What do you say when you need to interrupt someone in a polite way?

Q: What do you say when you need to interrupt someone in a polite way?

A: “May I interrupt you?” is not common.
There’s just no set phrase or way to interrupt that is universally accepted. It 100% depends on the situation, who is talking, the relationship of the speakers, etc.

If I am talking with my friends, and one of them is just going on and on and on and not letting anyone else speak, I’d probably just say “Dude, take a breath!” which is a joking way of pointing out that they are monopolizing the conversation (which is also considered rude).

If your friends are chatting and the boss has sent you to get one of them, it’s natural for people to look up when someone else joins them. At that time, you would just say “Hey, the boss needs you now”. If for some reason the speaking friend did NOT look up when you came to get them, it would be OK to just call their name (Bob, the boss wants you at your desk!), as obviously their work is more important than their breakroom chat.

In the case of a chairman in a meeting, it would be appropriate for the chairperson to try to catch the eye of the speaker and tap his watch, letting the speaker know they had run out of time. If they could not catch the person’s eye, they would probably just have to interrupt by saying (loudly enough to drown out the speaker) something to change the topic, or to give the floor to another person. (Such as “Ok, thanks for that information Jones!” or “I think we’d all like to hear what Smith has to say about this”)

Sometimes when multiple people are being interviewed for something on the news (especially for political discussions), the newscaster wants to make sure everyone gets a chance. They have control over the volume of the other people’s microphones, so they may say something like “I’m going to interrupt here and let our colleague have a chance to address that”, but obviously that’s not a scenario most of us will be in!

Q: 人の会話を遮る時の丁寧な言い方は?

A: “May I interrupt you?”は一般的ではないわ。人に会話を遮るときに広く一般的に使われるフレーズや言い方はないわ。100%状況によるのね。誰が話すのか、話している人たちの関係性とかなどね。