Christmas and New Year is the time for celebrating and attending parties and social events. But, when hanging out with people from different countries and cultures, it can be difficult to know how to start the conversation and what topics and phrases are suitable. Here are some great, natural expressions to help you be the life and soul of the party.

Meeting a stranger

  • Hi, how’s it going? I’m….
  • Hi there. So how do you know (host of the party)?

Chatting to someone you’ve met before

  • Hey how’s it going? You’re (name) right?
  • Hey, nice to see you again. So, what have you been up to?

Starting a conversation 

  • So, do you live nearby?
  • Got any plans for Christmas/ New Year?
  • Where are you originally from?
  • So, what kind of work do you do?
  • What do you get up to when you’re not working?

Ending the conversation 

Part 1: 

  • I’m just going to get a drink…
  • I’m just going to go to the bathroom…
  • I’m just going to look for (name)/ my friend ...

Part 2: 

  • …It was nice meeting you.
  • …I’ll chat to you later.
  • …we should meet sometime, do you use (Line/ FaceBook/ Whatsapp)?

Common  mistakes


A: So, where are you from?

B: Haha, of course I’m from Taiwan!

If someone asks where you are from, they’re trying to be polite and not assume that you come from somewhere just because of how you look. If you laugh and say ‘of course’ it sounds like they asked a silly question and you might offend them.


WOW! You speak Chinese, so amazing!!

If someone speaks to you in Chinese, just speak to them normally. If they can’t understand, then they’ll switch to English. If you want to practice English, then speak a bit of Chinese and then just ask ‘do you mind if we speak a bit of English?’