In this spoken English lesson you will learn some useful English phrases to avoid answering unwanted question.
#1 – No comment.
This is the most common thing to say when you don’t want to comment on something. Sometimes it is used sarcastically, too. Use this expression when something is obvious, critical, or negative, but you don’t want to say it directly. Also, you may bail yourself out of a sensitive issue by saying ‘No comment.’
#2 – I’m not at liberty to say.
Use this when you want to say say you don’t have the freedom or authority to give out some information. So, imagine you know something that is confidential or shouldn’t be leaked out. When you are asked about it, use this expression. It is polite and non offensive.
#3 – Wait and see.
You know what the answer is, but don’t want to say it ?Use this phrase to tell someone that they need to wait and watch. It means wait till the time comes or wait for the consequence of something.
#4 – Let me get back to you.
There are times, we are asked things and we don’t know what to answer. Or sometimes, you are not sure whether you should answer even though you know what to say. It’s the safest phrase to use when you want to buy time.
#5 – I’m sorry, that’s confidential.
This is an upfront and direct expression used to say that you are not going to give the asked information. This phrase is used by many doctors who can’t share the name of one patient with another. So it’s not rude to use this as first you make an apology and then state that it’s confidential.
#6 – (Sorry) That’s personal.
When people ask you too many personal questions that you may not want to answer, use this expression.If you’re in a group and someone asks you something personal to which you do not want to answer, smile and use this expression.
#7 – I’d rather not talk about it.
Some topics or issues are sensitive, painful or unpleasant. Rather than getting yourself into a mess, express that you would prefer not talking about such things.
#8 – Mind your own business.
If you have nosy people asking you personal questions continuously, this is a good expression to tell them to back off. Well, it is very rude. But in extreme cases, you may use it.
#9 – I’ll tell you when you’re older.
When children ask questions pertaining to adulthood or something that isn’t important for them to know now, use this expression. This is the most common expression used to let kids know that they need to wait for sometime to know about such things. .
#10 – Why do you want to know?
Now, if someone asks you something that you feel is none of their business, use this expression. If their response is valid, then you can decide whether you want to share the information or not. A good way to play safe before sharing any information when you are unsure.