by Kenneth Beare
Learning how to introduce yourself is an essential part of learning how to converse in English. Introductions are also an important part of making small talk at parties or other social events. These phrases are different than the ones we use to greet friends, but they’re often used together as parts of the broader conversation, as you’ll see.
In this example, Peter and Jane are meeting for the first time at a social event. After greeting each other, they begin asking simple personal questions. Working with a friend or classmate, take turns practicing this dialogue using the correct form of the verb “to be.”
In the previous example, Peter and Jane several important phrases to ask questions and to learn more about each other, including:
- My name is…
- Where are you from?
- I’m from… (city, state, or country)
- Are you… (Spanish, American, German, etc.)
Introducing Other People
Introductions are also useful when more than two people are present, such as a business meeting. When you meet someone for the first time, it is common to greet them by asking, “How do you do?” It is also customary to respond in kind, as Mary does in this example:
In informal situations, especially in North America, introductions are also made simply saying, “This is (name).” It is also common to just say “Hi” or “Hello” as a response in this informal setting.
As you can see in the previous examples, there are a number of phrases that are commonly used to introduce strangers:
- (name), I don’t think you’ve met (name).
- I don’t think you know (name)
- May I introduce you to (name)
- (name), do you know (name)?
- (name), I’d like you to meet (name)
Saying Hello and Goodbye
Many people begin and end conversations by saying hello and goodbye to each other. Doing so is considered good manners in many parts of the English-speaking world, and it’s also a simple way to express friendly interest in whoever you’re chatting with. In this brief scenario, two people have just met. A simple greeting, followed by asking about the other person is all that’s needed to begin a courteous introduction.
In both of the previous example, Peter and Jane aren’t just being polite; they’re also expressing concern and friendship for each other. Key phrases to remember include:
- Hello… How are you?
- I’m fine, thank you
- See you… (tomorrow, this weekend, next week, etc.)
- Have a nice… (day, evening, week, etc.)
More Beginning Dialogues
Once you’re mastered introducing yourself, you can practice your English skills with more exercises, including telling time, shopping at a store, traveling at an airport, asking for directions, staying at a hotel, and eating at a restaurant. Work with a friend or classmate to practice these role-playing dialogues, just as you did for these exercises.