You see a cute guy or girl at the local cafe that you met once before in college. You want to speak to him or her again, but what would you say first to break the ice? Would you talk about work, mutual friends, the weather, or the food on offer in the cafe?
Dara gives some examples of how to use this common idiom in the video below. Check it out and then leave us a comment using today’s expression!
Break the ice? Why? Are we making cocktails?
No! To break the ice is just an idiom which means to say or do something to make things more comfortable when people meet or talk for the first time.
Hmm, let’s see how we can use this phrase naturally:
- One good way to break the ice is to ask someone about their hometown.
- Just to break the ice, I asked him about his kids. It turns out that his son is in university with my daughter! What a coincidence!
- Our first day of class was great fun. Our teacher had prepared lots of conversation games to break the ice.
So, there we are: break the ice. In your culture, what do people say or do to break the ice? Let us know in the comments section below.
Try to use today’s expression. Here are a few situations where you may need to break the ice.
- You are at a business conference where you know nobody. You are seated next to someone who also appears to be alone. What would you say?
- You see a coworker and his girlfriend outside the movie theatre. What would you do?
- You are at the wedding of an old friend and you are seated at a table with the bride’s cousins. What would you talk about?
- You are at a bus stop in the countryside and an old woman comes along to wait for the bus. Would you strike up a conversation?
Your responses to these questions may depend a lot on your cultural background. For example, in our country, Ireland, it is common to start chatting to an elderly person at a bus stop to put them at ease. We might comment on how cold the weather is and how long we’ve been waiting for the bus, and might grumble about the buses always being late!
How would you respond in the above situation? We’d love to know!