Club Profiles

AFC Bournemouth club badge
Arsenal
Aston Villa Club badge
Brentford badge
Brighton and Hove Albion club badge
Burnley FC club badge
Chelsea club badge
Crystal Palace badge
Everton
Liverpool badge
Manchester City badge
Manchester United badge
Newcastle United club badge
Nottingham Forest club badge
Sheffield United badge
Spurs badge
West Ham United
Wolverhampton Wanderers

In the waiting room

In the waiting room

Watch Dev from India and Ana from Brazil as they practise small talk in the waiting room at the doctor's surgery. The players are trying to think of some topics of conversation. What topics would you use to make small talk with people you don't know?

After you have watched the video, there are some activities to complete and then finally, there's a quiz to check what you remember!

Ana making small talk and Dev staying quiet in the doctor's waiting room.

Making small talk

The following activities will help you, if you are trying to make small talk in the UK. 

Activity 1: In this activity, you have to match the most important vocabulary from the video with the descriptions.
Match the words to the definitions.
 

Activity 2: In this activity, you have to read the statements and decide if they are true or false.
How much did you understand?

 

Activity 3: In this activity, decide what is usually the best topic for small talk when speaking to people in the UK.
Choose the topic that you think is more suitable.
 

Quiz

Please login to take this quiz.

Log in

Your turn

The players didn't do very well in this episode. What mistakes did they make?

Football is a good topic for small talk.

Here are some more questions for you to answer in the comments section:

Would you talk or stay quiet in Dev's situation? Would you ask a person's name?

Would you ask if someone is married?

The weather is often used for small talk in the UK. What topics are used for small talk in your country?

Leave a comment

Log in to leave a comment

Comentários

javiort17
28/08/2018
MX
6
points

Well, I would not ask him why he would be very extroverted because she is wrong.

No, because the question is very personal for the other person.

sports like football or basketball


javiort17
28/08/2018 18:09
Mexico
Manchester United
6

Well, I would not ask him why he would be very extroverted because she is wrong.

No, because the question is very personal for the other person.

sports like football or basketball

pablomorales_2001
28/08/2018
MX
8
points

*I'd rather stay silent, I am not very good talking with new people, although if someone me starts talking I continued the conversation

*I do not think that it is very suitable and comfortable to talk about whether the person is married or unmarried


pablomorales_2001
28/08/2018 18:07
Mexico
Chelsea
8

*I'd rather stay silent, I am not very good talking with new people, although if someone me starts talking I continued the conversation

*I do not think that it is very suitable and comfortable to talk about whether the person is married or unmarried

Abraham015's picture
Abraham015
28/08/2018
MX
7
points

In my opinion I would try to start a conversation with someone who I don't know but I don't ask the person's name because it would take like a personal question even you don't want to show in that way.
For other way, I would not ask to someone a personalquestion like if she is married, because as happened in the video, it would take it like a rude question.
The weather it is a common question in Mexico such as the kind of music you like, your favorite subject or something like that.


Abraham015's picture
Abraham015
28/08/2018 18:07
Mexico
Chelsea
7

In my opinion I would try to start a conversation with someone who I don't know but I don't ask the person's name because it would take like a personal question even you don't want to show in that way.
For other way, I would not ask to someone a personalquestion like if she is married, because as happened in the video, it would take it like a rude question.
The weather it is a common question in Mexico such as the kind of music you like, your favorite subject or something like that.

esme0406's picture
esme0406
28/08/2018
MX
5
points

I would not remain silent I would find another topic that was not offensive to Ana.
I would not ask if he is married maybe if the conversation would get longer. In my country, talk about any topic


esme0406's picture
esme0406
28/08/2018 18:04
Mexico
AFC Bournemouth
5

I would not remain silent I would find another topic that was not offensive to Ana.
I would not ask if he is married maybe if the conversation would get longer. In my country, talk about any topic

dariana
28/08/2018
MX
6
points

1-no because it would be very uncomfortable. The best thing to do is start by asking "you like soccer"
2-no because that is very personal
3-they talk about football, food and news


dariana
28/08/2018 18:04
Mexico
Manchester United
6

1-no because it would be very uncomfortable. The best thing to do is start by asking "you like soccer"
2-no because that is very personal
3-they talk about football, food and news

yeudiel
28/08/2018
MX
6
points

Well, from my point of view for making small talk be necessary: do not personal question, trying break the ice with topics comun (example:Holiday, favorite sport, etc.) and making funny


yeudiel
28/08/2018 18:04
Mexico
Wolverhampton Wanderers
6

Well, from my point of view for making small talk be necessary: do not personal question, trying break the ice with topics comun (example:Holiday, favorite sport, etc.) and making funny

Dafne Alba's picture
Dafne Alba
28/08/2018
MX
7
points

In my case, if I would ask someone else's name but after having broken the ice, since initiating a conversation is very rare.
I would not ask if he is married, because it is not something that interests me, because it is a personal issue, even if the talk does not bother me.
In my country, for what I have lived, very normal questions are what kind of music you like, or what your hobbies are.


Dafne Alba's picture
Dafne Alba
28/08/2018 18:01
Mexico
Wolverhampton Wanderers
7

In my case, if I would ask someone else's name but after having broken the ice, since initiating a conversation is very rare.
I would not ask if he is married, because it is not something that interests me, because it is a personal issue, even if the talk does not bother me.
In my country, for what I have lived, very normal questions are what kind of music you like, or what your hobbies are.

Daniel Garcia's picture
Daniel Garcia
28/08/2018
MX
5
points

Yes because there's nothing wrong.

Only if it's a person that I know.

Football, novels and news.

In my opinion this video is great!
I like this lesson so much.


Daniel Garcia's picture
Daniel Garcia
28/08/2018 17:59
Mexico
Chelsea
5

Yes because there's nothing wrong.

Only if it's a person that I know.

Football, novels and news.

In my opinion this video is great!
I like this lesson so much.

Karolina's picture
Karolina
28/08/2018
MX
7
points

I believe that in the place of Dev, it would have stayed quiet to not bother people, and try to perform another activity.I would ask the person's name to be polite or need to know something important. I would not ask their marital status because it is something personal. A possible question would be sports. especially football, this starts a good conversation


Karolina's picture
Karolina
28/08/2018 17:59
Mexico
Wolverhampton Wanderers
7

I believe that in the place of Dev, it would have stayed quiet to not bother people, and try to perform another activity.I would ask the person's name to be polite or need to know something important. I would not ask their marital status because it is something personal. A possible question would be sports. especially football, this starts a good conversation

lalo-LG1
28/08/2018
MX
7
points

-I prefered talk with the other person before I sit sill.
-I would not ask about personal questions, becacuse is very private for the other person.
-Talk about topics like food, Football and movies, are good topics.


lalo-LG1
28/08/2018 17:56
Mexico
Arsenal
7

-I prefered talk with the other person before I sit sill.
-I would not ask about personal questions, becacuse is very private for the other person.
-Talk about topics like food, Football and movies, are good topics.

H.V_Eduardo_Ulises
28/08/2018
MX
7
points

*in the dev's situation, I would stay quiet and don't ask the person's name.
*I would not ask personal information about the person that i try to talk.
*the topics tha we dialogue in small talk probably are the weather, the music that he or she listen, the likes that the person have,if she or he read a book,etc


H.V_Eduardo_Ulises
28/08/2018 17:55
Mexico
Manchester United
7

*in the dev's situation, I would stay quiet and don't ask the person's name.
*I would not ask personal information about the person that i try to talk.
*the topics tha we dialogue in small talk probably are the weather, the music that he or she listen, the likes that the person have,if she or he read a book,etc

osqui23's picture
osqui23
28/08/2018
MX
5
points

no, because it would be disrespectful

yes, why not, it would be fun...

i think that of sports and school.


osqui23's picture
osqui23
28/08/2018 17:54
Mexico
West Ham United
5

no, because it would be disrespectful

yes, why not, it would be fun...

i think that of sports and school.

Charlie Brown's picture
Charlie Brown
28/08/2018
MX
7
points

I like this lesson, i´m very happy whit the results.


Charlie Brown's picture
Charlie Brown
28/08/2018 17:52
Mexico
Chelsea
7

I like this lesson, i´m very happy whit the results.

VicBel17's picture
VicBel17
28/08/2018
MX
7
points

The previous lesson it was interesante and entertaining. He likes this so much


VicBel17's picture
VicBel17
28/08/2018 17:51
Mexico
Liverpool
7

The previous lesson it was interesante and entertaining. He likes this so much

pablomorales_2001
28/08/2018
MX
8
points

It's a very interesting topic


pablomorales_2001
28/08/2018 17:49
Mexico
Chelsea
8

It's a very interesting topic

Emilio
28/08/2018
MX
6
points

the best class


Emilio
28/08/2018 17:46
Mexico
Manchester City
6

the best class

BRANDON
28/08/2018
MX
5
points

GREAT CLASS!


BRANDON
28/08/2018 17:46
Mexico
Manchester United
5

GREAT CLASS!

Yolo's picture
Yolo
28/08/2018
MX
7
points

Hi.
In personally I had never thought about how to start a conversation, it seems a good activity because it is important to know.


Yolo's picture
Yolo
28/08/2018 17:43
Mexico
Wolverhampton Wanderers
7

Hi.
In personally I had never thought about how to start a conversation, it seems a good activity because it is important to know.

manueh32
28/08/2018
MX
6
points

Very very funny, good activity, and very good tips for a conversation with a strange.


manueh32
28/08/2018 17:43
Mexico
Arsenal
6

Very very funny, good activity, and very good tips for a conversation with a strange.

eduardo Ari's picture
eduardo Ari
28/08/2018
MX
7
points

this activity was very entertaining, fun and above all useful.


eduardo Ari's picture
eduardo Ari
28/08/2018 17:41
Mexico
Manchester United
7

this activity was very entertaining, fun and above all useful.

Cygnus's picture
Cygnus
28/08/2018
MX
7
points

Yes


Cygnus's picture
Cygnus
28/08/2018 17:39
Mexico
Chelsea
7

Yes

farrokh_bulsara's picture
farrokh_bulsara
28/08/2018
MX
7
points

this video is more hopeful to learn a start a small talk and is funny c:


farrokh_bulsara's picture
farrokh_bulsara
28/08/2018 17:38
Mexico
Manchester United
7

this video is more hopeful to learn a start a small talk and is funny c:

isaac098's picture
isaac098
28/08/2018
MX
7
points

The Game.


isaac098's picture
isaac098
28/08/2018 17:37
Mexico
Manchester United
7

The Game.

bao1960's picture
bao1960
14/05/2018
VN
430
points

my student ,his name is MARCELLINO from VIETNAM.He likes this lesson so much.


bao1960's picture
bao1960
14/05/2018 04:48
Vietnam
Manchester United
430

my student ,his name is MARCELLINO from VIETNAM.He likes this lesson so much.

Rich's picture
Rich
14/05/2018
ES
594
points

Say hello to Marcellino from the Premier Skills Team!!!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
14/05/2018 08:14
Spain
Liverpool
594

Say hello to Marcellino from the Premier Skills Team!!!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

Khaldoun83's picture
Khaldoun83
28/08/2017
DZ
325
points

In my humble opionion I would not ask any person about his name in the first and small conversation. Furthermore, I would not ask people about about their personal life such as mariage divorce and what they like or don't like.

In our country we usually talk about weather to beak the ice especialy when we talk to people that we don't know.


Khaldoun83's picture
Khaldoun83
28/08/2017 15:28
Algeria
Liverpool
325

In my humble opionion I would not ask any person about his name in the first and small conversation. Furthermore, I would not ask people about about their personal life such as mariage divorce and what they like or don't like.

In our country we usually talk about weather to beak the ice especialy when we talk to people that we don't know.

Taku
17/05/2017
JP
66
points

I wouldn't ask a too personal at the first time.

The weather is often too in Japan.


Taku
17/05/2017 15:52
Japan
Leicester City
66

I wouldn't ask a too personal at the first time.

The weather is often too in Japan.

TatkaNatka's picture
TatkaNatka
05/08/2016
RU
243
points

If you are well-educaded you should keep small talk.
First i start with safe topics such as holidays, TV, weather or sport.
The phrase " How are you?" is greeting in Britain, but in Russia it means that we really want to find out the answer. Diferent countries - diferent culture.


TatkaNatka's picture
TatkaNatka
05/08/2016 12:05
Russia
Arsenal
243

If you are well-educaded you should keep small talk.
First i start with safe topics such as holidays, TV, weather or sport.
The phrase " How are you?" is greeting in Britain, but in Russia it means that we really want to find out the answer. Diferent countries - diferent culture.

TatkaNatka's picture
TatkaNatka
04/08/2016
RU
243
points

Weather is a common thing in small talks. People speak about politics, travels. In the hospital some old men and women speak about their health and results of treatments. In the train people speak about everything. As for me I prefer to read a book in the train or watch the window. Small talks is a good way to be polite. Why not to use for small talks. It is not a problem for me....


TatkaNatka's picture
TatkaNatka
04/08/2016 18:57
Russia
Arsenal
243

Weather is a common thing in small talks. People speak about politics, travels. In the hospital some old men and women speak about their health and results of treatments. In the train people speak about everything. As for me I prefer to read a book in the train or watch the window. Small talks is a good way to be polite. Why not to use for small talks. It is not a problem for me....

englishman
22/06/2016
DZ
1734
points

I do it for you


englishman
22/06/2016 16:10
Algeria
Manchester City
1734

I do it for you

TatkaNatka's picture
TatkaNatka
04/08/2016
RU
243
points

what? small talks?


TatkaNatka's picture
TatkaNatka
04/08/2016 18:58
Russia
Arsenal
243

what? small talks?

admin's picture
admin
04/08/2016
GB
560
points

I'm not sure what the comment meant. Don't forget, 'small talk' is uncountable - you can't have a small talk with someone - that would be a short conversation. This video is about the uncountable 'small talk' and the safe topics of conversation for when you meet someone new.

Jack

The Premier Skills English team


admin's picture
admin
04/08/2016 19:21
United Kingdom
Arsenal
560

I'm not sure what the comment meant. Don't forget, 'small talk' is uncountable - you can't have a small talk with someone - that would be a short conversation. This video is about the uncountable 'small talk' and the safe topics of conversation for when you meet someone new.

Jack

The Premier Skills English team

TatkaNatka's picture
TatkaNatka
05/08/2016
RU
243
points

Thank you Jack. My comment was for englishman. I 've had two mistakes. First I wanted to sent a message to englishman. And the second you've just correct. I don't undestand clearly the expression "safe topics"???


TatkaNatka's picture
TatkaNatka
05/08/2016 08:44
Russia
Arsenal
243

Thank you Jack. My comment was for englishman. I 've had two mistakes. First I wanted to sent a message to englishman. And the second you've just correct. I don't undestand clearly the expression "safe topics"???

englishman
22/06/2016
DZ
1734
points

that's it


englishman
22/06/2016 16:09
Algeria
Manchester City
1734

that's it

kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
05/06/2016
GH
4776
points

Social issues are used for small talk in my country


kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
05/06/2016 18:35
Ghana
Manchester United
4776

Social issues are used for small talk in my country

kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
05/06/2016
GH
4776
points

I wouldn't ask isfor someone is married


kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
05/06/2016 00:43
Ghana
Manchester United
4776

I wouldn't ask isfor someone is married

kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
05/06/2016
GH
4776
points

I would stay quiet


kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
05/06/2016 00:40
Ghana
Manchester United
4776

I would stay quiet

assemjuve's picture
assemjuve
31/03/2016
PS
3705
points

Yes i would.


assemjuve's picture
assemjuve
31/03/2016 21:06
Palestinian Territory
Liverpool
3705

Yes i would.

assemjuve's picture
assemjuve
31/03/2016
PS
3705
points

I would like to stay to quite.


assemjuve's picture
assemjuve
31/03/2016 21:06
Palestinian Territory
Liverpool
3705

I would like to stay to quite.

HakanUslu1881's picture
HakanUslu1881
28/02/2016
TR
1761
points

It is state dependent.
No,I wouldn't.


HakanUslu1881's picture
HakanUslu1881
28/02/2016 23:50
Turkey
Leicester City
1761

It is state dependent.
No,I wouldn't.

cisilce
25/01/2016
US
358
points

I would not ask a person's name and I would not ask to someone is married.


cisilce
25/01/2016 10:05
United States
Arsenal
358

I would not ask a person's name and I would not ask to someone is married.

nikosonris
20/11/2015
UA
2453
points

Topics for small talk in our country are weather, level of service (long queues, piles of documents to complete and poor customer care) and politics.


nikosonris
20/11/2015 15:18
Ukraine
Arsenal
2453

Topics for small talk in our country are weather, level of service (long queues, piles of documents to complete and poor customer care) and politics.

nikosonris
20/11/2015
UA
2453
points

I usually break the ice by making a comment about something aloud without asking direct questions to a person sitting next to me. If the person reacts, then I try to continue our small talk. If not, I'd rather stay quiet.


nikosonris
20/11/2015 15:13
Ukraine
Arsenal
2453

I usually break the ice by making a comment about something aloud without asking direct questions to a person sitting next to me. If the person reacts, then I try to continue our small talk. If not, I'd rather stay quiet.

MUGEMANYI's picture
MUGEMANYI
14/11/2015
RW
2320
points

I would stay quiet,it's not easy for me in small talk


MUGEMANYI's picture
MUGEMANYI
14/11/2015 18:02
Rwanda
Arsenal
2320

I would stay quiet,it's not easy for me in small talk

elghoul's picture
elghoul
12/11/2015
DZ
3988
points

Football between men and little gossips about the day to day life. Weather is also one natural topic when old men and women meet.


elghoul's picture
elghoul
12/11/2015 17:27
Algeria
Manchester City
3988

Football between men and little gossips about the day to day life. Weather is also one natural topic when old men and women meet.

bashiruddin ahmed's picture
bashiruddin ahmed
02/11/2015
BD
28
points

I would stay quiet until someone broke the ice. yes, I would ask name.I wouldn't about one's marital status. In our country after introduction you can talk almost anything.


bashiruddin ahmed's picture
bashiruddin ahmed
02/11/2015 18:41
Bangladesh
Manchester United
28

I would stay quiet until someone broke the ice. yes, I would ask name.I wouldn't about one's marital status. In our country after introduction you can talk almost anything.

MUGEMANYI's picture
MUGEMANYI
27/11/2015
RW
2320
points

You look good at English, thanks for expression "to break the ice"


MUGEMANYI's picture
MUGEMANYI
27/11/2015 16:37
Rwanda
Arsenal
2320

You look good at English, thanks for expression "to break the ice"

Rich's picture
Rich
02/11/2015
ES
594
points

Welcome to Premier Skills English bashiruddin ahmed! Nice use of the expression 'to break the ice'! Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
02/11/2015 21:37
Spain
Liverpool
594

Welcome to Premier Skills English bashiruddin ahmed! Nice use of the expression 'to break the ice'! Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

aragorn1986's picture
aragorn1986
31/10/2015
ME
3557
points

I would not be delighted if someone I don't know asked me personal questions. Small talk topics in my country are tv shows, concerts, tourists vacations etc.


aragorn1986's picture
aragorn1986
31/10/2015 22:02
Montenegro
Arsenal
3557

I would not be delighted if someone I don't know asked me personal questions. Small talk topics in my country are tv shows, concerts, tourists vacations etc.

Abdallah
22/09/2015
KW
1814
points

I'd talk but showing I'm uncomfortable of the personal topics , I wouldn't ask a persons name or status to break the ice ,restaurants is the on top la small talk list in my country


Abdallah
22/09/2015 08:58
Kuwait
Chelsea
1814

I'd talk but showing I'm uncomfortable of the personal topics , I wouldn't ask a persons name or status to break the ice ,restaurants is the on top la small talk list in my country

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1mobeckham6511
2Alex_from_Ukraine6313
3hsn5540
4wsanta5086
5kwesimanifest4776
6Liubomyr4417
7elghoul3988
8assemjuve3705
9aragorn19863557
10Gergő Nagy3396
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia71580
2Ukraine33502
3Spain29062
4Serbia27426
5Brazil22838
6Albania20578
7Vietnam20212
8Turkey19955
9Macedonia19074
10Bosnia and Herzegovina16333
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United143011
2Liverpool110500
3Chelsea89520
4Arsenal85682
5Manchester City58017
6Tottenham Hotspur19194
7Newcastle United10525
8West Ham United7579
9AFC Bournemouth4667
10Crystal Palace4486

Level

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Goals

Vocabulary

Language related to small talk

Culture

Topics to avoid when speaking to people you don't know

Downloads

Glossary

small talk

polite conversations about ordinary topics

to break the ice

to say something to make a person feel more relaxed, especially when meeting for the first time

tricky

something that is difficult

to pass away

to die; we often say this because we don’t want to use the word ‘die’

Tips

Making Small Talk

The most important thing is not language but confidence. If you start the conversation you will find most people are happy to talk, just remember to choose the right topic!

Extension

Find out more about UK culture on the Learn English's UK Culture page.