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How to Express Shock and Disbelief in English

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Here’s a list of some common expressions to help you express shock and disbelief. It is sometimes difficult to say how you feel in unexpected situations, such as natural disasters, bad news .., especially when you feel sad.

Expressing Shock and Disbelief


I was
shocked to hear…
stunned by…
 taken aback by…
… came as
a complete shock.
I’m in


  • I was shocked to hear the news.
  • I was stunned/taken aback by the news
  • I was completely taken aback by his behavior.
  • I was just stunned by her clothes.
  • The news came as a complete shock.
  • We’re all in complete shock.


I (just)
can’t believe…
can’t imagine…


  • I just can’t believe he won the race.
  • It’s unbelievable that they got married.
  • I just can’t imagine they were able to get along with each other.

Expressing Shock and Disbelief | Infographic

Shock and Disbelief