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Useful Expressions > Elementary

Surprise

Sometimes you see or hear something that you were not expecting. Maybe it's an unexpected event or a piece of information. Here are ten expressions that show how surprised you are.

Ten Expressions to Use In Speaking And Writing

  1. Really?
  2. What?
  3. What a surprise!
  4. Well I never! / Blimey!
  5. That's the last thing I expected
  6. You're kidding!
  7. I don't believe it! / Are you serious?
  8. I'm speechless!
  9. I'd never have guessed.
  10. You don't say!

How To Use These Phrases In Your English

  1. We say phrases 1 and 2 with rising intonation. It's imporatnt to make your voice go up at the end. You are inviting the other speaker to give you more information.
  2. Phrase 3 is a general expression of surprise
  3. Phrases in 4 are strong exclamations. 'Blimey!' is a little rude as it literally means 'God blind me!'
  4. We say phrase 5 when something is completely different to what you expected - after a surprising event.
  5. Phrases in 6 and 7 are saying that we really don't believe the information.
  6. Phrase 8 is saying that you are so surprised that you can't speak.
  7. Phrase 10 is a little old fashioned. If people say this nowadays, they are probably being sarcastic and they really mean that it isn't surprising at all.