Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

When you talk with native English speakers do you know what questions are ok to ask in American culture and what questions you should avoid?

Find out in today’s episode so that you can build better connections with native speakers.


“I sometimes use Skype to talk to my foreign friends and I think this is a really helpful way to master English. Talk to the friends that I knew him for long is a cakewalk, but when it comes to new people, I don’t know how to start the conversation.

The questions that i asked them, some opened about it and answered it friendly, but some were not.

So Can you tell me a few question that I should or shouldn’t ask when I meet them for the very first time? Here are some: What do you do for a living, how much do you weigh, how tall are you (because I’m Asian and am surprised by their height) , are you single or taken ?” 

Dat Tien Duong


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Question #1: What do you do for a living?

This question is boring because it implies that we place a lot of our identity in what we do for work and that might not be true for everyone.


Other ways to say it:

  • So what do you do?
  • What field are you in?


More interesting:

  • How do you fill your days?
  • How do you spend your time?
  • What do you like to do?


Question #2: How tall are you?

This question is not necessary if you are speaking with someone on Skype.

It doesn’t really help you to get to know the person better.

You should avoid it unless the topic of height comes up.


Question #3: Are you single or taken?

Definitely avoid this.

If you are interested and you want to know this you could ask about their living situation and see if they mention a partner.


Question #4: How much do you weigh?

Don’t ask this question upfront when you don’t know the person well.

If you are in deeper conversation with someone and they share that they want to lose weight then it might be ok.

However if you are just talking to someone for the first time then you need to avoid this question.


More tips for asking good questions when you speak with a native:

  • Use open ended questions so that you can go deeper.
  • Find out why someone is interested in something. Find out what they like about the activity.
  • Observe and listen well.
  • Be curious about the person. If you are really engaged and present then you shouldn’t be stumbling for questions. The natural curiosity will come up. Get out of perfection and think about your goal of getting to know the person.


Let us know your comments below.

Thanks for listening.

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