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Small talk


Grocery store – продовольственный магазин
Chitchat – болтовня, лёгкая беседа 
Mirroring – отзеркаливание
Hot-button issues – вопросы, вызывающие агрессию
Opinionated – самоуверенный, упрямый
Pleasant – приятный, радостный
Awkward silence – неловкое молчание
Chatty – болтливый
Shy – застенчивый
Defensive – оборонный, защищающий
Breeze – лёгкий ветерок, бриз

To engage in small talk – переброситься парой слов
To pass the time – проводить время
To break the ice – растопить лед
To hit it off – находить общий язык
To shoot the breeze – трепаться, болтать ни о чём
To be a know-it-all – быть всезнайкой
To rub someone the wrong way – идти наперекор
To bad-mouth someone – чернить, обливать грязью
To be blue in the face – делать что-то до посинения

1. To hit it off – to get on with somebody.
2. To bad-mouth someone – to criticize someone or something.
3. To shoot the breeze – to have a casual conversation.
4. To rub someone the wrong way – to irritate or repel someone as by stroking a cat against the lie of its fur.
5. Chatty – talkative.
6. Breeze blows from the sea.
7. You can talk until you're blue in the face but you won't convince me.
8. To be a know-it-all means that you give all of the information, no matter what the question is or no matter what the topic is.
9. I like to pass the time with my friends.
10. I wonder why he's so defensive about his wife?

Small talk

Hi. This is Cari, from the online English school, EnglishDom.com. Today, I’m going to talk to you a little bit about Small Talk: The Art of Making Conversation. Small talk is informal conversation. It’s when we meet someone at a party, in a meeting… when we’re in line at the grocery store or the bank (something like that) and we begin a little conversation with them, not about anything important or anything critical, but it’s just-a informal conversation. This is also known as chitchat.

Small talk or chitchat is often used just to pass the time. It can also be used, though, as a way to begin a more meaningful conversation. If you are engaging in small talk with someone and you find that you really hit it off, then maybe you continue the conversation about something more personal or maybe some more details about your life that you wouldn’t normally share with a stranger.

One technique that you can use when you’re engaging in small talk is called mirroring. If you’re not sure how to begin a conversation or how to continue a conversation, you can always mirror what the other person is saying. If someone asks you about your job, then you answer their question and then you ask them about their job.

Some appropriate topics for small talk are: the weather, sports, hobbies, where you’re from. Some inappropriate topics are what we call "hot-button issues"; things that get people very angry or very defensive very quickly. Things like sex, politics, religion. Those are hot-button issues.

Shoot the breeze is a phrase that we often use when we’re chitchatting or engaging in small talk. You don’t normally say, "Oh, we were just small talking." But, you would say, "Oh, we were just chitchatting" or "we were shooting the breeze."

One thing you don’t want to do when you’re chitchatting is to be a know-it-all. To be a know-it-all means that you give all of the information, no matter what the question is or no matter what the topic is. That’s not good because it’s important to engage the other person in conversation also. It’s important to give information and to ask for information.

If you are a know-it-all or maybe you’re very opinionated or just have strong feelings about what you want to discuss, you might rub someone the wrong way. If you rub someone the wrong way it means you just don’t quite get along or you’re not hitting it off, you’re not having a pleasant conversation. Then, it’s time to end the conversation and move on.

Another thing to be careful of is that you don’t bad mouth other people. If you bad mouth someone it means you’re saying negative things about them.

Another thing is, if you find yourself disagreeing with another person, you need to recognize that you can talk until you’re blue in the face but that doesn’t mean you’re ever going to change  the mind of the other person.

So, an important thing with small talk or chitchat is to know when to end the conversation, when to move on; and of course, how to stay on topic with appropriate subjects and to have pleasant, enjoyable conversations with another person.

Hopefully, this information has been helpful to you and you will join us in one of our discussion clubs to practice some small talk or some chitchat with us. You can also join us in the forum on our Facebook page to share your ideas in writing.

We hope to hear from you soon. Feel English and feel free. Bye for now. 




Women usually talk more than men.


When the mind is thinking it is talking to itself.


Talking is silver, silence is gold.


The man approached the very beautiful woman in the large supermarket and asked,
"You know, I've lost my wife here in the supermarket. Can you talk to me for a couple of minutes?" "Why?"
"Because every time I talk to a beautiful woman my wife appears out of nowhere."

List of questions for discussion

1. What comes to mind when you hear the expression "small talk"?
2. What do you think about art of making conversation?
3. What subjects do you cover when you have small talk?
4. What are hot-button issues which you should not talk about?
5. What technique can you use if you do not know what to talk about?
6. Do you often shoot the breeze?
7. Who is usually more engaged in small talk – women or men?
8. What do you prefer more to talk or to listen when you have small talk?
9. Why is it important to listen to a person?
10. What is your attitude to people who try to be know-it-all?
11. Do you often bad mouth people?
12. Have you ever tried to convince someone until you are blue in the face?
13. Is small talk always small?
14. Whom do you think people love more chatterboxes or silent persons?
15. Is it easy for you to hit it off with people?

 Для обсуждения данной темы присоединяйтесь к разговорным клубам. Студентам индивидуального курса разговорные клубы предоставляются бесплатно. А если вы предпочитаете обучение в формате разговорных клубов, записывайтесь на групповые занятия

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