Starting and Ending Conversations

In this lesson, we will focus on the some conversational language used to start and end conversations with someone that you have already met.

A conversation is an interactive communication between two or more people where an informal exchange of ideas is expressed by spoken words. The development of conversational skills and etiquette is an important part of socialization.

You will sometimes need to start and end a conversation with someone that you have already met before. In this conversational situation, you will not need to introduce yourself to the other person. If you do not remember the person’s name, you should try to recall something about him or her such as the company they work for, where you met them, or what you talk to them about during your first conversation with them.

By following the steps below, you will see that starting and ending conversations can be as easy as ABC. Basically, there are two steps for starting or initiating (AB) the conversation and three steps for ending (ABC) the conversation:

                        Starting the Conversation Ending the Conversation
A:  The Greeting A:   The Closer
B: The General Interest Question B:   The Excuse  (expresses politeness)
  C:   The Good bye


Starting and Ending Conversations

The Situation:  Second or more meetings C1 = The Conversation Initiator
The Place:  at a company, at a social event, etc… C2 = Your Conversation Partner


Starting the Conversation
1. C1: A – Good to see you again, THEIR NAME.    
    2. C2:   It’s good / nice to see you again too.
3. C1: B – How are you?        or          How have you been?    
    4. C2:   I am fine / good / very well, thanks.  And you?
5. C1:       I am fine / good / very well.       or     I have been fine / good / very well, thanks.  And you?
         or      I have been fine / good / very well.    
6. C1: General Interest Questions:    How are things (going)? How is everything (going) at THEIR COMPANY?
                                               How have things been (going)? How have things been (going) at THEIR COMPANY?
Ending the Conversation
1. C1: A – Would you excuse me (for a moment)?    
    B – I have/need to … [The Excuse]. ex. make a quick phone call    
    C – It was nice / good / a pleasure to see you, THEIR NAME.    
    2. C2: It was nice/ good / a pleasure to see you, too, THEIR NAME.
3. C1: C – (Maybe) I will see you around sometime.    
    4. C2: Yeah/sure, see you around.
    Example Excuses    
    [The Excuse]    ex. go to a meeting in a few minutes.    
    [The Excuse]    ex. attend to something.