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How to Say 'I'm Not Surprised'


everyday grammar
How to Say 'I'm Not Surprised'
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Do you ever hear a story and think to yourself, "I knew that" or "it's not surprising to me?"

This week on Everyday Grammar, we will look at different ways to say that you are not surprised when you hear what someone says or does.

One way to express this is by saying "it is no wonder." The word wonder is often used in English to express a feeling of unpredictability or uncertainty. On a recent episode of Ask a Teacher, we explained how to use wonder in a question. When using the expression “it is no wonder,” you are saying you really have no questions at all about this event. On a sunny day, for example, you might look outside the window and say, "It's no wonder that the park is crowded. The weather is beautiful!"

Listen to the American singer James Swanberg telling about his relationship with a friend. This song says he's not surprised that they are together.

It's No Wonder

It's No Wonder We're Together
Oh Cuz There's No One I Like Better
It's No Wonder We're United

Our next expression is “of course.” You can hear this saying every day when someone reacts to a statement that is almost always true.

A: Ahmed stayed late last night to help with our project.

B: Of course. He's very generous with his time.

Another expression that you will hear when somebody is not surprised is "it figures." If you just look at the word "figure," you might imagine this has something to do with mathematics and adding up numbers. But in fact, the person who says "it figures" is putting together ideas and recognizing that their thoughts about those ideas are correct.

The Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette tells about an incident like this in her hit song “Ironic.’

It's a free ride when you've already paid

It's the good advice that you just didn't take

And who would've thought—it figures!

The singer is telling us that she thinks - or figures - that bad things will always happen to her.

Another expression used when someone is not surprised is "what do you expect?"

1: Those kids across the street are so loud.

2: What do you expect? They're celebrating their graduation.

Finally, let's look at how people use the word typical. It is often used when you are unhappy or dissatisfied with something that has happened.

1: The bus is late, so I can't make it to the meeting on time.

2: Typical! You should take the train. It's more dependable.

Differences between these expressions

Now, let’s review what we discussed today. The first two expressions, "it's no wonder" and "of course," can be used for an approving or positive reaction to an event. But the second two expressions, "it figures" and "typical," usually show more of negative, or not so nice, reaction.

Listen for these expressions the next time you are watching an American television show or movie. Try to use them when you are speaking English, and your listeners will know that you are not surprised.

I'm John Russell.

Jill Robbins wrote this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

park – n. a piece of public land in or near a city that is kept free of houses and other buildings and can be used for pleasure and exercise

of course – used to show that what is being said is very obvious or already generally known

generous – adj. providing more than the amount that is needed or normal : abundant or ample

typical – adj. happening in the usual way; normal for a person, thing, or group : average or usual

review – v. to study or look at (something) again

positive – adj. : thinking about the good qualities of someone or something : thinking that a good result will happen : hopeful or optimistic

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