相手の発言中に言葉を挟むには? (Making Interruptions - CBS C - Lesson 3) (Level: TOEIC 600-700)


Goal: Learn how to make polite and timely interruptions


Lesson 3: Making Interruptions


Do you struggle to jump into English conversations? In this lesson, you'll learn how to interrupt and take a more active role in English conversations.


Listen to the dialogue audio first before reading the text.

Situation: Melanie, Bob, and Sasha are in the middle of a meeting to decide the location of a new retail outlet. Melanie is chairing the meeting. 


Show only English text || Show only Japanese text || Show both texts

Bob: If I could just interrupt for a moment…


Melanie: Yes, do you want to add something, Bob?


Bob: I think Sasha made an excellent point about the location, but I would just like to add something.


Melanie: Okay, but try to keep it brief.


Bob: The rent for that property is the most expensive of all our choices.


Sasha: I acknowledge your point, Bob. But I think increased sales will offset the higher rent. I believe...


Bob: I’m not so sure about that. I think...


Sasha: Sorry. If I could just finish what I was saying... the location will have the added benefit of giving our company high visibility. It is on a very busy intersection.


Melanie: Both of you make good points. Let’s take a closer look at the marketing research.


Bob: Before we move on, I’d like to comment on that. Don’t you think there is too much competition at that location?


Sasha: Well, that may be true, but I think the competition brings in a lot of potential customers.


Melanie: I see we have differing points of view on that. However, we need to make a decision.


Points to remember:

Types of interruptions

English speakers interrupt each other for several different reasons. Here are the most common cases:

1. Interrupt to get repetition (Can you go over that again please?)
2. Interrupt to ask for clarification  (Sorry, how much did you say?)
3. Interrupt to make a point (Could I just comment on that?)
4. Stop an interruption to finish a point (Sorry, could I just finish?)

Whilst interrupting someone speaking is sometimes rude in Japanese, it's an intergral part of English communication so don't be afraid to make yourself heard! See the cultural awareness section below for more on this point. 

Cultural Awareness:

Feel free to interrupt at any time

In any culture, the act of interrupting someone to make a point or ask a question truly depends on the character of the individual or the way they were taught to communicate by their parents.

In general, Japanese hesitate to interrupt for two specific reasons:
1) They are concerned about making a language mistake, speaking poor English, or not being understood right away, OR
2) They were not raised in an environment to be vocal or to express themselves.

On the other hand, people in English-speaking cultures will interrupt if they don’t understand or want to interject with a point. They also don’t usually feel offended by the interruption.

Just remember to try to interrupt in a polite way and at an appropriate time (at a pause or at the end of a sentence). Refer to the “Useful Expressions” list for tips on how to interrupt and deal with interruptions.

Now double check your understanding by reading the Japanese translation:






ただし丁寧に適切なタイミングで(言葉の切れ目など)話に割り込むようにしましょう。話の中断の仕方やその対応方法は“Useful Expressions”リストを参考にしてください。

Useful Expressions:

言葉をはさむ(司会進行役) Interrupting (by chairperson)
  • ケン、言わせてもらえれば…
  • Okay, Ken, if I could just interrupt you there…
  • すみませんが、ボブ、これに関して他の見解も聞いてみたいのですが。
  • Sorry, Bob, but I’d like to hear some other views on this.


話題を元に戻す(司会進行役) Redirecting the Conversation (by chairperson)
  • 話をもとに戻しましょう。
  • I think we are getting off topic here.
  • 後でまた話すということでよろしいでしょうか。
  • Can we come back to that later?
  • ボブ、ありがとう。でも本題に戻りましょう。
  • Thank you, Bob. But let’s get back to the issue.


話の途中で質問をする(参加者) Interrupting (by participants)
  • 話の腰を折って申し訳ありませんが…
  • Excuse me for interrupting, but…
  • すみませんが、質問してもよろしいでしょうか。
  • Sorry, may I ask a question?
  • 次に進む前に、それに関して一言よろしいですか。
  • Before we move on, I’d like to comment on that.
  • 少し言葉をはさませていただけるようなら…
  • If I could just cut in here for a moment…
  • すみませんが、付け加えてもよろしいでしょうか。
  • Excuse me, may I add something here?


割り込みへのフォローをする(司会進行役) Responding to Interruptions (by chairperson)
  • どうぞ。
  • Sure, go ahead.
  • 後であなたに振りますね。
  • Can I come back to you in a second?
  • いい点ですね。
  • That’s a good point.
  • それはどうでしょうか。
  • I’m not so sure about that.
  • ご意見ありがとうございます。
  • Thank you for that.


意見を締めくくる(参加者) Finishing Your Point (by participants)
  • 申し上げたように…
  • As I was saying…
  • 最後まで言わせていただきますと...
  • If I could just finish what I was saying...


Useful Vocabulary:

Do you work in marketing or would like to know how to explain about marketing-related topics? Here are some very useful marketing phrases with examples sentences:

to market (verb) – to offer for sale in a market

We have had problems marketing our new cellphone in Japan because competition is tough.

market research (noun) - the action of gathering and analyzing information about consumers' needs and preferences.

Last year, we spent $30,000 on market research so we could better understand what consumers want when they buy a new tablet.

to launch (verb) – to start selling a new product.

We plan to launch the product early next year.

market share (noun) – the percentage of a market controlled by a particular company or product.

Unfortunately, our market share has dropped 20% over the last 3 years.

marketplace (noun) – the commercial world; the realm of business, trade, and economics.

The marketplace has changed dramatically over the last 10 years.

market penetration (noun) - the extent to which a type of product is recognized and bought by customers in a particular market

Cell phone market penetration is at 100% in many developed countries.

brand awareness (noun) - the extent to which consumers are familiar with the qualities or image of a particular brand of goods or services.

We really need to increase our brand awareness. Over 70% of potential consumers have never heard of our product.

price-sensitive (adjective) - when sales are greatly influenced by price.

There are many price-sensitive consumers in the European market. For them, price is the determining factor when buying new appliances.

Review Quiz:

We'll be adding a review quiz in the near future.




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