All Ears English Podcast | Real English Vocabulary | Conversation | American Culture

How can you remember other people’s names?

Today, learn three tactics to remember names in English, and why it’s important to do so!


A name is a person’s most basic possession and part of their identity.  It’s the sweetest sound to their ears.  For this reason, Alan believes it’s important to get a person’s name right, and to show an interest in it.  But it’s not always easy to do that, especially with names you are unfamiliar with.


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Here are Alan’s tips for remembering new names:

  • If a name is unfamiliar, ask them to repeat it.  This helps you learn their name and also shows a respectful commitment to learning it.  Simply say, “Your name is a little difficult for me, but I’d really like to get it right. Could you say it again?”
  • Ask for their business card.  This works best in a business context, though students may also have business cards.  Reading the name might make it easier to remember.
  • Make up a pneumonic, or memory aid.  Think of what the unfamiliar name sounds like in your native language and use that to help you remember.  This is a way to bridge your language and English.


Alan suggests you also learn common names in the English-speaking world, and that you try asking others if their names have any special meanings or significances.


How do you deal with learning new names?

Share your experiences in the comments section below!


Alan Headbloom is an intercultural trainer, a professional English teacher and a talk show host. He frequently appears as a speaker on topics such as cultural diversity and workplace inclusion. He lives in Michigan, USA where he and his wife produce the show Feel Like You Belong, a show about immigrants creating a new life in the United States.

Visit Alan’s Website: Feel Like You Belong and Alan Headbloom- Cross Cultural Communication

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Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 6:01pm EDT

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Do you know how to interrupt others in English?

Today, learn how interruption is a part of American speaking culture, and how you can participate!


Americans often interrupt each other.  It can appear rude, and can cause frustration, but it happens.  Don’t take it personally.  Instead, learn how it works so you can take part in this aspect of spoken American English culture.


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There are many phrases you can use when being interrupted, or when interrupting others.  Some of them include:

  • Sorry or Oops: These might be said not only by the person doing the interrupting, but also by the person who is interrupted.
  • Go ‘head (ahead) and No, you go: These phrases permit the other person to interrupt you.
  • No problem: This indicates that you are okay with the interruption that just occurred.


Other common interruption phrases include:

  • What was that?
  • Uh huh.
  • Oh?


What other ways have you heard Lindsay and Michelle interrupt each other on past episodes of All Ears English?

Tell us in the comments section below!

Direct download: AEE_275_How_to_Naturally_Interrupt_Someone_in_English.mp3
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