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How to Politely End a Conversation in English

You're having a wonderful back-and-forth conversation with your colleague. You've shared some interesting banter but now you need to get back to work.

Or perhaps you're having a completely draining exchange with that annoying guy from across the hall and you're desperate to escape.

Either way, the conversation needs to end, but you feel stuck on exactly how to do this without seeming rude.

Fear not- in this lesson I share 3 simple steps to gracefully exit any conversation.

By the end of this lesson you shall feel stuck no more! 

So let’s dive in.

Practice phrases and sentences used in this lesson:

Step 1: A transition word (e.g. well, so, anyway) and statement of appreciation

Anyway, it’s so good to see you...

So, it’s been great talking to you...

Well, it’s wonderful to catch up a bit…

Anyway, it’s such a pleasure to meet you...

Well, thanks for updating me on your progress...

So, thanks so much for the book recommendation. I’ll definitely check it out.

 

Step 2: Say what you need to do next

I’ve gotta run. I need to look over my notes before the meeting.

I should get going. I’ve got a meeting with John in 15 minutes.

I've gotta run. I need to stop by the post office before I pick up the kids.

I should get going. I’ve got a few things I need to take care of before lunch.

I've gotta run. I have a yoga class at 4.

I should get going. I wanna grab a snack before the next presentation begins.

I've gotta run. I’m a little behind on my to do list for today.

Or, acknowledge that the other person is busy and probably needs to get going:

I won’t keep you any longer. I know you’re busy.

 

Step 3: State a future plan and a goodbye phrase

Future plan examples:

You wanna grab coffee Friday morning?

Let’s do lunch next week.

I’ll give you a call in a few days.

I look forward to talking again soon.

If it's a work interaction where you've been discussing a specific plan you can summarize the next steps:

I’ll adjust the final details on the contract and you touch base with the client to see when they’re available next week.

 

Common goodbye phrases:

See ya later!

See ya soon!

Take care!

Have a good one!

Take it easy!

Talk to you later!

I’ll be in touch.

 

Let’s practice putting this all together:

So, It’s been great talking to you...

You too!

I should get going- I’m a little behind on my to do list for today.

Me too. It seems like I can never catch up.

Definitely. I'll talk to you later.

Sounds good. See ya!

 

Well, It’s wonderful to catch up a bit…

I’ve gotta run-I need to look over my notes before the meeting.

Sounds good. I’ll see you in a bit. Take it easy!

You too.

 

So, thanks for the book recommendation- I’ll definitely check it out.

Yeah- I think you'll love it!

I should get going- I need to stop by the post office before I pick up the kids. Do you wanna grab coffee Friday morning?

Yeah- that'd be perfect!

Awesome- I’ll be in touch. Talk to ya soon!

Bye.

 

Anyway, It’s such a pleasure to meet you...

I should get going. I’ve got a few things I need to take care of before lunch.

Yeah, me too. This morning is crazy busy.

Alright, take care!

Talk to ya later.

 

Anyway, It’s so good to see you...

I’ve gotta run- I have a yoga class at 4.

Yeah I should go too. It's my turn to make dinner tonight.

Want to grab lunch next week?

Definitely. Sounds great.

Excellent- I’ll give you a call.

 

Well, thanks for updating me on your progress. I won’t keep you any longer- I know you’re busy.

No problem. I’ll talk to you later.

Alright. Have a good one!

 

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