Do you know many people here? Chatting to someone you don’t know (1)

Listen to the author reading this blog post: 

four young people smiling and shaking hands as they introduce themselves to each other, illustrating the concept of conversation and chatting to people you don't know
andresr / E+ / Getty Images

by Liz Walter

Chatting to someone you don’t know can be difficult at any time, but it’s especially hard if you aren’t speaking in your first language. Back in 2017, my colleague Kate Woodford wrote a useful post about introducing yourself and giving a little information about yourself. This post and my next look at ways of continuing the conversation.

Firstly, when someone introduces themselves to you, you need to reply. The most common way of doing this is to say “Pleased to meet you!” or, very slightly more informally, “Nice to meet you!” It is also common to add a phrase such as “I’ve heard a lot about you.” or [name] has told me a lot about you”:

“Hi, I’m Jenny. I’m Adam’s cousin.” “Nice to meet you at last, Jenny! Adam’s told me a lot about you.”

It’s also common to add something you know about that person, especially something good or something that gives you a connection to them:

“My name’s George Barnes.” “Pleased to meet you. I saw your exhibition last year and I loved it!”

“Hi, I’m Anna’s friend Joe.” “Oh, nice to meet you! Anna told me you’re a keen tennis player, like me.”

If you are at a party, you might ask how the person knows the host or use a phrase like “Do you know many people here/anyone else here?”:

“How do you know Jacob?” “We work in the same office.”

“Do you know many people here?” “Only the people from the tennis club. Would you like me to introduce you?”

Another thing we often do at parties or other events is introduce other people to one another. The simplest way to do this, is to say “This is [name],” often followed by a little more information about the person you are introducing. You might also ask “Do you know [name]?” or “Have you met [name]?”. In a more formal context, you might say “Can I introduce (you to) [name]?” or “I’d like you to meet [name].”:

“This is Ali. We were at school together.”

“Do you know Martin? He worked on the housing project with me.”

“Can I introduce you to Uli Gruber? His company’s looking for freelance designers so it might be useful for you to have a chat.”

“I’d like you to meet Natalie Green. She’s our new head of finance.”

Of course, once the introductions are over we need to move on to other topics, so my next post will look at some phrases you can use to keep the conversation going and avoid awkward silences.

16 thoughts on “Do you know many people here? Chatting to someone you don’t know (1)

  1. Clécio Lopes

    Hi, this topic is very interesting. I really liked the way we can use to introduce ourselves. Thank you so much

    1. Sandeep

      Hi, I’m Sandeep, English is my second language and I face difficulties when it comes to convers others. But I think if we introduce myself to someone and it goes so smoothly and pleasing,then you have filled with confidence and conversation goes fantastic. This post help us to introduce myself and make us more fluent in my second language.
      Many thanks 🙏

  2. Fahad Humayoon

    so how can i interact with people over here.I would like to improve my English as well as a non Native English speaker.

      1. Ashraf

        Hi, in fact I liked it very much and I wish to continue to publish such useful topic . I really appreciate you and I’m waiting fir the next post

      2. Bandula Idamegama

        Retired man aged a 65 years, I Sri Lankan anglophile. English is my 2nd language while the native one is Sinhalese. Even at 65, I still remain an ardent English language student. I should love to converse with native speakers of the language through this space.

  3. Navigating conversations with strangers, especially in a non-native language, can be challenging. Responding to introductions with warm expressions and sharing common interests helps build connections and sets the stage for engaging dialogues.

  4. Kate

    It is always hard for me to start a conversation, especially in my second language. The article you wrote does gives me some ideas on how to speak with somebody for the first time.

  5. Liz Walter

    Thanks for these lovely comments. I’ve just recorded the next post on the same topic, so I hope you will like that one too!

Leave a Reply