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5                              Everyday Conversational Expressions                                           Directing a Conversation p.6

 

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* 5 Directing a Conversation (p.6 of 8)

 

5.26   When you don’t want the speaker to repeat the point

 

So you said.   Listen   <“I like this place.” – “If you like it, I don’t mind being here.” – “This place is excellent.” – “So you said.”>

I get the point.   Listen   A “I understand what you want to say.”   <“You don’t need to repeat it. I get the point.”>

All right, already.   Listen   A “I understood you. You don’t need to repeat it.”   <“I told you the boss was awaiting your report.” – “All right, already. Don’t push me.”>

I heard you, already.   Listen   <“Come on! Let’s go!” – “I heard you, already. Don’t rush me.”>

Stop harping on that subject.   Listen   A “Stop raising that topic again and again.”   <“I know I made a mistake. Stop harping on that subject.”>

You are preaching to the choir.   Listen   A “You are trying to convince a group of people who are already on your side.”   <“Don’t waste your time explaining us the problem. You are preaching to the choir”>

You sound like a broken record.   Listen   <“How many times do I need to ask you to help me?” – “You sound like a broken record. Can’t you wait?”>

Listen to Entire Passage

 

 

5.27   When you stop a person from speaking

 

Some things are better left unsaid.   Listen   A “There are subjects that should not be discussed.”   <“I really don’t know how to tell you this news”. – “Then don’t. Some things are better left unsaid”.>

Don’t waste your breath.   Listen   A “Don’t even speak because you won’t get anywhere with it.”   < “I’ll talk Bob into spending his vacations with us.” – “Don’t waste your breath. He already has other plans.”>

Keep it to yourself.   Listen   A “Don’t tell me about it.”   <“I’ve got bad news.” – “Keep it to yourself.”>

Spare me the story.   Listen   A “Don’t tell me your story.”   <“Spare me the story. I don’t want to hear anything.”>

Save it!   Listen   ASave your story. Stop talking about it.”   <“Save it! I’m not interested.”>

Shut up!   Listen   A “Close your mouth!”   <“I’ve got more to say.” – “Shut up! I’ve heard enough.”>

Zip up your mouth!   Listen   <“You’ve said enough. Zip up your mouth.”>

Give it a rest!   Listen   A “Give your mouth a rest!”   <“It seems like you aren’t paying attention to what I’m saying.” – “Give it a rest! I’m tired of this conversation.”>

Listen to Entire Passage

 

 

5.28   When you want to return to your point

 

What was I saying?   Listen   A “My train of thought was disrupted and now I am going to return to my point.”   <“I’m sorry. We got interrupted. What was I saying?”>

Where was I?   Listen   <“That telephone call made me lose the thread of my argument. Where was I?”>

What were we talking about?   Listen   <“What were we talking about? Oh, yes! You asked me an interesting question.”>

I’ve lost my train of thought for a moment.   Listen   <“Sorry, I’ve lost my train of thought for a moment. Let’s continue our conversation.”>

I’m a little absent-minded.   Listen   <“I’m a little absent-minded. Anyway, I want to go on with my story.”>

Listen to Entire Passage

 

 

5.29   When you want a person to speak in simple language

 

Give it to me in plain English.   Listen   A “Tell it to me in clear language.”   <“This is way too complicated. Give it to me in plain English.”>

What does that mean in plain English?   Listen   <“I’m sorry. I don’t understand your point. What does that mean in plain English?”>

Stop circumventing the issue.   Listen   A “Stop maneuvering around the topic of discussion.”   <“Get to the point. Stop circumventing the issue.”>

Stop speaking in circles.   Listen   <“Cut to the chase. Stop speaking in circles.”>

Put your cards on the table.   Listen   A “Explain clearly.”   <“Tell me the full story. Put your cards on the table.”>

Don’t beat around the bush.   Listen   A “Don’t avoid an open talk.”   <“Answer my direct question. Don’t beat around the bush.”>

Listen to Entire Passage

 

 

5.30   When you express understanding

 

I understand.   Listen   <“I got sick that day. This is why I did not show up.” – “I understand.”>

I see.   Listen   A “I see your point. I understand.”   <“Our airplane couldn’t take off on time due to some technical problem.” – “I see.”>

I get it.   Listen   <“Wildfires are common in California. Firefighters are ready all the time.” – “I get it.”>

I got it.   Listen   <“Every member of the crew must obey captain’s orders.” – “I got it.”>

Listen to Entire Passage

 

 

5.31   When you want to interrupt and add some information

 

I’m sorry to interrupt, but you’re not exactly right.   Listen   <“Ma’am, I’m sorry to interrupt, but you’re not exactly right. There’re different opinions about that.”>

I beg your pardon, but I don’t think that’s entirely correct.   Listen   <“Boss, I beg your pardon, but I don’t think that’s entirely correct. Allow me to explain.”>

May I interrupt for a minute?   Listen   <“May I interrupt for a minute? The train is about to leave.” – “Oh, yes, we need to board the train immediately.”>

Can I say something?   Listen   <“We can go to the beach either in Santa Barbara or in Ventura, whichever you prefer.” – “Can I say something? I hate to rain on your parade, but I heard a storm advisory an hour ago.”>

Can I add something here?   Listen   <“You two have been arguing all day. Can I add something here?” – “What do you want to add to our highly scientific discussion?” – “Pipe down. Take your disagreements elsewhere.”>

Can I put in my two cents’ worth?   Listen   A “Can I contribute some small value to the conversation?”   <“I’ve heard your arguments in favor of the new theory and against it. Can I put in my two cents’ worth?”>

If I may.   Listen   A “If you allow me to interject a remark.”   <“Guys, if I may. Neither the Earth nor the Sun is the center of the universe. The universe is infinite, and both the Earth and the Sun are celestial bodies traveling across it.”>

Listen to Entire Passage

 

 

5.32   When you want to highlight the seriousness of your point

 

I’m dead serious.   Listen   <“Listen, our project doesn’t have much chance. We’ve got to work harder to save it. I am dead serious.”>

I’m not kidding.   Listen   <“Our company is in a very bad shape. I’m not kidding.”>

No kidding.   Listen   A “I am not joking. It is serious.”   <“It appears like the dollar keeps falling.” – “No kidding. Look at store prices!”>

No pun intended.   Listen   <A sales associate in a store saw that a customer with a broken hand had a hard time loading his shopping cart and said, “Can I give you a hand? No pun intended.”>

Joking aside.   Listen   <“Some people taunt him about his habits. But joking aside, he is a very efficient manager.”>

What’s funny?   Listen   <“Guys, I am telling you the truth. What’s funny?”>

Listen to Entire Passage

 

 

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