Finishing Someone Else's Sentences: Is it Rude?

  • Thread starter ~christina~
  • Start date
In summary, the conversation revolves around the question of whether it is rude to finish someone else's sentences. Some people believe it is acceptable in certain situations, such as when the person is struggling to find a word and you are trying to help move the conversation along. Others believe it is rude, especially if the person is not having any trouble finishing their own sentences. The conversation also touches on cultural differences in pacing of conversation and how it may be perceived as rude in some regions.
  • #1
~christina~
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Is it rude to finish somone else's sentences?
I don't usually do that, but I did that the other day. It seemed as if the person couldn't find the end of the sentence word so I added it in. I wasn't sure about that, but they sort of gave me an affirmative reaction. (I did that a few times...:rolleyes:)

I'm probably not going to do that again because I don't want to give a negative impression of myself, but I just wanted to know what you guys think about this.
 
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  • #2
I do sometimes especially when I'm talking to someone I know quite well! I think it may look a bit bad if you do it to a stranger, though.
 
  • #3
I think it depends. When someone is searching for a word and can't find it, I think it's fine to try to suggest one that might finish the sentence and move the conversation along, and is part of active listening. On the other hand, if they are having no trouble finishing their own sentences, and you interrupt to complete sentences for them, then it's rude (unless you're dating that person, then it's just expected :biggrin:)
 
  • #4
cristo said:
I do sometimes especially when I'm talking to someone I know quite well! I think it may look a bit bad if you do it to a stranger, though.

I agree.
 
  • #5
Is it rude to finish somone else's sentences?

No, it saves time (sometimes) :biggrin:
 
  • #6
Moonbear said:
I think it depends. When someone is searching for a word and can't find it, I think it's fine to try to suggest one that might finish the sentence and move the conversation along, and is part of active listening. On the other hand, if they are having no trouble finishing their own sentences, and you interrupt to complete sentences for them, then it's rude (unless you're dating that person, then it's just expected :biggrin:)
Moonie! You're back! Missed you on the forum and chat.
 
  • #7
What about a professor? Does a different standard apply in that case?
 
  • #8
This is a habit of mine too, christina. Especially if I know the person well and they talk extra slow.

I've been called out on it, I think some people can rightfully think it's rude. I try not to do it.

It's just so hard...in an interesting conversation my mind is goes so fast...slow talkers really gum up the works.
 
  • #9
lisab said:
This is a habit of mine too, christina. Especially if I know the person well and they talk extra slow.

I've been called out on it, I think some people can rightfully think it's rude. I try not to do it.

It's just so hard...in an interesting conversation my mind is goes so fast...slow talkers really gum up the works.

It's not that that person was speaking extra slow or anything, but it seemed as if they paused at the end of their sentence, so I suggested a word.
I don't usually do that and so I looked it up online, and it was suggested that this action was on the list of, "most annoying actions." :redface:
 
  • #10
~christina~ said:
What about a professor? Does a different standard apply in that case?

If it's a professor I want to get on good terms with, I wouldn't try anything.
 
  • #11
~christina~ said:
What about a professor? Does a different standard apply in that case?

Depends: do you know him/her well?
 
  • #12
cristo said:
Depends: do you know him/her well?
When I was a sophomore in college, I spent hours one day talking to the head of the Philosophy department. He gave me 15 minutes on lunch-hour to plead my case to be allowed to audit his course on Meta-Ethics critiquing a book that he was going to publish (Grad students and advanced seniors only), and he finally let me go because he had a course to conduct at 3:00. I got to take the course at full credit, and he and I would often bang around ideas. I wouldn't hesitate to try to finish his sentences, nor he mine. Often it seemed that he was more restrained in that regard, though, because if he saw that I was some conflict about a concept, he wanted to slow the pace of discussion and see what was bubbling up in my head. His name was Erling Skorpen, and I value him and my Honors advisor Cecil Reynolds more than any other educators I have ever known.

Edit: My advisor was a Rhodes scholar and I conflated that with his name. Sorry.
 
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  • #13
cristo said:
Depends: do you know him/her well?

:rolleyes:= not doing that again and just vows on staying silent
 
  • #14
~christina~ said:
What about a professor? Does a different standard apply in that case?
If it takes him hours to type the response, one eye movement at a time - then yes
 
  • #15
mgb_phys said:
If it takes him hours to type the response, one eye movement at a time - then yes

:smile:
 
  • #16
turbo-1 said:
... I value him and my Honors advisor Cecil Rhodes more than any other educators I have ever known.
Jeez turbo, you really are older than dirt!
 
  • #17
Gokul43201 said:
Jeez turbo, you really are older than dirt!
Namesake, but by 1970 he was a very old, respected professor emeritus of English Literature.
 
  • #18
My girlfriend gets annoyed when her mother finishes her...
 
  • #19
~christina~ said:
What about a professor? Does a different standard apply in that case?

Depending on what part of the country you're from and where you go to school, there may be cultural differences in how language is paced in conversation. I noticed a different meter to conversation in the American midwest and south versus the northern tier states and metropolitan regions on both coasts. When I lived in Indiana, I noticed it is considered rude, if you interact efficiently, and not take time to chat for awhile with the local grocer or the hardware clerk. When conversing with people in those places, I am more conscientious about not finishing their sentences.

On the other hand, some folks in the cities, talk incessantly and I've learned to fully appreciate the idiom, not able to get in a word edge-wise. In those cases, I've had to just jump in, in order to interject my own thoughts. If I behaved that way in the midwest, it would be considered rude.

Moonie, Great to see you on! I wonder if your Black-Eyed Susans blossomed as ebulliently this past season?
 
  • #20
I forget what I was going to ...
 
  • #21
Dadface said:
I forget what I was going to ...

say/type/write/post/expound/explain?

Is it less annoying with a multiple choice?
 
  • #22
Loren Booda said:
My girlfriend gets annoyed when her mother finishes her...

... homework?
... house chores?
... dinner?
 
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  • #23
Floors.
 
  • #24
Ouabache said:
Depending on what part of the country you're from and where you go to school, there may be cultural differences in how language is paced in conversation. I noticed a different meter to conversation in the American midwest and south versus the northern tier states and metropolitan regions on both coasts. When I lived in Indiana, I noticed it is considered rude, if you interact efficiently, and not take time to chat for awhile with the local grocer or the hardware clerk. When conversing with people in those places, I am more conscientious about not finishing their sentences.

On the other hand, some folks in the cities, talk incessantly and I've learned to fully appreciate the idiom, not able to get in a word edge-wise. In those cases, I've had to just jump in, in order to interject my own thoughts. If I behaved that way in the midwest, it would be considered rude.

Thanks for your insight Oubache, it's quite interesting.
 

Related to Finishing Someone Else's Sentences: Is it Rude?

What is finishing someone else's sentences?

Finishing someone else's sentences refers to the act of completing another person's sentence for them before they have the chance to finish it themselves.

Is it considered rude to finish someone else's sentences?

It can be considered rude to finish someone else's sentences, as it can be seen as interrupting or not allowing the other person to express themselves fully.

Why do people finish someone else's sentences?

People may finish someone else's sentences because they think they know what the person is trying to say, to show they are paying attention, or to try to speed up the conversation.

How can finishing someone else's sentences affect communication?

Finishing someone else's sentences can negatively affect communication because it can make the other person feel like their thoughts and ideas are not being valued or heard.

In what situations is it acceptable to finish someone else's sentences?

In some situations, such as when the other person is struggling to find the right words or if it is a playful and mutually understood conversation, it may be acceptable to finish someone else's sentences. However, it is always best to ask for permission or clarification before doing so.

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