29. Surprise

Surprise and astonishment (which is just great surprise) are very often expressed with exclamations:

Oh! – usually when startled (by an unexpected sight, for example)

(Good) heavens!

What a surprise!

Well! – puzzled surprise, when you don’t know what is best to say under circumstances or what to gain time.

To express surprise (often mixed with disbelief) at what other people tell us we can use:

Indeed? – coldly formal.

Really? |

Do/ have you really? |

You have not, have you? } more or less neutral, semi-formal, rather mild

You don’t, do you? |

What? - strong, mixed with disbelief and/or displeasure, informal

You don’t say (so)! – more colloquial

Fancy (that)! – informal

Just fancy! – used more by way of comment

Go on (with you)! } colloquial, mixed with disbelief

Well, I never. |

To express surprise at seeing someone unexpectedly we say:

Look who’s here!

Well, if it isn’t…!

Describing our or other people’s surprise the following expressions can be used:

You could have knocked me down with a feather. – colloquial

It/ that made me/ him sit up.

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