Some discourse markers

January 26, 2013pdf

Let me see, well, you know etc

Expressions of this kind are often used when the speaker needs time to think.

  • ‘How much are you selling it for?’ ‘Well, let me see…’
  • ‘When are you going to finish that report?’ ‘Well, I think it will be ready by Tuesday.’
  • ‘Why did you do that?’ ‘Well, you know, I don’t know.’

Expressions like ‘uh’, ‘oh’, ‘er’ etc., can also be used with similar meanings.

Honestly and frankly

These expressions are used to claim that one is speaking sincerely.

  • Honestly, I didn’t say anything that should make him angry.
  • Honestly, I didn’t know you weren’t coming.
  • Honestly, I never said a word about her looks or age.
  • Frankly, I’m not a huge fan of cricket.

Honestly and frankly can also be used to introduce critical remarks.

  • Honestly, Sam, why do you have to be so rude?
  • ‘What do you think of my skirt?’ ‘Frankly, dear, it’s a disaster.’

As you know

Expressions like as you know, as we agreed or as we suggested are used to talk about facts which are known to both speaker and listener.

  • As you know, next Monday’s meeting has been cancelled.
  • As you know, people get colds in wet weather.
  • As we agreed, there will be a special screening of the film on Sunday.
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