Speaking Right

Short Answers for Good Scores - 2

Apr 17 2022


Continuing from the previous post, this post looks at expressions that you can use to make you speaking sound more natural. This will usually give you a better score (tone and coherence). Expression are in bold.

Short Answers for Good Scores - 2 - First Academy

What Expressions Should be Used in Speaking?

There is no textbook of expressions, but the good news is, almost any phrase or a word can be used as an expression. Here are some commonly used expressions you might have heard of, and might have even used!


Q: Do you like photographs?
R1: No, I do not like photographs. 😐
R2: Oh no! Not at all. 😃

If you observe, the second response is a lot more natural, while the first response sounds boring and repetitive.  So, in addition to the short answers discussed in the previous post, you will need to add expressions. 

Short Answers with Do and Does

In questions that use do/does it is possible to give short answers, to direct questions as follows:

Do I need a ticket? Oh yes! you do. | Not really! (here, instead of saying, 'No, you don't" you are using an expression)

Do you need a dictionary? Of course! | Certainly not!

Do you both speak English? Absolutely! | No, we do not. (Here, using an expression in the negative is not natural.)

Do they need help? They certainly/look like they/ do. | I don't think they do.

Does he like chocolate? He sure does!. | He doesn't at all!

Does she want to come? There's no doubt she does. | From what I can see, she doesn't.

Does it have four legs? It certainly does not have three! (this whole thing is an expression) | No, it doesn't.

What speaking expressions have we learnt?

  1. Oh yes! (instead of simply saying yes)
  2. Not really! (instead of a simple no)
  3. Of course! (yes)
  4. Certainly! (yes)
  5. Certainly not! (no)
  6. Sure does/ Sure do! (yes)
  7. Sure doesn't/Sure don't (no)
  8. There's no doubt (could be used for both a yes and a no)
  9. From what I can see (can be used as starting phrase for both yes and no)
  10. It looks like (can be used as above)

Now let us look at a different type of answers.

Short Answers with To Be

See if you can use any of the above expressions in the responses to the questions below!

Am I early? (can you use definitely here?)

Are you busy now? (can you use certainly here?)

Are you both surprised?

Are they hungry? 

Is he late again? 

Is she a good student? 

Is it ready?

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