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Building conversations- answering questions

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For a balanced and successful conversation, you need to answer as well as ask questions. Consider the following exchange:

 

“Is this your first visit to Japan?”

“Yes.”

 

A short answer makes it difficult to deepen the conversation so here are 3 strategies to help extend your answers to questions:

 

1. Extra information

2. Opinion

3. Question

 

 

 

1. Extra information

Include some additional information to give a little more substance and help your conversation partner think of a targeted follow up question.

 

“Is this your first visit to Japan?”

“Yes, it is. Actually, it’s my first visit to Asia.”

“Yes, it is. But, I’ll be coming back here regularly from now on.”

“Yes, it is. I’ll be here for 3 weeks.”

 

 

 

2. Opinion

Giving your opinion, will help to deepen the conversation and encourage your conversation partner to relate to you on a personal level.

 

“Is this your first visit to Japan?”

“Yes, it is. I’m so excited.”

“Yes, it is. It’s been a really interesting experience for me.”

“Yes, it is. I love the food, but the weather is a little humid.”

 

 

 

3. Question

Adding a question to your reply makes the conversation more balanced.

 

“Is this your first visit to Japan?”

“Yes, it is. Where do you recommend I should go?”

“Yes, it is. Is it usually this humid?”

“Yes, it is. Do you know a good place to buy souvenirs?”

 

 

Now, try to imagine extended answers to the following questions:

 

“Did you have a good flight?”

“Where are you from originally?”

“Do you have any plans for lunch?”

 

 

Feel free to combine these 3 techniques for an even greater effect!

 

“Is this your first visit to Japan?”

“Yes, it is. I’ll be here for 3 weeks. I’m so excited. Where do you recommend I should go?”

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