Are you sometimes worried about having to create long or complicated sentences when you speak with someone in English? Well, worry not – native speakers in fact often use short phrases as part of everyday interaction. Here’s a few below which you can use in your next English conversation!
Greeting Your Friend
How’s it going?
How’re you going?
How are things?
Alright, yeah? – used more in the UK
Hi mate! – UK, Aust (usually said to a guy)
What’s up! – common in the USA
Joey from TV’s Friends often asks:
How’re you doing?!
To a group of guys or girls, you can say:
Hey guys! – this is used even when greeting a group of girls nb “Hey ladies” is not said much, though “Hey girls!” is ok
When you haven’t seen your friend for a while you can ask:
How have you been?
It’s been ages since I saw you
Asking How Your Friend’s Day Is Going
Had a good day? – say this with upward intonation
Good day? – also say this with upward intonation
Starting The Interaction Based On How They Seem To Be Feeling
Your friend might seem to be in a great mood or indeed might not be smiling as much as usual. In this case, it might help to ‘check in’ with how they’re feeling, depending on how well you know them:
You seem ..in a great mood today
Looks like you’ve.. had a good day
You seem a bit tired | stressed | distracted
On a related note, it’s possible your friend might be down if it’s a rainy or very cloudy day:
Crappy day, isn’t it? – ‘crappy’ is a slang word for ‘very bad’
Weather sucks, doesn’t it?
This weather sure does suck!
Can’t believe this rain!
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Saying How You’re Feeling
Couldn’t be better
Pretty good | tired
A bit tired
Things are great | so-so | alright, I guess
Asking Your Friend About Their Favourite Team
Often sport comes up in conversation:
Hey did you catch the game | match last night?
The Hawks are doing great, aren’t they?!
They’re playing great | terribly this year
Who do you think’ll win this weekend?
Asking Your Friend About Something You Both Know
So, how are things with..Marketa?
So, how’s it going with..Marketa | work | your boss?
So, how did it go with that girl | guy ..?
So, how did.. the conference | your job ..interview go?
Are you still working at Honza’s Sex Shop?
Likewise, you can ask your friend about how their family are going:
How are the folks?
How’s your dad | mum going?
Say ‘hi’ to your folks for me!
Using ‘SO’ Can Help Make The Conversation Flow
So, how have you been?!
So what’s new?
So do you fancy a drink?
So did you get the job?
Sooo, I guess I better run | go
Giving Your Friend Surprising News
You’ll never guess – I’m marrying Tereza!
You won’t believe this – I got the job!
Have you heard – Ralph’s marrying Premek!
Responding To Surprising News
That’s terrific | terrible | shocking!
I can’t believe that!
When You Don’t Feel Comfortable With A Particular Topic
For example, perhaps you just lost your job, and your friend asks how things are going at work:
That’s the thing – I’m now looking for a new job.
If you don’t want to talk about the topic at all, you can make a general statement and then throw it back to your friend:
I’m not really sure what to say. What about you?
Could be better, but not to worry. And you?
I’m sure things’ll get better soon.
How are things at your end?
Not good. What about you?
note: Some people might just say things are fine, and then move on to another topic:
Things are fine.
I’m sure I’ll manage fine.
Yeah, you know how it is.
Making A Suggestion
Let’s go out tonight. What do you reckon?
How about we go to the cinema?
How about going to the pub?
You can also use:
Responding To A Suggestion To Meet Up
When you’re sure you can come:
Great, see you then!
Cool, see you there!
When you’re not sure yet:
Maybe, I’m not sure yet
Let me get back to you
When you can’t come:
I can’t, sorry, I have something else on.
Sorry, I can’t.
(Sorry), I’m really busy right now.
Closing The Conversation
Sorry, gotta go. I’ve got a meeting | a date
Well, guess I’d better go
Well, better be off
Hey let’s catch up next week
Take it easy!
Catch you later!
Later ‘bro – more in the USA
See you later!
Alright, later mate! – more in the UK, Aust.
Read More Phrases!
From Get Into English: