Weekends are a terrific topic for small talk. Americans may ask you about your weekend plans starting from Thursday even as early as Wednesday.
Maybe youve already heard questions like What are you doing this weekend?, What do you have going on this weekend?, or Do you have any big plans for the weekend?,
And when you return to work or school on Monday, what is the most common question youll hear?
How was your weekend?
Weekends are a great subject for making small talk. Especially if you did something fun over the weekend and want to share.
However, if you didnt do anything special over the weekend, this question may make you feel like you dont have anything to say, like youre going to kill the conversation.
Dont worry I feel you. In this episode, youll learn some responses for when people ask, How was your weekend? when you actually did something.
In the second half of the episode, youll learn how to respond in a friendly way without killing the conversation even if you didnt do anything at all over the weekend.
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Talking about the upcoming weekend or the weekend that has just passed is a fantastic small talk subject!
Who doesnt love their weekends? And there are a ton of other fun small talk ideas Id like to share with you too!
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It teaches you how to socialize with confidence, and build up those important personal and professional relationships, get techniques to make you a good conversationalist, as well as understand cultural differences on a deeper level.
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The Upcoming Weekend
When Wednesday rolls around, your colleagues may ask, Do you have any plans this weekend?, or a similar question.
A good format is to respond with: 1). What youre going to do. 2). Because
Your plans may be anything from seeing a movie, going out of town, or even reading a new book. For example, you could say:
Yes, Im gonna go see the new Star Trek movie.
And then describe the activity with because
Yes, Im gonna go see the new Star Trek movie because Im a big fan.
Heres another example:
Do you have any plans this weekend?
Yes, Im going to bake a cake because its my best friends birthday. She loves chocolate and I thought itd be a nice surprise!
How was your Weekend? (You did stuff!)
Its Monday morning and you can expect about 5 people at work to all ask you: What did you do over the weekend? or Did you have a good weekend? or How was your weekend?
Its okay, youre feeling pretty good about this question today because you did stuff over the weekend. Maybe you went on a trip, did a wine-tasting, or worked on your English!
Again, its best to respond with an activity you did over the weekend and something about it.
This could be a reason why you did the activity or whether you enjoyed it.
How was your weekend?
It was good! I saw the new Star Trek movie. I dressed up as my favorite character and everything! But the movie itself wasnt very good and I feel asleep. And I dont think I was the only one!
It was great! I went shopping with my sister and I picked up a new dress. It fits like a glove.
(Fits like a glove is an expression that means fits very well.)
Or if you want to be a bit funny:
I took a flight to London Friday evening and had dinner with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Yes, I saw their baby and hes even cuter in person. They offered to fly me to Pamplona for the running of the bulls. Unfortunately, I had to decline their invitation because I had already committed to the opera with Ryan Reynolds. Anyway, how was your weekend?
Honestly, it doesnt really matter what you say in response. The important thing is to make an effort to participate in the conversation in English. It shows that you play the game of small talk. This is important if you want to give a positive impression of yourself.
How was your weekend? (You did nothing)
Uh oh, its Monday morning anddoes it seem like twice as many people are asking you How was your weekend?
Yes, youre sure at least 10 people have asked you but you didnt do anything over the weekend. You feel like a lazy, boring, person.
Dont worry youre still your charming self! You can still respond in a friendly way even though you didnt do anything over the weekend.
But first heres a tip: its best not to respond with: I just stayed home. I didnt do anything or simply, Nothing, and give no additional details. *Awkward silence*
In fact, this is one of the biggest mistakes I see students make when I ask them How was your weekend? They say Oh, I didnt do anything, and then stop talking, so it seems like they dont want to talk to me!
If youd like to engage in friendly small talk, well need a more personable response. The key here is to show enthusiasm when making small talk, even if you didnt do anything special.
Lets learn some terrific responses so you can respond in a fun way, even if you didnt have any fun over the weekend.
Me-time and beauty sleep
Lets say all you did over the weekend was hang around in your pajamas and sleep. What might sound boring to you may sound like a dream to someone else.
How was your weekend?
It was good! I stayed home and caught up on sleep. Ive been so busy lately, so it was good to finally have some me-time and get my beauty sleep.
As you may have guessed, me-time is time for me! Or for you rather. Its basically time for yourself, to rest, relax, and refresh your energy.
Beauty sleep means restful sleep that may give a more youthful appearance. Sounds like something worth doing over the weekend, dont you agree?
I cleaned my apartment
Maybe you cleaned all weekend. Well that isnt nothing its something!
Again, other people may wish they had that luxury to have the time to clean their house all weekend, instead of letting everything pile up because they dont have time to clean..
How was your weekend?
It was okay. I cleaned my apartment from top to bottom. Ive been traveling for work and havent had time to keep it tidy.
I had a strange dream
Even though you didnt do anything over the weekend, perhaps you had an interesting dream?
You could say, My weekend was okay. I didnt do much, but I had a strange dream. I dreamt that I was chimpanzee on a rollercoaster! What about you, do you remember your dreams?
Are you seeing a pattern here? Small talk doesnt have to be super intelligent or philosophical.
Friendly conversation can be made about anything even a strange dream.
And if youre afraid to ask questions because youre not sure that you will understand what your colleague says in return, be sure to improve your comprehension skills for fast-spoken English!
To recap, if you feel like you didnt do anything over the weekend and still want to have a friendly conversation, dont despair!
As long as youre enthusiastic and provide a detail or two, you can still participate in small talk.
And remember what may seem boring to you such as sleeping or cleaning could be a dream come true for your colleague. So feel free to share!
Now, what about you?
What do you say when people ask you about your weekend? What do you say for those weekends you didnt do anything?
Share your tips with other English students in the comments!
If youve been a student of American English for years now and still feel awkward making small talk, check out my new course designed to help you master social situations and everyday conversations in your professional life.
Click here to sign up to my list and get your invitation for that special offer (2 months of conversation practice for free when you join the course).
Thank you for learning with Speak English with Christina, and Ill see you next time!
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