Hi, guys! How are you? Ready to learn how to meet new friends and strive for fluency in English? Let’s have a look at the words and best expressions to talk about introductions and meeting people for the first time!
1.How how do you meet new friends?
Making new friends is an exciting part of moving to a new place, but sometimes it’s hard to know just how formal to be with new people. So how do you meet new friends? Americans are usually very casual. They’re also very friendly. This is a good thing, but it can be tricky.
Everyone knows that good old basic English phrase, “Hello. It’s nice to meet you.” Oh, yeah, we bet you were ready for that. Well, you may be ready, but then you may be surprised to learn that you won’t hear that phrase very often. “Hello. It’s nice to meet you” is okay for first-time introductions, but when friends meet socially, the conversation will probably sound more like this:
Dialogue How how do you meet new friends?
ALAN: Hey, Lia! It’s good to see you.
LIA: You, too. I haven’t seen you in a few days. How are you? How’s it going?
ALAN: Not bad. But I’m really busy with the classes I’m taking. How about you?
LIA: I’m okay. My job’s really hectic this time of year, too. What’s new with you?
ALAN: Nothing much. I’m on my way to the mall. I need some time off! Do you remember Lana? She’s there. Ha! She’s always at the mall! I think a lot of our friends plan to just hang out there tonight.
LIA: Who? Oh yeah. I remember Lana. She’s the one with the scary-looking dog. I don’t want to hang out with that dog!
ALAN: Ha! You aren’t afraid of that little tiny dog, are you? Well, I’m sure Rover isn’t at the mall.
LIA: Actually, I’m headed to the mall later, anyway. There’s a huge sale going on. I think they’re open extra late.
ALAN: Great! Maybe I’ll see you there.
LIA: Sounds good. Ha, ha! We both love to shop! If I get there before you leave, maybe I’ll see you. After all, we aren’t leaving until we see all the sales. And I’m not leaving until I have some cute new shoes!
When people ask, “How are you? they are really just saying, “Hi.”This is not a good time to talk about your health.
The mall isn’t just for shopping. Many young people go to the mall to hang around with friends. In a city, however, the place might be downtown.
casual: simple, not formal
hang out (also hang around): just spend time with friends, with no special activity
hectic: very busy
hey: hi; also a word to get someone’s attention
huge: very big
mall: a large shopping center with stores and restaurants
sale: a short time of lower prices in a store
time off: relaxation time for yourself,
tricky: seems simple, but is a little complicated
In spoken English, you often drop the -ing ending of words. This means that how’s it going sound how’s it goin’. Nothing sounds like nothin’
Another very common spoken difference is the word you, which is usually unstressed and sounds like yuh. “How are you doing” will sound like “How yuh doin’“
2. How do you meet your neighbors?
Although Americans are very friendly, they are also rather private. You may be surprised to know that very often people don’t even know their neighbors. In a big city, it’s very possible that people living in the same apartment building won’t know the people next door. In the suburbs, it’s not unusual for neighbors to wave from their cars or to say “Hi” across their yards, but not to know their neighbors’ names.
Have you noticed how many houses have fences around them? It may seem strange, but it’s really just an example of how much Americans value a sense of privacy, especially at home. Friendly, but private—now that’s tricky! Of course, some neighbors just like to party all the time. Hoo, boy! That can be a problem.
Dialogue How how do you meet new friends?
LIA: Hi. I’m Lia Chen, your neighbor from around the block. We’re having a barbecue Saturday, and we thought you might like to come. Lots of the neighbors will be there. Jae and Ramon are coming, too. They’re your neighbors across the street.
ALAN: It’s nice to meet you, Lia. I’d like to come, but I’ll be working all weekend on a big project for my job.
LIA: Well, if you change your mind, come on over. You’re welcome to come, and I think it will be fun for you to meet all the neighbors.
ALAN: Thanks. By the way, I’ve been meaning to talk to you. I hope my dog’s barking doesn’t bother you.
LIA: Actually, I wanted to talk to you about that. When you’re gone during the day, the dog barks all the time. It’s driving me nuts.
ALAN: I’m really sorry! I’ll keep the dog in the house when I’m gone.
LIA: Thanks so much. I hope you’ll come over for some burgers and dogs on Saturday. And drop by our house to visit anytime!
When people are trying to be friendly, they may ask you to “drop by anytime.” Don’t believe it! This is a way of being friendly, but most people don’t like unexpected visitors to drop by. It’s always a good idea to call first and ask if the person is busy.
If you are invited to a party or barbecue, it’s polite to bring something. Before you go, you can ask “What can I bring?” Even if the host says, “Nothing,” you should bring something. It can be a special food treat or some flowers. Other kinds of gifts are not usually given.
barbecue (also called a cookout): an outside party where food is cooked on a grill
barking: dog talk!
block: in a neighborhood, the area from street to street
burgers and dogs: hamburgers and hot dogs
change your mind: make a different decision from your first one
driving someone nuts (or going crazy): doing something very annoying (or being annoyed)
drop by: go to someone’s house without an invitation
host: person who invites others to a party lots of: many
meaning to do something: intending or planning to do something
next door: the apartment or house right next to yours
suburbs: neighborhoods just outside the city
value: think something is very important
yards: small gardens around houses
3. Teenagers speaking
It’s probably the same in the country you come from, but teenagers here sometimes sound like they speak a different language. Everyone uses some slang, sometimes, but it seems that teenagers use their own slang all the time! You may not expect to have a conversation like the next one, but you’ll probably hear one, and it’s fun to know what these crazy kids are talking about.
Dialogue How how do you meet new friends?
LIA: Say! Wassup?
JAE: Nothing much. What are you up to?
LIA: Nothing really. We’re just chillin’.
JAE: Hey, you’re really rocking those cool jeans!
LIA: Thanks a bunch. They’re from the mall. There’s a huge sale at that cool store we really like. But, hey, I can’t talk now. I gotta run. Catch you later!
JAE: Later, dude.
It’s fun to know what kids are talking about, but people who aren’t teenagers sound funny using this slang.
Exclamations are fun! They don’t really have a special meaning, but they add excitement to what you’re saying. Here are some examples of common exclamations: Hey! Wow! Yikes! Hoo, boy! Man! Oh, brother! Oh, boy!
a bunch: a lot, many
chillin’: just relaxing
crazy: this can mean insane, but it’s often used to mean funny or silly
dude: guy (man); girls use this to refer to each other, too
gotta run: I don’t have time to talk right now; I have to go
later/catch you later: I’ll see you later
rocking: wearing something well
say!: a greeting, like hey!
teenagers: people from thirteen to nineteen years old
wassup, what’re you up to: What’s up? What are you doing?
What’s going on? What’s new? (These expressions are all ways of saying Hi, how are you?)
MORE FUN WITH IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS: Greetings
How’s tricks?: How are things? I haven’t seen you in a while. How’s tricks?
Where have you been hiding?: Where have you been? Wow, Susan, I haven’t seen you in two months? Where have you been hiding?
welcome with open arms: be very happy to see someone. When his sister came home from college, his parents welcomed her with open arms.
tied up: busy Hey, Sara, I’m glad you called! I’d love to join you for coffee, but I’m tied up until lunchtime.
What’s happening?: It’s good to see you, Marcus. What’s happening?
Hope now you can express yourself with confidence when meeting people for the first time! Go on learning about the Use of English and about passing your First Certificate Exam with flying colors!
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