Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

When you want to jump into a meeting or a conversation because you think you may have the answer, what can you say?

In today’s episode, learn four ways to start your answer that will help you connect in English.

These are great phrases anytime you want to talk about trying something new.

Use these to spark a conversation in English!

Trying new things

Lindsay asks Michelle if she likes to try new things.

Michelle answers that she does and she recently took a stab at weight training.

She is working out a routine and making time to work out.

Her husband is also joining her in this endeavor.

They are trying to lift weights when they are watching TV.

Lindsay shares she did a Zumba class in 2018.

She wants to get back into working out as well but in a more fun way like a dance workout.

Today’s episode is about trying something new and was inspired by a listener’s question.

Today’s question

Hi Lindsay,
I am really enjoying your podcast and have already improved my English a lot by listening to you. Thank you a lot for putting so much effort into the episodes over and over again. I have a question. I once listened to a tech talk and there was a question from the audience and one one the speakers said “i can take a quick stab at that”. Is that a good way to jump in to answer a question? Are there other ways?
Thank you in advance for answering this question!
All the best!

Belgin-Belgin Mutlu

Are you trying something new?

Lindsay and Michelle talk about expressions you can use to share the new things you’re trying.

This listener mentioned the phrase ‘take a stab’ at something.

  • take a stab at: to make an attempt

This expression is about being gutsy and going for something.

It’s also used for answering a question that may be difficult or solving a problem.

The key word in remembering the meaning is the word ‘try’.

It’s not for something super easy or something you know you can definitely achieve.

Here are some examples:

  • I’d like to take a stab at the next listener question, Lindsay!
  • Next year, I’m going to take a stab at learning embroidery!

You can check our episode AEE 2114: How to Use a Strong Idiom to Share Your Identity in English to learn more phrases that can help you keep a conversation going.

Exploring new things

Lindsay shares that she’s not a dancer but she’d like to try dance workouts.

She also mentions tennis because her goal is to incorporate more movement in her day-to-day life.

This is not just for physical health, but can also benefit you mentally.

It can be so hard to consistently move and exercise but it is a must.

It helps to have a workout buddy.

It makes it much easier to stick to a routine.

Switch it up!

Trying new things is fun.

Taking a stab at learning a new language can keep you on your toes.

Lindsay has been learning Arabic and establishing a learning pattern to make progress.

Here are other phrases that have a similar meaning to ‘taking a stab.’

#1: Give it a go

“I’m not sure I know the answer, but I’ll give it a go.”

#2: Go for it

“I’m going to go for it, even if I’m scared.”

#3: Take a crack at it

“Let’s take a crack at this math problem together.”

The phrases shared in today’s episode are good for small or large goals.

Sharing new interests is a great way to make a connection.

It shows a little vulnerability as well.


Here is a quick roleplay from Lindsay and Michelle using the expressions they’ve mentioned today.

In this scenario, Lindsay and Michelle are coworkers in a meeting.

Lindsay: Oh no. The computer wire isn’t working. Ugh why is this happening?
Michelle: I hate technology sometimes. Here let me take a stab at it. Maybe I can figure it out.
Lindsay: Thanks.
Michelle: Hmm. Oh it’s fixed!
Lindsay: Thank you!
Michelle: Of course. Here, you should learn how to do it for next time. Did you watch me?
Lindsay: Yes. Ok I’ll give it a go.
Michelle: Go ahead, take a crack at it.


Don’t be afraid to try things.

You never know what you will learn and how you will connect with others.

For example, take a stab at using the new expressions and vocabulary from today’s episode!

Start a conversation and talk about the things you plan to do and the new activities you’ve started.

What is something new that you attempted recently?

We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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