“Hey, I’m just saying that you can do better than Simon, that’s all..”
This is a common spoken English phrase that you may have heard. How is it used?
Actually, it’s used in 2 main ways:
1. Used to repeat, sum up, or emphasise something important that you want to communicate
“Look, I’m just saying that we need to cut costs.”
“I’m just saying that we don’t have the money for this.”
Maybe you and your friend had an argument. You can get back to the most important point by using this phrase:
“I’m just saying that we should think about what we really want to do.”
In fact, it’s a versatile phrase (ie it can be used in a number of ways). For example it can also be used to re-assure someone:
“I really like you, Bill. I’m just saying I’d like to take things one step at a time.”
As Sergio mentions in the comment section below, it can be used to apologise:
“I didn’t mean to offend you, I’m just saying that we might need to come up with a new solution.”
Spoken English Pattern:
“I’m not saying that you should leave your job. I’m just saying that maybe you should take a step back and think about what you want to do with your life.”
2. This phrase might also annoy some people
A newer way of using this phrase involves saying something which might be controversial, and then using this phrase at the end of your sentence to make it look like you’ve done nothing wrong or that you’re innocent:
“Fred hasn’t done any work and now he’s a manager..? Just sayin’.”
Or you tell your friend she’s put on weight:
“Hey, you’re gonna find it harder to meet someone. Just sayin’.”
I’ve heard it being used when people talk about minorities. For example:
“Hey, [group in society] are committing more and more crimes. Just saying.”
I found this example by searching on Twitter:
— Jonathan (@Zyatos) March 16, 2014
Personally, unless you’re comfortable with using it at the end of a sentence, I would advise you stick to its main use. To illustrate this, I also found this Tweet:
It’s a great phrase to use in its original meaning. Perhaps you’ve lost track of what you’re talking about, and you can use this phrase to summarise or to get to the most important point that you want to communicate.
In its newer use, at the end of a sentence, many people don’t like it because it can be used when saying something which might be considered offensive, though the speaker might think they’re saying something which is true, despite being unpopular.
Thanks to Hamed for asking about this phrase on my Facebook page.