“Interesting. I've never encountered that phrase before.”
You're talking with an English-speaking colleague and she uses a phrase that you've never heard before. You ask her to explain what it means. After she explains it, you say this.
Interesting. I've never encountered that phrase before.
Sometimes in spoken English you can just say an adjective by itself:
You can't do this with all adjectives. For example, it's strange to just say "Hot." But some more adjectives that you can say by themselves include:
Notice that these words are all positive.
The basic meaning of the word "encounter" is "meet". But you usually don't use "encounter ___" to talk about meeting people. Instead, you "encounter" things like problems, words, and situations:
The study indicates that foreign students encounter a variety of challenges in their new environment, including language difficulties, discrimination, and bullying.
If I ever encountered a situation where I had to choose between my marriage and my career, I'm not exactly sure what I would do.
In the situation above, the speaker could also say:
I've never come across that phrase before.
"Come across ___" is a more casual way to express the idea of "encountering" something like a word or phrase. To "come across" something means to encounter it or to find it by accident: