官方APP下载:英语全能特训(微信小程序版,支持苹果手机、安卓手机)
创办于2003年
UNSV记不住?那就记中文谐音“忧安思危”吧!
  Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
UNSV英语学习频道 - Slow and steady wins the race!
站长就要结婚啦!推个特大优惠活动:婚礼祝福超值特惠包 >>>
手机微信学英语
打开手机微信,扫描以下二维码,即可通过我们的微信小程序学英语。
英语全能特训(微信小程序)
UNSV英语学习频道淘宝网店
淘宝网店购买咨询
客服短信:18913948480
客服邮箱:web@unsv.com
初级VIP会员
全站英语学习资料下载。
¥98元/12个月

How to Interrupt Someone in a Nice Way

阅读次数:

VIP会员专享下载:(非VIP会员无权下载!如果想下载,但还不是VIP会员,请点此订购
下载方式:使用鼠标右键(注意是鼠标右键!)点击下面的MP3音频/MP4视频链接,然后选择“另存为…”。
MP3节目录音 MP3节目录音 
文章原文
同步字幕

Imagine that you are talking with a friend who lives overseas. You haven't seen or spoken to the person in a year and he or she has much news to share.

The friend talks for a long time and you listen…for a long time. But, you want to tell them you have to go to work. How can you do it? You might need to interrupt them, but in a kind way.

There are many reasons that interrupting a speaker or group of speakers may be necessary. They include to:

  • End a conversation
  • Ask a question
  • Give someone a message
  • Or to join a conversation

The goal is to be able to do these things in a polite way. In today's Everyday Grammar, we will share some language you can use.

To end a conversation

So, let's return to our situation from the start of the program: the desire to end a conversation.

There are times when we want or have to leave a conversation before a speaker finishes. In these situations, we can use one of these phrases:

  • I'm sorry to interrupt but…
  • I hate to interrupt but…
  • I'm sorry to cut this short but…

Here's how someone might use one of these in conversation:

So, anyway, we get there and as soon as…

I'm sorry to interrupt but I have to be somewhere in an hour.

Oh, okay, no problem! Let's catch up more next week.

Note that when we interrupt a speaker for any reason, we almost always begin with "Sorry," "I'm sorry" or, for some kinds of interruptions, "Excuse me."

In social or professional situations, there are polite ways of interrupting a person or people to do things like ask a question or deliver information.
In social or professional situations, there are polite ways of interrupting a person or people to do things like ask a question or deliver information.

To ask a question

Now, let's move to another common situation: the need to ask a question.

There are times when we have a question about the subject of discussion or even an unrelated subject. Or, we may want to make sure we've understood the speaker before they continue speaking.

Here are two useful phrases for asking questions:

  • Sorry to interrupt but may I ask a question?
  • I'm sorry for the interruption but I have a quick question.

Or, here's what you can say to check that you've understood the speaker:

Sorry for interrupting, but I want to make sure I understand.

Then, you can ask or state something to make sure you're clear on the speaker's meaning.

Now, let's hear how someone might use one of these phrases. Suppose the interrupter briefly walks into a meeting in progress:

Sorry for the interruption, but I have a quick question. What time do the exchange students get here?

They should be here by 2:30.

Great! I'll have their welcome packets ready by 12.

Note the very small differences in form between "to interrupt" "for the interruption" and "for interrupting." All are common in American spoken English.

To give a message

In other situations, you may need to give someone a message that cannot wait, such as to inform them about a phone call or other time-sensitive issue. In giving such messages to people while they are speaking, we sometimes start with "Excuse me":

  • Excuse me, Bryan. There's a phone call for you on line 1.
  • Sorry to interrupt, but you're needed in the lobby to sign for a package.

Note that the phrase "Pardon me" is another way to say, "Excuse me," but is less common except in very formal situations.

To join a conversation

And, finally, there are times when you want to join a conversation between two or more people.

Sometimes, this is easy to do because you're already friendly with the people and they are talking casually about a subject.

Other times, the speakers are so deep in discussion that there are no natural breaks in their speech. But you still want to offer an opinion, make an important point or share some information.

These phrases can help you enter a conversation:

  • Excuse me, but may I jump in here?
  • Sorry to butt in, but…
  • May (or) Can I add something here?
  • I couldn't help overhearing…

"I couldn't help overhearing" means "I couldn't avoid hearing what you said." Be careful to use this phrase only with people who would react kindly, such as friends or coworkers.

Listen to a short talk between coworkers:

Did you catch the Golden Globe Awards? I was so happy to see Alfonso Cuarón win best director!

I know! "Roma" was a beautiful film.

I couldn't help overhearing you talk about "Roma." I just watched it last night. Wow, what lovely cinematography.

So, you just learned how to politely interrupt other people. But what might you say if someone interrupts you? You can tell us in the comments area.

I'm Alice Bryant.

Alice Bryant wrote this story for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Words in This Story

interruptv. to ask questions or say things while another person is speaking

conversationn. an informal talk involving two people or a small group of people

politeadj. having or showing good manners or respect for other people

phrasen. a brief expression that is commonly used

packetn. a small, thing package

lobbyn. a large open area inside and near the entrance of a building

formaladj. requiring or using serious and proper clothes and manners

casuallyadv. in a way designed for or permitting ordinary dress, behavior or language

cinematographyn. the art or technique of motion-picture photography

网友的学习评论(0条):
版权所有©2003-2019 南京通享科技有限公司,保留所有权利。未经书面许可,严禁转载本站内容,违者追究法律责任。 互联网经营ICP证:苏B2-20120186
网站备案:苏ICP备05000269号-1中国工业和信息化部网站备案查询
广播台