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How to understand the Brits

What the British say: “Do as much as you think is justified.”
What the British mean: “Do it all.”
What is understood: “Do what you can.”

What the British say: “Oh, by the way/Incidentally …”
What the British mean: “The primary purpose of our discussion is …”
What is understood: “This is not very important …”

What the British say: “I was a bit disappointed that/It is a pity you …”
What the British mean: “I am most upset and cross.”
What is understood: “It doesn’t really matter.”

What the British say: “Very interesting.”
What the British mean: “I don’t agree/I don’t believe you.”
What is understood: “They are impressed.”

What the British say: “Could we consider some other options?”
What the British mean: “I don’t like your idea.”
What is understood: “They have not yet decided.”

What the British say: “I’ll bear it in mind.”
What the British mean: “I will do nothing about it.”
What is understood: “They will probably do it.”

What the British say: “Please think about that some more.”
What the British mean: “It’s a bad idea: don’t do it.”
What is understood: “It’s a good idea, keep developing it.”

What the British say: “I’m sure it’s my fault.”
What the British mean: “I know it is your fault, please apologise.”
What is understood: “It was somebody else’s fault.”

What the British say: “That is an original point of view.”
What the British mean: “You must be mad, or very silly.”
What is understood: “They like my ideas!.”

What the British say: “I’m sure you’ll get there eventually.”
What the British mean: “You don’t stand a chance in hell.”
What is understood: “Keep on trying; they agree I’m on the right track.”

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