99 Ways of Expressing Surprise in English

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When you experience something unexpectedly and suddenly, you become surprised. However, on many occasions, some of you may wonder how to express that feeling of surprise in English. Well! In this post, I’ll share 99 English expressions that you can use to respond when you experience something surprising.

“It’s so surprising!” & “I can’t believe it?” are the most common expressions in English to express surprise. While expressing surprise, your facial expression, body language, and voice tone must express surprise too. Here are 99 examples that show expressing surprises in English.

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Table of Contents

Different Ways of Expressing Surprise in English

  1. I can’t believe it. Are you sure that you finished it?
  2. I can’t believe my ears. I am so happy that you finally got it after all that.
  3. I can’t believe my eyes. It’s good to see your room, so artistically decorated.
  4. I can’t think of it. I thought it was done forever.
  5. I can’t even believe that I made it! I’m so delighted.
  6. I can’t take it. Please say that you are wrong.
  7. I didn’t have a clue about this. Good to know that you got a surprise promotion.
  8. I don’t believe a word of it. It was supposed to happen next year.
  9. I don’t believe it. You were to get a more significant increment this year.
  10. I don’t think so. Are you sure he is here?
  11. I don’t trust you. You might be kidding. How come I become the manager?
  12. I find it extraordinary. I didn’t think I could experience such a place in my life.
  13. I find it hard to believe. How come you are planning to leave the city?
  14. I find that very surprising. Can you reconfirm the news?
  15. I found it completely unbelievable. How could he get the award in this category?
  16. I never even dreamed. Thanks to the almighty that I got such a good job.
  17. I never expected it. Very happy to see you bringing my favorite food.
  18. I never thought this would happen. I got no clue that she was preparing her for the competition that well.
  19. I’m utterly surprised to hear it. I thought he could be the first person coming here to help you in this situation.
  20. I’m shocked that you made this mistake. Please be careful next time.
  21. I’m entirely at a loss. How can it happen to such a good employee?
  22. I’m completely surprised. Thanks for coming back that soon.
  23. It’s really a small world. You see, we met again.
  24. It’s news to me. Very happy to hear that you got the scholarship.
  25. It’s unbelievable. How can a cricket team be such unprofessional?
  26. It can’t be true. Is life really that beautiful? Oh my God!
  27. Is that really true? I just can’t believe what you said.
  28. Is that so? Are you sure about that?
  29. Is that the fact? I think you should recheck it.
  30. Is this what I see? I can’t believe my own eyes.
  31. Is this what I have to believe? I didn’t expect it at all.
  32. I had no idea. This is so surprising that you are again here.
  33. I must say it surprised me. I never thought I’d get my phone back.
  34. I got no clue. Do you know how it happened?
  35. Are you for real? You are finally here again!
  36. Are you kidding me? You told me yesterday that she had left the country.
  37. Are you serious? You’re on the way!
  38. That’s a surprise. Thanks, man.
  39. That’s hard to believe. Life is so unpredictable.
  40. That’s impossible. Don’t tell me to believe this.
  41. That’s incredible! My best wishes for your new role.
  42. That’s very surprising! I feel proud of you.
  43. This is such a pleasant surprise. Thanks for always being beside me.
  44. This is amazing! I always wanted to have such a laptop.
  45. This surprised me like anything. Thank you so much, guys.
  46. Oh my God. I never expected that my team would win.
  47. Oh my gosh. This is really a great surprise for me.
  48. Oh no! That’s not true. You are getting me wrong.
  49. Oh no! You were not supposed to go there.
  50. Oh, come on! I think you are mistaken.
  51. Oh, really? Are you sure that she did it?
  52. Oh lord! I can’t believe that.
  53. Oh! Please don’t say that you have done it again.
  54. Oh! The road is too narrow to drive the car.
  55. Oh! What a beautiful place!
  56. Oh! What a victory!
  57. Oh! This is scorching heat outside.
  58. Oho! I got no clue what to do now.
  59. What a nice surprise! Thank you so much, dear.
  60. What a wonder! I am completely astonished.
  61. What is the world coming to? People are so greedy.
  62. What! I can’t accept that she is not performing.
  63. What! How can she deny that?
  64. What! I don’t know anything, but she has to attend the event.
  65. What! How can you think about going outside in this health?
  66. What! Why didn’t you go to school today?
  67. What! How did it happen?
  68. You also don’t believe it. Do you?
  69. You don’t say that you did it.
  70. You must be kidding me. Am I right?
  71. You must be joking. Isn’t it?
  72. You would not also believe what I heard.
  73. You’re joking! I am damn sure.
  74. You’re kidding, aren’t you?
  75. You’re not serious. Please confess.
  76. No kidding! Tell me the truth, please.
  77. No way. I must reconfirm it.
  78. Wow, man! That’s awesome.
  79. Wow! I must say this is entirely a new experience for me.
  80. Wow! You are too early!
  81. Ah! Everything is out of our control now, just for a silly mistake.
  82. Ah! How have you got it?
  83. Ah! This is a blunder, I must say.
  84. Eh! This is an utter disappointment. You crashed it.
  85. Eh! You have spoiled the entire plan.
  86. Hey! Are you sure about it? I don’t find it correct.
  87. Hey! You were supposed to be more careful.
  88. Now I have seen everything. It surprised me entirely.
  89. Now, I have got it all. It’s not acceptable. I am utterly astonished.
  90. Funnily enough. I don’t believe it happened.
  91. Heavens above, you are kidding. I’m sure.
  92. How very surprising. Have you done cross-checking?
  93. My goodness. How can she be so stupid?
  94. Really? Did you say it?
  95. Seriously? You think about her like this!
  96. There is a first time for everything. I had to believe this.
  97. Unbelievable! I don’t even know how I managed it.
  98. Who would have thought like this? This was totally unpredictable.
  99. Don’t make me laugh. I don’t believe this.

5 Tips to Express Surprise in English

  1. Be genuine and authentic in expressing your surprise. Use appropriate words based on the level of your surprise.
  2. Your facial expression, body language, and voice tone can help you better communicate your surprise.
  3. Be sure that you don’t offend someone by expressing your surprise. Instead, be polite and think about how much you can show your reaction.
  4. Think about the setting—formal and informal. Be very careful and picky about word choice when you are in a formal situation.
  5. Try to maintain a positive attitude, even if the surprise comes negative.

Sample Conversation: Expressing Surprise in English

Situation: Leo meets his old school friend, Mia, at a bookstore and discovers she has written a novel.

Leo: Mia? Is that you?

Mia: Leo! Wow, it’s been ages! How have you been?

Leo: I’ve been good, thanks. Wait, is that your name on this book?

Mia: Oh! Yes, I wrote that novel. It was published last month.

Leo: You’re kidding! That’s amazing! I had no idea you became a writer.

Mia: Thank you! It’s been a dream come true. I never thought I’d see my name on a bookshelf.

Leo: I’m genuinely taken aback. Congratulations, Mia!

In Conclusion

Appropriately expressing emotions is crucial for good communication, no matter your language. I hope this post will help you learn some expressions in English to express surprise.

Thanks for reading!

Happy learning!

1. Why is it important to express surprise appropriately in English?

Conveying surprise correctly ensures your reactions are genuine and builds trust in conversations, making interactions more engaging.

2. What are common phrases to express surprise?

Phrases like “Really?”, “Are you serious?”, “No way!”, and “I can’t believe it!” are commonly used to convey surprise.

3. How can tone influence the expression of surprise?

A varied intonation, rising pitch, or emphasizing certain words can enhance the feeling of surprise in your statement.

4. Can body language also convey surprise?

Yes. Wide eyes, raised eyebrows, and an open mouth can all be non-verbal indicators of surprise.

5. How can I differentiate between positive and negative surprise?

The context, tone of voice, and accompanying words can help clarify whether the surprise is pleasant or unpleasant.

6. Are there degrees of surprise in English?

Yes. Expressions like “I’m a bit surprised” indicate mild surprise, while “I’m absolutely shocked!” suggests a stronger reaction.

7. How can I respond to someone else’s surprising news?

Acknowledging their news with phrases like “That’s unexpected!” or asking follow-up questions can be appropriate responses.

8. Are there cultural nuances in expressing surprise?

Indeed. The way surprise is expressed and interpreted can vary across cultures, so it’s essential to be aware of cultural norms.

9. How can I teach children to express surprise effectively?

Using stories, watching expressive characters in media, and encouraging them to share their surprising experiences can help children learn to express surprise.

10. Is it okay to feign surprise in a conversation?

While genuine reactions are preferable, there might be social situations where feigning surprise is considered polite or tactful. However, it’s essential to be cautious and avoid being insincere.

Niaj A A Khan is an ESL Instructor with over 8 years of experience in teaching & developing resources at different universities and institutes. Mr. Khan is also a passionate writer working on his first book, "Learn English at Ease."

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