How good are you at making conversation?


My topic this month is concerned with making conversation. I have to remind you that we in the UK aren’t very good at that - at least with strangers. We are on the whole a reticent lot and only speak when we are spoken to. Anyhow, if you want to learn more, have a look at the latest newsletter. And more importantly, do join in the conversation if you can. … g-201.html


It’s really good to start with a basic conversation. practice and check the meaning of some words uses that you can’t understand… my difficulties is how to well organize of the sentence with complete thougth. at the same the proper use of grammar?

Alan, thank you very much…I have been enjoyed reading your lecture about conversation…:slight_smile:

I am deaf and a second english… I want to learn more english…

I read the essay with a real pleasure. It reflects very well scenes from our daily life. I have also noticed that commuters do not like conversing. Why? Perhaps they are too tired when going back home from work and too sleepy in the morning travelling to work. However, big sports events can awaken the feelings of unity. Commuters start to realize that they belong to a community. Thanks a lot,

Thanks Alan for the writing… agree with Pawel, Commuters is belong to community.

Hi Alan,
Thanks for the conversation. Am really enjoying it and English being my second language, I must admit that your articles here real enrich my vocubulary. Lets keep this going.

Because the topic is conversing , with your indulgence , I would like to make some remarks. I think that a conversation with people you don’t know starts and develops or not depending on what sort of people are next to each other(gender , age , education level , status etc) , circumstances , moment of the day , weather but also on a cultural pattern of getting into conversation with these people. For instance in Ireland , not far from UK though , people get into conversation very smoothly and here I am speaking from my personal experience and not only. Another aspect are habits as part of the same cultural pattern , say , mediteraneean countries were stated by some researchers that given their intense commerce across the sea and their frequent interaction with other foreign traders are very open to conversation (may this conversation be negociation, , haggle or something else) and there are plenty of other examples (Italians , Japanese etc) wherein people speak to each other on the public means of transport etc or not. Now I am looking back at what I just put it down and I wanna apologise in advance if it sounds a bit patronising cause this kind of attitude it’s far from me.
With friendship , Costin! :slight_smile: :wink:

Loved your article. I would say i have experienced almost similar situations multiple times in my life and normally when i am upset, i avoid talking to anyone (commuters in your case)as mostly people do. But i must admit i made great friends in these kind of journeys too, where both the parties were willing to share ideas and converse. Lucky Me !! I believe it more depends on how good they are feeling at heart at that particular moment and their courage to speak to starngers and how ready are you to take it on you. Normally any attractive girl will always be little calm or too much into herself while a school/college going guy would always be restless to talk to someone. So in such journeys i try to talk to people with middle age, not in much hurry or tension. I know this can be of no use to others, but this is what my thinking is !!
Love, Deepika

Hi Alan,

It’s a good offer, but I want to talk about silent coversation or body language. Once, I sat on a bus that was stuck in the jam, I saw a girl of 6-7 playing with toys at the windowsill of the building, which was situated near the pathway. I couldn’t help myself from smiling. She was so sweet drying her toys. She looked at me and we started smiling. We had played in this way for 5-10 minutes, and they were the most amazing minutes in my adult years! I enjoyed this mute conversation or game very much. It reminded me my careless childhood. I felt myself like a child, and it was wonderful! The conclusion that I made is - Everybody can enjoy conversation with anybody and everywhere even without words!

Best regards

I am not a person who like to socialize. I don’t like to talk at all, moreover if I had to speak in a foreign language. Beyond that, I 'm thinking I’m not any abilities ( talent) for speaking languages, Maybe I am a little misanthrope.
Anyway, I am sure that I could learn to speak english (for ex.) fluently, only if I had to live among (the) people who speak english.
However, if I master english, I think I’ll be able find more things to say.
Thank you again for your messages.

sorry, I think that the correct form it is: “…I think I’d be able to find …”

Thanks so much Alan,
I do enjoy your lessons and although I do not participate I read and learn a lot from you .

Thanks to share your experience with us, Alan.

Well actually I am a very shy person, I can’t start a conversation with someone I don’t know, it is difficult to me if I star talking about weather then it finishes and I don’t know what else to say and feel embarrased, however when I know the person I enjoy talking to him/her. I think I am not so communicative, but it also depends on my mod, happens that when I am happy more than usual I could start talking with anyone.

Well thank you Alan i enjoyed conversing with you too. i am an easy person to communicate with. But nowadays you can hardly find people you can converse with. For example, you get on a bus and share the seats with a young girl or boy, who are listening to music with their headphones on all way long. Or else being on the cell phone all the time, or using their smart portable computers or cell phone to chat.
But i would add that there are other ways of conversing or chatting as we call it. Such as skype, msn, and other links i do not remember for the moment. Even what i am doing now is chatting. What i realize is, it is easier to communicate in writing rather than in speaking face to face.

This’s quiet interesting story, I don’t know whether it"s true or fiction. I do really enjoyed the part of the bishops, I could imaging, how it could had been. Anyway, thank you.


This’s quiet interesting story, I don’t know whether it"s true or fiction. I do really enjoyed the part of the bishops, I could imaging, how it could had been. Anyway, thank you.


converse schmomverse grumble grumble :wink:

I also noticed that people I meet on streets, in shops, at bus stops often don’t like to shorten their time of queuing or waiting by chatting with strangers. And if I happen to start a small talk, they answer shortly and a conversation is over. It is a shame because sometimes you can meet wonderful people. And it is also strange because as Majlinda pointed out, skype, msn, facebook or online forums, show that people have no problems communicating with strangers. As long as it is online.

Hi Alan…I have had similar experiences with people while commuting or just waiting for a bus/train/taxi. I won’t agree with you when you say that this is typical of people in UK.I have travelled far n wide and have had scores of opportunities of meeting people from different parts of the world with all kinds of traits…hardly typical. There are far too many reasons why people don’t converse with strangers and this explains the situation we are discussing.I for one will not hesitate to converse with anyone if there is a need to say something or ‘break the ice’