EnglishClub
Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub
English Club : Learn English : Speaking : Small Talk

Small Talk Practice 3: At a Party

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

Woman 1: (Standing in a corner drinking a glass of wine by herself)

Man: Hi there. Why aren't you dancing?

Woman 1: (Smiles. No response.)

Man: Hello. Have you tried Felicia's punch yet?

Woman 2: No, but I was just about to.

Man: Don't. It's terrible.

Woman 2: Oh. Okay.

Man: So, how are you knowing Rick?

Woman 2: Oh, Rick and I go way back. We studied nursing together.

Man: Nursing. Hmm. I heard on the radio today that all of you nurses are on strike. Are they not paying you enough?

Woman 2: Actually it's about working conditions.

Man: I see. So, have you had a chance to take a dip in the pool yet?

Woman 2: No, not yet. How about you?

Man: No, I need to lose some weight before I put on a bathing suit. But you have a great figure.

Woman 2: Uh, thanks. Well, I better go and jingle. There are a few people I haven't said hello to yet.

Man: Wait! Did you hear that the Pope is coming to town?

Woman 2: Ya. I heard that on the news today. I bet it'll be really tough to get to see him.

Man: I know. But I'm not Catholic anyway. Are you?

Woman 2: Yes, I am actually. Well, it looks the sun is finally coming out. I think I'll go take that swim.

Man: You better hurry. I hear they are asking for thunderstorms this afternoon.


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

1.
Woman 1:
(Smiles. No response.)
Correction: It is rude not to say anything or answer someone, even if you are shy or don't know the person.

2.
Man:
Don't. It's terrible.
Correction: Keep negative comments out of your small talk. You don't know if the person you are talking about is a close friend of the person you are talking to.

3.
Man:
So, how are you knowing Rick?
Correction: So, how do you know Rick?

4.
Man:
Nursing. Hmm. I heard on the radio today that all of you nurses are on strike. Are they not paying you enough?
Correction: During small talk it is not appropriate to discuss salaries.

5.
Man:
No, I need to lose some weight before I put on a bathing suit. But you have a great figure.
Correction: Even though this is a compliment, it may make someone feel uncomfortable. Complimenting clothing is acceptable for small talk, but bodies are not a "safe" topic.

6.
Woman 2:
Uh, thanks. Well, I better go and jingle. There are a few people I haven't said hello to yet.
Correction: Uh, thanks. Well, I better go and mingle. There are a few people I haven't said hello to yet.

7.
Man:
Wait! Did you hear that the Pope is coming to town?
Correction: The man did not take the cue that the woman wants to end the conversation. "Wait" is a very direct word that should never be used in small talk. You could say, "Oh, before you go..." or "I don't want to keep you, but..." if you have something very important to add or ask.

8.
Man:
I know. But I'm not Catholic anyway. Are you?
Correction: Religion is not a "safe" subject to discuss during small talk.

9.
Woman 2:
Yes, I am actually. Well, it looks the sun is finally coming out. I think I'll go take that swim.
Correction:Yes, I am actually. Well, it looks like the sun is finally coming out. I think I'll go take that swim.

10.
Man:
You'd better hurry. I hear they are asking for thunderstorms this afternoon.
Correction: You'd better hurry. I hear they are calling for thunderstorms this afternoon.

Now check your understanding >>

Terms | Privacy | Contact | Report error

EnglishClub Group EnglishClub EasyEnglish ESLDepot Teflnet

© 1997-2014 EnglishClub