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How To


- making suggestions


- making a point


- disagreeing


- expressing uncertainty


- taking offence
Two men - one laughing, one frowning

Taking offence

Occasionally, at work or at home, someone will say something that is very rude and offensive. You'll be shocked and angry... we say in English that you take offence at their words. How can you make this person realise how upset you are by what they've said?

Don't forget to practise what you've learned with the activity further down this page.

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Stopping someone while they are talking

Just a minute...
Hang on...
Hold on...
Just a second...

Showing that you disagree

Certain words show that you have a different opinion. Try using actually, well, but, and I'm sorry:

Actually, the discount was only 5%.
Well, you're wrong about that actually.
I'm sorry, but you're totally wrong about that!

Stating that you are offended by something

I really take exception to that!

Asking someone to apologise for their words or change their view

(I think you should) take that back!
Take back what you just said!

Stengthen your words

Your words will have more power if you use people's names:

Just a second, Martin. I really take exception to what you've just said.

Use emphatic devices like really and do:

I really really do take exception to that!

Other useful phrases

I'm sorry, but I'm not going to let you talk to me like this!


For each question, make a sentence to show that you are shocked or offended.

Flash not working? You can download a pdf version of the quiz at the bottom of the page.

Download quiz (17k)

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