Expressions of Surprise: Dog owner taken by surprise

Something surprising can happen at any time and here you can find out lots of different ways to show how surprised you are. Look out for the expressions of surprise in bold and then find out their exact meaning in the glossary below.

Watch this video of a dog, Libby doing an agility course at possibly the world’s most important dog show, Crufts, which is an annual event here in the UK. Watch carefully – something might catch you by surprise!       Good, eh? As a dog owner, it kind of took me by surprise because the dog was really sprinting just before she stopped to ‘do her business’. I think the dog handler, Sarah was really stopped dead in her tracks because they had been doing so well on the obstacle course in a very fast time and it really was a bolt out of the blue. Even though Libby’s unscheduled pit-stop might have raised some eyebrows in the audience, it wasn’t really a jaw dropping event for the organisers. You can see that the stewards , who must have seen it all before, were not exactly rooted to the spot or caught unawares, as they quickly swung into action to give Sarah a bag to clean up the item that led to Libby’s disqualification. I’m sure that Sarah just didn’t know what to say – better luck next year! 🙂   Here are some expressions of surprise to show that you were really not expecting what is happening… I don’t believe it! Unbelievable! That’s incredible Blimey! Crikey! You’re kidding! I’m speechless! Jesus!   And this one is very old-fashioned, but was made famous in the Back to the Future films: Great Scott!       And this is what youtube was made for: Watching people have the surprise of their lives! You can hear probably the most common phrase for ‘surprise’ here over and over again: OMG! (Oh, my God)

Expressions of Surprise

to catch sb by surprise
sth unexpected happens
to take sb by surprise
sth unexpected happens
to stop sb dead in their tracks
you stop doing what you are doing and literally stop moving because of fear or extreme surprise at the situation
a bolt out of the blue
sth completely unexpected happens
to raise sb’s eyebrows
to show expression on your face that you are surprised by/disapproving of some unusual behaviour
to see sth all before
nothing surprises sb anymore becuase of their experience
to be rooted to the spot
you stop doing what you are doing and literally stop moving because of fear or extreme surprise at the situation
to be caught unawares
to be surprised and unprepared for the situation that is happening
to not know what to say
to be speechless becuase of the surprising/shocking nature of the thing that is happening
Oh my God (OMG)
probably the most common way to say that the situation is surprising/shocking/unbelievable/outrageous etc

As you can see lots of the expressions can mean the same thing – that’s the beauty of the richness and colour of the English language, isn’t it? 🙂   Finally, it couldn’t be an article on Surprises without this video, ‘No Surprises’ by Radiohead. Enjoy If you like that song and you want a learning English experience with it, check out this link. I think you’ll like it. Try the game on Beginner level at first before you move on to Intermediate. Click on the HELP button on the right hand side just under the song lyrics to help you.

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