English in Use/Conversation Pieces

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English in Use
General ContentsIntroduction
Parts of speech ArticlesNounsVerbsGerunds and participlesPronounsAdjectivesAdverbsPrepositions, Conjunctions and Interjections
Other topics OrthographyPunctuationSyntaxFigures of SyntaxGlossary
External Resources

Apologizing[edit | edit source]

  • Excuse me, ...
  • Sorry!
  • Sorry to interrupt.
  • I'm sorry!
  • I'm so sorry!
  • I'm afraid so.
  • I'm afraid not.
  • I apologize.
  • I do apologize.
  • Please forgive me!

Expressing Surprise[edit | edit source]

  • Wow!
  • You've got to be kidding me!
  • I don’t believe it!
  • That's incredible!
  • Is that right?
  • You're joking!
  • Really?
  • Seriously?
  • My goodness!
  • Oh my!
  • Gosh!
  • What a surprise!
  • Good heavens! (Use sparingly)
  • Well, well, well! (Use sparingly)

Goodbyes[edit | edit source]

  • Good-bye!
  • So long!
  • See you!
  • See you later!
  • See you soon!
  • See you tomorrow!
  • Cheerio!
  • Ta-ta!
  • Ta-ra!
  • I'll be seeing you.
  • Good evening.
  • Good night.
  • Have a good evening!
  • Have a good afternoon!
  • Come back soon!
  • Keep safe!
  • Have a safe trip.
  • Bye bye
  • Toodles!

Meeting People[edit | edit source]

  • Hello there!
  • Pleased to meet you. informal
  • Pleased to meet you, {sir or madam}. formal
  • It's nice meeting you.
  • Finally, we meet!

The following greetings are typically used in formal environments, however, they can also be used for informal environments but be sure not to use sir or ma'am if you know the person well or else it makes the conversation seem a bit too impersonal.

  • Good afternoon, {name or sir or madam}
  • Good morning, {name or sir or madam}
  • Good evening, {name or sir or madam}

Responding to News or Information[edit | edit source]

  • Good for you!
  • I’m sorry to hear that.
  • Oh, how lovely!
  • Sounds great.
  • Yes, I suppose you must be.
  • Wow! That sounds exciting.

Responding to Thanks[edit | edit source]

  • You are welcome
  • Don't mention it
  • No problem
  • It's okay
  • It's a pleasure

Saying: That's Life[edit | edit source]

  • It was just one of those things.
  • That’s the way it goes.
  • These things happen.
  • You know how it is.

Telephoning[edit | edit source]

To ask about someone on the telephone

  • May I speak to ... , please? (formal)
  • Is ... there? (informal)

To leave a message

  • Can I leave a message? (informal)
  • May I leave a message? (formal)
  • Can you ask ... to call me?

To ask someone to repeat something

  • Could you repeat that, please? (formal)
  • Would you repeat that, please? (formal)
  • Pardon?
  • Excuse me?
  • I'm sorry, I didn't catch that.

Some alternative forms to say "yes"

  • Of course.
  • Sure.
  • Yep.
  • Yup.
  • Yeah. (informal)
  • Uh-huh. (informal)

Thanking[edit | edit source]

  • Thank you!
  • Thanks! (informal)
  • Thank you so much!
  • Thanks a lot! (if not said with a rising tone, it will often come across as sarcastic, so be careful with this phrase)
  • I don't know how to thank you. (extremely thankful, almost always used after a large gift or favor is given)

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