Speak English Around Town » LESSON 14 - Making Introductions

Making Introductions

At the dinner party, Lisa introduces Lori and Mike to Jane and Kyle Chen. Lori and Jane realize they've met previously through work.

Lisa: Let me make some introductions. Lori and Mike Garcia, this is Kyle and Jane Chen.

Lori: Nice to meet you.

Kyle: I'm sorry, I didn't catch your names.

Lori: I'm Lori and this is my husband Mike.

Lisa: You guys have a lot in common, so I'm sure you'll hit it off.

Jane: Lori, you look familiar, but I can't quite place you.

Lori: Your name rings a bell. Do you work at Harco Insurance?

Jane: I used to be in sales there. I left about a year ago.

Lori: I used to work at Comtek International. You sold us our insurance plan.

Jane: Yes, that's right. It's a small world!

Lori: It sure is. I'm glad we've crossed paths again.

Jane: Me too. What have you been up to since you left Comtek?

Lori: It's a long story. Let's grab some drinks, and I'll fill you in.

Idioms
  • (to) cross paths
    to meet, especially by chance
    Example: While I was vacationing in Florida, I crossed paths with an old friend from high school.
  • (to) fill someone in (on something)
    to update someone; to tell somebody what's been going on
    Example: Can you fill me in on what's happening with our new business partner in China?
  • (to) grab some drinks
    to get something to drink; to go out for a drink
    Example: Do you want to grab some drinks after work?
  • (to) have a lot in common
    to share similar interests or have similar backgrounds
    Example: Julie and I have a lot in common, so we always have lots to talk about when we see each other.
  • (to) hit it off
    to get along well with someone
    Example: Carl hit it off with a woman he met on Match.com, and now they're getting married.
  • I can't quite place you
    I've seen (or met) you before, but I can't remember where or when
    Example: Hi, I'm Charles Kim. I know we've met before, but I can't quite place you.
  • I didn't catch your name
    I didn't hear your name when you were introduced
    Exampel: "I know we were introduced earlier, but I didn't catch your name." - "I'm Svetlana Petrenko."
    Note: This is a polite way of asking somebody to repeat his or her name.
  • (to be) in sales
    to work in a sales position
    Example: Bill used to be in sales for Comtek, but he recently took a new job in marketing.
    NOTE: You can also be in marketing, in finance, in real estate, in banking, or "in" other fields of work.
  • It's a long story
    there's lots to say; a lot has happened; it's complicated
    Example: "Why didn't you accept the job offer with the advertising agency?" - "It's a long story."
  • It's a small world!
    this expression is used when people are surprised to find out they know each other from some past experience
    Example: I ran into my college friend from Chicago in a coffee shop in Vienna. It's a small world!
  • (to) look familiar
    to look like someone one already knows or has seen before
    Example: That actress looks familiar. Wasn't she in the movie Midnight in Paris?
  • (to) make some introductions
    to introduce people
    Example: After a few more people arrive, I'm going to make some introductions.
  • (to) ring a bell
    to sound familiar; to sound like something someone has heard before
    Example: "You graduated from Yale in 2007? Did you know Jeremy Larson?" - "No, that name doesn't ring a bell."
  • What have you been up to?
    What have you been doing?
    Example: I haven't talked to you in a long time. What have you been up to?
Practice the Expressions

Fill in the blanks using the following expressions:

  • grab some drinks
  • rings a bell
  • paths have crossed
  • fill you in
  • it's a long story
  • look familiar
  • what have you been up to
  • it's a small world
  • I can't quite place you
  • have a lot in common

Dan: Excuse me, haven't we met before? You (1) __________ .

Jill: Dan Reynolds?

Dan: Yes, that's me.

Jill: I'm Jill King.

Dan: Oh, that name (2) __________ , but (3) __________ .

Jill: We met at Tim Taylor's Halloween party last year.

Dan: Right! You were dressed as Cleopatra. Now here we are at Eric's party and we meet again. (4) __________ !

Jill: I'm glad our (5) __________ again.

Dan: Me too. (6) __________ ?

Jill: Not much. I thought you were going to call me after Tim's party. I remember our great discussion. As I remember, we (7) __________ .

Dan: Yes, now I remember. We both love travel and baseball!

Jill: But you never called me. What happened?

Dan: (8) __________ .

Jill: I'd love to hear it.

Dan: Let's (9) __________ and I'll (10) __________ .

Answer Key
Practice The Expressions
  1. look familiar
  2. rings a bell
  3. I can't quite place you
  4. It's a small world
  5. paths have crossed
  6. What have you been up to
  7. have a lot in common
  8. It's a long story
  9. grab some drinks
  10. fill you in
Answer Key
Language Lens: "Used to"

Use used to + the base form of the verb to discuss past situations, conditions, or habits which are now different or finished.
Note: "Used to" is pronounced as one word: useta [yooz-ta].

Examples:
Sara used to live in New York, but now she lives in Chicago.
Jason used to cook dinner every night, but now he gets takeout several times a week.
Our mailman used to come at 11 a.m. every day, but now he comes later.
Bill used to be a smoker.

=> With questions and negatives, the "d" on "used" is dropped.
Note: "Use to" is pronounced as one word: useta [yooz-ta].

Examples:
Did you use to play football every Saturday?
Did Jeff use to ride his bike to work?
Susan didn't use to believe in ghosts.
I didn't use to like apples, but now I eat one every day.

Use used to + -ing form of the verb to describe something that you are in the habit of doing.

Examples:
I'm used to cooking dinner every night.
I'm used to driving an hour to work.
I'll never get used to living so far from downtown.
We're used to sleeping in* on Sundays.

* sleep in - to sleep late on purpose (and not because you forgot to set your alarm!)

Quick Quiz

Fill in the blanks, using "used to" or "use to" + the correct verb from the list below:

  • get up
  • work
  • cook
  • want
  • complain
  • eat
  • arrive
  • wonder
  • dream
  • be

Pam (1) __________ as a lawyer for a big law firm in Manhattan. She (2) __________ at 5 a.m. every morning. She ( 3) __________ at the office by 7. The hours were very long. She ( 4) __________ sometimes why she decided to become a lawyer. She (5) __________ of becoming an actress.

Pam's husband Paul (6) __________ dinner for them every night. Pam (7) __________ dinner at 9 o'clock, when she arrived home. Every night, she complained about her job to Paul. One night, Paul asked, "Didn't you (8) __________ to be an actress?" Pam said she did. Paul suggested they move to Hollywood so Pam could pursue that old dream. Paul and Pam moved to Hollywood. Pam found work playing a lawyer on a TV show. She's much happier now. Sometimes people ask Pam, "Did you (9) __________ a lawyer? She replies, "Yes, and when I was a real lawyer, I (10) __________ a lot. Now that I play one on TV, I'm much happier!"

Answer Key
  1. used to work
  2. used to get up
  3. used to arrive
  4. used to wonder
  5. used to dream
  6. used to cook
  7. used to eat
  8. use to want
  9. use to be
  10. used to complain
Answer Key
Favorite Books

If you already speak some English and now would like to speak more like a native, “Speak English Like an American” will help you. One of the keys to speaking like a native is the ability to use and understand casual expressions, or idioms. American English is full of idioms. Speak English Like an American will help you understand and use idioms better. It contains over 300 of today's most common idioms.

Read more