May 12, 2015

“I’ll Think About It” – A Typical American English Phrase

“I’ll Think About It” – A Typical American English Phrase
A common phrase used by Americans in meetings and group discussion, “I’ll think about it,” can be used in the following situations: 
  • an answer to a question which is not time-sensitive 
  • as a catch-all answer during a brainstorming session 
  • planning and forecasting sessions 

“I’ll think about it” often means, “This is a good suggestion, I’m not saying yes, and I am not saying no. I’ll consider this and we can discuss it later.” 

This is considered a positive response, with a future outlook. 

In addition to this being a common phrase you may hear Americans use to answer questions on conference calls, if you as a Keralite try to say this phrase, it could be heavily accented. 

Malayalam Mother Tongue Influence will make it hard for Americans to hear this phrase clearly due to the following differences: 
  • While making the ‘K’ sound it will often sound like a G to an American. These two sounds are different in American English. Learn and practice these two sounds. See the video below for help with these sounds.
  • T/D. It is possible that the T sound will not be correctly pronounced in ‘about’ and ‘it’. It’s a good idea to practice these two sounds as well. 
  • For Malayalam speakers, because of the ng/nk letter, sometimes the "nk" sound in "think" doesn't sound clear. Actually due to word linking, this phrase will not sound like "I'll think about it...." but more like "I'll thin -kaboud - it.." The k sound travels over to the word about and somewhat links to it. This is not always a technique I suggest for second language speakers who are not very comfortable in English. What I'd suggest it to try to get the K and G sounds clear so that when the word "think" is said, it will not sound like "thing."

Jennifer Kumar helps Indians to communicate better within their team, internally, and with their US counterparts through facilitating presentation skills, Spoken English & accent sessions and group discussion skill breakout sessions. Contact Jennifer for more information.

Related Posts: 
What is a GD - Group Discussion?  
Phrases to use in a Group Discussion (Team Meeting / Client Meeting) 
How to interrupt others, politely 

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We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.