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EXAM SPEAKING TIPS - What to say when you don't know what to say?


One way to pass your speaking part in exams is to familiarize yourself with natural connectors in speech. These differ from those in writing and are used in conversations to fill in awkward gaps, to link ideas to earlier statements and questions, and keep the conversation flowing. 

When asked for your opinion, natural fillers include sounds of hesitation, expressions of surprise at the question, or comments that are later followed by an answer.

• I can’t tell you that with certainty, but.... 
• That’s a tough/interesting/good/tricky question.
• Let's see....
• Oh, let me think about that for a moment.
• To be honest....
• Offhand, I’d say…
• In a way ...
• So to speak ...
• Without any doubt...
• Wow, I really have no idea what to say. 
• It's a tough question, let me think...
• As far as I’m concerned…
• I've never been asked that before. Let me think...
• I've never thought about that, actually. 
• It was just on the tip of my tongue...
• Oh, it has slipped my mind, sorry.
• I am quite inclined to the opinion that…..
• I totally do not accept the fact that…..
• I had it a moment ago. (you've forgotten what you wanted to say) 
• Well, I suppose…
• If I had to say something, I'd/it would... 
• The first thing that comes to mind… Another thing...

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