12 phrases that instantly make you sound classy and sophisticated

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Let’s just admit it. First impressions matter.

The moment someone lays eyes on you and hears you speak is the moment their brain automatically sorts you into multiple different categories, coming up with various presumptions.

So, how can you appear classy straightaway? Is there something you can do apart from wearing smart clothes and taking good care of yourself?

Yes! Your language plays a crucial role when it comes to how you come across to others.

And that’s exactly what today’s article is all about. Here are the 12 phrases that instantly make you sound classy and sophisticated.

1) “Pardon…?”

When the person next to you says something you can’t quite catch, your first go-to phrases may be:

  • “What?”
  • “Huh?”
  • “Come again?”

And while these all work in informal contexts and are used very commonly, they don’t make you sound exactly sophisticated.

“Pardon?” or “Beg your pardon?” on the other hand… those are the big players. Those show excellent manners and a high level of classiness.

2) “Do you mind…?”

Imagine you’d like the person closest to the window to open it a tiny bit. Instead of immediately saying, “Can you…?” or “Could you…?” try adding in a bit of sparkle.

“Do you mind” is a very British way of putting forth a request, and there’s no denying that it sounds very sophisticated.

Of course, people could always reply, “Yes, I do mind, in fact,” but those cases are so rare I’ve never even witnessed one myself.

3) “I find that…”

Our next phrase is all about expressing opinions. Sure, you can always opt for the good old “I think”, but that’s a bit boring and simple, isn’t it?

“I find” elevates your speech to a new level without making you sound too preposterous. In other words, it helps you achieve the perfect balance of classiness.

“I find that the book dragged on for a bit too long.”

“I find the view absolutely breathtaking.”

“How do you find it?”

Add some smart clothes, and you’ll come across as a very well-read person.

4) “Frankly…”

Frankly, everyone knows the word “Honestly”.

And frankly, “Frankly” is much classier – not only is it used quite rarely, helping you stand out, but it’s also a more literate and sophisticated way of expressing the same sentiment.

“Frankly, I think the show wasn’t as good as I’d expected.”

“I’d prefer to go to the cinema, to be quite frank.”

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

5) “One moment, please…”

Imagine you’re at a party chatting with someone, and you suddenly need to tend to a different matter.

Well, I suppose you could always say, “Wait a minute,” or “Hold on one second,” but those seem quite blunt because they include a direct order.

“One moment, please” is much gentler, showcasing the well-mannered nature of your character. It’s also a bit more polite overall.

6) “I beg to differ…”

So, what if you disagree with someone? How do you go about sounding classy while your temper’s getting out of hand and you’re ready to have an argument?

Well, rule number one of classiness is to keep your cool. Shouting or snapping at people is the least sophisticated thing you could ever do.

Stay calm, keep your mind open, and simply say, “I beg to differ. Here’s why…”

7) “I’m not particularly fond of…”

Disagreement may not be the only negative state of mind you’ll want to express. How about showing specific preferences for this or that thing? How about saying you actually really dislike or even hate something?

“I’m not particularly fond of” comes to the rescue! 

This phrase is eloquent, it shows a high level of familiarity with the English language, and it also helps soften the blow if that’s what you’re aiming for.

For example, “I really hate olives” might be a very blunt response to a friend who’s just served you olive pizza.

Here’s a better alternative: “I’m not particularly fond of olives, so I’ll pluck them off if that’s alright, but the rest looks delicious!”

8) “On a different note…”

Sometimes, you just want to switch the topic. It may be that the current topic is getting a bit too boring, it may be that it’s actually upsetting, or you might just have nothing more to contribute to the conversation.

Whatever it is, “On a different note” is your best friend. This phrase lets you swiftly change the topic while remaining classy.

“On a different note, guess what Jake told me yesterday…” And just like that, the conversation has shifted elsewhere!

9) “Perhaps…”

While some sophisticated phrases are a bit more complex, “Perhaps” is a simple word change. However, this word change can have a very big impact on how you sound.

“Maybe we should head out.”

“Perhaps we should head out.”

The first sounds casual, the latter smart. What a difference one word can make!

10) “It’s imperative/crucial/vital that…”

Similarly, the next phrase is also about switching one word for another. This time, that word is “Important”.

“Important” is so very common that it essentially bears no sophistication whatsoever. It’s probably on the same level as “Green” or “Kitchen”.

If you switch it up for some of its synonyms, though, you’ll automatically sound smarter and classier.

“It’s imperative that we get this project done today.”

“It’s vital that the trip works out.”

“This next step is absolutely crucial.”

Sounds much better, right?

11) “I’ll leave you to it…”

What do you say when you want to give someone a bit of space? When you don’t want to bother them or just want to find a polite way to leave the interaction and go your own way?

“I’ll leave you to it” is the perfect phrase to go for. 

No matter if the person in question is part of a group, standing on the balcony and looking at the stars, or pouring themselves a bit of champagne, you can always say “Well, I’ll leave you to it” and go.

12) “Quite…”

We’ve already covered what you should say in case you disagree with someone, but what about the complete opposite?

Well, “Quite” has all the three Ss you need:

  • Simple
  • Sophisticated
  • Smart

“I think the play was phenomenal!”


Can it get any more sophisticated than that?

No, I didn’t think so. So get out there, put on some smart clothes, and whip out your classy phrases whenever they fit the situation at hand!

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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