Se présenter à un cocktail

Les mots clés et expressions:

Small talk

Definition : informal conversation during social occasions. 

Translation : Conversation 

Non alcoholic (beverage)/virgin

Definition : a mixed drink with no alcohol. 

Translation : Boisson non alcoolisée 

Mixed drink/ cocktail

Definition : a drink containing alcohol and juice. 

Translation : Cocktail 

Do you have beer on draft/tap

Definition : to ask if there is beer available from a keg. 

Translation : Avez-vous de la bière à la pression ? 

Off the record

Definition : to speak confidentially. 

Translation : Officieusement 

What about you ?

Definition : to ask you your opinon or your thoughts on a subject. 

Translation : Et vous ? 

Do you work with x ?

Definition : to ask if you are in the same company as someone else. 

Translation : Travaillez-vous avec X ? 

How do you know x ?

Definition : to ask how you met the person in question. 

Translation : Comment connaissez-vous X ? 

What’s x like ?

Definition : to ask for a description of something or someone. 

Translation : A quoi ressemble X ? 

I’d like to introduce you to x

Definition : to invite you to meet someone. 

Translation : Je souhaiterais vous présenter à X 

How do you do ?

Definition : a formal greeting when meeting someone for the first time and shaking hands. It can be both the question and the answer. 

Translation : Enchanté de faire votre connaissance/ravi de vous connaître 

Would you like a drink ?

Definition : to offer a drink to someone. 

Translation : Voulez-vous quelque chose à boire ? 

Did you find it ok ?

Definition : to enquire if you got there without difficulty, without getting lost. 

Translation : Avez-vous trouvé l’endroit facilement ? 

Have you met x ?

Definition : to ask if you know someone. 

Translation : Connaissez-vous X ? 

What do you do ?

Definition : to ask what your job is. 

Translation : Quel est votre métier ? 

It’s a pleasure to meet you

Definition : nice to meet you. 

Translation : Ravi(e) de vous rencontrer 

What a lovely…/nice…

Definition : to complement something. 

Translation : C’est un très joli…/beau… 

Call me (first name)

Definition : to request that someone uses your first name vs. Mr./Ms./Mrs. 

Translation : Appelez-moi (prénom) 

Hors d’oeuvre

Definition : food served at the beginning of a meal as an appetizer/a choice from the list of starters on the menu. 

Translation : hors d’œuvre, entrée. 

Make a toast (to)

Definition : to raise your glass and make a short speech to someone or something. 

Translation : Trinquer/faire un discours 


Definition : after a toast, one often says this. 

Translation : Santé 

Thank you for inviting me

Definition : polite statement given to thank the host/hostess. 

Translation : Merci de m’avoir invité 

Where are you from ?

Definition : to ask where you live. 

Translation : D’où venez-vous ? 

Where are you going on vacation/holidays this year ?

Definition : to enquire about upcoming holidays. 

Translation : Où partez-vous en vacances cette année ? 

Dress code

Definition : the style of clothes required for an event. 

Translation : Code vestimentaire 

Black tie

Definition : requires that guests dress in formal clothes, tuxedos or dinner jackets and a black tie. 

Translation : Tenue correcte/stricte exigée 


Definition : informal clothes. 

Translation : Tenue décontractée 

Mingle (to)

Definition : to talk to different people at a party. 

Translation : Aller à la rencontre des gens 


Definition : the person giving the event. 

Translation : Hôte/hôtesse 

Network (to)

Definition : to get in touch with others in one’s profession or area.

Translation : Se créer des contacts 

Les usages à respecter:

When, at a cocktail party, subjects such as sports, weather, family (general questions), media (books, movies), vacation, hometown (where are you from ?) are all acceptable, remember to keep your questions and answers general. Avoid discussing religion, politics and other possible sensitive subjects. In England, when you meet someone, the following is a typical conversation :

• Bob : I’m Bob from marketing, how do you do ?

• Jess : How do you do ? First names are often used at business parties/cocktails and lunches. Business events outside the office can be very informal. If you are uncertain about what kind of event it is, do not hesitate to ask your host. You should have several business cards with you at any business event, however do not give it until the person has asked you for it. If someone gives you their business card, take a moment to read it then put it in your pocket (never your back pocket). When meeting someone for the first time, it is customary to shake their hand. Do not be more than 15 minutes late, unless you have informedyour host in advance. Anglophones are very punctual.

Quelques règles de bon anglais:

Contractions : would When using «would», it is often contracted with the personal pronoun. 

Examples : 

• I’d like to invite you to lunch

. • He’d like to visit New York.

• She’d go to the gala if she had time.

• We’d be happy to accept your invitation.

• They’d call me if they needed directions to the party.

The negative uses «wouldn’t».Examples : • I wouldn’t want to go to Chicago in the summer, it is too hot. • He wouldn’t accept the final deal.

Prepositions : at, on, in 

«At» is used for specific times. Example :

• The party is at 5:00. «On» is used for days and dates.

Example :

• The party is on Friday. «In» is used for non specific times during a day, a month, a season or a year. 

Example :

• The party is in the evening.


Fill in the missing word(s), then check the result below :

small talk, casual, appetizers, have on draft, to network, call me, cheers, thank you for inviting me, Where are you from ?, to mingle, hostess, non alcoholic/virgin, mixed drinks/cocktails, Off the record, to make a toast, I’d like to introduce you to, how do you do ? how do you do ?, dress code, black tie, Where are you going on vacation/holidays this year 

1. I would like a beer please, what do you ............ ?

2. The supplier told me the ............ is black tie.

3. The annual convention in London is an excellent place ..........., make sure you bring your business cards.

4. Stephanie, I would like to introduce you to Mr. Smith, head of advertising. Please, ............ John.

5. Would you like something to eat ? There are ............ by the bar.

6. Attention everyone, I would like ............ I would like to thank all of you for coming, especially those of you from out of town and I would like to congratulate John on closing the new deal. Cheers !

7. Here’s to our new partnership. ............ !

8. David, ............, this has been a wonderful party.

9. ............ ? I’m from Paris, France.

10. Marilyn, can you please call Mr. Jone’s secretary to see if the cocktail is casual or ........... ?

11. ............ ? I’m going camping for two weeks in the mountains near Denver. It should be fun.

12. The invitation said ..........., so I will wear slacks and a button down shirt

13. The nice part about cocktail parties is that it gives everyone an opportunity ..........., so that we meet lots of different people.

14. I really must thank the .........., she gave a wonderful party.

15. The most difficult part of a business cocktail party

is .........., it is not easy to find things to say.

16. I would like a ........... margarita please, I don’t drink alcohol.

17. Robert : what type of ........... do you have ? Bartender : we have martinis, screwdrivers, margaritas, manhattans and mojitos.

18. ..........., Drew, I think you can still negotiate five percent on this deal.

19. Patrick, come with me, ........... Deborah, our sales executive, she’s over at the window.

20. Deborah, this is Patrick from our offices in France.Deborah : .......... ? Patrick : .......... ?


SOLUTIONS : 1 : have on draft. 2 : dress code. 3 : to network. 4 : call me. 5 : appetizers. 6 : to make a toast. 7 : cheers. 8 : thank you for inviting me. 9 : Where are you from ? 10 : black tie. 11 : Where are you going on vacation/holidays this year ? 12 : casual. 13 : to mingle. 14 : hostess. 15 : small talk. 16 : non alcoholic/ virgin. 17 : mixed drinks/cocktails. 18 : Off the record. 19 : I’d like to introduce you to. 20 : how do you do ? how do you do ?.

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