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Today I was talking about something important with our manager, but then another guy came and interrupted our conversation. As soon as that guy finished talking and went away, I said 'Let's continue' to the manager, and he chuckled a bit. Then I realised that I must have said something awkward. As far as I can remember, I've never heard any native speaker say 'Let's continue'. It seems that they say 'let's get on...' or something. So how do native speakers say 'continue'? Is it really 'get on', or is there any other expression? Could you show me some examples?

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I don’t think “let’s continue” is grammatically wrong; it just sounds overly formal in everyday conversations.

I would recommend one of these alternatives:

  • So, where were we?
  • To continue what I was saying...
  • Picking up where I left off...
  • Before we got interrupted, I was saying...

As for saying “get on,” if you were telling me something, and we got interrupted, I might tell you, “Go on.” Two things about this:

  1. It’s go on, not get on
  2. It’s not usually the speaker who says this, but the listener

You can say, “Let’s get on with this,” but, as one person mentioned, that suggests some annoyance, frustration, or a desire to hurry.

  • Excellent answer, however, I am curious to know why you wouldn't recommend "Let's go back to what I was saying"? – Cardinal Feb 6 '18 at 12:34
  • @Cardinal - That one is just as good if not better than any of my suggestions here. Feel free to edit my second bullet with your more natural suggestion. – J.R. Feb 6 '18 at 12:36
  • Thank's for the feed-back, the reason I asked this is my comment didn't get any votes and I thought, oh oh, maybe you're wrong again. :-) – Cardinal Feb 6 '18 at 12:41
  • So can I just say 'let's go on'? – OhLook Feb 6 '18 at 21:14
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    @Ath - No, I think that sounds awkward. I’d avoid let’s in this situation, and, as my answer says, it’s the listener, not the speaker, who usually says, “Go on.” It essentially signals to the speaker: “I’m ready to listen again now; go on [with what you were saying].” – J.R. Feb 7 '18 at 1:42
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As a native speaker (BrE), I do think that "get on" has some sense of continue but with an added sense of urgency. If a discussion is proceeding slowly someone might say "we must get on", or if dissatisfied with someone else's progress you might say "get on with it!".

In the circumstances described, I would say "Let's carry on" or even, "Let's carry on where we left off."

I don't see what was wrong with "Let's continue" by the way. Maybe you made it sound pompous.

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    As a native US English speaker, I might say "Let's get on with it" to mean "Let's proceed", with some implication that we've been delaying or that it's an unpleasant task. – stangdon Feb 6 '18 at 12:21
  • OK, next time I'll say 'let's carry on' and hope the other person won't chuckle – OhLook Feb 6 '18 at 21:14
  • A bit of chuckling does nobody any harm. Good natured humour is OK. – JeremyC Feb 6 '18 at 22:56
  • I wasn't trying to be humorous; I wanted to be taken seriously. I don't want to speak awkward English and let native speakers laugh at me. – OhLook Feb 7 '18 at 10:28
  • Ill-natured humour: people laughing at you is bad. But I can't see why anyone ill-natured or otherwise would laugh at what you said. It was quite correct. – JeremyC Feb 7 '18 at 14:35
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I'd definitely say "let's continue with the conversation", but I'm a bit on the formal side at work. I'd not say it while drinking beer with friends after work...

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