American Situational Conversation

Introductions and Opening Conversations

People in the United States don't always shake hands when they are introduced to one another. However, in a formal or business situation people almost always shake hands.

1. A: Mary, this is Joe's brother David.
   B; I'm very glad to meet you.
   C: It's a pleasure to meet you.
   B: How do you like Texas so far?
   C: It's really different from what I expected.
   B: Don't worry. You'll get used to it in no time.

2. A: Mrs. Smith, I'd like to introduce a friend of mine, Pierre Dubois.
   B: How do you do?
   C: Hello.
   B: What's your impression of the United States?
   C: Well, I can't get over how different the weather is here.
   B: Oh, you'll get used to it soon!

3. A: Wendy, I'd like you to meet my brother Sam.

 B: Hi.
   C: Nice to meet you.
   B: What do you think of Dallas?
   C: Well, I'm still feeling a little homesick and so many things seem strange to me.
   B: You're bound to feel that way at first, I guess.

4. A: Mrs. Hughs, this is Peter Brown.
   B: Pleased to meet you.
   C: How do you do?
   B: I hope you're enjoying your stay here.
   C: If it weren't for the climate, I'd like it here very much.
   B: It always takes time to get used to a new place.


Asking Favors

When you ask for things, it is important to be polite. The intonation that you use in making your request is as important as what you actually say. When you think someone will refuse your request, you can ask the question in such a way that the refusal does not cause embarrassment.

1. A: Is there any chance of my borrowing your type-writer?
   B: For how long?
   A: Until the end of the week.
   B: Yes, I guess that would be all right.

2. A: Would you mind if I borrowed your car?
   B: Well, when exactly?
   A: Until Monday or Tuesday of next week.
   B: I'm sorry, but it's just not possible.

3. A: Do you think you could lend me some of your records?
   B: Until when?
   A: Oh, just over the holidays.
   B: I'm not sure. I'll have to think about it.

4. A: I was wondering if you'd let me stay with you for a few days.
   B: It really depends on when.
   A: Until next weekend, if that's OK.
   B: Let me think it over, and I'll let you know later.