13 Common English Questions and Answers to Give Your Social Life a Boost (2024)

13 Common English Questions and Answers to Give Your Social Life a Boost (1)

By 13 Common English Questions and Answers to Give Your Social Life a Boost (2)sarahtolle Last updated:

Let’s face it: “Hello! How are you?” can only get you so far in life.

Your English classes have prepared you for language exams, university classes and travel—but have they prepared you for Friday night?

One reason why learning a language is so difficult is because the materials can start to seem irrelevant for “real life.”

While it’s good to have an understanding of basic grammar,common questions, key phrasesand vocabulary, it’s also important that you be able to use English to communicate with people in the real world.

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What’s So Special About These Types of Questions and Answers?

Look at the questions below and see if you can spot the differences:

“Hello! It is nice to meet you. How are you?”

“Hi there! I don’t think we’ve met. How are you doing?”

In essence, these questions are asking for the same information. However, #1 is more formal, while #2 shows a feeling of ease and familiarity. That being said, the first one is a good example of an appropriate question to help you prepare for a job interview in English, but the other will serve you better in many social situations that you’ll encounter in life.

These types of questions and answers will also force you to get comfortable withEnglish contractions. The majority of time, English speakers use contractions in their normal speech to shorten words, making them smoother and faster to pronounce. For example, while it’s rare to hear “It is nice to meet you,” you’ll very commonly hear, “It’s nice to meet you.” There are many different contractions in English, so be patient—it will take time and effort to master them all.

For the sake of your social life, look at the following questions and answers that you’ll likely hear in casual conversations in English (for more basic questions, you can practice with resources like this English question and answer video).

Practice these questions with a partner, and then try to use a few of these phrases the next time you meet a new friend at a café, work event or social gathering.

You can also explore online resources like LingQ to learn English from a variety of popular, interesting content such as books and movies. You can also prepare yourself for social events by watching this short video with a few simple tips for making small talk.

Learning English for casual conversation is an important step towards mastering the art of small talk.Not only will these questions and answers help you to sound more natural in English, but they’ll allow your new friends to feel more comfortable and open around you, too.

1. So, what do you do?

This question is a typical question when making small talk to get to know the other person better. It’s asking, “What is your job?”

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Example answers:

Right now, I’m a student. I’m in my second year of pharmacy school. How about you? What do you do?

I work as a tour guide for a local tour company. I’ve worked there for three years now. How about you?

That’s a good question! I do a little bit of everything: some writing, some photography and some graphic design, too. What do you do?

To encourage further conversation and be even more polite, you want to ask about them, too. As you can see from the examples above, adding the question “How about you?” or “And what about you?” will give the other person an opportunity to respond. You’ll see this on most of the examples that follow.

2. How’s (summer) treating you?

This question is asking about a specific part of your life, like your summer, your job or any other major event in your life. It’s another way of asking, “How is your summer?” or “How is your new job?”

Example answers:

Oh, it’s been really great. No complaints here! And how’s it going for you?

Not bad, can’t complain! And how is your summer going?

It’s treating me pretty well! I’ve gotten a lot out of it so far. And how’s summer going for you?

3. So, what have you been up to lately?

A person asking this question is asking about the awesome things you’ve done recently. Another way to ask this question is“How’s it going?” Usually, you only ask this question if you’re already familiar with the person. That is, you’ve seen them or met them before.

Example answers:

Not much. My last class is on Thursday, so I’m excited about that! What have you been up to?

Let’s see…Well, I started a new job last week, but other than that, everything is pretty much the same. What have you been up to?

Well, have you heard that I moved to a new apartment?

What can I say? Nothing too exciting. Things are good—how about you?

4. Long time, no see! Any updates since we last saw each other?

This is another friendly and common way to reconnect and start a conversation with someone you haven’t seen in a long time.

Example answers:

Where to begin? A lot has changed in the past few months. I got a dog, moved apartments and switched jobs!

Nothing too crazy. How about you? Any news?

5. So what do you do when you’re not working?

This question is asking, “What are your hobbies?” It’s also very common for people to ask,“What do you like to do outside of work?” or “What do you do when you’re not busy with (school)?”

Example answers:

Well, recently I started playing volleyball on the weekends.

Usually, I spend my free time doing activities with my family.

6. Do you follow (Stephen Colbert)?

This question is asking if you’re interested in a certain topic or person and if you keep up with it/them on social media or television.

Example answers:

Oh, yeah! I love him/that show. Why?

Sometimes. A little bit here and there. Why?

No–actually, I haven’t heard of him. Who is he?

7. Would you mind giving me a hand with this?

This question is asking for help. Instead of asking a more formal question like, “Could you please help me?”most native speakers will ask for help with a phrase like this.

Example answers:

Sure thing!

You got it!

I’m afraid I can’t. Maybe (Anthony) could, though.

8.What sort of stuff do you do on the weekends?

This question is asking about your weekend activities. The phrase “sort of stuff” means “things” or “activities.”

Example answers:

Let’s see…I usually spend my weekends reading and relaxing at home. How about you?

Well, I tend to go to a lot of concerts.How about you?

9. So, what’s your take on (the latest movie)?

This question is asking “What’s your opinion of (the latest movie)?” or “What do you think about (a specific event)?”

Example answers:

Oh, I really like it! What do you think?

To be honest, I think it’s just okay. How about you?

Ehh—I’m on the fence. What’s your take?

“On the fence” is a way of saying you neither agree or disagree or you don’t know what to think about a specific topic.

10.Are you here with anybody?

This question is asking if you came to the event or location (like a bar or club) with another person. Usually, people ask this question as an indirect way of asking if you’re in a romantic relationship.

Example answers:

Yeah—I came with my boyfriend.

I just came with a bunch of my coworkers.

11.Do you feel like grabbing a bite?

This question is an invitation to leave together and get something to eat. You might also hear, “Do you want to grab a bite to eat?”

Example answers:

Actually, yeah! I’d love to. Where would you like to go?

It depends. Where are you thinking of going?

Mmm, not today. But I’m game for grabbing a bite together later this week.

No thanks—I’m not really hungry. But thanks for asking.

12.Would you be up for a (movie) some time?

This question is asking if you’d like to do an activity together in the future.

Example answers:

I’m down! Let’s do it!

Sure. When are you thinking of going?

It depends on what day, but yes.

I’m not really interested in seeing amovie, but thank you.

13.How late are you planning on sticking around?

This question is asking, “What time are you going to leave?”

Example answers:

I’ll hang around until (they cut the cake), and then I plan on heading out. How about you?

I’m not sure…I’ll just have to see how I feel. How about you?

I’ll probably give it another 30 minutes and then go home.

As you can see, having a casual conversation in English can be anything but basic! With these phrases, you’re more prepared than ever to make new friends.

Keep practicing your informal, conversational English in order to give your social life a boost!

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

13 Common English Questions and Answers to Give Your Social Life a Boost (2024)


What are good English questions to ask? ›

Top 25 English Questions You Need to Know
  • What is Your Name? Learn the question What is your name? ...
  • Where Are You From? Learn the question Where are you from? ...
  • Where Do You Live? ...
  • What Do You Do? ...
  • Do You Speak English? ...
  • How Long Have You Been Studying English? ...
  • Where Did You Learn English? ...
  • Can You Play Musical Instruments?

What are special questions in English? ›

A special question begins with an interrogative word or phrase (Where…, How…, Why…, How many…, What colour…, etc.) and is spoken with a falling intonation. The order of words is the same as in general questions but the interrogative word or phrase precedes the auxiliary verb. E.g. Where do you live?

What are the three important questions that we are asking in life? ›

The right question at the right time can spark the right answer that changes your life.
But you can also answer everything chronologically if you prefer.
  • Am I happy?
  • Am I grateful?
  • Do I like my job?
  • Do I feel good?
  • Do I spend enough time on my education?

What are the 7 types of questions? ›

Types of questions
  • Closed questions. ...
  • Open questions. ...
  • Funnel questions. ...
  • Leading questions. ...
  • Recall and process questions. ...
  • Rhetorical questions. ...
  • Divergent questions. ...
  • Probing questions.

What are the 7 WH-questions? ›

Wh-questions begin with what, when, where, who, whom, which, whose, why and how. We use them to ask for information.

What are the 4 types of questions? ›

The 4 Main Types of Questions in English + Examples
  • General or Yes/No Questions.
  • Special or Wh-Questions.
  • Choice Questions.
  • Disjunctive or Tag Questions.
Sep 24, 2022

What are the 5 questions of life? ›

You've already got answers to the five big questions of life:
  • Where did I come from?
  • Who am I?
  • Why am I here?
  • How should I live?
  • Where am I going?
Nov 8, 2018

What is life's biggest question? ›

Why is there something instead of nothing?” has been sometimes labeled as the “biggest question of all.”

What are the great questions of life? ›

The Four Great Questions of Life: Who Am I? Where Do I Come From? What Is My Purpose? Where Am I Going?

What are some basic questions? ›

100 Getting to Know You Questions
  • Who is your hero?
  • If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
  • What is your biggest fear?
  • What is your favorite family vacation?
  • What would you change about yourself if you could?
  • What really makes you angry?
  • What motivates you to work hard?

How can I ask simple questions in English? ›

Asking Questions in English - Fix Your Grammar Mistakes! - YouTube

What is simple question? ›

1 not involved or complicated; easy to understand or do.

What are the 5 English skills? ›

You should not be surprised to learn that these five categories are Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing, and Grammar.

What are 5 ways to improve your speaking skills? ›

But like any other skill, you can improve your spoken English if you practise regularly and follow these simple techniques.
  • Listen. The first step in improving your speaking skills is actually working on your listening. ...
  • Imitate. ...
  • Read. ...
  • Reflect. ...
  • Prepare. ...
  • Speak. ...
  • Practise.
Oct 18, 2021

What is a fun conversation? ›

Funny Conversation Starters

If you were in a circus, which character would you be? What is the worst advice you have given? What is one thing you should never say at a wedding? What is the worst pickup line you have ever heard? If you could only store one type of food in your pocket, what would you carry?

How do you ask a smart question? ›

How to ask smart questions
  1. Think about what you already know. Reviewing your existing knowledge on a subject can help you pinpoint any gaps. ...
  2. Confirm what you want to learn. ...
  3. Create a draft of your questions. ...
  4. Refine your questions. ...
  5. Ensure simplicity. ...
  6. Ask your questions confidently and politely.
Oct 18, 2021

What are the 6 types of questions? ›

Use this citation format: Asking Questions: Six Types. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo.
  • “Do you agree …?”
  • “What do you think about …?”
  • “What is the most important …?”
  • “Place the following in order of priority …”
  • “How would you decide about …?”
  • “What criteria would you use to assess …?”

What are some good why questions? ›

Questions 1–10
  • Why is there a leap day?
  • Why is the sky blue?
  • Why you always lying?
  • Why is my poop green?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why are cats afraid of cucumbers?
  • Why do dogs eat grass?
  • Why are cats scared of cucumbers?
Jan 26, 2021

What are the 5 question words? ›

They include Who, What, When Where, and Why. The 5 Ws are often mentioned in journalism (cf. news style), research, and police investigations.
What are the 5 Ws?
  • Who is it about?
  • What happened?
  • When did it take place?
  • Where did it take place?
  • Why did it happen?
May 7, 2018

What is long type question? ›

Long Answer (LA) questions also known as Written Response questions require respondents to write answers for open-ended questions. Responses can be given using multiple sentences, paragraph answers, or mathematical explanations and calculations.

How do you list questions? ›

How is a very useful question word. Let's look at some of the ways it can be used.
  • How can I stay healthy?
  • How do you use a public bus? ...
  • How big is your room? ...
  • How long does it take to get to your job each day? ...
  • How many people do you know who can speak English? ...
  • How much fun do you have each day?
Aug 8, 2016

What close ended questions? ›

What are closed-ended questions? Closed-ended questions are questions that can only be answered by selecting from a limited number of options, usually multiple-choice questions with a single-word answer , 'yes' or 'no', or a rating scale (e.g. from strongly agree to strongly disagree).

How do I question a girl? ›

Questions to Ask a Girl About Life
  1. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
  2. Is there a book you could read over and over again without ever growing tired of it?
  3. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
  4. What's your favorite joke?
  5. If you had one day left to live, what would you do first?
Nov 6, 2021

What are the 3 levels of questions? ›

The Levels of Questions strategy helps students comprehend and interpret a text by requiring them to answer three types of questions about it: factual, inferential, and universal.

What should I ask in 20 questions? ›

  • Have You Ever Dine And Dashed At A Restaurant? ...
  • Would You Rather Have Endless Money Or Endless Love? ...
  • Have You Ever Been In A Car Crash — And It Was Your Fault? ...
  • If You Could Star In A Movie, What Movie Would It Be? ...
  • What Is Your Most Frequently Used Emoji? ...
  • What Was The Last Thing You Stole Or Shoplifted?
Oct 17, 2017

What are some juicy 21 questions? ›

21 Questions List
  • What's the weirdest dream you've ever had?
  • If you could travel to any year in a time machine, what year would you choose and why?
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  • What's one of the most fun childhood memories you have?
May 5, 2021

What are interesting questions to ask? ›

100 Getting to Know You Questions
  • Who is your hero?
  • If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
  • What is your biggest fear?
  • What is your favorite family vacation?
  • What would you change about yourself if you could?
  • What really makes you angry?
  • What motivates you to work hard?

What are 5 random questions? ›

Good random questions to ask people
  • What do you think the meaning of life is?
  • If money were no object, what would you do?
  • If you found out you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?
  • What is the most unexpected piece of advice you ever received?
Jun 3, 2022

What is the 10 question game? ›

A student draws a card out and keeps it hidden from the class. The class then takes turns at asking yes/no questions to discover the type of litter on the card. For example, “Is it made from paper?”, “Do you drink out of it?”, etc. If the answer is “yes” then the student who asked the question has another turn.

What is 21 questions to ask a guy? ›

21 Questions to Ask a Guy to Get to Know Him
  • What's Your Family Like? ...
  • What's Your Favorite Childhood Memory? ...
  • What's Your Favorite Song? ...
  • Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years? ...
  • Do You Want Children? ...
  • If You Could Have One Superpower, What Would It Be? ...
  • What Do You Enjoy Most About Your Job?
Apr 7, 2019

What is the 21 questions game? ›

21 Questions is a game for people to get to know each other better. It can be played either in a group or with just two people. If the game is being played in a group, a target volunteers or is selected. Then, the target is asked a total of 21 questions and must answer them honestly.

What are good hot seat questions? ›

21 Warm-Up Hot Seat Questions
  • If you could have a romantic dinner date with a famous person, who would that person be? ...
  • If there are 25 hours in a day, how would you spend that extra hour?
  • Who's the celebrity you're obsessing over right now?

What is the 20 questions game Texting? ›

1. 20 Questions. To play the 20 questions texting game, one player must pick something from their imagination; it could be an object, place, or even an obscure celebrity. Then your friend will try to guess the object you chose in 20 "Yes or No" Questions or less.

What are hard questions to ask your friends? ›

Deep questions to ask your best friend
  • Have you ever wanted to die?
  • How would you prefer to die?
  • What do you think is the meaning of life?
  • What was the most difficult “goodbye” in your life?
  • What's your best memory?
  • What's your worst memory?
  • When was the last time you cried?
  • What do you struggle with the most?
Jun 29, 2020

What is a really good question? ›

What's the most comfortable bed or chair you've ever been in? What's the craziest conversation you've overheard? What's the hardest you've ever worked? What movie, picture, or video always makes you laugh no matter how often you watch it?

What are the top 10 questions to ask a girl? ›

10 Cute Questions to Ask a Girl
  • What do you love most about your life so far?
  • What's one thing that makes you feel like a little girl again?
  • I get the feeling you're trouble, is it true? ...
  • What's your favorite memory from the past?
  • What movie made you cry the hardest?
  • What's one of your happiest moments in life?
Sep 20, 2022

What are some fun random questions? ›

And now...for the most random questions ever!
  • If You Had Three Wishes, What Would You Wish For?
  • What Would You Rather Throw Away: Love Or Money?
  • What's The Most Beautiful Place You've Ever Seen?
  • What Was Your Fondest Memory Of High School?
  • What's Your Favorite TV Show?
  • What's The Strangest Thing In Your Refrigerator?
Jul 31, 2020

What is the most asked question in the world? ›

What is the most asked question in the world? It might be quite surprising to know that the most asked question in the world is “what is my ip”. There are a little over 3 million people who ask this question every month on Google and that's just one variation of the question.

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