Have you come far? Chatting to someone you don’t know (2)

Listen to the author reading this blog post:

a group of people in business clothing drinking coffee together and talking, illustrating the concept of making small talk and chatting to people you don't know
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by Liz Walter

My last post looked at ways of responding to introductions and introducing other people. Today’s post gives some ideas about how to take the conversation further. We call this kind of chatting small talk but with luck it can lead to deeper and more interesting conversations!

An easy way to start could be to say or ask something about the event you are attending:

“This is a lovely party, isn’t it?” “Oh yes. Scott’s parties are always great.”

“What did you think of Lara Smith’s talk?” “It was interesting, but I noticed that she didn’t say anything about funding.”

“Are you enjoying this?” “Yes, it’s great meeting so many new people!”

You could also say something about any food that is being served or offer to get a drink for the person you are talking to:

“Have you tried the canapés? They’re delicious.”

“The food’s great, isn’t it? I love the spicy chicken salad.”

“Can I get you a drink?” “Oh yes, please. I’ll have an orange juice.”

You might say something about the place where you are:

“It’s hot in here, isn’t it?”

“These paintings are amazing, aren’t they?”

“This is a great venue for an event like this.”

Asking about where someone lives is a common topic when people are getting to know each other:

“Where are you from?” “Manchester.” “Whereabouts in Manchester? I used to live there myself.”

“Do you live near here?” “Yes, I’m Anna’s neighbour actually.”

On a similar topic, you could ask about the person’s journey to the place where you have met:

“Have you come far?” “Not really – I live a few streets away.”

“Did you have a long journey to get here?” “Yes, I live in York, so I came down yesterday and stayed with a friend.”

“How did you get here?” “I drove up with Lucy.”

You could try talking about a major cultural or sporting event:

“Have you seen the Barbie movie?”

“Which team are you supporting in the World Cup?”

It is common to ask people about their work. We usually start by asking what someone’s job is, and then ask some questions about the work:

“What do you do for a living?” “I’m a paralegal with a law firm.”

“What does that involve?” “I help the solicitors preparing cases.”

“How long have you been doing that?” “Just over a year.”

“And do you enjoy it?” “Yes, I do, but I’m hoping to become a solicitor myself soon.”

I hope this post will give you some ideas for those often difficult first conversations. And if you still run out of things to say, you can always try the famous British topic of the weather!

24 thoughts on “Have you come far? Chatting to someone you don’t know (2)

    1. Carol

      Hello, folks! I’m learning english, but l still don’t have someone to training. I dunno what l do.

      I talk from Brazil. 😉

    1. Carol

      Hi, Jacky! I’m Carol and l’m learning english too. So, l just don’t have someone to training, u know? I would like to know if you wish to training with me. 😉

      1. None

        Sure.I hope we can communicate with each other from time to time and share the stories happening in our daily lives.

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