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  • Hi I'm Anne Marie with Speak Confident English and welcome to this week's

  • Confident English lesson. I want to answer a question that I received

  • recently about interrupting politely in English. In her

  • comments she said that she was on a telephone call yesterday with some

  • Americans and she wanted to tell them that she was only able to be on the

  • phone call for 40 minutes but she didn't know how to interrupt politely so she

  • wanted to know if I had any ideas. And I definitely have some ideas on this topic.

  • It's an important one because interrupting conversations is a little

  • bit delicate; we have to do it correctly. Generally it's rude or impolite to

  • interrupt someone but for example in this situation, it was

  • necessary so that she could share an important message or information with

  • others. In her example the message was that she needed to leave early or that

  • she couldn't stay on the phone call. There are two other situations where we

  • might need to interrupt a conversation: for example if there is a discussion

  • happening and you have a question about something that someone said or you're

  • not sure about something and you want to clarify what you've understood, then it

  • might be necessary to interrupt and ask a question. Or it might be that you would

  • like to join the conversation, you want to add your ideas or opinion before the

  • discussion moves on to a new topic. Again it might be necessary to interrupt

  • to join that conversation. So in this lesson today I want to focus on

  • strategies you can use to be polite when you

  • interrupt--to do it correctly--and look at some very useful expressions and

  • phrases that we have in English to do that. Let's start with some essential

  • tips to help you make sure that you're interrupting politely. Tip number one is

  • to make sure that you have a good reason to interrupt someone. Again if you need

  • to share an important message or you need to clarify and ask a question or

  • you want to make sure that your opinion is heard before the conversation moves

  • on to another topic, those can all be good reasons to interrupt but if you

  • just want to tell your story or make sure that you get the opportunity, it's

  • better to let others finish what they're saying before you jump into the

  • conversation. Tip number two is to make sure that you use polite language and

  • this is where those simple magic words of please and thank you, excuse me are

  • going to help you. Number three, pay attention to your tone of voice. Again

  • interrupting can be considered rude or impolite so you want to use those magic

  • polite words to help you and you want to make sure that your tone of voice is

  • soft and calm as opposed to being aggressive or angry or harsh. Tip number

  • four, if you can wait for the right moment wait for someone to take a breath

  • while they're thinking or wait for a pause in the conversation. And number

  • five if you can try to use body language or non spoken communication to help

  • indicate that you want to interrupt. What I mean by that is you could use

  • something like use a hand gesture to indicate that you want to contribute to

  • the conversation or that you have a question. We also often use eye contact.

  • If you look directly at the speaker and maybe raise your eyebrows or

  • lean forward giving them eye contact, that can be a very useful nonverbal sign

  • that you want to say something. And finally tip number six to make sure that

  • you're polite when you interrupt is to always say thank you after you've

  • interrupted and asked your question or made your comment. Now that you've got those

  • six tips to politely interrupt in English let's look at eleven ways that

  • you can do that. All of the examples that I'm going to share with you are perfect

  • for one-on-one conversations, telephone calls, meetings, and group discussions.

  • Let's start with a few examples for when you need to give some important

  • information or deliver a message such as the example earlier in the video where

  • someone needed to say "I'm sorry but I can't stay on the call any longer" or I

  • have to go in 40 minutes. Here are a few common ways that we can start those

  • sentences where we need to interrupt. For example, I hate to interrupt but... I hate

  • to interrupt but I wanted to let you know I need to get off the phone call a

  • little bit early today or I'm sorry to interrupt but I wanted to let you know I

  • have to leave a little early. You could also use a question for example, I don't

  • mean to be rude but may I interrupt for a moment? Or may I interrupt quickly? Most

  • of the time of course when we do it politely, when we use that polite

  • language and a polite question, it's no problem to have a quick interruption. Now

  • sometimes you might be in a conversation with someone--maybe it's your neighbor or

  • someone at work--and you really need to go. You don't have time to continue the

  • conversation. Maybe you have a meeting or you need to go pick up your kids and

  • it's a little bit difficult to interrupt someone when they're telling you a story

  • or talking about their day but here's a really easy way to do that: I'm so sorry

  • I really don't want to interrupt you but unfortunately I have to pick

  • up my kids in just a few minutes so I have to go but thank you so much for

  • chatting with me for a bit, it was really fun to catch up and I hope that you have

  • a great day. In that interruption I used all the strategies that we've talked

  • about: I started with a little hand gesture to indicate that I needed to

  • interrupt, I used polite and calm language, I had a

  • good reason to interrupt (I needed to pick up my kids from school) and then I

  • stayed polite and positive by telling her it was great to chat with her and

  • that I wished her a good day. Now there are two other situations that we talked

  • about where you might need to interrupt a conversation, for example, you might

  • need to ask a question or to clarify something and here are three great ways

  • to do that: Sorry, can I interrupt to ask a question quickly? Or I'm so sorry for

  • interrupting but I'd like to make sure I understand what you're saying. Or number

  • three I don't mean to be rude but can I ask a quick question? And finally when

  • you're participating in a conversation and you want to join in or add your

  • comments before the topic changes here are three more great ways to interrupt:

  • I'm so sorry to interrupt but before we move on I'd really like to add my

  • thoughts on this topic. Or excuse me, can I jump in here for a moment? And finally

  • may I add something quickly? In those final examples I did use a couple of

  • phrasal verbs and the first one I talked about moving on to a new topic. When we

  • move on to a new topic it means to start to discuss something new or to change

  • the topic. And then in the second one I said "may I jump in here" and when we

  • ask to jump into a conversation it simply means to join a conversation. Now

  • you can find all of these examples in the online lesson that I have for you.

  • I've written them all out so that you can review them and start using them

  • in your English conversations. In today's confident English lesson we focused on

  • what to say when you need to interrupt the conversation but in today's

  • challenge question I want to ask you what do you say if someone interrupts

  • you? What is the polite thing to say or do in English? You can share your

  • thoughts and ideas with me in the comment section at the bottom of the

  • lesson online. With that thank you so much for joining me and I look forward

  • to seeing you next week for your Confident English lesson.

Hi I'm Anne Marie with Speak Confident English and welcome to this week's

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A2 US interrupt conversation polite politely interrupting question

How to Interrupt Someone Politely in English with Tips and Examples

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    Samuel posted on 2018/06/28
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