Delaying Answering

Sometimes you need a few seconds to think of the right word or plan your next sentence. Luckily, there are many phrases in English for delaying. Here are ten of them.

10 expressions to Use In Speaking And Writing: 
  1. Well, you see...
  2. Now, let me see.
  3. Just a moment / Just a second
  4. Hang on a moment / second / mo / sec
  5. How shall I put it?
  6. What's the word for it..
  7. Now, let me think...
  8. Let me get this right...
  9. It's on the tip of my tongue..
  10. (Now) that's an interesting question...
How To Use These Phrases In Your English: 
  1. All of the phrases finish with high intonation to show that you are going to continue speaking with your answer or contribution in just a second.
  2. Phrases 1 and 2 are very common expressions that English people use all the time. Yoou should not pause for more than a second or two after saying them.
  3. Phrases 3 and 4 are actually asking the listener to wait. In phrase 4, we often shorten 'moment' to 'mo' and 'second' to 'sec' in informal speech.
  4. Phrase 5 suggests that the speaker knows what to say but wants to organise the words to make them less unpleasant or annoying to the listener.
  5. We say phrase 6 when we are trying to remember one particular word. If we still can't remember after another two seconds we often explain what the word means and hope that the listener can tell us what the word is.
  6. Phrases 7 and 8 are used for requesting the listener to wait for one or two seconds. You can only wait a few seconds after saying these.
  7. Phrase 9 means that we really think we know the word that we are searching our memo
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