This article was written with the intention to help you improve your daily English conversational skills. You'll learn questions, phrases, and expressions that you can use to confidently start conversations with anyone.

“You have to enjoy life. Always be surrounded by people that you like, people who have a nice conversation. There are so many positive things to think about.”

-  Sophia Loren

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Why Learn Basic English?

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If you start learning English now, you will be able to choose from 53+ more countries to visit! Photo by Nicole Herrero on Unsplash

Put simply, learning a foreign language makes the brain stronger and more versatile. Learning English is not only useful, but it also gives a lot of satisfaction and making progress will make you feel great. There are many, many reasons why learning the English language is a good idea. It allows you to communicate with new people. It helps you to see things from a different perspective or get a deeper understanding of another culture.

While learning Basic English you will focus on you the following Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. These are known as the main (macro) skills you need to communicate in any language. Being very good at only one of these skills will not help you to communicate. For example, you need to be able to read well before you can write well. You also need to be able to listen before you can speak.

Conversations are key to language development, the exchange of thoughts and ideas and listening to each other. People learn by hearing each other talk. Once we know how to start and end a conversation in another language the middle usually takes care of itself.

Here are my top 4 reasons why you should embrace English as a second language:

  1.  Access world-class education systems and establishments
  2. Improve and widen employment opportunities.
  3. Improve your English communication skills.
  4. It makes it easier to travel (It’s the Official Language of 53 Countries).
Communication
Talking is one of the main ways we communicate with each other, so its really important to understand the words being used, different accents and dialects - Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Informal Greetings

There are a few different ways in which English speakers may start a conversation with someone they know or a stranger.

Below is a list of a few ways you can say Hello/ Salut/ Hola/ Ciao/ Olá/ Ahoj/ Sveiki/ Hallo/ Witam/ привіт in English:

  • Hey
  • Hi
  • Hiya
  • What's up?
  • How are ya?
  • Hey there
  • Yo
  • Mornin'
  • Evenin'
  • Well
  • Alright

When meeting someone in an informal way, English speakers use minimal effort, as you can see, most of the above greetings consist of only one word and some words are even shortened.

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Formal Greetings

Usually, when you meet someone in a formal setting you would always say Hello or Good + the time of day for example.

  1. Goodmorning
  2. Good afternoon
  3. Good evening

However, I should point out that to say goodnight would signify ending a conversation not starting one.

Once you have said hello if you have never met the person or people before, it is time for a formal introduction. Below is a list of commonly used phrases:

  • Nice to meet you, my name is _______
  • My name is _______, pleased to meet you!
  • Thanks for having me, my name is _______
english book
English is the Language of International Communication. Although English is not the most spoken language in the world, it is the official language in 53 countries and is spoken as a first language by around 400 million people worldwide. Photo by Kollakolla on Pixabay

Starting a Conversation in English

Starting a conversation in the English language doesn't have to be difficult, in fact, a lot of the time it's referred to as "small talk" because it can be kept short and sweet. After you’ve exchanged names and greeted each other, you may go on to make some “small talk,”

Small talk is common in many English-speaking countries, especially in the U.S.A, Canada, Ireland, Australia and the UK.

It’s considered polite to add a little bit of small talk to the beginning of a conversation before talking about its main subject, whether it’s personal or professional. The most common question is “How are you?”

In fact, it’s so common that it becomes automatic for people to say, even when they hardly know the person! “How are you” is often even considered part of the greeting (i.e. “Hi, how are you?”). That’s how necessary it’s become!

There are many different ways to start a conversation in English but let's start with a few simple ones:

  • Are you having a good day?
  • You look great, how are you doing?
  • We had a lovely drive down, how was your journey here?
  • The weather is beautiful, how was it when you drove down?
  • How was the weather when you started your journey?
  • Did you have to make any stops on the way here?
  • I'm so tired after the drive, should we get a coffee?
  • You're looking well, how are you doing?
  • I'm so glad to see you, how are you?
  • It's lovely to meet you, would you like a tea or coffee?
  • How is your day so far?
  • Have you any plans for the weekend?

As you can see, there are loads of simple but friendly ways you can strike up a conversation in English without having to use too many words.

conversations
Conversations are key to language development, the exchange of thoughts and ideas and listening to each other. People learn by hearing each other - Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

An interesting thing about asking these questions is that an answer isn’t really required.

Unless you’re  friends with someone, they’re not expecting you to give them an honest answer about your day, they might just say some of the following in response if they don't know each other well:

  • Good, thanks for asking
  • I'm well and you?
  • I'm hoping the weather stays good for the drive home
  • Tea/coffee/water would be nice thanks
  • Good thanks and yourself

Ending a Conversation in the English language

It’s time for you to go or to finish your conversation. No matter the reason, it’s always nice to let the person know you can’t continue talking to them for much longer.

There are many ways to do it depending on the situation, so let us take a look at some of the most common ways to bring conversations to a close in the English language:

  • Thank you so much for your help!
  • Talk to you soon!
  • It was great seeing you / Great talking to you!
  • Catch you later!
  • Bye! Have a good day!

If your goal is to make English a part of your everyday life, repetition and practice are key. With your understanding of basic English, you are on your way to building your vocabulary and expanding your comprehension of simple, daily topics, getting involved in conversations with native English speakers is a great way to practice your skills.

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Maureen

Hey, I'm Maur/Mo, I'm a writer from Ireland. I've written a novel and a lot of poetry and fiction. Currently, I work as a content writer at superprof