjectives, the answer is 'satisfied'.

  9. The sooner we can resolve the important issues at stake in a way which our own community, the better.

     

    Answer:
    The sooner we can resolve the important issues at stake in a way which satisfies our own community, the better.

    Explanation:
    Relative pronouns such as 'which' are followed by verbs, and the subject of this verb is 'a way' (singular), so the answer is 'satisfies'.

  10. It was very to discover people who were free to administer their territory without any policemen or soldiers of any kind.

     

    Answer:
    It was very satisfying / satisfactory to discover people who were free to administer their territory without any policemen or soldiers of any kind.

    Explanation:
    'Very' is followed by an adjective, and 'free' things are usually good. So the answer is 'satisfactory'. The answer can also be 'satisfying' as the freedom is the cause of a feeling or opinion, and causes like this use an '_ing' adjective. However, as freedom is a general, abstract concept, 'satisfactory' is a better answer.

  11. Correct the mistakes in the following sentences, then click the 'See Answer' buttons to see the correct sentence and an explanation:


  12.  

    Answer:
    Only half of the staff are/were satisfied with it.

    Explanation:
    'Satisfied' is an adjective, so you should write the verb 'to be' in front of it. Use a plural form because 'half of the staff' is a plural group of people. You can use past or present tense.


  13.  

    Answers:
    1. There is Only about one-fifth of them are/were satisfied with it.
    2. There are/were only about one-fifth of them who are/were satisfied with it.

    Explanation:
    'Satisfied' is an adjective, so you should write the verb 'to be' in front of it. Use a plural form because 'half of the staff' is a plural group of people. You can use past or present tense.


  14.  

    Answer:
    Only one-third of the staff thought that the course was satisfactory.

    Explanation:
    'Satisfied' is an '_ed' adjective that is used to describe how people feel about something or their opinion about something. However, a course cannot feel or have opinions. A course can be 'satisfying' or 'satisfactory'. If you are talking about the course in general, use 'satisfactory'. If the course affects you on a personal level, use 'satisfying'. The normal word to use in this situation is 'satisfactory'.


  15.  

    Answer:
    The students said that the courses gave them a lot of satisfaction.

    Explanation:
    'Satisfaction' is uncountable, so it can't have an 's' on the end.


  16.  

    Answer:
    I can't get any satisfaction.

    Explanation:
    Although 'I can't get no satisfaction' is the title of a song by The Rolling Stones, it is not acceptable formal grammar for report writing.


  17.  

    Answer:
    Getting a grade 'A' gave him much/great/a great deal of / a lot of satisfaction.

    Explanation:
    Use 'much', not 'many', because 'satisfaction' is uncountable. 'Great' and 'a great deal of ' are more formal alternatives, while 'a lot of ' is less formal.

Your total score is:

 

Last updated on: Monday, February 25, 2013