Interrupting Phrases


Key words for interrupting card games

Interrupting phrases

Photocopiable cards and teacher’s instructions

Cut up one set of cards per pair of students. Ask students to work together to use those words to make phrases (orally) that can be used to interrupt or to stop interrupting and get back on topic. If they need help, tell them that there should be eight of each function (interrupting or stopping interruption). Let them compare their ideas against the suggested answers sheet, then ask them to spilt the cards so that one person has the Interrupting cards and the other person has the Stopping Interruptions cards. The person with the Stopping Interrupting cards should try to talk as long as they can about a topic, e.g. one of the ones on the Suggested Answers sheet, while the other person tries to interrupt them. They must use one of their cards and a different phrase each time that they interrupt or stop interrupting. They can use the same card twice, just as long as the phrases that they use are different (even if they are only slightly different).







Get back



































Suggested answers

Stopping interruptions/ Getting back on topic

Relevant – I’m not sure that is very relevant (to the topic at hand/ to what we were talking about).

Get back – Can we get back to the point on the agenda?/ To get back to what I was saying,…

Saying – As I was saying,…/ To get back to what I was saying,…

Where – Where was I?/ Where were we?

Later – Could we leave all the questions to later?/ We’ll be talking about that later./ I’ll come to that point later.

End – There’ll be time for questions at the end/ Can we leave that discussion until AOB at the end?/ Can you bring that up again at the end?

Any____ – Mmm. Good point. Anyway/ Anyhow,…

Point – We seem to be getting off the point./ To get back to the point at hand,…



Interrupt – Can I interrupt (you there)?/ Sorry for interrupting, but…

Butt – Sorry to butt in, but…

Before – Before you go on, can I…?/ Before I forget…

Remind – That reminds me.

Time – Is this a good time to…?/ This might be the right time to…

Could – Could I say something here?/ Could I interrupt you for a moment?/ Could I stop you there?/ Could I come in here?

Say – Could I say something?/ I have something to say on this point.

Sorry – Sorry for interrupting, but…/ Sorry, can I just…?


Suggested topics

  • Give a long introduction to a meeting
  • Give a long closing speech at the end of a meeting
  • Pretend to give a PowerPoint presentation
  • Talk about how this room could be improved
  • Talk about things to do with a foreign guest who hasn’t been here before
  • Talk about things to cover in future classes of this course
  • Talk about English language education in your country
  • Talk about training that the people in your company need


Terms of Use

Lesson plans & worksheets can be used by teachers without any fee in the classroom; however, please ensure you keep all copyright information and references to in place.

You will need Adobe Reader to view these files.

Get Adobe Reader