How Americans Show Excitement - American Languaculture Lesson

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Learn how Americans show Excitement in the US. In this American Languaculture lesson, I teach you nonverbal expressions for excitement and phrases to use when you are excited about something!

You may have noticed that Americans can be quite expressive with their emotions. We tend to say how we’re feeling as well as show how we’re feeling. That applies to showing excitement. In today’s lesson, I’m sharing how we tend to show excitement in American languaculture!

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Let’s first look at some phrases we use to show excitement:

Neutral situations:

  • I'm so excited to do XYZ

I’m so excited to go kayaking in Maine this weekend! It’s supposed to be beautiful out!

  • Can't wait to see you

Can’t wait to see you for coffee tomorrow!

Formal contexts:

  • Looking forward to it

Looking forward to the company-wide retreat. It should be a good time. 

  • Excited for it

Excited for the upcoming VC meeting. 

Casual settings: 

  • So stoked

So stoked for next weekend’s BBQ! It’ll be amazing to see everyone.

  • So psyched 

I’m so psyched for the basketball game tonight. My two favorite teams are facing off!

Great, so I’d like you to practice those expressions. You can use the example sentence I provided or come up with your own! The next challenge is to use these phrases in the correct context. For neutral, you can use them in both casual and professional settings. But be mindful of using casual expressions in informal situations and use the formal expressions in professional contexts. As you know communication is context-dependent!

And once you’ve practiced those expressions you can add some nonverbal cues into the mix as well.

So let’s take a look at the nonverbal expressions to show excitement.

Smiling

Having a natural smile on your face can show excitement. And the size of the smile usually reflects how excited you are. So the wider the smile the more excited you are. And humans are excellent at detecting fake smiles from real ones. A real sincere smile is what will giveaway whether or not you are truly excited.

Eyes and eyebrows

When we’re excited our eyes tend to get bigger. In fact, pupils even tend to dilate! Eyebrows tend to be lifted when we’re happy and excited. When someone smiles with raised eyebrows that generally means they are genuinely looking forward to something.

Big sweeping hand gestures

When we’re excited we use frequent hand gestures. Sometimes they might even get a little too wild if the person is already expressive with their hands. These are generally open and sweeping gestures. Some people might even reach their arms out in front of them into the air, almost as though they are about to hug the person.

Bouncing

Believe it or not, so people might also bounce when they’re excited. This could be a bounce as they walk, like a pep in their step but it could also be when they’re standing in place and bounce a bit. 

In terms of context, all of these can be used in both formal and informal settings except for bouncing. The bouncing you really want to reserve for casual and informal contexts. 

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So those are ways to show excitement in the American languaculture. We looked at both verbal expressions as well as nonverbal gestures. As you know, both our words and nonverbals can show excitement. When used together they can convey the emotion more powerfully. Practice these phrases with your nonverbal gestures and you’ll immediately notice the difference.

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Alright Advanced English learners, thanks for joining me in this lesson. 

The full transcript of this lesson can be found on our blog, so be sure to check out advanced english dot co forward slash blog. If you prefer to listen to this lesson, check out our podcast; it's available on our website.

How do you show excitement when speaking in English? Feel free to share that with us in the comments below.

See you in the next one where we’ll continue advancing your English together! Until then, keep up the awesome work.