I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

Striking up (=starting) conversations and keeping them going is really important to good communication. Think of three questions you might ask a stranger when meeting for the first time. Remember that the questions you ask might depend on the situation.


  • So, where do you live?
    >> I live in an apartment downtown.
  • What do you like to do in your free time?
    >> I like to jog and play tennis

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

Listen by pressing the “Play Audio” button. Then, select the correct answer for each sentence, which may be missing one or more words. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. What’s your _____________?

A. I’m Nancy.

B. I’m from Russia.

C. I’m a student.
2. Where do you _______________?

A. I’m from Canada.

B. I live in Chicago.

C. I’m fine.

3. How’s _________________________?

A. Okay.

B. I’m going to school.

C. No problem.

4. _______________ does she _____________?

A. She likes to work.

B. She’s a teacher.

C. She works at City Bank.

5. _____________________ they _______________?

A. They’re from Mexico.

B. They are in school.

C. They live in Tokyo.

6. _____________________________________________________?

A. I’m getting married soon.

B My father is a doctor.

C. I have three brothers.

7. _____________________________________________________?

A. I’m fine.

B. Nothing much.

C. That’s too bad.

8. _____________________________________________________?

A. He’s Japanese.

B. He’s from Italy.

C. He’s an engineer.

9. _____________________________________________________?

A. I like to exercise.

B. I’m busy this weekend.

C. I don’t like sports.

10. _____________________________________________________?

A. He lives in Hong Kong.

B. He works downtown.

C. He’s a doctor.

Score =
Correct answers:

  1. What’s your name? (I’m Nancy.)
  2. Where do you live? (I live in Chicago.)
  3. How’s it going? (Okay.)
  4. Where does she work? (She works at City Bank.)
  5. Where are they from? (They are from Mexico.)
  6. How many people are in your family? (I have three brothers.)
  7. Hey, what’s new? (Nothing much.)
  8. What does he do? (He’s an engineer.)
  9. What do you do in your spare time? (I like to exercise.)
  10. What does your father do for a living? (He’s a doctor.)
III. Post-Listening Exercises [Top]

With a partner, practice starting and keeping the conversation going. Think carefully about what questions you would ask in each situation:

  1. at a bus stop waiting for the next bus
  2. in a park walking your dog
  3. on the first day of class right before school begins
  4. on a plane waiting for takeoff
  5. at a friend’s house for a barbecue
  6. at your 20th high school reunion