More and more often it seems that we have to interact with foreign neighbours. Whether we are living abroad or a foreign family has moved into our neighbourhood, the times when all of our neighbours spoke the same language as us have passed.
Relationships with neighbours have always been a good opportunity to establish friendships and to socialize, but there are also stories of great amounts of tension that have sometimes ended in tragedy. It can be especially difficult to get along when you do not share the same culture or language.
Our neighbours can be noisy, can prepare meals with too many spices for our sense of smell, or can have the habit of waking up very early in the morning. What can we do in all of these cases? Maintaining good relations is always desirable and makes it easier to resolve any differences of opinion. Here is a small selection of useful phrases to create and maintain positive relationships with your English-speaking neighbours. To begin, let’s introduce ourselves!
How to Introduce Yourself
When moving into a new area, it is important to immediately establish contact with the neighbourhood. A sincere smile and a greeting are the first steps towards creating new friendships and getting to know each other. After saying hello, you could simply ask your neighbour how they are doing or comment on the weather. Afterwards, you can try to ask for information about places of interest, such as the local library or supermarket. Here are some phrases you could use to break the ice.
Hello, how are you?
Good morning, I am Lisa. I am new in this area. I just moved here from Spain.
Hi, I am a new resident in this area. I am looking for a nearby supermarket. Could you help me?
Good afternoon, I can see you are new to the area. Welcome! If you need anything just feel free to ask me. I live in flat 23.
Hello, nice weather today, isn’t it?
Good morning, I see you are new to the area. Welcome! My name is Lisa. Where are you from?
How to Talk About Problems
What happens if suddenly, one morning, you realize that you have a water leak in your bathroom ceiling? Maybe your neighbour has a leak in their pipes and still has not noticed. What do you say if your neighbour makes too much noise on Sunday nights when you have to wake up at 6 o’clock the next morning for work? What if they do not speak your native tongue? Do not panic! Here are the phrases you need to solve these problems.
Good morning, I noticed a patch of water on the ceiling of my bathroom. I believe there is a water leak in your bathroom.
Hello, could you check the pipes in your bathroom? There is mould in the room underneath your bathroom.
Good morning, can I ask you to be quieter on Sunday evenings? I know that you have children, but I get up very early on Monday mornings. I would be grateful if you could pay more attention after 8 o’clock.
Hi, can I ask you to avoid moving chairs in the evening? Unfortunately, the noise is very loud downstairs. Thank you so much for understanding!
How to Address the Entire Community
What about problems that affect the entire building? One of the most stressful experiences in life is participating in neighbourhood meetings. How can you reach an agreement when so often the opinions are so different? Reaching an agreement in these types of meetings is difficult, but doing so without hurting anyone’s feelings is sometimes even more so.
After the meeting, you can often find messages under your door to remind everyone about certain rules of coexistence. What would you do if you had to write or read one in English?
I would like to point out that the elevator door is often left open. Please, be careful when closing it.
I often find rubbish left in the courtyard. Please, remember that leaving rubbish in the common areas is a violation of the condominium rules.
The door is often left open at night. Please, pay attention!
Some residents are leaving their bicycles in the yard, preventing those who have cars from parking in the parking spaces. Please leave your bikes in the correct zones.
Please close the door gently. Thank you!
Always close the door, please. Thank you!
Please keep the passage free. Thank you!
Always close the lift door, please. Thank you!
If these phrases been useful for you, why not try our English course? ABA English offers 144 free video classes as well as qualified native teachers who are ready to answer your questions and clear up your doubts.