Deferring to Others: Let’s see what s/he has to say…

Ask expert defer to

Often in conversations, we aren’t the person with the most information about a topic. At moments like these, we may wish to defer to whoever is more of an expert. Defer to means “yield respectfully in judgment or opinion” (dictionary.com).

Here are some phrases we can use when we defer to another person.

I’m not as qualified to discuss that as (name) is.

I think (name) would be better able to speak to that.

(Name) is more of an expert than I am. Let’s see what s/he has to say.

Why don’t we ask (name)? S/he knows more than I do about that.

Let’s look at some sample short dialogues:

A: What do you think about the political situation in German right now?
B: Why don’t we ask Gunter? He’s German. He probably knows more about it than I do.

A: What’s the newest slang expression for “That’s cool”?
B: I think Shae would be better able to answer that. He’s in high school. Teens are more up on slang than older people.

A: What’s the best way to cure a hangover?
B: I’m not as qualified as Mike to talk about that. I don’t drink. Why don’t you ask him?

A: What’s the best basketball team in the NBA?
B: Jamie is more of an expert than I am. He’s obsessed with the game. Let’s see what he has to say about it.

Don’t be shy about deferring if you don’t feel qualified to respond. Deferring pumps up the ego of the person you defer to. If they don’t want to answer, they’ll defer right back.

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