Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Conversation Skills: Interrupting politely in English

Difficulty: 0


My name is Emma, and in today's video I am going to teach you how to interrupt politely.

Okay, so this is a very important skill we need and we use a lot in conversation.

So, to start with, let's first talk about: What does the word "interrupt" mean?

So: "interrupt" can be a verb, and we also have the word "interruption", which means

the same thing and is a noun.

So, when you interrupt it means you stop someone from doing something, like speaking.

So, in a conversation, if someone is talking and you stop them from talking, you are interrupting


So, in this video we are going to talk about how to interrupt politely.

Okay, so let's look at some example sentences of the word "interruption" and then I'm going

to teach you some ways to interrupt.

So, my example sentence is: "She interrupted John."

In this case "interrupt" is a verb.

We can also say: "There was an interruption."

And in this case, "interruption" is the noun form of the word "interrupt".

Okay, so let's talk a little bit about interruptions and interrupting.

Interruptions are very normal in conversation.

They are a very important part of conversation.

Maybe in your culture interrupting might be rude, but in English it's something we do

a lot and it's expected in conversation.

Now, there are polite ways to interrupt, meaning good ways, and there are bad ways to interrupt.

So we need to be careful how we interrupt, but it's important that we do interrupt from

time to time.

So, when do we interrupt?

Well, if somebody is talking and they're talking... they should be talking about something and

they start going off topic, for example; maybe they're supposed to be talking about business

at a meeting and they start to talk about their family life, that might be a good time

to interrupt.

Or maybe you have one person who is talking in a conversation and they keep talking, and

they've been talking for five minutes, that might be a good time to interrupt.

So when somebody talks too long, you might want to interrupt them.

You might interrupt somebody if you need to tell someone something important.

So maybe somebody is talking and, you know, they have something on their face, and it's

something embarrassing, so you might interrupt to tell them that there's something on their


Or, you know, maybe somebody needs to know some important information, and so they're

talking and you interrupt them to tell them that important information.

You also might interrupt when you want to add something to the conversation.

Conversations are about taking turns.

So the first person says something, then you say something, and then they say something,

and it goes back and forth.

Now, maybe this person is talking and you want to add to what they say, you might interrupt

them for that reason as well.

So, we've covered about when we interrupt, and we can interrupt in conversations, at

meetings, in school; there are many different situations where we might want to interrupt.

The key word here, though, is interrupt politely.

So now I am going to teach you some great expressions you can use to interrupt people

in conversation.

Okay, so I want you to imagine this: You are in a conversation and one person has been

talking for five minutes.

Here is the person.

So, they're saying: "Blah, blah, blah", they keep talking, talking, talking, and you want

to say something.

So, how can you interrupt politely?

Well, let's look at some expressions.

You can say: "Sorry for interrupting, but can I just say something here?"

So you would say this if you have something to add.

So let's practice this expression together: "Sorry for interrupting, but can I just say

something here?"

This is a polite way to interrupt.

You can also say: "Sorry for interrupting, but can I just mention something?"

Let's say that together.

"Sorry for interrupting, but can I just mention something?"

We can also say: "Sorry for interrupting, but can I just add something here?"

So these three expressions are very similar; the only difference is we're changing the

word here, the verb from: "say" to "mention" to "add", but they all mean the same thing.

We can also say, if the person looks like they're going to say something else, you can

say: "Before you move on, I'd like to say something.", "Before you move on, I'd like

to say something."

We can also say... another way to say all of these things is just: "Sorry to interrupt,

but I'd like to add something."

So let's say that together.

"Sorry to interrupt, but I'd like to add something."

So I've highlighted...

I've put in green some of these polite words we're using.


So these are polite ways to interrupt someone.

"Sorry" is a polite thing to say, and same thing with: "I'd like".

"I'd like" stands for: "I would like", and it's used when we're trying to be polite.

So hopefully when you say something like this, our friend here who is talking, and talking,

and talking will stop and let you say what you want to say.

Now, let's look at some other expressions we use when we're learning on how to interrupt

politely, and how to stop somebody from interrupting us maybe.

Okay, so we've talked about what to do if you want to interrupt someone, but what do

you do if someone interrupts you?

All right?

So there's a couple of things you can do.

If someone interrupts you, one thing you can do is you can be polite and if you've been

talking a lot, maybe you can let them interrupt you.


So you can just, you know, allow them to speak.

If you see someone who looks like they want to interrupt you, maybe they've tried a couple

times but they haven't maybe been successful, you can also ask someone, you know, especially

if they're shy, you can say: "Is there something you would like to add?" or "Is there something

you would like to say?"

This gives the other person permission to interrupt.


So, this is a great phrase, especially if you think you've been talking too much, you

can say this to someone to give them a chance to say what they want to say.

Or another thing you can do is sometimes you might be in a conversation and someone keeps

interrupting you.


You're not able to talk because every time you try to say something, someone interrupts

and they're not following the turn-taking.


They just keep jumping in and you can't get your point across because somebody keeps interrupting


This can be very annoying.

It really annoys me when people do this.

And so, what can you do if this happens?

Well, you can tell the person in a nice way, you can say: "Let me finish what I was saying."

Now, the way you say this is very important because if you say this very angrily, people

might think you're mad.

You can say this in maybe a more polite tone; it depends on what you're trying to convey.

But you can say: "Let me finish what I was saying."

Or: "I'm almost finished my point."

So this tells the other person that you want to keep talking, and that you'll get to their

point but for now it's your turn still.


So let's practice saying these two expressions: "Let me finish what I was saying."


And: "I'm almost finished my point."


So these are what you can say if someone interrupts you, but you want to continue talking.

Okay, another thing I just wanted to say when it comes to interruptions and interrupting

people in conversation is it's very important to look at people's body language.

So, what is body language?

Well, it's not what you're saying, it's non-verbal, so not speech, not talking... non-verbal movements

that have a message, or you use it to communicate.

So, for example, one thing you can do if you want to interrupt someone is you might raise

your hand, depending on where you are.

So in a classroom, for example, raising your hand is a very good thing to do, or maybe

in a meeting you might raise your hand to show you want to say something.

You can also make eye contact with the person who's talking to show that, you know, you

want a turn.

This might work and it might not work.

A lot of the times when we want to say something and interrupt, we kind of move our body forward

to show that we're more engaged in the conversation, so you might want to pay attention to that.

And say, for instance, if, you know, you want to interrupt someone or someone wants to interrupt

you, you sometimes get somebody put up their finger like this, and that means: "Wait."


Or: "Hold on", and it means that they want to finish speaking.

So if you try to interrupt and somebody says: "Wait", it means they want to keep talking.


So it's very important to pay attention to body language, because it might be different

in some cultures compared to other cultures.

Okay, so thank you so much for watching this video.

We've talked a lot about how to interrupt politely.

To practice this more I invite you to come visit our website at

There you can find a quiz on all of these expressions and you can practice them more.

I would also like to invite you to subscribe to my channel.

I have a lot of different videos on all sorts of different topics, from jobs, resumes, vocabulary,

conversation, expressions, pronunciation - all sorts of different topics, so I invite you

to check that out.

Until next time, thank you and take care.

The Description of Conversation Skills: Interrupting politely in English