Excuse me!?

You already know that people say "Excuse me" when they do something rude to someone. But we also say "Excuse me!" to people when they are rude to us. For example, it's normal to say it when:

  • A family member burps while you're eating dinner together at home.
  • Your friend took your seat at a party when you got up to get a drink.
  • Someone lets a door close on you instead of holding it open for you.

If you ask someone a question, and you're sure that they heard you, but they don't answer, you can say "Excuse me!" because that's rude.

The meaning of "Excuse me!" in these situations is something like "You need to say 'Excuse me' to me." When people say it in this way, they pronounce the words with more stress. It sounds like a statement rather than a question. The speaker might also make an angry face with raised eyebrows.

This phrase appears in these lessons: