Using Expressions or "Fixed Phrases"


Most people use 'fixed phrases" in introductions, greetings, small talk, and leave-taking (ending conversations). These expressions don't usually add new or important information, but they are polite, so they help people feel comfortable.

Part I: Match these expressions with the situations in the four pictures by selecting a through d.

Silvia, I'd like you to meet a friend of mine, Jane Chu. Jane, this is Silvia, a classmate from school.

a. an introduction
b. greetings
c. small talk
d. leave-taking

Sasha sure gives great parties. Are you enjoying yourself?

a. an introduction
b. greetings
c. small talk
d. leave-taking

Well, tell me a little about yourself. What kind of work do you do?

a. an introduction
b. greetings
c. small talk
d. leave-taking

Sorry, but I have to run. Good-bye.

a. an introduction
b. greetings
c. small talk
d. leave-taking

Chuck! Long time, no see! How are you?

a. an introduction
b. greetings
c. small talk
d. leave-taking

I'd better get going. Nice talking to you.

a. an introduction
b. greetings
c. small talk
d. leave-taking

I'm fine. How about you? What's going on?

a. an introduction
b. greetings
c. small talk
d. leave-taking

Glad to meet you Jane. I've heard a lot about you.

a. an introduction
b. greetings
c. small talk
d. leave-taking

Same here, Silvia. nice to meet you, too.

a. an introduction
b. greetings
c. small talk
d. leave-taking

Nothing much. What's new with you?

a. an introduction
b. greetings
c. small talk
d. leave-taking

Have you seen any good movies lately?

a. an introduction
b. greetings
c. small talk
d. leave-taking

Well, so long. let's get together sometime.

a. an introduction
b. greetings
c. small talk
d. leave-taking


Part II: Now, in groups, role-play conversations for the four situations in the pictures. Make up your own conversation, do not read from the sentences above.

Exercise taken from Language and Culture In Depth: A Competency-Based Listening/Speaking Book