Eikaiwa · Intermediate · Uncategorized

中級英会話 レッスン1

Small Talk           中級英会話          Intermediate English Conversation: Lesson 1

Please keep in mind that this is about American English. I don’t know much about English used in other countries like New Zealand, Australia, or England, so I cannot speak for those countries.

What is small talk?
Small talk is a conversation about a light-hearted topic. These conversations do not have a deep meaning, and you do not need to express strong opinions.

Small talk can be any of the following topics:
-The weather (“It’s really hot today.”)
-A recent sports game (“Did you see the game?”)
-Something you have in common (“You like dogs? Me too!”)
-Some personal questions (name, where you’re from, plans for the weekend, how you’re doing, where you work)

Be careful with personal questions. There are some people who are not comfortable with sharing details about their life, such as if they are married, if they have kids, their age, or where they live.

If you aren’t sure if it’s okay to ask a question, you can add, “if you don’t mind me asking” to the end of it. This lets the person you are talking to politely refuse to answer if they want.

A: Where do you live, if you don’t mind me asking?
B: Sorry, I’d rather not say.

Is small talk important?
Some people think it is, others think it isn’t. Whether or not you like small talk, it is used often in daily life, so it is important to understand what it is and how to use it. If you visit America, many people may try to make small talk with you.

When do we use small talk?
We use small talk when we are talking with people we don’t know, or with people we don’t know well. This might be strangers, co-workers, or people you just met.

 What do we use small talk for?
We use small talk to fill an awkward silence, to get to know someone better, or to be polite.

There are many people who don’t like small talk.
What do you think about small talk?
Do you think it’s pointless?
Do you think it’s useful?
When was the last time you had small talk?
Who was it with?


Dialogue 1:
A: Hi! Did you find everything okay?
B: Yep. Thanks.
A: Great! How is your day going?
B: Pretty good.
A: Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?
B: Not really.

Where is this conversation?
This conversation is at a store. It could be any store, such as a mall or a grocery store (スーパー). These conversations happen often at grocery stores.

What are A and B talking about?
Person A and Person B are talking about if B found what they needed at the store, how B’s day is, and if B has any plans for the weekend.

Do these people know each other?
These people might know each other a little bit, but they are not friends.

Who is A? Who is B?
Person A is a cashier and Person B is a customer.

Vocab:
Did you find everything okay? –  Did you find what you wanted to buy?

Yep – Yes/Yeah (Affirmative response). Informal.

Great – That’s good./I’m happy to hear that.

How is your day going? – How is today? Is today a good day or a bad day?

Pretty good – Good. “Pretty” in this context is used to soften “good.” It makes “good” sound less strong.

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? – Are you doing anything fun this weekend?/今週末、何か楽しい予定とかありますか?

Not really – No/Nothing important/Nothing special/Nothing in particular/特にありません。


Dialogue 2:
A: How is everything tasting?
B: It’s good. Thanks.
A: Where are you from?
B: I’m from Japan.
A: Cool! How long are you here for?
B: Two weeks.
A: Great! Have fun!

Where is this conversation?
This is at a restaurant.

What are A and B talking about?
Person A is asking Person B where they are from.

Do these people know each other?
These people do not know each other.

Who is A? Who is B?
Person A is a waiter. Person B is a customer.

Vocab:
How is everything tasting?
– Does your food taste good?/味はどうですか?

Where are you from? – Where do you live? (country, state, or city)/どこの出身ですか?/どこから来ましたか?

I’m from Japan. – I live in Japan / 日本から来ました。

Cool! – Great/Good/いいね!

How long are you here for? – When are you here until?/どのぐらいここにいますか。

Have fun! – Enjoy your time here!/楽しんでくださいね!


Dialogue 3:
A: Is this your first time visiting Seattle?
B: Yeah.
A: How do you like it so far?
B: It’s nice! The people here are very kind.
A: Yeah! I like it here.

Where is this conversation?
We don’t know. It could be anywhere, even a store or a restaurant.

What are A and B talking about?
Person A is asking Person B if this is their first time in Seattle.

Do these people know each other?
These people do not know each other.

Who is A? Who is B?
We don’t know who Person A is. They are probably someone who lives in Seattle, but they could be a tourist. Person B is from Japan.

Vocab:
Is this your first time visiting _____?
– Have you been here before? / ~に来るのは初めてですか?

How do you like it so far? – What do you think?/今までにどう思いますか?

It’s nice! – It’s good!/いいです!

The people here are very kind. – The people here are very nice./人がとても親切です。

I like it here. –  I like this town./この町が好きです。


Dialogue 4:
A: Where are you from?
B: I’m from Japan.
A: Cool! My friend is teaching English in Osaka right now.
B: I live near Osaka! Is your friend having fun?
A: Yeah, he is!
B: Great!

Where is this conversation?
This conversation could be anywhere, even a store or a restaurant.

What are A and B talking about?
Person A is asking where Person B is from. Person A has a friend in Osaka who is teaching English.

Do these people know each other?
No, these people just met.

Do these people seem friendly?
These people seem friendly.

Who is A? Who is B?
Person A and Person B are strangers. Person A could be anyone. Person B is visiting from Japan.

Vocab:
My friend is teaching English in Osaka right now.
– My friend is living in Osaka and teaching English./今、私の友人が大阪で英語の先生として働いています。

I live near Osaka! – My home is close to Osaka!/大阪の近くに住んでいます!

Is your friend having fun? – 友人は楽しんでいますか?


What do you think about cashiers making small talk with customers?

Some people like small talk with cashiers, but other people don’t like it. What do you think? Would you like small talk with cashiers? Why or why not?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s