Have you already experienced a situation in which you felt as if you could say something to a foreigner but got afraid or shy because of your performance speaking in English?
Don’t worry! I wrote this post to help you start off on the right foot. See below some very useful sentences and questions you could say in order to make a good impression and get your conversation started with the person or people you are about to meet.
Talk about the weather:
- It’s really hot today, isn’t it?
- Isn’t the weather beautiful?
- This sunny weather is great, right?
- It’s a lovely day today, don’t you think so?
In case you are waiting in line, at an airport or a train station:
Have you been waiting long?
Do you know what time the ticket office will open?
Do you know what time the train arrives / the flight leaves?
Have you seen any attendant yet?
If the person is willing to talk with you, you can say:
Have you been here before?
Where are you flying to/ heading?
Where are you from?
Do you travel often?
Try to get more information, saying:
Do you know if there is a coffee shop around?
Do you know which stop is near the Museum?
Is there a bus/train that goes to Manhattan?
Do you know if they serve any meal on the flight/train?
People’s answers may be as follows:
I’ve been waiting ages! (it means the person is a bit annoyed)
This flight / train is always late.
I can’t stand having to wait so long!
I am tired of standing here!
*You can say: Absolutely!
Some people may feel glad about interacting with you. They may say:
Never mind. We will get there eventually!
Well, at least the seats are comfortable.
I hope they do not forget us here.
Oh well, I am sure everything will be all right.
You can reply: Yes, indeed!
Getting to know each other better:
Well, why don’t we get together some day this week?
Do you have plans to visit Brazil? I could show you around!
We could keep in touch! Here is my e-mail address.
I really hope to see you again! It was great meeting you.
In case the person is speaking too fast, say:
Could you please speak slower? My English is not very good!
Please, speak slowly! I am not very fluent in English yet!
Would you mind speaking slower? I still have some understanding difficulties!
Excuse me?! I am sorry. Could you speak slowly? Thank you.
Well, I hope I’ve helped you to feel more comfortable. My advice to you is: Take risks! Don’t be shy or afraid! Talk, even if you don’t understand everything in the beginning. No problem if you make some mistakes. After you give it a start, just be natural, use a good intonation and try to remember the situations and sentences in this post.