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How to have a Conversation with Someone in English

By Yann, published on 28/12/2018 We Love Prof - IN > Languages > ESOL (English) > How to participate in a Conversation in English?

How to have a conversation with someone in English? The English language is essential if you want to have conversations in English, travel or live in an English speaking country and it becomes vital when you need it to work. So how can you progress in the English language?

Speaking English is not about pronouncing English perfectly or losing your accent, the key to having a conversation in English is to be able to communicate. To be vulnerable enough to try to speak even if you aren’t confident and to listen enough to others so that you can understand and be understood.
Here are some tips to help you have better conversations in English.

What Is A Conversation In English?

Conversation accompanies us throughout a typical day whether it is small conversations with passers-by or more in-depth discussions with our friend and family. Conversations essentially are the same no matter which language you are speaking the only thing that changes are the words that you use and your expression of it.

Conversation in English or any other language is about communication which involves speaking and listening. When we get up in the morning, we talk with our family, we share ideas in the office with colleagues, or we say hello when we buy bread from the local baker. Most of us are social beings that need to talk and talk to, our fellow humans throughout our lives. So when we go abroad, in an English-speaking country, it is normal to do the same.

learn and listen to English Often the way people speak in English is not the same as what is taught in class. Photo Source: Unsplash

Asking for directions, buying bread or merely talking about the weather with a stranger met on the tube are commonplace.

What Are The Gestures Of Conversation?

In a regular conversation, it is mandatory to know how to be polite and courteous. Politeness is quite crucial in the English language, and this is more important in formal situations where you don’t know the person. While the reason for conversation is the same worldwide, the way to express that conversation can be a bit different depending on the country that you are visiting.

While conversation is often seen as mostly verbal, body language is just as important. For example, if you say “hello, pleased to meet you” and roll your eyes. This communicates an entirely different message from someone who says the same thing but smiles while they say it.

Improve your ability to speak The best way to progress in conversations is actually to have them as often as possible. Photo Source: Unsplash

Your words and body come together in conversation and communicate to the listener about what it is that you are saying. This is why when you are communicating you should focus on keeping your body and words in line so that you are giving an authentic message.

What are the useful phrases in a conversation with a new person?
Conducting a conversation in English will help you to improve your English level by practising both your listening and speaking skills. But before that, it is necessary to know some common words used in the English vocabulary.

How To Meet New People

When you start a conversation with someone you do not know:

  1. It is customary to use: “good morning “, “good afternoon”, “good evening” or simply “hello” or “hi”.
  2. To tell someone your name, you can say “my name is …” or “I’m …”.
  3. The person will probably answer with: “nice to meet you! ” or “pleased to meet you”
  4. They might tell you their name, but if they do not, you can ask her with a sentence “what’s your name?”.
  5. To ask how the person is, you can say, “how are you?
  6. You are expected to answer that you are fine: “fine, thank you”, “I’m ok, thank you”, “I’m alright, thank you”, “I ‘m good, thank you.”
  7. You may be asked where you are from noting that you have an accent you should say “I’m from..(your country).”
  8. To talk about your job, it is appropriate to say: “I work as a…” or to talk about your studies, you can say “I study…”.
  9. To ask what the person does, say, “what do you do? “
  10. To talk about your family, you can say, “I have a brother/sister, and I’m the oldest / youngest. ” To learn the same from the person, ask: ” what about you?”.
  11. This question ” what about you? ” is a valid question to ask to obtain the same information that you just gave.
  12. To find out what someone enjoys you can ask “do you have hobbies? ” Or ” what do you do when you’re not working? “.A good answer is: “I like going out with friends / playing football/watching movies …”

You can use these phrases to learn English and to have easy conversations with strangers or friends.

What Are The Commonly Used Words And Phrases In Social Conversations?

If you want to learn English quickly, there is nothing better than English conversational nights! It’s better than an English lesson because it allows you to learn and listen to English as it is used in real situations.

Often the way people speak in English is not the same as what you learn in your ESL lessons. Here are some conversational phrases that are very useful for giving the illusion that you are fluent in English.

  1. What’s up? : An informal expression to ask what is going on at the moment or how someone is feeling.
  2. Here you are! : It’s a way to give some something or you can say it is you find someone you have been looking for.
  3. You know / you see: Is a transition at the beginning or end of the sentence. It just confirms that the person has understood you although you don’t expect an answer when you say that although the person may nod.
  4. Does that make sense (to you)? :  It is a way of knowing if you both share the same point of view,
  5. By the way:  This injects a piece of unrelated information into the conversation.
  6. Anyway: it’s a transition to change the subject or to end the conversation,
  7. Lovely/wonderful/ amazing: all positive adjectives that mean “nice”,
  8. It’s up to you:  Means that you must decide whatever you are talking about.
    See you (later / soon):  It is like saying goodbye and is one way to leave a conversation smoothly.
  9. Oh wow/oh dear: two little expressions to mark the surprise. In the first case, it’s a positive surprise ( “great!” ), In the second it’s a bad surprise ( “oh no,” “I’m sorry” ),
  10. Take care: “take care of yourself”, an expression often said at the end of a conversation, which mean you should be careful.
  11. Have a good day/trip/ holiday:  This term wishes you well

Of course, the list is not exhaustive and the best way to progress in conversations is actually to have them as often as possible. They may not be particularly comfortable at first, but the more you talk, the more natural it will become for you. Your vocabulary will be enriched, and you soon understand and be able to speak fluently.

How To Practice Conversations In English?

To learn to speak English, you should speak and then speak some more. Try your best to have these conversations with native English speakers and do your best to not down new term, phrases and expressions as you learn them. Finding someone who you can have regular conversations with is fantastic training for you to become a fluent English speaker.

You can practise at home, watching original TV series with English subtitles, listening to audio books and listening to the radio in English. Try to identify the phrases that suit your verbal expression and work to incorporate them into your speaking.

Feel free to take notes when you acquire new vocabulary and progress in English.
You can also get help from an English teacher in private or group lessons. You can devote part of your course to conversations and correcting mistakes.
You can also work in pairs with friends or family member who want to improve as well.

Join English conversation classes or a club; it’s rather fun. You will not work on the details of your speaking like verb tenses and things, but you will improve your ability to speak English conversationally.

Giving an authentic message Politeness is quite crucial in the English language. Photo Source: Unsplash

For a more efficient language exchange, do not hesitate to go to bilingual cafes or bars. Many offer informal moments where native English speakers are present to discuss and support your progress.

Also, think about Skype which makes a great virtual environment to learn a  language with people from anywhere in the world. Many English people are also looking to learn your native language. Find an English speaker on a language app like Babbel or social network like Facebook groups and make an appointment to meet once or twice a week to speak partly in English and partly in your mother tongue. This kind of exchange is precious, and everyone wins.

Using some or all of these techniques can take you from a beginner or intermediate level to advanced level very quickly. Further, you will make lots of new friends on the way.

So are you ready for a to have a chat or improve your oral test skills or if you want to learn how to communicate in an English interview.

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