English Lesson: Making Conversation

Michael Uncategorized 2 Comments

conversation 01
Image by r8r (creative commons)

The other day we looked at casual greetings. Today, we will move to the next step – making conversation. As I said in that lesson, English conversation is driven by questions. Let’s review our basic greeting conversation:

Brad: Hey Angela
Angela: Hi Brad. How’s it going?
Brad: Pretty good. What’s up?
Angela: I’m going on vacation next week.
Brad: Oh cool! Where are you going…?

Brad asks, “What’s up?”, so the conversation moves ahead. After Angela says she is going on vacation, Brad asks another question, “Where are you going?” and the conversation will keep moving ahead. That question is called a follow-up question. After you hear information, ask a question to follow-up what was said:

Angela: I’m going on vacation next week.
Brad: Oh cool! Where are you going…? ← follow-up question

Jane: I really like R&B music.
Mark: Who’s your favorite singer?  ← follow-up question

Frank: It’s really hot today. I’m exhausted.
Tommy: Did you have to work today?  ← follow-up question

There is another thing you can do to help move a conversation forward. You can use my super-secret English conversation formula. It’s a secret, but I’ll share it with you!  The formula is:


Question = Answer +1 means when someone asks a question, you should give the answer, and then give more information. +1 is more information. More information gives more opportunity for follow-up questions, and a longer conversation! For example:

Jack: What’s up?
Jill: I just finished lunch. I had a burger from the deli
             Answer                           +1

Jack: What kind of music do you like?
Jill: I like rock and blues. My favorite group is Bon Jovi.
            Answer                              +1

Jack: Are you doing anything after work?
Jill: I think I’ll go home. It’s been a long day and I’m a little tired
                 Answer                              +1

So, here is some homework for you. If you want me to check your answers, use this link to send your answers:
Follow Up Questions
Write one or two follow-up questions for each statement below:
1. I like adventure movies
2. I just finished work
3. My sister had a baby last week
4. I ran into our friend Tom at the mall yesterday
Question = Answer +1
Write an answer +1 for each of the questions below:
1. What kind of TV shows do you like to watch?
2. Where are you from?
3. What’s new?
4. Do you have any pets?

Thanks for studying today. Feel free to leave a comment or send me your suggestions and requests for a one point lesson.

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