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Greeting and introductions, talking with strangers

What will I learn from the English lesson greeting and introductions, talking with strangers?

During this English lesson you will learn about questions words and how to use them in a sentence. The last part of the lesson is a brief discussion between Mr Bean and Mrs Smith in a café in Manchester.

Meeting new people

When you meet new people in a new country it can be very difficult and stressful. When you are faced with this kind of situation it is best to use small talk which is informal chat in social situations. Using small talk will help you start a relationship and also find common interests to share with your new found friends or colleagues. When talking to people like they like you to ask questions and show an interest with what’s happening with their lives, family, pets and the weather, remember people in the UK love to talk about the weather.

Chatting with Strangers

You will notice that most question words in English language start with ‘wh’.

The following ‘wh’ words are very useful when you meet new people:







How long

Who’s that standing over there near the door?

What do you do? (Used when asking about someone’s job)

 Where do you live?

 Do you know when the plane leaves?

 Why is the food late arriving?

 Can you please tell me how do I can get to Oxford Street? (asking someone for directions)

 How long does it take you to get ready in a morning?

Which train do I need to get for going to Manchester?


What is the conversation about?

Mr Bean is waiting at the airport for a plane. He has over forty-five minutes to wait, so he decides to find a café and have a coffee. Inside the cafe it is almost full, so he tries to find a seat and ends up making a new friend with a lady called Mrs Smith.

Mr Bean: - Excuse me, is this seat free?

Mrs Smith: - Yes.

Mr Bean: - Thanks. (Mr Bean sits down.)

Mrs Smith: - My name’s Mrs Smith it is nice to meet you.

Mr Bean: - Hi Mrs Smith mu name is  Mr Bean it’s nice to meet you too.

Mrs Smith: - Where are you from, Mr Bean?  You sound like you not from England.

Mr Bean: - I’m from Thailand. I have been visiting my family in Manchester. How about you?

Mr Smith: - Same as every day at this time on my way to work, as usual!

Mr Bean: - What do you do?

Mrs Smith: - I’m an English teacher my students love learning English. How about you?

Mr Bean: - I’m also an English teacher, but I’m on holiday right now.

How conversations start

A lot of conversations often start like the one above. You ask a person’s name, where they come from and their job. You can use the same methods in many social situations to make small talk on transport, in a café, supermarket and even in the street.

There will be times when sometimes you will not understand everything that you hear. It may not be always necessary to understand every word.

What can I say when I don’t understand what is being said?

  1. Can you speak more slowly, please I don’t understand?
  2. Pardon?
  3. Sorry, what was that you just said?
  4. Am sorry would you mind repeating that, please?
  5. I’m sorry; I don’t fully understand what you have just said, what do you mean.

Easy pace Learning online dictionary and how to use dictionaries

Click on the following link for the Online English dictionary - English lesson