It depends on the situation. If its someone who a friend of your introduced you to, but you don't personally know them, it would be ok to start out talking about the person who introduced you. You may ask them how they knew eachother. Act understanding and into it, even if you aren't. Nod after they talk. This will give you more time to really listen to what they say, and analyze a next question from their context clues. "So, how do *blank* and you know eachother?" "Oh, we have classes together, and we're really good friends." "What classes do you have togther? Do you have that terribly hard Launguage class with him/her?" "Yeah! And you don't even know how tough that class is." See how simple and un-complex questions can get you places? Now if it's someone you met onlind, for instance, or maybe just are anticipating a first day of class where you do not know anyone, the number one thing to remember when talking to another person is to not be shy. You remember how when you were in 1st or second grade, someone would just walk up to you and say. "I like dogs. Do you?" It still is sort of like this, except more adult like. Be open, but think before you talk. When it comes to meeting people face to face for the first time, find a situation where both of you are in. Maybe you are sitting next to eachother. Maybe the boss/coach/other individual says something you din't understand. Lean over (don't be shy) and maybe say something like "Hey. Did you get a word he was saying? I didn't." It may seem weird at first, an it will to the other person too, but the more you converse and take action with them, the more they will like you. Don't be too pushy though. The one thing everyone hates is a clinger. Don't stick to just one person, and nag them into a conversation. Find a situation that seems apropriate, esspecially when in comes to online relationships. Start by wanting a simple conversation. "Hey. I know I really don't know you, but I'm in a bit of a situation with my friend. Have any advice?" Asking questions is an esspecially good start, and doesn't make you seem like a pedofile or serial killer. No one really wants to talk to anyone who starts out with- "I'm bored. Want to talk with me?" Unless their really desperate as well, some may look too deep and think you are being too simple with your conversations and just want info. Hope this helped!