When you hear “Guess what?” what is your first thought? Do you wonder what you’re supposed to say because you really have no idea what the context is, and so your answers could be many and varied. Some people might just throw out random answers like “42” or “the sky is falling.” Of course, the person saying “Guess what” is eager for you to respond with “What?” because they can’t wait to tell you the news they have. Often the conversation goes something like “Guess what?” “What?” I passed the driving test and got my license.”
English tips like this will help you to understand native English speakers when they use phrases that should not be taken literally. When people say “Guess what?” they are not really expecting you to guess anything – just to ask “what?”
Episode transcript below:
Hey guys! What’s up?
How’s it going?
Today we’re going to talk about how to respond to “Guess what”!
Don’t worry if you didn’t know what to say then – we’re going to answer that question.
We’re going to answer how to answer that question, actually.
So, when someone says, “Guess what!” what are they trying to tell you?
They’re trying to get your attention.
They’re trying to make you feel excited.
So, if your English-speaking friend says, “Guess what!” how do you respond?
Well, you need to respond by saying, “What?”
And use that kind of intonation, that stress – “What?” like you’re actually interested and you want to hear what they have to say.
Otherwise, if you say, “what, “what” – it sounds like you’re not interested.
So, put some oomph, some feeling into it. Let’s say it – “What?”
Okay, great. So, next time someone asks you, “Guess what!” say “what?” and then wait for them to tell you what they want to tell you so badly.
I’m sure it’ll be interesting.
This is a very common expression and you’re not going to see it in a traditional textbook or in a normal English class.
This is the kind of tip that I love to share on the Go Natural English channel on YouTube, and on the podcasts, and iTunes, and on Stitcher, and also through the premium course at old.gonaturalenglish.com.
So, if you want to learn more about how to be like a native English speaker, come visit me.
I’d love to give you a free eBook and to show you all about the premium course.
Alright, thanks so much and I’ll talk to you soon.
Bye for now.