August 21, 2015

7 Conversation Starters in American English

Often expats working in the U.S. feel reluctant to start conversations with their local counterparts. In this post, I will share some common conversation starters you can use in the United States with Americans at the office.

  1. "So how's your morning going?"
  2. "I'm here only a few weeks. Is there anything interesting to see around here that's not typical tourist places?"
  3. You could talk about something you really want to try. For instance, "I heard there are good coffee shops in the US (or say the city you are in, Seattle, for instance is known for coffee). Where can I go to try some good coffee?"
  4. "Where are you from? Are you originally from [name of city you are in]?"
  5. Talk about the weather "It was a little cool this morning. Is it typical weather for this time of year." Or you can make a joke like "I felt a bit cold today, but maybe it's cause I just came from India. Is this normal weather for this time of the year?"
  6. "Where are the good places for lunch/dinner?"
  7. "How's your commute to work?" (build on it like normal, asking if they drive, take the bus, subway, etc ask questions to learn about the culture there. do not ask about their particular home address)

What other conversational openers have you used? Feel free to share your experiences using these or other starters and how they worked out for you.

Jennifer Kumar helps your expat workforce learn the ins and outs of working effectively and productively in the US. Contact us for training options.

Related Posts:
How to talk to someone you don't know for the first time 
Building Relationships in the US with Onsite Teams
Small talk is not a viva, test, or interrogation

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