You know that the best way to practice conversational English is by talking to other people. However, it can be difficult sometimes to come up with questions to start a conversation with a friend in English. You don’t have to worry about that anymore! We have selected some questions that you can ask your friends and colleagues and we have divided them into 12 sections. Now, you can either use the flashcards below or download them in order to print them and cut them out. Have fun practicing English with these conversation starters for these ten topics.

Start talking in English

The next ten sections give questions that you can use to start a conversation or keep it going. However, you should remember to consider your relationship with the person before asking certain questions. For instance, questions related to money, romance, and family may be too informal for you to ask colleagues.

Conversation starters in English for 10 topics

Review these flashcards and the conversation questions in English. Try to practice these in conversation with your friends!

Conversation starters about fashion or clothes

  • How often do you buy new clothes?
  • Do you wear a hat sometimes?
  • How many pairs of gloves do you have?
  • What colors do you think look good on you?
  • What is your shoe size?
  • What’s the most expensive piece of clothing you have ever bought?
  • Have you ever bought secondhand clothes?
  • What is your favorite clothing brand?

Interested in shopping? Read more about vocabulary for fashion and clothes. Then, you can use all that vocabulary you learned to have conversation in English.

Talk in English about dating or romance with these

  • Do you have a significant other?
  • Have you ever been on a blind date?
  • Have your parents ever disapproved of any of your relationships?
  • How old were you when you had your first boyfriend or girlfriend?
  • What was the most boring date you’ve ever been on?
  • What do you think about internet dating?

Do you love love? We do! You can learn more about dating idioms in English and the history of Valentine’s Day. This is one of the most popular topics for light-hearted English conversation.

English conversation starters about entertainment

  • What is your favorite TV show?
  • Do you prefer watching TV shows or movies?
  • Do you like watching the Oscars?
  • What was the last book you read?
  • Who is your favorite female singer?
  • Who is your favorite male singer?
  • What kind of music do you like?

Are you a screen aficionado? A music die-hard? You can’t miss these recommendations to learn English through TV series. Plus, check out this English lesson about musical instruments.

Chat about family in English

  • Do you get along with your brothers and sisters?
  • How often do you see your grandparents?
  • Do you live with your parents?
  • How old are your parents?
  • Do you get along with your in-laws?
  • What are the occupations of your family members?
  • Do you look more like your mother or your father?

Family is a deep topic for many people! You need to know how to describe all those relationships in order to be clear in your English conversation. Read this post about English vocabulary for different types of families.

Talk about food and drink

  • Do you like to cook?
  • Are you a vegetarian?
  • What is a typical meal from your country?
  • Did you drink coffee this morning?
  • Do you eat breakfast every day?
  • What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?
  • Do you like Japanese food?
  • If you are living abroad, what is the food that you miss most from home?
  • What did you eat for lunch yesterday?
  • What is your favorite food?

Whether you’re a foodie or a newbie to the food realm, we have you covered if you want to know more. A good start is this post about kitchen and cooking vocabulary in English. If you know all that, try these vocabulary posts about breakfast, vegetables, or fruit.

For our kitchen-savvy readers, it’s time to get in the kitchen and practice! Check out our guide to learning English through Youtube cooking videos so that you can try putting your knowledge to the test.

Talk about health

  • Do you ever get headaches?
  • Are you healthy?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Do you usually get enough sleep?
  • Have you ever donated blood?
  • Do you smoke?
  • What are some things people can do to keep healthy?
  • Do you go for regular medical check-ups?

Talking about health can be a tricky subject. Brush up on the vocabulary with this guide to parts of the body in English.

Conversation about work

  • What was your first job?
  • Do you ever work overtime?
  • Do you like your boss? Why or why not?
  • Do you work on weekends?
  • How many hours a week do you work?
  • What is your dream job?
  • What time do you get home from work?

We know English for business is really important for many adults, and luckily we have a ton of content for you to learn more about this type of language. You can start with this guide about jobs and occupations in English. Plus, you may want to learn some casual expressions about business with these idioms.

Practice talking about money in English

  • Are you good at saving money?
  • Do you have more than one bank account? 
  • How many credit cards do you have?
  • Have you ever bought a lottery ticket?
  • How much did you spend last week?
  • How much does it cost to get a haircut in your country?
  • What is something that you have bought recently?
  • What is the average salary in your country?

We know, it’s weird to talk about money. But, we imagine that there are some people you are comfortable sharing this information with. Just be careful about how much you ask. However, there is a good way to chat about money in conversation. You can use these English money idioms to make the conversation less formal sounding.

Sharing about pets

  • Do you have a pet?
  • What does your pet look like?
  • If you don’t have a pet, why not?
  • Did you grow up with pets in your home?
  • Do you know someone who owns an unusual pet?
  • Why do some people not like pets?

Maybe don’t start a debate about cats versus dogs – those are fighting words! But if you are a pet-owner or just an animal lover, check out this post about pet vocabulary in English.

Conversation in English about education

  • Do you enjoy studying English?
  • Do you ever skip class?
  • Did you study art in high school?
  • Have you ever slept in class?
  • How much homework do you do every day?
  • Which subjects are you good at?
  • What is your favorite subject?

Education is a great way to figure out what people are interested in. Use that to your advantage! And, if you are a current university student or will be soon, read up on all the terms you should know about college life.

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Download 80 conversation flashcards for free

Check out the flipbook below to review all these English conversation starters. You can download this PDF for free.

Further, if you’d like to get more ideas about how to continue a conversation, check out this free resource over at VOA Learning English. Remember, practicing English conversation will improve your speaking skills immensely!

We hope these resources help you practice conversation in English! Enjoy the conversation starters and talk with friends and family. Happy studying!