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Language tip of the week: having a conversation

Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items.

This week’s tip looks at words and phrases you can use to talk about having a conversation.

chat to talk to someone in a friendly way:
She laughed and chatted happily with the other women. ♦ They sat and chatted about nothing in particular.
have a chat:
I had an interesting chat with his sister. ♦ We had a little chat about the new job.
gossip to talk about other people, sometimes in an unkind way, or to talk about things that are not important:
She spent much of the time chatting and gossiping with Rose. 
natter to talk to a friend about unimportant things. Natter is informal:
They were nattering away in a corner, quite unconcerned about the time.
be in conversation to be having a conversation with someone:
They were deep in conversation. ♦ Holmes had been seen in a cafe, in conversation with a known drug dealer.
get into conversation to start having a conversation with someone you have never met before:
I got into conversation with this bloke who had been in the army.
converse to have a conversation. Converse is formal and is used in written English:
They had been conversing easily all afternoon. ♦ He conversed with the Russians in French, and everyone else in German.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘have a conversation‘.

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Liz Potter

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