In American English, we often choose from a variety of generic minor sentences that may initially seem ambiguous. Here, we will explore the most common uses and misuses of “Sounds great.”
It is correct to say, “Sounds great,” to indicate an agreement with or the acknowledgment of future plans someone has shared with you. You may also use it to mark the end of a conversation or to support a past or present idea enthusiastically. “Sounds great” may stand as a minor sentence or a phrase within a sentence.
Continue to learn how using “Sounds great” in everyday conversation can effectively communicate agreement with plans.
What Does “Sounds Great” Mean?
To communicate enthusiasm or encouragement towards an event in the works that has been shared with you, you would respond, “Sounds great!” This statement expresses a positive sentiment towards the conversation topic or plan.
When a person you converse with has made a suggestion that you support, you might choose to respond with, “Sounds great!” This declaration indicates your sense of harmony with the idea.
Within the minor sentence, “sounds” is a linking verb, and “great” is an adjective. In the complete sentence, “That sounds great,” “great” is an adjective subject complement to “That,” and “sounds” links them. No action happens because “sounds” describes the state of “That.”
As a minor sentence, the subject of “sounds great” is dropped because it we imply it by context. “That sounds great” is still appropriate in all the same contexts you would use “Sounds great,” but it is simpler to say the minor sentence.
This proclamation can imply avid animation towards the expressed thought or simply a failure to foresee any downsides with the proposition. While “Sounds great” can signify profound enthusiasm, it can also pair with plain neutrality towards an idea, as indicated by one’s tone of voice.
Nonetheless, “Sounds great” implies that the idea or plan mentioned earlier appeals to you. The impending action or event will in some way benefit you emotionally, physically, or indirectly.
“Sounds great” can also signal your endorsement of the person. While their proposal may not necessarily affect you, you can encourage their endeavor with a cheerful “Sounds great!” to enhance their self-esteem and/or confidence.
In totality, this minor sentence means that an idea seems valuable to you, whether or not it affects you personally. Perhaps it has zero impact on one party but positively influences another. Overall, the group sees a potential benefit to the plan.
How Do You Use “Sounds Great”?
You will generally use “Sounds great” towards the end of a conversation after establishing plans. The sentence often stands on its own; however, you may also embellish it with further detail.
As a minor sentence, “Sounds great” functions as a complete thought, even without a definitive subject and verb (source). A more detailed context will determine the specific connotation of this expression.
You will recognize these exclamations additionally as minor sentences:
- Good morning!
- What a shame.
- Best wishes!
- Any minute now.
Many minor sentences act as stopping points in conversation or as a transition point to another topic. Often, minor sentences act as answers or responses to questions.
You’ll use “Sounds great” when you wish to display acceptance or gratitude for a service or action someone has done for you. It will always be prompted by another assertion where someone notified you of a past, present, or future action.
“Sounds great” can also act as a conversation filler. While it has an overall positive undertone, it does not carry any significant meaning. You may use it in most circumstances where you wish to express some level of support.
To create a more complex message, you can choose to provide additional information as to what “sounds great.” Additional information often takes shape as a noun clause, which you may interchange with the relative pronoun “that.”
You use “Sounds great” to consent to the topic and nurture warm feelings from both or all people. It can be a grateful response to exciting news, such as the details of a job promotion or a trip planned home to visit family and friends.
When Can You Use “Sounds Great”?
You can use “Sounds great” in written or spoken dialogue when you would like to confirm your part in a mutually agreed upon event. In many circumstances, you can use this minor sentence as an easy but warm response.
In a text message, “Sounds great!” can offer a gracious confirmation between two friends preparing to meet up. It would also be an appropriate and well-mannered response in emails or virtual correspondence between coworkers.
During a conversation, you will use the sentence “Sounds great” to indicate coordination with the expressed idea. In addition, you will often speak this agreement when a conversation partner has made a comment that solicits some confirmation.
In both direct and indirect communication, you should employ this expression only when you intend to follow through on plans in the works. This statement implies future collaboration or interaction and could be misleading if not used as intended.
You should consider saying “Sounds great!” when you look to portray your preference towards the previously mentioned idea, whether that be an apt passion or simply commitment to involvement. Again, this will communicate general support.
You should also employ this sentence in generally upbeat circumstances that would suit a reasonably enthusiastic response. This expression will communicate your positive energy level, which should match that of the topic.
In What Context Can You Use “Sounds Great”?
You can use “Sounds great” in personal and professional endeavors to signify your support, generally towards the end of a discourse.
When establishing arrangements of any kind, both parties may identify themselves as positively geared towards the determination by responding, “Sounds great!” This will generally take shape as a favorable compromise on both ends.
In preparation for an event that you anticipate either positively or neutrally, you might confirm your upcoming presence by responding to the head planner’s effort to key you in with a “Sounds great!” This will acknowledge that labor and your own responsibility.
When someone approaches you with the intent of organizing a business affair, celebration, or exchange, you will want to agree on each person’s duties. To cap the conversation with this sentence means both parties agree.
As a conversation nears an end and you’d like to characterize your overall approval of a proposal, you can smoothly conclude your interaction by consenting, “Sounds great.” Then, without a response, you can assume reciprocal acceptance.
The contexts in which you would use this expression require effort from multiple parties, including yourself and your conversation partner. “Sounds great” is an excellent choice in collaborative situations.
Using “Sounds Great” in a Full Sentence
While “Sounds great” is a stellar example of a minor sentence, meaning it may stand alone, it can also express much more. The most common modification is to add the word “that” and to exclaim, “That sounds great!”
When you say, “That sounds great!” “that” acts as a determiner, specifically, it acts as both a relative and demonstrative pronoun (source). We refer to an idea previously mentioned with “that” representing it.
However, you may also substitute the relative pronoun “that” with a noun clause – a clause that acts as a single noun (source). You can delineate precisely what parts of the idea sound great by verbally expanding your meaning.
Observe these examples of sentences with noun clauses (purple):
- What you said sounds great!
- Tacos for dinner sounds great!
- A summer wedding sounds great!
You may also give a positive affirmation in addition to a request or request a slight alteration to a proposal:
- Sounds great, and I will bring chips and salsa too!
- Everything sounds great, plus we will all be together.
- Sounds great, but I would also like to invite John if that’s okay.
- All of that sounds great, but we must do the party on Saturday instead of Friday.
When Not to Use “Sounds Great”
Elect an alternative remark when your message does not align with the context. More specifically, in less-than-desirable circumstances, which are obviously not great, choose a more fitting, genuine expression.
You will want the energy of the environment to match the energy of your word choice. We all can recognize a person whose speech doesn’t agree with their body language or attitude. Without consideration, you will run the risk of appearing dishonest or unkind.
For example, for an uncomfortable medical procedure or preparing to complete an undesirable chore or project, you should not respond to the planning with “Sounds great.” This will come across as sarcastic or disrespectful.
Take the time to analyze your feelings toward the subject. Are you indeed in agreement with the plans up for discussion? It is generally best to find a polite way to communicate the truth to avoid seeming insincere.
What Can You Use Instead of “Sounds Great”?
Fortunately, many alternate exclamations that may better accommodate your situation exist. Closely consider the nature of your situation and the degree of passion it demands.
You may want to communicate acceptance without regard to opinion or emotion simply. For example, perhaps in response to planning a business meeting, you want to solidify your role and nothing else – only to acknowledge your responsibility.
In another situation, you may feel it necessary to convey the discontentedness that will resonate with the other person. Maybe you want to generate feelings of sympathy or empathy and choose to admit the unwantedness of the situation.
A third option is to display even more powerful gusto than is suggested in “Sounds great.” This may come across as too flat or not expressive enough to complement an exciting adventure soon approaching.
Or, you may simply want to express gratitude for someone’s role in the planning process, your life, or past, present, and even future events. After someone else commits to their role, you may choose to thank them rather than just acknowledge them.
When “Sounds great” does not quite suit your feelings, explore these options:
- I’ll be there.
- I look forward to it.
- Good idea!
- Thank you!
- We’ll get through this.
- See you then.
- I appreciate you.
- I am so excited!
Contemplate the specific impression you hope the other person(s) receives from your remark and choose your words accordingly. Choose between many polite, friendly ways to suggest something “sounds great” without using those words.
Polite Expressions as Minor Sentences
American English contains many polite expressions that also operate as minor sentences, such as “Sounds great.” These phrases consistently convey respect above all else (source).
While these minor sentences may not include the formal grammar we equate with an intellectual or ceremonial conversation, esteem for another person is evident even in these simpler expressions.
The following sentences communicate grace without conventionality:
- That would be wonderful!
- Thank you.
- Excuse me.
- May I?
- If you would like!
- Do you mind?
A good rule of thumb is to shift your speech to be less direct when you want to sound more courteous. For example, instead of making demands, frame your proposals as a suggestion or possibility to minimize black-and-white thinking.
The minor sentence “Sounds great!” is a perfect example: the speaker is not insinuating that the expressed idea is excellent in all certainty, just that the possibility seems to have value. They have not said, “That is great,” but it could be.
The speaker subtly shifts the power to their partner in choosing not to label the idea definitively. If plans do not materialize, it affects neither party as the situation only ever existed as a good option, instead of the only reasonable option failing to take place.
This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
Learn more about polite expressions as minor sentences with these resources: Is It Correct to Say “Well Said”? and Is It Correct to Say “Agreed”?
You can feel good using the expression “Sounds great” in many avenues of your day-to-day life. With this simple affirmation, your delivery will display gratitude and eagerness to your conversation partner.
While lacking the extreme emotion found in other expressions, your use of “Sounds great” will accommodate dialogue with familiar or unfamiliar people to you. In addition, it cements your role in a forthcoming objective and aligns you with the other person.