Showing interest in a conversation

English Speaking Topic

  • How easy do you find it to start and to end a conversation?
  • Do you like talking to new people?
  • What topics do you enjoy talking about with friends?

Harry Hi Tony, guess who I saw last night.
Tony Who? Not Geoff?
Harry No, Mr Simpson. You know, our old history teacher.
Tony Really? So what was he saying?
Harry Nothing really. He remembered our class. He still lives near the school, but he’s going to emigrate to Canada next year.
Tony No way! He was such a nice teacher, wasn’t he?
Harry Yeah, always happy. Anyway, then he started saying—
Tony Listen, sorry Harry. I’m in a rush. I have to be at the doctor’s at 11. Can I call you later?

 Learn moreThat sounds interesting

Language Note:

Responding in a conversation

Your responses in a conversation change how it develops. For example, give one or two word responses when you’d like the conversation to end.

  • Right.

Ask short questions or make short exclamations when you’re interested in developing the conversation.

Using pauses

Use a pause before or after you say “Sorry“. This makes the person you’re talking to listen carefully to what you’re saying. Listen to how they pause after saying “Sorry” below:

Sentence stress

The important words in a sentence are stressed because they show the meaning of the sentence. The less important words are unstressed.

Learn more:

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