Speak English Smoothly With These Key Phrases Ep 692

An AI image of a female with a quizzical expression during a chat in English. Improve understanding of conversational cues.

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

💬 3730 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 19 min

📥 Download MP3 & PDF 12.8 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript ▪️ 🎧 Listen to Lesson

English Speaking Practice: End Chats Politely And On Your Terms

Ready to ignite your English skills? Dive into our dynamic lesson and master the art of English conversation! You'll grasp vital phrases that serve as conversational connectors. These 'social cues' will boost your ability to flow in dialogue. Jump-start your fluency with Adept English! 🚀

  • ✅ Tutorial-packed to guide your speaking journey!
  • ✅ Review and refine with every interaction!
  • ✅ How-to hacks for elegant English exchanges!

Why leap into this lesson? Here's the low-down:

  • 🎯 Hone phrases for polite & powerful dialogue
  • 🎧 Amp up your listening to decode social cues
  • 🗣️ Practice conversational glue for smooth chats
  • 🇬🇧 Absorb British culture for authentic interaction

✔Lesson transcript: https://adeptenglish.com/lessons/english-speaking-practice-social-cues-conversation-tips/

We can disagree without being disagreeable.
⭐ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Join us for a British blend of language learning. It's not just a course, it's a cultural quest. Your ticket to confident conversations starts here. 🎫💬 #LearnEnglish #SpeakFluent

Ever felt like an outsider in English chats? Tune in to today's Adept English lesson and banish that feeling forever! I'm Hilary, your guide to mastering the 'social glue' of conversation—those magic phrases that let you navigate any English dialogue with ease and charm.

From confirming understanding to expressing agreement, or even how to disagree without a fuss, we've got you covered. Get ready to become the person everyone wants to talk to, in English! Let's unlock the secrets together.

Agreement is the place where everyone gets tired of arguing.
⭐ PJ O'Rourke

Sharpen your speaking with #FluentEnglishTips. From the first "hello" to the closing goodbye, craft conversations that resonate and relationships that last. End English Chats Gracefully! Wrap up English conversations politely. Visit our YouTube channel for the best phrases to use!

More About This Lesson

Unlock the secrets of English fluency with Adept English! Our podcast guides you through conversational phrases and the 'conversational glue' you need to join in English chats with confidence. I'm Hilary, your friendly expert, ready to help you master the social cues and key phrases for every situation.

Conversation should touch everything, but should concentrate itself on nothing.
⭐ Oscar Wilde

Things you will learn from listening to today's English speaking lesson:

  1. Learn conversational glue
  2. Guide smooth conversations
  3. Confirm understanding
  4. Share opinions tactfully
  5. Disagree politely
  6. Read social cues
  7. Enhance sociability
  8. Master advanced English
  9. Practice with real phrases
  10. Understand native speakers

Fluent English, Friendly Chats!, Learn to 'read the room' in English conversations. Get our insights on Spotify and speak smoothly!

  • Overcome Fear: Tackle common fears such as misunderstanding, seeming impolite, or feeling left out.
  • Express Yourself: Learn phrases to share your thoughts and opinions clearly and politely.
  • Engage in Conversations: Pick up on social cues and respond like a native speaker.
  • Cultural Understanding: Gain insights into British culture and its conversational norms.
  • Improve Fluency: Move beyond basic English with phrases that make you sound fluent.

Benefits of our listen & learn approach to learning

Enhance your English learning journey with real-world phrases and emotional insights that address your fears:

  1. Misunderstanding: Use phrases like 'Do you mean...' to clarify and confirm your understanding.
  2. Politeness: Say 'I see what you mean, but...' to express a different view without offence.
  3. Social Inclusion: Use our 'conversational glue' to recognize and respond to subtle social hints.
  4. Opinion Sharing: Invite conversation with 'What's your opinion on...' to make sharing your thoughts easier.
  5. Beyond Basics: Move past simple English with social phrases that enrich your conversations.
  6. Smooth Endings: Learn to exit chats smoothly with polite phrases.
  7. Formal Accuracy: Use respectful checks like 'Can I just check that I’ve understood you correctly?' in formal situations.

Are you ready to excel in English conversations? Follow us and subscribe for more valuable tips! Tune in to our podcast and say goodbye to feeling like an outsider in English chats. With Adept English, you'll become the person everyone enjoys talking to.

Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.
⭐ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

So if you want to glue your English conversations together like a pro. Tune into our podcast and hit follow to unlock the secrets of fluent English chats. Don't just learn English, live it—subscribe now for a world of confident communication at your fingertips!

Questions You Might Have...

Unlock the art of British banter; this podcast is your key to mastering the conversational dance of English.

  1. How can I check I've understood someone correctly in English? You can confirm your understanding by rephrasing what you've heard and asking for confirmation. Try saying, "Do you mean that you're going to be working on my team?" or ask politely, "Can I just check that I've understood you correctly?"
  2. What are some phrases to ask someone's opinion in English? Engage in the conversation by inviting opinions with phrases like, "Do you agree that climate change is a big issue?" or "What are your thoughts on this year's budget?" It shows you value their viewpoint.
  3. How can I agree with someone in an English conversation? Show your agreement by using phrases like "Absolutely!" or "I couldn't agree more about climate change." This can strengthen connections and show solidarity with the speaker's views.
  4. What's a polite way to disagree in an English conversation? Disagree without offending by saying, "I see what you mean, but..." or "I understand your point, however..." It's a way of showing respect for the other person's opinion while expressing your own.
  5. How can I change the subject or end a conversation in English politely? You can smoothly change topics by linking phrases like "Speaking of holidays, did I tell you..." or conclude with "Anyway, it’s been great to see you," which signals the end of the interaction.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Conversational glue: Simple phrases that help keep a conversation going smoothly.
  • Sociable: Friendly and pleasant to be with.
  • Cues: Signals or hints that something is happening or about to happen.
  • Diplomatically: Dealing with people in a sensitive and effective way.
  • Abrupt: Sudden and unexpected, often in a way that seems rude.
  • Interrupt: To stop someone while they are talking or doing something, by saying or doing something oneself.
  • De-escalate: To reduce the intensity of a conflict or situation.
  • Wrap up: To finish or complete something.
  • Prompt: A signal to someone to do something.
  • Glue: In this context, it means something that binds or holds things together, metaphorically used for phrases that keep the conversation united.

Most Frequently Used Words:


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Transcript: Speak English Smoothly With These Key Phrases

Let’s learn ‘the glue that holds together English conversation’

Hi there. Today let’s work on your English conversation. Have you ever felt lost in an English conversation? Don’t miss this podcast for English language learners - I’m covering key phrases that act like 'conversational glue,' giving you the power to direct conversation smoothly and understand how the person you’re speaking with is guiding the conversation too. This lesson is essential learning, offering you phrases to confirm understanding, share opinions, and even disagree with people, all while remaining friendly! You can tell that you’re getting quite far on in your language learning, when you can start to make conversation just to be sociable, for pleasure or to make friends.

This is more advanced English than simply being able to order a meal in a restaurant or book your train ticket! Or you may be in a business meeting in English. These phrases that I’m covering today are simple, but are hugely important as they guide the conversation and they make up the ‘social cues’. We all use ‘social cues’, that’s CUES - and you will do this in your own language too. By ‘social cues’, I mean those little signs, say that someone disagrees with you or that someone wants to end the conversation. You’ll pick up these signs too, these ‘social cues’ probably without thinking about it in your language and this lesson will help you to do that in English!

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

Activate Your Listening will help YOUR English conversation

Don’t forget if you want more practice at English conversation - our course Activate Your Listening does just this. It’s ideal for taking forward your English conversation skills. Hours of listening will help you move you forward. You’ll find Activate Your Listening on our Courses page on our website at adeptenglish.com.

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

So a super useful podcast topic today - both for you to learn some phrases so that you can use them, but also to learn the meaning of these phrases which other English speakers will use, so that you can pick up the ‘social cues’ in a conversation. This podcast will help you ‘read the room’, as we say in English. I’ll group the phrases by what situation is happening in the conversation. Here goes.

"Do you mean…?" — Clarify your understanding!

First of all and this is really relevant for language learners - what do you say, when you think you’ve understood, but you just want to check? You think you understood, but you want to be sure. You could say, ‘Do you mean that you’re going to be working on my team?’ or ‘In other words, you mean that you’re going to be working on my team?’. Or you could simply say ‘So what you’re saying is you’re going to be working on my team?’. Or if they’ve asked you a question, you could say ‘So what you’re asking is whether you’re going to be working on my team?’

If you want to say this more formally - and indicate to the other person that you’d like them to repeat, say it again to check you’ve understood - ‘Can I just check that I’ve understood you correctly? You said you’re going to be working on my team?’

And if you need to be super polite - say you’re in a service role, you’re working on the reception desk at a hotel or you’re the waiter or waitress in a restaurant - you might say ‘Can I just confirm that you wanted salad with that?’


A photograph of people in conversation. Boost English conversation skills.

©️ Adept English 2023

What’s your opinion? - Having a discussion

What about if the conversation is more social and you want to ask the other person what they think, their opinion in other words? That’s OPINION. If you’ve just talked about what you think, your opinion then you might simply say to them ‘Do you agree that climate change is one of the biggest issues?’ Or ‘What’s your opinion on climate change?’ is another simple way to ask this.

If you’re in a social conversation and you’re really interested in the other person, you might say ‘I’d love to hear what you think’ or ‘I’d love to hear your opinion on climate change and what we should do about it’. And if you’re in a work meeting situation and you’d like a discussion, you might say ‘What are your thoughts on this year’s budget?’ If the meeting is coming to a close and you’re inviting someone to speak who hasn’t yet contributed, then you might say something like ‘Have you anything to add?’

"I completely agree with you" — A sure way to connect

What about if you want to show you agree with someone, what’s the best way to say this? Well, you could simply go with ‘Ooh yes, absolutely!’ Or another simple phrase to get your message across ‘I completely agree with you’. In conversation, especially when it’s about an opinion - you’re ‘putting the world to rights’ as we sometimes say in English - then you might say ‘I couldn’t agree more with you about climate change!’. ‘I couldn’t agree more’. Or ‘You and I are on the same page’. ‘You and I are on the same page as far as climate change is concerned!’

Some even more casual ways of saying you agree, which I notice my daughters use. They’ll listen to someone’s opinion and then they’ll respond, ‘One hundred percent’. Or I’ve even heard them simply respond ‘Fully’ - which is short for ‘I fully agree’.

"I don’t feel the same way" — Dare to disagree politely

What about if you want to disagree? This is perhaps more difficult and needs more care! You don’t want to sound too abrupt - that’s ABRUPT - which means ‘sounding short’ which could tip into sounding rude. British people are sensitive around manners so you need to know how to disagree politely or at least diplomatically, so that you don’t upset anyone without intending to!

You might start with, “I see what you mean, but…” to keep the balance. It shows that you’re considering their point before you add your own. How about ‘I see what you mean, but I don’t agree’ or ‘I understand your point of view, but…..’ So a good way of being diplomatic is to acknowledge what the other person said, that their opinion is valid - but there’s a ‘But’ because you see it differently. Another one - ‘I can see where you’re coming from, but…..’

If you’re being really diplomatic and you agree with the person in part, you might say ‘I agree with you up to a point.’ And then you’d talk about the parts where you don’t agree!

If you completely disagree, you might say simply ‘I don’t feel the same way about this’. This isn’t as pointed - as ‘I disagree with you’, which can sound quite harsh. Something we say a lot in English to ‘soften’ the meaning of what we’re saying, when we think the other person won’t like it ‘I’m afraid that…..’ So ‘I’m afraid that I disagree’ - softens it a little. That’s afraid, AFRAID. And we’re using it here as a ‘figure of speech’ - it doesn’t mean we’re actually fearful. We’re just trying to be more polite when giving ‘slightly bad news’ to someone. You’ll hear it in other situations. In a shop, ‘I’m afraid that item is out of stock’, if they don’t have something you asked for. Or ‘I’m afraid I don’t have an appointment for another three weeks’. So ‘I’m afraid’ is used in English to ‘soften the blow’ slightly when someone thinks you might be a bit disappointed with their answer.

In more formal discussions when disagreeing, sometimes people say ‘Respectfully, I have to disagree with you’. That can sound as though it’s quite ‘softened’, but my reaction to this is more ‘Whoops, this is really getting serious, really kicking off as a heated discussion between these two people!’. Your hear ‘Respectfully, I have to disagree with you’ in discussions between politicians on the news sometimes. And I always think ‘Woo, this is getting interesting!’ So you may want to be careful how you use this one!

"Let's agree to differ" — Can we end disagreement without argument?

What if you want to end the conversation or divert it before it gets too argumentative and people ‘fall out’. In which case the following are really good. A simple ‘Let’s get away from the disagreement’ might work. Or even better, when people with different opinions are unlikely to change their minds, ‘Let’s agree to differ’. That’s a lovely one - and any native English speaker would hear that as a way to de-escalate an argument, bring the level of disagreement right down. ‘Let’s agree to differ’.

"Sorry for interrupting, but…" — Interruption done politely?

What about if you need to ‘interrupt’ the discussion? That’s ‘to interrupt’, INTERRUPT and here it means ‘to stop the person speaking, so that you can speak’. An ‘interruption’ stops whatever is going on - which may then continue again afterwards.

Well, you could just start by saying ‘Sorry for interrupting, but the meeting is about to start’ or ‘Excuse me, but let me just say we need to move into the other room’. Another one, if there’s a pause in the discussion and you want to get in on it, ‘Can I jump in here?’ because you’ve something important to share with them. That’s especially good in a work meeting conversation. Or another one, which is quite polite ‘Do you mind if I add to that?’

If you need to interrupt and it needs to be super polite - again say you’re serving drinks to people in a hotel or restaurant - the most polite version you could say is ‘Sorry, may I interrupt you for a moment?’ That’s super polite.

"Speaking of holidays…" — How to switch topics smoothly

What if you want to change the topic? Well, you could just go with ‘That reminds me…..’ and you start talking about something completely different. Or if there’s a pause in the conversation and you want to start a new topic - ‘Just thinking about…..’ - and in you go.

Sometimes people will start a new topic as though they’ve just remembered something ‘Oh, I know what I wanted to ask you….’ or ‘Oh, I know what I wanted to ask your opinion on….’ Another one, when the topic is linked ‘Speaking of holidays, did I tell you we’ve booked a trip to Italy?’. So there’s a connection - holidays - but this trip is one we haven’t spoken about before. Other short phrases you can use to signal a ‘change of topic’? ‘Oh, by the way how is your son doing?’ Or ‘By the way, did you hear on the news….?’ Or another one - ‘Before I forget, let me tell you about my new job’.

🌶️ Spice Up Your English Vocabulary With This English Vocabulary Lesso

"Anyway, it’s been great to see you!" — Parting without pain!

Lastly - and this is something that even British people struggle to do sometimes - ending the conversation! Sometimes people struggle to ‘wrap up’ a conversation. Say you’ve met someone by chance in the street that you know and you’ve been chatting. For this situation, we often say ‘We bumped into someone’ - meaning you met them unexpectedly. Now you need to get away, because you’re late for work, the parking ticket is up on your car - or you need to collect your daughter from school. Well these phrases will allow you to signal to the other person politely that you need to end the conversation.

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‘Well, I’d best be off’ perhaps? Or ‘Right, it’s been lovely talking to you but I need to dash’ Or ‘Anyway, it’s been great to see you!’ That’s a real signal that the conversation is ending, is winding up. That’s useful for you to know as a social prompt from the other person. Another way to round off the conversation, signalling you need to go? You might start to talk about ‘When will we see each other again?’ So you talk about the next time you meet. ‘Well, I guess that it’ll be Christmas when I see you next?’ perhaps. Or if you know the person well, simply ‘Right I need to go - I’ll see you next weekend!’ And they might respond ‘Yes, looking forward to it’.

Give us feedback on this podcast about ‘conversational glue’ - Was it useful?!

So this is the ‘social glue’ that holds together a conversation’ and it’s really useful for you to know these sorts of sentences. Hopefully if you listen to this podcast a number of times, you’ll learn these phrases and be able to use them yourself - and read those ‘social cues’ when you’re in conversation with someone else!


Let us know whether you liked this podcast and whether it was helpful. And please share it with other people if you found it helpful.

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com




The voice of Adeptenglish, loves English and wants to help people who want to speak English fluently.
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