When you’re learning to speak a new language, just getting a grasp on everyday phrases or knowing what to say in different situations can be difficult. How do you say good-bye, and what do you say in a work-related situation? As an English language school in Hawaii, we know how awkward it can be when you’re not familiar with common small talk phrases often used by those whose native language is English. We have some tips below we think you will find helpful in various settings!
How can you strike up a conversation? Depending on the situation and whether you know the person, phrases such as “What have you been doing lately?” are good conversation starters. If you’re not sure how to get to where you want to go on the island, something as simple as “Sorry to bother you” or “Excuse me, could you help me with” are good phrases to begin your conversation with.
When you run into a friend or acquaintance, there are lots of things you can say to break the ice. For instance, you run into Kathy, a girl you’ve met before. Something as simple as “Hi Kathy, long time no see!” is a commonly used phrase, as are “Hi Kathy, what’s new?” or “Hi Kathy, been keeping busy?”. While some of these phrases aren’t really correct English (for instance, the last phrase would be correct if you said “Have you been keeping busy?”), they’re still commonly used slang.
At work, there are lots of phrases you can use depending on the situation. For instance, if you’re busy and a customer comes in, all you have to say is “I’ll be with you in a minute.” Simple! If the customer has to wait for a substantial time, the polite thing to say is “Sorry for keeping you waiting.” On Monday mornings when you get back to the grind at work, greeting co-workers with “Did you have a good weekend?” or “How was your weekend?” is typical.
What to say when you’re departing someone’s company? There are countless easy phrases you can use, including “See you around,” “See you later,” “It’s nice seeing you again,” “Hope to see you again soon,” etc.
We know learning to speak English is difficult, but it can also be a fun and exciting challenge. Learning simple little “small talk” phrases that work in various situations can help tremendously to calm your anxiety and make you feel more confident in your ability!
At ICC Hawaii, our goal is to help you reach your goal of learning the most used language in the world and doing so in a way that’s interesting, fun, and makes you want to learn more. Find out more about our English language school in Hawaii by contacting us today!