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Expressing Doubt in AmericanExpressing Doubt in American
CultureCulture
How to do this directly and indirectly
Difference of opinionDifference of opinion
Americans use modals to
express a difference of
opinion in a respectful
manner....
Dialogue OneDialogue One (Sarah is talking about(Sarah is talking about
her new Chinese roommate with Sue - aher new Chine...
Dialogue OneDialogue One (Sarah is talking about(Sarah is talking about
her new Chinese roommate with Sue - aher new Chine...
Dialogue Two: ExpressingDialogue Two: Expressing
DisbeliefDisbelief
SUE: Hi Mom. What’s
for dinner?
LILI: Noodles with bee...
Dialogue Two: ExpressingDialogue Two: Expressing
DisbeliefDisbelief
SUE: She must have
forgotten.
LILI: Well, I’m sure she...
ModalsModals
Modals can
also be used
for
encouragement
as in the
following
dialogue.
Vanessa: I would like
to be a lawyer,...
ActivityActivity
In your groups, write and perform a brief dialogue
in which you
1. Express doubt using the word “no”
2.Ex...
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Expressing doubt in American culture

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Direct and indirect styles of expressing doubt

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Expressing doubt in American culture

  1. 1. Expressing Doubt in AmericanExpressing Doubt in American CultureCulture How to do this directly and indirectly
  2. 2. Difference of opinionDifference of opinion Americans use modals to express a difference of opinion in a respectful manner. It is important to notice that modals are frequently used to express sensitive emotions such as disbelief or fear or shyness as well as uncertainty about a future action. In the following dialogue, Sue and Sarah discuss Sarah’s idea about baking a blueberry cheese cake for Liu Yang. Notice how they use modals to express their differing opinions about the idea. Also notice how Sue uses, If I were you, to signal that she is giving a different opinion in a respectful way.
  3. 3. Dialogue OneDialogue One (Sarah is talking about(Sarah is talking about her new Chinese roommate with Sue - aher new Chinese roommate with Sue - a Chinese American friend)Chinese American friend) SARAH: I think we’ll be fine. - but just to be sure, I’m going to bake my Mom’s special blackberry cream cheese pie. SUE: I would probably go with something different than a cream cheese pie. SARAH: What do you mean? I really like this pie, and you always liked it too. SUE: Yes, you and I like the pie. But your new Chinese roommate might not. Different cultures have different tastes you know. SARAH: Yes of course I know. I’ve eaten your mother’s great Chinese food. And it does taste different than my mother’s food, but its still good.
  4. 4. Dialogue OneDialogue One (Sarah is talking about(Sarah is talking about her new Chinese roommate with Sue - aher new Chinese roommate with Sue - a Chinese American friend)Chinese American friend) SUE: If I were you, I would try to prepare something different - just in case she doesn’t like cheese or blackberries. SARAH: Well maybe you’re right. Maybe I should get some fruit too. SUE: I don’t think you could go wrong with fruit. In the following dialogue, modals are used to express disbelief. In this dialogue, Sue comes home from university classes and visits with her mother (who was born in China) who is preparing dinner. Sue tells her mother, Lili, about Sarah’s idea to prepare a blueberry cheese cake for her new Chinese roommate.
  5. 5. Dialogue Two: ExpressingDialogue Two: Expressing DisbeliefDisbelief SUE: Hi Mom. What’s for dinner? LILI: Noodles with beef and I’m preparing some cabbage with pork for your father. SUE: Um sounds delicious. Speaking of food, you’ll never guess what Sarah is preparing for her new Chinese roommate. LILI: Knowing Sarah as I do, nothing would surprise me. What did she tell you she was going to prepare? SUE: I couldn’t believe my ears when she said that she was making a blackberry cream cheese pie! LILI: You’re not serious? Surely she remembers that Chinese don’t eat creams and cheeses as much as Americans do.
  6. 6. Dialogue Two: ExpressingDialogue Two: Expressing DisbeliefDisbelief SUE: She must have forgotten. LILI: Well, I’m sure she will do her best to try and make her new roommate feel welcome. In the previous dialogue, modals are used to show disbelief. There are several other ways to show disbelief, including the expression, “You’re not serious?” that Lili uses in the previous dialogue. Some other expressions for expressing disbelief include, “You’ve got to be kidding”, “Get out of here” and simply the word, “No”.
  7. 7. ModalsModals Modals can also be used for encouragement as in the following dialogue. Vanessa: I would like to be a lawyer, but I’m not smart enough. Mike: Sure you could - you just have to believe in yourself.
  8. 8. ActivityActivity In your groups, write and perform a brief dialogue in which you 1. Express doubt using the word “no” 2.Express doubt using the expression “ you’re kidding” 3.Express doubt using the expression “get out of here” 4.Express encouragement using a modal 5. Express doubt using “If I were you”

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