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Small Talk Practice 1: At a Bus Stop

Read the small talk below and find the 10 mistakes. Then check your answers.

Woman: We could ask for a better day, could we?

Man: I know. There isn't a cloud in the sky. I love this time of year.

Woman: Me too. The cherry blossoms are beautiful, you think?

Man: They sure are. But I heard he is calling for rain all weekend.

Woman: Really? Oh well. I have to work all weekend anyway. I'm a doctor.

Man: Wow. I'm sure you make good money with that diamond watch you have on.

Woman: Ah, this bus seems to be running late. How long of a wait is it already?

Man: I've been here for at least fifteen minutes now.

Woman: Where are you heading today?

Man: Actually, I'm going to the City Hall to cast my vote for mayor.

Woman: Oh, what a coincidence. So am I! Who are you voting for?

Man: Um, well...I'm still thinking about it.

Woman: Here comes a bus now.

Man: Oh good. Wait, that's not the bus we want. That bus goes downtown.

Woman: Well, it looks like we'll be waiting a little longer. I guess, I'll use this time to catch up on my reading.

Man: I love reading. Right now I'm reading a Stephen King book. Do you like Stephen King?

Woman: Not really.

Man: Oh, here's our bus.

Woman: Oh great. I thought it would never come. Well, have a nice day.

Man: Say, did you catch the news today?


Now check your answers. Did you find all 10 mistakes?

1.
Woman:
We could ask for a better day, could we?
Correction: We couldn't ask for a better day, could we?

2.
Woman:
Me too. The cherry blossoms are beautiful, you think?
Correction: Me too. The cherry blossoms are beautiful, aren't they?

3.
Man:
They sure are. But I heard he is calling for rain all weekend.
Correction: They sure are. But I heard they are calling for rain all weekend.

4.
Woman:
Really? Oh well. I have to work all weekend anyway. I'm a doctor.
Correction: During small talk with a stranger, it is not common to discuss personal information relating to work.

5.
Man:
Wow. I'm sure you make good money with that diamond watch you have on.
Correction: It is not acceptable to discuss salaries while making small talk.

6.
Woman:
Ah, this bus seems to be running late. How long of a wait is it already?
Correction: Ah, this bus seems to be running late. How long have you been waiting?

7.
Woman:
Where are you heading today?
Correction: Too personal.

8.
Woman:
Oh, what a coincidence. So am I! Who are you voting for?
Correction: Politics is not a "safe" subject to discuss.

9.
Man:
I love reading. Right now I'm reading a Stephen King book. Do you like Stephen King?
Correction: The woman suggested that she wanted to end the conversation. The man did not take the hint.

10.
Man:
Say, did you catch the news today?
Correction: Thanks. You too. This is not an appropriate time to start a new conversation. The bus's arrival indicates that it is time to stop talking.

Practice 2: At the Office >>

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