Questions tagged [conversation]

For questions related to natural spoken conversations. Please use the dialogue tag for authored or scripted conversations

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4
votes
2answers
28k views

Answer to “enjoy your meal”

When you're having lunch and you see someone he can say "enjoy your meal", "bon appétit" or "enjoy". I can answer him by saying "thank you", for instance. But for example in Spanish we usually say a ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Introductory phrases like “to tell the truth”

What is the difference between the following introductory phrases? To tell the truth Frankly speaking To be honest Are any of the phrases more old-fashioned or formal than the others or ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What word describes our habit to use extremes in language, and what are its implications?

I have heard that in America, and likely elsewhere as well, we are beginning to be more gratuitous with our use of extreme words when not entirely accurate, such as the words "awesome", "always", "...
4
votes
2answers
345 views

Term for asking a question to create context

Sometimes to start a conversation or to bring up a subject I ask a question. I ask it in hopes that they know the answer, I'm not seeking knowledge or an explanation, but instead I'm looking to create ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I describe preparing before travel?

If I am preparing before my travel and I pack my things, how can I better describe this process in conversational speech, "packing up one's things" or "I pack up one's things"?
4
votes
4answers
387 views

Is there a word for this type of overhearing?

just those snippets of conversations that you're not involved in that you overhear and its not even louder than the rest of their conversation it just stands out to you. I feel like that deserves an ...
3
votes
3answers
18k views

What does aw mean?

I have heard somebody saying aw, shucks. What does that mean? In which other cases is the word used?
3
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3answers
2k views

What is the polite way to acknowledge a pregnant lady after a long hiatus? [closed]

I knew her well, but I see her again when she's 7-months pregnant. Do I say, "Congrats on the upcoming baby?"
3
votes
3answers
14k views

The most natural way of asking for telephone call redirection [closed]

What is the most natural way to ask a hotel receptionist or a secretary to transfer your call to a hotel room or an office? Could you please connect me with room number 321? Could you please transfer ...
3
votes
2answers
11k views

what does “off-the-shelf” mean? [closed]

I am applying for a job and in my proposal my mentor commented the following. Please explain me what it means. ME: Finally I found something promising. Please have a look Mentor: That's a good find ...
3
votes
2answers
615 views

What’s the origin/etymology of “mm-bye”?

As said to end conversations (especially on the phone): mmm-bye. When and how did this form/usage start?
3
votes
1answer
683 views

Is “checking my résumé” ok?

Is the following sentence correct (when I call a company’s HR department)? Could you please call me back after checking my résumé?
3
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4answers
29k views

How can I speak as though I were from the Victorian era?

I think that it would be really cool to be able to speak as though I was from the Victorian era. How can I learn to do this?
3
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1answer
93 views

My wife, I just have the one, is

A: Those are my wives B: Well, my wife, I just have the one, ... This conversation is taken from the series shameless, s07e03, min. 22:47. What is the meaning of the definite article in B's ...
3
votes
1answer
30k views

Chat to vs. Chat with

I work in an office and lots of my co-workers use the phrase "chat to", as in could I chat to him about the project? I would say the same thing like this: could I chat with him about this project? ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

'I says' in spoken English

Is it popular to use 'I says' in conversations in spoken English? Especially when we talk about the past in the present. "Hey, John do you remember Linda?" "Yeh" "We were talking yesterday and she ...
3
votes
2answers
30k views

Ask someone about their birth order [duplicate]

If I need to ask someone about their birth order, what question is usually used? Let's say I do not ask how many children his family has first. What is your birth order? or Which child are you in ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it better to write 'I' or 'Me' for the name of a speaker in a dialogue? [duplicate]

What should I choose when I write a conversation? Should I write like this? I: How are you? John: Fine. or like this? Me: How are you? John: Fine.
2
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12answers
12k views

What's a good comeback to “obviously”? [closed]

If someone tries to sound smart in repartee by saying, Well obviously blah blah blah but what they said is actually wrong, then what's a good comeback to that, or what's a good way to phrase the ...
2
votes
4answers
535 views

What is this Dad going to say?

Here is a situation: Dad is talking to his 5-year-old son while watching TV: Dad: I really like this movie. Son: But I don't like this movie. Dad: I am a bit hungry. Son: But I am not hungry. Dad:...
2
votes
3answers
94k views

How to use “you are so lame!” or “you are so retard!” with friends? [closed]

I heard lots of these words from my colleagues. Definitions in Dictionary do not help me much. What I really want to know is what these words actually mean when using with friends and what situation ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Is “aha” an appropriate answer to “thank you”?

I have heard many native speakers in the United states answer with a brief and cold "aha" when someone says "thank you". Is it really appropriate to answer like that? I myself feel offended when I ...
2
votes
3answers
41k views

“Is this understanding correct?” anything more polite than this?

Do we have a more polite way to say “Is this understanding correct?”. I often find it a little tough question to ask to clients. Anything that sounds more polite and means the same? And also, is the ...
2
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3answers
1k views

meaning of two , four and eight in this conversation

I was watching How I Met Your Mother when I heard a conversation between some actors and it just bounced over me. But from the background I could hear people laughing and I was sitting static without ...
2
votes
1answer
189 views

“Are you happier?”

I was reading an English book. This is a snippet of a conversation below: But please tell us... do you like your job? Are you happier? I am confused at happier. Why not use happy?
2
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3answers
957 views

Ways to ensure the interlocutor understands you

What are the best ways to ask an interlocutor whether he understands you in different circumstances (formal conversation, informal talk)? What are the best ways to answer such questions meaning "I ...
2
votes
1answer
366 views

Generic term for something you say

Is there a generic term/noun for something one says. I'm specifically looking for something you say in a conversation, but maybe there is even a more generic term. I'm looking for a word like '...
2
votes
2answers
55k views

past/present tense when telling a story in spoken English

I've noticed that, in daily conversations, when people are telling stories in the past, they often shift the tense back and forth between the past and the present - even they're native speakers. For ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Can “And so?” serve as a request for completion or continuation of the thought?

Can "Yes. And so?" serve as a request for completion or continuation of the thought? For example: Merry: Jack, you can speak Japanese, French, Korean and Arabic. Jack: Yes. And so?
2
votes
1answer
28k views

Response to “What's up?” in various conversations [duplicate]

Exact Duplicate: What is an appropriate response to “what's up” greeting? What should be the response to "what's up"? I don't get satisfied and often confused with my answer ...
2
votes
3answers
8k views

What phrase do you use instead of “Nice to meet you” when the two of you have already met but [closed]

I'm not a native English speaker. I would like to know what phrase can be used instead of "Nice to meet you" when the two of you have already met but this just happens to be the first time you ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

“I'm not fit for public consumption ”

A new girl around me had been hospitalized over the weekend for a non-urgent issue. The same day, I wrote to her that I was available to visit her, to see if she needed any help or something (and if ...
2
votes
4answers
6k views

Is there a word for talking without moving your mouth?

I don't mean Ventriloquism exactly, I mean talking around what you may already have in your mouth... For instance say you put something gross in your mouth and ask if its okay to spit it out. Example:...
2
votes
1answer
22k views

Polite Answers to “What else can I do for you? ” [closed]

Suppose that I call a company's call center for help. And near the end of the conversation, the staff asks a question like "what else can I do for you ?". How can I give a polite answer to this sort ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Answering the phone outside work

When I was learning English at school, I was taught that one ought to answer the phone saying "X speaking". In films however, I sometimes see people answering any phone with a simple 'hello' and, in ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

How to say “Go ahead, I will follow you later” in other ways?

My friends are going out for lunch and ask me to go with them. I haven't finished my work. I will follow them 10 minutes later. Normally, what will you say? beside "I will follow you later."
2
votes
5answers
2k views

In what context or situation (if any) would the words “try to see me” make sense?

If there is such possible situation, please, describe it. Please don't insert any punctuation between those words and keep their order intact.
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Good night for greeting [duplicate]

Is it appropriate to use Good night for saying hello? I've heard that a person in a movie said good night for greeting, is it OK?
2
votes
2answers
30k views

“What/When is the best time to callback?” [closed]

Which is better? I want to know the difference. What is the best time to callback? When is the best time to callback?
2
votes
1answer
3k views

“Do you like my present” vs. “do you like your present”

When my daughter received the present I bought to her, I asked her: Do you like my present? Is this correct? Or I should say: Do you like your present?
2
votes
0answers
47 views

How to shout to a stranger 80ft away to let her know that her cards have fallen onto the ground? [closed]

During my recent trip visiting U.S. I noticed a girl's credit card falling onto the ground. She was walking and did not notice this. The girl (maybe ~20 years old) was ~80ft away from me. I tried ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Decent way to say “I would have gone to say XXX if you didn't mention YYY'”

I need help from a native speaker on this question A hypothetical scenario is as below: A friend comes to you and says, "Coffee?". However, before he asked me, I was thinking of saying "Have a coffee ...
1
vote
2answers
12k views

“Don't know what the name is” vs. “Don't know what it's called”

What is the difference between saying: A: Which meal do you want, Sir? B: Number 4. I don't know what the name is. A: Which meal do you want, Sir? B: Number 4. I don't know what it's ...
1
vote
3answers
938 views

Finding out the proper word out of book-learned vocabulary

I've been learning English for many years now by using many resources available to me. It is mostly reading, as I have very few opportunities to use English to communicate. Due to this fact, my ...
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3answers
5k views

Is it right to 'Hmmm'?

While in a online conversation(by typing), how do you let know the other person that you are there listening to him/her? I suppose it would be annoying to type 'okay' or 'yes' all the time and right ...
1
vote
3answers
19k views

How to introduce someone

If I have to introduce someone in a meeting what should I say? I would like to introduce X who has joined us from Y company. I like to introduce X who is joining us from Y company.
1
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4answers
1k views

Middle ground between “I'll live with it” and “Bring it on!”?

The context is a typical conversation. You've settled for a course of action and expressed yourself accordingly. Then you get from someone a warning of sorts about potential risks or consequences ...
1
vote
3answers
21k views

How to reply properly to 'Thank you' [closed]

Consider following situation You are a polite person and you hold a door open for someone that comes immediately after you. He/she says: "Thank You!" What is the correct expression to reply to him/...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Opening-conversation for requesting a service over the phone

As a non English speaker with a non English name, I find myself opening quite a long question before I even get a confirmation about the fact that, the person in the other side can even help me in ...
1
vote
2answers
721 views

“I understood her to say” [closed]

‘I did. But when I reached the telephone, he had grown tired of waiting and had rung off. I should never have allowed Miss Wickham to take me away from the house.’ ‘She wanted you to see the big ...