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Vanessa: Hi.
I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.
Let's talk about starting a conversation.
Vanessa: To improve your speaking skills in
English, you need to speak, right?

Practice the skills that you want to improve.
It's that easy.
Well, maybe it's not that easy.
Vanessa: Hi.
Dan: Hi.

Vanessa: What do I say next?
Why isn't he talking more?
Dan: Oh, no.
I don't know what to say.
Vanessa: You know what?
This has probably happened to you in your
native language, so it makes sense that in

English, it can be tough to start a conversation,
too.

But, never fear, Vanessa's tips are here!
Vanessa: In life, there are two kinds of people;
people you know and people you don't know.

We call those strangers.
So, it makes sense to have two different types
of conversation starters.

Of course, there's some overlap, but it's
helpful to separate them.

Vanessa: Let's start with people you know.
Imagine that you are in the grocery store,
you're pushing your cart, looking for some

spinach, and you see a co-worker, and you
want to say, hi.

What can you say?
Well, here are four great questions that you
can ask in that situation, or that they might

ask you, so you need to understand them and
how to respond.

Vanessa: The first two questions are about
the past.

Let's take a look.
Vanessa: Hi, Dan.
Dan: Hi.
Vanessa: How are you?
Dan: Pretty good.
Vanessa: What've(have) you been up to lately?
Dan: Oh, not much.
Just went to see my family yesterday.
What about you?
Vanessa: Hi, Dan.
Dan: Hi.
Vanessa: How are you?
Dan: Pretty good.
Vanessa: What were you up to this weekend?
Dan: Oh, not much.
Just went to see my family yesterday.
What about you?
Vanessa: These questions asked about sometime
in the past.

You can change the words to say, "lately",
"today", "last weekend", for “a recent holiday".

You can switch that up depending on the situation,
but it's great to ask about the past.

Vanessa: The next questions are going to ask
about the present.

Vanessa: What do you have going on today?
Dan: Oh, not much.
Just going to a friend's house this evening.
What about you?
Vanessa: What've (have) you got going on
today?

Dan: Oh, not much.
Just going to a friend's house this evening.
What about you?
Vanessa: These questions asked about the present.
Did you notice the beautiful, casual verbs
that were used here?

"What've you got going on today?"
"What have you got going on today?"
"What are you doing today?"
That's another way to say it, but we often
say, "What have you got going on today?",

and it's really casual, informal, it's great
for these just, passing by, situations when

you see someone who you already know.
Vanessa: Let's go on to the next questions,
which talk about the future.

Vanessa: Do you have anything fun going on
this weekend?

Dan: Oh, not much.
Just going to a friend's house tomorrow.
What about you?
Vanessa: Do you have any plans for Easter?
Dan: Oh, not much.
Just going to have lunch with my family.
What about you?
Vanessa: For these questions that ask about
the future, I want you to be a little bit

careful, because if you say this with a certain
type of intonation, the other person, especially

if you're a guy talking to a girl, it could
feel like you're trying to ask them on a date,

or maybe they'll feel a little bit uncomfortable.
So, make sure that when you say, "Oh, do you
have anything fun going on this weekend?"

Make sure you say it with a smile, very casually.
You don't need to look them into the eye and
say it seriously from the bottom of your heart.

It's just a casual question.
Of course, unless you do want to ask them
for a date.

And then, you can say it a little more seriously.
But if you just want to casually say something
to your co-worker, you need to have a light

tone.
Don't worry about using this, just make sure
you have a light tone, and you say it with

a smile.
"Oh, do you have anything fun going on this
weekend?"

Great.
Like you saw on those sample conversation,
Dan could have just said, "Not much."

And then, stopped the conversation.
Boring, boring, boring.
But you know?
Some people do that.
If you're lucky, the person you're talking
to might ask, "Not much, what about you?"

Okay, at least they're asking a question,
and you can share some information about what

you're doing, or what you did over the weekend.
So, here, not everyone is going to give a
lot of information, but they might give you

something, and if they don't, don't worry
about it, it's not your fault, you tried your

best.
What about the second kind of people?
People you don't know.
Strangers.
In the U.S., we sometimes strike up a conversation
with strangers, but it depends where you are.

For example, in the south of the U.S. where
I live, it's pretty common that when you pass

by a stranger, you make eye contact and you
might say, "Hi."

But, if you're in Manhattan in New York, if
you did that to every stranger who you passed

by, "Hi.
Hi.
Hi."
People would think you're a little bit strange.
So, it depends on where you are in the U.S.,
but it's certainly common to strike up a conversation

with someone who you don't know.
If you visit the U.S., I recommend visiting
a grocery store called Trader Joe's, because

it's a requirement for working there that
every employee is amazing at having small

talk conversations with strangers, and it's
part of their job to talk with customers.

So, if you have ever visited a Trader Joe's,
you know exactly what I mean.

These employees are known for being so kind
and so friendly, and if you go there, be prepared

with some of these questions and be prepared
to answer them, because they'll definitely

ask you them.
Let's think about a scenario where you might
talk with the stranger.

We can imagine you're in the park.
You're walking your dog, and like dogs do,
your dog is sniffing and going towards another

dog.
Well, you'd like to strike up a conversation
with the owner of that dog.

What can you say?
Vanessa: Aww, what a cute dog.
Do you come here often?
Dan: Yeah, we try to.
It's a great place to walk.
Vanessa: Aww, what a cute dog.
Have you ever been here before?
Dan: Yeah, a lot.
It's a great place to walk.
Vanessa: Aww, what a cute dog.
Dan: Yeah, he's a sweetie.
Vanessa: Have you been in Asheville for a
while?

Dan: Just two years.
What about you?
Vanessa: Aww, what a cute dog.
Dan: Yeah, he's a sweetie.
Vanessa: Do you live nearby?
Dan: Yeah, we live just down the street.
What about you?
Vanessa: Like with the previous set of questions,
it's important to have a light attitude.

If you ask someone, "Do you come here often?"
The other person might feel a little bit uncomfortable,
like, "Are they following me?

Are they a scary person?"
So, make sure you just say it lightly.
"Oh, do you come here often?"
No problem.
This is a great question to ask.
And I ask this all the time when I go to the
park and I'm playing with my toddler, and

he ends up playing with another kid, and I
ask the parent, "Oh, do you come here often?"

It's just a way to start a conversation.
Okay, now it's special notice time.
I want to let you know that not everyone is
a great conversationalist.

You have to try your best and practice this.
So, if you ask these questions to someone,
and they don't respond, and you don't have

an amazing conversation, you know what?
Maybe they're just not a good conversationalist.
Maybe they haven't practiced this skill.
So, I want you to be able to try your best,
and then, it's really up to the other person.

It's their choice if the conversation continues.
You might be thinking, "Vanessa, you seem
like a good conversationalist.

What do you know about being worried about
what to say, or not knowing what to say?"

Let me tell you a little story.
Well, Dan and I lived in South Korea for three
years.

So, that means that for three years, every
time that I had small talk or started a conversation

with someone, it was in Korean.
That means that I didn't practice small talk
in English for three years.

When we moved back to the U.S., I remember
two situations.

One was when I was getting my drivers license
because we had just moved back, so I needed

my driver's license again.
And the man at the desk said something to
me like, "Have you just moved here," or "How's

your day going?"
Some kind of typical small talk question.
And I just did there, and I stuttered, and
I didn't really know what to say.

And then, he repeated the question, and I
said something, probably something silly,

and when I walked away from that conversation,
I just laughed and thought, "What happened?

This is my native language.
Why can't I respond to him?"
And then, I realized, "Oh, I haven't practiced
small talk with strangers in English in three

years.
I'm going to need a little bit of practice
to get used to speaking like that again."

Then, a few weeks later, I was at Trader Joe's,
the grocery store that I mentioned to you,

and I was getting a sample of food from one
of the workers, and she asked me some typical

question.
I don't even remember what it was, but it
was some kind of small talk question, and

my brain just went, "Meeer," and shut down
completely.

And I recognized this feeling because it happened
a couple weeks earlier at the driver's license

place.
So, I thought, I should just tell her why
I am reacting like this.

So, I said, "I'm sorry.
I just moved back from Korea and I haven't
had small talk in English for a long time,

so I'm sorry about my awkwardness."
And, you know what, she had lived in Korea,
too.

It was a really unusual circumstance, but
we bonded over that, and I could kind of loosen

up a little bit and feel comfortable, because
we started talking a little bit.

And this helped me to get practice.
And practice and practice and repetition is
what's going to help you to really improve

this skill.
Always remember that, a smile is the best
tool.

Sometimes when we feel nervous, our face gets
really serious and we forget to smile.

But, something happens when you smile, you
start to loosen up.

You start to feel a little more comfortable,
and maybe you'll be able to remember some

of the sentences and questions that we talked
about.

All right, my challenge for you is this, choose
one of these questions that you're going to

ask in your next English conversation, practice
it by writing it in the comments, and check

out to see what other students questions are,
too.

It's a good chance to pretend that they're
asking you.

Pretend to answer it, and really use this
repetition.

Thanks so much for learning English with me,
and I'll see you again next Friday for a new

lesson here on my YouTube channel.
Bye.
Vanessa: Do you have anything fun going on
this weekend?

Dan: Oh, not much.
Just going to a friend's house tomorrow.
What about you?
Vanessa: Don't do that.
(haha!)
Vanessa: Hi, Dan.
Dan: Hi.
Vanessa: How are you?
Dan: Pretty good.
Vanessa: What were you up to this weekend?
Vanessa: Hi Dan.
Dan: Hi.
Vanessa: How are you?
Dan: Pretty good.
Vanessa: What have you been up to lately?
Dan: I don't remember.
Dan: Oh, not much.
Just went to see my family yesterday.
What about you?
Vanessa: Aww, what a cute dog.
Dan: Yeah, he's a sweetie.
Vanessa: Have you been in Asheville for a
while?

Dan: Just two years.
What about you?
Vanessa: I have a unicorn dog.
Dan: I want a corn dog?
Vanessa: I have a unicorn dog, not I want
a corn dog.

Dan: I thought you said, "I want a corn dog."
Unicorn dog.
Vanessa: Aww, What a cute ... What a cutie.
But, I said, "Cutie dog".
Vanessa: Aww, what a cute dog.
Dan: Mmm.
Thanks.
Vanessa: Mmm.
Thanks.
Vanessa: The next step is to download my free
e-book, Five Steps to Becoming a Confident

English Speaker.
You'll learn what you need to do to speak
confidently and fluently.

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel
for more free lessons.

Thanks so much.
Bye.
コツ:単語をクリックしてすぐ意味を調べられます!

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How to START a Conversation in English with Anyone

169 タグ追加 保存
Chih-Ying Lin 2019 年 5 月 24 日 に公開
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