Level Up English Podcast 185 implied meaning

Implied Meaning

As you might know, English isn’t like how we find it in textbooks. In day-to-day conversations, we often don’t speak in full sentences, and so much of what we say is implied (this means, it’s hinted at without actually saying it).

In this episode, I look at some examples of implied meaning or ‘language ambiguity’ and teach some phrases you can use in different situations.


I notice this happens to me when I’m talking in another language. In my head, I have the full sentence prepared to say, but before I get to the end the other person interrupts me because they can predict what I’m about to say.

Good Phrases & Examples

  • You’re near the window. Would you mind…? (asking to open the window)
  • Are you happy with this? – Well… / I don’t know (British especially are indirect. This means ‘no’)
  • Let me put it this way… (trying to give someone bad news)
  • It’s a bit cold in here… Is anyone else getting cold out here? (Can we make it warmer?)
  • I’m getting sleepy. (I want you to leave)
  • If you could just… (and gesture) – Eg. tidy something away
  • Could I just… (and gesture) – Eg. move past you

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3 thoughts on “#185 Implied Meaning in English”

  1. Thank you for teaching us the linguistic theory of conversational implicature in an interesting way, and I enjoyed the episode immensely.

      1. As a student of linguistics, I learnt this linguistic theory. It’s part of the linguistic competence that foreign students develop. However, your linguistic performance, being an English man, is superb.

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