Small talk is part of our daily life. It serves as an ice-breaker in social situations, eases the atmosphere and stands in for silent moments.
Making light-hearted conversation is a skill which every one of us can learn – even in a foreign language! You can use the following easy phrases to help you with small talk in English.
I’m so pleased to meet you – This is a good way to start a conversation with someone new.
I’ve heard so much about you – When you meet a person for the first time, but have heard about him or her earlier.
Long time no see! – Use this phrase when you run into an old pal after a long time.
What brings you here? – A phrase you can use with friends or strangers. An easy way to make conversation.
I was wondering if… – To start a sensitive conversation or to ask something use this phrase.
Sorry to bother you – This opening phrase can be used with anyone, even when asking for help from a stranger on the street.
What have you been up to lately? – A good alternative to asking “How are you?”.
Can’t argue with that – When you agree with what someone is saying.
Good for you! – If someone is proud of their achievement react appropriately.
You’ve got to be kidding me! – Are you stunned by something you’ve been told? Express it like this.
That’s a good question. – If you need time to think about your answer use this instead of remaining silent.
Just bear with me for a moment… – If the situation is hectic and you can’t give attention to everyone, you can use this phrase to ask one member of the conversation to be patient and wait a moment.
We’ll catch up later! – You can call this out to a friend when you are already leaving the conversation, especially if you didn’t have time to properly take part in it.
It’s time for me to head out. – A friendly way to end the conversation.
And off you are with practising the enjoyable skill of small talk!
Director, Learning Material & Customer Relations
Language loving coffee addict and communications professional haunted by eternal wanderlust.