Interrupting in English conversations

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Interrupting in English conversationsInterrupting in English conversations. On this page, we will look at how to stop someone when they are speaking, how to change the topic and how to continue a conversation after an interruption. Being able to use a range of phrases to hope you manage conversations is an essential part of improving your English, so let’s start with what you can say when you need to interrupt someone who is talking (to interrupt means to stop them talking).

Words and phrases you can use to interrupt someone:

  • Shut up! (VERY rude and not recommended!)
  • Will you let me speak? (also quite rude)
  • Sorry to interrupt, but…
  • Excuse me, but I have a question about…
  • Do you mind if I interrupt you for a moment?
  • Could you be quiet for a moment? (also quite rude)
  • Sorry, do you mind if I just say something?
  • Apologies, but can I just add something to that?
  • Could I just say something here?
  • May I interject? (VERY formal)
  • Do you mind if I stop you for a minute?
  • Sorry, I just wanted to say that…
  • Sorry to butt in, but…
  • I hope you’ll excuse me for interrupting, but…
  • Do you mind if I jump in there… (common in business meetings)
  • If I could just come in here… (common in business meetings)


You may also need to change the topic that people are talking about using these phrases:

  • Anyway…
  • Oh, there’s something else I wanted to tell you.
  • On a different note…
  • Moving on, let’s talk about… (more common in business English)
  • Oh, while I remember…
  • That reminds me…
  • By the way, that reminds me of…
  • I know this is changing the subject, but…
  • Incidentally…

Restarting a conversation after an interruption:

  • Anyway, going back to what I was saying….
  • As I was saying…
  • To get back to what I was saying…
  • Okay, let’s get back to the topic at hand (more common in business English)

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