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Language tip of the week: not surprising

Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items.

This set of language tips will explore the words and phrases we use to talk about feelings. This week’s tip looks at adjectives and phrases that can be used to say that something is not surprising:

someone is not surprised:

  • I’m not at all surprised that she’s upset.
  • Officials are disappointed but not surprised by the figures.

I wouldn’t be surprised if:

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if he got married again soon. 

not surprisingly:

  • Not surprisingly, both teams looked close to exhaustion.

it is hardly surprising (= it is not at all surprising):

  • It is hardly surprising that the rebels have been slow to agree the terms of the deal.

something comes as no surprise:

  • The strike came as no surprise to those involved.


  • It really should be unsurprising that San Francisco is one of the most visited cities in the US.
  • The move is unsurprising and long overdue.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘not making you feel surprised‘.

More language tips

Browse the list under the ‘language tips‘ tag here on the blog for more useful language tips.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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