The 100 best small talk questions

Summary: The most important small talk questions to know how to use and respond to

By: | Audience: Teachers | Category: Learning English | Topic: Discourse

First Published: 29th Sep. 2019 | Last Edited: 1st Oct. 2019

This is a list of the questions which are most likely to prompt smooth and easy conversation in all kinds of situations, in alphabetical order. For practice activities for these and other small talk questions and related subjects like meeting and greeting and starting and ending conversations, see https://www.usingenglish.com/e-books/social-english/.

  1. Are you coping okay with the weather/ the taxis/ the subway system/ travelling around/…?
  2. Are you (still) in touch with (name)?/ Are you (still) in contact with (name)?
  3. Are you doing anything tonight/ on…day/ at the weekend/ on your last day/…?
  4. Are you finished for today?
  5. Are you from (around) here?
  6. Are you going (all the way) to…?
  7. Are you planning to visit…/ to… (during your stay/ while you are here)?
  8. Are you travelling far?/ Are you going all the way to…?
  9. Did you do anything nice/ special (at the weekend/ last night/ during the holiday)?
  10. Did you enjoy your break/ the conference/…?
  11. Did you go anywhere (nice) on holiday/ for the long weekend/ over the holiday/ at the weekend/ last night/ for lunch/…?
  12. Did you have a good/ nice/ fun + weekend/ evening/ holiday?
  13. Did you have any problems getting here?/ Did you have any trouble finding us?
  14. Did you hear (the rumour/ the gossip/ the news) about…?
  15. Did you hear the weather forecast (for today/ for tonight/ for this weekend/ for…)?
  16. (I know you like…/ I know you support…) Did you see the game/ the match (between… and…) (last night/ at the weekend)?
  17. (This looks like a nice place.) Do you come here often?
  18. Do you do much business in… prefecture/ in the… region/ in South(east)…/ in…?
  19. Do you follow any (football/ Spanish/ Premiership/ J League/ baseball) team(s)/…?
  20. Do you have any plans for the weekend/ for this evening/ for the summer holiday/ after this meeting/…?
  21. Do you have… in your country?/ Is… popular in your country?
  22. Do you know (name)?/ Have you met (name)?
  23. Do you like Thai food/ soccer/…?
  24. Do you live near here?
  25. Do you need any recommendations for restaurants/ foods to try/ hawkers to try/ things to see/ things to do/ nightlife/… (while you are here)?
  26. Do you (still) work with (name)?
  27. Have you (ever) heard of ABC Limited/ of … city/ of us/ of…?
  28. Have you been busy (lately/ recently/ today/ this week)?
  29. Have you been here before?
  30. (You’re looking good/ healthy/ tanned/….) Have you been on holiday/ Have you been working out?/ Have you lost weight?/ Have you…?
  31. Have you been watching Game of Thrones/ the Champions League/…?
  32. Have you changed your hair/ had your hair cut/ lost weight/…?
  33. Have you come far today?/ Where have you come from today?
  34. Have you ever been to/ visited/ tried/ heard of/ seen/…?
  35. Have you had a chance to visit…/ try…/ see…/ meet…/… (yet)?
  36. Have you heard from (name) (recently)?/ Have you been in touch with (name) (recently)?
  37. Have you read any good books/ seen any good movies/… any good… recently?
  38. (I know you’re interested in…) Have you seen/ read/ heard (the new/ the latest)… (yet)?
  39. Have you tried… (food)?
  40. How are you coping with the heat/ the crowds/ the traffic/ the…?
  41. How are you getting on with…?/ How did you get on with…?
  42. How are your family?/ How is your family?
  43. (You said that you were going to…) How did… go?/ How did you get on (with…)?
  44. How do you feel about…?/ What do you think about…?
  45. How has your day/ week been (so far)?
  46. How has your stay/ visit/ trip been (so far)?
  47. (Long time no see.) How have you been?/ What have you been up to (since I last saw you/ we last met)?
  48. How long are you here/ will you be here/ are you staying (this time)?
  49. How long have you been working here?/ How long have you…?
  50. How was Belgium/ Cologne/ Prague/ The Philippines/ Milan/…?
  51. (I heard that you…) How was it/ the food/ the weather/…?
  52. How was the traffic (coming from…/ this morning/ on… road)?
  53. How was your (long/ three-day) weekend?
  54. How was your (summer/ Xmas/ New Year/ Easter/ bank) holiday/ vacation?
  55. How was your evening?
  56. How was your flight?
  57. How was your journey?
  58. How was your lunch?
  59. How was your trip (to…)?
  60. How’s (name) (doing/ getting on/ getting on with…)?
  61. How’s business?
  62. How’s it going?/ How are things?/ How are you doing?/ How’s life (treating you)?
  63. How’s the weather (outside/ outside now/ in…/ back in…) (now)?
  64. (Sorry about the awful weather.) How’s the weather in… (at this time of year)?
  65. How’s work?
  66. How’s your boss/ wife/ husband/ partner/…?
  67. How’s your cold/ your leg/ your… (recovering)?
  68. How’s your hangover (now)?
  69. How’s your hotel?/ What’s your hotel like?
  70. How’s your project going?/ How’s… going?
  71. Is it going to rain/ snow/…?/ Is it going to stop raining/ stop…ing, do you think?
  72. Is it usually this rainy/ snowy/ cold/ hot/ humid/… (do you know)?
  73. Is that a…?/ Is that the (new)…? (I’ve been thinking about getting that.) (Is it any good?)
  74. Is the weather usually like this (in...)?
  75. (It’s so…/ I’m surprised how…/ I expected it to be more…/ This reminds me of…) Is this typical?
  76. Is this your first time (here) in…?
  77. Is… popular/ available/… here/ in your country/ where you live?
  78. It’s (a bit/ rather/ quite/ really/ so) humid/ cold/ hot/ grey/ crowded/ busy/…, isn’t it? (Is it usually like this (at this time of year)?)
  79. It’s been (really) busy/ quiet/ cold/ humid/ … recently, don’t you think?
  80. Nice/ Lovely/ Beautiful/ Terrible/ Horrible/ Awful + weather/ day, isn’t it?
  81. Was the map (that I sent) okay?
  82. What are you working (on at the moment)?/ Are you (still) working on…?
  83. What brings you here (today)?/ What brings you to…?/ Are you here for/ to…?
  84. What do you do (for a living)?/ What’s your job?
  85. What do you think of Tokyo/ the place/…?
  86. What does your company/ division/ department/ section/ team/… do?
  87. What exactly do you (have to) do (in your job)?/ What does your job involve?/ What do you do there?
  88. What kind of business are you in?/ What kind of company do you work for?
  89. (You must be really jet lagged). What time is it now in…?/ What’s the time difference between… and…?
  90. What’s it like, working in/ for/ as…?
  91. When are you flying (back) to/ flying back/ going back/ going (back) to…?
  92. When did you arrive (in…)?/ When did you get back from…?
  93. When were you last here?
  94. Where are you staying?/ Are you staying near here?/ Is your hotel near here?
  95. (That’s a really nice…) (I’ve been looking for a… like that). Where did you get it?/ Where is it from?
  96. Where do you (guys) (usually) eat/ go in the evening/ buy…/…?
  97. Where is your company based?/ Where are you based?/ Where do you work?/ Do you work near here?/ Is your office near here?/ Are you based near here?
  98. Who did you fly with?/ Which airline did you fly with?
  99. Who do you work for? (What do you do there?)
  100. Would you recommend…?

 

 

Copyright © 2019

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com

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