How to Introduce Yourself in English

This week’s Spotlight lesson is our new Simple Present – Be lesson, where language learners can get a lot of practice introducing themselves. Introductions are one of the first things students need to learn to do in a new language. Feeling confident and comfortable doing so can go a long way to making language learning an enjoyable experience.

Like most (if not all) languages, there are a variety of ways to introduce ourselves in English, and we don’t want our students freezing up in the real world if they hear a variation from what they practiced in class. That’s why dialogues that show possible variations (such as the free, printable dialogue below) are great—students can see other ways of saying the target phrase and repeat the basic conversation several times without getting bored.

For listening practice and as a model before the students try it themselves, play the audio clip at the bottom of this post or ask for two volunteers.

Dialogue:

Download Introductions Dialogue PDF

Nice to meet you or nice meeting you?

Did your students notice the difference between the infinitive “to meet” and the gerund “meeting” following the phrase “it was nice”? In English, it’s more common to use the infinitive when we’re meeting someone for the first time. We usually use the gerund when we’re closing the conversation after we’ve already been introduced to someone. Tell your students to use It’s nice to meet you, Nice to meet you, It’s great to meet you, etc. at the beginning of the conversation, and It was nice meeting you, Nice meeting you, It was great meeting you, etc. at the end of the conversation.

Is it possible to use an infinitive at the end of a conversation? (E.g., It was nice to meet you.) Yes, it is, because the past Be verb indicates that we’ve already met someone. Tell your students that at the end of the conversation, the gerund is more common, but the infinitive is also possible.

Listening Practice:

Related Lesson:

Find the Simple Present – Be lesson in the Grammar School – Basic Grammar Structures.

     

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Tanya Trusler

Tanya is a freelance editor and writer with an extensive background as an ESL teacher. She edits lesson plans, creates new materials, and writes weekly blog posts for ESL-Library and Sprout English. Her company is Editing to a T. Follow her on Twitter (@tanyatrusler) and Google Plus.

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