5 tips to master small talk in English


Have you ever been in a situation where you would like to get to know someone better but you don’t know how to initiate a conversation?

Have you ever been trapped in a lift with someone and just wanted to break the silence by saying something, anything?

Well ABA friends, in such situations you need to use small talk.

Small talk is polite conversation about unimportant or uncontroversial matters, especially during social occasions or awkward situations, or when you simply feel like a chat.

Small talk is great as it can help you find out more about a person or just help start a conversation, depending on the situation.

Have a look at some tips and examples:





1. Talking about the weather

This is a great way to break the ice. Most people have something to say about the weather.

There is a funny British expression that says “If you don’t have anything to say, just talk about the weather!”

Look at some examples:

  • It’s nice/cold/windy today, isn’t it?
  • I wish I was somewhere warm right now. What about you?
  • Is it going to rain today?




2. Asking where a person is from

A great conversation starter when meeting someone for the first time in another country or even in your own neighborhood is asking a person where they are from.

There are many ways to do so. Here are just a few:

  • Where are you from?
  • I recognize that accent. Where is it from?
  • Are you Spanish/English…?
  • Are you from here originally?



3. Talking about the News/Sports

Some people really love to have a chat about sport or current events. However, it’s wise to first analyze the situation and the person before getting into a political discussion.

Don’t talk to someone about sports if you think they may not at all be interested.

Here are some useful conversation starters:

  • Have you seen the news today?
  • Do you support (Barça/Manchester United…)?
  • I read earlier that there will be a train strike tomorrow.
  • Did you watch the big match between (Arsenal) and (Liverpool) yesterday?




4. Giving compliments

It’s always nice to give people compliments. It shows you are a friendly person and, most of the time, people will be flattered by someone being so kind to them.

Here are some compliments:

  • I like your watch. It’s really nice. Where did you get it?
  • How old is your son/daughter? He’s/She’s really cute!
  • Your dog is really friendly. What’s his/her name?
  • I like your shoes. Where did you get them?



5. Making small talk at social events

Social events can be tricky as you may be alone and not really know anybody.

Using a bit of small talk can have you chatting with someone in no time. You can ask questions such as:

  • How do you know (Mark)?
  • I never thought there would be so many people here.
  • Are you having a good time?
  • Hi! I’m (Tim).
  • Hi! What’s your name?
  • It’s a great venue, isn’t it?




Remember that having a light-hearted chat can be a great way to get to know someone and even practice your English.

Just keep it light and friendly and you will be fine!

If you would love to improve your English and learn about other great topics, you can join millions of other students already doing so by signing up for free to ABA today.

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  1. thank you very much , for this help . I thing that will help me so much to make a smalls diccussions with a peaople accordly them domain interest

  2. I paid the money nd ur app vanish from my i phone!! I cant continue ur programme!! I think its fake app

    • George Talbot

      Hi Madhuri,

      Thank you for getting in contact with us to sort this out. We are very sorry that you have had problems with the app. Please get in contact with support@abaenglish.com who will help you with this problem.

      Many thanks.

  3. Thank You very much, it can help us for practice our English every day, not keep silent.

  4. Thank you very much I am really interesting

  5. I appreciate your “small talk” and so on, but my problem with english language (I’ve studied it many
    years) is often to understand, not to speak neither to write.

  6. Sorry, I don’t understand anything about “moderation”… I didn’t criticize your work!

  7. It is a good article about small talk. it will help to speak freely from now….

  8. jean-pierre cozette

    After work, she sometimes goes to a bar.
    Après le travail, il va parfois au bar.

    SHE se traduit par “ELLE”

  9. It is to much Mail Bye

  10. Hello ! I’am happy to learn english with you

  11. It was a good idea to start a conversation. Thanks a lot.

  12. Thachthuythanhtruc

    I really like how to learn English with yours ! But I don’t know how to buy , coz I am living Dubai now . And still using account in Việt Nam! , I can’t buy for service! Pls tell me

  13. Hello to evrryone I’m just joined now and it’s not easy to starts to write in engleash and think about what to write

  14. These Concepts are helpfull to my. I want to continue learning whit you…. It is very interesting
    I`m Colombian. Greetings for all members of this group.

  15. The information is very interesting sor me, becouse, Idon’t have card tarjets for buy of couse of english
    I want to wish the best for you in the prefesional
    Thank you

  16. The email was change, becouse I had ne problem with email fefore my new email is juanita-2018vz@outlokcom
    Please the email is new
    Thank you, for you comphenssion

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