Hi there! I am Jesse, from Wall Street English. Interrupting during discussions may be taboo in Hong Kong, but is sometimes necessary for a number of reasons.
Today, I am going to talk about how we can interrupt politely during discussions for different reasons.
To give someone a message
When you want to interrupt quickly just to deliver a short message, you can say…
I’m sorry to interrupt but you’re needed… (on the phone, at the reception, etc.)
Pardon me, there is an important call for you.
Sorry for the interruption. It’s … (name) on the phone.
Excuse me, could I get a/an … (thing) quickly.
To ask about something unrelated
You can use these short phrases to ask about something else quickly,
I hate to jump in, but this will just take a minute. (Then follow with the question you want to ask)
My apology for the interruption, but I have an important question.
To join a conversation
Joining a conversation by asking a question is always one of the best and most polite ways. Here are some common phrases we can use to do so,
Do you mind if I come in here?
Can I just butt in for a second?
Could I jump in?
Would you mind if I joined the conversation?
To add a point to the speaker’s last comment
If you’re adding a point before everyone moves on, you can say…
Before we go on, I’d like to say something.
Before we continue, I just want to add….
Before we move on to the next point, may I add … ?
Excuse me, but I just thought of something to add.
Interrupting politely in your first language is already difficult and it gets even worse in your second language. So, practicing is the key to a successful interruption.
That’s all for today, see you next time!