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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 11 Short English Conversation PHRASES - Speak Fluent English - Common Expressions in English

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Hello there, and welcome back to Learn English Lab.

In this lesson, Im going to teach you 11 short conversation phrases that you can use

when you talk to people.

These are all common English expressions, and they will help you sound more like a native

speaker of the language.

So, lets jump into it.

Number one isIm afraid” – this phrase does not show fear (it doesnt mean

that youre scared) - this is a polite expression used to say something negative, and its

very useful.

For example, say someone calls an office and asks to speak to the manager: “Hello.

Could I speak to Mr. Peterson, please?”

His secretary is the one answering the call.

She says, “Im afraid hes not here right now.”

Or lets say one of your friends comes to you and says, “Hey, Im broke.

Can you lend me $500 until next month?” – here, “Im brokemeans I dont

have any money.

AndCan you lend me $500 until next monthmeansIll pay you back next month.”

But you say, “Im afraid I cant, sorry.

Im out of cash myself.”

(means I dont have money either).

In a meeting at your workplace, one of your colleagues says something that you disagree

with, but you want to be polite, so you say, “Im afraid I dont agree with you.”

In all of these sentences, “Im afraiddoesnt mean that you are scared of anything;

it just adds politeness to what youre saying.

So, get into the habit of usingIm afraidto make negative messages a little softer.

Number two is ASAP.

This is an acronym; that is a short form ofas soon as possible”.

But, the short form is so common that you can use it as a single wordyou can say

a-sap” – “asap”.

We use this most commonly when we request someone to do something immediately.

Your boss at work might say: “Send me the report ASAP.”

Or, you if you phone somebody but theyre not available; someone else answers the phone,

you can say, “Please tell her to call me back ASAP.”

One of your friends wants to apply for a job but hasnt sent in the job application yet

and the deadline is fast approaching.

So, you give advice to your friend.

You say, “If you want to apply for the job, you should send in your application ASAP.”

Remember that ASAP simply meansas soon as possible”.

Number three isnot really”.

All it means isno”, but its a more soft and politeno”.

Lets say you go to a party at your friend Toms house, but the party isnt all that

good; its boring and the foods terrible.

But another friend, whos thoroughly enjoying it, comes to you and asks: “Hey, are you

having a good time?”

And you say, “Not really.”

You want to saynobut you want to say it in a soft way.

At the same party, you meet a guy who just loves golf.

And he asks you, “Are you into golf?”

You dont want to saynoand be rude, so you make it a little more polite: “Not

really”.

A couple of days later, your friend, Tom, who threw the party finds out that you didnt

like it; he calls you up and he asks, “Hey, have you been telling people that my party

sucked?”

And you say, “Not really”.

Thats not what Ive been saying to people.

Now, your mom overhears the phone conversation; she comes to you and she asks, “What was

that all about?

Did you just have a fight with Tom?”

And you say, “Not really.”

It was just a small argument.

But were good.

The next expression isGood stuff!”.

You say this to congratulate or encourage someone.

If a friend of yours says, “I joined a gym today because I want to get in shape.”

You reply by saying, “Good stuff.”

That means, “Thats good to hear.

Youve done a good thing.

Congratulations!”

If the news is not just good, but great, you can saygreat stuff”.

When my niece came to me and told me: “Uncle Gan, I just got accepted to law school.”

I said, “Great stuff!

Im really happy for you.”

Another time I said this was when I ran into my neighbor the other day.

I said, “Hey, Raj.

You look happy.

Whats the occasion?”

He said, “I got a promotion at work recently.”

I replied, “Great stuff, man!”

That is fantastic news.

Now, if the news is not so good, then you say, “Im sorry to hear that”.

Sorrydoes not mean that you are apologizing; it just shows that you feel bad for the other

person: “I didnt get accepted to Harvard university.”

Im sorry to hear that.

Have you tried applying to Stanford?”

I got laid off from work recently.”

Oh, Im so sorry to hear that.

But, keep your chin up.

Im sure youll find another job soon.”

Now, “I got laid offmeansI was fired from my job”.

Our house burned down, and we lost everything.”

What do you say?

Im really sorry to hear that.”

Phrase number six is: “Give me a hand”.

This expression is just a fancy way of asking for help.

Youre not actually asking for a hand, so this is an idiom; its informal, its

conversational and it makes you sound more like a native speaker.

For example, lets say youre trying to move some boxes, but theyre too heavy for

you.

So, you ask someone else to help you with them: “Can you give me a hand with these

boxes?”

At work, one of your colleagues says: “Im writing an important email, but Im having

trouble wording it correctly.

Can you give me a hand?”

You can also use this expression to offer help by sayinggive you a hand”: “Can

I give you a hand with those bags?”

So, youre offering to help someone carry some bags.

Next up is the phraseYoure kidding me”.

The wordkiddingmeansjoking”.

You say this phrase when youre angry, annoyed or irritated, as if you cant believe how

bad the situation is.

Lets say you let a friend borrow your cell phone for a while.

But then your friend comes back to you and says: “I dropped your phone by mistake and

the screens cracked.

Im really sorry.”

And you say, “Youre kidding me!”

Right?

This is a joke; youre playing with me.

Dont tell me you actually dropped my expensive iPhone!

(Although I know that that phone in the picture is not an iPhone, but you get the idea.)

Or if you get to the airport late for a flight, the person at the check-in counter might say,

Im afraid I cant check you in.

Youre too late and the gates closed.”

If youre really angry, you might respond withAre you kidding me?

Im only two minutes late!”

Now, I remember back when I was in school, I worked very hard studying for a test.

It was the most confident Id ever been about an exam.

But, then when the results came, this other kid in my class came to me and said, “Hey,

the test results are in, and you failed.”

I couldnt believe it.

I said, “Youve got to be kidding me!” – this is the strongest form of this expression

– “youve got to be kidding me”.

Thankfully, he was kidding that time; not only did I pass the test, I got an A+.

I was first in class.

Believe that.

Phrase number eight isFair enough”.

It means, “I can accept thatorThat sounds acceptable / reasonable.”

Imagine that youre in a restaurant with a business contact.

You ask: “Do you want to try the chicken parmesan?”

He says: “I cant eat that.

Im a vegetarian”, and you say: “OK, fair enough.”

Meaning, “I understand”, “Thats reasonable.”

We can have eggplant parmesan instead.

Or, lets say your friend interviewed for a job and got the job but decided not to take

it.

You ask: “Why didnt you take the job?”

He says: “Because the pay was too low.”

And you say: “Fair enough.”

I can understand.

Heres a conversation between two students in the school cafeteria: “I forgot my wallet.

Can you pay for my lunch today?

Ill pay for yours tomorrow.”

Fair enough.”

That works for me.

Number nine isI couldnt care less”.

We use this fancy expression to say that we absolutely do not care about something.

I once asked a friend of mine this question: “Who do you think really invented calculus:

Newton or Leibniz?”

He said: “Man, I hate math.

I couldnt care less who invented it.”

You can feel his distaste for mathematics in that sentence.

Of course, you can dislike things other than mathematics.

When someone asks me: “Whats your favorite soap opera?”

I say, “I couldnt care less about soap operas.”

If you dont know what a soap opera is, its basically any long-running TV series

that is a drama.

And next time one of your annoying friends asks you: “Hey, guess which celebrity couple

just divorced.”

you can reply: “Please dont tell me.

I couldnt care less.”

Number ten issick and tired”.

This is kind of related to the previous one, but this expression is more serious.

It means youre fed up, you cannot tolerate something.

For example: “Im not going to watch the news anymore.

Im sick and tired of all the negativity.”

Now, I read in the newspaper today about a group of factory workers going on strike.

One of them was quoted as saying, “Were going on strike because were sick and tired

of not getting paid on time month after month.”

Now, my brother is a very smart guy.

But he often tends to get stuck in a rutthat means, he sometimes does the same things over

and over again.

So, when I went to visit last month, I asked him, “Arent you sick and tired of eating

macaroni and cheese for breakfast every single day?”

Can you guess what he said?

He said, “Not really.”

And the final item in this lesson is the set of these three phrases: “Id better get

going / Ive gotta go / Ive gotta run”.

These are some polite yet stylish ways of saying goodbye: “I have to pick up my kids

from school.

Id better get going.”

Ive gotta go.

Catch you later.”

(thegot tosounds likegotta” – “Ive gotta go”).

Its getting late.

Ive got to run.”

These all mean the same thing: there is some reason why you cannot stay and chat; you have

to go.

And, with that, I hope you enjoyed this lesson.

Id love to stick around, but theres some place I need to be, so Id better get

going.

Happy learning, and I will see you in another lesson soon.

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