Home » General English » General English CEFR Level B1 » How to start and finish a conversation in English

How to start and finish a conversation in English


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)



The importance of critical thinking in English

In this section of our course, we will look at critical thinking- what it is, why it's important and how it can help you improve your English. Let's start with a definition - what is critical thinking? In short, critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and...

read more

The present perfect at CEFR Level A2

The present perfect at CEFR Level A2. On this page, we will look at another common English tense - the present perfect. Here are some examples of the present perfect tense: I have cleaned my shoes. He has finished work for today. I have travelled through Asia, but I...

read more

The present simple to talk about the future

The present simple to talk about the future. In Level A2, we have already looked at how the present continuous and will can both be used to talk about the future. On this page, we will also look at the 2 ways the present simple can also be used for the future. As you...

read more


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.