It is important to know what types of topics you would use for small talk when talking to different people in different situations.
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Hi Bob the Canadian here. As you learn English you’ll want to get really good at something that we call small talk. Small talk is a kind of conversation where the topic is very light, where it’s very simple to have a conversation with someone. So in this video I’m going to help you learn a little bit about small talk that you can use with people you don’t know, small talk that you can use with people at work, and small talk that you can use with friends and family.
Hey Bob the Canadian here and we’re going to talk about small talk today but before we get started if this is your first time here don’t forget to click the subscribe button below and give me a thumbs up at some point during this video if it is helping you learn English.
So small talk. Really small, simple conversations that you can have with either people you don’t know, people you work with, or friends and family.
Let’s start with people you don’t know. I’m going to imagine that all of you have spent time in a line, like at the grocery store, or in a waiting room, like at the doctor’s office, where you are either standing with, or sitting with people that you don’t really know. And it’s nice to have a little bit of a conversation with them.
There’s really two things that you can talk about if you are at the grocery store or in the doctor’s office.
The first form of small talk would be talking about the weather. Isn’t it gorgeous out today? or Wow, it’s really coming down out there! – If it was raining for instance. So the weather is number one topic to, to engage in small talk with people who you don’t know.
The second is just to talk about the situation. So you could say in the doctor’s office, “Have you been waiting here long?” and someone might reply and say, “No. I’ve only been here for a few minutes.” Or in the grocery store you might just start by commenting on how long the line is. So you could say something like, “Wow! This line is really long today!”
So that’s the first kind of small talk. Small talk that you would have with people who you really don’t know. It’s a good way to open up a conversation or to start a conversation.
The second situation you might be in where you want to use small talk is at work. So sometimes you work with people and you don’t know them that well, but you do see them every day, and I have five topics, five things that you could talk to people at work about in order to engage in a small conversation or to have small talk.
The first is sports. So if you are living in Canada for instance, and you are working with people, you can always ask about the game of hockey. I’m sure if you’re living in another country there is another sport that everyone has as their favourite sport, but the number one thing at work that you can talk to people about is a recent sports game. So you could say, “Did you see that game last night?” That would be an excellent way to start a little bit of small talk about sports.
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