Small talk questions about work and leisure

Market Leader Elementary Unit 1

Ask suitable questions from below, thinking about the time, your relationship, etc.

  • Did you do anything nice/ special (at the weekend/ last night/ during the holiday)?
  • Did you go anywhere (nice) on holiday/ for the long weekend/ over the holiday/ at the weekend/ last night/ for lunch/…?
  • Did you have a good weekend?
  • Did you have a nice evening?
  • (I know you like…/ I know you support…) Did you see the game/ the match (between… and…) (last night/ at the weekend)?
  • Do you do much business in… prefecture/ in the… region/ in South(east)…/ in…?
  • Do you follow any (football/ Spanish/ Premiership/ J League/ baseball) team(s)/…?
  • Do you have any plans for the weekend/ this evening/ the summer holiday?
  • Do you have many more meetings today?
  • Do you need any recommendations for restaurants/ foods to try/ hawkers to try/ things to see/ things to do/ nightlife/… (while you are here)?
  • (You’re looking good/ healthy/ tanned/….) Have you been on holiday?/ Have you been working out?/ Have you lost weight?
  • Have you been watching Game of Thrones/ the Champions League/…?
  • Have you read any good books/ seen any good movies/… any good… recently?
  • (I know you’re interested in…) Have you seen/ read/ heard (the new/ latest)… (yet)?
  • How did your presentation go?
  • How has your day been (so far)?/ How has your week been (so far)?
  • How was your day off?
  • How was your day?
  • How was your evening?
  • How was your summer holiday?/ How was your summer vacation?
  • How was your telecommuting day?/ How was working from home?
  • How was your (long/ three-day) weekend?
  • How was your winter break?
  • How’s business?
  • How’s (your) work?
  • How’s your new division/ department/ section/ team/ office/…?
  • How’s your new job?/ How’s your new position?
  • How’s your project going?/ How are you getting on with your project?
  • I heard that you… at the weekend. How was it?
  • What’s it like, working in/ for/ as…?
  • Where are you based?
  • Where is your company based?
  • Who do you work for? (What do you do there?)
  • You said that you were going to… last night. How was it?

Ask about meanings, answers, suitability, etc of the questions above which you aren’t sure about.

Label the questions with W for about work or L for about leisure. One meaning is always more common, so don’t write both W and L next to the same line.

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Brainstorming stage

Brainstorm suitable questions into the columns below. Others not above are also OK. Put questions which could equally be about both like “How was your trip to…?”, in both.

Small talk questions about work Small talk questions about leisure
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do these questions have the same or different meanings?

  • How has your week been (so far)?/ How was your weekend?
  • How has your day been (so far)?/ How was your day?
  • How was your day off?/ How was your day?
  • How was your day off?/ How was your weekend?/ How was your long weekend?/ How was your vacation?
  • How’s your new job?/ How’s work?
  • How’s work?/ How’s business?
  • How’s work?/ How’s your work?
  • How’s your project going?/ How are you getting on with your project?
  • Did you see…?/ Have you seen…?/ Have you been watching…?

Explain the differences between the ones which aren’t the same.  

Small talk questions about work and leisure coin game

Take turns flipping a coin and asking questions which match one or both lines from here:

  • Heads = ask a small talk question about work; Tails = ask a question about leisure
  • Heads = ask a “How…?” question; Tails = ask a small question not stating with “How”

Roleplay small talk conversations with about 50% of each kind of question.

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PDF for easy saving and printing: small talk questions about work and leisure

Related pages

Small talk page

Market Leader Elementary page