Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

How do you state the obvious?

How do you say something that is apparent but that will add to the conversation?

You may have heard natives use the phrase “needless to say” in English, and this is what we’re focusing on today.

Sometimes you may want to state something that is obvious, but that is a great addition to the conversation.

You will learn the phrases and ways to add this to your conversation, and do so in a way that allows for a natural and helpful transition.

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Saying Something Obvious In Conversation

Do you ever say something obvious in conversation, even if it is obvious to everyone?

For example, you might say something like “The weather is warm. I’m happy!”

Is it really that important to say the second part?

It might be implied that you are happy, because the warm weather would make it obvious that you feel that way.

So why do we say something so obvious in conversation?

It’s always good to add more information, to add things that can bring about connection, and to continue the conversation.

That’s why we say some of the things that may seem a bit obvious in conversation–they can always add to it in an interesting way.

So while you may think that something that you are saying is obvious, it may very well have a place in conversation.

It’s all about the way that you introduce this obvious aspect of conversation.

The way in which you introduce it helps to make the transition much easier and smoother.

How Do You Introduce Something Obvious?

So if we think about talking about something obvious in conversation, we have to consider how we introduce it.

There is a great and very helpful way to introduce this, and as always this one piece can be very important to making it work.

What can we say to make this effectively transition your thought?

The phrase “needless to say” is an excellent one to use when you want to introduce something obvious.

You can use “however” but “needless to say” is a great one and adds some character and a very nice transition.

It can either be about saying something obvious or telling a story where the result is obvious. 

It’s kind of the opposite of saying something is a surprise, and so it works well to transition to that obvious thought.

If you use such a phrase it allows you to transition to the obvious thought.

It also helps to almost explain that obvious thought in a way that will ensure it has its place in the conversation.

Let’s look at some examples to show you how well this phrase can work in this sort of sentence.

  • “She got a new job. Needless to say, she’s ecstatic!”
  • “He lost his phone. Needless to say, he had to pay a new one.”
  • “You’re my best friend. Needless to say, call me anytime you need on your trip.”

As you can see in these examples, this phrase works well and introduces the obvious part of the sentence.

That’s what it’s intended to do, and so it has a great place in this sort of conversation.

What Does This Phrase Do?

So you can see how this phrase is used, and you will likely hear it in conversations a lot.

You may be wondering what does this phrase do exactly?

It shows that you are about to say something that is easily understood.

This is one of those good signal expressions as it preps the listener in a great way.

It shows that you both can recognize something, but you are saying it anyway because it adds something.

Even if what you are saying is obvious, this one phrase adds to the conversation in a unique and helpful way.

In the best friend example, it is obvious that in this person’s relationship, the best friend can call anytime.

However it’s just nice or helpful or somehow beneficial to say it in some way, and so it has a place there.

It’s a phrase that you may hear used often because it allows for that nice transition.

So if you ever feel like you are saying something obvious, this is the phrase to use to introduce that.

How Else Can You Say This?

Though “needless to say” works quite well in conversation, there are other phrases you can use too.

How else can you say this and have the same impact or transition?

  • It goes without saying: This is another straightforward and direct phrase that works perfectly in this way. It’s a great transition and says exactly what you want it to say. You could say “It goes without saying, but I am ready for a break after working 24 days straight!”
  • Naturally: This is a bit more formal sounding, more buttoned up and pulled together in a unique way. It may not sound as personal, but it is definitely still useful. You might hear something like “He hit is sister. Naturally, his parents sent him to his room.”
  • Obviously: Needless to say, you can also say OBVIOUSLY! This may carry a bit more of a punch, obviously can be a more spunky or snooty word. Obviously works but it may be too direct in some instances. It may get right down to it, but be careful about the tone of voice that you use with this. You don’t want to come off the wrong way. You could say “I ran my first marathon yesterday, obviously I’m sore and exhausted.”

All of these phrases work much in the same way, and they all help to transition to the obvious thing you want to say.

You can try them all out and see which one best fits your needs because they all work quite well to get to the obvious part of what you want to say.

Roleplay To Help

In this roleplay, Lindsay is on the phone with Michelle talking about a friend who bought a dog.

Lindsay: “So she finally got the dog! “

Michelle: “Nice! Needless to say, I’m sure you’ll be playing with it all the time.”

Lindsay: “Oh, for sure. And it’s small and has spots and it is so cute. Naturally, I am psyched.”

Michelle: “Oh, it goes without saying!”


Listen for these phrases in conversations because now you can see them for the positive transition that they are.

They are very useful and saying obvious information can be great for connection–it can really add more to a conversation.

You have to find a balance and decide what words are necessary and what you can cut out to make for smooth transitions.

These are a great addition to conversation, and well worth trying out so you can see how natural they feel.

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

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

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