Uncategorized

Conversation strategies: Showing surprise and asking follow-up questions

Episode 3

Use expressions like these to show surprise when talking to people you know well:

  • Oh!  Gosh!
  • Really?  Oh, my gosh!
  • Wow!  You’re kidding!
  • Oh, wow!  Are you serious?
  • No way!  No!

For example:

A: I’m working two jobs this semester.

B: You’re kidding! Two jobs? Wow.

A: I just got married, nobody knows!

B: Really? Are you serious?

A: My sister’s taking her driver license test for the third time.

B: No way!

Now, to keep the conversation going it’s a good idea to ask follow-up questions. We often use follow-up questions to show that we are interested and engaged in the conversation.

To show surprise when talking to people you don’t know well, use Oh! or Really!

A: I’m working two jobs this semester.

 B: You’re kidding! Two jobs? Where are you working?

A: I just got married, nobody knows!

B: Are you serious? When are you telling your parents?

A: My sister’s taking her driver license test for the third time.

B: No way! Hadn’t she been practicing for a while?

So, remember to ask follow-up questions to show that you are a good listener. One tip is to remember the question words what, when, where, why, who..?

Here’s an example of how not to have an English conversation:

A: How was your weekend?

B: Pretty good, yours?

A: It was OK.

Unfortunately, the conversation stops here because there’s no natural way to continue it. Now take a look at these examples.

A: how was your weekend?”

B: Pretty good! I went to the movies.”

A: Really? What did you see?

B: Aladdin, have you seen it yet?

A: No, I’m not into animated films.

B: No way! They’re amazing!

A: “Hey, how was your weekend?”

B: “Pretty good! I went to a soccer match with my brother.”

A: “Really? Who was playing?

B: Colombia vs.Argentina. You know, the Copa America match.

A: I know next to nothing about Copa America. I’m don’t care for soccer.

B: Are you serious?

A: Yeah, I’m just not into it.

Listen to episode 3 here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s