45=== ing.


Conversation Starters

General greetings and inquiries

How’s it going?

How’s everything?

How’s life?       (This means “How are you?” not “Where are you going?”

Asking about present activities

What’s up?

What’s happening?  (What are you doing now?)

Asking and telling about recent events

What’s new?

Guess what?  What interesting has happened since I last saw you?)

(I want to tell you something. Ask me about it.)
(The appropriate response to this is “What?”)

A: Guess what?

A: I just got a new job.

B: What?

B: Congratulations

Bringing up a serious topic

Can I talk to you for a minute?

Do you have a minute?

Got a minute?

Rejoinders are quick responses to show that you are interested or paying attention.

(Oh) Really?

That’s interesting.

Is that right?

Note how rejoinders are used in the following situations.

1. I just got a new job.

2. I lost my wallet yesterday.

Oh really? That’s too bad…………………… Oh really? That’s great!

Rejoinders may also take the form of follow-up questions. Note how they are used in the following situations.

1. I just bought a new car.

2. Johnny is in the hospital.

3. I’m going to Hawaii.

You did?

He is?

You are?

Wh- Questions can be used to ask for more information:

What did you do over the weekend?

Where did you go for Spring Break?

How was your trip?

When did you get back?

What kind of things did you see?

Who did you go with?

How many people were there?

Whose car did you drive?

When asking for details about a particular item you are considering buying, you can say

Could you give me some information about this computer?

Can you give me more details about that CD player?

Could you tell me about this bookcase?

What can you tell me about these blenders?

He is an engineer. Isn’t he?
They’re not from Colorado. Are they?
Zack is really tired. Isn’t he?

She is going to Taiwan, isn’t she?
You have never been to Las Vegas. Have you?
The Rays are playing the Jays. Aren’t they?

You went to the supermarket. Didn’t you?
Zane doesn’t live in Missouri. Does he?
Ms. Zeller has a new car. Doesn’t she


Is it . . . ?

What do you do with it?

What is it made of?

What is it used for?

What’s the difference between A and B?

Bringing up a sensitive topic

Can I talk to you for a minute?

Can I ask you something?

Do you mind if I ask you something?

I need to talk to you for a minute.

I have to tell you something.

There’s something I need to tell you.

There’s something I think you should know.

We need to talk.

Are you a doctor? Yes, I am.
No, I’m a nurse.
Is he from Colombia? Yes, he is
No, he isn’t.
No, he’s from Venezuela.
Is it time to go? Yes, it is.
No, it isn’t.
Not yet.
Is she married? Yes, she is.
No, she isn’t.
I don’t know.
Are they here yet? Yes, they are.
No, they aren’t.
Do you live in Oklahoma? Yes, I do.
No, I don’t.
No, I live in Texas.
Does she drink coffee? Yes, she does.
No, she doesn’t.
No, she drinks tea.
Does it fly? Yes, it does.
No, I don’t think so.
Do you need some help? Yes, I do.
No, I’m fine.
Can I have this? Yes, you can.
No, you can’t.
Should we go? Yeah.
No, not yet.
Could you help me? Sure.
No, sorry.

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