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small talk or casual talk

Discussion in 'English Only' started by bosun, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. bosun Senior Member

    korean
    what do you say coversation between a owner and customers, which is not a serious talk? Can i say small or casual talk? for example,

    The owner of the restaurnat exchanged small talks/ or casual talks/or social talks ???????????with the customers.
     
  2. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    București
    Romanian
    I don't think you use the verb "exchanged," unless you want to say "exchanged a few words."
     
  3. tepatria Senior Member

    Onondaga, Ontario
    Canadian English
    Small talk is used a lot. Casual conversation works well too.

    The owner exchanged small talk is fine, but not small talks
     
  4. nzseries1

    nzseries1 Senior Member

    London
    New Zealand - English
    The owner of the restaurant had a casual conversation with the customers.
    The owner of the restaurant had a social conversation with the customers.
    The owner of the restaurant exchanged a few casual words with the customers.

    I wouldn't use "small talk", because small talk to me has a negative connotation, i.e. it's talk that you do because you have to (that's just my opinion).

    "Casual talks" and "Social talks" are grammatically correct, but not what people would use - you don't normally exchange "talks".
     
  5. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    Hi bosun,

    You're close. The restaurant owner exchanged small talk with the customers.

    He also chatted with them.
    He chitchatted with them.
    He exchanged chitchat.

    Edit:
    Oh, nzseries1, I just read your post! Small talk doesn't have a negative slant on it here in the U.S. like that. Small talk is friendly banter you have with strangers when you want to be polite and kind. It can be superficial. In fact, I think it almost alway is superficial. But it's a nice kind of superficial. :)

    AngelEyes
     
  6. nzseries1

    nzseries1 Senior Member

    London
    New Zealand - English
    Using AngelEyes' suggestion, I like this one the best:

    The restaurant owner chatted casually with them.
     
  7. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States

    Exchanged is used, but there's also the softer-sounding shared. Enjoyed is another one.

    And chitchat is quite popular where I come from.

    Example:

    The restaurant owner shared some amusing chitchat with his customers.
    The restaurant owner enjoyed some amusing chitchat with his customers.


    You can use them both, too.
    Example:

    The restaurant owner enjoyed sharing small talk with his customers.


    AngelEyes
     

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