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?
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:
- It’s go on, not get on
- 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.
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.
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...