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Урок 39. Greetings and follow-ups. (Приветствия и послеприветственные фразы.)

Jackie: Hello, welcome to How to… with bbclearningenglish.com. I’m Jackie Dalton. In previous programmes, we’ve looked at how to greet people and introduce yourself, with phrases like, ‘Hey, how are you?’ and ‘I’d like to introduce myself…’ But what can you say in conversations after the initial greeting? You may often find you want to say something more to keep the conversation going, but you don’t quite know what to say. In this programme we’re going to look at some handy language and topics of conversation that you might use. Let’s start with our first one. Matt and Jane greet each other. What does Jane say after the initial greeting?

Matt and Jane
Alright Matt! How’s it going?
Yeah, no trouble. How about you – alright?
Yeah, not bad! I haven’t seen you for ages!
No, no – I’ve been busy…

Jackie: Jane says ‘I haven’t seen you for ages!’ which means ‘I haven’t seen you for a very long time!’

Jane
I haven’t seen you for ages!

Jackie: A nice phrase to use when seeing someone after a long time. You could also say things like, ‘it’s been a long time!’ or ‘I can’t believe it’s been so long!’ Now, for our next area of conversation: what does Neil ask Carrie after they’ve both greeted each other?

Neil and Carrie
Hello, Carrie! You alright?
Oh, hi Neil! Yeah, I’m fine thanks. How are you?
Great, what’ve you been up to?

Jackie: Did you get that? He said, ‘what’ve you been up to?’ quite an informal phrase, which means ‘what have you been doing?’ Obviously, he’s not expecting full details of everything Carrie has been doing, but it’s a friendly way of making conversation. Carrie responds to his question with quite a vague answer.

Neil and Carrie
Great, what’ve you been up to?
This and that, you know!

Jackie: ‘This and that,’ Carrie says, which means ‘various different things’. It doesn’t really answer Neil’s question, but as I mentioned before, Neil wasn’t expecting a detailed description of everything she’d been doing – they’re just chatting in a friendly way. We’ll hear that phrase again in this next dialogue. In this one, instead of asking, ‘what have you been up to?’ referring to the recent past, the question is ‘what are you up to?’ meaning ‘what are you doing now?’

Matt and Jane
Hey Jane, how’re you doing?
Good thanks, and you?
Yeah, not bad, not bad. What are you up to?
Oh, this and that…just the usual! What about you?

Jackie: So again, Jane responds with ‘this and that’ and then she uses the phrase ‘just the usual’ – a way of saying nothing new or different from what she normally does. ‘Oh, this and that…just the usual!’

Matt and Jane
What are you up to?
Oh, this and that…just the usual! What about you?

Jackie: So a reminder of the language so far: we’ve had ‘I haven’t seen you for ages!’, ‘what are you up to?’, ‘what have you been up to?’, ‘this and that’, ‘just the usual’. Let’s move on to more phrases and topics of conversation you might use. What does Neil ask Carrie this time, after he’s asked her how she is?

Carrie and Neil
Alright Carrie, how are you?
Yeah, I’m fine Neil, how you going?
Yeah, very well. What are you doing around here?
Oh, I was just popping into the shop down the road there.

Jackie: ‘What are you doing round here?’ A nice informal and conversational question you can ask when you see someone somewhere you weren’t expecting to see them. Carrie responds by saying she was just ‘popping into a shop’, which is an informal way of saying ‘going to a shop’.

Carrie and Neil
What are you doing around here?
Oh, I was just popping into the shop down the road there.

Jackie: Sometimes people comment on each others’ appearance – though usually only if they are talking to someone they know well.

Sandra and Abigail
Hi Sandra! How are you?
Good thanks!
Your hair looks great!
Oh, thank you! And I love your dress!

Jackie: Another thing people often do is talk about their surroundings.

Clip
I really like this pub.
It’s a lovely hotel, isn’t it?

Jackie: Transport and how people got to wherever they are is also a popular one.

Clip
Hi, lovely to see you. Did you come here by car?

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Hi John!
Matt! Good to see you! How was the journey?

Jackie: And of course, there’s one topic of conversation we haven’t looked at yet but which we can’t possibly forget to mention is that very British favourite…

Clip
It’s lovely weather today, isn’t it?
What awful weather we’re having!
Isn’t all this sunshine great!
It’s turned very cold suddenly, hasn’t it?

Jackie: Just a taste of some of the many, many things there are to say about the weather… always a nice, safe topic!

And now, time for a recap of the phrases and topics of conversation we looked at.

You could talk about how long it’s been since you last saw the person.

I haven’t seen you for ages!

You can ask them what they’ve been doing or what they are doing.

What’ve you been up to?
What are you up to?
What are you doing around here?

You can ask them what they’ve been doing or what they are doing.

What’ve you been up to?
What are you up to?
What are you doing around here?

And a couple of the responses we looked at…

Oh, this and that…
Just the usual!

You could comment on your surroundings.

This house is gorgeous!

Or ask the person if the journey to meet you was ok.

How was the traffic?

You can talk about the weather.

It’s a lovely day, today.

And with people you know well, you could also say something nice about their appearance.

Your hair looks great!