Beginning conversations in Australia

Beginning conversations in Australia


Beginning conversations in Australia

Starting a conversation in a foreign language with someone you've never met before can be a daunting task. In this lesson, Kate Russell, a curriculum writer at REW, provides some simple tips on how to begin a conversation with someone in Australia.

Hi. Today I'm going to tell you about some common questions in Australia that we use to start everyday conversations. The first question is, "How are you going?" You're not sure what I mean? Let me explain. This question is important in Australia. It's probably the most common question people will ask you. It doesn't mean, are you travelling by bus, train, car or foot? It means, "How are you," or "How are you feeling?" So how do you answer this question?

You give the same answers as you do if someone asks, "How are you?" For example, "I'm fine, thanks." "I'm well." "I'm okay." "I'm all right." "I'm tired," et cetera. With this question, a person is often asking how you were feeling at that moment, because your feelings can change throughout the day. We can begin that day feeling just okay, but end it feeling happy, or start that day happy, but end up feeling bad. So this question can be a way of checking how you feel right at this moment.

So, how are you going? Another similar question is, "How's it going?" It means today. We know that many things can happen in a day. Some events are good. Some are bad. To answer this question, you can answer, "It's going well." "Okay." "Badly." So again, this question can be a way of checking how you feel right at this moment.

My name's Kate and I'm a teacher and curriculum writer at RMIT English Worldwide.

30 June 2021


  • Melbourne
  • Australia
  • Vocabulary
  • Speaking

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.