English Conversation for Beginners: 45+ Phrases to Start the Adventure of a Lifetime
Want to go on a fun adventure?
Conversing (talking) with others in English can open up a whole new world of opportunities.
Thanks to English, you will be able to talk with people who don’t speak your native language.
This lets you hear ideas and opinions from people who grew up in different cultures. You might even make new lifelong friends!
Talking in English will also be adventurous because you will probably feel a little nervous and excited.
But if you push your comfort zone and just open your mouth, you will feel so accomplished (proud) and motivated to keep learning!
Plus, your English will improve a lot if you have more conversations.
So let’s get started! To help you on this trip, we’ve put together a friendly guide with basic phrases—from greetings and small talk to saying goodbye—that will walk you through your first conversation.
Starting the Conversation
If you need a push to start talking to people, watch this for motivation. Then, any polite conversation starts with a greeting (saying hello). There are many ways to greet someone, and your choice will depend on who you are talking to.
It may be an informal conversation with a friend or an acquaintance (someone you know, but not very well). Or you may use a more formal dialogue with a colleague, a teacher, a stranger or a government employee.
Let’s start with informal greetings. Here is how you can say hello:
(A universal greeting that works for every conversation.)
(A neutral and friendly greeting.)
(An informal and relaxed greeting.)
(This is quite formal and rare these days, but could be used humorously among friends.)
For a more formal way to greet someone, use the model “good + [time of day]”:
- Good morning!
(Reserved for any time before noon.)
- Good afternoon!
(Typically used between noon and 5-6 p.m.)
- Good evening!
(Any time after 6 p.m.)
Remember that “good night” normally means that you are saying goodbye. It is also commonly used right before going to bed.
What if you have never met the person you are talking to before? Then, after greeting them, it would be polite to introduce yourself and ask for their name. Here’s how:
- My name is ~. What’s your name?
(This is simple, neutral and always works well!)
If you met somebody once before, but you do not remember their name, you can say this:
- I’m sorry, I don’t remember your name. You are… ?
(This is a bit more informal.)
If you want to introduce a person to someone else, you can simply say:
- Please meet + [name]
Please meet my friend Tom!
- This is + [name]
This is Tom!
Now that you have introduced yourself, here is how to respond to someone’s introduction:
- Nice to meet you!
(The most common)
- Pleasure to meet you!
(Simple and polite)
- It’s a pleasure!
(Informal, but nice)
Great job! You are already having a conversation!