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:
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?
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 neighbourhood 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 recognise that accent. Where is it from?
Are you Spanish/English…?
Are you from here originally?
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?
Talking about the News/Sports
Some people really love to have a chat about sport or current events. However, it’s wise to first analyse 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?
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?
Remember that having a light-hearted chat can be a great way to get to know someone and even practise 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.