If someone interrupts your speaking and shows the sign of impatience or superiority or thinking you being incomprehensible or whatever, what would you say? Is it good to reply

Let me try again.

If you are trying your best to communicate, and they interrupts repeatedly which you think is unreasonable, will you say:

Could you please listen and let me finish?

Do you understand how to respect others when they are speaking?

I saw this sometimes happens between some Americans and some foreigners in U.S., either on TV shows or in real life. I personally have some similar experiences in arguing about questionable bills with customer services

  • 1
    What exactly can be said in this context, will depend on circumstances like what kind of behaviour would be most appropriate at the time and how polite or rude you are willing to be. – Tristan Nov 13 '13 at 18:24
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    Sometimes the appropriate words are “Please let me speak to your supervisor”. – James Waldby - jwpat7 Nov 13 '13 at 19:36
  • You may want to refer to one of those books about communication skills in the workplace or dealing with difficult people, etc. – learner Nov 13 '13 at 20:50
  • There is a proposal for a Stack Exchange site on precisely this topic, Etiquette. I advise you to follow it, recommend it to friends and contribute to it when it makes it to beta. It will be a much better place to ask questions of this nature than English Language Learners. – starsplusplus Feb 20 '14 at 16:28

This is more a question of etiquette than of language. The appropriate thing to do or say depends on how polite or assertive (or rude) you want to be, and on how you perceive the other person's interruptions.

Appropriate responses could include:

  1. Letting the other person talk and resuming when he is finished

  2. Speaking louder than him to try to drown him out

  3. Saying, "Excuse me, I hadn't finished making my point"

  4. Shouting, "Shut up, jerk! I'm still speaking!"

  5. Punching him in the face.


If the person who interrupts you is a kidnapper who is pointing a gun at your head, you might be wise to just let him talk. If you're in a televised political debate, you probably do not want to let him talk and should either counter-interrupt or demand that the moderator intervene. Etc.

  • The Margaret Thatcher thing; PLEASE ... let me finish. (MT, being female, was used to being interrupted, and obviously had learned how to deal with it.) – RedSonja Dec 22 '15 at 7:55

It utterly depends whom are you speaking to! Certainly, if you are addressing executives and there is an over-enthusiastic person, the best way to calm them down is...

I understand your concern, but we shall keep all the questions and opinions once I'm finished with this.

If you are talking to a customer-care officer, you will have an authoritative tone

Would you listen to me first? OR
Listen, let me complete. Okay? OR
Will you listen to me first or keep interrupting? I'll have someone else then! (probably the manager!)

If you are talking to your students, you actually teach/tell them in the beginning itself

Listen to the speech/presentation first! The queries you have might be answered in coming topics. And if they aren't, you can ask me at the end of the presentation. Interrupting in between affects the flow of the presentation.

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