The phrases below showcase the polite and impolite ways to enter a conversation if interruptions are necessary. Use the polite interruption phrases both with your US counterparts AND with your Indian teammates when on group calls.
How do we politely interrupt others in English? Below there are phrases to use and to avoid when interrupting others.
Phrases to Politely Interrupt
Try to use these phrases:
- "I'm sorry to interrupt, but...."
- "Before we move on to the next point, may I add...?"
- "Sorry, I didn't catch that, is it possible to repeat the last point.."
- "Excuse me (name), may I add to that...?"
- "Do you mind if I jump in here?"
- "Pardon me..."
- "I don't mean to intrude..."
- "While that is an important point, it's also important to add..."
Impolite Phrases for Interruptions
Do not use these phrases:
- Wait a minute!!
- What was that?
- Hold on/Hold up while I say...
- Be quiet...
- It's my turn to talk...
- What are you talking about?
- But, I already said....
- You're not listening to me... I said....
- What did you say?
*Take note the tone of voice is important as the words used.
Jennifer Kumar is a coach helping Indians to communicate better within their teams and with US clients in English. Contact her today for more information.
Phrases to use in a group discussion (conversation)
Making small talk with US Clients
When to Say "Sorry" to an American
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