Situational Expressions: Part 1

Difficulty Level: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

In this lesson we will learn some common expressions that are very useful in situations we may encounter on a daily basis.

1.) How To Avoid Answering Questions & Giving Information:

We can use the responses to the questions below to let the person know we do not want to divulge any information or answer their questions.

1.) What are you currently working on at your company?

I'm not at liberty to say.

2.) Why are you so late tonight?

I'd rather not talk about it.

3.) Do you think we could go for dinner sometime?

I'll get back to you.

2.) How To Let The Person Know You Ideas & Statements Are Commonly Held Views / Opinions:

These responses are common when you are expressing something that is factual or a commonly held belief.

1.) Do you think China really has a smog problem or do you think it's overblown?

It's a well-established fact that China is suffering from serious smog and pollution levels.

2.) Do you think it's impossible for certain types of people to lose weight?

It's been scientifically proven that eating less and moving more on a regular basis will result in weight loss.

3.) Do you think Yuna Kim is one of the best figure skaters of all time?

Anyone will tell you that she is one of the best; she won a gold medal and a silver medal in the Olympics.

3.) Asking About Someone's Life & Health:

We often get stuck on using the simple phrase "How are you" which is a very basic way of greeting someone. The examples below are a little bit more thoughtful and show the individual you genuinely care about their situation / well-being.

1.) Hey _____, it's good to see you. What have you been up to?

2.) Hey _____, long time no see. How have you been (keeping)?

3.) Hello _____, what a pleasant surprise, how are you holding up these days?

4.) Disagreeing With People:

Sometimes when we disagree with people we don't want to be too blunt. Here are a few responses that are a little less blunt that just saying: "No, I disagree", or "You are wrong."

1.) I think immigration is a terrible thing.

I agree up to a certain point, but I think immigration in moderate numbers can help build a country's economy and workforce.

2.) Smoking is not as bad for your health as people say it is.

Actually, as a matter of fact, it's scientifically proven that cigarettes cause cancer along with a ton of other health issues.

3.) Women are not as smart as men.

That's not how I see it. I find women to be just as capable as men if not more.


Try to use some of the phrases and expressions in your answers to the following questions.

  • 1.) What is your salary?
  • 2.) How many girlfriends have you had?
  • 3.) Do you think running is a good form of exercise?
  • 4.) Do you think it's healthy to live in the city or in the countryside?
  • 5.) I read that China is the safest country in the world. What is your take?

Synonym Match:

Match the words from column 1 with the corresponding synonym in column 2.

Column 1 Column 2
1.) what's your take? a.) reveal
2.) moderate b.) inflated
3.) blunt c.) what's your opinion
4.) established d.) accepted / traditional
5.) overblown e.) straightforward
6.) divulge f.) average amount

Daily Expressions & Idioms:

1.) "well-off": Means someone does not have to worry about money; Financially stable.

He has been well-off since his rich uncle passed away leaving him a small fortune in his will.

2.) That's life: The French say "c'est la vie" is a common expression we say after something bad happens.

She said she father would never allow her to marry a foreigner. That's life I guess.

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