Beginner · Eikaiwa

Shopping

Dialogue 1:
Salesperson:
Hello! Welcome!
Customer: Hi.
Salesperson: Can I help you find anything?
Customer: I’m okay, thanks.
Salesperson: Okay. Let me know if you need any help.

 

Dialogue 2A:
Customer: Excuse me.
Salesperson: Hi, how can I help you?
Customer: I’m looking for a gift for my friend.
Salesperson: Sure. What kind of gift are you thinking of?
Customer: She likes cooking, so maybe something for her kitchen.
Salesperson: We have kitchen towels over here. These are very popular and they make great gifts.
Customer: I’ll take a look. Thanks.
Salesperson: Let me know if you have any questions.

Dialogue 2B:

Customer:
Excuse me.
Salesperson: How can I help you?
Customer: Do you sell shirts here?
Salesperson: Yes. Our shirts are in the back this way.
Customer: How much is this?
Salesperson: It’s fifteen dollars. We have a sale going on right now, so if you buy one, you can get a second one for half price.
Customer: Can I try this on?
Salesperson: Sure! The fitting room is over there.
Customer: Thank you.

Dialogue 3:
Salesperson: Did the shirt fit?
Customer: It’s a little too big. Do you have it in a smaller size?
Salesperson: Let’s see… Yes, we have this in a small. Would you like to try it on?
Customer: Yes, please.

Dialogue 4:
Salesperson: Did you find everything okay?
Customer: Yes, thanks.
Salesperson: Your total is $26.91.
Customer: Here you go.
Salesperson: Thanks. Would you like your receipt in the bag?
Customer: Sure.
Salesperson: Thank you! Have a nice day.

Dialogue 1:
Salesperson:
Hello! Welcome!
Customer: Hi.
Salesperson: Can I help you find anything?
Customer: I’m okay, thanks. / I’m looking for ___________________. (ex: a gift, a book, a shirt)
Salesperson: Okay. Let me know if you need any help. / ___________________. (Write in anything.)

Dialogue 2A:
Customer:
Excuse me.
Salesperson: Hi, how can I help you?
Customer: I’m looking for a ___________________. (gift / souvenir for my friend / mom / etc.)
Salesperson: Sure. ___________________? (Ask a question about what customer wants to buy)
Customer: ___________________. (Answer question / Explain what you want to buy)
Salesperson: We have kitchen towels over here. These are very popular and they make great gifts.
Customer: I’ll take a look. Thanks.
Salesperson: Let me know if you have any questions.

Dialogue 2B:
Customer:
Excuse me.
Salesperson: How can I help you?
Customer: Do you sell ___________________ here? (ex: shirts/books/CDs/cards)
Salesperson: Yes. Our ___________________ are in the back this way.
Customer: How much is this?
Salesperson: It’s ________________. We have a sale going on right now, so if you buy one, you can get a second one for half price. (50 cents / $10 / $28.91)
Customer: ___________________? (Ask any question, or leave this part blank.)
Salesperson: ___________________. (Answer the question, or leave this blank.)
Customer: Thank you.

Dialogue 3:
Salesperson:
Did the ___________________ fit? (shirt / pants / jacket / dress / etc.)
Customer: It’s ___________________. (too [adjective] / kind of [adjective]) Do you have it in ___________________? (a different size / a smaller size / a different color)
Salesperson: Let’s see… Yes, we have this in ___________________. Would you like to try it on?
Customer: Yes, please.

Dialogue 4:
Salesperson: Did you find everything okay?
Customer: Yes, thanks.
Salesperson: Your total is $26.91.
Customer: ___________________. (Here you go. / Here you are.)
Salesperson: Thanks. Would you like your receipt in the bag?
Customer: Sure.
Salesperson: Thank you! Have a nice day!

Additional Resources · Eikaiwa · Sister City · Uncategorized

レストランの英会話と文化

 

Vocab          単語
appetizer(s)/starter(s)/shareable(s):
 This is the food you start with at a restaurant, and usually you share it with everyone at your table. アペタイザー;前菜

entrée: The main course or main meal. An entrée salad is a large salad that you eat as the main meal. アントレ― ;主要料理;メーンコース;アントレ―サラダは主要料理としての大きいサラダ。

classic: Well-known, or something a restaurant is famous for. レストランの有名な料理;代表的な料理

server: Waiter or waitress. You can use this word with guys or girls. ウェイター;ウェイトレス;男にも、女にも使える言葉

alcoholic beverage(s): Drinks with alcohol. アルコール

non-alcoholic beverage(s): Drinks with no alcohol. Iced tea, coffee, juice, and soda are the most common. アルコールが入ってない飲み物。アイスティー、コーヒー、果汁、ジュースなどは普段。

check/bill: A piece of paper with the amount of money you need to pay for . お勘定

tipMoney you pay directly to your server. 担当のウェイターかウェイトレスに直接払うお金。

for here: 店内で食べる

to-go: お持ち帰り


Dialogue          会話
Please read the dialogues below. You can put your own words in the ___________ or underlined parts, or you can pick from the suggestions below in (parantheses).
下の会話を読んでみてください。_____と線を引いた部分に自分の言いたいことを入れてみましょう。それとも、何と言うかが分からなかったら、(A / B / C)に入れた文書を一つ選んでください。

Dialogue 1:
Server:
Hi, how are you doing tonight?
Customer:
___________________________.
(I’m good, thanks. / Pretty good, how about you? / etc.)
Server:
Can I get you started with something to drink?
Customer:
___________________________.
(I’ll have water, please / I’d like coffee, please / Can I have a coke? / etc.)
Server:
Alright, I’ll be right back with your drink.

Dialogue 2:
Server:
Thanks for waiting. Here’s your drink.
Customer:
___________________________.
(Thanks / Thank you)
Server:
Are you ready to order?
Customer:
___________________________.
(I think so / Yes / Not yet / Can I (we) have a few more minutes?
Server: What would you like? / Sure, I’ll come back in a few minutes.
Customer: ___________________________.
(I’ll have a burger, please. / I’d like the Seafood Pasta, please. / etc.)
Server: What kind of side would you like? We have soup, salad, vegetables, or French fries.
Customer:
___________________________.
(French fries, please. / Soup, please. / Salad, please.)
Server:
Okay, thanks. I’ll be back with your food.

Dialogue 3:
Server:
How is everything? / How is everything tasting?
Customer:
___________________________.
(It’s great! / It’s delicious! / It’s all right / It’s a new taste for me / etc.)
Server: Would you like a box for the rest of your food?
Customer: ___________________________.
(Sure / Yes, please / No, thanks / etc.)
Server:
All right. Here’s your check. Have a good rest of your night, and come back soon!

Have a good rest of your day/night. = 今日の残っている時間を楽しんでください。


Language and Cultural Notes          言語と文化ノート
① Tipping          チップ
詳しくチップの払い方の説明:
アメリカでのチップの払い方講座! – 英トピ  (チップを悩んでいる人、この記事を読んでみてください!)
アメリカでチップをどう渡す? – 留学情報マガジン

Please tip at restaurants. It is not a requirement to tip, but it is considered rude not to tip. Tips are usually 15% of the price with tax, so if a meal is $10.00 plus 8% tax, your total will be $10.80, and you should tip at least $1.62.If the service was wonderful, you can tip more than 15%, or if it was terrible, you don’t have to tip. You tip when you pay, either at the register or at the table, depending on the restaurant. If you pay with card, you write your tip on the receipt. If you pay with cash, you leave your tip on the table, or put it in the tip jar at the register.

レストランに行く時、チップを払って下さい!必要はないが、チップを払わないと、失礼な事。気を付けてください。たいてい、チップはお値段と税金の15%を払ってもいいです。例えば、食事は$10.00で、税金は8%だったら、チップは$1.62以上でいいです。サービスが素晴らしかったら、15%以上チップを払ってもいいし、サービスはよくなかったら、チップを払わなくてもいいです。チップを払うのは、レストランによって、テーブルかレジで払えます。カードで払う場合には、レシートでチップを書いてください。あるいは、現金で払う場合には、テーブルに置いてください。レジで払うと、チップ瓶に入れてください。

② Juice & ジュース
日本語のジュースはコーラなど、果汁だが、英語のジュースは果汁だけです!コーラなどを注文する場合には、飲み物の名前か、soda (ソーダ)を言ってください!
コーラはジュースじゃない?! – English Hacker

食べ残しのお持ち帰りのボックス。 “Can I get a box?” Boxは一番普通の表現です。多分、教科書はdoggy bagが書いてありますが、doggy bagはあまり使いません。

④ ウェイターが何回もテーブルに戻って来るから、大きい声で呼ばないでください。正しい呼び方を知りたい人は下のブログを読んでみてください。
ウェイターをスムーズに呼ぶ – Ameba


質問などあれば、是非聞いてください!

 

Additional Resources · Eikaiwa · Sister City

Travel Language Resources

旅行の単語を詳しく勉強したい人は下のビデオを見て下さい。下のリンクは英語を勉強している人向けのYouTube動画。ほとんどは英語字幕がある。[CC]をクリックしたら、字幕をつける。

質問などあれば、是非私に連絡してください。

English Travel Vocabulary: Planning a Trip (英語字幕あり・日本語字幕なし)
備考:
-内容:ほとんどは旅行の単語。色々な役に立つ単語を説明して、違いも説明している。
-単語:booking/reservation; rent/hire; baggage (check-in, carry on); boarding (pass, time, gate); visa (transit); currency; vaccination/inoculation; itinerary (excursion); declare (customs)
Check-in baggageは普段にchecked baggage、 checked bags、またはchecked luggageと言います。意味は同じです。
Itinerary の代わりにscheduleと言う人もいます。

Learn English – Travel Vocabulary(英語字幕あり・日本語字幕なし)
備考:
-内容:ジェイムズ先生はいつも単語と文法を分かりやすく説明する。
-単語:travel documents, boarding pass, luggage, carry-on, vacation, visit, holiday, flight, trip, travel, tourist trap, currency, exchange rate, sightseeing, tourist attraction.

Eikaiwa · Intermediate

中級英会話 レッスン2

Additional Notes from Lesson 1
① That
What does the “that” in “It’s not that good” mean?

It’s not that + (adjective)

The “that” used in this sentence refers to a level or degree that is normal, imagined, or expected.

Take a look at the following examples:
It’s not that good.
It’s not as good as you think/say.

It’s not that bad.
It’s not as bad as you think/say.

It’s not that far.
It’s not as far as you think/say.

It’s not that difficult.
It’s not as difficult as you think/say.

A lot of people want to go to the first Starbucks, but it’s not that special.
The Expectation: The first Starbucks is special.

This means that a lot of people think it would be amazing to go to the first Starbucks and that because it’s the first Starbucks, it’s going to be very special and a great experience. But it’s not as special as a lot of people think. You have to wait in a long line of tourists, and the coffee tastes exactly the same as every other Starbucks. It’s not that special.

My friend told me the pancakes here are the best in the world, but they’re not that good.
The Expectation: The pancakes here are the best in the world.

My friend thinks the pancakes at this restaurant taste better than pancakes at any other restaurant. I tried these pancakes, but these are not the best pancakes in the world. They’re not that good.

A: Do you want the rest of this cake?
B: I’m not that hungry. I’ll just take a slice.
The Expectation: Person B is hungry enough to eat the rest of the cake.

Person A is offering the rest of a cake to Person B, but Person B isn’t hungry enough to eat the rest of the cake, but they are hungry enough to eat a slice of cake.

② ~ if you don’t mind me asking.
I’m not comfortable answering that. / I’d rather not say. (I would rather not say)

People who don’t want to give their personal information to others are not necessarily suspicious. They might just not be comfortable sharing details of their life with others.


Vocabulary

server: A waiter or waitress. (Definition 4)

box: A box or container used to take home leftover food. It’s also sometimes called a doggy bag, but doggy bag is not used much these days.

check: A receipt with the items you ordered and the amount you need to pay.

Additional Restaurant Vocabulary


Dialogue

Dialogue 1
Server:
Hi, how are you doing tonight?
Customer 1: Pretty good, thanks.
Server: Can I get you started with something to drink?
Customer 1: Sure, I’ll have a water.
Customer 2: Iced tea for me, please.
Server: Alright, I’ll be right back with those drinks for you.

Dialogue 2
Server:
Thanks for waiting. Here’s your drinks.
Customer 1: Thanks.
Server: Are you ready to order or do you need a few more minutes?
Customer 2: I think we’re ready to order. I’ll have the Seafood Medley, please.
Server: Okay, and how about you?
Customer 1: I’ll go with the Salmon Caesar Salad, please.
Server: Sure. A Seafood Medley and a Salmon Caesar. Thanks, I’ll be back with your food.

Dialogue 3
Server: How is everything tasting?
Customer 1: It’s really good, thanks.
Customer 2: This is delicious!
Server: I’m glad to hear that! Would either of you like a box for the rest of your food?
Customer 1: I’m okay, thanks.
Customer 2: I’d like a box, please.
Server: Okay. Here’s your check, but please take your time. I’ll be back with that box for you.


Activity
You’re at a restaurant with your friends. Talk with your friends while you wait for the server to come around and take your order.

While you are waiting, talk about:

  • Small talk. (Weather, how you’ve been, upcoming plans, events of last week)
  • Menu items. (What are you going to get? This looks good. I wonder what this is. Do you know what this is?)
  • Talk about anything! Current events, sports, politics, etc.

Try to use as much English as possible, but it’s okay if you need to use some Japanese, look up words in a dictionary, or look up words online.

The server will come around 3 times.
1回目: Order drinks
2回目: Order food
3回目: Get your check

There are sample dialogues below to help you if you are stuck.

Dialogue 1:
Server:
Hi, how are you doing tonight?
Customer: ___________________________.
Server: Can I get you started with some drinks? / Can I get you started with something to drink?
Customer: ___________________________.
Server: Alright, I’ll be right back with those drinks for you.

Dialogue 2:
Server:
Thanks for waiting. Here’s your drinks.
Customer: ___________________________.
Server: Are you guys ready to order?
Customer: I think so. I’ll have the ___________________________, please.
Server: What kind of side would you like? / Soup or salad?
Customer: ___________________________.
Server: Okay, thanks. I’ll be back with your food.

Dialogue 3:
Server:
How is everything? / How is everything tasting?
Customer: ___________________________.
Server: Would you like a box for the rest of your food?
Customer: ___________________________.
Server: ___________________. Here’s your check. Have a good rest of your night, and come back soon!


Notes
If you want to say the food tastes bad, you can say something like:
It’s okay. (Polite)
It tastes bad. (Direct, honest.)
It’s not that good. (Somewhat polite, honest.)
It’s a new taste for me. (Indirect, polite.)

If you say It’s a new taste for me, some people may ask if it’s a good taste or a bad taste. If you don’t know, or if you don’t want to be rude, you can say:
I don’t know.
I’m not sure yet.


Menu
This is the menu we used in class, but any menu will work with this activity.

Ivar’s Salmon House: Dinner Menu (pdf)
Ivar’s Salmon House Website

Advanced · Eikaiwa

上級英会話 レストラン2

Article
Amazon opens Seattle grocery pickup sites to Prime membersThe Seattle Times


Vocabulary
alpha test:
Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. Alpha Testing means that something is in the first stage of testing. This is usually used when talking about testing technology.

beta test: Beta is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. Beta Testing is the second phase of testing.

bricks-and-mortar: A physical, real-world location instead of a website. Bricks and mortar are used to make buildings. (Also sometimes called “brick-and-mortar.”)

foray: A foray is a first attempt at something, especially in an area you do not normally work in.

purveyor: Someone who supplies or provides something, such as food.


Discussion Questions:
What is this article about?
Do you understand how AmazonFresh Pickup Works?
Is there anything in the article you don’t understand?
Was there anything in this article you thought was interesting?
What do you think about Amazon opening a grocery store?
Do you think this will have an effect on other grocery stores?
Do you think this will do well in America?
Do you think in the future Amazon might open a store like this in Japan? Why or why not?
If you had the chance, would you want to try using this service? Why or why not?
What are some concerns you think people might have about this service?
What other thoughts do you have about this article?


Notes:
This is how AmazonFresh Pickup works:  You order your groceries through Amazon. You can order as few or as many items as you want. Schedule the time you want to pick up your order. When you go to the AmazonFresh Pickup location, an employee will have your order ready for you and will bring it out to your car. The purpose of this is to minimize the amount of time you spend grocery shopping so you have more time to focus on other things. If you pay for AmazonFresh ($15 a month), you can get your groceries faster. If you don’t have an AmazonFresh subscription, you have to wait at least two hours until you can pick up your groceries.

One thing that is interesting about Amazon is they are taking an approach that is the reverse of what we are used to. It used to be that most stores start with a physical location and then open a store online. Amazon started as an online store and have grown in popularity. Thanks to the increasing sales of inexpensive e-books (digital books that you can read on your phone or tablet), Amazon has been putting many bookstores out of business, but they recently opened a brick-and-mortar store that sells physical books instead of e-books.

 


Other Sources
If you would like to learn more about this topic, please take a look at these links.

AmazonFresh opens its grocery Pickup locations in Seattle – TechCrunch

Amazon’s drive-up grocery stores are now open to the public in Seattle – The Verge

Amazon’s cashier-free store reportedly breaks if more than 20 people are in it – The Verge

5 Reasons Why Amazon Is Experimenting With Physical Stores – Fortune

AmazonFresh Pickup – Amazon

Introducing AmazonFresh Pickup: Groceries delivered to your trunk – Amazon

Beginner · Eikaiwa

初級英会話 レッスン2

Discussing Plans          初級英会話          English Conversation for Beginners: Lesson 2

A: Hey! How are you?
B: I’m good! How about you?
A: Great! I’m going to America!
B: Wow! When are you coming?
A: I’m going in June!
B: Are you coming to Seattle?
A: I will be in Seattle for 5 days, from June 6th until June 10th.

Preposition Point:
Be careful with your prepositions. When you are talking about months, weeks, or years, use the preposition in. When you are talking about a date or the day of the week, use the preposition on.
in (year, month, week) 何年・後何月後・何週後    I will go in a month. 一か月後行く。
on (date, day of the week) 日付・曜日                        I will go on May 12th. 5月12日に行く。

January 1st or January 1? January 6th or January 6?
When writing, you can use ~th after the day of the month, but you don’t have to. When we say dates, we pronounce the ~th, but we don’t always write it. (January sixth instead of January six.)

I’m going on vacation to China. / I’m taking a vacation to China. (同じ意味)
I’m going to China for fun/to travel/for a break.

I’m going to China.
I’m going to China. It could be for work, fun, or school.


Activity:
You are going to another country and you want to tell your friend about your plans. Write down when you are going, and how long you will be in this country. Write down three places you will visit.

I’m going on vacation to ______________________(place name) in _______________(month).
(OR) I am going on vacation to ______________________(place name)on ______________________(date).
I will be there for ______________________________(number of days/weeks/months).
(OR) I will be there from ________________(start date) until ________________(end date).
I will visit ________________(Place 1), ________________(Place 2), and ________________(Place 3).

例:I am going to Japan in March. OR I am going to Japan on March 6th. (March 6を書いてもOKです。)
I will be there for two weeks.
I will visit Hokkaido, Tokyo Sky Tree, and Okinawa.

Find out where the person next to you is going. Write down where they are going and when.
________________(Name) is going on vacation to ______________________(place name) in _______________(month).
(OR) ________________ is going to ______________________(place name) on ______________________(date).
________________(Name) will be there for ______________________________(number of days/weeks/months).
________________(Name) will visit ________________(Place 1), ________________(Place 2), and ________________(Place 3).


Now, using the template below, try to write a letter or an email to your friends.
Letter/Email Template
Hi / Dear [name],

[Greeting: How are you? / How have you been? / How’s the weather in ______?][Answer the question(s) you asked.]
I wanted to let you know that [sentence]. (OR) I wanted to tell you that [sentence]. [Sentences from above practice go here. Feel free to write your own sentences and put them in, too!]

Sincerely / Best

[Your name].

Sample Letter:

Hi Aaron,

How have you been? How’s the weather in Japan? I’ve been very busy, but I’m doing great. It’s finally sunny in Seattle!

I wanted to tell you that I’m going to Japan! I will be there for two weeks. I will visit Hokkaido, Nagoya, and Osaka.

If you have time, I would love to visit you!

Best,

Michelle

Advanced · Eikaiwa

上級英会話 レッスン1

Idioms          級英会話          Intermediate English Conversation          Lesson 1

What are idioms?
A phrase or expression. It’s meaning is different from the meaning of the individual words.

ex: Raining cats and dogs.

Are cats and dogs falling from the sky?! Nope. It’s just raining a lot more than usual.

Why do we use idioms?
Idioms are used for many different reasons. They can be short ways of saying something, add emphasis, or be humorous. Idioms help make English fun and interesting, but they can also make things very frustrating for those learning English.

Do you know any idioms? Do you know what they mean?

Common English Idioms
Let’s look at 10 common English idioms, what they mean, and how we can use them.

1) Beat around the bush
When someone is being indirect or circling around what they want to say or ask.

In Japanese culture, if you want to ask someone for a big favor, do you directly ask them? Probably not, right? You might circle around, ask questions, and eventually get to the question you want to ask. Most likely you aren’t going to jump right out and ask the question. This is an example of beating around the bush.

When I asked my brother if he broke my camera, he kept beating around the bush and wouldn’t just say if he did or not.

2) Get to the point
This is often used with beat around the bush. “The point” is the purpose or main idea.

Stop beating around the bush and get to the point!

I have to go soon. Get to the point.

This can be used as a command, or you can use it to describe how someone spoke.

I like his speeches because he knows how to get to the point.

3) Sweep under the rug
There’s a problem, but instead of dealing with it, you ignore it or try to hide it. This is similar to when you tell your kid to clean their room, but they just push the mess under the bed. The mess is still there, it’s just hiding. This can be used for serious problems or trivial (not serious) problems.

He wants to sweep it under the rug, but that won’t make the problem go away.

I wish you would have told me what happened instead of just sweeping it under the rug.

4) Turn a blind eye
If you have a blind eye, it means you cannot see out of it. Turning a blind eye means you are turning an eye that cannot see to look at something. In other words, something is happening in front of your eyes, but you are not seeing it. To turn a blind eye means you are intentionally ignoring something. This can be something serious or something trivial.

Bullying is a problem in schools, but many people turn a blind eye to it.

The police often turn a blind eye when they see people texting and driving.

My dad turned a blind eye when he saw me steal a cookie.

5) Bury head in the sand
This idiom comes from the belief that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they see danger. (In truth, this isn’t the case, but we’re not focusing on ostrich behavior here, we’re focusing on idioms.) To bury your head in the sand means to avoid reality or to avoid a bad situation. This is typically used for more serious issues, not trivial ones.

I knew I was failing math, but I kept my head buried in the sand all quarter.

Don’t bury your head in the sand. Find out why your company is losing money and fix the problem.

6) Benefit of the doubt
This is a difficult one to understand. Even as a native speaker, it took me a long time to figure out what this meant. The benefit of the doubt is when you decide to accept or believe something, even when you have doubts about how true it is.

My coworker told me he was late because he was in a car crash. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but this is the third time he’s been late this week.

My friend said she was chased by bears in Alaska. I had a hard time believing that, but I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt.

To read more about benefit of the doubt, take a look at this post on StackExchange.

7) Once in a blue moon
For something to happen very rarely. Only shows up a lot in sentences with this idiom to emphasize how little it happens.

I only go to karaoke once in a blue moon.

I bought a guitar, but I only play it once in a blue moon.

8) Living under a rock
When you don’t know what is happening outside your own life, especially with current events.

I’ve been living under a rock, so I don’t know how the Mariners are doing this season.

A: Did you hear about what Trump did yesterday?
B: No, I’ve been living under a rock.

9) Take with a grain/pinch of salt
This means to recognize that something may not be completely true or accurate. The idiom comes from the idea that food is easier to eat with a little salt.

He was pretty drunk, so take what he says with a grain of salt.

I know most people believe beer is bad for you, but I’ll take that with a grain of salt.

10) On the bright side
To ignore the bad parts and think about the good.

My friend was in a car accident. On the bright side, she wasn’t hurt, and she’s getting a new car.

I have to bike to work every day because I don’t have a car. But on the bright side, I’m getting exercise every day.

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?

Beginner · Eikaiwa · Uncategorized

初級英会話 レッスン1

Daily Greetings          初級英会話          English Conversation for Beginners: 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.

Why are informal greetings important to learn?
We like to be informal in the States, especially on the west coast. If you come to the States as a tourist, you won’t need to use a lot of formal speech. For daily conversations, you will need to know how to understand and use informal speech. It’s important to know how people actually greet each other in daily life. This helps your English sound more natural, and it can help you if someone uses these phrases with you.

When can we use informal greetings?
Informal greetings are used in almost all of our daily interactions. English does not have strict formal language like Japanese has with 敬語. If you don’t know the best or most formal word for a situation, as long as you are polite and respectful, people won’t mind. No one is going to be mad at you for saying hi instead of hello.

Who can we use informal greetings with?
3) You can use informal greetings with just about anyone: your coworkers, your host family, your neighbors, your friends, and sometimes even cashiers or waiters! These expressions are very common, and if you come to America, you will hear them a lot.

Let’s look at some examples.

Dialogue 1:
A: Good morning!
B: Good morning! How are you?
A: I’m fine, thanks. And you?
B: I’m fine, thanks.

What do you think of this conversation?
Does this sound formal? Does it sound informal?
Do you think this is how people talk in daily life?
The first conversation is what you would find in a textbook. This is not how we talk.

Dialogue 2:
A: Good morning!
B: Morning! How are you?
A: I’m well, thanks. How are you?
B: I’m pretty good, thanks.

What do you think of this conversation?
Does this sound formal? Does it sound informal?
Does it sound very different from the previous conversation?
Do you think this is how people talk in daily life?
You might hear a conversation like this in a formal setting, but this isn’t very common for daily life.

Dialogue 3:
A: G’Morning!
B: Morning! How are you?
A: Good, thanks. How are you?
B: Not bad.

Dialogue 4:

A: Hey, how’s it going?
B: It’s going. How about you?
A: Pretty good, thanks.

What do you think of these two conversations?
Do these conversations seem formal or informal?
Does one conversation seem more informal than the other?
Which one do you think is more casual?
Why do you think that?
Who do you think might be talking in these dialogues?
Maybe friends or coworkers? It could also be a customer and a cashier or waiter they see often.

Quick Note: Some people will say thanks after you ask how they are. This is polite. Some people might not say thanks, and that’s okay too.


Common Greetings:
Hello – We use this, but it feels formal.

Hi – This is the most common greeting. It works for any situation, formal or informal. It works for any time of day.

Hey – This is very casual. You can use this with friends, family, and coworkers you get along with. You might be able to use this with your boss, but it depends on their personality and how formal/informal they like to be.

Good Morning – Used in the morning (when it’s AM). It can be used in formal or informal situations.

G’morning – More natural. A contraction of Good + morning.

Morning – The most natural.

Good morning is the only greeting with specific rules for when you can use it. Good afternoon and Good evening are used during the afternoon and evening, but when exactly afternoon and evening begin and end depends on who you ask.

There are a few possible reasons for this: Not everyone agrees on when afternoon ends and evening begins, or when evening ends and night begins. You’re more likely to say “good evening” than “good afternoon” when the sun is setting. So, if the sun sets at 4:30, some people might say “good evening” because it feels like evening to them. If the sun sets at 8:30, they might say “good evening” at 8:30.

Good Afternoon – Used during the afternoon. Maybe 12 PM – 3 PM? It depends on the person. We don’t use this much because it feels too formal.

Afternoon – Some people might use this.

Good Evening – Used during the evening. This is most commonly used maybe between 5 PM – 7 PM? We don’t use this much because it feels too formal.

Evening – Some people might use this.


When in doubt, just say Hi.
Hi is the safest greeting to use. It’s easy to remember, easy to say, and it works in every situation.

Why is Morning informal, but Afternoon and Evening are formal?
I’m not sure about the reason for this. We don’t hear afternoon and evening very commonly, so that could be part of why it feels formal. Usually, we prefer to say hi, hello, or hey, especially in the afternoon and evening.

 

What about G’afternoon and G’evening?
We never say G’afternoon/G’evening. When we say G’morning, we pronounce the “g” from “good” with a short “u” at the end, kind of like グッ.

However, with G’afternoon and G’evening, it’s hard to go from that oo sound in good to ah in afternoon or ee in evening. This is why we never say it.

Also, we never say it like “Gafternoon” or “Gevening.” That just sounds silly.


Greetings (Questions)

How are you? – This is fine to use. You can use it in casual or polite conversation.

How are you doing? – (How ya doin’?) Casual form of How are you?

How’s it going? – Casual greeting meaning How have you been recently? or How has life been?


Common Responses

Awful/Terrible – You’ve had a bad day and you want others to know about it.

I’ve been worse/I’ve been better – You’ve had days worse than this and days better than this, but today isn’t a good day. You can also say Could be worse/Could be better.

It’s going – We say this when things aren’t going well, but we’re trying to be positive about it. Only use this in response to How’s it going? It doesn’t make sense when you use it in response to How are you? because How are you? is a question about how you are feeling. It’s going refers to how life is going for you.

All right/Okay – Things aren’t bad, but they’re not great. It’s kind of in the middle.

Pretty good – Common, casual response.

Good – Probably the most common response.

Great – Better than good!

Fantastic – Better than great!

These are not the only responses you can use. You can use several other responses such as I’m tired, I’m excited, I’m confused, I’m bored, I’m hungry.


Cultural Note:
Even if we aren’t doing good, we still say I’m good, especially to people we don’t know or don’t know very well.

Why do you think this is?

There are a few reasons.

1) How are you? is a kind of extension of hello. We ask it to be polite, but we don’t really care about how the other person is feeling unless they are close to us.

2) We might not feel like sharing what problems we are having, so we will just say I’m good, thanks as a response. The problem might not be a big deal, or it might not be a good time to bring up the problems. For example, if you’re paying for groceries, it might not be a good time to tell the cashier who asked how you are that you’re having a bad day.

3) It makes people very uncomfortable when you tell them about your problems, especially if they don’t know you.

4) Many of us assume that others don’t care about our problems, or they don’t want to hear about things that make them feel bad. Imagine this: You greet a coworker who you aren’t close with. You ask them how they’re doing, and they tell you they’re feeling terrible because they just had a bad breakup, they lost their keys, and their phone is broken. You’re probably not going to feel very good hearing that. If you care, or even if you don’t care, it changes the mood of the conversation very quickly from happy to sad.

About I’m fine and So-so:
I’m Fine – You’re better off not using this, especially ladies. Some people do use this, but you have to be very careful. If you use the wrong tone or have the wrong facial expression while saying I’m fine, it sounds like you’re saying you’re not fine. We joke all the time that if a girl says I’m fine to you, it means you did something wrong and she’s angry at you.

So-so– We know what this means, but we don’t really use it. Instead, you can just say I’m okay, or I’m all right. Some younger people will respond with just eh or meh.


Follow-Up Questions: It’s polite to follow-up when someone asks how you’re doing. After you answer, ask the question back to them.

And you? – We don’t use this. Ever. Not even in formal settings. It doesn’t sound natural. If you want a short and casual version, just ask, You? If you want the most natural version that can be used in casual or formal situations, you can say:

How about you? – (How ’bout you?)

What about you? – Same as above.

How are you? – Or you can simply ask this. It works just fine.


Review:

Informal Greetings: Hello, Hi, Hey, G’morning, Morning

Questions: How are you? How are you doing? How’s it going?

Responses: Awful/Terrible, I’ve been worse/better, Could be worse/better, It’s going, All right, Okay, Pretty good, Good, Great, Fantastic

Follow-Up Questions: How about you? What about you? How are you? You?

Can you think of anything else to add to this list?


Practice: Come up with at least 3-5 different conversations using the above phrases. If you want to use your own phrases, use those too! Try to make each conversation different.


If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, feel free to leave a comment or contact me.