English conversation for beginners
English

40+ English phrases to let you start a conversation in a meaningful way

English is a widely spoken language. Talking with others in English opens endless gates of opportunities. You can learn English vocabulary if you want to hold meaningful conversations in English. Some common English phrases can help beginners to start their conversations.

No one can deny the popularity of the English language. English is one of the most spoken languages in the world. If you are planning to move out, you will require English for travel, if you are planning to apply for a job in some other country, you will most probably require English to initiate your conversation there.  

In this guide, we have put together some of the most common and highly used daily English conversation dialogues for beginners. If you are learning English, this guide is surely for you. Stick to the end of this guide and create notes for yourself.

There are many ways to greet someone, and the choice of your words will depend on who you are talking to. It could be a friendly chat with a friend or colleague (someone you know, but not very well). On the other hand, when conversing in English with a teacher, a stranger, or a government official, you may use a more formal dialogue.

However, it is important to note that there are several ways in which English speakers will initiate a conversation with a stranger. In fact, becoming comfortable talking with strangers is a good way to improve your English speaking skills and confidence.

If you want to learn how to speak fluent English according to your context, you can enroll yourself with italki. Here, the availability of professional online English tutors will train you how to use the right English phrases by analyzing who you are having your conversation with. These highly professional tutors will help you learn English online based on your required level.

Below are some of the informal English conversation phrases for beginners to say hello!

Hello!

(A universal greeting is suitable for every conversation.)

Hi!

(An unbiased and friendly greeting.)

Hey!

(An informal and comfortable greeting.)

Greetings!

(This is quite formal and is rarely used in current times.)

Howdy!

(A casual greeting that is not frequently used, but can add some essence to your English.)

Below are some formal greetings in English for beginners to memorize.

For a more formal way to greet somebody, use can say ‘good + (add the time of the day). Such as:

Good morning!

(Reserved for any time before noon.)

Good afternoon!

(Typically used between noon and 5-6 p.m.)

Good evening!

(Any time after 6 p.m.)

It is important for you to remember that saying “good night” typically means saying goodbye. It is also a common greeting used right before going to bed.

Introduction

What if you have never met the person you are speaking with? After greeting them, you should introduce yourself and ask for their name.

  • The most common and neutral way that works every time:
  • My name is _____. What is your given name?
  • In case you have met someone before but have forgotten their name, then you can ask in the following manner:
  • I’m sorry, I do not remember your name. You are…?
  • (This is a bit formal way that is generally used in formal settings).
  • In case, you want to introduce a person to someone. You can say:
  • Please meet + [name]
  • Please meet my friend John!
  • (It is a formal introduction.)
  • This is + [name]
  • This is John!
  • (It is an informal introduction)
  • After, introducing yourself, you can use one of the following phrases to respond to someone’s introduction:
  • Nice to meet you! (The most common)
  • Pleased to meet you! (Simple and polite)
  • It is a pleasure! (Informal but sweet)

How to make small talk in English?

English conversation for beginners also requires initiating small talks that eventually lead to fluent detailed conversations. After exchanging names and greetings, you may proceed to make some “small talk”. Small talk is common in many English-speaking countries, particularly the United States, Canada, and England.

It is considered polite to begin a conversation with small talk before moving on to the main subject, no matter if the conversation is personal or professional. “How are you?” is the most commonly asked question.

There are several ways to ask someone how they are doing. Some of the most common ways are:

  • How are you doing? (Neutral)
  • How’s it going? (More informal)
  • How are things? (Informal)
  • What’s up? (Very informal)
  • The most common answers to these questions can be:
  • I’m well. How are you?
  • It’s going well, thank you. How are you doing?
  • Fine, thanks. And what about you?

It’s worth noting that people frequently say “I’m good” when they mean “I’m fine.” “I’m fine” is grammatically incorrect in this context, but it’s very common in spoken English, as are a few other common errors made by English speakers, so be cautious!

Questioning and Answering

You can ask two kinds of questions: closed-ended questions and open-ended questions.

Closed-ended questions, also known as “yes/no” questions, seek to confirm or deny specific information. For instance:

  • Are you having a good day?
  • Did you just get to the office?
  • Have you seen my email?
  • Contrast the preceding examples with the open-ended questions below. They will ask someone to elaborate that is, to provide more information rather than simply saying “yes” or “no.”
  • How is your day going?
  • When did you arrive at the office?
  • What do you think about that email I sent?

“Who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” and “why” are common openings for open-ended questions. They are necessary for an informative and productive English conversation.

Asking for Clarification

If you do not understand something, it is normal to ask for clarification. You can use one of the following phrases in this regard:

  • I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Could you please repeat that?
  • I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Could you please explain that?
  • I’m sorry, I didn’t hear that. Could you please repeat this?
  • I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Could you please repeat this?
  • Could you say that again, please?
  • Come again? (This is quite an informal way and is used with friends and family).

Ending the English conversation

Sometimes, you need to go somewhere or you can be in a hurry no matter what the situation is, the following phrases can help you end your conversation well.

  • I have to get going. / It’s time for me to go. (This is polite and neutral.)
  • I have to run—can we continue later? (This is more informal, but also polite.)
  • Thank you so much for your help! (A very common and convenient expression.)
  • Got it, thanks! (Very informal and friendly.)
  • I think I have everything I need, thank you! (This is used in formal work settings.)

Phrases to end small talks in English

Before saying goodbye, you can say:

  • Have a good day! (This works in any situation.)
  • Enjoy your day! (This one’s a bit more formal.)
  • Good luck! (If the person needs it; it’ll depend on the situation.)
  • Talk to you soon! (This is neutral)
  • Great seeing you / great talking to you! (This is informal yet common.)
  • Catch you later! (This is very informal and fun.)

Phrases to say goodbye in English

This is very easy. You can easily memorize the following small phrases to say goodbye in English.

  • Bye! Have a good day!
  • Catch you later! Bye-bye!
  • Good night!

These small phrases are very easy to memorize and remember and can be used in almost every situation.

Conclusion

These were some of the English conversation phrases for beginners. In order to speak them confidently, you need to practice them daily. While learning these phrases, you can also seek help from different language exchange websites to gain better clarity of these phrases and their contextual use. As a beginner, these websites will help you in your learning process.

Do not be shy. Talk to yourself. Use these phrases as frequently as possible. It will boost your confidence to use them in public. You can also listen to and watch English media content to improve your English vocabulary. Using English media, particularly English media created by and for native speakers, is an excellent way to improve your conversation skills.

Reading aloud is also an excellent exercise for improving your pronunciation, accent, and intonation. When you read aloud, you transition from a passive to an active activity. It will improve your command of the language making it easy for you to hold your conversations.

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