The English society is quite closed and reluctant to the foreigner, so the best topic to begin a conversation is to discuss weather forecast or sudden weather changes.
But you won’t get alone with a couple sentences. English may spend hours discussing the weather and interestingly enough that describing it they use a lot of clichés and word combinations that literally are not always clear.
Furthermore the weather is not just the preferred topic, but it also fills a pause in the conversation. And if you’ve already learned how to distinguish “short rains” among “brief heavy rain” then you should be proud of becoming a real Englishman.
British practically are not capable of holding a candid conversation, so they’ve invented an incredible amount of metaphors, which are well-known to everyone, for example broken heart (feel hurt and sad), it’s raining men (an abundance of male suitors around), the apple of one’s eye (someone beloved and held dear), rollercoaster of emotions (experiencing lots of ups and downs) etc. Using a variety of clichés an experienced companion can skillfully avoid both excessive flatness and excessive vagueness of his judgments.
Often the English do not finish the phrase till the end so the meaning of the sentence is clear only to those who grew up in Britain and is familiar with the typical expressions since childhood. For example the endless “evil winds…” (…that will not bring us any good), “it’s not a rain…” (…but a real downpour), and “every cloud in the sky …” (… is just silver) etc.
It should be also noted that the representatives of this nation do not usually say what they think the things they’ve said may be just opposite to the opinion, for example, their praise or criticism may be just a peculiarly English irony, from here come the specific English sense of humor.
At the same time they are very polite and may say “please” and “sorry” hundred times. But this politeness is very specific – they do not ask questions, and respect and preserve their and your personal boundaries. Even asking the name without any reason is considered impolite and rude.
The British think very suspicious of those who gesticulate while talking. British hands should behave completely calm and during any conversation modestly hang along the body or lie on the lap.
The British usually use gestures only when it’s necessary – for example, when you show the way (index finger of the right hand extended), or stubbornly defend your position (index and middle fingers of the right hand raised and depict the letter “V”). However, the hands should always be visible. It is considered extremely rude to talk to someone having hands in his pockets, as if getting ready to grab a weapon or counting the coins lying in a pocket.
On the whole, British are very interesting and friendly people.