Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever had a chance meeting with somebody that you didn’t expect to see?

How you greet somebody when you see them is important, particularly when you didn’t expect to see them.

We’re going to talk about some of the phrases that you would use in English when you run into somebody that you didn’t expect to see.

There are some phrases that you can use when you run into somebody that you weren’t expecting to see.

These phrases can be quite helpful in these situations, and they can also help you to take the conversation even further.

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Speak of the Devil

If you and a friend are talking to each other about another person, and that person you were talking about comes up to you then you might say “speak of the devil.”

It’s all about the way that you say it and your tone of voice, because this phrase can be good and bad.

If you are saying good things then you might say loudly and happily “Oh there you are, speak of the devil!”

If however you were saying something negative about that person, then you might whisper to your friend “oh speak of the devil”.

It’s all in how you say it based on what the conversation was beforehand.

This can be a good bridge to a better or deeper conversation though because you can use this as the topic based on what you were just saying.

Are Your Ears Burning?

Then you can bridge to the next phrase, and this is used when somebody was talking about you.

This phrase is “my ears are burning” or “are your ears burning? “

This works much in the same way as “speak of the devil” because it means that you were part of the conversation before you got up there.

Look at the way that the person reacts when they say it, and you can probably pick up on if it was good or bad.

You might use these phrases even if you were just thinking about this person, it’s not dedicated only to if you were speaking about them.

Fancy Seeing You Here

A broader type of phrase that shows you were surprised or caught off guard to see the person is to say “fancy seeing you here.”

This means that you didn’t expect to run into them and you are surprised to see them.

This is typically a positive phrase that shows that you are genuinely happy to see this person.

This is a phrase you would use when you are genuinely surprised to see this person, in a setting that you would never expect.

Another phrase that you might use in combination with this is to say “it’s a small world.”

This speaks to unusual connections or unexpected mutual friends that you didn’t know you had in common.

This is what connection is all about, and these phrases help you to speak about them in English.

These phrases work well for random unexpected encounters where you run into somebody when you least expected it.

These connections make life beautiful, and this starts a great conversation.

Now you know how to talk about these chance meetings in an effective way.


There are always going to be times when you have a chance meeting with somebody you didn’t expect to see.

Now you know what the best phrases are to help you convey your surprise in English.

Be sure that you remember that tone is a factor here, and that the one that you use can make the person feel your talk was positive or negative.

These phrases can help you to show that you are surprised when you run into somebody by chance.

This is all a part of making connections, and these phrases can really help to get the conversation going.

If you have any questions, please place them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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