Highlight: How to respond to good news

This material, taken from Chapter 2, introduces ways to react to another person’s good news, and presents a practice activity. As usual, answers are in the Resources section.

Hand proudly sporting a new ring

As we did for expressing sympathy, let’s start with some expressions to show the right level of reaction: not too mild, not too strong.

  mild - - - strong
That’s... (rather) nice (well) cool (really) great (just) awesome (really) fantastic
What... a stroke of luck!/ a blessing!      
I’m... to hear that pleased   really chuffed excited thrilled
Exclamations Great! Congratu-
You’re kidding!/
You’re joking!/
You’re having me on!
Put it there! (slap hands
in the air with your friend)

Practice exercise

How ‘big’ do you think these good-news situations are? Which congratulatory expressions might be appropriate?

Your friend...

  1. just got engaged to be married
  2. got good results in her exams
  3. received a gift of an expensive watch from her aunt
  4. won US$10,000 in a lottery
  5. got a place to study at Cambridge University in the UK
  6. succeeded in reducing her body weight by 10kg
  7. won her school tennis competition
  8. got a new job with a good salary

After the initial congratulation, you can keep the conversation flowing by covering some of the following aspects:

The book now continues with tips and exercises for sustaining good-news conversations. Find out how to get chapter 2