By now, you should already know how to start and finish a conversation in English in a basic style. However, in this lesson we are going to extend these skills looking at more natural ways of opening and closing a conversation. Let’s start with opening the conversation.
Here are some introductory phrases to start a conversation and introduce yourself. Some expressions are informal (relaxed / friendly) some are formal (official / important) and some are semi-formal (between formal and informal).
Starting a conversation:
- Hey! What’s up? (informal)
- Hiya – how’s it going? (informal)
- You’ll never believe this, but… (informal)
- Guess what! I’ve just… (informal)
- Excuse me, can I talk to you for a minute? (semi-formal)
- Excuse me – have you got a minute? (semi-formal)
- Hi. Let me introduce myself – I’m [name] (semi-formal)
- Hello. Would you mind if I spoke to you for a minute or two? (semi-formal)
- Sorry to interrupt, but I wonder if you could help me? (formal)
- Pardon the interruption, but can I talk to you for a moment? (formal)
- Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is… (formal)
And now we’ll look at some of the different ways you can end a conversation. Again, some expressions are formal, some are semi formal and some are informal.
Ending a conversation:
- Later! (informal)
- Right, got to go! (informal)
- Must dash – see you later. (informal)
- See ya! (informal)
- OK, I’m off. Catch you later. (informal)
- Right, I’m heading off. Bye! (informal)
- It’s been nice talking to you. Bye for now! (informal)
- See you later. (informal)
- It was great talking to you. (semi formal)
- It was wonderful to talk to you. (semi formal) NOTE: this expression is now a little old fashioned
- Been good to meet up but I have to go. (semi formal)
- My apologies, but I’m going to have to leave now. (formal)
- It’s been a pleasure to meet, and hope to meet you again soon. (formal)
We hope this lesson on how to start and finish a conversation in English has helped! Remember to become a full member (it’s free!) so you can get updates on new resources and keep a track of your progress.