• Daniel Bullock

What does "to break the ice" mean?

マンツーマン, 筑西市, 英語
How to break the ice?

Hi there! This is Daniel here at Daniel’s English Club. A new series we have just launched is “idiom of the week”. Here, we would like to introduce learners to various English Idioms, in order to help learners speak more naturally and also to aid in their listening ability.

So, without further ado, here is this week’s idiom: to break the ice

What does “to break the ice“ mean?

It means to get a conversation started in a comfortable way. This avoids any long or anxious silences.

筑西市, マンツーマン, 英語
I wouldn't want to break the ice with him!

What are some examples of breaking the ice?

Say you are in a lift (elevator for our American audience!) and people are all standing still looking straight ahead. If you are looking right at them, it could be a little uncomfortable. A simple comment such as: “It’s hot out today, isn’t it?” can really help to break the ice, and get a simple conversation started.

Another example of breaking the ice:

You are meeting a business client and want to make the atmosphere warm and friendly. A simple enquiry such as “how was your trip?” or “I hope the traffic wasn’t too bad?” can do wonders for setting a relaxed tone to proceedings. Good luck with breaking the ice!