In today’s English lesson, you will learn 13 English native expressions to say ‘I’m surprised’. We are surprised by the events that occur in our daily life, instead of saying the boring phrase ‘I’m surprised’. Learn some alternative English expressions that would make you sound fluent in English. These English phrases could be used in different situations and you don’t have to use the same old English phrase and sound boring. Practice these English phrases in your daily English conversation as a surprise comes your way.
You are watching this English lesson online at Let’s Talk – A free English learning resource to improve your English speaking skills to speak fluent English confidently. Here you would find lessons on topics such as Grammar, Vocabulary, IELTS, English conversation, communication skills etc and much more.
Complete Lesson Transcript :-
Hi everyone it’s me, Kat and welcome back for another lesson today. Now last night, we surprised my colleague for his birthday. He’s a co-worker and he’s recently just moved to Auckland from India. Well you know since that this was his first birthday without his family and we didn’t want him to be lonely, we thought, we’ll just throw him a surprise. So we went to his apartment with a nice big cake, lots of delicious food. Obviously, he didn’t know that some of us would be coming back to his apartment and boy was he surprised. However, I have to say that being a non-native speaker, he was a bit lost for words at the time and he really, he didn’t know how to express his surprise. So I believe that that can happen to everyone including me as a native English speaker. So what I’ve done for you today is I have made a list of certain things that you could say when you want to respond to a surprise. Stay tuned with me because it’s surprising how many expressions you can actually use.
Now the first expression we have today is wow! I can’t believe it, this is great. Now, this is a wonderful way of saying that you never expected someone to surprise you and of course it also shows your appreciation for what was done, which is why you would say, this is great. You can use it for a surprise that comes out of the blue. Now coming out of the blue means you just really had no idea and you didn’t expect it at all. Now a surprise doesn’t just have to be a birthday or any special occasion. You’ve been surprised just by a friend that’s turned up at your house. For example, maybe a friend has gifted you a new sweater as a token of appreciation for no reason at all. That’s when you’re going to be very happy and you could say, wow! I can’t believe it, this is great.
The next expression that you might want to use is, wow! I must be dreaming. This is something that you will use when the surprise actually seems unreal. You just cannot believe it and that’s why you use the word dreaming as if it’s what’s happening as part of a dream. Now an example of this situation could be, if your parents come to visit you unexpectedly after a year of living away, you could respond to this by saying, wow! I must be dreaming. It was the last thing that you expected to happen, wow! I must be dreaming.
The next expression is fancy that. Now, this is more of an idiom or slang to express your surprise. Something that you might want to do mainly around your friends and close ones. It’s another way of saying imagine that or it’s hard to believe, imagine that, it’s hard to believe. Now, this expression is usually used when you are pleasantly surprised. You like the surprise you have. An example of this could be, you haven’t studied too much but then you get straight-A for your English test. You’re gonna be like, whoa! Fancy that. It was a nice but unexpected surprise, fancy that.
Another expression you may use is, are you serious? You must be joking! This expression is used with the surprise is something that you never thought possible. In fact, you use it when you find something really hard to believe. If your husband tells you that you need to pack your bags because you’re going to Hawaii, you would be very pleasantly surprised and you might say something like this. Maybe because he had such a busy schedule at work, so it comes as a very, very nice surprise to you.
Another expression that you may want to use to show your surprise is, this is such a nice surprise, thank you so much for this, a nice surprise. Now sometimes you can just say it quite simply by expressing that you are indeed surprised and yes you might also want to thank the person who has surprised you. So if a friend has bought you a book that you’ve always wanted to read, you could say to your friend, this is such a nice surprise. Thanks so much for this, a nice surprise.
And the next expression is the word, really? But asked as a question. Now sometimes you don’t have to say much at all. A simple question like really? Shows depth and emotion behind how surprised you are. I remember that one time a really cute guy asked me out and he told me that he thought that I was cute and he wanted to ask me out since a long time ago. All I could say was, really? This is again an expression used when the unbelievable comes your way, really?
The next expression that you may want to use when being surprised is, you guys are great, thanks for all of this. Now, this is an expression that could be used when a group of people have surprised you with something amazing. Now this expression has a thank you at the end of it, again to show your appreciation. So you’re thanking them for the nice and pleasant surprise. An example of this could be if you’re a teacher and your students gift you, maybe a brand new watch for your birthday and you get a nice bouquet of flowers too. You’re obviously going to be pleasantly surprised and you love this gesture. So you’re just going to say, you guys are so great, thank you so much for this.
Up next is the expression, good heavens. Now good heavens is again more of a slang way of saying, being surprised and you are startled with a surprise but it’s a small one and you obviously didn’t expect it was going to happen. So let’s suppose that you’re walking down the street and your friend sneaks up behind you and taps you on the shoulder, you would be very startled if this happened and that’s when you might say good heavens. So you’re slightly in shock but it is still a surprise and not a bad surprise either but you would say good heavens, you scared me, good heavens.
The next expression is, you’ve got to be kidding me. Now this expression can be used when you are pleasantly surprised or if the surprise has made you angry. For example, if someone at work has taken your parking space, you might get a little miffed about that. Now you never expected that someone was going to be so ignorant and especially at work and that’s when you might just exclaim, you’ve got to be kidding me. Sometimes this phrase may even be muttered under your breath, you’ve got to be kidding me.
Up next is the expression, just when I thought. Now, this is not an expression itself, you would use this to start a sentence with. Now just when I thought and then you go on to describe what it is that you thought actually happened. Now, this could be a good or an unpleasant surprise. An example of this could be perhaps you had just finished paying off your credit card debt and you thought that you didn’t have to worry about it any longer and you were no longer going to have any money troubles. You thought that you could finally save something to buy things that you’ve always wanted but all of a sudden your car breaks down and you have some crazy expenses that come rushing in the door again. That’s when you would say, just when I thought I could save some money, just when I thought.
The next expression is unbelievable, I never expected it. Now this phrase is another way of expressing a surprise that seems almost unreal. For example, maybe you won tickets for an Ed Sheeran concert. Unbelievable, I never expected it. It’s something that you didn’t think was going to happen.
Up next it’s the phrase wow! This is great, I really appreciate this. Now you can also appreciate the surprise by using this kind of expression. If someone perhaps they’ve brought you some beautiful flowers when you’re feeling unwell and you might be in the hospital, you can thank them for the surprise. You could say, wow! This is great, I really appreciate this.
Another expression could be, wow! How awesome is this? Now, this is very similar to the previous expression but this one is used more informally with friends, co-workers or loved ones.
So the next time that you’re surprised, don’t need to worry about saying the right or the wrong thing. I dare you to just use one of these expressions from today’s lessons and you should be good to go. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this lesson and I will be back with some more but before I go please don’t hesitate to like the video, subscribe to our channel and don’t forget to press that bell icon to ensure that you receive regular updates for videos just like this one. Take care and I’ll see you next time.