Bulats language functions – tenir une conversation

Language Functions refer to the different situations where we use language. Often, the meaning of expressions we use is not easy to understand from the words of the sentence. For example, a person could say ‘I see what you mean but …’ and the meaning of the sentence is ‘I understand what you are saying but my opinion is different.’

In BULATS, your knowledge of Language Functions will be tested. You will see examples of Language Functions in the Reading texts and you will hear people use them in the Listening audios. They are also important in the Writing Test and the Speaking Test. If you can understand the different nuances of meaning, you will improve your score.

This exercise will give you examples of typical conversation expressions, as well as expressions that are used to interrupt a conversation, show interest and move a conversation forward.


Typical Conversation Expressions
Let me introduce myself.
Can I talk to you for a minute?
Excuse me, have you got a minute?
I wonder if I can talk to you about (your project).
Let’s start by (talking about your project).
We’ll start by (talking about your project).
We need to discuss (your project).
The important thing is (your project).
The main thing we need to discuss is (your project).
Well, the thing is I want to (talk about your project).
What I want to say is (your project) is (going well).
The point I want to make is (your project) is (going well).
Well, what I mean is that (your project) is (going well).
As I was saying (your project) is (going well).


Excuse me.
Just a moment please.
Can I interrupt you?
Can I give you my opinion?
Could I say something?
I have a question.
I have something to say.
I want to point out something.
I want to say something.
If I can interrupt for a moment.
Excuse me for interrupting.
Sorry to interrupt you but I have a question.
Do you mind if I interrupt you?
Do you mind if I say something?
Sorry to butt in.
Actually, I wanted to say something.
Before we move on to the next point, can I say something?
Can I add something?
Do you mind if I jump in here?
I don’t mean to intrude, but I want to say something.
Just a minute!
Hold on!


Showing interest and moving on
(The project has been cancelled) – Really?
(The project has been cancelled) – Right.
(The project has been cancelled) – Sure.
(The project has been cancelled) – How awful!
(The project has been cancelled) – Oh no!
(The project has been cancelled) – You’re joking!
(The project has been cancelled) – What a pity!
(The project has been cancelled) – I don’t believe it!
(The project is too expensive) – Is it?
(The manager cancelled the project) – Did he?
(The project has been cancelled) – Has it?
(They could cancel the project) – Could they?
(The project has been cancelled) – Tell me more!
(The project has been cancelled) – Very interesting.
(The project has been cancelled) – That’s interesting.
(We need a new project) – That’s a very good point.
(We need a new project) – Interesting point.
(We need a new project) – You’ve got a good point there.
(We need a new project) – I agree entirely.
(We need a new project) – You might be right.
(We need a new project) – I hadn’t thought of that before.
(We need a new project) – That’s an interesting point but (I disagree).
(We need a new project) – That’s all very well, but (I disagree).
(We need a new project) – I’m not so sure about that.
(We need a new project) – Yes, but don’t you think (some people disagree)?
(We need a new project) – I can see your point, but (I disagree).
Anyway, there was something else I wanted to mention.
By the way, I wanted to tell you about something else.
That reminds me, I wanted to ask you about something else.
Talking of (projects), did you know that (the company has started a new ad campaign)?
Before I forget, I wanted to tell you something.
OK, let’s move on.
Let’s move on, shall we?


To go further in your Bulats preparation, you can check out our Language Function summary, or choose one of the study sheets below.