You’re feeling confident and want to chat to some locals in the pub. You already know how to ask for recommendations and advice, but what if you want to talk about something else?
Did you know…? There are certain topics of conversation that are very common to talk about at the pub. Remember that pubs are usually casual, friendly places so it’s a good idea to avoid topics that are controversial.
Here are some of the most common topics that are discussed in pubs:
- Old memories – talking about happy memories is great for talking to people you already know. If you’re travelling with a friend you can try this.
- Something completely random – try talking about something unexpected and see what happens!
- TV shows – people like to discuss good TV shows they’ve watched recently and ask for recommendations.
- Funny stories – pubs are lively, casual places and people like to tell good-natured stories here.
- Gossip – gossiping is a good way to bond with people as long as it is respectful. You shouldn’t do it in a professional environment, but in pubs it’s more acceptable. Again, gossip is something you can do with people you already know. Just be careful that you don’t say anything you shouldn’t.
- The news – this is a popular topic but be careful! The news is often political and people can get upset. If you want to talk about issues in the news, remain respectful and only talk to people you already know.
- Films – talk about films you have watched recently. Which films were good? Which films were not so good?
- Music – ask for music recommendations. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about British culture and what native speakers are listening to right now.
- Telling jokes – people like to relax at the pub and telling jokes is part of this.
- Football – football is the most popular sport in the UK so people talk about it in pubs a lot. Some pubs display football matches on a TV for their customers to watch.
Many of these topics involve expressing your opinion. Let’s look at polite ways to do this.
Expressing your opinion:
I think that… ‘I think that Avengers: Endgame is the best film in the series.’
I feel that… ‘I feel that the film would have been better if it hadn’t been so long!’
I believe that… ‘I believe that ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie is the best song in the world.’
In my opinion… ‘In my opinion, Ed Sheeran’s music is fantastic.’
I would say that… ‘I would say that ‘Downton Abbey’ is my favourite TV show.’
Expressing a lack of opinion:
I’m afraid that… ‘I’m afraid that I’m not really interested in The Beatles.’
I’m sorry, I …. ’I’m sorry, I haven’t seen that film yet.’
I’m afraid I don’t know much about… ‘I’m afraid I don’t know much about that TV show.’
That’s a good point .
I completely agree.
I couldn’t agree with you more.
I feel exactly the same way about it.
I’m not sure I agree with you.
I’m not so sure about that.
I think we need to agree to disagree. (Let’s agree that we will never agree, but that’s ok!)
Each to their own! (Everyone has their own opinions and likes different things.)
Look at the dialogues below to see these phrases used in conversation:
A: What do you think of the new Star Wars film?
B: I’m afraid that I’m not really interested in Star Wars.
C: That’s a shame. I watched it and in my opinion it’s the best one so far!
A: I’m not sure I agree with you. It’s good, but I prefer some of the older films.
C: That’s a good point. The older films are great. I think I enjoyed the new film more though.
B: Well, each to their own!
A: Do you like the new actor in Dr Who?
B: I would say that he’s one of the best actors to have that role.
A: I couldn’t agree with you more. I feel that the writing for this season isn’t as good as in the past though.
B: Hmmm, I’m not so sure about that. I really enjoyed last week’s episode and thought the writing was fantastic.
A: I think we need to agree to disagree there!