Casual Chat

Part 1

Dave: Hey Pete, how’s it going?
Pete: Can’t complain. How about you?
Dave: Oh, same old same old. Listen, what are you up to Friday night? Me and some of my friends were thinking of having a poker night. You know, play a little cards, knock back a few beverages.
Pete: Sure, I’m up for a few brewskis. I’m not much of a poker player, mind.
Dave: Ah, that doesn’t matter, we’re only pushing pennies around. Nobody loses more than a couple of quid.
Pete: OK, count me in. What time is everyone getting there?
Dave: Well, I said 7, but I guess it’ll be 8 before everyone drifts in.
Pete: Alright, I’m there. Hey, I’ve got to run, but I’ll see you on Friday.
Dave: No sweat. See you Friday.

Part 2

Emili: Hey Claire, how it’s going? It’s been a while.
Claire: Gosh, hi there Emili. Long time no see. How are you?
Emili: I’m great. Just great. How about you? And what are you doing around these parts? Last I heard you and Alex were planning on moving to Dubai.
Claire: Yeah, that fell through at the last minute, sadly. But I’m fine. Indeed, I’m better than fine: I have some news. We’re expecting.
Emili: Really? Congratulations. Wow. I never pictured you as one to have a little rugrat running around your ankles. When are you due?
Claire: Oh, not for another 6 months. I have to say I never thought of myself as a mum either, but actually I’m quite excited.
Emili: I’ll bet. How is Alex taking it?
Claire: Very well, considering. I mean, he’s under so much pressure at work, and what with the Dubai thing not working out, it’s been a rough couple of months for him. Then I spring this on him. If he’s about to have a breakdown, he’s hiding it well.
Emili: Well, he has no right to complain anyways: it takes two to make a baby. Plus, he’ll make a great dad.
Claire: He will. Hey, are you doing anything right now? Fancy some lunch?
Emili: Sure, why not. It’ll be nice to catch up.

Part 3

Philip: Hey there Pumpkin. How are things?
Anna: Oh, I’m stressing out. My boss is all over me about this stupid report I haven’t finished. On top of that I have to plan this dumb-ass work do for the end of the week. Anyway, you don’t want to hear about that. How’re you doing?
Philip: Meh. A little tired, but I’ll survive. What do you fancy doing tonight?
Anna: First things first, I need to get out of these work clothes.
Philip: Sure thing. It’s just that I was thinking we could head out to the pub a bit later.
Anna: I’m Ok with that. Oh, Dave asked me to tell you he’s having a poker night on Friday, if you fancy it.
Philip: A poker night? He must be skint again. He only ever organises poker night when he’s broke.

Key Phrases

Other ways to say ‘How are you?’

How’s it going?
How are things?
How’re you doing?

Ways to answer ‘How are you?’

I’m fine / OK / alright / not bad
Can’t complain / same old same old / meh / comme ci comme ca
A little…

Native Speaking Habits

Many people put ‘you know’ into a sentence when they are explaining a common activity.
So I was sitting at home, you know, just watching TV, when suddenly I heard this huge crash outside.
‘It’s just’ introduces a want / idea / reason that you know might annoy the other person.
I know you like this show, it’s just that the football is on the other channel and I really want to see it.

Cultural Notes

– For casual gatherings in which time does not matter, the host expects guests to be late. Therefore, if a party starts at 7, it generally means 7 or later.
– However, if the start time is important (such as a movie, wedding, or anything that means people are waiting for you) it is impolite to be late.
– ‘Quid’ is the British slang for ‘pound’. American’s use ‘buck’ in the same way for ‘dollar’.
– Some common ‘terms of endearment’: sweetie; honey; love; dear; petal; pumpkin. Of course, many couples make up their own terms.