Do you have difficulty speaking English?
Sometimes the hardest part is simply starting a conversation. Learn these expressions for starting a conversation in English in any situation – formal or informal, at work, school, or other contexts!
STARTING A CONVERSATION WITH A FRIEND:
With friends, you can use informal English expressions like these:
The correct answer to “What’s up?” is “Not much.” You can then add a detail about what’s happening in your life at the moment. If someone says “How’s it going?” you can answer “Good” or “Not so good” and then say why.
STARTING A CONVERSATION WITH A COLLEAGUE:
In the office, you use slightly more formal English, such as these common expressions:
You can talk about projects you’re working on, or about hobbies you have outside work. Current national and international news is also a good topic of conversation.
STARTING A CONVERSATION WITH A FRIEND WHO YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IN A LONG TIME:
Here are some common expressions to start a conversation with someone you see after a long separation:
In this case, you can ask about news in your friend’s work, study, family, and hobbies. The friend will probably ask you about recent developments in your own life, too.
STARTING A CONVERSATION AT A PARTY OR WEDDING:
If you’re at a party or wedding, you can start a conversation by asking how the person knows the host of the party (or the people getting married). You can also comment about the food and drinks, or about the music.
STARTING A CONVERSATION AT A CONFERENCE OR WORK EVENT:
The expression “I don’t think we’ve met” can be used in professional situations too. You can ask about the person’s job, what company they are from, and their opinions about the conference events.
STARTING A CONVERSATION WITH SOMEONE YOU HAVE JUST BEEN INTRODUCED TO:
Imagine you have a friend, Nora, who introduces you to her friend Ryan. You can ask about how they know each other, and about Ryan’s job. If Nora says Ryan is a student, you can ask about his area of study and what year of college he’s in. If Nora introduces Ryan as a journalist, or a friend from yoga class, or a musician, you can ask about how long he has done that activity, or how he first got interested in it. His answer will then provide material to continue the conversation.
STARTING A CONVERSATION WITH SOMEONE YOU MEET OUTSIDE:
If you’re in a park, on the street, etc., the most common way to start a conversation is by talking about the weather.
STARTING A CONVERSATION WITH A STRANGER IN OTHER SITUATIONS:
The secret to starting a conversation with someone you don’t know is to make a comment about the current social context. Here are a few examples of how to do this:
As in the example of the cafe and playground, you don’t need to ask a direct question. You can simply make a comment to the other person, and this is like an invitation for the other person to comment, too. This can then begin a conversation.
Watch the video below. It contains 5 tips on how to improve your conversation in English - best and easiest conversation starters that actually work.