How to make friends in English

Have you ever studied a semester abroad or perhaps done an internship or some work overseas? Is it possible that you have employees from all around the world? Whatever your story, it is more than normal nowadays to know people from all over and to keep in touch with them. Among non-native English speakers, the language that they mostly all have in common is English even if they don’t speak it fluently. More often than not, it is the best language to be used as a middle ground between many nationalities as there is a high chance that most people will speak it, even if it is only a little.

Do you think that this can be a challenge in terms of finding real friends and getting to know others well? Today we are going to show you that it isn’t like that at all! This article will help you see that even with just a basic level of English you can find great friends that you will have for a lifetime.

Don’t make things difficult for yourself: Basic English

We often tend to complicate things far too much by thinking in our own language or by trying to say things in the same way as in our mother tongue. In the end we usually make things so difficult for ourselves that we don’t speak at all so that we don’t make any mistakes. As much as this is however, understandable, it’s important to bear in mind that not speaking won’t take you anywhere. Simply form short sentences with a simple vocabulary to express yourself. In fact, there is even an official concept developed by linguist and philosopher Charles Kay Odgen called Basic English. The basic beginner level vocabulary of many English courses is often based on the list of 850 words compiled by Odgen, which he called the core of his concept. With these words, people can make themselves understood in English at beginning of their English learning process. If you are interested in finding out which words appear on Odgen’s list, you can check it out online.

Standard questions and small talk in English

When two people who do not know each other meet for the first time and each one wants to find out who the other one is, where they are from and what interests they have, it is important to remember that an advanced linguistic level is not needed. Bear in mind that even if one lacks the simplest of words, they can resort to the language of “signs” and pantomime which in turn can also raise the mood of the encounter. The most important thing, however, is body language. If you are open and friendly then it is much more likely that the other person will try to understand you which in turn will help you relax a little more and start speaking more freely. Let’s take a look at some simple questions and answers that will tell you a lot about the other person.

The first encounter


Hi, where are you from?

I’m from Sweden, and you?

Hey, I’m Chris, nice to meet you, what’s your name?

My name is María, I’m from Spain.

Hobbies and interests


What are your hobbies?

I like music and dogs, I have a Golden Retriever.

Really? I have a dog, too! Maybe we can meet sometime and let them play.

I’m hungry, do you want to go for lunch?

Yes, I’m hungry, too. I know a really good pizza place. Do you want to go?

What are your plans for the weekend?

It’s so hot, I think I will go to the beach. Do you want to come?

Yes sure! Sounds good.

Do you see how easy it is? We are certain that you will be able to come up with many more sentences that you will be able to include in conversations with people you have just met. Did you know that in addition to the ABA Journal, ABA English also has a complete online English course starting at beginner level and going all the way to advanced. It is free to sign up to the ABA English course and if you do, you will get free access to 144 video classes of all levels. What are you waiting for? Start improving your English with us today.

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