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పాఠ్యాంశం 1: The Experiment

పాఠ్యాంశాన్ని ఎంచుకోండి

  1. 1 The Experiment

Session 12

The Experiment is a collection of short series that are a little different to our usual programmes - but still help you improve your English.

Our third series, Small Talk, lets you know which subjects it's best to avoid when chatting to British people.

ఈ పాఠ్యాంశం లోని సెషన్స్

Session 12 score

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Small Talk

Subjects to avoid in British small talk: Politics

They're the conversations we have by the lifts, at bus stops and over garden fences. We call it small talk - but that doesn't mean it's of little importance. In this episode we tackle another big conversational no-no - politics.

See what happens when Neil tries to ask Debbie about her voting habits. BBC Learning English Producers Kee and Sam then explain what's wrong with Neil's small talk and how he could make it better in future.

 

వీడియోను చూసి పనిని పూర్తి చేయండి

రాత ప్రతిని చూపు రాత ప్రతిని చూపవద్దు

Neil voiceover
I've been working at the BBC for a long time now. I've met lots of people. And I sometimes bump into them… and make small talk. They call it small talk, but that doesn't mean it's of little importance.

Debbie
Neil.

Neil
Hello Debbie

Debbie
Hiya.

Neil
I didn't think you were here today.

Debbie
Yep. Just the trains… loads of delays.

Neil
Terrible, aren't they? Really awful. Next election, I tell you, I'm going to vote this lot out.

Debbie
Yeah, yeah things could be better. It's not great.

Neil
So, who do you vote for normally?

Debbie
Sorry?

Neil
Who do you vote for? Which party? Are you political? Are you a member of a party?

Debbie
Um… Um… I'm sorry, I'm sorry… I just… I've just… I've just got to speak to someone.

Neil
Yeah.

Debbie
Jim! Sorry. Jim!

Neil
See you later.

Neil voiceover
Let's see what our experts have to say about that.

Sam
I thought he made a really strong start with the transport and the delays. And she was willing to answer those questions and talk about it. And we love talking about delayed trains in the UK.

Kee
He could have talked about his own journey in.

Sam
Yeah.

Kee
But instead he went for something else.  

Sam
And yeah… you can… even talking about politics, the fact that there's a general election – fair enough, you can say, 'Oh yeah, things are interesting at the moment with the general election', but you could leave it there.

Kee
Sure, sure.

Sam
You wouldn't talk about who you voted for.

Kee
And also, they're in the canteen.

Sam
Yeah

Kee
'What did you buy?'

Kee/Sam
'What have you got for breakfast?' A lot of clues in there – things that you could talk about.  Absolutely.

Sam
He had something in his hand.

Kee
Yeah he had like a…

Sam
She was clearly on her way to get something.

Kee
Sure, yeah. And I think as soon as he asked that question, she was looking for an excuse to get away from him. So the signs were there, like you say.

Sam
Written all over her face.

Neil voiceover
Thanks for the tips, guys. I'll try harder next time.

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Small tips for making small talk:

Subjects to avoid in British small talk: sex, salary, politics

These are examples of the topics it's best not to ask about when you are making conversation with people you don't have a very close relationship with. They can make people feel awkward and the conversation may end suddenly!

Do: find neutral topics like transport and the weather

Non-controversial topics, such as the weather or someone's journey, make good small talk conversations. The idea is to create a pleasant environment, not bring up something which could lead to conflict.

Don't: ask how somebody votes

People tend not to share their political opinions with strangers or people they don't know very well - and voting is very private. You might not even know who your closest friends and family vote for!

To do

Try our quiz to see what you've learnt about British small talk:

The Small Talk Quiz

3 Questions

See how much you've learnt about British small talk

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! ఈసారి కలిసి రాలేదు లెండి You scored:
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Downloads

You can download the PDF document for this episode here.

End of Session 12

Join us in Session 13 of The Experiment for Phrase Frenzy - a video quiz which tets your knowledge of English idioms.