Achievements conversational reactions practice


Practising reacting to what people say by communicating about what you have achieved

Achievements conversational reactions practice

Take turns sharing your achievements such as things in the list below. React to what your partner says, and ask for more details.


beating someone                                                                                 becoming known/ becoming famous

being the first person (in your family/ town/ school) to do something

being undeterred/ not giving up/ persevering                                                breaking a record

changing someone’s mind/ persuading someone

changing the world (for the better)                       coming back from…/ recovering from…

doing something that other people said was impossible/ proving people wrong

exceeding people’s expectations                                                                    financial success

finishing something that many people don’t                                                  fundraising

getting a job

getting into an academic institution (university, high school, etc)

getting public recognition/ getting publicity/ getting lots of views/ likes/ followers

having something published                                                              helping people

improving a lot                                                          inspiring other people/ lighting a fuse

invention/ innovation/ breakthrough                                    learning something

making history                                                          mastering a skill/ technique/ quiz

matching the achievements of someone else     milestones in your life (your first car, etc)

once in a lifetime…                                                  outdoing/ outperforming/ overtaking…

overcoming fears/ setbacks/ weaknesses/ obstacles/ pressure/ the odds/ resistance

passing (first time/ with flying colours)                                performing/ starring

promotion                                                                  qualification/ certificate/ professional license

reaching a goal/ aim/ ambition/ target                                               reaching the final

reaching the top level (black belt, etc)                                                            receiving praise

representing your country/ region/ town/ school               something named after you

something unique/ one of a kind                                         sporting achievements/ sporting success

sticking out something that you wanted to quit

superlatives (highest, longest, quickest, youngest, oldest, etc)

ticking things off your bucket list                                                                                    victory

winning an award/ a cup/ a medal                                                     winning an argument


Ask about any you can’t understand, can’t think of examples of, etc, working together to think of examples each time.

What responses could be used when the other person talks about achievements?


Which of these responses could be used with these kinds of conversations?

  • Bummer!
  • Congrats!
  • Congratulations!
  • Did you?/ Did he?/ Did she?/ Did they?
  • Don’t take any notice of him/ her./ Just ignore him/ her.
  • Good for you. You deserve it.
  • Good on ya (mate).
  • How annoying!
  • How depressing!
  • How embarrassing!
  • How wonderful!
  • I don’t believe it! (Do you really mean…?)
  • I envy you!
  • I feel for you./ You have my sympathy.
  • I’m delighted for you.
  • I’m delighted to hear that.
  • I’m glad to hear that./ I’m pleased to hear that.
  • I’m green with envy.
  • I’m happy to hear that.
  • I’m really happy for you./ I’m so happy for you.
  • I’m relieved to hear that.
  • I’m shocked!/ You surprise me!
  • I’m so pleased for you.
  • I’m sorry to hear that.
  • Is that a fact?
  • It serves you right!/ You’ve only got yourself to blame
  • It’s funny you should say that, because…
  • Lucky you!
  • Makes sense.
  • Never mind.
  • Never mind. There are plenty more fish in the sea.
  • No kidding.
  • No way!
  • Of course.
  • Oh well. Better luck next time!
  • Oh well. Look on the bright side. …
  • Oh well. No pain, no gain, I guess.
  • Oh well. What can you do, eh? Chin up!
  • Oh well. You win some, you lose some.
  • Oh yeah?
  • Oh! Bad luck!/ Tough luck!/ Rotten luck!
  • Really?
  • Seriously?
  • Serves you right! You had it coming.
  • That sounds awful/ horrible/ terrible.
  • That sounds exciting.
  • That sounds fun.
  • That sounds great/ wonderful/ fantastic/ amazing.
  • That sounds like a nightmare./ That sounds like a right ’mare.
  • That sounds lovely.
  • That sounds nice.
  • That sounds relaxing.
  • That sounds stressful.
  • That sounds unbearable!
  • That’s a pity./ That’s a shame.
  • That’s amazing!
  • That’s great./ That’s great news.
  • That’s too bad.
  • That’s wonderful./ That’s wonderful news.
  • Try not to worry about it.
  • Well done./ You must be very proud.
  • What a bummer!
  • What a nice surprise!/ What a lovely surprise!
  • What a nightmare!/ What a ’mare!
  • What a shame!/ What a pity!
  • Wow!
  • You didn’t!/ He didn’t!/ She didn’t!/ They didn’t!
  • You don’t surprise me.
  • You lucky thing!
  • You must be devastated.
  • You must be exhausted.
  • You must be really disappointed.
  • You must feel awful./ You must feel terrible.
  • You’re joking!/ You’re kidding (,right)?/ I don’t believe it!
  • Yup (sure).


Find ones for the opposite situation of reacting to bad news such as failures.

What kinds of situations could the other conversational reaction phrases be used in?


Choose or take one of the cards below and reply to your partner’s question about your week or weekend with a story that should get that response. If your partner does say that thing in response, you can discard the card or cross it off the list and get one point. The story can be true or made up, but you’ll probably need to use your imagination to match the card.

Useful questions for starting the conversations


How has your week been?/ Have you been busy (this week)?


How was your weekend?/ Did you have a good weekend?

Horrible/ Great weather at the weekend, wasn’t it?

Did you get up to much at the weekend?

Did you do anything (nice/ fun/ interesting) at the weekend?

Did you get the chance to meet up with…/ chill/ catch up on…/ study/...?



Don’t take any notice of him/ her./ Just ignore….


Try not to worry about it.



How annoying!


That sounds nice.


That sounds awful/ horrible.



What a shame!/ What a pity!



Lucky you!


I envy you.


Never mind.


You must be really worried.



How wonderful!


I’m sorry to hear that.


I’m glad to hear that./ I’m pleased to hear that.








That’s amazing!


Well done./ You must be very proud.



That’s bad luck./ That’s tough luck.



That sounds relaxing.


That sounds fun.


That sounds frightening!



That’s funny!/ That’s hilarious!



How depressing!



That sounds stressful.


That sounds exciting.



It serves you right!/ You’ve only got yourself to blame


You’re joking!/ I don’t believe it!


How embarrassing!

Try to think of at least one situation for each of the phrases above.

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