DON’T say these phrases on TOEFL speaking

Jaime Miller TOEFL: Advice for Studying 0 Comments

Someone recently asked me about using the following phrases on TOEFL iBT’s Speaking section:

“There you go / Here you go…”

We use the phrases “There you go” and “Here you go” when we physically give something to someone.

Jaime: (giving a pen to her student) Here you go! / There you go!

Student: (taking the pen) Thank you!

So probably, you would not need these phrases on TOEFL Speaking because you will not be physically giving anything to the TOEFL graders. 😉


“Umm” and other informal phrases

Great question! “Umm” is not actually a word. It’s an annoying “filler” word and you should NOT use it on TOEFL Speaking. Saying “ummm” does NOT make you sound more American or more accurate. It makes your response confusing. Do. Not. Say. It.

TOEFL Speaking Questions 1 and 2 are quite casual – they ask about you, your life – and so if you use some informal phrases, that’s probably fine. Just don’t offend anyone!


“That’s all”

This is an empty phrase that doesn’t say much. I would avoid it, if I were you. Instead, you should give another reason or example.


“Thank you!”

I guess if you want to end your TOEFL speaking responses with “Thank you,” that’s fine. I don’t think that it’s necessary, but the TOEFL graders will probably appreciate your humanity in a robotic exam situation. 🙂