When you communicate every day, you use a lot of set expressions – set phrases which you don’t need to think about. For English, you need to learn these phrases first to start speaking and only after that, it’s a good idea to concentrate on grammar and expand your vocabulary.
Our Focus Today: Positive Phrases for Everyday Conversations
Today we will learn how to tell nice things to people, how to support people, how to give words of encouragement and gratitude. Let’s go!
1) That’s a good one.
If, after some discussion, you like someone’s idea, that’s exactly when you say: ‘That’s a good one!’ You will mean: ‘Let’s do that. I like that!’
2) Fair enough.
Imagine the situation: you are discussing some ideas and you disagree with the person, and the person is trying to persuade you, trying to give you some arguments and yes, you don’t agree 100% but it’s not a bad option. You can say: ‘Fair enough’.
3) I owe you one.
Imagine that somebody has helped you or somebody has done something good for you and you say ‘Thank you’ and you want to show your appreciation – you can say ‘I owe you one’.
It means that the next time when there is a chance, you will help this person too.
4) Just kidding.
When you said something that the person didn’t expect but you didn’t mean anything bad, you will say: ‘Just kidding’. ‘I’m kidding, don’t worry, I’m not serious right now’.
In the same way, if you are not sure if the person is serious, then you ask ‘Are you kidding?’, ‘Are you kidding now?’ (= ‘Are you serious?’).
For some negative surprise, for some situation when you are unhappy, it’s also possible to say ‘Are you kidding me?’ meaning ‘Really? What’s going on?’ It’s quite informal and can be very emotional depending on the intonation you are saying it with. Please be careful with this phrase.
5) For real?
The next one will help you express positive surprise. For example, you have learned some great news – you got the highest score on this test or you got a promotion – you can say ‘For real?’ It’s like you don’t believe because it’s sudden and it’s too good to be true.
6) Are we good?
When there is a little misunderstanding between you and somebody – maybe you had an argument, maybe you disagreed with each other and you want to check if everything is good so you can ask: ‘Are we good?’ (= Is it okay between us? Are we still in a good relationship?).
The answer will be: ‘Yes, we are good’, it means we are okay, everything is okay.
7) Don’t get me wrong…
If you are going to say something difficult or disagree with someone, you could start with ‘Don’t get me wrong…’ meaning ‘Well, I’m trying to be kind here. Don’t misunderstand me, please.’
Phrases to support people
8) Good for you! / Lucky you!
Always try to give support to people with your words, not just gestures and face expression.
For example, somebody has achieved some good result, then it’s a good idea to say: ‘Good for you!’ (=I’m so happy for you).
9) Cheer up!
Say ‘Cheer up!’ if you want your friends to stop feeling sad or unhappy.
When they are falling apart and everything is going not the way they want, make them feel better with ‘Pull yourself together!’ meaning they should keep trying.
10) You rock!
When you think the person is cool, you can use this phrase to show your appreciation. It’s mostly used in American English but American culture is widespread right now and you could this phrase used a lot in English.
How to practise positive phrases for everyday conversations
It’s quite difficult to show emotions in a foreign language that’s why train yourself to spot such phrases in the movies and the TV shows you watch for your English practice in somebody’s speaking. The more you notice them, the easier it will be for you to start using them in your own speaking too.
Don’t concentrate on learning grammar and words: train your functional language and put the main focus on your speaking and listening if you want to become fluent in English.