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A. Hello, my name is Jane and Id like to ask a few questions about getting fit.
B. Hi Jane. What can I do for you?
A. I need to get in shape.
B. Well, you've come to the right place. Have you been doing any exercise lately
A. Im afraid not.
B. OK. Well give it slow start. Which type of exercise do you enjoy doing?
A. I like doing aerobics, but I hate jogging. I dont mind doing some weight-lifti
ng, though.
B. Great, that gives us plenty to work with. How often can you work out?
A. Two or three times a week would be good.
B. Why dont we start with an aerobics class twice a week followed by a little wei
ght lifting?
A. Sounds fine to me.
B. Youll need to start slowly, and build up gradually to three or four times a we
A. OK. What kind of equipment will I need?
B. Youll need a leotard and some sneakers.
A. Is that all? How do I sign up for the classes?
B. Youll need to enroll yourselves first and then you can choose which classes fi
t your schedule best.
A. Great! I cant wait to get started. Thanks for your advice. No problem. Ill see
you in aerobics class!

Pinky: Excuse me! Do you have Oxford Learners Dictionary of Eng
Bookseller: yes Madam! Would you like to have the hardbound edition or t
he Paperback edition?
Pinky: What is the difference? Can I see the book?
Bookseller: The hardbound edition is priced hundred rupees more. There i
s, however, no difference in the contents of the two editions. Here you
are Madam. Please go through them yourself.
Pinky: Thank you. I shall take this paperback edition.
Bookseller: Very well Madam, anything else?
Pinky: Thanks. Are you giving some discount on the purchase of
Bookseller: Of course. We are giving a ten percent discount on the print
ed price of every book.
Pinky: That is really very good. Please give me this dictionar
Bookseller: Here is your packet, Madam. Please make the payment at the c
ounter. Thanks for your visit.
Pinky: Thank you very much.

Deepu : I wish to borrow these two books, please.
Librarian: Very well! Let me see! I can give you only this one. The
other one is only for reference. You cannot take it home.
Deepu: I am sorry I didn't see the label on it.
Librarian: you can sit here and refer it in the library itself.
Deepu: May I, then, borrow another book?
Librarian: Of course, you may! You may take these three books, if yo
u like.
Deepu: That will be better. I may , in that case, consult this b
ook for some time and get the books issued later on.
Librarian: Of course, you can do that.
Deepu: Thank you very much.
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A Car Loans
John : Thank you for calling ICICI Car Loans. This is John. How may I help you?
Mary: Hi John: ! I am Mary, Id like to know how I should go about applying for a
car loan. What is the criterion etc?
John:Sure, Mary. You need to have a social security number. Your annual income s
hould be $25000 or above. You need to have been employed at your current job for
at least a year and you will need to provide proof of residence at your current
Mary: That sounds good. Thanks. Whats the next step?
John:You can take a loan of about twice your annual income. We have special pack
ages, with interest rates from 10.5 percent to 14.5 percent, depending on the ti
me period of the loan and the number of installments you wish to pay back in.
Mary: What is the time period of the loan?
Jon:You could choose any of the our payback plans, with the time period ranging
from one to eight years, and three, six or twelve installments per year. If I co
uld have your address, I will direct you to our nearest office.
Mary: Yes, sure. Its Apartment 125D, Mission Apartments, South Avenue, Mumbai 200
John: Oh, were just a block away from you, at ICICI Car Loans, 2 Floor, Hudson Bu
ilding, South Avenue. Would you like us to mail the forms to you?
Mary: No. Ill drop by your office today.
John: Is there anything else I could do for you Mary?
Mary: No, that would be all. Thanks.
John: My pleasure, Mary. Thank you for calling ICICI Car Loans and we look forwa
rd to a relationship with you.
B Winning the Lotto
A. Tom, take a look at this! This guys won ten million dollars in the
B. What luck!
A. What would you do if you won ten million dollars?
B. Well, I know what I wouldn't do! If I won so much money, I wouldn'
t spend it. Id put it in the bank!
A. You've got to be joking! Id make sure to spend at least the first t
wo million having a good time and buying things I've always wanted. Id definitely
spend a lot of time traveling.
B. Use your head! If you spent money like that, youd soon have spent a
ll your winnings!
A. You are so boring! If you were in his shoes, youd just put money in
the bank!
B. Thats right. Im sure that the money lasts for the rest of my life.
A. What use would that be, if you didn't have any fun?
B. Oh, I have fun. Id just be careful about how much fund Id have.
A. I cant believe you!
B. Well you know the saying different strokes for different folks!
C Describing a Friend
A. My friend Rich is coming to town next week. Have you ever met him?
B. No, I haven'
A. Hes kind of crazy, but a great guy.
B. Yeah, why do you say so? Whats he like?
A. Hes really hard working, but very much a loner. Hes pretty talented
and can do just about anything.
B. Sounds interesting. Is the married?
A. No he isn't.
B. What does he look like? Maybe my friend Alice would be interested
in meeting him.
A. Hes tall, slim and quite good looking. Im sure your friend would find
him attractive. Whats she like?
B. Shes outgoing and very athletic.
A. Really? What sports does she like playing?
B. Shes a great tennis player and also goes bicycling a lot.
A. What does she look like?
B. Shes kind of exotic looking. Shes got long dark hair and piercing bl
ack eyes. People think she is rather beautiful.
A. Do you think she would like to meet Rich?
B. Sure! Why dont we hook them up?
A. Great idea!
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Cost of Living / Personal Documents
A. To talk about changes in prices.

The price has gone up.
It went up (last month/sharply/gradually)
The cost of (food) is rising.
There was a rise in price.
In (summer) prices should go down.
The cost of (this) went down (last year).
The price of (oil) may drop.
We had a drop in (salary costs).
It was a sharp drop/ a slight drop.
There was a fall in prices.
Prices stayed the same.
The cost of living will stay level.
Prices are at about the same level.
B. Talking about living costs

(Houses) are very expensive/cheap.
We can/cant afford (chocolate).
Its (not) hard/difficult.
Some people find it difficult to cope.
Its very hard for (people on a pension)
Were better off/worse off.
Whats it like in (your country)?
How is it with you?
C. Talking about tax

The government takes (30%) in tax.
You have to pay income tax/sales tax.
I pay (a third) in tax.
(10%) of your salary goes for insurance.
The taxes are high/low.
Theres good social security/insurance.
You get a pension at the age of 60
How much do you pay in (income tax)?
What are the taxes like?
D. To ask if documents are necessary.

What document do I need?
Do I need any documents?
Are there any formalities?
Do I have to have (proof of identity)?
Do I need a (visa)?
Is my (driving license) enough?
Will they accept a (bankers card)?
E. Describing personal documents.

Its my (driving license/birth certificate)
Its a (Swiss passport)/an (identity card).
This is a (cheque book/credit card).
Theyre my papers.
This is for (insurance).
You cant (get a job) without it.
You must have (this).
Its valid until (June).
Its all in order.
This is out of date.
Theyre all up to date.
Theyre all up to date.
It expires in (June).
F. Organizing documents

I need a form for (an exit visa).
I want to apply for (a work permit).
I must get a (tax form).
My (insurance) is going to run out (in July).
I have to renew it.
I've lost my (credit card).
I want to renew my (visa).
I've lost my (credit card).
I want to renew my (visa).
I've got two passport photographs.
This is a photocopy of my (birth certificate).
How many copies do I need?
I have/havent put my signature on it.
Could you explain this form to me, please?
I dont understand this question.
Can you help me fill in this form, please?
Could you help me with this?
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Daily Activities
A. Daily Activity: Dialogue

What time do you get up?
I get up at about six.
What time is breakfast at your house?
Breakfast is always at a quarter to seven.
What do you usually do in the afternoon?
We usually study or read.
What do you generally do over the weekend?
We generally enjoy sports and visit friends.
Do you ever go to museums?
I go every now and then.
What kinds of things do you like to see?
I enjoy seeing statues and old paintings.
Do you watch television very often?
Well, I sometimes watch it in the evening.
Did you watch television last night?
Yes, I did. I saw several good programs.
Do you ever listen to the radio?
Certainly. In fact, I listen practically every night.
B. When did you have lunch today?

I ate at noon.
Where did you have your lunch?
I had it at Koshys Restaurant today.
Did you have a good time at the party?
We had a wonderful time.
It was really a lot of fun.
We ought to have another party like that soon.
Did you work at home last night?
Yes. I washed the dishes and cleaned the house.
Did you do anything else?
Yes. I listened to the radio for a while.
Did you have a good time last night?
Yes. I had a wonderful time.
Youll probably have fund tomorrow too.
Im sure Ill have an excellent time.
Where did you go?
We went to a beautiful beach.
Did you swim in the ocean?
Yes, but we swam close to the shore!
C. What did you do?

Where did you go after lunch?
I went to the public library.
Which one did you go to?
I went to the one at 42nd Street.
What did you do last night?
I watched television.
Where did you watch it?
I watched it here in the recreation room.
Was the television program interesting?
I thought it was very boring.
What did your friends think of it?
They were bored too.
I went to a lecture last night.
What was it about?
Society and modern art.
I wish Id gone with you.
We went to the movies the night before last.
What did you see?
D. Where have you been?

I've been to the movies.
What did you see?
I saw an Italian movie about life in Sicily.
What places have you seen so far?
I've been to almost all the museums.
Have you gone to any parks yet?
No, I havent. I havent had enough time for that.
Lets meet at your house tonight.
O.K. That sounds fine.
Lets watch television for a while.
All right, but lets finish this work first.
Oh, lets not do the work right now.
Youre just lazy, in my opinion.
I cant hear the television set.
Why dont you sit closer?
Im right beside it now.
Why dont you turn up the volume?
E. Evening Activities

Lets go the movies tonight.
Fine. I dont have anything else to do.
What would you like to see?
Why dont we look in the movie section of the newspaper?
Where are you going tonight?
Im joining to the political rally for Senator Smith.
Sounds interesting. Can we go with you?
Certainly. Meet me here at eight fifteen.
Would you like to go to the concert with me tonight?
Yes. Thank you very much.
Would you like to go at about eight oclock?
That would be fine.
What are you going to do tonight?
I havent decided yet.
Would you like to go to the movies?
Can I call you and tell you later?
Would you like to go to the movies tonight?
Id rather stay home and watch television.
Are there going to be any good play on channel 4.
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Living in an Apartment / a House
A. Talking About Home

Its in the city/the town/the country.
I live in the suburbs/at the seaside.
Its near (Houston).
Its in a quiet area/a busy district.
I live near a park/in Central street.
Its not very far from (the city centre).
Its near (the football stadium).
Where do you live?
What sort of area is it?
Is it near (Milan)?
B. Describing the type of home

We have a flat/a house/a room.
Its a (three-) room flat.
Its a flat/apartment is on the (third) floor.
We rent a house/own our house.
Its got (three) bedrooms.
Its got (three) floors.
Theres a (garden).
It has a (garage)
Do you live in a flat?
Do you rent it?
Have you bought it?
Is it your own?
How big is it?
C. Living in an Apartment: Dialogue

Do you like your new apartment?
Yes. I like the service in the building, too.
Are there doormen and guards?
Yes and the building is close to the shopping areas.
What floor is your apartment on?
Its on the third floor.
Is the building a walk up?
No. It has a small elevator.
How large is your apartment?
It has four and a half rooms
Then you have two bedrooms.
Right. A living room, a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a bath.
Is this your apartment?
Yes, it is.
How many bedrooms do you have ?
Two big ones and a small one.
Whats co-operative apartment?
In a co-operative, you actually buy the apartment.
Just as you would buy a house?
Yes. Then you only pay maintenance costs each month.
D. Living in a House: Dialogue

Do you prefer a one-stair or a two-stairs house?
One story, I think.
I do too, because there are no stairs to climb.
But one stair houses take more land.
Your house is very large.
Yes. We have enough room for guests now.
Our house is too small.
You dont have enough room, do you?
Wheres the bathroom?
The bathroom is opposite that big bedroom.
Is this the kitchen?
Yes. Its a big kitchen, isn't it?
I enjoy having a house in the suburbs.
Its wonderful to have trees and a big yard.
The children can play outside most of the time.
And its so much cleaner here than in the city.
How much did you pay for your house?
It cost eighteen thousand dollars and we've spent another two thousand on re
Did you have trouble getting a mortgage?
No. We paid four thousand dollars, and the bank lent us the rest.
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Talking About Cooking & Dieting
A. Describing a dish

To describe a dish, use:
Its (sweet/cold).
Its a (meat) dish.
Its cooked in (sauce).
It tastes very good / spicy / rich
Is it (fried)?
How is it cooked?
What does it taste like?
B. Describing cooking processes

Its (not) very easy / simple.
You need (about a kilo of chicken).
You cook it slowly, for about (forty) minutes.
It takes (about an hour).
You put it in the oven/in the fridge.
You fry it in a little oil or fat.
After that, you add (pepper).
The recipe says (two glasses of wine).
Whats the recipe?
How do you make (this)?
How long do you (bake) it?
Do you use (milk)?
C. Describing types of cooking

Its (French/Italian).
Its a typical (Indian) dish.
The recipe comes from (Mexico)
Where is this from?
Is this a (Spanish) dish?
What do you think of (Indian) food?
Do you like (it)?
Whats (Lebanese) food like?
Whats a typical (Lebanese) dish?
I dont like (Japanese) food.
I prefer (western) to (eastern) food.
My favourite dish is (Chicken Manjurian)
D. Asking about daily diet

_______________ Do you eat (eggs)?
_______________ What do you have for (breakfast)?
_______________ Whats a normal (lunch) for you?
_______________ What do you normally do for (dinner)?
_______________ Do you eat a lot of (pasta)?
E. Describing normal diet

We usually have (three meals a day).
We often have (eggs for breakfast).
I dont eat much (meat).
They eat a lot of (fruit).
They dont eat a lot in the (evening).
F. Asking about dieting

Are you on diet?
Can you eat anything?
Do you eat anything?
Are you dieting?
What are you allowed to eat?
G. Talking about dieting

Im on a diet.
The doctors put me on a diet.
Im dieting.
Im trying to lose weight.
I have to be careful of what I eat.
Im not allowed to (eat bread).
I cant (drink coffee).
Is there any (salt) in this?
Im not allowed to have (salt)
Does this have (alcohol) in it?
I have to restrict myself to (600) calories a day
How many calories are you allowed a day?
How many calories are there in (this)?
Dealing with the Police / Fire / Ambulance
A. Telephoning emergency services

When you phone emergency, they ask:
Where are you?
Where is it?
Whats happened?
Can you give me an idea about the correct location?
Your reply:
Im at/Its at (the corner of South Street)
Its on the main road.
Its about two kilometers north of Mg road.
Theres an accident/a fire.
There are (several) people injured.
Theres a fire/an accident.
Theres someone very ill/badly hurt.
There are (two) people in the water.
Someones been badly hurt / injured.
B. Stating the case

Id like to report (an accident/a robbery).
I want to report (a crime/an attack).
Im reporting a (missing passport).
I've lost (my bag).
My (wife) has been robbed.
My (car) has been stolen.
Theres been (an accident).
I've been (robbed).
C. Giving the circumstances

We were walking along the street.
We were asleep.
I was working/having dinner.
I was shopping / stepping into the bank.
It was at about (ten oclock).
It was yesterday evening/last night.
It was in the hotel/in the street.
This was on the beach/in the car park
Two men took away (my wifes handbag).
A man/A woman came up to me.
Someone picked my pocket.
They ran away / They drove off.
I didnt see anyone.
I didnt see / hear / notice anything.
D. Describing

He/She was about (25).
They were (quite young).
They were (tall).
She had a (light build).
He/She had (short dark hair).
They were driving a (cab).
E. Notifying a Loss

I've lost my (passport).
I cant find my (Money)?
I think I've lost my (driving license).
I've lost a (new Canon camera).
What have you lost?
What was it like?
What does it look like?
Can you describe it?
F. Describing when & where

I know I had it (this morning)
I must have lost it (last night)
I last saw it (yesterday morning)
How long has it been lost?
When did you last see it?
I lost it (on the beach).
I left it behind (on the train).
It was (in my room).
I may have left it (in the bank).
I must have lost it (at the theatre).
Where did you last see it?
Where was it?
G. Leaving personal details

My name is
My address is
Here is my card.
Here is my name and address.
Please ring me at (this number) if you find it.
Please write to (this address)
Can you return it to me at (this address)?
What is your name and address?
Could I have your name and address?
H. Stating urgency

This is (very) urgent.
Its an emergency.
Theres an emergency (here).
Its very serious.
It looks very serious.
We need help urgently.
We need a police car/an ambulance,
We need a police car/ an ambulance immediately
Call the fire brigade/the hospital at once.
Get a doctor/policeman straight away.
We urgently need a rescue boat/an ambulance.
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Asking for Facilities Toilet / Washing / Luggage
A. Asking for the Toilet
In a private house, use:
May I use your lavatory?
Where is the lavatory?
In public place, use:
Where are the toilets?
For a man, use:
Where is the gents?
I need to use the gents?
For a Woman, use:
Where is the ladies?
I need to use the ladies
To be informal in America, use:
Where is the john?
I want to meet john.
To be informal in Britain, use:
Where is the loo?
I want to use the loo.
B. Asking for a bathroom
In a private house, use:
May I have a wash?
Im rather dirty.
Im feeling a bit dirty
Could I use your bathroom?
Id like to wash my hands.
In a public place, use:
Is there a washroom/bathroom here?
Is there somewhere here I can clean up?
I want to wash my hands.
In a hotel or guest house, you may need:
Where is the shower?
Where is the bathroom?
C. Washing clothes
To find out where to wash clothes, use:
Is there a launderette near here?
Where is the nearest launderette/Laundromat?
I need to wash/dry clean some clothes.
To get someone else to do the washing, use:
Is there a laundry here?
Is there a laundry service here?
I want to have some clothes washed.
I want to have some clothes dry cleaned.
D. To ask about left-luggage facilities.

Is there anywhere here I can leave my bags?
Is there a left-luggage place near here?
Can I leave my luggage place near here?
Can I leave my luggage anywhere here?
Where are the nearest left-luggage lockers?
I dont want to carry this around with me.
Can I leave these here until four oclock?
Will your office be open after six oclock?
Do I pay now, or when I collect?
Please be careful with the brown bag.
E. At the lockers

To ask someone for change, use:
Excuse me; have you got change for a pound?
Have you got any change for this?
To ask someone for help, use:
Do you know how to work these things?
Could you give me a hand with this?
If something goes wrong, use:
Excuse me, are you in charge of the left-luggage lockers?
My (case) is too big/it wont fit in.
I put the money in/I put my luggage in.
I cant open it/I cant make it work.
I cant get my luggage out.
I cant get my money back.
F. To ask if you can leave bags somewhere
Would it be possible for me to leave there?
Can I leave these here (until about six)?
Could you (please) look after (this) for me?
Ill pick it/them up (at six oclock)
Could I leave (my luggage) here (for an hour)?
Ill be back (in a few hours)
To identify your baggage, use:
The (green) one is mine.
Mine is (brown).
I left (two suitcases) here.
Posted by Venkateswararao Yellamelli at 5:35 PM 0 comments
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A. Conversation at the Cinema
Give me two tickets for the balcony, please.
Please give (sixty rupees).
We need corner seats. Here is the money.
It is the third row from the back. These are good seats.
Thank you very much. Has the film started?
No it hasnt started yet. You are in time for the film.
What about the electricity situation here? I hope it doesnt go very often.
You dont have to worry on that account, sir. We have our own generator for el
B. Specifying the performance
Whats the programme on Sunday?
Whats on Wednesday evening?
Im trying to get tickets for Space Wars.
I want to see (Carmen) on Thursday
Is Rigoletto on Friday evening?
What time is the performance this evening?
What time is the show?
C. Booking seats
Id like two seats.
Id like to book two seats.
Can I have two seats for this evening?
Have you got any seats left for this evening?
Id like a seat for the 8 oclock show.
Id like two for the 7:30 performance.
In the stalls.
In the balcony.
At the front/Near the back.
In the first row.
In one of the back five rows.
At the side/In the middle.
Is that a good seat? /Are those good seats?
What are they like?
Can you see/her all right from there?
D. Asking about the show
When/What time should I/we be there?
Will you hold the tickets for me till 7:30?
How long does it/the performance last?
What time does it end?
When does the performance end?
Is there an interval?
How many intervals are there?
E. Finding the ticket office
Where can I get a ticket?
Where do I buy a ticket?
Is there a ticket office near here?
Where can I get a plane ticket to Kochi?
Wheres the nearest travel agency?
You can get your ticket on the corner.
Its on the left/right.
You get the ticket from the man on board the bus.
F Buying a ticket
What sort of ticket do I need/should I get?
What do I need (to leave here today and return next Sunday)?
Should I get a weekend return?
One, please.
Two singles to Mumbai.
London return.
A return ticket to Bangalore, please.
Id like one seat on the two oclock
Can I have a return ticket to Mumbai, please?
How much is it?
How much does it cost?
How much does a weekend return cost?
Is there a special price for students?
Is it cheaper on Sundays?
Can I pay by Card?
Is this ticket all right for the airport?
Is this valid for the return journey?
Is this the right ticket for this train?
Does this take me to Dover first class?
Can I book a sleeper here?
Id like to send my luggage ahead
I want a smoking seat.
Posted by Venkateswararao Yellamelli at 7:39 PM 1 comments
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Suggestions : Agreeing or Disagreeing.
A. Making a suggestion
Shall we go now?
How about buying a new car?
Why dont you let out that Apartment to John?
Couldnt we ask Mr. David?
Lets hold up the cleaning up tomorrow.
You can look at them one by one, if you like.
Lets go by bus.
How about a cup of Tea?
Lets go in the same Bus as Mary.
Why dont we look in the local directory?
Why not go in a house boat?
Get an electrician to come and fix it.
I guess youd better go right now.
I think itd be a good idea to ask him to come with us.
Lets take a break for a while.
Shall we go out for a meal this evening?
Lets not fix the date now.
We might try explaining it to him.
Have you tried drinking a little warm milk before going to bed?
You might have a look at this TV show.
How about a jacket to go with these trousers?
What about another day, then?
We could stop now, if you like.
I think you should go right away.
Lets go and have a look.
I suggest we take up the matter with his superiors.
We could try and explain it to them, if you like.
B. To show strong agreement with opinions

Thats absolutely true.
I completely agree.
I couldnt agree more.
Thats great idea.
Thats an excellent think to do.
That seems a splendid idea.
Yes, of course.
Yes, all right. OK.
Yeah, great!
OK, that sounds fine.
Why not?
Id go along with you there,
I quite agree youre quite right.
Thats good idea!
Thats just what I wanted to say.
Yes, thatd be very nice.
I suppose youre right.
A good suggestion.
I think well give it a try.
Thatd be fine.
What a good idea!
Its really no problem.
Id like that very much.
C. To Show strong disagreement with opinions.

I completely/strongly disagree.
I think thats absolutely wrong.
Thats rubbish.
Thats non-sense.
Thats a terrible idea.
Thats a really bad suggestion.
Certainly not.
Im not so sure.
Thats easier said than done.
Im not very keen on that, really.
Im not sure thatd be wise.
Your idea sounds good, but I dont think itll really work.
Im not sure Id go about it that way.
I dont think thats such a good idea, you know.
No, lets try that one instead.
Thats very well for you to say.
No, dont let put it off any longer.
We cant do any such thing, and thats that.
Im not sure about that, actually.
I doubt if thatd work.
Your suggestion sounds fine in theory, but I dont think itd work in practice.
D. Asking for a suggestion

Have you got any suggestions?
Which of these do you think should I buy?
Can you suggest a way out?
What shall I do?
How can I remove this ink-stain?
Can anybody suggest what we might do?
Where should we keep it?
Who must I speak to about this David or his deputy?
What on earth should I do, then?
How shall I pack your things?
When shall we go to see them?
When should I start, do you think?
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Asking & Giving Explanations
Sometimes, things happen that we would like explanation and we must demand expla
nations. For example, if you have just bought a new computer and there is a prob
lem but the shop assistant says that the guaranty does not cover the problem. Th
ere are a number of formulas used when demanding explanations in English. Here a
re some of the most common:
Can you tell me why.?
Can you tell me why it has taken you so long to respond?
I dont understand why
I dont understand why it has taken you so long to respond?
Can you explain why?
Can you explain why it has taken you so long to respond?
Why is it that
Why is it that it has taken you so long to respond?
How come
How come it has taken you so long to respond?
Does this mean
Does this mean that it has taken you so long to respond?
Do you really expect me to believe?
Do you really expect me to believe that you werent able to finish on time?
B. Asking for explanations

What does that mean?
Whats the meaning of that word?
Does that mean yes or no?
Im afraid I dont understand.
Could you explain the first part please?
If it becomes clear, use:
I see/ I understand.
Thank you, I see now.
If its still not clear, use:
I still dont see/understand.
To be more formal, use:
Im afraid I still dont understand/follow.
C. Giving explanations

When people dont understand you, use:
I mean this
Im trying to say this
In other words, on Thursday
What I mean is this
To check if people understand, use:
Do you understand?
Is that the right word?
Am I making myself clear?
To rephrase something, use a different order:
Theres something wrong with my car.
Ill be out on Friday.
In other words, on Friday I wont be here.
D. Actions and processes
To explain an action or process, use:

We do it like this because its quicker.
That was because we were late.
Its to prevent people from parking here.
The reason for this is money.
Its caused by the hot weather.
To ask for explanations, use:
Why did he do that?
Whats the reason for this?
Can you explain this?
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Describing People
A. Describing physically

What does she look like?
Is the grey-haired?
What sort of clothes does she wear?
Shes tall/slim.
Shes the younger one/the one with brown hair.
Shes got straight hair.
Shes wearing a green coat.
She usually wears a hat.
Shes not good-looking/pretty.
Is he heavily built?
What does he wear?
Hes medium height.
Hes thin.
Hes the older one.
Hes the one with the fair hair.
Hes got wavy hair.
He hasnt got much hair/Hes bald.
Hes got a (brown) moustache/beard
Hes wearing a brown jacket.
He usually wears a hat.
Hes (not) good-looking/handsome.
B. Describing by qualities

What is he like?
What sort of person is he?
Hes friendly/pleasant.
Hes usually rather quiet.
Hes not easy to get on with.
Hes good at listening to people.
His main quality is his honesty.
What sort of person is she?
Shes sociable.
Shes a calm person.
Shes not easy to get on with.
Her main quality is her friendliness.
C. Describing by position

Is she married?
Does she have any children?
Whats her job?
What does she do?
Shes not married.
Shes married to an engineer.
She has two children.
She doesnt have any children.
She works for the bank as (a cashier).
Shes a (senior sales assistant).
What does he do?
He lives in our street.
Hes married to a teacher.
He works for the garage as a mechanic.
Hes a senior sales assistant.
He works under/over me.
His job is something political.
D. Discussing feminism

I think women are not oppressed.
Women are well treated/badly treated.
I agree/dont agree with the feminists ideas.
Women should/shouldnt have more power.
E. Describing Children by age

How old is he/she?
Its a baby.
Hes/Shes about six?
Hes a schoolboy/Shes a schoolgirl.
Theyre schoolchildren.
Theyre in their teens/Theyre teenagers.
The eldest is 20 and the youngest is 5.
F. Talking about school

Where does he/she go to school?
How are they getting on at school?
He/She goes to school in the city.
They (dont) like/enjoy school very much.
She gets on well at school.
Hes good at mathematics.
G. Talking about hobbies

Does he have a hobby?
What does she like doing?
He likes drawing.
Shes very keen on modeling.
Shes mad about football.
She likes/loves pop music.
H. Talking about the future

Whats she going to do/be?
Whats he going to be when he grows up?
Is he going to follow in his fathers footsteps?
Are they going to university?
Hell leave school at 16.
(I think) hes going to be a chemist.
She wants to be a vet.
Theyre hoping to go to university.
Shes studying to be a teacher.
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A. To explain that something is wrong.

It isnt working.
Its not running properly.
Its broken down: It wont start.
Theres something wrong with the ignition.
My car wont start.
Could you change the battery, please?
Could you look over my radiator?
B. To say what you think is wrong.

I think its the fuel pump.
It may be the electrical wiring.
The dynamo has gone wrong before.
The battery is dead.
The tyres flat.
C. To find out if its the right garage.

Do you handle this type of car?
Do you keep spares for this type of car?
Can you do anything with it?
Can you have a look at it?
D. To ask for recommendations.

Is there a garage near here, that can do it?
Is there a service station for this type of car near here?
Can you recommend a garage/mechanic nearby?
Do you know a garage/mechanic near here?
E. To ask how much and how long it will be.

When can you do it?
When will it be ready?
Can you give me an estimate?
How much do you think it will cost?
How long do you think it will take?
Can you give me an idea how much/how long?
F. To tell the garage when you need it.
Can you do it immediately?
I need the car tomorrow.
I must have it by the weekend.
G. Car Repairs: Dialogue
Could you look over my car?
Whats the matter?
Well, I dont know.
I can look at it now if you can wait.
My car wont start.
Press the starter button.
Nothing happens when I press the starter.
Then your battery is dead.
Could you help me for a moment, please?
What can I do for you?
Could you look over my radiator?
Ill check it after I help that other man?
Whats your brother doing?
Hes fixing the motor of the car.
Does he need any help?
I dont think so.
Could you look over my car?
Whats the matter?
Well, dont know.
I can look at it now if you can wait.
Could you change my right tyre, please? Its flat.
Certainly. Do you want us to fix it too?
Would you please?
Well have it ready for you tomorrow morning.
H. Driving a Car
Why dont we park the car there?
Thats a no-parking zone.
There are parking meters in the next block.
Lets see if we can find a space there then.
Youd better turn left at the next corner.
I cant no left turn.
Then well have to drive around the block.
It looks like it.
Youre driving too fast.
Whats the speed limit?
Its fifty miles per hour.
Then, Im under the limit.
How do you like your new car?
Great! I really like the automatic shift.
Does it have power steering?
Yes, and its got power brakes too.
You drive very well.
Thanks. I always try to be cautious.
You are, but best of all, you drive very smoothly.
Steady pressure on the accelerator and brakes is important.
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Talking About English Speaking
A. Talking about yourself

want to learn English.
Im trying to learn English.
Ive been learning it for three years.
I did some at school.
I need it for my work.
Im going to stay with an American family.
We have to learn English.
Its useful/important/necessary.
B. Talking about difficulties

S Speaking is easy/difficult.
The vocabulary is not simple/easy.
I (dont) find it very difficult to understand.
There are too many prepositions.
C. Talking about learning

What is the best way to learn?
How can I improve my vocabulary?
How do you think I can learn it?
I think the best thing is to read and listen.
You should try and speak to English people.
You should practice.
Do you want to learn English?
Yes, I do-very much.
Why do you want to learn English?
Because itll be useful in the future.
Then you must speak it.
Why must I speak it?
Because you want to learn it.
Do you understand the sentence?
I dont understand it completely.
Did you understand what I said?
No, I didnt. Would you please say it again?
Of course. Ill say it again slowly.
That will help a lot.
Please write down what I say.
All right, but would you please speak very slowly?
Yes. Do you want me to spell each word too?
D. Talking about needs

I want to be more fluent.
I want to work on my pronunciation.
Id like to get my grammar better.
I want to improve my reading.
My (reading) is all right, but not my accent.
My basic vocabulary is weak.
E. Talking about types of English

Is this good/correct English?
Thats too formal/informal.
That sounds polite/rude.
Is that friendly/rude?
Can I use this to a customer?
F. Do you Speak English?

Do you speak English?
Only a little, and not very well.
Do you know many words?
No, I dont. Only the important words.
Does your brother speak English?
Well, he speaks a little English.
Do your sisters speak English?
Yes, they do. They speak it very well.
Can I help you?
Whats the matter?
I dont speak English.
Do you need some kind of help?
Yes, but I cant explain it in English.
Do you think English is easy?
No, I dont.
Why dont you think so?
Because I dont understand it.
English is the hardest language in the world.
Why do you say that?
I cant understand it or speak it.
But this is only your first day in the English class!
How do you pronounce this word in English?
Office Conversation
A. Talking about Jobs
Im a trainee.
I work for a large company.
I do the sales ledger.
Im in the accounts section.
Ive been there for six years
I dont like my job.
Its a good job/interesting/well paid.
What do you do?
Whats your job?
What do you do for a living?
Who do you work for?
Is it interesting/hard work/well paid?
B. Talking about work routines
We start at 8:30 and finish at 4:30
We normally work from 8 till 5
We dont work on Saturdays
We have forty minutes for lunch
I do a lot of travelling.
I spend a lot of time on paper work.
We are busy at the end of the month.
We get four weeks holiday a year.
Where do you work?
C. Talking about personnel
My boss is the sales manager.
I work under him.
There are six of us in my department.
The others are mostly women.
Its a (friendly) department/section.
There are 600 people in all.
The company has 600 employees.
(Hes) out of work/unemployed.
There are a thousand skilled workers here.
Shes looking for a job.
D. Talking about Quitting and Finding Jobs
How did you find your new job?
I went to an employment agency
Was it worth it to do it that way?
Yes. They were able to get me something good right away.
I think Im going to change jobs.
What do you want to do that for?
Theres not enough chance to get ahead here.
But dont forget youre getting a pretty good salary.
Did it take you long to apply for a job?
Too long in my opinion.
What did you have to do?
Speak to people, fill out forms, and wait.
Is Mary going to quit her job next month?
No. Shes going to quit next April.
Are her parents going to support her then?
No. She isnt going to ask them for any money.
E. Office Conversations
Do you receive many enquiries about your product?
Yes. There are a good number every day.
You cant answer all of them personally, can you?
No. Unless theyre obviously important, we send back a formal letter.
What did you spend all your time on today?
Checking the annual report.
Was everything in it all right?
No. I discovered several errors.
How is the mail handled?
The executive secretary opens it and sorts it out.
Is any record kept of incoming mail?
Yes. Everything is entered in the mail register.
Id like to dictate a letter to the Reliance Company.
Just a moment please, while I get my shorthand notepad.
Would you also bring me the previous correspondence with them?
Ive already placed the file on your desk.
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Talking About School
A. Talking about the system
Its a Vocational training school.
It specializes in technical subjects.
There are 700 pupils/students.
Its quite big/not very big.
We follow trimester system.
There are three terms a year.
You can leave school at 16.
You can start college at 17.
We start at 8:30 and go on till 1:30
We have Saturdays off.
We work a half day on Wednesdays.
We go to lessons/lectures.
We (dont) have to work very hard.
We (dont) do a lot of sport.
We have a lot of homework.
B. Talking about exams
Hes taking an exam in June
Were working for our exams.
Its a school leaving certificate.
Its for a diploma.
The exams are hard/easy.
Last year, I failed/passed.
You need it to get a good job.
C. Talking about subjects
We study physics.
I find maths easy/difficult
Shes not good at languages
Were not taught art.
My favourite subject is/was history
I like/liked chemistry.
We started a new subject is/was history
We havent the facilities for sport.
Shes not a good teacher/lectures on art
Shes not very strict.
D. About School: Dialogue
Does Mary madam teach every day?
No. Only Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Is the teaching right now?
No, she isnt. Shes working in her office.
Why doesnt Jim practice anymore?
He doesnt have much free time.
He used to have a lot of free time, didnt he?
Yes, he did, but now hes going to school every night.
What are you studying this semester?
Science, English, and Math.
Which do you like best?
English really interests me the most.
Not all students learn their lessons meticulously.
Well, I do mine.
But your brother often does his at the last moment.
And my sister always does hers a day late.
How come you arent at school today?
There arent any classes this week.
Well, how come there arent any classes?
This is our spring vacation.
E. Going to School
Im worried about my school work.
Whats the problem?
I think Im going to fail the examinations.
Maybe you wont if you have more confidence.
What are you going to study at the University?
Probably Physics and English.
Youll have to work hard.
Yes. Ive heard that its a difficult school.
What did you apply for?
I applied for a scholarship.
What school did you apply to?
I applied for a scholarship.
What school did you apply to?
I applied to Oxemberg College.
I understand the boys applications were turned down.
Who turned them down?
I think the college admissions committee.
Id advise them to try again.
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At the Railway Station
A. Finding where to catch the Train
Is there a railway station near here?
Is there a subway near here?
Wheres the nearest underground/subway?
Can you tell me where theres an underground/a subway station near here?
Are there any underground stations round here?
Could you direct me to an underground station?
B. Getting the right train
Do you know when the next train goes to town?
How often do these trains run?
Whens the next train to the airport?
Which line/train goes to the park?
Which train do I take to get to the college?
What number train do I catch for the city?
Is there a train that goes to the airport?
Is this the right line for the station?
Get a ticket from the machine.
The city service goes from platform 2.
Youll have to change at the next station.
The trains run every ten minutes.
You need the C line.
C. At the station
Is this the right line for the airport?
Does this go to the city centre?
The Central Park, please.
I want to go to the city.
How much is it?
What/how much is the fare?
Can I get a return ticket?
Do I have to change?
How many stations/stops is it?
Which station should I get off, please?
Is mine the last stop?
D. At the Station: Dialogue
How soon does the train leave?
It leaves in ten minutes.
Do I have time to check my bags?
I dont think you do.
How much is the fare to Mysore?
A hundred fifty Rupees round trip.
What time does the next train leave?
The next one leaves at six thirty from track 6.
At what time does the next train leave for the city?
Theres one at four and another at four forty-five.
Whats the fare?
Its eighty including tax.
Did your cousin arrive on time?
No. He was an hour late.
Did you meet him at the station?
I was right there on the platform when the train came.
How do you get home every day?
I take the commuter train to Nungambakkom.
Isnt it rather expensive going by train?
No. I buy a Thirty-trip Season ticket each month.
E. Railway Reservation
Excuse me, could you please tell me if I can get a ticket for Goa, from this
Sorry, you will have to go to counter No 3. This counter is only for group b
Could you please, tell me whether a reservation for the 22nd is available?
The enquiry counter will tell you about this. It is at the entrance of the b
Thank you. Here is the enquiry counter. Let me find out whether there are an
y reservations available for the 22nd.
How can I help you?
Please, may I know the status of reservation for the 12th of this month?
Please wait for a minute. I will just check. In which class would you like t
o travel?
Three-tier AC...
There are some berths available in two-tier sleeper but none in three tier A
Thank you. Do I know have to go to Counter No. 3 to book my ticket?
Thats right.
Thank you very much.
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Talking About Holidays/ Vacation / Picnic
A. Dialogue on vacation
How much vacation time do you get?
Only two weeks this year, but three weeks next year.
We get four weeks a year after fiver years of service.
I may take an extra week without pay this year.
Where do you plan to go for your vacation?
Im going to Paris.
When will you be back?
Probably in three or four weeks.
Are you going to take your vacation in June or July?
Im going to take it in July.
Are you going to go to any other place?
No. Im going to go to Paris.
B. Holiday plans
Are you taking/having a holiday/vacation (this year)?
Are you going on holiday/vacation in August?
Well/We wont be having a holiday this year.
We have four weeks holiday a year.
Im/ Were talking a break in winter.
We have eight days off a year.
There are six public holidays a year.
Tomorrow is a public holiday.
Is there a public holiday today?
Whats it for?
C. Describing places
Where are you going this summer?
Are you going away?
Im/Were going away.
Were staying in a hotel/with friends.
Im going to Kenya.
Were going abroad/to a foreign country.
D. Past holidays
Where did you go for your vacation?
Whats it like? What was it like?
What was the food/ weather/hotel like?
I/We went to Switzerland.
I/We had/didnt have a good time.
It was fun/a break/an experience.
The weather was good/bad/hot/too hot.
I enjoyed /disliked the food/scenery/weather.
E. Stating your needs for an excursion
We want to go to (Greenwich).
Id like to book a trip to Rye.
We want to see Sark.
We want to go on Thursday.
Id like to book for next Saturday.
Is there an excursion (in the next few days)?
When is your next excursion to the beach?
We want to go out somewhere on Friday.
Are there any good excursions we could take?
Therell be four of us
Its for a party of six.
We are twelve adults and eight children.
I need space for eight people.
F. Asking about details for an excursion
Can you recommend it?
Whats the journey like?
Is it interesting/worth seeing?
It is a long journey/a nice journey?
Is it suitable for a family with children?
How much does it cost?
Does that price include everything?
How much would it be to hire a taxi?
What are your group rates?
Do you do a reduced price for a party of 12?
Do you have special rates for large groups?
Where do we meet?
Where do we catch the coach?
When/What time should we be there?
How long will the journey take?
When/What time should we be there?
How long will the journey take?
When/What time will we get back?
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At a Restaurant
A. Ordering a Meal: Dialogue
Hi. How are you doing this afternoon?
Fine, thank you. Can I have the menu, please?
Certainly, here you are.
Thank you. Whats todays special?
Grilled tuna and cheese on rye.
That sounds good. Ill have that.
Would you like something to drink?
Yes, Id like a coke.
Thank you. (returning with the food) Here you are. Enjoy your meal!
Thatll be $6.75
Here you are. Keep the change!
Thank you! Have a nice day!
B. At a restaurant: Dialogue
Could we have a table for four?
Theres a nice table right there by the window.
May we also have the menu right away?
Ill get the menu immediately.
Would you care for some roast beef?
No. Ill have sirloin steak.
How do you like your steak?
Id prefer it medium rare.
Would you like to have soup?
Yes. Creamed onion, please.
Mashed, boiled, or French-fried potatoes?
Ill have the French-fried.
What vegetables would you like with your dinner?
Carrots, please, and corn with cream sauce.
What kind of dressing do you want on your salad-French?
I believe Ill take Russian dressing tonight.
Would you like to order a dessert?
What kinds of pie do you have?
Peach, lemon, cream and apple.
Id like lemon cream, please.
C. When going into a restaurant, use:
Wed like to eat.
Could I have a table for (five)?
Could I have the menu, please?
Id like to see the menu.
D. Ordering
Can you recommend the (fish)?
What do you recommend?
What is this?
How is this made?
Is this fish?
Ill have the soup.
I wont have a starter/an hors doeuvre.
Ill just have a main course.
Ill have the (steak) but no (chips) please.
I dont want any dessert/anything else.
(My friend) will have a (beer).
E. Paying
The bill, please.
Could I have the bill?
The check, please
Id like the check
Is service included?
Does this include service and tax?
Whats this charge for?
Are you sure this is right?
Theres a mistake in the bill.
Youve charged me for (two bottles of wine).
Do you accept (credit card)?
You want to reserve a table for five at a restaurant called the Slanted Door. Ca
ll the restaurant and make a reservation for 8:00 this Saturday
You work at a restaurant called the Slanted Door. Answer the phone. (The restaur
ant is completely booked for Friday and Saturday nights this week.)
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Talking about Eating
A. Starting the meal
Its ready.
Sit down/Shall we sit down?
Dinner is ready.
This looks/smells good.
Im looking forward to this.
B. During the meal
Pass the salt, please?
Could you pass the (salt), please?
May I have the (salt), please?
Could I have some more potato?
Its very nice/delicious.
Whats the name of this dish?
Would you like some more potato?
Is everything all right?
Would you prefer tea or coffee?
C. After the meal
Thank you for (the lunch).
Thank you for (a delicious dinner).
That was very nice/delicious.
I enjoyed that.
I hope you enjoyed it.
Im glad you liked it.
D. Conversation
I am feeling hungry.
What would you like to eat?
What pickles do you have?
Have you had your breakfast?
Not yet, Mary.
Prepare/make the breakfast.
Lets have breakfast together.
Just taste it.
No, I have to attend a party.
What sweet dishes do you have?
Has John finished with his meals?
Hurry up. Food has been served.
You hardly had anything.
Have a little more.
Please have some more.
Get me a cup of coffee.
Pour the coffee.
Pass me the salt please.
Give me some fresh butter please.
Get/bring some more.
Help yourself, please.
Change the plates,
Are you vegetarian?
No, I am a non-vegetarian.
Ill dine out today.
Would you have milk?
I have just sat down to have milk?
Im not fond of rice.
Will you have some bread and butter?
Two chapattis have not been enough for me.
Pea-n-potato is my favorite dish.
It is dinner time, get ready.
There is less salt in the vegetable curry.
Do not take water on an empty stomach.
What is the menu for today?
Bring a pinch of salt from your mother.
Im still thirsty.
They have invited me to lunch.
Please have dinner with me.
Will you have boiled eggs or fried ones?
There were seven items/dishes.
Im fond of mushed potatoes.
May I have a little/some more gravy?
My wife relishes broiled potatoes.
Hes a glutton.
He is a gourmet.
We have an exclusive Indian cuisine.
What did you have for breakfast?
Had coffee, toast, and eggs.
How did you have your eggs?
Soft-boiled, as usual.
How about a cup of coffee?
That sounds good.
I always enjoy coffee after work.
I like it best in the morning.
Would you like to have an orange?
Thanks, but I dont think so.
Oranges are good for you.
I know, but I had one about an hour ago.
Where did you have lunch yesterday?
I ate at the cafeteria with John.
Did you have a good lunch?
Yes. I had a hot roast beef sandwich.
Theres a cafeteria over there.
Didnt you eat before we left?
Yes, but Im hungry again.
Well, Im still digesting my lunch.
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Talking about the Weather
A. Talking about the forecast
Whats the weather going to be like tomorrow?
Have you heard the weather forecast?
Do you know what its going to be like?
What do you think itll be like on Sunday?
Its going to be sunny tomorrow.
I think its going to rain.
It looks/feels as if its going to get warmer.
They say itll be windy tomorrow.
There may be frost later
It should clear up soon.
I dont think its going to change.
Theres a high pressure.
Theres rain coming in from the west.
B. Talking about weather conditions
Whats the weather like there in spring?
What sort of temperature is it in June?
Do you get much fog?
Do I need winter clothes?
Is it wet in autumn?
Its generally cold and wet.
Its normally mild now.
Its very pleasant (at this time of the year).
Its (not) often very dry.
We rarely get snow.
What was the weather like (on your holiday)?
How was the weather (last year)?
It was very (hot) (last year)?
We had a lot of (rain) (last month).
Its been very (cold) so far this year.
Is it raining now?
Yes, it is. Its raining very hard.
Does it rain very much in this area?
Yes. It rains a lot in the spring and fall.
Hows the weather?
Its raining outside now.
Is it raining very hard?
No, it isnt. Its just drizzling.
Whats the weather like outside?
It thinks its going to rain.
It was nice a few hours ago.
It was beautiful, wasnt it?
Hows the weather today?
Its quite cold and damp.
How are the winters here in general?
Theyre usually rather mild.
Is it raining outside now?
Yes, it is and its quite cold.
I think Ill stay home today.
I certainly wish I could too.
C. Chatting about the weather
Its very nice today, isnt it?
Its not very nice today, is it?
Its warmer than last week, isnt it?
Its not bad for the time of year, is it?
The Weather is good today.
Its a little too warm for me.
This kind of weather is good for the farmers.
But Im not a farmer.
I wonder what the weather is going to be like tomorrow.
The paper says its going to be fair and sunny.
Lets listen to the weather report on the radio.
Thats a good idea.
Its very warm and sticky today.
Its so humid! I wish it would rain.
A good rain would cool things off a little.
We need some rain to make things green.
It was hot yesterday.
But its quite cool today.
Yes. Im wearing a sweater under my coat.
Im going to put on a jacket.
Its freezing today!
Yes. Its worse than yesterday.
How cold is it?
Its ten below.
What a cold weather this is!
Whats the temperature?
Its five and above.
Youve seen a hurricane, havent you?
Once, along time ago.
Does it ever snow in your country?
Only a few times a year.
Do you like the weather in this part of the country?
Not really, but Im accustomed to it now.
Is the weather different in your part of the country?
Yes. It never gets as cold there as it is here.
D. Weather Conditions
Its a nice day, isnt it?
Yes. Its warm and sunny for a change.
I like this kind of weather.
I guess everyone does.
Its a little windy today.
I dont mind the wind.
The sun certainly feels good.
Especially after all that bad weather last week.
The paper says its going to be fair and sunny.
Lets listen to the weather report on the radio.
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Planning a Journey
Travel Plans
I have to take a trip by air next week.
Do you like to fly?
I dont know because Ive never flown before.
Youll probably like it very much.
I have to go home next week.
How will you go-by car?
Ill probably go by air.
Youll get there very fast then.
How will you travel to Los Angeles?
Well go by plane.
How long will it take?
Itll take about five or six hours to get there.
What time will you leave your house>
Ill leave around seven thirty.
Asking about public transport
What time is the (next train) to London?
Is there a plane to Bonn tomorrow evening?
What time are the (services) to (Boston)?
Is there a frequent service?
How often do they go?
How long does it take?
When does it arrive/get there?
What time/When does it leave?
Where does it leave from?
Does that go via Astound?
Asking about road travel
Whats the best road to Boston?
Which is the best route to Milan?
How long does it take to York?
How many miles/kilometers is it?
Is it a good road?
How much time should I allow?
How far is it to York by car/by road?
Whats the road like to Antwerp?
Suggesting plans
Lets take the morning plane.
Lets drive up via Leeds.
We can get a meal/stop on the way.
We can stop over/break the journey in Aix.
What about driving there via (Brussels)?
Itll be quicker to go by train.
It would be more comfortable (by train)
I think the best route is through Belguium.
I think the (coast road) is better.
I think we should start at about 9.
I dont want to cross London.
I want to be there before it gets dark.
If I leave at (7) Ill be there by 12.
If we catch the (3:30), well be in time.
If we go via (Aachen) we can be there by 4.
What do you think?
What would you suggest?
Trips and Sight- seeing
Did you have a nice time over the weekend?
I had lots of fun.
What did you do?
I did a lot of sight-seeing.
How long were you out of town?
I was away for two weeks.
When were you away?
I took time off in August.
How did you go to India last month?
We went by plane.
What kind of plane did you take?
It was a jet.
Have you ever been in Italy?
No. Ive never been there.
Have you ever been in France?
Yes. I was there last summer.
Did your parents stay in Rome for very long?
Yes. They stayed there for two months.
Did they describe their trip to you?
Yes, and they showed us a lot of photographs
In a Clothes Shop
Shopping for a Sweater
Can I help you?
Yes, Im looking for a sweater.
What size are you?
(Im) extra large.
How about this one?
Yes, thats nice. Can I try it on?
Certainly, there are the changing rooms over there.
Thank you.
How does it fit?
Its too large. Do you have a large?
Yes, here you are.
Thank you. Ill have it, please.
OK, how would you like to pay?
Do you take credit cards?
Yes, we do. Visa, Master Card and American Express.
OK, heres my Visa.
Thank you. Have a nice day!
Thank you, goodbye.
To explain what you want, use:
Im, looking for something like this in green.
Im looking for a jacket.
I want to get some trousers.
Im looking for something for about $40.
Talking about colour:
Have you got another colour?
This is too dark/too light.
I like/dont like this colour.
Talking about price
How much is it/are they?
Have you got anything cheaper?
Have you got anything more expensive?
Thats cheap/expensive; its too expensive.
Talking about size
What size is this?
Will this fit me?
Have you got anything bigger/smaller?
Have you got this in a bigger/smaller size?
It is/they are too big/small/short/long/tight/loose.
It/They wont fit me
Asking about trying clothes on
Id like to try this on
Where can I change?
Can I try these on?
Is there a changing room here?
Where can I try these on?
General conversations
Can I try these on?
Is there a changing room here?
What would you like to see?
Id like to see your overcoats, please.
What kind of overcoats would you like to see?
Id like to see your winter overcoats probably wool.
Id like to look at your sweaters, if I could.
Certainly. Any particular style?
Could I see some of the new styles, please?
Of course. Please step right this way.
Im interested in seeing your summer suits.
What colour did you have in mind?
White, or some light colour, I think.
Step over to this other room with me, would you please?
That jacket you have on now seems to fit you very well.
What kind of material is this?
Its a mixture cotton and wool.
Im not sure its heavy enough for the fall weather.
Heres a very popular kind of sport coat the most recent thing.
I notice there isnt much padding in the shoulders.
No. It has a natural shoulder line.
I like the narrow lapels and the stitching on them.
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Journey by Bus
Getting the right bus
Do you know when is the next bus to the town?
How often do these buses run?
Whens the next bus to the airport?
Which bus goes to the park?
Which bus do I take to get to the college?
What number bus should I catch for the city?
Is this the right bus for the station?
Theres one every ten minutes.
Take a 17 to the station.
Change there onto the university bus.
It takes about half an hour
Where do I get the Dadar bus?
Walk straight ahead 100 meters.
Are there many bus stops along this street?
Yes, there are. There are quite a few.
Are they located at the corners?
Most of them are, but a few arent.
How do I get to the (Dadar station)?
Take the bus at the next corner.
Do you know which bus I take?
Watch for (number 124).
Thank you very much.
Finding where to catch a bus.
Is there a bus stop near here?
Wheres the nearest bus stop?
Is this the right bus stop for the?
Is this the right place for a bus to town?
Could you direct me to the bus station?
Wheres the central bus station?
On the Bus

Does this bus go into the town?
Yes. Where do you want to go?
I want to go to Connaught Place.
This is the right bus then.
Does this bus go as far as Gandhi Square?
No. Youll have to change.
Where can I do it?
You can get the Gandhi Square bus at the next corner.
Is this where I get off the bus?
No. Not here-at the next stop.
Can I catch an auto right there?
Yes. Theres an auto stand right by the bus stop.
Excuse me, but how do I get to this address?
Get off the bus at Water Street and Main.
Thanks very much for your help.
Dont mention it.
Is West Street the next stop?
Im sorry, but I didnt understand you.
Does the bus stop at West Street next?
Yes. Right at the next corner.
Is this the right bus for the airport?
Does this go to the bus station?
The Central Park, please.
I want to go to the city.
How much is it?
What is the fare?
How much is the fare?
Can I get a return ticket?
Do I have to change?
How many stops is it?
How long does it take?
Could you tell me where to get off, please?
Which is my stop?
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Shopping 2
At the Grocery Store.
How much do the potatoes cost?
Fifteen cents a pound.
Id like a bag of onions and a jar of olives.
Do you need fruit apples, lemons, plums?
Perhaps a box of cherries Ill put all this in a box.
I forgot to buy some rice.
How much do you want?
Would you please get me two pounds?
All right. A two-pound bag.
Dont you need milk or cream?
Lets get some sour cream too.
Please give me two bottles of milk.
All of our milk is in cartons.
Cartons are all right, but I prefer bottles.
At a gift shop
Yes, can I help you?
Yes, Im looking for some gift articles.
Here weve got a stock of fine Titan watches, madam...
Let me see...
This is the best one madam.
But how much does it cost?
Yes. Its expensive. Two thousand rupees But I tell you its worth the money you
Im sorry I cant afford to pay so much Let me tell you.
This is the right kind of thing for your husband madam.
But Im not married.
Buying a TV
Good Morning.
Good Morning, sir. Can I help you?
I am looking for a colour T.V. Set. What brands do you have?
We have all leading brands, sir. The models are also the latest ones.
What about Philips colour T.V.?
Yes, we do have Philips TVs. They are excellent in performance and we do sel
l a large number of them.
A friend of mine, Mr. Mahesh Reddy, recommended your store to me.
Perhaps you know him?
Of course, Mr. Reddy is our esteemed customer. He purchased a T.V. just last
month from us.
Oh dear! I forgot to ask you the price of the T.V. over there. That is a Phi
lips colour T.V., I am sure?
It is Rupees fourteen thousand five hundred plus taxes, sir. It is four perc
ent less than the market price here. We give this special discount to our custom
ers because we are the biggest dealers of Philips TVs. In this area.
I am very happy to hear that. Can your mechanic come and install it at my pl
Just dont worry, sir. Leave all your problems to us. We shall do everything t
o satisfy you. Should I get this T.V. packed for you?
Yes, I have decided to take it, but one more thing. Can I make the payment b
y cheque?
Yes sir. You can.
Thank you very much.
Thank you, sir, for your visit. Have a nice day.
Shopping for Groceries
What do you call a big grocery store like this?
Its called a supermarket.
Its convenient to see everything and pick out what you want.
Having these carts to put things in is convenient too.
How about fish tonight salmon, tuna fish, trout?
I notice the clams and oysters are fresh today.
That sounds very good.
Lets also get a pork roast or turkey for tomorrow.
Now we have sugar, salt, pepper and flour.
We also need mustard, vinegar and cinnamon.
Ill get those while you get the cabbage and celery.
Fine. Ill meet you at the check-out counter.
Would you please get me a bag of sugar?
Do you want two or five pounds?
A two-pound bag will be all right.
OK. Ill meet you at the canned-food counter.
How many eggs should we get?
Two dozen should be enough.
How much butter do you think we need?
One pound is enough, dont you think?
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Talking about Shopping
Where do you do your shopping?
Usually start at the Central Department Store.
What do you think of their selection?
They have a good selection, and their prices are low, too.
Theyre having a big sale at the Greenfield shopping Center.
Anything in particular on sale?
Well, they advertised linens and house furnishings.
I suppose therell be crowds of people in the store.
I spent the afternoon shopping for clothes.
How did you make out?
Well, I found an excellent raincoat, and I bought some shoe.
That reminds me that I have to go shopping soon.
Where did you buy your coat?
I bought it at the Fifth Avenue Store-but a long time ago.
About how much did it cost?
At the moment, Ive forgotten how much it cost.
Why did you choose the green one?
To tell the truth, I really didnt have much choice in my size.
Excuse my asking. But how much did you pay for it?
It was on sale, and I paid only forty-five dollars.
Asking about Prices
How much does this pen cost?
I beg your pardon.
How much is this pen?
Its four dollars and fifty cents.
How much is this leather billfold?
Its five twenty-five.
Does that include tax?
Its five forty-four including tax.
This briefcase costs five fifty.
Thats fine. Ill take it.
Will there be anything else?
I dont believe so, thank you.
Are office supplies on sale too?
Lets see. Thatll be twenty-one fifty.
Buying things
How much is that?
How much does that sell for?
How much are these oranges?
Give me a kilo of apples.
Pick out big ones, please.
Excuse me. Id like a shirt for myself.
A packet of cigarettes, please.
Id like to buy 3 kilos of apples.
They must have no spoiled spots in them.
Id like to see some belts, please.
Let me see what you have in handkerchiefs.
Give me a tube of toothpaste.
I dont suppose you have anything cheaper?
Can I have a 10-rupee postal order please?
Which of these do you think are better?
Im looking for a radio.
I think I will take this one.
Have you got a bigger size?
Whats the price of this washing machine?
Well, Ill take half a dozen of those, please.
Oh, its more expensive, is it?
Have you got a different style?
These are small.
Have you any that are slightly larger?
Let me see some pens, please.
Getting help in Stores
Do you need any assistance?
Yes. How much is that pen?
This one or that one?
The one next to the black one.
May I help you?
Yes. Id like to look at pens.
Certainly. Fountain pens or ball-point pens?
Im looking for a good fountain pen.
Could you help me, please?
What can I do for you?
Could I look at the wristwatch in this case?
Just one moment, please, while I get the key.
Hello. Are you waited upon?
No. Id like a ream of typing paper, please.
Will there be anything else?
No. I believe thats all, thank you.
Is someone helping you?
I beg your pardon?
Could I help you with anything?
No, thanks. Someone is already waiting on me.
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Getting Change, Lending and Borrowing Money
Getting Change
Have you got any change?
What do you need?
I need change for a quarter.
Here are two dimes and five pennies
Can you change this five-dollar bill?
How do you want it?
A five and five ones, please.
Here you are.
Do you have change for a dollar bill?
Just a minute and Ill see.
I need some quarters.
Can you break a twenty dollar bill?
Do you have change for a dollar?
I have some coins I need to change.
I need five dollars in quarters.
Talking about Money
I have some coins I need to change.
How much money do you have?
Not very much.
Do you have many dollar bills?
Not very many, Im afraid.
I think Ive lost my money.
Oh, thats whats bothering you.
Its a good reason to be upset, isnt it?
Are you sure you lost your money?
Im sure I did.
Would you please look again?
I will, but Im sure its not here.
How many pennies did you have in your valet?
I had exactly five hundred of them.
What did you do with them?
I put them in rolls of fifty pennies each.
Have you made very much money this year?
Not an awful lot.
How hard have you tried?
Not as hard as I could have, Im afraid.
How much did you make this week?
Two Hundred dollars.
Is that your take-home pay?
Yes, it is.
I've got to pay a lot of bills.
And Ive got to pay my rent today.
Money goes very fast these days, doesnt it?
It certainly does.
Did you put the money in the bank?
I deposited part of it and spent the rest.
Do you have an account at that bank?
How much do you have to keep in the account?
Theres no minimum.
Lending and Borrowing Money
Could you lend me a dollar until tomorrow?
I can if you have change for a five.
I wish I did, but I dont.
Well, we can get it changed easily.
I need about ten dollars.
What do you need it for?
I need it for books and supplies.
O.K., Ill lend it to you.
How much do you need?
Could you spare four or five dollars?
What did you need the money for yesterday?
I wanted it for a new suit.
Did you get the money?
Yes. I borrowed it from a friend.
How much change have you got?
Two quarters, two nickels, and a dine.
Thats not enough to change this dollar bill.
Ill lend you all of this change if you want it.
I think I can borrow enough money to go.
Youre on vacation with your friend in Las Vegas.
You have just spent all your money.
Your friend is upstairs in the hotel room.
Call your friend and ask to borrow $60.
Describing price changes
The price has gone up.
It went up (last month/sharply/gradually)
The cost of (food) is rising.
There was a rise in price.
In (summer) prices should go down.
The cost of (this) went down (last year)
The price of (oil) may drop.
We had a drop in (salary costs).
It was a sharp drop/a slight drop
There was a fall in prices.
Prices stayed the same.
The cost of living will stay level.
Prices are at about the same level.
Talking about living costs
(Houses) are very expensive/cheap
We can/cant afford (chocolate).
Its (not) hard/difficult.
Some people find it difficult to cope.
Its very hard for (people on a pension).
Were better off/worse off.
Whats it like in (your country)?
How is it with you?
Talking about tax
The government takes (30%) in tax
You have to pay income tax/sales tax.
I pay (a third) in tax.
(10%) of your salary goes for insurance.
The taxes are high/low.
Theres good social security/insurance.
You get a pension at (60).
How much do you pay in (income tax)?
What are the taxes like?
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Staying in a Hotel
Dialogue: Getting a Room for the Night
A. Good evening, Can I help you?
B. Yes, please. Id like a room for the night.
A. Would you like a single room, or a double room?
B. A single room, please. How much is the room?
A. Its Rs 350 per night.
B. Ca I pay by credit card?
A. Certainly. We take Visa, Master Card and American Express. Could you fill in
form, please?
B. Do you need my passport number? No, just an address and your signature.
A. (fills out the form) Here you are.
B. Heres your key. Your room number is 212.
A. Thank you.
B. Thank you. If you need anything, dial 0 for the reception are. Have a good st
Specifying the hotel
I want something cheap and best.
I want a neat and clean one.
I want something with (two or three) stars.
What sort of hotel is it?
Is it a star hotel?
I want somewhere near the Railway station.
I want a guest house.
Im looking for a bed and breakfast place.
Whats a good hotel in this town?
How far is it from here?
Whats the name of the hotel?
I have a reservation for a room here.
Wheres the hotel, please?
Wheres that?
Can you tell me where the hotel is?
On this side or the other side?
I want to go to the Beachside Hotel.
Excuse me. Im lost.
I live at the Royal Hotel.
Wheres the Park Hotel on this Map?
Booking rooms
Id like a (single room), please.
(A single room) with bath, please.
Id like a (suite), please.
Id like to book a (double room).
I want a (twin room)
I am looking for just a (dormitory please.)
Id like a family room with three beds.
Have you got (two adjoining rooms)?
I want a room with a (shower).
A room with a (balcony).
Id like a (television).
I want a room for (one) night.
For (three/Thursday & Friday) nights
For the nights from the (3rd) to (10th) May.
Thats (eight) nights.
Ill arrive on the (evening of the 25th) and leave on the (morning of the 29th
Can I take the elevator over here?
Talking about the tariff
I want (bed and breakfast/bed only).
Id like (half board)
I want (lunch) included
Ill book it (full board)
What is the tariff?
Does that include (breakfast)?
How much is it (per person/per room)?
How much is it (half board/full board)?
Is that inclusive?
Key Vocabulary
Can I help you?
Id like a room.
Single, double room.
Can I pay by credit card?
Fill in this form.
Passport number.
Room number.
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Travel by Taxi/Rent a Car
To find out where you can hire a car, use:
Can I hire a car here?
Is there a car-hire firm here?
With Americans, use the word RENT
Is there a car-rent firm here?
Where is the best place to hire/rent a car?
Where can I hire/rent a car cheaply here?
To tell them what you want, use:
I want a medium/small/large car for (a week).
I want to hire/rent a car for (next Tuesday).
I want something cheap/comfortable.
I need a four-seater.
I want it (at nine oclock tomorrow morning).
I need a car now/immediately.
I need it for (the weekend).
I want to go to (Turin).
Can you deliver it?
Can I collect it?
To ask about costs, use:
How much do you charge?
What is the tariff?
Id like to see your table of charges
How much is a (four-door/five-door)?
Does the charge include mileage (kilometers)?
What do you charge per day/mile/kilometer?
Are there any extra charges?
To find out about the formalities, use:
I have (an international license).
Is a (Swiss) driving license all right?
Do you want proof of identity?
How much is the deposit?
Can I pay with (a Diners Club card)?
Do I need my passport?
What insurance is included?
Id like a receipt, please.
Where do I sign?
Do you want my signature?
Going by Taxi: Dialogue
I need a taxi.
The taxis are by the entrance.
Thank you very much.
Youre welcome.
Is this taxi taken?
No. Where are you going?
Im going to the Central Secretariat.
How much is the fare?
Twenty Rupees and Fifty Paise
Here. Keep the change.
Thank you very much.
Going by Taxi
Where are you going now?
To the hotel.
Are you going by bus or by taxi?
Probably by taxi if I can get one.
Its raining cats and dogs right now.
Why dont we get a taxi?
Thats a good idea.
Now, I only hope we can find one.
Taking a Trip by Car
Are you taking a trip today?
Yes. Were going to Boston.
Its a good day for the trip.
Im glad the sun is shining.
How far is it from here to the coast?
Its about 250 miles.
How long does it take to get there by car?
It takes about five hours.
How far is it to the next gas station?
Theres one two miles from here.
Is there a place to eat there?
Yes. Theres a restaurant next to the station.
Whats the best way to Ocean City?
The superhighway, but its also the longest way.
How much longer is it that way?
About 10 to 12 miles.
Are they going by way of North Plains?
No. They arent taking that route.
How are they traveling then?
Theyre driving directly to Ocean City.
Youre on holiday in England and have hired a car for one week. When you arriv
ed at the car park in Heathrow Airport, you found a Fiat 126 and not the BMW you
ordered by telephone from Italy. Go to the car hire office to demand your origi
nal car and for the same price as the Fiat because of the inconvenience.
You are the manager of a car hire company at Heathrow airport. A tourist is
complaining about the car you gave them. Explain why there were no BMWs and that
you were very considerate in choosing an Italian substitute car for them.
Conversation at the Bank
Customer : Good morning. Can I cash a cheque here?
Counter clerk : Please go to the first counter on the left side.
Customer : Thank you. Is it the teller system there?
Counter clerk : Yes, sir. You will get your money instantly there.
Customer : (At the first counter) Excuse me. I want to get th
is cheque cashed.
Counter clerk : Yes sir, please sign on the back of your cheque.
Customer : O.K.! Here you are.
Counter clerk : Just a minute, sir.
Customer : I need thousand rupees notes only.
Counter clerk : I am sorry; I have only five hundred rupees notes. If
you can wait, I will get some thousand rupees notes as well.
Customer : Thanks! I wont like to wait any longer. Five hundred
rupees notes are alright with me.
Counter clerk : Here is your cash, sir. Please ensure that you. H
ave got exactly the right amount.
Customer : Thank you. I shall definitely count my money bef
ore I leave.
Counter clerk : Thank you very much. Have a nice day, sir.
Telephone Banking
Executive : Good morning City Bank, This is Customer service
Department, How may I help
Customer : Hello. Id like, some information on the telephone ba
nking services offered by you.
Executive : Certainly. What is your account number, sir?
Customer : 85 56789000 89548 at the MG Road Branch.
Executive : What would you like to know?
Customer : Can you tell me how the telephone banking services
Executive : You can do all your day-to-day banking over the t
elephone 24 hours a day.
Customer : Thats great. How do I access my account?
Executive : Just call 80000498, key in your PIN number and li
sten to the menu of options
Customer : How do I choose the option I want?
Executive : Just press the number for the service stated by t
he recording.
Customer : What kind of things can I do?
Executive : You can check your balance, pay your bills, order a
statement, request for cheque book, DD or even transfer money to another bank.
Customer : Thats fantastic! Can I trade stocks and bonds?
Executive : Im afraid you will have to have a special account
for that.
Customer : What about getting help if I have any problems?
Executive : Theres an automated answering machine and staff are
available 9 to 5 seven days a week.
Customer : It all sounds very good to me. Id like to sign up.
Executive : Alright, can you answer a few more questions plea
Customer : Certainly
Useful Vocabulary
24 hours a day. to check your balance.
Account number. to key in a PIN number
Automated answering machine. to order a statement.
Day-to-day banking. to pay bills.
Menu of options. to sign up.
Telephone banking service. to trade stocks and bonds.
To access an account. to transfer money.
Other useful word group
I want to open an account.
Could you please help me to open an account?
I would like to open a joint account with my wife.
How many specimen signatures do you need?
How much do I have to deposit to open a current account?
I want a cheque book.
I want to encash this cheque.
Are you a customer of this bank?
Yes, I am. Here is my passbook.
Would you like to deposit the cheque for clearance?
It will take about two days, since it is a local Cheque.
But I need the money urgently.
Will they give me the money today?
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Using the Post Office
Customer : Please give me ten Five Rupees stamps.
Clerk : Here they are.
Customer : How much is that?
Clerk : Fifty Rupees.
Customer : Id like to mail this Letter.
Clerk : How do you want to send it?
Customer : By ordinary mail.
Clerk : Thatll be five rupees per letter.
Customer : I want to send this letter by Registered post.
Clerk : All right. Ill weigh it.
Customer : How much will it cost to go that way?
Clerk : Itll cost Twenty five rupees.
Customer : Whats the fastest way to send this Letter?
Clerk : By Speed Post, but itll be expensive.
Customer : How much will it cost to send it by Speed Post?
Clerk : Just a moment. Let me weigh it.
Customer : Do you sell envelopes here?
Clerk : Only envelopes with stamps printed on them.
Locating a post office
Is there a post office near here?
Where is the (nearest) post office?
Where is the main/central post office?
Wheres the nearest post/mail box?
Talking about postage
How much is it for a letter to (Japan)?
What is the letter rate to (Europe)?
Is there a special rate for (cards)?
How much is this by airmail to (Canada)?
Three to Europe, please (getting stamps).
Id like to send this by (parcel post)
Could I have six stamps for (postcards)?
When will this get to (Athens)?
How long does it take (by airmail)?
When should this reach (London)?
Postage problems
This arrived damaged/torn.
Ive been expecting a package from (Denmark).
It was posted two weeks ago.
Could you look into this?
Can you find out whats gone wrong?
Can you check for me?
Special services
I want to send a telegram.
Whats the fastest/safest way of sending this?
I want to send this express to Cairo.
I want this insured.
I want this to go registered mail.
Id like proof of posting.
I want to send it recorded delivery
Can I have a customs form, please?
Sending and Receiving Letters
Are you writing a letter?
Yes. Im writing to my family.
Do you write letters very often?
Yes. I write five or six letters a week.
No. I hate to write letters.
Does John get many letters?
Yes. He gets some everyday.
Charles wrote me a long letter.
When did he write to you?
He sent the letter to me about a week ago.
He hasnt even sent me a postcard yet!
We wrote to Marys sister last week.
Has she written to you yet?
No, she hasn't.
She wrote to me a few days ago.
Have you written to your brother yet?
Yes, but I havent mailed the letter yet.
Did your friend in Japan write to you?
Yes. I got a letter from her yesterday.
Did you write a reply to Johns letter?
Yes. I wrote one on Tuesday.
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Airport Checking In
Passenger : Good evening! Can you help me, please?
Flight Assistant : Good evening, sir! Yes, ofcourse! What can I do for
Passenger : Here is my ticket! I am booked by your airlines f
or New York. What am I to do?
Flight Assistant : Its all right! Just let me see your passport as well
. You may keep your luggage here.
Passenger : Here you are. What else?
Flight Assistant : Please tie this tag on to your hand baggage. Just g
o right across to the bank to pay your Airport tax. You can collect your foreign
exchange as well, there. Thats all.
Passenger : Thanks. Need I come back to you again?
Flight Assistant : You are welcome, sir, Please just relax in the lobb
y on your left. Your flight is about two hours late. We shall contact you, if re
Passenger : Please do let me know when I am to go for my flig
Flight Assistant : Very well, sir. Please dont worry. We shall let you
Passenger : Thank you.
Flight Assistant : Thank you. Sir.
Airport: Checking In
A. Good morning. Can I have your ticket, please?
B. Here you are.
A. Thank you. Would you like smoking or non-smoking?
B. Non-smoking, please.
A. Would you like a window or an aisle seat?
B. An aisle seat, please.
A. Do you any baggage?
B. Yes, this suitcase and this carry-on bag.
A. Heres your boarding pass. Have a nice flight.
B. Thank you.
Passport control
A. Good morning. Can I see your passport?
B. Here you are.
A. Thank you very much. Are you a tourist or on business?
B. Im a tourist.
A. Thats fine. Have a pleasant stay.
B. Thank you.
Asking for the check-in
To find where to check in baggage, use:
Wheres the check-in desk?
Wheres the baggage check-in?
Where do I check-in my baggage?
You may need to use:
Its heavy.
Are there any porters here?
I need a porter.
Where can I get a baggage trolley?
Are there any trolleys free?
Checking in baggage
To hand baggage in at the check-in, use:
I want to check-in (these), please.
There are (three) pieces.
Im taking (this) as hand baggage.
Im not checking (this) in.
Im taking (this) with me.
Are they safe like that?
Do I have to pay any extra?
Baggage problems
You may need:
Wheres the baggage office?
Whos in charge of lost baggage?
I checked-in my baggage in (Paris) and it isnt here.
My baggage hasnt been delivered.
I was on the (Miami) flight.
I cant find my baggage.
My baggage is lost.
Its damaged/broken.
Ive lost (some of the things) out of it.
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Getting Information at the Airport.
Getting Information at the Airport
Is this Deccan Airways?
Yes. May I help you?
Can you tell me when flight 234 arrives?
One Sec please, Ill check.
How long is the flight from Bangalore to New Delhi?
Well, supposedly two hours, but its sometimes longer.
How often are there flights to New Delhi from Bangalore?
Theres one every hour.
At what time does the next to Kolkota leave?
The next flight 112 at eleven fifty-five.
Which is the one after that?
Flight 121 at one Twenty.
Could I make a reservation for flight 545 to Hyderabad?
Im sorry, but everything is taken.
How about the next flight-tomorrow at two oclock?
Yes. I can give you a reservation on that.
Id like to check in for the flight to Dubai.
Fine. Do you have your ticket and passport?
Yes. Heres my ticket, and Ill get out my passport.
Would you please put your baggage on the scales?
At what time does the next plane to London leave?
The next one is flight 12 at eleven fifty-five.
Whats the next one after that?
How often is there a flight to Paris?
We have flights to Paris every hour.
Are they nonstop flights?
Could I make a reservation for flight 10 to Tokyo?
Im sorry, but everything is taken.
How about the next flight-tomorrow at two oclock?
Yes. I can give you a reservation on that.
Id like to check in for the flight to New York.
Fine, Do you have your ticket and passport?
Yes. Heres my ticket and Ill get my passport.
Would you please put your baggage on the scales?
How long is the flight from New York to Washington?
Well, supposedly an hour, but its sometimes longer.
How often are there flights to Washington from New York?
Theres one every hour.
Meeting at the Airport
Where will you meet your friends?
Ill meet them at the airport.
When will they get there?
I dont know yet.
When are you meeting your friends?
Im meeting them at eight oclock tomorrow night.
How are they getting here?
Theyre coming by air.
Is this Southwestern Airline?
Yes. May I help you?
Can you tell me when flight 439 will arrive?
One moment, please. Ill check.
All the incoming flights are listed on that board.
I see they expect Bills flight to be twenty minutes late.
Do they have an arrival gate listed?
No. Theyll probably list it about ten minutes before arrival.
Well! How was your trip?
It was very smooth and fast.
Could you see the mountains from the plane?
Yes. The visibility was excellent all the way.
You are at Mumbai Airport and have lost your bag which contained many important
things including all your holiday photos and all the presents you bought for you
r family and friends. Demand some action and, if possible, some compensation.
You work at Rajeevi Gandhi International Airport and must explain to the tourist
that its perfectly normal for a bag to go missing for a few hours and there is n
o problem at all. And. Tourists should never put anything too valuable in their b
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Identifying Things & People
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try t
o learn by-heart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your kn
owledge, and rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to r
ead these word groups aloud several times.
Identifying Things
Whats the name of that furniture?
I beg your pardon.
Can you tell me what is the name of that piece of furniture?
Sorry, I dont know myself.
Which is your house?
Ours is the last one on the block.
Is yours the red one or the blue one?
The blue one on the right side of the street.
Which one of these are you going to choose?
I like the red one with the blue stripes.
The one over there with black edges is nice too.
But the one we looked at first may be the best choice.
Whats the name of that book John referred to?
Its slipped my mind for the moment.
Who did he say was the author?
Someone whose name starts with an M.
The car over there by the streetlight is Johns.
Which one do you mean-the old one or the new red one?
Neither. I mean the streetlight on your left.
Oh. Then the one with the convertible top must be his.
Identifying People
Are you Mr. John?
No. that tall fellow is Mr. John.
Do you mean the one over there with glasses?
Yes, the one with white hair.
Whos that very handsome man?
What did you say?
Do you know who that man over there is?
If you mean the thin, rather dark man, thats Mr. Noble.
Do you recognize the girl talking to Mr. Noble?
Of course, I know the girl hes talking to.
Well then, whom is he talking to?
Thats Diane.
Whats that mans name the man thats holding the briefcase?
I know, but I cant remember it right now.
Where does he come from Greece or Turkey perhaps?
One of the two, I think.
Do you know the man over there by the door?
I do, but I cant remember his name at the moment.
Isnt he a famous musician?
Hes either a musician or a painter.
Asking about identity
Are you Mr. Venkat?
Are you A Teacher?
Whos he talking to?
What sort of CD is it?
Do you have some ID with you?
See that Lady? Whos she?
Which of these books is yours?
Is that you, John?
What type of facial cream do you use?
May I know who you are?
Isnt that your umbrella?
Do you recognize that lady in a blue jacket>
Who are you?
Thats your brother, isnt it?
Whos that lady over there?
Do you know who he is?
Whore those people?
What in the world is it?
Who on earth told you that?
Do you know that lady standing over there?
See that thing there? What is it?
Isnt that your mother?
Do you know what is that?
Who are you going to meet?
What on earth is that thing in your bag?
What kind of calculator is it? A scientific one?
Not identifying
I dont recognize
Im afraid Ive no idea.
I dont know who it is.
Ive no idea what it is.
Mmm he just reminds me of someone.
But I cant put a name to his face.
I havent the faintest idea.
I have no idea who that is.
No. I dont think so.
I havent a clue.
God knows.
Im not sure.
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Using Expressions of Time and the Calendar.
Speaker 1 : Im afraid were going to be late.
Speaker 2 : How much time is left?
Speaker 1 : Weve got about thirty or forty minutes.
Speaker 2 : That should be plenty of time.
Speaker 1 : Whom are you waiting for?
Speaker 2 : Were waiting for our friend.
Speaker 1 : What are you looking so angry for?
Speaker 2 : Because shes twenty minutes late already.
Speaker 1 : Arent we going to be late for the meeting?
Speaker 2 : No. I think well be on time.
Speaker 1 : Well, I want to be there in time to get a good seat
Speaker 2 : The meeting doesnt start for another twenty minutes.
Speaker 1 : Are we late or not?
Speaker 2 : No. In fact were early according to my watch.
Speaker 1 : Hadnt we better go inside?
Speaker 2 : All right, but were really about a half an hour earl
When is your first class?
When do you get back here, then?
He will be back in ten or fifteen minutes.
How long has he been out of his cabin?
Hes been out since ten oclock.
Then hes been out for an hour or more.
I got to the cafeteria around noon.
I was there, but I didnt see you.
I think I left a few minutes after twelve.
I must have just missed you, then.
Our friends will meet us here.
Will they come here right after lunch?
No. They wont be here until three oclock.
Then Ill come a little before three.
Lets call Mary.
Lets not call her right now.
May be this is a bad time to call.
Lets wait until seven or seven thirty.
Were you at home last night?
No, but I was at home the night before last.
Will you be at home tomorrow night?
No, but Ill be at home the next night.
Didnt your friends leave the week before last?
Right, they left just two weeks ago.
Will they get back next week?
Yes. According to them, theyll arrive a week from today.
Did Mary get back last week?
Yes. She got back on Thursday.
How long was she away?
She was out of town for ten days.
When did George arrive in town?
He flew in last Thursday afternoon.
John has been here since that last Thursday too.
Both of them plan to leave the day after tomorrow.
How long have you been here?
Ive been here for two months.
How often do you get here?
I get to this city about twice a year.
Dates and Periods of Time
Ive worked here since March.
How long ago did you finish school?
I finished school three years ago.
Didnt you study English in school?
Yes, but that was many years ago.
How many years ago was it?
At least six.
Did your friends arrive here in the fall?
Yes, they did. They got here in October.
Do you know the exact date they arrived?
Yes, I do, they got back on October eleventh.
Have you been living here very long?
No. Ive only been here since last spring.
Are you going to stay until Christmas?
No. Ill probably leave for France in a month or two.
I worked on my report until midnight last night.
Do you expect to finish the work by tomorrow night?
Well, I certainly cant finish it before that time.
Time and the Calendar
When does February have twenty-nine days?
In a leap year.
How often is there a leap year?
Every four years.
How many days are there in leap year?
There are three hundred and sixty six.
How many weeks are there in a year?
There are fifty-two weeks in a year.
What are the seasons in this country?
Winter, spring, summer and fall.
How many months to each season?
There are three months in each season.
Today is the first day of spring.
I didnt realize it.
Arent you glad its here?
Im always glad when winter is over.
The weather is perfect today, isnt it?
Yes. I like this season of the year very much.
Most people like this season best of all, dont they?
Well. Im sure a lot of people do.
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Asking / Telling the Time
What time is it? I
A. Excuse me. Can you tell me the time, please?
B. Yes, of course. Its seven oclock.
A. Thank you.
B. No Mention Please.
What time is it? II
A. What time is it?
B. Its half past three.
A. Thanks.
B. Youre welcome.
What time is it? III
A. What time is it now?
B. I dont have my watch on right now.
A. Is there a clock around here?
B. Theres one in the next room.
B. I was about to too ask you the same question.
A. My watch has stopped.
B. I forgot to wear mine.
A. Do you have any idea of the time?
B. I dont know exactly, but its past nine.
A. It was nine oclock when I got here.
B. Well, Im sorry I cant help you.
A. At what time is the meeting?
B. Seven oclock.
A. Be there at Seven oclock sharp, then.
B. Ill try to get there before seven.
Some commonly used word groups for asking and telling time
What time do you have?
Its ten oclock sharp.
Thanks a lot.
Dont mention it.
Whats the time?
Its almost eight.
Do you have the exact time?
Yes, its two minutes to eight.
Excuse me. What time is it?
Its a quarter of two.
I guess my watch is slow then.
Well, I know mine isnt fast.
What time is it right now?
Its five twenty-five.
Mine shows five thirty-five.
Youre ten minutes ahead then.
Do you have the correct time?
Yes. Its two minutes to three.
Are you sure your watch it right.
It may be a few minutes slow.
What time is it now?
I dont have my watch on right now.
Is there a clock around here?
Theres one in the next room.
Do you have the right time?
I was about to ask you the same question.
My watch has stopped.
I forgot to wear mine.
Do you have any idea of the time?
I dont know exactly, but its after nine.
It was nine o clock when I got here.
Well, Im sorry, I cant help you.
At what time is the meeting?
Eight Oclock.
Be there at eight oclock sharp, then.
Ill try to get there before eight.
How often does this station give the news?
Every hour on the hour.
When do they announce the weather?
Ten minutes to and ten minutes after the hour.
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Getting Information
Asking for Information:
There are a number of formulas used when asking for information in English. Here
are some of the most common:
Could you tell me?
Do you know.?
Do you happen to know?
Id like to know?
Could you find out.?
Im interested in.
Im looking for.
These two forms are used for asking for information on the telephone:
Im calling to find out
Im calling about.
Could you tell me when the next bus leaves?
Do you know how much that pen costs?
Do you happen to know where John lives?
Id like to know what you think about the new project.
Could you find out when he is going to arrive?
Im interested in buying a house.
Im looking for information on holidays in Kerala.
Im calling to find out if flight AD123 will leave on time today.
Im calling about the offer, you announced in TV.
Conversation Practice I
A. Whats the matter?
B. I need some information.
A. Go to that desk over there.
B. Thank you very much.
A. Can you help me, please?
C. Ill try to.
A. Whats the best way to get to this address?
C. Im sorry, I really dont know.
A. How can I get to that address?
D. You can go by train.
A. Isnt there any other way?
D. Yes, by bus, but its complicated.
A. How do I get to the nearest Railway station?
D. Its two furlong up that street.
A. Do you mean the street running that way?
D. Yes. Thats the one.
A. Is this the right way to Central Station?
D. No. Youre going the wrong way.
A. Which way should I be going then?
D. Its in that direction-about one Kilometer.
Some commonly used word groups for asking Information.
Excuse me.
Do you know the way to the Post Office?
Could you tell me which bus goes to Miyapur circle?
Im looking for a place to stay.
Is there a good hotel around here?
Could you tell me why todays Hyderabad flight was cancelled?
What time is the Bangalore Express due in, please?
Could you please tell me how to get to this address?
I want to catch the Dubai flight.
Could you tell me where the Railway Station is, please?
Could you help me?
How much is the fare to Chennai?
How much rent are you quoting?
What time is it?
What are your rates?
What time is the news on?
You wouldnt know if theres any other way, would you?
How much does a ticket to Kolkata cost, please?
Who can I ask for some information?
Whats the date today?
What sort of time did you want to go?
Im sorry to trouble you, but do you happen to know where the canteen is?
Excuse me, where is the Canteen?
Could you tell me when the bus for Kochi leaves, please?
Any idea how long hell be here?
Do you know how far its to the next petrol Pump?
Whens the next bus to Mysore due, please?
Asking Directions
Conversation I
A: Wheres the Post office?
B: Its near the Rajbhavan.
A: How far is that from here?
B: About half a kilometer, I think.
A: Wheres the Rajbhavan?
B: Its in the south of the city.
A: Whats the best way to get there?
B: Take Bus No 301.
A: What street is the local library on?
B: I dont know.
A: How can I find out?
B: Why dont you enquire in that shop?
Conversation II
A. Excuse me. Is there a supermarket near here?
B. Yes. Theres one near here.
A. How do I get there?
B. At the traffic lights, take the first left and go straight. Its on the left.
A. Is it far?
B. Not really.
A. Thank you.
B. Dont mention it.
Conversation III
A. Excuse me. Is there a bank near here?
B. Yes. Theres one at the corner.
A. Thank you.
B. Youre welcome.
Asking the way
To ask people for directions, use:
Excuse me!
Where is (the police station)?
Could you direct me to (the station)?
How do I get to (the main street)?
Could you tell me the way to (the park)?
If you want special directions, use:
Which is the quickest way to (the Post Office)?
Whats the best way to (the city centre)?
If you are in a car, you can also use:
Whats the easiest way to (the coast road)?
Is there parking (in the centre)?
Asking about distances, use:
How far is it?
How long will it take (on foot/by car/by bus)?
Can I do it in (ten minutes)?
Should I take (a taxi)?
Giving directions
To tell people the way, use:
Its near the (church)
Go straight on/straight ahead
Turn left/right at the (second) street
Go towards (the park) and turn left
Cross/go across the road
Go over/under the bridge
Go along the street
Go past the (Post Office)
To identify the place, use:
Its the (first) street
Its the (first) on the left/right
Its on the left/right hand side of the road
To tell people distances, use:
Its quite far
Its too far to walk
Its not very far/its quite near here
Its about (two) kilometers
Its (ten minutes) on foot/walking
Its (an hours) walk/drive
You should allow (an hour)
You should take (a taxi)
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Talking about Health
Personal Health - Conversation
John : You look very pale.
David : I feel rather dizzy, and I have a headache.
John : Maybe youre catching a cold.
David : Youre probably right.
John : You went to the doctor today, didnt you?
David : Yes, I go once a year for checkup.
John : What did he say?
David : He said my health was good.
John : Have you put on weight recently?
David : I probably have.
John : Maybe you dont get enough exercise.
David : I really dont, but Im careful about eating.
David : You certainly look very healthy to me.
John : Ive been feeling very well lately.
David : Havent you gotten a little heavier?
John : Yes, I think I have.
David : You certainly look happy about something.
John : Ive lost some weight.
David : you look much better.
John : I feel better too.
Describing general health
Im not fit
Im usually healthy
I have a (bad back)
My (heart) is (not) very strong
I have to take (pills)
I have to follow a diet/eat special food
Im allergic to (penicillin)
I have a high/low blood pressure
I have a (stomach) illness
I had (an accident last year)
Ive (never) been in hospital
The cavity is killing me.
She poked me in the eye.
My head is spinning.
His snoring is getting worse.
I feel like Ive been run over by a freight train.
My head is stuffed up.
I didnt sleep a wink last night.
Describing symptoms
Im not feeling well
Ive been feeling. (tired)
I havent been sleeping
I havent been eating well
I cant (sleep)
I have a headache
I have a stomach ache
I have a ear ache
I have a pain in my (back)
I think its (flu)
It may be (from playing tennis)
I think it may be (something I ate)
Its probably (the weather)
Im feeling worse
Im feeling better
Its getting worse
Im/Its the same
The medicine/pills helped/didnt help
Asking about health
How are you feeling (today)?
How is the (leg)?
Are you feeling any better/worse?
What did the doctor say?
Do you have any medicine/pills to take?
Have you had a (check-up)?
How? / What like? for health and character
Here there is a much clearer distinction in use. How? Refers to a persons health o
r mood and to a persons character:
Hows Bob today? ~ Very tired, I would say. He was out all night at Tricias party.
Whats Bob like? ~ Very sociable. Hes the life and soul of any party.
Whats his wife like? ~ Shes serious and shy. Ive never seen her smile.
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Conversation with the Doctor
Seeing the Doctor
Doctor : Hello, whats the matter?
John : Good morning. I have a terrible ache in my lower back.
Doctor : How long has your back been bothering you?
John : Ive been having pain for about two weeks.
Doctor : Do you have any history of back problems?
John : No, this is the first time.
Doctor : Are you taking any medicine at the moment?
John : No, just an aspirin from time to time to kill the pain.
Doctor : OK. Lets have a look at your back. Please take off your shirt .
Asking for a doctor
I want a doctor
I want to see a doctor
I want medical advice
I want to speak to a doctor
Im not moving till I see a doctor
Im not doing anything until Ive spoken to a doctor
I want a medical examination
Id like you to examine/look at me
Id like medical advice on (this)
Doctors questions
Whats wrong?
Whats the matter?
What seems to be the problem?
What seems to be the matter?
Where does it hurt?
Can you feel (anything here)?
Do you have any allergies?
Can you (touch your toes)?
Are you allergic to (anything)?
Are you taking any medicine/drugs?
Have you been treated for (this) before?
Have you seen a doctor about this before?
Have you been eating/sleeping properly?
When did you last visit your doctor?
Do you take much exercise?
How much do you drink/smoke a day/a week?
Have you been working hard?
Do you suffer from (indigestion/nervousness)?
Do you get any (headaches/dizziness)?
In the consulting room
Take your coat/shirt off
Sit down
Take your clothes off
Lie down on that (couch)
Go behind that (screen)
Roll up your left/right sleeve
Breathe deeply
Breathe in/out
Open your mouth / Put your tongue out
Let me see your tongue /leg/eyes
Bend your (left arm)
Put your /(hands on your hips)
Im going to (listen to your chest)
Im going to (touch your shoulder)
Im just going to (test your reflexes)
I want to (take your blood pressure)
Tell me if this hurts
This wont hurt / This may hurt a bit
Talking about treatment
Stay in bed for a few days
Take it easy / rest
Dont work too hard
Come back and see me (next Tuesday)
Come back if it doesnt get better
Youve been working too hard
You must (stop smoking)
Keep taking (the medicine)
Talking about medicines
You can get this at the chemists/pharmacy
Take this to the chemist/pharmacy
The chemist will give you (a cream)
This will help your (headaches)
Take this/these (four) times a day
Take (5) milliliters in water
Take a (teaspoonful) after every meal
Dont (drive after taking this)
You mustnt (consume alcohol in conjunction with these pills)
You must (finish the whole bottle)
Dont (take any aspirin)
Put it on/Rub it on (your knee)
Referring you to another doctor
I want you to see a specialist
I think you should have an X-ray
I want you to go to the clinic/hospital
Im making an appointment for you
Take this letter to (Doctor Smith)
Im giving you a letter for the hospital
Were going to keep you here for observation
We want to do some tests / take an X-ray
Youve got a (virus infection)
Theres nothing broken; Its nothing serious
Youll have to stay here (for a few days)
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Too, Very, Fewer, Less, Little, Few and a Little, a Bit
Learn the following adjectives which are used informally and which mean very goo
d and very bad. Note that they all have very common adjectival endings:
Very good:
Amazing breathtaking
Fantastic wonderful
Very bad:
Awful dreadful
Too or very
Make sure you distinguish between too and very. Beginners often mix-up these two
adverbs. Very means extremely and too means more than is wanted. Compare the fo
The match problem was very difficult. It was too difficult for me to solve.
We arrived at the hotel very late too late to have dinner there.
The lake was very muddy. It was too muddy to swim in.
A pity! It was perfect weather for swimming. Not too hot.
Too much / too many
Much and many can be used as an alternative to a lot of. Much is used with singu
lar nouns and many is used with plural nouns. Too expresses the idea of more tha
n enough or more than necessary. Compare the following:
There were many / a lot of people in the dining room, but there wasnt very mu
ch / a lot of food left.
I havent eaten very much! ~ Youve eaten far too much in my view.
I had put too much salt in the soup and nobody ate it.
Fewer / less
Fewer and less are the comparative forms of few and little and are used with cou
ntable and uncountable nouns, respectively. Compare the following:
Ive got a little (bit of) money in the bank. Not very much. Less than I had l
ast year.
The weather was awful and fewer children took part in the procession this ye
Little / few and a little / a few
Little is used with uncountable and few is used with countable nouns. When we us
e few and little without the indefinite article, they usually have a negative me
aning, but when we use them with the indefinite article, a little or a few, they
have a more positive meaning. Compare the following:
I have few friends in England and I feel quite lonely.
I have a few friends in England, so I dont miss home so much.
I have little interest in classical music. I much prefer pop.
I have a little wine in the cellar. Would you like some?
Rather than little or few, we sometimes prefer to use a negative construction wi
th much or many in conversational English, as it sounds slightly less formal:
He has little money. > He doesnt have very much money.
She had few friends. > She didnt have many friends
A little / a bit
A little, a bit and a little bit are often used in colloquial English with littl
e or no difference in meaning. Compare the following:
Youre driving too fast. Could you please slow down a little (bit) more?
It was a long journey and I was feeling a bit / a little (bit) tired.
Bit can also combine with of before nouns to suggest a limited amount of somethi
ng. Compare the following:
Let me give you a bit of advice. Dont drive speedily in built-up areas.
Im not very hungry after the journey. Ill just have a bit of bread and cheese.
Ive got a bit of a problem. The car has overheated, so well have to wait for i
t to cool down.
Little can also be used in this way:
Would you like to try a bit of this / a little of this very sweet dessert?
Id love a bit of your / a little of your apple and walnut cake. It looks and
smells delicious.
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Before, Enough Sufficient & Adequate
Before any time before now
Before means: at some unknown time before now. It does not say when. Therefore w
e would say:
I know that chap. Ive met him somewhere before. Have you been here before? ~ No,
Ive never been here before. This is my first time.
Ago at a certain time before now
Ago tells us how long before the present time something happened. It tells us wh
en and gives us a time or a date. Because we are referring to a specific time in
the past, the simple past is used:
Your mother phoned five minutes ago. Can you phone her back?
I saw her for the first time at film festival in Cannes some twenty years ago.
Ago always counts back from the present time. Note that if we are counting back
from a past time, before or earlier or previously are used, not ago:
Last year I went back to my hometown that I had left ten years before and discov
ered that the house I grew up in was no longer standing. (= left home 10 years a
Enough sufficient, Adequate
I. Enough (where the second syllable is pronounced as in puff or stuff) and suff
icient are very similar semantically, meaning as much as is needed:
I dont have enough time to finish.
We have sufficient evidence to..
II. Adequate is also close in meaning to enough and sufficient. It suggests that
something is good enough or large enough for a particular purpose:
This country will never maintain an adequate supply of trained teachers if so ma
ny leave the profession after four or five years.
This little car is perfectly adequate for any driving you need to do in town.
His computer skills were adequate for the type of work required of him.
III. Inadequate insufficient: Note that the negative of sufficient and adequate
can be formed with the prefix in -. For the negative of enough we have to use no
The level of funding available for the training of teachers is inadequate. I hav
e insufficient resources to be able to deal effectively with this problem. We do
nt have enough milk if everybody wants milkshake.
IV. Enough can also be used, as:
In this climate its not warm enough to go out without a jacket in the evening.
Youve missed him, Im afraid. You didnt get up early enough.
I didnt work hard enough. So I was unsuccessful in the exam.
I didnt revise enough. So I didnt pass the exam.
Ive only saved $250. Will that be enough for this type of holiday?
Some more dressing on your salad? ~ Oh no, I have quite enough, thanks.
Ive quite enough of this fruit salad, thanks. Its a bit too sweet for my liking.
I didnt read it all, but I read enough of the report to get the main idea.
I answered all the questions, but I didnt get enough of them right to pass the dr
iving test.
I dont have enough time to finish reading this report before the meeting. But I h
ave sufficient information to know what the outcome should be.
Youve missed him, Im afraid. You didnt get up early enough.
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Miss, Rise or Raise & Drive or Ride
1. There are a number of shades of meaning when miss means fail to make contact w
ith. Compare the following:
If youre not careful youll miss the flight and there isnt another till next wee
Is Jenny still here? ~ Youve just missed her. She left five minutes ago.
He cored four goals, but then he missed a penalty.
The bullet just missed my head. It whizzed past my ear and embedded itself i
n the wall.
No, youve missed the point. Bobby gave her the money. He didnt want it back.
The railway station is right at the end of this road. You cant miss it!
If you leave the queue now, youll miss your chance of seeing this film.
It was my grannys funeral last Thursday so I had to miss all my lessons last
Miss= be sorry to be without
Compare the following:
I miss my grandmother terribly. She was such a kind, gentle person.
Will you miss me when Im away?
~ Oh, I shall miss you all right!
What do you miss most about the south of France now youre in Britain?
~ I miss my family, I miss the people, I miss the sunshine, I miss the chees
e and the wine.
Do you miss walking in the Pyrenees?
~ Yes, I miss that too.
Miss in idioms
Note also idiomatic usage in the following expressions:
He didnt have all the advantages of a proper education and really missed out.
There have been several near misses between planes landing at this airport r
ecently. Hes failed his exams again and I think he has missed the boat as far as
higher education is concerned.
I think Ive missed a trick here in failing to consult my accountant about tax
I think Ill give the book signing ceremony a miss. What about you? ~ No, Im go
They came four in the league and missed promotion by only one point, but as
the old saying goes: a miss is as good as a mile.
Miss. can be used as an alternative to Ms. placed in front of the name of an
unmarried woman when the person concerned wishes it to be known that she is sin
Miss. right or Mr. right can be used as expressions to describe a woman or m
an who is regarded as an ideal marriage partner:
Rise or raise?
Compare the following:
The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.
I rise (i.e. get up) at six o clock every weekday morning in order to be at w
ork by seven.
He rose (i.e. stood up) to greet her.
I raised my hand because I wanted to ask a question, but he took no notice of
If you are raising a family as a single parent, you shouldnt try to work full-
My child was ill and I had to raise money to pay for the operation.
Drive or ride?
Anything with four or more wheels (like a car, a bus, a lorry or a train) we dri
ve; anything with two wheels or that we straddle (like a horse, a bike, motorbik
e or scooter) we ride, (even though you need a driving license to ride a motorbi
Consider the following:
I had never driven such a powerful car before.
I hadnt ridden a bike in twenty years.
Idioms derived from The family
It runs in the family an ability or talent that is passed on through the generat
ions your own flesh and blood a member of your family, do not forget it!
Bad blood hostility or unfriendliness between two families or family members
Blood is thicker than water family ties are stronger than any other, despite arg
He has two daughters, both very athletic, just like their mother. It runs in
the family.
You should take better care of your younger sister. She is your own flesh an
d blood.
There is bad blood between the two brothers. They havent spoken to each other
in two years.
His housekeeper had looked after him for many years but he still left all hi
s money to his only son. Blood is thicker than water, you know.
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Some confusing expressions
She was wearing a beautiful diamond necklace with matching earrings.
You can also wear your hair in a particular way:
David Beckham used to wear his hair short, but now he is wearing it long.
There is another meaning to wear. If something wears, it becomes thinner or weak
er because it is used frequently over a long period of time. We also have the ex
pression to wear thin and the phrasal verb to wear out. People can also feel wor
n out. If something wears you out, it makes you feel extremely tired. Compare th
e following usages:
This carpet is beginning to wear. We shall soon have to replace it.
He is such an annoying person. My patience is wearing thin.
If you didnt play football every day, your shoes wouldnt wear out so quickly
Dont rush around so much. Youll wear yourself out.
Ive spent all day shopping and I feel quite worn out.
When you dress, you put clothes on. You can also dress children, dress a wound b
y cleaning it and covering it and dress a salad by putting oil and vinegar on it
. If you dress up, you put on different clothes o make yourself look smarter, (i
f you dress down, you pt on clothes that are just informal than usual.) We often
speak of getting dressed as a colloquial alternative to dress. Compare the foll
owing usages:
Youd better get dressed now. Henry will be here in ten minutes.
She came in covered in mud. So I bathed her and dressed her in new clothes.
I must dress now for the party. Have you dressed the salad yet?
I think its better not to dress that wound. Well just leave it so that the ai
r can get to it.
It is customary now to dress down in certain offices in the city on Fridays.
There is no need to wear a suit.
I just love dressing up and Edwards having an Edwardian party on Saturday.
Horrible, horrific, terrible terrifying terrific
You can describe something as horrible (or deadfull or awful) when you do not li
ke it at all:
The hotel was horrible just awful. The walls were all painted a horrible colour
and Ive never had such dreadful meals.
You would describe something as horrific when it is really upsetting or frighten
ing to think about it or speak about it:
It was a horrific motorway accident: twelve people died.
Terrible terrific
In a similar way, terrible and terrifying, which have similar shades of meaning
to horrible and horrifying, are both derived from the noun terror from which we
get the nouns terrorist and terrorism:
Ridding the world of terrorists and terrorism is easier said than done.
Compare the following:
The food was terrible. Nobody at the camp had any idea about how to cook.
Everybody in the team was terrific. I had never seen them play so well toget
her before.
Can you guess the meaning of some of these expressions?
Id love to be on the stage. Ive always wanted to be in showbiz.
I can guarantee that at least eight of these numbers will be show stoppers.
Dont worry. Shell organize everything while youre away. Shes quite capable of ru
nning the show.
Glynis Johns as Desiree in the original production of Night Music stole the
On the stage working as an actor or actress in the theatre
Showbiz show business
Number a song or musical and dance scene
Show stopper a song or number that provokes such a strong reaction from the audi
ence (it stops the show) that they are in raptures
To run the show to take charge of any even or activity, not necessarily connecte
d with entertainment or showbiz.
To steal the show to win the greatest applause and to be better than all the oth
er performers.
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Assure Ensure Insure
Assure ensure insure
1. If you assure someone that something is true or will happen, you tell them th
at it is definitely true or will happen, often in order to make them less worrie
d. We often use such phrases as I can assure you or let me assure you in order t
o emphasize the truth of what we are saying:
Let me assure you that the children will be totally safe on this adventure h
I can assure you that the children will be totally safe on this adventure ho
2. If you ensure that something happens, you make certain that it happens. A les
s formal equivalent of this verb in spoken English would be make sure:
Ensure / Make sure that your working hours as well as your rate of pay are w
ritten into your contract.
3. Insure has another meaning. If you insure yourself or your property, you pay
money to an insurance company so that if you become ill or if your property is s
tolen or damaged, the company will pay you a sum of money:
We can insure your car against fire, theft and third party damage for as lit
tle as $30 per month.
Make sure you remember to insure the digital camera and the mobile phones. T
heyre not included under the house contents insurance.
Affect effect
Affect and effect are often confused, even by native speakers of English. Compar
e the following:
The really hot weather affected everybodys ability to work.
The tablets which he took every four hours had no noticeable effect on his h
Efficient effective
These two words are often confused, if somebody or something is efficient, then
he, she or it works in a well- organized way, without wasting time or energy. Co
nsider the following examples:
She was efficient in everything she did.
He hasnt made very efficient use of his time.
This engine is really efficient.
If something is effective, it works well and produces the results that were inte
nded. Consider the following examples:
These tablets really are effective. My headaches much better now.
The only effective way to avoid high fever at this time of the year is to st
ay indoors.
If part of your body hurts, you feel pain there. If you hurt someone, you cause
them to feel pain.
Have you been knocked over? Tell me where it hurts / its hurting.
~My arm hurts.
Youre hurting my arm. Ouch! Dont touch me. That hurts!
You can also hurt someones feelings, and cause them to feel emotional pain:
I think shes going to be hurt. I dont think shell ever fall in love again.
What hurt me most was the betrayal. How could be behave like that?
Kid and Kidding
Kidding is widely used in the meaning to joke if you want to suggest that what h
as been said may not be appropriate or true:
Im going to call her and tell her she should marry Ben.
~ Are you kidding? Bens the last person she should marry!
Im going to buy her a ring with diamonds and emeralds.
~Youre kidding me! Where are you going to get the money from?
He says hes going to make a million before hes forty!
~Who is he kidding? He is kidding himself if he thinks so.
Note that kid and kids are also widely used to refer informally to children, son
s and daughters:
Were going to take the kids to see Lion King at the theatre in London.
Hes just a kid. He doesnt understand the difference between right and wrong.
They dont have any kids so theres always plenty of money for holidays.
On Changing
Changing the subject starting to talk about something else to avoid embarrassmen
Changing your mind deciding to do something else, usually the opposite
Changing your tune a more informal expression for saying or doing something else
Having a change of heart reversing your opinions or attitudes
A sea change a complete change in someones attitudes or behaviour
House and Home
House describes a particular type of building. Home is the place where you live
and feel that you belong to.
Compare the following:
Most people in India live in semi-detached houses.
Were going to buy Tony a dolls house for Christmas.
The Houses of Parliament in India are visited by 50,000 people each year.
Ive enjoyed living abroad for the last five years, but its time for me to go back h
ome now!
We were at home in bed when our car was stolen from outside the house.
These children need a good home and we are in a position to give them one.
Travel / journey /trip / expedition / safari
1. Travel is the general term to describe going from one place to another. E.g.
His travels abroad provided lots of background material for the novels he wrote.
2. A journey is one single piece of travel. You make journeys when you travel fr
om one place to another. (Note that the plural is spelt journeys, not journeys):
The journey from London to Newcastle by train can now be completed in less than
three hours.
3. A trip usually involves more than one single journey. We talk about day trips
, round trips and business trips, we make journeys usually, but we go on trips.
E.g. I went on a day trip to France. We left at 6.30 in the morning and returned
before midnight the same day.
4. An expedition is an organized trip whose purpose is usually scientific explor
ation of the environment. E.g. Numerous expeditions to The Antarctic have ended
in disaster.
5. A safari is a trip or expedition to observe wild animals in their natural hab
itat. E.g. His one ambition in life was to go on safari to Kenya to photograph l
ions and tigers.
Remind, Remember, Recall
Remind and remember are not the same. If you remind somebody about something, yo
u make them remember it. Compare the following:
Remind me to send Tony an email about the change of dates.
When you say that somebody or something reminds you of something, you associate
it with a memory from your past;
She reminds me of the Princess royal. They are so alike in books and bearing.
If you remember something, you recall people or events to your mind. Compare the
Do you remember the first time we sat under the stars, listening to Beethovens Ni
When you recall something, you remember it and tell others about it:
The Prime Minister recalled his visits to France and the six meetings he had wit
h the French President.
If you recollect something, you remember it and usually talk about it. There is
little difference between recollect and recall in this context.
She recollected / recalled that she had been living in Paris when Picasso and Ma
tisse were both working there.
Tell or ask?
Many experts argue that, ask is more polite as asking for something is the same
as requesting it, whereas telling someone to do something is the same as instruc
ting or ordering them. Compare the examples given below:
Why dont you come round at about eight for a bite to eat?
~ I told them to come around at eight for something to eat.
~ I asked them to come around at eight for something to eat
But sometimes we need to use tell when the meaning is more explicitly instruct a
nd ask when the meaning is more explicitly request. Compare the following:
Be careful not to dive too close to the rocks.
~ I told them not to dive too close to the rocks.
Dont drink water from the stream. Its polluted.
~ I told her not to drink water from the stream. Its not clean.
Can you show me how to operate this computer?
~ I asked her to show me how to operate the office computer.
Would you let me know when tony arrives?
~ Ive asked him to let me know when Tony arrives.
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Telephoning: Tips
Telephoning in a language which is not your own is not easy. You should be aware
that the person you are speaking to may have difficulties too.
Therefore keep the following points in mind:
Speak clearly. Use clear articulation and avoid difficult words and long sen
tences if it is not necessary to use them.
Do not speak too fast. Keep in mind that many people tend to speak too fast
when they are nervous. Hardly anyone ever speaks slowly.
Ensure that you have got everything right. This is especially important if t
he other person gives addresses or dates.
Be polite. Start and end the conversation politely. Try to avoid being too d
irect. In English this is often done by using would. Compare: I want some more inf
ormation I would like to have some more information.
Be efficient. Make sure that you are well prepared for the call and know wha
t you want to say and how you want to say it in advance.
Get familiar with the telephone alphabet. This is particularly important if
you have to spell names and addresses. (See page 115 of this book)
Get familiar with frequently used expressions.
Listen carefully so that you dont need to ask the other person to repeat info
Tips for Getting People to Slow Down!!
One of the biggest problems is speed. Native speakers, especially business peopl
e, tend to speak very quickly on the telephone. Here are some practical tips to
get native speakers of English to slow down!
Immediately ask the person to speak slowly.
When taking note of a name or important information, repeat each piece of in
formation as the person speaks. This is an especially effective tool. By repeati
ng each important piece of information or each number or letter as the spell or
give you a telephone number you automatically slow the speaker down.
Do not say you have understood if you have not. Ask the person to repeat unt
il you have understood.
Remember that the other person needs to make himself/herself understood and
it is in his/her interest to make sure that you have understood. If you ask a pe
rson to explain more than twice they will usually slow down.
If the person does not slow down begin speaking your own language! A sentenc
e or two of another language spoken quickly will remind the person that they are
fortunate because THEY do not need to speak a different language to communicate
. Handled carefully, this exercise in humbling the other speaker can be very eff
ective. Just be sure to sue it with peers and not with a boss!
Some commonly used word groups
Could you give me the number of Deccan Airways?
Is that in the city or in the suburbs?
In the city. On MG Road.
Just a moment, please.
Whats the telephone number of Pan Airways?
Just a moment, please.
Thank you, operator.
That number is 9849227667.
Id like to speak to Jack, please.
What number are you calling?
Sorry. Youve got the wrong number.
May I speak to the director, please?
May I know, whos calling, please?
Tell him its his friend from Japan.
Just a moment, please.
Id like to speak to Mr. Bush, please.
May I ask whos calling, please?
Tell him its his assistant.
Please hold the line while I see if hes in.
Real life situations Businesses are always interested in telling you about their
products. Find a product you are interested in and research it over the telepho
ne. You can
Call a store to find out the prices and specifications.
Ring the company representative to find out details on how the product works
Telephone a consumer agency to find out if the product has any defects.
Call customer service to find out about replacement parts, etc.
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Telephone English
Reacting to what the caller says
Im listening.
Im following.
I see/know what you mean.
Quite so.
How interesting!
Is that right?
Me too.
Neither would I
And So?
And what happened?
And then?
Does he?
Are they?
Im surprised!
No! Never!
No Way!
Get out!
It cant be!
Gosh! Wow!
I dont it!
I cant believe you!
What a surprise!
That is a surprise!
Thats incredible!
Thats amazing!
Can you believe it?
He didnt!
Are they?
Are you?
You must be kidding!
Are you pulling my leg?
As you finish your telephone conversation, there are some appropriate and courte
ous statements that should always be made. You should:
Thank the customer for calling.
Let the customer know you appreciate his or her business.
Provide assurance that any promises will be fulfilled.
Leave the customer with a positive feeling.
Courteous closing statements
Thanks for calling. We appreciate your business.
Thanks for your order.
Please call us anytime.
I enjoyed talking to you.
Thank you for your patience. I am glad we could resolve your concern.
It was a pleasure talking with you.
If you have additional questions, please call again.
I know you had to wait a long time. Thank you for being so patient.
My apology about the mix up. We do appreciate your business.
Thanks for placing your order with us.
Goodbye, and thanks for calling.
Closing phrases for telephone conversations:
Listen, I cant talk now.
Someones just come in.
Someone wants to speak to me.
Theres someone on the other line.
Ive got some people here right now.
There are dinner guests here.
Hang on, I can hear something boiling over.
I can hear the doorbell.
Ill have to go.
Well, Id better let you go.
Well, I dont want to use/run up your phone bill.
Well, thanks for calling /returning my call.
Im really glad you called.
I appreciate your calling.
It was nice of you to call.
Ill get back to you on that.
Ill talk to you later.
Well, its been good talking to you.
Ive really got to run.
Im sorry, I dont understand.
I cannot hear you very well.
You must have dialed the wrong number.
Ive tried to get through several times, but its always engaged.
Sorry, wrong number.
Wrong number / youve got the wrong number. This is (6453), you should dial again.
Can I leave a message?
Ill ring back later. Whens the right time?
Can you ask (him) to call me?
Can I take a message?
Could you ring back in half an hour?
Shall I get him to ring you back?
Ive been trying to get (12345678).
It rings engaged all the time.
I was cut off.
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Telephone: Taking & Leaving Message
Telephone: Taking a message
There are a number of phrases and idioms that are only used when telephoning. Le
ts first take a look at a sample dialogue:
Operator : Hello, Frank and Brothers, How may I help you?
David : This is David Jackson. Can I have extension 210?
Operator : Certainly, hold on a minute, Ill put you through
Frank : Bob Petersons office, Frank speaking.
David : This is David Jackson calling, is Bob in?
Frank : Im afraid hes out at the moment. Can I take a message?
David : Yes, Could you ask him to call me at 712 456-8965.
I need to talk to him about the Nuovo line, its urgent.
Frank : Could you repeat the number please?
David : Yes, thats 712 456-8965, and this is David Jackson.
Frank : Thank you Mr. Jackson, Ill make sure Bob gets this ASAP.
David : Thanks, bye.
Frank : Bye.
Taking a message
Can I take a message?
Would you like to leave a message?
Can I give him/her a message?
Ill tell Mr. Jones that you called.
I make sure Mr. Jones rings you as soon as possible.
At what number can you be reached?
Could (Can, May) I take a message?
Could (Can, May) I tell him who is calling?
Putting someone through
Ill put you through to (put through phrasal verb =connect)
Ill connect you to
Ill put on the line
Im sorry, theres no reply from Mr. Jones
Can you hold the line?
Can you hold on a moment?
Asking someone to call back
Thank you for waiting. Im afraid Mr. Jones is not in at the moment.
Im sorry; Mr. Jones is in a meeting.
Can/ Could you call back later in the day?
Im afraid is not available at the moment.
The line is busy (When the extension requested is being used)
Mr. Jackson isnt in
Mr. Jackson is out at the moment
When someone is unavailable, you can use:
Ill wait/Ill hang on.
When can I ring him back?
Well, please find him/please interrupt him.
Will you please make sure (he) rings me back?
Where is he?
When will he be in?
Where can I find him?
Leaving a Message in the Answering Machine
Sometimes, there may not be anyone to answer the telephone and you will need to
leave a message in the answering machine. Follow this outline to make sure that
the person who should receive your message has all the information he/she needs.
1. Introduction ------- Hello this is Kate. OR Hello, My name is Kate Thomson
(More formal).
2. State the time of day and your reason for calling - - - - - Its ten in the mor
ning. Im phoning (calling, ringing) to find out if / to see if / to let you know
that . . . / to tell you that.
3. Make a request - - - Could you call (ring, telephone) me back? / Would you mi
nd .? /
4. Leave your telephone number - - - - - My number is . / You can reach me at . /C
all me at .
5. Finish - - - Thanks a lot, by. / Ill talk to you later, bye.
You are a receptionist at Thomas & George. A client would like to speak to Ms. B
raun, but she is out of the office. Take a message and make sure you get the fol
lowing information:
Name and telephone number asks the client to spell the surname.
Message the client would like to leave for Ms Braun.
How late Ms Braun can call the client at the given telephone number.
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Making and Receiving a Phone Call
Learning how to communicate well on the telephone is one of the top priorities f
or many students who need to use English at work. Learning the common phrases th
at are used on the telephone helps students know what to expect. However, what s
tudents often need most is practice, practice, and more practice. Telephoning re
quires special skills as there are a number of difficulties that arise when tele
phoning that are specific to telephoning. The first and foremost difficulty is n
ot being able to see the person you are communicating with. This lack of visual
communication often makes students, who can communicate quite successfully in ot
her situations, nervous and thereby hinders their communicative abilities. Add t
o this the typical hectic pace of business communication, and you have a particu
larly difficult situation.
Most commonly used word-groups while making a phone call
Hello? Is that (the HDFC bank)?
Can I speak to (the manager), please?
Can I have extension 801?
Could I speak to? (Can I more informal / May I more formal)
Is George in? (Informal idiom meaning: Is George in the office?)
Id like to speak to (Miss Alice)
Im calling to ask about
Id like to ask about / in inquire / know if
Can / Could you give any information about / on?
Id appreciate it if you could give me some information on
I wonder if you could tell me about
I was wondering if you could help me
Id like to know
Id like to speak to
Could I speak to someone who
Could you put me through to Mr. Jones, please?
Can / Could you tell me?
Sorry to trouble you, but is
Do you have any idea when / What / Where
Hello is this Dr Johns office?
If you are answering the phone on behalf of the company, e.g. as a receptionist
would, it is normal to say Hello and give the name of the company. If your full na
me. For example Hello, David Abraham. If you dont do that the caller can easily bec
ome confused.
Its a good idea to write down someones name at the beginning of a call. If you mis
s their name, do ask again. Say Im sorry I didnt catch your name. If you want somebo
dy to spell their name, do ask too say Would you mind spelling your name please?
Answering the phone
Good morning / afternoon / evening, Jackson Enterprises, Silvia Jones speaki
This is speaking
How can I help you?
How may I help you?
Could you speak up, please?
Whos speaking, please?
Excuse me, who is this?
Can I ask who is calling, please?
Am I speaking to?
Could you spell that please?
Am I speaking to..?
Could you spell that please?
Am I speaking to?
Could you spell that please?
Who would you like to talk to sir / madam?
One moment please, Ill see if Mr. John is available
Hello / This is (9849227667) / (Venkat)
Whos speaking, please?
Whos calling?
Excuse me, who is this?
Can I ask who is calling, please?
This is Swarna.
Swarna speaking.
This is (me) speaking
Hold on / Hang on.
Ill call him / Ill get him.
Ill put you through/Ill connect you.
Putting someone on hold
Just a moment, please.
Hold on, please.
Hold the line, please.
Know the telephone alphabet.
This is particularly important if you have to spell names and addresses.
The Telephone Alphabet
Telephone alphabet
dubble /ju:/
You need to purchase six new computers for your office. Call Deepikas Computer Sh
op and ask for the following information:
Current special offers on computers.
Computer configuration (RAM, Hard Drive, CPU).
Possibility of discount for an order of six computers.
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Use of While, Used (to) Need, Dare
While is used to mean
1. During the time that, as long as;
While he was sleeping, an enemy attached him.
While there is life there is hope.
2. At the same time that;
The girls sang while the boys played
While he found fault, he also praised.
3. Whereas;
While I have no money to spend, you have nothing to spend on.
While this is true of some, it is not true of all.
USED (TO) expresses a discontinued habit.
I used to live there when I was a boy.
Nee, denoting necessity or obligation, can be conjugated with or without do. When
conjugated without do it has no s and ed forms and is used with an infinitive witho
ut to only in negative and interrogative sentences and in sentences that contain
semi-negative words like scarcely and hardly.
He need not go (=it is not necessary for him to go.)
Need I write to him?
I need hardly take his help.
When conjugated with do, need has the usual forms needs, needed and is used with a
to infinitive. It is commonly used in negatives and questions: it sometimes occur
s in the affirmative also.
Do you need to go now?
I dont need to meet him.
One needs to be careful.
1. I didnt need to buy it. (=It was not necessary for me to buy it and I didnt buy
2. I neednt have bought it. (=It was not necessary for me to buy it, but I bought
Dare (=be brave enough to), as distinct from the ordinary verb dare (=challenge)
, does not take s in the third person singular present tense. It is generally use
d in negative and interrogative sentences. When conjugated without do, it is follo
wed by an infinitive without to; when conjugated with do it takes an infinitive with
or without to after it.
He dare not take such a step.
How dare you contradict me?
He dared not do it.
He doesnt dare speak to me.
Since, means
1. From and after the time when;
I have been in such a state since I saw you last.
Many things have happened since I left school.
I have never seen him since that unfortunate event occurred.
2. Seeing that, in as much as.
Since you with it, it shall be done.
Since you will not work, you shall not eat.
Since that is the case, I shall excuse you.
Either indicates a choice between two alternatives. Neither combines two negativ
e ideas. Study the following examples:
Which of these apples would you prefer? ~ I dont want either, thanks.
You can either have the $15 cotton top or the $17 cotton and polyester blous
e. You cant have both.
Neither Richard nor Judy could come to the party.
I want neither alcohol nor cigars for my birthday. Now that Im fifty I must l
ive a healthier life.
I've known you for two years, but I havent met either of your two brothers ye
t. (OR: Ive known you for two years, but I havent met either Francis or Damien yet
Neither of my two brothers survived the war. Neither Francis, nor Damien.
Which of these fur coats is your? ~ Neither (of the). That ones mine.
I cant make it to the meeting on Tuesday ~ I cant either.
I dont go mountain climbing and I dont go mountain walking either. (Or: I dont
go mountain climbing and neither do I go mountain walking.
Neither of them is coming. They both have to work next weekend.
Neither of them is coming. They both have to work next weekend.
Which of these umbrellas is yours? ~ Neither of them is. That ones mine.
Use of do, Make, Must & Ought to
Do and Make: The two verbs do and make are often confused. The meanings are similar, b
there are differences.
Do for Activities
Use the verb do to express daily activities or jobs. Notice that these are usually
activates that produce no physical object.
Do homework
Do housework
Do the ironing
Do the dishes
Do a job
Do for General Ideas
Use do when speaking about things in general. In other words, when we do not exact
ly name an activity. This form is often used with the words something, nothing, a
nything, everything, etc.
Im not doing anything today.
He does everything for his mother.
Shes doing nothing at the moment.
Important Expressions with Do
There are a number of standard expressions that take the verb do.
Do ones best
Do good
Do harm
Do a favour
Do business
Make for Constructing, Building, Creating
Use make to express an activity that creates something that you can touch.
Make food make a cup of tea / coffee
Make a mess
Important Expressions with Make
There are a number of standard expressions that take the verb make. In a number of
cases the verb do seems more appropriate. These are standard collocations (verb +
noun combinations) that are used in English.
Make plans
Make an exception
Make arrangements
Make a telephone call
Make a decision
Make a mistake
Make noise
Make money
Make an excuse
Make an effort
Must, Ought To
Must is used to express necessity or obligation.
You must improve your spelling.
We must get up early.
Must refers to the present or the near future. To talk about the past we use had t
o (the past from of have to); must has no past from.
Yesterday we had to get up early.
Must is often used when the obligation comes from the speaker. When the obligation
comes from somewhere else, have to is often used. Compare:
I must be on a diet. (It is my own idea.)
I have to be on a diet. (The doctor has told me to be on a diet.)
Must can also express logical certainty.
Living in such crowded conditions must be difficult. (=I am sure it is difficult
She must have left already. (I am sure she has left already)
Ought (to) expresses moral obligation or desirability;
We ought to love our neighbors.
We ought to help him.
You ought to know better.
Ought (to) can also be used to express probability;
Prices ought to come down soon.
This book ought to be very useful.
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Use of Shall, Should, Will, Would
There is no semantic differences when shall and will are used to refer to the si
mple future. Shall is used in the First Person and will in all persons to expres
s pure future. Today I / we shall is less common than I / we will; as,
I will be twenty-seven next birthday.
We will need the money on Thursday.
When shall we see you again?
Tomorrow will be Monday.
You will see that I am right.
Shall is often used in questions in the first person singular and plural when ma
king suggestions, making suggestions, making an offer or asking for advice:
Shall we go out for dinner tonight?
Shall I get more tomato juice when Im at the supermarket?
What shall we do now? Were clearly not going to get there by nightfall.
However, when we want to express a strong intention to do something, we use will
orll in the first person singular and plural:
Is that somebody at the door? Ill just go and see who it is.
Well get the cakes for breakfast, Jane.
No, no. I will. Im the hostess, after all.
Questions with shall I/we are used to ask the will of the person addressed; as,
Shall I open the window? (i.e., Do you want me to open it?)
Which bag shall I buy? (i.e., What is your advice?)
Where shall we go? (i.e, What is your suggestion?)
Will is used to express
1. Willingness, promise, determination, threat, and refusal;
I will lend you the money. (=am willing to)
I will carry your luggage. (=am willing to)
I will try my best to help you (=promise to)
I will try doing better next time. (=promise to)
I will do better or die in the attempt. (=am determined to)
I will never agree to such an arrangement. (=am determined to)
I will never forgive him. (=threat)
I will prevent you from moving forward. (=threat)
I will not come with you (=refusal)
I will not give you any ore money (=refusal)
2. Characteristic habit; as,
He will talk about nothing but films.
She will sit for hours listening to the wireless.
3. Assumption or probability; as,
This will be the book you want, I suppose.
That will be the postman, I think.
4. Indicates an invitation or a request:
Will you have tea?
Will you lend me your scooter?
Will you dine with us tomorrow?
5. An order
Will you go away now?
You will listen to what I say.
Should and would are used as the past equivalents of shall and will:
I expected that I would get a first class.
He said he would be twenty-five next birthday.
She said she would carry my books.
She would sit for hours listening to the wireless. (Past habit)
Should is used in all persons to express duty or obligation:
We should obey the laws.
You should keep your promise.
Children should obey their parents.
In clauses of condition, should is used to express a supposition that may not be
If it should rain, they will not come.
If he should see me here, he will be annoyed.
Should is used to give advice and make recommendations and to talk about obligat
ion, duty and what is expected to happen. Reference is to the present and the fu
ture. Should is similar to must but is not as strong as must:
You should always wear a helmet.
The cooked meat inside should be consumed within 3 days.
Should I tell her that her son is playing truant and skipping school?
~ I think you should. She should know about it.
Would is also used to make polite requests:
Would you be prepared to do all this work by yourself without any assistance?
Would you (be so kind as to) pick Jennifer up from school on Monday?
Would (or its contracted form d in conversational English) is also associated wit
h the conditional in its simple, progressive, perfect and passive aspects:
Theres no doubt about it. I would definitely (Id definitely) travel to Mexico with
you, if I could afford it.
You would still be (youd still be) working for the World Bank, if you hadnt kicked
up such a fuss.
I would have told you (Id have told you) all about it, if you had phoned me.
If you wore smarter clothes, you would be invited (youd be invited) to all the pr
ess conferences.
Would in offers
Would you like? Is often used when making offers, as the more polite alternative
to Do you want?
Would you like coffee, or would you prefer tea?
~ Id love some tea.
Would you rather eat now or later after the film?
~Id rather eat now. Im starving!
I can see youre struggling. Would you like me to help you with that?
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Use of Can, could, May & Might
Can usually express ability or capacity as in:
Can you read French?
Can I use your telephone?
Can you lift this table?
Can you help me in this matter?
I can study till late at night.
I can feel the heat of summer.
I can swim across the lake.
He can work on this problem.
Can and May are used to ask for permission and give permission and give permissi
on. May is usually considered more formal and polite than can; as
You can/may watch TV after dinner.
You can go now.
You may go now.
Can I borrow your work book?
May I borrow your umbrella?
Can and May are also used to express the possibility of an action or event. May
is usually used to refer to a less likely possibility than can as in:
We can have the meeting at 3 p.m. (definite possibility)
We may have meeting at 3 p.m. (slight possibility)
It may rain tomorrow.
He may be at home.
Can this be true?
It cannot be true.
Compare It cannot be true with It may not be true. Cannot denotes impossibility, whi
le may not denotes improbability.
In very formal English, may is used to express a wish as in:
May God bless you!
May you succeed!
May you live happily and long!
May you have success in all your attempts!
Could and might are used as the past equivalents of can and may:
I could swim across the lake when I was young. (Ability)
He said I might / could go. (Permission)
I thought he might be at home.
In present time contexts could and might are used as less positive versions of c
an and may;
I could attend the seminar.
(Less positive and more hesitant than I can attend the seminar.)
Might/ Could I borrow your umbrella?
(A diffident way of saying May/ can I..)
It might rain tonight.
(Less positive than It may rain..)
Could you pass me the water jug?
(Polite request)
Do not confuse may be with maybe. May be is a verb Maybe is an adverb meaning per
haps. It can also be the answer we give when we dont want to say either yes or no;
She may be late
She maybe late
Maybe she will be late.
Could can be used in many different ways, to ask for permission, to make a reque
st or to express ability when referring to the past. Was able to is sometimes us
ed as an alternative to could when we are discussing ability or possibility. We
tend to use could when we are talking about ability generally. Compare the follo
By the time she was seven, she could already speak three languages.
She started the viola at the age of eight and after only six months she could pl
ay it quite well.
Her brother Jack was an excellent swimmer. He could beat anybody in his class.
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Isnt, aren't
When we want to ask for information we usually used the standard question form.
However, sometimes we just want to keep a conversation going, or confirm informa
tion. In this case, we use, isnt? Arent? etc. These small usages are called Questi
on tags. A tag question is a question we can add to the end of a statement. Ques
tion tags are often used to solicit input or confirmation to what we are saying.
Tag questions are used to verify or check information that we think is true or
to check information that we arent sure is true or to check information that we a
rent sure is true.
Question tag is used to:
(a) Check whether something is true.
Example: Your brother is a lawyer, isnt he?
(b) find out if someone agrees with us
Example: This dress is beautiful, isnt it?
There is no short form for am not, so arent used to form question tags instead
Example: I am in the team, arent I?
A statement can be turned into a question by adding a question tag at the end of
it. The statement and the tag are always separated by a comma.
Example: this book is very interesting, isnt it?
A tag question is a short question added to the end of a positive or negative st
For example:-
He is,
Isnt he?
He does,
Doesnt he?
He can,
Cant he?
Normally a positive statement is followed by a negative tag, and a negative stat
ement is followed by a positive tag.
For example:-
Youre English
Arent you?
Youre not German
Are you?
The verb in the statement should be the same tense as the verb in the tag.
For example:-
Present tense
You are a good signer,
Arent you?
Past tense
You didnt go to work yesterday,
Did you?
Present perfect tense
You have been to London,
Havent you?
If the verb used in the statement is an auxiliary verb, then the verb used in th
e tag must match it. If a modal (can, could, will, should, etc.) is used in the
statement, then the same modal is used in the tag part. If the statement doesnt u
se an auxiliary verb, then the auxiliary do is used in the tag part. For example
Auxiliary verb
She is from England, isnt she?
They arent very nice, are they?
She doesnt like it here. Does she?
Modal verb
You can sing, cant you?
They shouldnt do that, should they?
No auxiliary
He eats meat, doesnt he?
After imperatives, we sometimes add will you? Or wont you? When we want people to
follow our advice:
Dont stay there long, will you?
And do take care, wont you?
After lets we sometimes add shall we? When we are making a suggestion:
Lets have buttered scones with strawberry jam for tea, shall we?
Compare the following:
It is raining, isnt it?
They are your classmates, arent they?
Those shoes are new, arent they?
Sheila is Johns sister, isnt she?
You play tennis on Thursdays usually, dont you?
And jack plays with you, doesnt he?
You didnt play last Thursday, didnt it?
No one phoned, did any?
Its been a lovely day today, hasnt it?
It was a lovely wedding, wasnt it?
Oh, youve stayed there before, havent you?
Oh, so you know Lleyton Hewitt, dont you?
Youve posted my letters, havent you?
You wont forget to check my emails, will you?
Youre sad that Im going, arent you?
You arent going to cry when I leave, are you?
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Am, Is, Are
Observe the Table given below and compare the sentences.
Speaking English.
Speaking English?
Speaking English.
Speaking English?
Speaking English.
Speaking English?
Speaking English.
Speaking English?
Speaking English.
Speaking English?
Speaking English.
Speaking English?
Speaking English.
Speaking English?
Now look at the example given below
Are you from England?
You can answer closed questions with
Yes or No.
You can also answer closed questions with a slightly longer answer
Yes, I am. Or No, Im not.
Finally you can answer closed questions in the long form
Yes, I am from England. Or No, Im not from England.
For the verb be (am, is are), we need is or are as question words, Study this tel
ephone conversation. You are about to meet somebody you do not know:
# Are you older than me? ~ No, Im not. Were the same age.
# Are you taller than me? ~ No, Im not. Were about the same height.
# is your hair shorter than mine? ~ No, its not. Its very long and straw blonde.
# Are your eyes the same colour as mine? ~ Mine are blue. What colour are yours?
~ Mine are green.
We need is or are for yes/no questions when we talk about future arrangements an
d plans using either the present progressive or going to future:
Are you playing football Sunday afternoon?
~ Yes, I am.
Are you going to train on Sunday morning?
~ Yes, I am.
Is your son coming to watch you play?
~ No its not, but theyre going to show the highlights in the evening.
We also need is or are for yes/no questions when we use the present progressive
to talk about temporary actions and developing situations in the present. Note t
hat for a question involving the subject pronoun I the verb form am is needed:
Are you working at the moment?
~ No, not really.
Am I disturbing you?
~ No, youre not. Come in.
Are you laughing or crying?
~ Crying, mainly. This book is very sad.
Is it upsetting you?
~ Yes, it is. But I want to finish it.
Are you students? Yes, we are students.
Are you teachers? No, we are students.
Is there any water in this picture? Yes, there is some water in that picture.
Yes/no questions with the verb be (note that be can take many different forms: i
s / are / was / were / will be / going to be / has been / may have been / seems
to be / etc.) are created by moving the verb be to the beginning of the sentence
. In other words the subject and the verb change their positions in statements a
nd questions.
Statement : I am from England. Question : Am I from Engla
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Has, Have, Had, Hasnt, Havent, Hadnt
Observe the Table given below and compare the sentences.
Got an English Book
Got an English book?
Got an English book
Got an English book?
Got an English book
Got an English book?
Got an English book
Got an English book?
Got an English book
Got an English book?
Got an English book
Got an English book?
Got an English book
Got an English book?
Some commonly used question forms and Answers.
Has he come today?
He has come today.
He hasnt come.
Yes, he has.
No, he hasnt.
Had he come yesterday?
He had come.
He hadnt come.
Yes, he had.
No, he hadnt
Have they come today?
They have come.
They havent come.
Yes, they have.
No, they havent.
Had they come yesterday?
They had come.
They hadnt come.
Yes, hadnt come.
No, they hadnt.
Has she come today?
She has come.
She hasnt come.
Yes, she has.
No, she hasnt
Had she come yesterday?
She had come yesterday.
Yes, she had.
No, she hadnt.
Hasnt he come today?
He hasnt come today.
He has come.
No, he hasnt.
Hasnt she come today?
She hasnt come today.
She has come.
No, she hasnt.
Havent they come today?
They havent come today.
They are come.
No, they havent.
Hadnt he come yesterday?
He hadnt come yesterday.
He had come.
No, he hadnt
Hadnt she come yesterday?
She hadnt come yesterday.
She hadnt come yesterday.
She had come.
No, she hadnt.
Hadnt they come yesterday?
They hadnt come yesterday.
They had come.
No, they hadnt.
The auxiliaries have and had are used as helping verbs in the construction of the
past and past perfect form of all main verbs. They are often pronounced as contr
acted weak forms in affirmative sentences and contracted weak forms are also use
d in the negative. Study the following examples and say them to yourself as you
read them:
Theyve been living in Calcutta for three years now, but they still havent got used
to the heat.
Hes collected his medication from the chemist, but the hasnt actually taken any of
the pills yet.
Have you seen my green pullover anywhere, Sandra? No, sorry, I havent.
This was a lie, for shed borrowed his green pullover and had forgotten to return i
They told me that theyd lived in Wiltshire all their lives, but had never visited
We have paid for the flights, but we havent paid the travel insurance yet.
Have / have got
When we are talking about possession, relationships, illnesses and characteristi
cs of people or things we can use either have or have got. The have got. The hav
e got forms are more common in an informal style. Have got has the same meaning
as have.
To make questions and negative sentences with have got we use the auxiliary verb
have. Question, with have got must be formed as follows:
-How many subsidiaries have your company?
-It has two.
-How many sisters do you have?
-Ive three (Sisters).
-Do you all have your own bedrooms?
-Sues got her own bedroom, but neither Debbie nor I have. We have to share. (Note
in this last example that have to is used as an alternative to must because the n
eed to share is imposed on the sisters.)
-Have you got a new car, Paul?
-Yes I have. I bought it last week.
-Has it got air conditioning?
-No it hasnt. But its got a CD player.
-Do you have very many CDs?
-Ive hundreds.
Note the way in which we form short answers and question tags with have got and
-Have you got a sore throat as well as a running nose?
-No, I havent.
-But youve got a high temperature, havent you?
-Yes, I have.
-Does this music school have enough pianos?
No, it doesnt.
-But you have enough opportunities to practice, dont you?
-No, we dont.
Wh Questions
What is your name?
My name is Venkat.
What is this?
This is a book.
What are these?
These are books
What is your fathers name?
My fathers name is Satyanarayana Yellamelli.
What is your mothers name?
My Mothers name is Mangayamma.
What is your brothers name?
My brothers name is Sriram Chandra Rao
What is your sisters name?
My sisters name is Lakshmi
What is your fathers age?
My father is fifty two years old.
What is your mothers age?
My mother is forty six years old.
What is the name of your teacher?
The name of my teacher is Mr. A.V.L.S.Rama Rao
Where do you study?
I study in Shree Shiridi Sai Degree College
Where do you live?
I live in AR Riyadh
How old are you?
I am thirty two years old.
How many brothers do you have?
I have one brother.
How many sisters do you have?
I have two sisters.
How old is your brother?
My brother is twenty four years old.
How old is your sister?
My sister is thirty four years old.
How much money do you have?
I have very little money, only $10.
How many magazines do you read?
I read four magazines.
How many articles have you written?
I have written five articles.
How many dogs have you reared?
I have reared two dogs.
Which is your favorite colour?
My favorite colour is white.
Which is your favorite game?
My favorite game is cricket.
Which is your favourite fruit?
My favourite fruit is Mango.
Which season do you like?
I like the rainy season.
Which is your house?
This is my house.
Which are their houses?
Those are their houses.
Which is your favourite flower?
My favourite flower is Rose.
Which is your favourite green vegetable?
My favourite green vegetable is spinach.
Who are your best friends?
My best friends are all.
Who will go to the club today?
Deepu and I will go to club today.
Who is he?
He is my friend Mr. Krishna Kumar Sait.
Who are they?
They are my friends.
Whose books are these?
These are my books.
Whom did they meet?
They met their friends.
When will he go home?
He will go home tomorrow.
When will he come back?
He will come back next week.
When did you come?
I came yesterday.
Why do you cry?
I cry because I am hurt.
Observe the table given below and compare the question words:
Question word Verb + Answer
What is your name? My name is V
When is the party? The party
is on Tuesday.
Where are you from? Im from India.
Which is your car? The red on
e is mine.
Who are you? Im Venkat.
Whose is this web site? Its mine.
Why is this book here? Because it is
How are you? Im fine, th
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Learn to ask Questions
What is a question?
A question is a request for information. In written English a question should al
ways end with a question mark (?) Asking questions is an excellent way to initia
te communication because it shows other people that youre paying attention and in
terested in their response.
There are two types of questions you can ask to get more information:
Closed Question can only be answered with a yes or a no. Closed questions are ge
nerally ineffective because they do not allow the speaker to explain his thought
s and feelings. For example:
Were you angry when she said those things about you?
Did you do that?
Open ended Questions cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Open-ended
questions allow the speaker to express himself. For example:
How did you feel about that?
What happened next?
What could you do to fix this?
Open questions leave room for a description or opinion, and are more useful in e
liciting information. Open questions are often called Wh... Questions.
There are eight wh-questions What, When, Where, Which, Who, Whom, Whose and Why
and to this list we usually add how as they are all used to elicit particular ki
nds of information.
#. You use what when you are asking for information about something.
What is that?
What kind of person is he?
What does he do at weekends?
What time is it?
What is Mary like?
#. You use when to ask about the time that something happened or will happen.
When do you like going out?
When does the bus leave?
# You use where to ask questions about place or position.
Where do you live?
Where did you go on vacation?
# You use which when you are asking for information about one of a limited numbe
r of things.
Which book did you buy?
Which boy won the race?
# You use who or whom when you are asking about someones identity.
Who do you like?
Whom do you prefer for the assignment?
# You use whose to ask about possession.
Whose book is this?
Whose bag is that?
# You use why to ask for a reason.
Why is this book here?
Why not you paid the bills?
# You use how to ask about the way in which something is done.
How lengthy was the film?
How much does it cost?
Why is used to ask questions about the cause, reason or purpose for something.
A: My aunt is buying that old house on Sixth Avenue.
B: Why?
Why questions can usually be answered by giving the reason straightaway. However
, this is not acceptable in certain situations.
A: My aunt is buying that old house on Sixth Avenue.
B: Why?
Why questions can usually be answered by giving the reason straightaway. However
, this is not acceptable in certain situations.
Q: Why is she screaming?
(in conversation)
A: She saw a mouse.
(in a written exercise)
A: She is screaming because she saw a mouse.
Compare the following:
When will you next be in London?
The week after next.
When are you getting married?
Im not sure, next summer or autumn, perhaps.
Where are you getting married?
In an old church near my village. Its such a romantic place.
Where does your fiance come from?
Shes from Ecuador.
Why didnt you get married earlier?
We've both been too busy, I guess.
How was your holiday?
Oh, it was great. Just what we needed.
How do you like your coffee?
With just a dash of milk and two sugars.
How about some cake to go with it?
OK, why not?
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Conversation with Strangers
Talking to complete strangers
To be formal talk about the surroundings in Hotel/rest., etc
This is a nice/an interesting place, isnt it?
Its quite busy/quiet/comfortable, isnt it?
With strangers, talk about the weather.
Its a nice/terrible day today, isnt it?
Its a bit colder/warmer/nicer today, isnt it?
To be informal, give some information about yourself, and ask for some back:
Ive never been here before, Have you?
Im from (Spain). Where are you from?
Complain about something:
The service is really bad, isnt it?
They keep these places far too hot, dont they?
Talking to partial strangers
To be normal, ask questions in an office/party:
Do you live/work near here?
Are you from (this part of the world)?
What do you do (for a living)?
Where do you live?
Talk about the surroundings:
This is a very quiet/pleasant/impressive place.
To be informal:
I dont know (this part of the world). Do you?
Its difficult to park here. Do you find that?
Personal information
To ask about someone, use:
Where do you live?
What do you do? /Whats your job?
Where are you from/where do you come from?
Where does your family live/come from?
What sort of work/music / food/ art do you like?
To talk about yourself, use:
I live in (Brussels)
Im a (student), I work (in an office)
Im from / I come from (Munich)
My family lives in/come from (Berne)
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Where were you born?
I was born here.
Have you lived here all your life?
Yes, I have.
Whom will you get the money from?
Well get it from our parents.
What will you spend the money on?
Well spend it on books and supplies.
Do you want me to wait for you?
No. I can take care of everything myself.
Cant we meet a little later then?
Sure. Ill be through in about half an hour.
What took you so long?
I had a lot of things to do.
Wed better hurry, or well be late.
I thing youre right.
Im starting my vacation next week.
You ought to see as much as you can.
Thats what I think too.
You really ought to travel by bus then.
Where did you get that book?
From the library in my neighborhood.
Is it a good library?
Come with me and see for yourself.
Were going to be late for the meeting.
When does it start?
It starts in exactly fifteen minutes.
I think well be on time.
Something is bothering me.
Whats bothering you?
I think I left the lights on in my apartment.
Well, theres nothing you can do about it now.
What does that sign say?
It says No Smoking.
What are you doing?
Im putting out my cigarette.
Im sorry Im late for our appointment.
What happened?
The traffic was very heavy.
Its always bad at this time of the day.
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Familiar Expressions to Stimulate Listeners
Its a good idea to use familiar expressions to stimulate the listeners. Its all in
the way its done, which should be both original and tasteful. Use the present te
nse as much as possible, as well as the imperative, and avoid tenses like the pa
st perfect, past conditional, or subjective. Also, consider how to use silence t
o your advantage. And work on your English, to avoid common faults. Create smoot
h transitions between sections of your conversation. Here are some short words a
nd phrases that are good for transitions. Try to complete the following:
Who more than
On the other hand
Whats more?
On the contrary
In fact.
Once again
For example
Another thing.
A second point.
In the same way
In other words
Of course.
In spite of / Despite everything.
And thats not at all
Its even better than that
Wait, the best is yet to come
But first, you should know a few things.
Now, and this is the most important
And you will see why
Now you understand why
But theres one thing more you have to do
You might be asking yourself
As you already know
Check Questions
The following phrases may be used to check whether the listener understands what
you are saying along with possible responses:
Okay? Right?
Is that clear?
Are you with me?
Got/Get it so far?
Am I making sense?
Do/Can you follow me?
Does that make sense to you?
Am I making/Have I made myself clear?
Do you see what I mean / What Im getting at?
Do I make myself clear/understood?
Do you understand me?
Yes, sure
Oh yes, go on
Of course
Yes, get on with it More or less, yes
Sort of Well, not really
Checking that the listener is listening
Are you listening?
Did you hear what I said?
What do you think?
Do you agree?
Can you summarize what I just said?
Are you all right? / Is there anything wrong?
When the listener has not understood.
What I said was
What I really mean is/meant was
What Im really saying/ trying to say is
What I meant was.
Thats not really what I was getting at...
Let me put it in another way.
Thats not quite what I meant to say its not actually / quite that simple / complic
Theres more to it than that.
Its really more a case/question of.
Sorry, let me explain it more clearly/in another way /better
Thats not exactly what I meant to say.
When the listener misunderstood you and started to get upset:
No, dont get me wrong; what I meant to say was.
No, dont misunderstand me
You must have misunderstood me.
No, I didnt mean that
Thats not what I said /Meant.
Thats really not how I meant for it to be received.
I certainly didnt mean for it to be delivered in that way.
Yikes, let me start allover again.
Telling a story or presenting facts in an interesting or dramatic way.
Youll never believe this/it
You wont / may not believe this/it, but.
This hard to believe, but
Believe it or not
Can you imagine?
And just imagine
Imagine my surprise when
I was surprised to find out
Surprisingly/Strangely enough.
I couldnt believe my eyes/ears!
Do you know what happened then?
What do you think he did?
And you know what?
Guess what?
Youll never guess what happened next!
Are you sitting down? Youd better sit down!
And then, to add insult to injury
As if that wasnt enough
Adding surprising or shocking elements to a story
And thats not all of it!
And theres more!
But wait, theres more!
And theres something else, too!
And thats not the end of it!
And listen to this!
Today, Sharukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan were running away from paparazzi when the
y got in your cab. You took them to Mumbai Airport. Tell your friend about what
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Bringing a Conversation to a Close
Getting someone to explain something you have not understood
Read the following phrases below. Work with a partner. Speaker A introduces some
difficult words and phrases into the dialogue so that Speaker B has to ask for
explanations using these suggested strategies:
What do you mean?
What do you mean by_______?
Do you mean that ____? OR Does that mean that____?
What exactly does that mean?
What are you saying/trying to say?
Dont you mean___?
What exactly does_______mean?
Could/Would you explain this word, please?
Sorry, I didnt understand the word.
Sorry, Im lost. /Im afraid you lost me there.
Sorry, I dont/didnt quite follow you / what you were saying about
Im not sure I understand/follow you.
Im afraid I dont understand.
I dont quite see what you mean/what you are getting at Im afraid.
Im sorry, Im not quite clear on
I dont get you/I dont get it I dont get the point.
General apologies:
I am sorry you feel that way.
Im sorry about this situation.
I apologize for this situation.
I feel bad that you are upset about this.
More specific apologies:
I dont blame you for being upset. I would be too.
I am very sorry about your bill. I thought we had corrected it.
I apologize for this situation. Well get this straightened out right away.
Please accept my apology for the misunderstanding.
It is our fault and I am sorry we didnt do what we said we would.
Bringing a conversation to a close
I've got to go now
I really must go/must be going/must be off, now
Well, I should be/Id better be going/moving/getting on my way
I guess I ought to get back
I must be back to work
Im awfully sorry, but Im expecting someone in five minutes.
Id better let you go. Id better not take any more of your time.
Thanks for your time. Once again, thank you very much.
Its been very nice talking to you.
Well have to get together again some time.
Well, anyway, keep in touch.
Well, anyway, keep me posted.
Let me know how to get on.
So, Ill see you soon/next week.
See you some time soon, I hope.
I apologize to cut you short, but Ive got to wrap this up.
I hope everything goes well.
Look after yourself.
Take care.
Well, I have an n appointment now.
Im in quite a hurry too.
Good to see you. Goodbye.
Goodbye. Take care of yourself.
Its getting late, and I have to go now
Were sorry you have to leave.
Please excuse me, wont you?
Certainly. Come back soon.
Im glad to have met you.
Thank you. It was nice to have seen you.
I hope we can get together again.
Yes. Ill be looking forward to it.
I think I have to leave now.
Must you go so soon?
Im afraid I really have to.
Well, it was fun to get together again.
Proverbs and platitudes which can be used to conclude a conversation:
Thats life.
Thats just the way it goes.
Thats the way of the world.
Things always work out for the best.
Makes you think, doesnt it?
You never can tell.
Lets wait and see.
Doesnt time fly so fast?
It happens to the best of us/to us all.
It comes to us all.
Youve got to take the rough with the smooth.
You cant please everyone.
You cant win them all.
You cant have everything.
Every could has a silver lining.
Itll turn out for the best.
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Changing the Subject in a Conversation
The dialogue can be extended by introducing new topics. The following phrases or
transitions can be used
Oh, by the way
That reminds me of
Speaking about/of
Talking of
Before I forget
Oh, I nearly forgot
Oh, while I remember
I just thought of something
Oh, theres something else I wanted/meant to say/ask you
Oh, I knew there was something I meant/wanted to tell you
Oh, I know what I wanted/meant to say/tell/ask you
This has nothing to do with what we are talking about, but
I know this is changing the subject, but
Changing the subject for a minute
Funny / strange you should mention/say that
Thats funny, because something similar
Interrupting a conversation
You can use the following interrupting strategies to break into a conversation:
Im sorry to interrupt
Sorry to break ink but
Sorry, may I interrupt you for a second
Excuse me /Pardon me for interrupting, but
If I may interrupt for a second...
Returning to the topic
As I was saying
Now, what was I saying?
Where was I?
Going back to what I was saying
Lets go back to
In any case.
Common Fillers in Conversation
The thing is
I see, what you mean..?
The sort/kind of thing
Its like this, you see
Right then
Lets say
What Im trying to say is
Now, where should I start?
Thats a good/interesting question
What I would say is.
How shall I put it?
Lets put it this way
The best way I can answer that is
Ill tell you what
Now let me think/see
Ill have to think about it
To be quite honest/frank
As a matter of fact.
Lets see now.
I wonder if
Asking for Repetition
Sorry, what did you say? / What was that again?
What was the word/ the first word/his name/the last sentence again?
Would / Could you repeat that/ what you said / that name / the last word, please
Could you repeat that for me, please?
Would you mind repeating that?
Sorry, can you say that again, please?
Sorry, would you mind speaking a bit slower?
Im sorry; I couldnt /didnt hear what you said.
Im sorry. When /who / where / what time did you say?
Hang on / just a minute, say that again? I didnt quite catch that
Did you say....?
Did I hear you right when you said?
I would like to confirm that you said
Excuse me, can I just confirm that.
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Typical Conversation Starters
The most common kind of spoken language is conversation, when one person communi
cates through speaking to another person or to other people. Just as there are p
atterns in sounds, words, and sentences, so also there are patterns in conversat
ion. Even in the most unpredictable conversations, there are certain devices tha
t we use time and time again. If a person wants to tell a joke or some bad news
or to ask for a special favour, there are recognized ways of introducing these s
ubjects. Without these cues, listeners would be very disconcerted.
Conversations are orderly and proceed in an organized way, but all the participa
nts have to work at the conversation, making sense of things, supporting each ot
her, checking for meaning, and so on. A conversation, unlike a piece of written
work, is very much the work of at least two people. One defining characteristic
of a conversation is that it does not involve only what is said but also how it
is said. One way in which conversation is organized is through utterances of a c
ertain type that go together.
A greeting is usually followed by another greeting.
Hello Hi
These utterances are called adjacency pairs. Some examples of these pairs are:
Question - Answer
Request - Acceptance or refusal
Complaint -Apology/denial
Compliment - Acceptance/rejection.
These structures help to keep the conversation going and enable other people to
participate. Questions are especially useful in supporting conversation. When th
ese devices are violated, this can cause anxiety, distress, annoyance, or confus
ion. These reactions demonstrate the importance of observing the rules of conver
Typical Conversation Starters:
Excuse me,
Forgive me for asking
I hope you dont mind me asking,
Im sorry to trouble you,
Aren't you the son of ?
Havent we met before?
Could I borrow your pen?
Is anyone sitting here?
Is this seat taken?
Talking about the weather
o Can you believe all of this rain weve been having?
o It looks like its going to snow.
o Beautiful day, isnt it?
o It sure would be nice to be in Hawaii right about now.
o I hear theyre calling for thunderstorms all weekend.
o We couldnt ask for a nicer day, could we?
o How about this weather?
o Did you order this sunshine?
o Lovely day, isnt it?
Talking about current events
Did you catch the news today?
Did you hear about that fire on Fourth St?
What do you think about this transit strike?
I read in the paper today that the Sears Mall is closing.
I heard on the radio today that they are finally going to start building the
new bridge.
How about those Reds? Do you think theyre going to win tonight?
At the office
Looking forward to the weekend?
Have you worked here long?
I cant believe how busy/quiet we are today, can you?
Has it been a long week?
You look like you could use a cup of coffee.
What do you think of the new computers?
At a social event
So, how do you know Justin?
Have you tried the cabbage rolls that Sandy made?
Are you enjoying yourself?
It looks like you could use another drink.
Pretty nice place, huh?
I like your dress. Can I ask where you got it?
Out for a walk
How olds your baby?
Whats your puppys name?
The tulips are sure beautiful at this time of year, arent they?
How do you like the new part?
Nice day to be outside, isnt it?
Waiting somewhere
I didnt think it would be so busy today.
You look like youve got your hands full (with children or goods).
The bus must be running late today.
It looks like we are going to be here a while, huh?
Ill have to remember not to come here on Mondays.
How long have you been waiting?
Other Starters
Those are lovely flowers!
What a marvelous party!
Dont you think shes gorgeous?
Thats so wonderful!
Yes, it is gorgeous. Its raining here!
What kind are they? I love tulips.
Oh that was really fun, wasnt it?
Not really. Oh yes, she is a looker.
Make a comment on something present:
Traffic everywhere is terrible!
This isnt so bad. You could be stuck in Manila traffic!
The service on this line is getting worse day after day!
They must be short handed today.
Can you believe it?
No way! It cant be true!
Transportation fare has gone up again!
It drives me nuts that everything keeps going up and up.
When will it ever stop raining?
I actually like rainy days. But, one week of rain is a little hard to deal with.
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Stating you Remember or dont Remember
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Stating that you remember or dont remember
Yes, I remember.
I dont remember meeting you there.
I remember sending the letter.
I cant remember.
I remember I had put it there. Im sorry I dont remember.
I dont remember that incident.
Ill always remember what you said the other day.
Ive forgotten to bring my note book.
Im sorry; the meeting completely slipped my mind.
Yes I remember him very well.
Ah! Now I remember.
Oh dear! I completely forgot about it.
Yes, Ive got it now.
Itd completely slipped my mind.
Yes, the whole episode is coming back to me now.
My mind has gone completely blank.
Asking whether remembers or has forgotten
Do you remember me?
Do you remember, what we had discussed the other day?
Do you remember telling him about it?
Have you forgotten? Todays the College Day.
You remember John, dont you?
Did you remember to meet him?
You havent forgotten to post it, have you?
You do remember Mary, dont you?
Do you remember his name?
Surely, you havent forgotten him?
You gave him some sweets, didnt you?
Surely, you remember todays the last day?
I hope you didnt forget to bring my CDs again.
Expressing intention
Im going to delete this file.
Im going to cut it into pieces.
Ill wait until you come.
I certainly dont intend to wait here any more.
I have no intention of taking leave now.
Heres what I intend to do.
I intend to visit London next week.
Im visiting my parents this weekend.
Im considering leaving this place.
I thing I should visit them more often.
Im not going to listen to this rubbish any longer.
Im going to stay in
I dont intend to argue about it.
I plan to invite them all.
I've got something fixed up for today.
Asking about intention
Will you take responsibility for this damage?
What are you going to do about it?
Do you intend to do anything about it?
Are you going to do the washing today?
What do you plan to do about it?
Will you deny the charge?
Arent you going to do anything about it?
What are you thinking of doing about it?
What are you going to do?
Id like to know what you intend to do about it?
Are you thinking of going out today?
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Expressing Indifference
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Expressing indifference
I suppose so.
I dont mind what ever you do?
I dont mind.
Who cares!
Who knows!
I dont care!
Im easy.
I dont mind.
I have no preference.
Its all the same to me.
Its your decision.
As you like.
Do as you like.
It makes no difference to me.
It makes no difference.
You can say whatever you like.
Do what you like. I dont care.
It makes no difference either way.
I shouldnt worry if I were you.
I know hell be angry, but I dont care.
How should I know?
Look, why dont you relax?
It doesnt matter.
Go ahead, do it.
If you like.
I wouldnt mind.
Why should I?
I couldnt care less.
So what?
I know.
I admit that.
Im entirely to blame for it.
I made the mistake of trusting him.
I had a part in that decision, too
I admit that I was absent-minded.
I dont know much Hindi.
Yes, all right.
Yes, its possible.
Im sorry. It was a mistake on my part.
It was my mistake entirely.
Well, it could be true.
No one is to blame but myself.
I've made a mistake in inviting them
He may be able to do it. Yes.
It was my fault entirely.
What I said was quite wrong.
Response to Admittance
Dont repeat again.
Dont repeat the same mistake again.
Dont try to harass me Im warning you.
Youll be more careful in future, wont you?
Dont give me any more cause for complaint.
I dont think that was very wise.
Next time, I wont forgive this kind of behaviour.
You had better watch out!
You had better not make another mistake.
Dont all talk together?
I wouldnt do such a thing again, if I were you.
Just be more considerate in future.
If you do this again, Ill come down hard on you.
Expressing approval
I've seen worse.
I think it wouldve been better if it hadnt been so sweet.
Not bad, really.
Its all right, I suppose. Only, its a bit bright.
Itll do for a start.
It was quite good on the whole.
Its not bad at all, really.
It wasn't a bad film, was it?
Its quite good, really, but its a bit loose for you, I think.
He may be very clever, but he cant do anything practical.
They look fairly good.
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Expressing Hope, Doubt, Satisfaction
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Expressing hope
I hope to see him soon.
I hope you havent paid for it.
I hope so.
I think youll like our neighborhood.
I only hope hell be able to help them out.
I was hoping for good news this time.
Im rather hoping the weatherll be good.
I hope we can make them feel welcome.
I hope shell do it.
I just hope hell be able to come.
We hope to go there next week.
I very much hope theyd realize its importance.
Hopefully, shell bring it with him.
Lets hope shell get better soon.
Expressing doubt
I dont know.
I find it difficult to believe.
Im not sure.
Im not certain.
Im not sure whether hes telling the truth.
I doubt if hell reach there in time.
That cant be true.
That means he didnt actually meet her?
You did hear him say that, didnt you?
I think hes the man, but I cant be certain.
He may call on us on his way there.
Why was that, then?
That seems unlikely, you know.
Surely, you could have explained it to him?
Its not clear to me why he did such a thing.
Are you absolutely sure he has left?
Expressing satisfaction
This is very good.
This is just what I meant.
This is just what I need.
This is exactly what I was looking for!
This seems to be all right.
I think its just right.
It was okay, I suppose.
Its OK now. Well, isnt that lovely!
Expressing dissatisfaction
This is not good.
This is not what I need.
I dont like it.
Im not satisfied with what I have done for them
This dress is not quite the right style.
I had in mind something very simple.
That wont do.
His work isnt up to the mark.
These shoes seem a little short for me.
I dont like it like this.
Making promises
I promise you.
I will, I promise.
I will do it.
I promise Ill do it.
I give you my word.
I promise I wont.
I wont be late again, I promise I wont be.
I wont repeat it, I promise.
I guarantee youll like it.
Ill never be late again, I promise.
I give you my word, Ill do it.
I undertake to do it, honestly.
You can leave it tome.
You can count on me.
Ill buy you a necklace for our wedding anniversary.
I dont know where he has gone, honestly.
Ill drop in again when I have more time.
If I cant come tomorrow, Ill let you know.
Ill give you a buzz when weve finished.
I promise you Ill be punctual from now on.
Ill have him get in touch with you as soon as he comes back.
Pointing things out
Look, here it is.
Look at this.
Look at that.
There it is!
Have you seen this?
Here comes the accused.
May I show you?
Have you seen this?
Look at this statistics.
What about the new one?
Expressing Anger
Dont bring anger into a conversation: Anger is one letter short of danger. To be
effective, you have to be patient. Dont send the other party the wrong cues. Make
sure that you have made them comfortable enough and not turned them off.
Expressing anger
I cant stand him any longer.
Dont take it out on me!
No wonder youre livid.
He flared up at me.
You are an extremely cunning man.
Oh, stop complaining. You make me mad.
Look, this is getting us nowhere.
You are talking nonsense.
That isnt my fault, is it?
You are a mean/cunning fellow.
I dont want to see your face.
Dont show me your face.
Dont talk nonsense/Stop yapping.
Its all because of you.
You cant get away like this.
You cant escape from this.
You are responsible for this.
Why are you losing temper?
Beware, dont utter it again!
You are very short-tempered.
What nonsense!
How could you have been so silly?
Dont try any nonsense with me.
I dont care what it is.
Its none of your business.
What a nuisance!
How could you have been so silly?
Dont try any nonsense with me.
I dont care what it is.
Its none of your business.
What a nuisance!
Stop shouting your head off.
Damn that stupid salesman!
Leave me alone, will you?
But this is ridiculous!
Hes always telling lies.
The things I do are my business, not yours.
Good god! Do you expect me to bring it you?
I havent got time for this non-sense.
Dont waste my time.
If you dare say that again, Ill hit you.
Dont you dare tell her about this?
Look here, Ive come to the end of my patience.
Dont you dare tell lies to me?
Your mind is filled with non-sense!
How dare you touch me?
Stop shouting or Ill go away.
Youd better watch what you say.
Ill report it to the HO if you dont do it.
Do it now, or else
Damn you!
Oh Leave it out.
What the hell do you mean?
Who do you think you are?
Whats all this nonsense about?
Remember your manners.
If you do that, youll be sorry.
Thats a ridiculous suggestion.
Are you trying to make a fool of me?
Look here, dont try any nonsense with me.
What a rotten nasty trick!
What harm/wrong have I done to you?
Youll have to mend your ways.
If you say that again, Ill break your neck.
Hes always complaining about something.
Never heard of such nonsense!
If you come near me, Ill scream.
Im tired of hearing about this stupid fellow.
You mind your own business.
I put trust in you, but you failed me.
What on earth is happening there?
How dare you!
Dont talk to me like that, or else.
Dont get heated/excited.
Are you in your senses?
Get out of my sight/Get lost.
How are you concerned with our affairs!
Look, lets just leave it, shall we?
Youd better not come here again.
If you dont stop teasing me, Ill have to leave.
Go to hell.
What the hell do you want?
You had better watch it from now on!
Is that all youve got to say?
Ill be damned if I agree!
How dare you speak to me like that?
Youd better not make another mistake.
Who the hell is that at the front door?
Are you accusing me?
Ill be writing a stiff letter of complaint to your MD.
Are you suggesting that I should have apologized?
Where on earth have you been?
I knew it!
Im talking to you.
Youd better behave yourself otherwise; Ill have to ask you to leave.
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Saying no Nicely
Sometimes you need to say no when someone makes a suggestion, offers something or
asks you to do something for them. Of course, saying just no can be rather rude. H
ere are some of the most common ways to say 'no' nicely or at least not rudely.
Would you like to watch a film tonight?
Im afraid I cant go out tonight. Ive got a test tomorrow.
Why dont we have some Chinese food?
Sorry, but I dont particularly like Chinese food.
How about taking a nice walk?
Id really rather not take a walk this afternoon.
Would you like to go to the museum with us?
Thank you, but its not my idea of a fun afternoon out.
Lets go for a drive
Sorry, Im not really fond of driving for the fun of it.
Why dont you stay back tonight?
Thats very kind of you, but I really have to get back to the city.
To refuse an invitation, to be polite, use;
Sorry, I cant.
No. Its a pity, but Ill be (away) then
Im afraid I cant make it (to your party).
To be more formal, use:
Id love to, but I (have some work to do).
Id very much like to accept (your kind invitation) but I regret that (I c
To be informal, use:
No. I cant.
No. Im working / Im at something else.
To refuse an offer, to be polite, use:
No thanks/No thank you.
Its all right.
No thanks, I dont need (help).
No, I dont want (any coffee), thanks.
Its OK, thanks, I can (do it myself).
To be more formal, use:
Thats very kind of you, but its all right.
Thank you for the offer, but I dont need (it).
Thank you for your kind offer, but I regret we do not need (your service
To be informal, use:
I dont want (any).
To refuse to be persuaded, use:
No, really.
Really, I dont want any.
I really dont (want to go out).
I really cant (have another drink).
Im not going to change my mind.
You cant persuade me.
Youre not going to change my mind.
Dont go on about it.
I've made up my mind.
Im not (buying it), and thats
Some commonly used Negative Statements
I said nothing of the sort.
I hardly know that person.
I cannot do this.
I cant accept what you say.
I think youre mistaken.
I dont think they have.
I dont know how to swim.
I dont know.
I deny.
I refuse I dont agree.
I dont believe. I have no complaints.
Im afraid thats not what really happened.
Im quite sure I never asked you to do it.
I dont have any complaint.
I hate to contradict you, but I think youre wrong.
I hate to contradict you, but I didnt say that.
I certainly did not.
Dont be so ridiculous!
Dont cheat anybody.
Dont be stubborn.
Dont tread on the log grass.
Dont do such mischief again
Dont criticize others.
Dont lose your temper. Dont get angry.
Dont be rude.
Dont speak harshly to anybody.
Dont be proud of your influence.
Dont find fault with others.
No, I really dont mind driving.
No, Im afraid you havent.
No, he hasnt.
No, you havent told me.
No, I didnt.
No, thats not what I meant.
No, I couldnt go.
That isnt true.
Thats not what I intended, actually.
Thats a lie.
Thats absolutely ridiculous.
Thats not what I said.
This is not true.
Notice how we often say thank you in some way before refusing the offer. When some
one makes an offer it is polite to first thank that person and then say no, ofte
n offering an excuse for not wanting or being able to do something. Just saying n
o is considered very rude behavior indeed!
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Expressing Sympathy
Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not
knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of
daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sak
e of others for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a
bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life
is built upon the labours of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I m
ust exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.
- Albert Einstein
Practice the conversation given below
Mary Hello, John, Whats that? You look dejected. Whats wrong?
John My grandma passed away in New York, Mary.
Mary Im terribly sorry to hear that, John. How old was she?
John Seventy one This December.
Mary Then she wasnt very old. Had she been ailing for some time?
John So she had written in her last letter. She was having a hard time with
many complications
Mary When is the funeral?
John It must have been over by now.
Mary I know how you feel Words cant comfort you when someone dear to you departs.
Expressing sympathy
Im so sorry to see you in this state.
I cant tell you how sorry I am.
Im so sorry to hear about that.
I know how it feels.
Im extremely sorry to hear about it.
Im sorry. What a bad luck!
Im terribly sorry.
Im sorry to hear that.
Thats terrible.
Oh, thats unfortunate! Im sorry.
Oh no! Im ever so sorry.
Oh, bad luck. Im terribly sorry.
Oh, thats terrible.
Oh, how upsetting!
Oh, thats rotten.
Oh, how annoying!
Bad luck! (Comment)
Bad luck, misfortune
He had the bad luck/misfortune
She was unlucky.
Our deepest condolences/sympathy.
Our heartfelt sympathy/condolences.
Oh, its such a shame! Thats a pity!
Thats a crying shame it really is!
You must be very upset about it.
Youll get well soon.
What an awful situation for you!
What bad luck!
When did he die? Was it very sudden?
Did he suffer very much?
Bad luck, Mary. You can always try again.
How terrible for you!
Hard luck, John! I know you had worked so hard for the test.
Expressing condolences
Please accept my condolences.
Mary, my deepest sympathy on your sad loss.
I heard about your tragic loss. Im extremely sorry.
I heard what happened. My deepest sympathy, John.
I heard your uncle is dead. Im sorry. Im very sorry to hear your sister is dead.
Im very sorry to hear about your father. He was such a good man.
Expressing regret
I wish I hadnt missed the Train.
I feel I shouldnt have been so rude to the students. Im so sorry if Ive hurt you.
Im sad to hear that.
Im sorry I couldnt come.
I regret missing the chance.
Isn't it a pity we missed that film!
If only I hadnt failed the test!
If only I had listened to them!
Thats a great pity.
Thats a pity.
Its a pity you couldnt come.
Its quite unfortunate.
Really, we should have invited them
Why did I ever say that?
I think it was mean of us not to help them out.
Nobody regrets this more than I do.
Crocodile tears
Appearing to be sad about something but not really feeling sad; showing false sy
mpathy. Used when someone pretends to feel pity for someone else.
Examples: # please dont shed your crocodile tears for me!
# His sympathy was just a show of crocodile tears!
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Talking about Plans
Read this conversation between John and Mary. What does Mary want to know?
Mary : What are you doing this evening John?
John : Im meeting my sister were going to see a film.
Mary : Oh. What are you doing tomorrow?
John : Um, I dont think Im doing anything.
Mary : Well, do you want to meet up? Have something to eat?
John : Yeah, lets meet up that sounds nice. Where shall we eat? Shall we go t
o the Pizza Corner?
Now practice those phrases. First of all, imagine youre John. Ask Mary what shes d
oing tomorrow.
Read this conversation between John and Mary.
John : Lets go to a movie together.
Mary : Id love to. When shall we go?
John : How about coming Friday evening?
Mary : Let me see. Oh, I am sorry; Im having dinner with a friend.
John : How about the following Tuesday?
Mary : thatd be great. What shall we see?
John : Star Wars?
Mary : No, thats boring. How about Austin Powers?
John : Sounds good to me. When shall we meet?
Mary : Seven? In the Kent Tavern?
John : Great, see you there.
Bill and Tom are about to finish an English course and they are talking about th
eir future English study plans.
Bill : Are you going to keep studying English?
Tom : I hope so. / I plan to watch BBC news every night.
What about you?
Bill : I hope to read for an hour every night, but I suppose it will be hard
to find enough time.
Anyway, at least Ill try to read 21st Century each week.
Practice the conversation given below:
Kate : Would you like to go to a movie with me?
Ron : When do you want to go?
Kate : How about next Friday evening?
Ron : Im sorry, I cant. Im having dinner with a friend
Kate : How about coming Tuesday?
Ron : I go to evening class on Tuesdays.
Kate : Oh, may be some other time?
Ron : Yeah, Ill give you a call.
Practice the following word groups:
Are you busy this evening?
Are you going to Johns party?
Are you doing anything today evening?
Are you free this evening?
Are you planning to do anything this Sunday?
Are you planning a career in Law?
Have you got any plans for the weekend?
Have you got anything for tomorrow?
Have you got anything fixed up for coming Sunday?
Have you made any plans for the Christmas?
What are you doing today evening?
What do you plan to do once you get there?
What are you going to do tomorrow afternoon?
What are your plans for the summer vacation?
Exercise: Make conversations.
i) You want to go to an exhibition with your friend.
ii) Someone asks you to dinner but you dont want to go.
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Expressions to sound Persuasive and Convincing
Most peoples jobs require them to influence other people a lot of the time. This
could include convincing your boss you deserve a raise, inspiring your team to f
inish a project, cajoling a colleague to do a presentation for you, getting some
one to see your point of view in order to have their support at a meeting.
Influencing can also involve persuading other people to be your champions so the
y will, in turn, be able to provide access to areas you dont have any direct rout
e to now. We call this expanding your spheres of influence, and it can be the key
to making your presence felt without appearing out of line.
You may try to exert your influence through coercion and manipulations. You migh
t even succeed in getting things done, but that isnt really influencing; thats for
cing people to do what you want, often against their will. You wont have succeede
d in winning support.
Real influencing skills are far subtler and fairer than that: They require good
interpersonal and communication skills and an ability to get other people want t
o support you.
An interesting point about people, who use their influencing skills well, is tha
t other people like being around them. Theres a kind of exciting buzz, or sense t
hat things happen when theyre about.
Why is that? Well, think about it for a second or two: they dont sit around wishi
ng things were different while moaning theres nothing they can do about it. They
also dont sit around blaming others or complaining about what needs fixing that w
ill make things better. They fix stuff.
And sometimes the most influential person in a company isnt the one at the top its
the one who knows how to get to the one at the top.
Being persuasive is a matter of the way that you say it. It could mean intonatio
n; it could mean selecting a phrase that is appropriate to the context, or to th
e person concerned. You can improve your skills of persuasion.
Trying to persuade
Are you sure you ought to make that complaint?
You really should invite your boss, you know.
Thats quite a good idea, you know.
Hes an excellent Teacher, actually.
Dont be silly John, its not that expensive.
Dont forget that hes your uncle.
What about your friends?
What about the time and energy youve already invested, then?
Dont you think you should do something for your institute?
I could do with your support, you know.
I can assure you of my full support.
Trying to convince
I can guarantee
I tell you, its a fact.
I tell you, its true.
I tell you, its certain.
I am absolutely certain.
I saw him just now, really.
I saw it with my own eyes.
I saw it myself.
I can assure you
Its quite true.
It must be true.
Its quite true.
Its here in black and white.
Its crystal clear
Yes, really. Its quite true.
Dont you feel that he could have been mistaken?
You see, the training there is excellent.
But cant you see that hes interested in the idea?
Thats all I know, honestly.
But you must admit that he did all he could.
But surely you must agree that this is an extraordinary case.
Hes honest, I can assure you.
Its here in writing.
Isnt it possible that he doesnt know anything about it?
Look, I saw it myself.
Honestly, its quite true.
I can guarantee that youll get a promotion soon.
But dont you agree that he was not in station at that time?
This is the best quality we can get theres no doubt about it.

Insisting on or on doing
I insist on a written report from him.
I insist you do it.
Im afraid youll have to do it.
I want to know when youll do it.
I dont mind waiting. Its very important.
I wont go until you give me a full refund.
Im not laving until I know. Im sorry. I cant accept that.
You must go and meet the Director.
You simply must do it.
You really must help him.
You will come before five in the evening I insist.
Youll have to finish it by tomorrow.
You must stay for dinner.
You must stay for lunch, I insist.
Do stay for tea.
Its essential that you meet him.
If you cant help me, Id like to see your boss.
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Saying that you Understand / or Not
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Saying that you understand
I understand.
I can understand.
I understand how you feel.
I can understand German, but I cant speak it.
Yes, I get the point.
Right. I think Ive got the idea now.
I think Ive got that.
Okay. I get the picture now.
Saying you dont understand
When you dont hear something, use:
What was that?
What did you say?
I didnt hear that I couldnt hear that
To ask people to repeat it, use:
Could you say that again?
Say that again.
Could you repeat that, please?
What did you say the measurements were?
Can you say it again, please?
Could you say that again, please?
Could you explain it again, please?
To be more formal, use:
I didnt catch that
Sorry, I missed that
Would you say that again?
To be informal, use:
When you cant understand a phrase, use:
What does (that phrase) mean?
I dont understand (that).
I dont know (that word).
I understood (this), but not the bit after.
Did you say (this) or (that)?
What does it mean?
I cant understand Spanish.
I cant quite make them out.
Can you speak a bit more slowly?
I cant understand you.
I cant make any sense out of it.
To be formal, use:
Im afraid I dont understand (that)
Sorry, my Hindi isnt very good.
I missed/lost half of that
Could you spell that?
Could you write that down?
When people dont understand you, use:
Perhaps I used the wrong (word).
Ill try again
Im sorry, I dont follow.
Youre speaking rather too quickly for me to understand.
I dont understand what youre driving at.
I didnt quite follow what you said.
Excuse me, but whats your name again?
What did you say?
Im sorry, I didnt hear that.
Sorry, I didnt get that.
Sorry. What was that?
Hows that?
I beg your pardon.
What was that?
I didnt quite get that.
When someone is difficult to understand, use:
Could you speak more slowly, please?
Slower, please.
Slow down.
I cant understand you.
Youre speaking too quickly for me
I dont understand.
I didnt quite catch what you
Im afraid I didnt understand.
Can you translate that?
Do you speak any (other language)?
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Addressing People Correctly
In most American and British companies it is perfectly acceptable to call people
by their first name in the majority of cases. However, in other national cultur
es, for example German, where it is more likely to use their title, perhaps Doct
or, followed by their surname. If youre not sure, its probably best to go for a ti
tle and surname. If someone asks you to be more informal with them, then you can
go for the first name.
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Addressing people you know
Most British and American people use their first names in all informal situa
To be more formal, check:
May I call you John?
Do you mind if I call you Mary?
How may I call you?
How can I address you?
To be formal, use title and surnames:
Mr. Smith;
Mrs. Jones;
Miss Smith
Addressing strangers
There is no general word and most people use:
Excuse me
With a man, to be very formal, or if he is a superior, use:
To be informal or rude, use:
Hey you;
To be formal to a woman, use:
Madam; (Mam)
To call a teenager, use:
Young man;
To call a young child, use:
Son Sonny;
Little girl;
To call a policeman, use:
To call a waiter or barman, use:
To call a waitress or barmaid, use:
With a few others, use the name of the job:
Writing letters
On the envelope, put both names, or use titles:
John Smith; Mary Jones;
Mr. John Smith/Miss Mary Jones;
Mr. J. Smith/Miss M. Jones;
Starting the letter, to be formal, use:
Dear Mr. Smith/Dear Miss Jones;
To be informal, use the first name:
Dear John/Dear Mary;
To be very formal, use:
Dear Sir/Dear Madam;
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Offers & Refusing Offers
Listen to Mary and her guest David as Mary offers David some more food:
Mary: Are you alright there? Have another piece of chicken.
David: No, thanks. Im fine.
Mary: Oh, go on. Look, just this little piece here. Youve hardly eaten anything.
David: No, really. I couldn't.
Mary: Oh come on. Its the last piece.
David: No, honestly. Thanks.
Mary: All right then. If youre sure.
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Offering food and drinks.
What would you like?
Can I get you anything?
Would you like a (coffee)?
Do you take it with (sugar)?
How about a (Scotch)?
Do you feel like (a drink)?
Let me get you (something to drink)
Coffee? With sugar?
Scotch? Ice?
Help yourself
Yes, please
Thanks/Thank you
That would be nice
Refusing offers
To refuse an offer, to be polite, use:
No thanks.
No thank you.
Its all right.
No thanks, I dont need (help).
No, I dont want (any coffee), thanks.
Its OK, thanks; I can (do it myself).
Im afraid not.
Look, I cant possibly let you
Oh no. I couldnt eat any more
Well, if I have to.
No, no... Please.
No, no Ive only just had lunch.
Id rather not.
No, not for me. Thanks.
Not for the moment. Thank you.
Not this time, thanks.
Im afraid I dont eat fish.
Not just at the moment. Thank you.
I've had enough. Thank you.
Im afraid I dont drink coffee.
Id love to, but Im afraid I cant.
To be more formal, use:
Thats very kind of you, but its all right.
Thank you for the offer, but I dont
Thank you for your kind offer, but I regret we do not need (your services).
I dont think I can accept this, you know
Well, if you insist.
Well, if you really want me to...
If its all the same to you, I wont.
Well, if you really think so.
Some other time, perhaps
No, its far too much, really.
Im not sure I can accept this, thank you.
No, thank you. Its really superb, but I really couldnt.
I really cant eat another thing. Thanks.
No, Im not very fond of it. Thanks all the same.
The cutlets are delicious. But Im afraid I couldnt. Thank you.
It looks delicious, but Im afraid I couldnt. Thank you.
It looks delicious, but Im afraid I couldnt.
No, thank you. I cant manage any more.

To be informal, use:
I dont want (any).
Oh no, no
Look, theres no need
No, thanks/Yes/Sure/No, thank you.
I dont want (anything) at the moment.
I dont feel like (a drink) just now. No, please dont bother.
No, thank you. Im just leaving.
I've had plenty. Thanks.
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Exclamation, Surprise, Admiration, Disappointment
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Welcome, sir!
What a surprise!
Hurrah! I have won!
Thank God!
Good heavens!
Is it!
Yes, it is!
O God!
Wow! Well done! Bravo!
How sweet!
How lovely!
How dare you say!
Oh dear!
Hurry up!
Done wonderfully!
By gods grace!
May God bless you!
Same to you!
How bad!
How joyful!
Quiet, please!
What a great victory!!
Hello, listen!
Hurry up, please!
How terrible!
How disgraceful!
How absurd!
For your good health!
What a shame!
How tragic!
How disgusting!
What a pity!
Expressing Admiration.
Ah, super!
Oh, thats lovely!
Oh, thats marvelous!
Oh, smashing!
Oh, lovely!
Its really something!
Its really wonderful!
Isnt it beautiful?
Ah, really wonderful!
Isnt that fantastic!
What a grand view!
Thats incredible!
Really fantastic!
Thats quite fantastic!
I just adore this colour!
Its absolutely splendid!
Ive never seen anything like it!
Youre the prettiest girl Ive ever seen!
Ive never met anyone so attractive!
Expressing Surprise
What! Really?
Oh, no!
You dont say!
Well, I never!
Its very surprising to hear this!
Fancy seeing you here!
How strange!
Surely not!
Saying that youre not surprised
Hey, nothing new!
Im not surprised.
Im not surprised by the way he behaved.
Im not surprised at the news.
Whats new in that?
Whats so unusual in that?
Expressing Disappointment
Oh, dear! What fools we were!
Oh, no!
Oh, damn!
Oh, no! Not again!
Oh no, what a letdown!
Oh well, never mind.
Oh dear! Ive spilt the milk.
Oh, thats a nuisance!
Oh no, what a shame!
It was an absolute waste of money.
Its a little bit disappointing, isnt it!
It wasnt as good as I thought it would be.
Its a great shame.
Its most unfortunate.
Its very upsetting that this has happened.
Im sorry to hear that.
Im disappointed in him.
I thought he could do better.
I had hoped that Id be able to meet him.
Id very much hoped that Id be able to meet him.
Id very much hoped that Id get selected this time.
I wish that someone had let me know.
Thats a great pity.
Thats a pity.
How disappointing!
Things always go wrong.
Whats the point of giving a party now?
Ive never been so disappointed in my life.
But what good will it do?
Unfortunately, I couldnt reach there in time.
When I think of it!
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Congratulations and Good Wishes
Sometimes its difficult to find just the right phrase for a particular occasion i
n Standard English. We want to help you solve that problem. Whether its a birthda
y, a graduation, a wedding, a promotion, a holiday, or whatever, youd like to be
able to say the right thing in English.
Then there are the celebrations and holidays of the season. From New Years Eve to
Christmas there are numerous times during the year when you may want to send ho
liday greetings. And dont forget that there are many holidays that are either not
celebrated in our country at all, or are celebrated at different times (Fathers
Day, Thanks giving etc.) or are unique to a particular country.
If someone has a baby, passes an exam, win a prize, etc., use:
To be informal, use:
Great! / Well don! / Congrats!
To praise a subordinate or equal, use
Well done!
That was very well done.
Thats very good.
You did that very well.
Your (meal) was excellent / very good / first class.
The (food) is / was excellent.
I was / am very pleased with (your work).
To praise a superior, use:
Well done!
I thought your (work was excellent).
I really admired / admire your (work).
To be informal:
Super! / Great!
Thats / that was super/ great / fantastic.
You were super / great / fantastic.
Passing on praise
To praise a third person, use:
Please tell (her) I liked it very much.
Tell (him) how good I thought (he was).
Give my compliments to (the cook).
Get well soon!
Rest up! Have a relaxing time!
A speedy recovery!
Cheers! (toast)
Fortunately, luckily
Good luck!
Lucky fellow.
Best of luck!
I wish you success!
Best wishes!
To your health! (toast)
Bon apptit! Enjoy your meal!
Bon voyage! Have a good trip!
Congratulations on graduating with a masters degree!
Congratulations on graduating with a doctorate!
Best wishes
Congratulations on graduating from college
Marriage & Anniversary
Congratulations, on the happy event! (new baby)
Congratulations, on your golden/silver wedding anniversary!
Congratulations, on your engagement!
Congratulations, on your wedding!
Wish you a happy Married life.
Best wishes
Happy Birthday to you!
Many happy returns of the day!
Many Many happy returns of the day!
Other Occasions.
All the best
Best wishes
Congratulationson your name day!
Congratulations on passing your masters test!
Best wishes on your new job!
Congratulations on your promotion!
Wish you a happy retired life!
Your essay has won first prize.
Im so glad! My heartiest congratulations!
Hey, youve got that job? Congratulations.
Let me offer you my congratulations.
Congratulations! You deserve it!
I was delighted to hear about it.
Splendid! You must be very pleased.
I couldnt have been more pleased!
I congratulate you. Youve done a fine job, John!
That was excellent. Congratulations!
I was thrilled to hear about your new job.
You deserve all the luck in the world!
Making Complaints
In complaining, the key question to ask is What do I hope to achieve from this co
mplaint? There is no point instantly venting your anger if it doesnt produce a res
ult. Very often, it helps to get the person you are dealing with on your side. F
or this reason, people are often taught to being any complaint with some sort of
mild apology.
For example, Im sorry to say this but, Im afraid I must tell you that
In English there are a number of formulas used when complaining. Its important to
remember that a direct complaint or criticism in English can sound rude or aggr
essive. Its best to mention a problem in an indirect manner. Here are some of the
most commonly used starters to make complaints:
Im sorry to have to say this, but.
Im sorry to bother you, but.
Maybe you forgot to.
I think you might have forgotten to.
Excuse me if Im out of line, but
There may have been a misunderstanding about.
Dont get me wrong, but I think we should.
To express your complaint, use the following word groups with suitable starters
mentioned in Section B, above:
Im sorry to have to say this, but I think we need to take another approach.
Im sorry to have to say this, but youre making fun of me.
Im sorry to bother you, but I think you need to refine this layout.
Maybe you forgot to include his name and number.
I think you might have forgotten to finish the report on time.
Excuse me if Im out of line, but your work has not been adequate lately.
There may have been a misunderstanding about what I expected from you.
Dont get me wrong, but I think we should concentrate on the Smith account for the
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
It doesnt work.
Its broken.
Its defective.
Its faulty
Its not what I wanted.
Its not what I asked for.
Its not what I saw.
Its the wrong size/shape/colour/model.
I was told it would (be made of leather).
I was given /sent the wrong thing.
I cant use it/wear it.
It only lasted (two days).
I was told it would be (half an hour).
The food wasnt properly cooked.
The repair wasnt properly done.
The room wasnt properly cleaned.
The service was slow/incompetent/very poor.
The staff/people were rude/unhelpful.
I was insulted/kept waiting/overcharged.
Complaining about peoples behavior
What gives you the right to behave like that?
Would you mind making less noise?
Will you please stop making so much noise?
Will you please turn the volume down a bit, please?
If you dont stop smoking, Ill have to complain to the conductor.
You shouldnt have said that.
Thats what hurts me most.
Will you stop teasing me?
Im sorry, but this has got to stop. What do you think youre doing?
This is really too much!
Stop shouting! Ive had enough of this.
You have absolutely no right to behave like that.
Your Telephone is not working for the last two days. No action has been taken by
the authorities to rectify the problem, even after many complaints and reminder
s from you. Make a final complaint stating that you will take the matter to the
Consumer Forum, if the fault is not rectified immediately.
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Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Stating that you have (dont have) an obligation to do
I must be there
I must tell them..
I must do it in the right way
I must do everything I can to help them.
I must be there by Sunday.
I must send the reports today.
I must hand in my report tomorrow.
I have to be there by tomorrow.
I have to be at the office by ten.
I have no choice.
I have to go now.
I have to see that it is running well.
I cant avoid it.
I cant refuse to do that.
I cant get out of doing it.
Its my duty...
Ill have to be back here before Thursday.
It is my responsibility to report this to the police.
Im supposed to do what he tells me.
We neednt hurry.
We have to show him our ID card.
I had to earn my living in those days.
Im going to have accepted it.
We dont have to take them there.
I dont have to attend tomorrows function.
Thats something I have to do urgently.
Asking whether you have an obligation to do or not
I dont think, I have to go now.
I dont have to, do I?
Do I have to bring anything with me?
Is it necessary to tell them our intention?
Must I give a reply?
Am I required to hand over these papers to him?
Do I need to leave a note for him?
Must I accept the invitation?
Have I got to give them some more money?
Am I expected to introduce myself to them?
Stating that others have (or dont have) an obligation to do
You must be there.
You must tell them
You must do it in the right way
You must do everything I can to help them.
You must be there by Sunday.
You must send the reports today.
You must hand in my report tomorrow.
You have to be there by tomorrow.
You have to be at the office by ten.
You have no other choice.
You have to go now.
You have to see that he is doing well.
You cant avoid it.
You cant refuse to do that.
You cant get out of doing it.
You have to go with your Mum.
You must finish it by Sunday.
Youll have to pick him up from the Airport.
Youre under no obligation.
You dont need to hurry.
As per law youre not required to do it.
You neednt do it.
Youre expected to get his permission before you do it.
You dont have to remain there, if you dont want to.
Its not necessary to explain everything to them.
Its up to you.
Its your duty
Nobody can force you to do that.
Theyll make you do it.
No, you dont have to be there before eleven.
Theres no need to rush.
Asking whether others have an obligation to do or not
Has he got to sign there?
Must you work so hard?
Do you need to leave a note for him?
Must you accept the invitation?
Have you got to give them some more money?
Have you got to mention this matter to him?
Are you expected to follow these guidelines?
Do you have to buy it from there?
Are you required to take a photocopy of it?
Do you need to get to the office so early?
Is it necessary for you to collect it today itself?
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Expressing certainty & uncertainty
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Expressing certainty.
Im sure shes right.
Im sure of it.
Im sure.
Im certain about that.
Im convinced of it.
I certainly believe that he was in the wrong way.
I have no doubt about it.
Im convinced we are not to trust him.
Im sure shes done the right thing.
Im absolutely sure that he is from the United States.
I know what shes going to do.
Im certain that shes the one who did it.
Im quite sure that they had met earlier.
I dont doubt that he wanted to help her.
I feel quite sure that it was John.
Theres no doubt about
Theres no doubt about it in my mind.
Theres no doubt that she comes from a royal family.
Hell come, Im sure of it.
He doesnt stand a chance of winning.
Shell be here in time, Im sure.
Shes innocent.
She will only start tomorrow, Im certain about that.
Without doubt, hes one of the best singers we have.
Its quite certain she was trying to fool you.
They must have left by now.
Its clear that she knows him.
Obviously, she is against this proposal.
We were at fault.
Its impossible that he could have seen her there.
Expressing uncertainty.
I dont think so.
I cant make up my mind.
I cant decide if I should invite them.
I dont think youre right.
I havent a clue.
Im not sure about it.
Im in two minds whether or not to do it.
Im not sure.
Im not sure what to do next.
Im just not sure.
Im in two minds about doing it.
Im in two minds whether to accept it or not.
Im not sure whether he knows it.
Im a bit uncertain about this.
I dont believe this is true.
I dont know what to tell them
I dont know whether to accept it or not.
I dont know whether to do it or not.
I dont believe that he can do it.
I dont believe him.
I cant believe it, I really cant.
I cant decide whether to take it back or not.
I cant decide what to do.
I cant decide whether to invite him or not.
Ill possibly be able to do it.
I must say I find that very odd.
Yes, I suppose so.
May be Ill buy it, may be I wont.
Well, of course.
Its up to you.
Hes possibly one of our best workers.
Do you think I should call him?
Perhaps the answer is to leave it to chance.
Oh, I feel in such a muddle.
He cant have known about it.
He cant do it, I think.
If only I knew what to do.
Tell me a way out.
Well, may be.
Look, I dont know what to do.
Oh, I dont know.
May be I shouldnt do it.
Perhaps I should write to his Secretary first.
Asking about certainty and uncertainty.
Are you quite sure?
Are you absolutely sure?
Are you sure that hes her brother?
Are you absolutely certain it was Mary?
Do you think so?
Do you believe that he did it?
Do you think hell come?
Do you suppose that hes right?
How do you know?
So youre quite sure, are you?
You couldnt have been mistaken, could you?
Was it, really?
How sure are you?
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Permission & Consent
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Giving permission
Yes, you can proceed.
Yes, you can.
You, may go ahead.
By all means.
You can have as many as you want.
You can, if you want.
You may, if you like.
Yes, certainly.
I suppose so.
Sure, go ahead.
No, I dont mind.
Not at all. (I dont mind at all).
Yes, if you want.
Yes, all right.
Go right ahead.
Well, go ahead, if you must.
Yes, if you must.
I see no objection.
Yes, of course.
Yes, thats fine.
You have my permission.
Asking someones permission
May I come in?
Can I come in?
May I have a word with you, sir?
If you dont mind, Id like to smoke.
Id like to stay behind for sometime, if you have no objection.
Would you mind if I smoke?
Can I switch on the TV please?
Could I see you for a moment?
Can I open the window?
Can I make a call from your telephone?
Do you mind if I use your phone?
Could I possibly take the car?
Would you let me take it home for a day?
Can I go too?
Would you object if I take my dog inside?
You dont mind if Im a bit late tomorrow, do you?
Would it be all right if I brought him in now?
Can I come with you?
Is it all right to stay up till midnight?
I wonder if I could borrow this book for a few days.
Refusing permission
Im sorry.
I cant allow you to do it.
Im sorry I cant let you do it.
Im afraid its out of the question.
Im sorry you cant do it.
No, I wont let you do it.
No, you mustnt do it.
No, dont go there today.
No, you mustnt open it now.
You must be joking!
Youd better ask her.
Youre not supposed to do it.
Youre not allowed to do it.
Sorry, you cant.
Smoking is not allowed, Im afraid.
Look, the answer is No..
Its out of the question, Im afraid.
Its OK with me, but you must ask the Principal.
Theres no way Im going to let you do it.
As you like.
You like.
You are right.
Yes, its true.
I agree.
I give my consent to this.
I entirely agree with you.
Ill follow your advice.
I accept your invitation.
I have no objection
I dont have any objection.
It doesnt matter.
It will be so.
Its rather a matter of pleasure.
This is quite right.
Of course, he gave up all hopes of passing high.
Do as your father says.
I am not trying to impose myself on you.
You dont seem to agree with me.
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Apologizing & Forgiving
The Art of Apologizing
You must first apologize before you can have a chance at being forgiven. The right
apology will release resentment and cause all people involved to feel better. A
pologizing is so important because without it, the person offended will not forg
et it and the resentment will continue to nag the relationship.
When apologizing it is important to validate the other persons feelings. If they
are upset by something you did or said or what ever, do not tell them THEY are o
verreacting. We all have a right to our feelings and by apologizing properly you
are validating theirs. Say something like: Im sorry for yelling at you, you have
a right to be upset.
You should also say what you are sorry for, while validating their feelings: Im so
rry for not calling when I knew I was going to be late, that was very inconsider
ate of me or Im sorry for getting mad at you, I was being overactive or Im sorry for t
he things I said earlier, it was very mean of me. When I hear Im sorry with no expla
nation of why, I think: And what are you sorry for? Do you even know? Or do you t
hink those two words fix everything? By clearly admitting your mistake and not ma
king excuses for yourself you are telling the other person that you sincerely do
feel bad, and that is what they want to hear.
Im sorry.
Im very sorry.
Im terribly sorry. Im awfully sorry.
Im very sorry that this has happened. I didnt mean it.
Im sorry youve had to wait so long.
Im sorry I really am.
Im sorry if I worried you.
Im sorry, weve really let you down, and theres no excuse.
Im really sorry about it.
Im sorry Im a little late for my appointment.
Im sorry for not calling when I knew I was going to be late, that was very incons
iderate of me.
I m sorry for getting mad at you, I was being over reactive.
Im sorry for the things I said earlier.
Sorry, Im not ready yet.
Look, I really must apologize for what Ive done.
Sorry, I havent finished it yet.
Sorry about that. I hope you dont mind.
I hope Im not disturbing you.
Sorry, this is all entirely my own fault.
How stupid of me! I wasnt thing.
Sorry, I cant find it anywhere.
Please forgive me for all this confusion.
I do beg your pardon.
Id like to apologize for all that.
I cant begin to say how sorry Im about it.
Please excuse me for it.
Im so very sorry for saying all that.
Oh, you must forgive me. I had no idea.
I have to leave early.
I hope youll excuse me.
Look, I didnt mean to upset you.
Accepting an apology
Its OK.
Forget it.
Thats all right.
Its all right. It doesnt matter this time, but dont repeat it.
Not at all.
Please dont worry.
I dont want you to feel bad about it.
Thats perfectly all right.
Dont worry about it.
Anyone can make a mistake.
Oh well, I suppose its all right.
Rejecting an apology
Whats the use of saying sorry?
Its too late to say sorry now.
Look at the damage done to my bike.
Its no use saying sorry now.
Saying sorry just isnt enough.
You should have done it earlier.
It doesnt matter.
Its OK, but dont do it again, will you?
All is forgiven.
Its quite all right.
I do wish youll be more careful. Dont worry about it.
Its all right
Well, all right.
Everybody makes mistakes sometimes.
It doesnt matter at all.
Never mind.
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Making an Appointment
Read the small conversation texts A & B (given below) several times. Focus on fl
uency until it feels smooth. If possible record the conversation and listens to
it. Re- record until you are satisfied with the fluency. While reading it is adv
isable to read like: ThisisRonHolland as it there is no space in between This, is,
Ron, and Holland.
Making an Appointment: Dialogue I
Hello. This is Ron Holland. Id like to make an appointment to see Dr. Hudson
Certainly. What seems to be the problem?
Id like to have my monthly check-up.
Fine. When would you be available to come to see Dr. Hudson?
Any day next week in the evening would be great.
How about tomorrow at 6 oclock?
That sounds fine. Thank you.
Well see you tomorrow Mr. Ron. Goodbye.
Making an Appointment: Dialogue II
A: Excuse me, madam. I want to meet the MD.
B: Do you have an appointment?
A: No, I do not have an appointment.
B: I am sorry then. You will first have to fix an appointment with him.
A: Could I get an appointment, for now?
B: I am sorry, he is in a meeting, and he wont be free till 5 in the evening.
A: Could I get an appointment, for tomorrow?
B: Ill have to check his programmes. Please be seated.
A: Thank you.
B: I am sorry, I forgot. Our MD is going out of station, tomorrow, for three day
A: Im not in a hurry. I can wait till he comes back.
B: In that case, I will make an appointment for you. Do you want to meet him on
specific day or time?
A: Let me see. Today is Friday. Could you give me an appointment for Wednesday?
B: Sorry, sir. Thats not possible either.
A: What about Saturday, then?
B: We are closed on Saturday.
A: Well, the best thing would be to put it off till next Monday, the.
B: Yes. Thatd be fine. He is totally free on Monday. What time would you like to
A: I prefer an appointment in the morning.
B: Would 9:30 suit you, sir?
A: Yes, thats perfect.
B: Ive noted it down. Have a nice day, sir.
A: Nice day to you too and thank you.
Now read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn
by-heart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge,
and rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read thes
e word groups aloud several times.
Making appointments
Id like to make an appointment to see Dr Brown, please.
How soon could I have an appointment?
Would today evening be all right?
Is there any other time I could come today?
Can you give me an appointment on Sunday?
Sunday would suit me best.
Is there any other time I could come today?
Could we arrange day after tomorrow, then?
Could I possible come on Monday?
Im sorry, I cant come then.
Can I come earlier in the evening?
Can I come later in the morning?
Will Saturday or Sunday suit you best?
Id like to come in the evening, please.
Could I come on Saturday Morning?
Could you manage Monday?
Yes, afternoon would do very well.
Which day will be more convenient for you?
Arranging to meet
Meet me in fron of the Museum at 9 in the morning.
Ill meet you at 9 o clock.
Shall we meet at the Railway station?
Ill pick you up at the Railway station.
OK, well meet for break fast, the.
Ill pick you up at about 6.00.
Ill come and meet you at the station.
Shall we make it 6.00 outside the church?
If its okay with you, Ill come at about8.
You sell expensive medical equipment (a small cyclotron for treating can
cer) You have to make an appointment to talk to a doctor who is very incluential
at a hospital where youre trying to close a sale. You want to get him in the rig
ht mood so you invite him to play a round of golf at an expensive coutry club.
You used to exhibit the tennis rackets that your small company produced
until it went bankrupt many years ago. This year you went back to the show for o
ld times sake and you bumped into an old friend you havent seen for years. You ma
ke an appointment to get together and reminisce about the old days.
Youre a reporter who wants to write an insider story on the corporate reo
rganizations that are taking place in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. Yo
u make an appointment to talk with an investment banker (a friend of a friend) t
o talk about whats going on.
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Expressing Preference & Pleasure
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by h
eart. Your sub conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Expressing preference
I prefer tea, I think.
I prefer tea to coffee.
I prefer jogging to running.
I prefer my sleeves half.
I like a calm place.
I prefer this one to that, actually.
I think Id prefer something a bit brighter.
I have a preference for art films.
I prefer to go for an outing rather than to stay in.
Perhaps, itd be better if I spoke to him myself.
Asking about preference
Which do you prefer?
Coffee or tea?
This one or that one?
Would you prefer something cheaper?
Which of these pictures do you like best?
Do you have any particular design in mind?
What do you prefer to read? Fiction or non-fiction?
Would you rather have another piece?
Is there anything he particularly likes?
Do you like it?
Would you like to go for a film?
How do you like it there?
Dont you enjoy flying?
Do you think theyd like it if I do it?
Do you like the idea of spending all the time on the beach?
Is there anything she particularly dislikes?
I like the idea of it.
Dont you like her brother?
Having no preference
Its up to you.
As you like.
Whatever you like.
Whichever you like.
Give me any of them.
Either will do I have no preference.
Either one will be all right.
Either of them will do.
You choose.
You decide.
Im not particular.
Im easy.
I dont mind Ill have either.
I dont mind where we go
Well go anywhere you like.
It really doesnt matter to me.
Its all the same to me.
Give me a book any book will do.
I dont care where we go.
Expressing pleasure
I do enjoy listening to Lata Mangeshkar.
How lovely! I like playing golf.
Oh, thats good!
Im glad to hear it.
I quite like burger.
Thats very nice to hear.
Im very happy for you.
Im quite keen on music.
That was a very good concert.
This cakes delicious!
I like watching cricket matches a lot!
I really enjoyed my stay in Ooty.
I just cant wait to tell him the good news.
Oh, it really is most interesting!
It was such an enjoyable party!
Expressing displeasure
I didn't like it.
I hate it.
I dont like fish at all.
It was absolutely lousy.
I dont like fish very much.
I dont like waiting.
It was shocking, really.
I dislike sweeping floors.
I dont drink coffee.
I thought it was very hot.
I didnt think much of it.
I dont like asking for loan.
I dont like full sleeves.
It was no good, really.
I have to mix business with politics.
Im not fond of cricket.
I didnt like what he said.
It was absolutely dreadful, actually.
I dislike homework.
I cant stand this loud noise.
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Agreeing & Disagreeing
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Asking whether agrees or not
Isn't it?
Is it?
Dont you think so?
Dont you agree?
Dont you think?
Do you agree?
How about it?
All right
I dont think were going to agree on this, are we?
Wouldn't you agree?
Agreeing Openly
I agree with you.
Yeah sure.
Youre right.
Of course, thats a good idea.
Yes, thats quite true.
Well, you have a point there.
Disagreeing Openly
No, I cant agree with you.
No, never.
Youre wrong.
Thats not a good idea.
No, thats not true.
You dont have a point there.
I cant accept what you say.
It is not so/like that.
Its impossible.
It cant be so.
No, I couldnt go.
I dont know.
It cannot be.
This is not true.
Agreeing reluctantly
Well, maybe youre right about that.
Well, I suppose youre right.
Well, may be.
Well, you know, its a bit difficult, but Ill try.
Well, you may have a point there.
Yes, you may be right about that.
Yes, you could be right.
Yes, as far as I know
Youre right, but
I agree with you but
I would agree, only.
Oh well, Ill give it a try.
Perhaps youre right about it.
Perhaps you may have a point there.
No, I suppose not.
Disagreeing tactfully
Theres a lot of truth in what you say, but
Perhaps, but dont you think?
Yes, but dont you think?
Forgive me if Im wrong, but
Actually/In fact/I think.
I have to contradict you, but I think youre wrong.
Excuse me, but that isnt so.
Sorry, I dont quite see it the same way
Im not sure I quite agree to that part about.
I dont think its quite that simple, you see
Thats a good idea, but.
To a certain extent yes, but
That would be great, except
Yes, thats quite true, but
I see what you mean, but
I take your point, but
Well, you have a point, but he didnt do it deliberately.
Well, you have a point there, but
I can see why you think that but
I can see why you say that but
Thats one way of looking at it, but
Yes, may be/perhaps/possibly
In most cases you would be right, but
Personally, Im more inclined to agree with agree to
Personally, I wouldnt go so far to say that
Yes, youre quite right, of course, but how can we convince him of it?
Yes, but wouldnt you say that he was absolutely sincere?
Yes, but what about yesterday?
Yes, but I think its not so much a case of
Youre probably right, but is he telling the truth?
Yes, but dont forget
Perhaps, but dont you think it was a bit odd?
True, but how about all the good things he has done?
I think perhaps its more a case of...
But isnt it more a matter of.
Actually, I found the book a bit difficult to understand.
I know nothing in this connection.
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Expressing ability & certainty
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Expressing ability
He can swim.
When I was your age, I could run a kilometer in 7 minutes.
She knows how to drive.
She has ability, but she is lazy.
Hes a good musician.
You can do much better, Im sure.
He can speak English fluently.
Expressing inability
She cannot do it without help.
He cant speak French very well.
Im sorry; I wont be able to help you.
I couldnt answer his questions.
She wont be able to swim so fast.
Hes incapable of behaving badly to anyone.
Shes incapable of hard work.
Shes incapable of telling a lie.
Hes unable to help her.
He cant swim as far as you.
I tried to move it, but I couldnt.
I want to come, but Im unable to.
I've never been any good at repairing things.
Asking about ability or inability
Can you play piano?
Can you drive a bus?
Can you ride a bicycle?
Can you understand the instructions?
Can you swim across the river?
Cant you explain it more simply?
Is he able to follow the lessons?
Isn't he able to read or write?
Is he unable to walk without crutches?
Were you able to solve the problem?
Expressing certainty
No doubt, hes one of the best singers we have.
Theyll come, Im sure of it.
Im sure shes right.
Its quite certain; she was trying to fool you.
Im convinced that we cant trust his words.
Theyll be here before the party starts, Im sure.
Im sure hes done the right thing.
I know what hes going to do.
Im absolutely sure that she is from the US.
Theres no doubt that she comes from a royal family.
He must have left by now.
Im sure that shes the one who did it.
Its clear that she knows him.
Theres no doubt about it in my mind.
Obviously, he is against the proposal.
We were at fault.
I have no doubt about it.
Im quite positive that they had met earlier.
Hes innocent.
Im convinced of it.
I feel quite sure that it was Susan.
He doesnt stand a chance of winning
I dont doubt that he wanted to help her.
Its impossible that he could have seen her there.
Expressing uncertainty
I dont believe this is true.
I cant believe it I am not sure.
I dont believe this is true.
I cant believe it as I am not sure.
Im in a dilemma
Im just not sure.
I dont think so.
Im not sure about it.
I cant make up my mind.
I cant decide if I should invite them
I dont think he is right
I havent a clue.
Im not sure whether he knows it.
Do you think I should call him?
Im in two minds whether to accept it or not.
I dont believe him.
Perhaps the answer is to leave it to chance.
I dont know whether to do it or not.
Oh, I feel in such a muddle.
Oh, I must say I find that very odd.
He cant have known about it.
I cant decide what to do.
I dont believe that he can do it.
He cant do it, I think.
If only I knew what to do.
I cant decide whether to take it back to the shop or not.
I cant believe it, I really cant.
Tell me a way out.
Im in two minds about doing it.
Asking about certainty and uncertainty
Are you quite sure?
How sure are you?
Do you think shell come?
How do you know?
Are you absolutely certain?
Do you believe that he did it?
Are you absolutely sure?
Was it, really?
Do you think so?
Do you suppose that hes right?
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Can you help me?
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rds groups aloud several times.
Requesting to help
Can you please help me?
Can you help me please?
Can you give me a pencil?
Can you give me some ten rupees notes, please?
Can you give me another note please?
Can you tell me the current balance in my account, please?
Could you tone down the music, please?
Could I ask you to move a little?
Could you possibly
Could I borrow your pen?
Can you help me a minute, Please?
Can I have a glass of ice water?
Please help me.
Please give me a pencil and paper.
Will you do me favour?
Will you please open the window?
Do you think you could possibly do it for me?
Give me a hand, Kumar, will you?
Offering help
Ill help you.
Ill help you, if you like.
Ill do it, shall I?
Ill do it for you.
I can help, if you want.
Ill ring for the office boy.
Ill be glad to help, if you need it.
Can I help?
Can I help you?
Can I be of any help to you?
Do you need any help?
Let me help you.
Please let me help you.
Let me carry your luggage.
Lets have a look.
Permit me to help you.
Could I give you a hand with it?
Allow me to do it for you.
May be, I could help you do it.
Would you like me to close the gate?
Can I help you with it?
Can I be of any help?
Can I help you with anything?
Do you want me to have a look?
Do you want me to help with?
Do you need some kind of help?
Shall I see, if I can help you?
Perhaps I could help you do it.
I s there any thing I can do to help?
Why dont you let me help you with?
Would you like me to get anything for you?
Want me to try?
Accepting help
Id be glad if you could.
Thats extremely good of you.
Thats very kind of you.
Id appreciate it if you could.
Thatd be lovely
Thatd be great.
Id be glad if you would.
Id be delighted if you could.
Youre most minds.
Yes, please. Id appreciate it.
Oh, could you do that?
Thatd be very helpful.
Would you?
If youre sure its no trouble for you
Thanks. Thatd be a great help.
Thanks very much.
Declining help
Dont worry.
Thats OK, thanks.
Its OK< Thanks.
No, thank you.
Dont bother.
No, Thanks I can manage.
No, please dont bother I can manage.
Thats very kind of you.
Thank you, but I can manage.
Id rather do it myself, thank you.
No, thanks. Im fine.
Id better do it myself, thank you.
Im all right, thank you.
Ask the enquiry clerk at the Railway Station in your town to tell you the
1) Most convenient train from your town to New Delhi
2) Availability of Sleeper berth for this train.
3) Fare for this journey.
Expressing Opinion
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Expressing opinion
I personally think...
I personally believe
I personally feel...
Personally, I believe
Personally, I think
Personally, I feel
I honestly feel
In my personal opinion
In my personal view
I imagine
I believe
I reckon
Do you know what I think? I think
As I see it
The way I look at it
The way I see it
It appears
It seems to me
To my mind
If you ask me
Id say that
As far as I can tell...
Let me tell you
To the best o f my knowledge
Im fairly certain that
Its quite obvious that
Asking someones opinion
Do you like her?
Do you think its going to rain?
What do you think about her dress?
Does it look very bad?
Do you feel that I should have accepted it?
How do you like this, then?
Was the lecture interesting?
Dont you think this colour suits me?
How will it look if you mend it?
How about this, then?
Could I ask what your opinion is?
How do you feel about the way she behaved?
What did you think of the book?
What do you think of this?
Whats your opinion of your new boss?
Is this all right?
Do you think this is all right?
How do you think Id look in that dress?
Do you have any views about this proposal?
Whats your opinion about the stand he has taken?
Agreeing with an opinion
Yes, it is, isnt it?
Uh huh...
Quite so.
Of Course!
I suppose so.
I agree entirely.
I know.
All right.
Youre quite right.
Thats quite true.
Thats quite right.
Of course.
How true.
Thats exactly what I think
Thats just what I think
I think so, too!
I couldn't agree more!
Yes, I agree.
Yeah, sure.
How true?
How fair?
Thats fair enough
Thats what I was going to say.
You took the words out of my mouth!
Thats a good point.
Yes, Im afraid it was.
I agree with you.
Thats right.
Yes, I suppose so, absolutely.
I agree with that.
Yes, Im in favour of it, too.
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Suggestions / Advice
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
The best thing to do would be to send him a fax.
Why dont you let him have his way?
Its quicker to travel by Car.
Give up bad habits.
Chew your food well.
Brush your teeth.
You should meet him tomorrow.
Dont you think you ought to send them some money?
If you feel ill, dont take any exercise.
I wouldnt do it.
Take it from me; its no use waiting for John.
You ought to consult an advocate before it gets worse.
Youd better explain everything to the Principal
If I were you, Id go now.
Mind your own business.
Hold with both hands.
You ought to call the police.
Arrange / keep everything in order.
Write in ink.
Attend to the guests.
Wait till the proper time
If I were you, Id dismiss him right now
If you organize a music programme here, youll have everyone complaining.
Sacrifice your life for the motherland/country.
Be careful about bad habits.
Do read this interesting story.
I think you shouldnt put it off any longer.
Take my advice. Turn a deaf ear to his complaints.
You should stop smoking.
Asking for advice
Should I travel by Train or by Air?
How should I dress?
Can you tell me what I should do?
Im thinking of leaving
I cant make up my mind whether to resign or not...
Id like to ask your advice.
How do you think can I persuade him to go alone?
Could you give me a bit of advice?
What do you think I should do?
What do you advise me to do?
Do you think I must give up without any argument?
Phrases used to give suggestions/advice
What about
How about.
Why dont we
Why dont you
Why not.
I suggest us
We could try to
Id like to suggest
If I may make a suggestion
Shall we...
Couldn't you
You could try to
Perhaps you could
If I were you, I would
We might as well
You may like to
Have you ever considered?
Have you ever thought of?
I think you should/ought to
The best thing would be to...
It would be best if
One way would be to
Dont you think it would be a good idea to?
Do you think it would be a good idea to?
Role Play
You are a young person who has decided to marry someone you love who comes from
another country (for example, Australia). Today youll tell one of your friends of
this decision, and ask for his/her advice. Below are some of the reasons why yo
u think your cosmopolitan marriage will be successful (think of other reasons by
You feel that by such a marriage, you will:
Develop a broader point-of-view
Enjoy more straightforward, honest communication
Share cultural backgrounds
Have a chance to ravel or live overseas
Be able to raise bilingual children
You will speak first. Act your part! Listen carefully to your partner!
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Order / Signals / Encouragement
Read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-h
eart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and
rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these wo
rd groups aloud several times.
Sentences of Order
Go slowly
Go at once.
Go straight.
Go away.
Go ahead.
Go up.
Go down.
Go back
Go yourself.
Wait here.
Come here.
Look here
Take here.
Stop here.
Take this.
Come near
Wait outside.
Get off
Be ready
Keep quiet
Be careful
Try again
Dont move
Clean properly
Dont go
Dont forget
Dont break
Dont trouble
Dont cut jokes
Dont talk nonsense
Dont delay
Dont worry
Dont tease him
Dont be late
Dont be silly
Dont say anything to him/her
Dont delay
Dont be late
Dont write with a pencil
Dont fail to inform me
Dont study at the cost of your health
Dont do so in future
Let this not happen in future
Dont beat about the bush
Dont pluck the flowers
Dont chatter
Dont talk nonsense
Dont be silly
Dont hold up the work
Dont go near that tree.
Just Listen.
Come soon
Look ahead.
Drive slowly
Move ahead
Inform about her/him
Never mind
Never forget
Ask his name
Mind your business
Come soon
Be ready
Take care of her
Move aside
Think before you speak
Do come
Leave it
As you like
Do come again
Keep your house clean
Come to the point/do not beat about the bush
Take this dose
Follow me
Tie your shoe lace
Work while you work and play while you play
Strike the iron when it is hot
Vacate the place
See devil
Watch him
Be ready
Light the lamp
Switch on the light
Put off the lamp
Switch off the light
Switch on the fan
Send for him
Let these people do their work
Wash your hands
Come soon
Stop the car
Write with a pen
Dont copy others
Hire a taxi
Button up your coat.
Keep the fore on
Feed the horse with grass
Go and blow your nose
Lace your shoes tightly
Write a detailed letter
Write a long letter
Post this letter yourself
Be punctual
Rest assured
Stop worrying
Its not manly to cry like children
Whats bothering you?
There is nothing to fear
Dont worry about me
Dont be scared
Dont hesitate
There is no need to worry
Im no bothered about it.
You can ask me if there is any difficulty
Take whatever you need
You are unnecessarily worried/worrying
I am proud of you.
It doesnt matter
Dont feel nervous.
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Phrases used to make requests
Small expressions like look here, Just coming etc., are very essential to carry on a
conversation fluently. Explaining, persuading, advising, sharing, or-daring, in
fluencing most of our day to day life is spent in verbal or non-verbal communica
tion with others. The infinite possibilities of strong language enable us to con
vey meaning and define who we are in our personal lives and our career. Just bei
ng good at your job doesnt cut it today. Your skills are limited without a well-d
eveloped ability to communicate ideas and intentions. It is your verbal and body
language that will take you to the top and allow you to excel there.
To master the skill of making small expressions of this kind read the following
word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-heart. Your sub-cons
cious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge, and rush onto your ton
gue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read these word groups aloud sev
eral times.
Thats enough.
Thanks for this honour.
Rest assured.
Not the least.
Why not!
Not a bit.
See you tomorrow.
Just coming. / Just a sec
Very well.
Never mind.
Nothing more.
Nothing special.
How dare he!
Its fine.
As you like.
Any thing else?
Yes, by all means!
Too much.
Yes, sir!
No, Not at all.
Please do try again.
Please wait a bit.
Please come here.
Please come in.
Please wake him up.
Please reply.
Please allow me to go.
Please stay a little longer.
Please keep quiet.
Let me see.
Let me work.
Let him pass.
Let me go.
Please wait.
Please come back.
Let it be.
Please come here.
Please reply/answer.
Please wake him up.
Hope to hear from you.
Will you do me favour?
Let me work.
Let me see.
Let them relax.
Please give me a pencil and paper.
Please come day after tomorrow, dont forget.
Please repeat pardon/I beg your pardon.
Could I ask you to move a little?
Can you see me day after tomorrow?
You wont forget to write me, will you?
Please forgive me.
Will you please open the window?
All are requested to arrive in time.
Phrases used to make requests.
Please will/would you
Will/Would/Can/Could you please
Do you mind?
Do you think you could?
Do you think it would be possible to...?
Would it be possible for you to?
Would there be any possibility of
Would you be so kind as to?
Would you be kind enough to?
Would you mind?
Can/could you... for me, please?
Could you possibly
Id appreciate it if you could
Can/Could I ask you to?
Id like you to please
You couldnt could you?
You may want to
Youd better
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I Want Something
I want something
Given below is a sentence we use at least 50 times a day. Practice saying it lou
I want a pizza/ a car/ a room.
I want some water /gas
I want the News paper/ the telephone
I need a job/ a glass of water.
Make 25 small sentences beginning I want. and I need

The is used, when we talk about a particular person or thing, or one already ref
erred to ( i.e. when it is clear from the context which one we mean)
The book you want is out of print (Which book? The one you want.)
Lets go to the park. (=the park in this town)
The girl cried (the girl=the girl already talked about)
When a singular noun is meant to represent a whole class; as,
The cow is a useful animal. [Or we may say, Cows are useful animals.]
The banyan is a kind of fig tree. [Do not say, A kind of a fig tree. This is a com
mon error.]
Man and woman can be used in a general sense without either a, an or the
Man is the only animal that uses fire.
Woman is mans mate.
The is used before the names of
Oceans and seas, e.g. the Pacific, the Black Sea.
Rivers, e.g. the Ganga, the Nile
Canals, e.g. the Suez Canal
Deserts, e.g. the Sahara
Groups of islands, e.g. the West Indies.
Mountain-ranges, e.g. the Himalayas, the Alps
A very few names of countries, which include words like republic and kingdom
(e.g. the Irish Republic, the United Kingdom) also; the Ukraine, the Netherland
s (and its seat of government the Hague)
Certain books; e.g. the Vedas, the Puranas, the lliad, the Ramayana.
Things unique of their kinds; as, The sun, the sky, the ocean, the sea, the
With superlatives; as, the darkest could have a silver lining. This is the b
est book of elementary chemistry.
With ordinals; as, He was the first man to arrive. The ninth chapter of the
book is very interesting.
Before musical instruments; as, He can play the flute.
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Self Introduction
Introducing oneself is much more difficult because here you are totally on your
own and the other person is an absolute stranger to you. Barging into a discussi
on without a proper introduction, no matter how small, is like gate-crashing at
a party. It is a critical first step that should never be overlooked. The first
rule of introduction is Never ask for the other persons introduction without givi
ng yours first. And how you can introduce yourself to the other person? Its simple
, go up to that person and introduce yourself by saying, Hello, I am Venkatesh, M
anaging Director of Microsoft and set the ball rolling.
To avoid being tongue-tied when you try to start a conversation with someone you
dont know, prepare a self-introduction that is clear, interesting, and well deli
vered. What you say about yourself will depend on the nature of the event, but i
n any case, it shouldnt take longer than 8-10 seconds. Although practicing your i
ntroduction might at first seem silly and artificial, it will eventually help yo
u make an introduction that sounds natural, confident, and smooth. Here are a fe
w examples.
Hi, my name is Swarnam. Im glad to have this chance to meet you and learn.
Good Morning, Im Venkatesh, a former summer intern at your Los Angeles branch.
Hello, my name is Deepika. Im a junior rhetoric major looking to find out what its
like working in public relations and marketing. [from an interview text]
If you are attending a discussion without a self introduction, you may find that
your opinions will be mostly ignored by existing members. Be yourself. Be short
and direct. Dont try to sell yourself, your products or your service in your int
roduction. You can mention what you do, but quickly and subtly. Your introductio
n should express a little about who you are. Expose some of your style and perso
In spoken English, I and Am are often joined to form a contraction that looks li
ke this in writing Im and rhymes with words like time and lime
I am Chandu/Deepika/Swarna.
I am a student/teacher/.
I am an Indian/Bengali/
I am rich /old/young/..
I am eating/sleeping/working..
I am a man/ girl/ boy.
I am tall/fat/sick/tired..
I am happy / sad/ hungry.
I am smart/clean/pretty.
I am the owner / driver.
Make 20 small sentences beginning I am...
I am a good boy.

The choice between and an is determined by sound. An is used before
a word beginning with a vowel (a,e,i,o,u) sound.
E.g. An ass, an enemy, an ink-stand, an orange, an umbrella, an honest man, an h
It will be noticed that the words, honorary, hour, honest, heir begin with a vow
el sound, as the initial consonant h is silent. A is used before a word beginnin
g with a consonant sound( b,c, d,f,g,h,j,k,l,m,n,p,q,r,s,t,v,w,x,y,z) A boy, a r
eindeer, a woman, a yard, a horse, a hole, Also a university, a union, a Europea
n, a unicorn, a useful because these words ( university, union, etc.) begin with
a consonant sound, that of you. Similarly we say, a one-rupee note, such a one,
a one eyed man, because one begins with the consonant sound of Some Native spea
kers use an before words beginning with h if the first syllable is not stressed.
An hotel (More common: a hotel)
An historical novel (More common: a historical novel).
Take note of the sound at the beginning of a word when deciding whether to use a
or an
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It seems very simple, but in a real situation many people find it difficult to o
pen their mouth. To avoid such embarrassing situations next time, learn the spee
ch samples given below. Now read the following word groups aloud several times.
Please dont try to learn by-heart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even
without your knowledge, and rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your
job is just to read these word groups aloud several times.
A .
Making and Invitation
Why dont you join us?
Come for a walk please. Lets have a stroll.
Do you feel like going for a walk?
Do you like to walk?
I am going out for a walk. Do you feel like coming?
Would you like to come with us to the cinema?
Shall we go and see a film?
Would you like to see a film/ movie with us?
Would you spend the whole day with us?
How would you like to come and spend some time with us?
Would you join me in the dance?
Would you like to play cards?
I invite you to spend/enjoy next Sunday with my family.
Could you join us in a taxi-tour of Mysore?
Come in please.
Please, come in and make yourself at home?
Please be seated.
Come in and sit down.
Please have something cold.
Will you please come over here?
Will you join us for a cup of tea?
What about a cup of tea?
How about joining me for a cup of tea?
Do you feel like a cup of tea?
How about a cup of coffee?
Can you stay for the lunch?
What about having lunch with us tomorrow?
I would like you to have lunch with us tomorrow.
Why dont you have lunch with me tomorrow?
How would you like to join us for lunch?
Its 1o clock, come on lets go for lunch
Lets go by bus.
Can I give you a lift?
Accepting an Invitation
III be glad to do so.
Thanks for your invitation to dinner.
WeII try to be punctual.
Thanks for inviting us to dinner.
Well try to come in time.
Thank you for your kind remembrance/invitation.
Many thanks for your kind invitation. III join you.
Thanks. What time would you like me to come?
Thank you so much, Id like that very much.
Its very good of you.
With pleasure!
Refusing an Invitation
I wont be able to come.
I wont be able to do as you desire.
I dont want to come.
I am sorry to refuse.
They wont agree to this.
Its not possible.
I regret, I cant accept this invitation.
You dont agree with me, do you?
How can I disobey you! But Im helpless. Please dont mind.
It cant be arranged.
Shes averse to this idea/to it or she does not like it.
No, I dont dance.
No I dont know to play them
Im sorry; I cant accept your invitation to dinner.
Im afraid; I wont be able to come.
Thanks for your invitation, but you see, I wont be free tomorrow.
Im afraid I am busy on Sunday. How about Saturday?
Invite your friend to your birth day party tomorrow. Write down the dialogue in
detail in not less than 10 sentences
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Saying Thank you
Do you want to know the magical words which can change your life? No kidding, yo
u already know, the words are thank you.
The magical and powerful words thank you opens the hearts and minds of other peopl
e for us and thus paves the way for our success. Dont say thank you in a dull and
lifeless manner. Say thank you wholeheartedly, humbly and with a sense of gratefu
lness. Give life to the words and let the magic take its own course in your favo
Our success in day- to day life depends on the help, assistance and cooperation
being extended by others. No doubt, we say thank you to others many times during
the day but we do so in such a casual manner that we even do not realize what w
e are saying. This is the reason that we do not get enough positive response fro
m others and fail to establish long-term relationships.
Change your style, change your life and change the way you say thank you. Practi
ce saying thank you politely with the positive expressions, of your face. You ca
n influence people, beyond your expectations, by saying the magical words thank
you, only when your mind and heart are deeply involved.
The magical words thank you is taking us to new heights of success. Be successful,
enjoy life and dont forget to say thank you, the truly magically words!
When someone has done a kind thing to you, you express your gratitude to them by
saying thank you. There are many ways of expressing your gratitude to others. The
following language expressions can be helpful to you to do this.
Thanks a lot.
Thank you Mom, its wonderful.
Thanks for your advice.
Im very grateful to you.
Many Thanks.
Thank you for everything.
Thanks for giving such a good time.
Thank you very much.
Very well, thanks.
Thanks for your invitation.
Thats really great of you.
Thank you for inviting us.
Thanks for a great dinner.
Thank you for a wonderful lunch.
Its good of you to say so.
It was very nice of you to come.
Im very much obliged to you.
I cant tell you how grateful I am.
Not at all, its my pleasure.
Thank you, thats very kind of you sir.
I dont know how to thank you.
Thank you for your hospitality.
Thanks for the present/gift.
This is a very costly/expensive present.
Im very grateful to you.
You are very kind.
This is no matter of kindness,
It will rather please me.
Thank you for responding so quickly.
I dont know how I can thank you
How can I thank you enough?
Regular use of these courtesy words and phrases is important to show politeness
and build rapport.
Responding to thanks:
Youre Welcome.
It was a pleasure.
Thats all right.
Thats O.K.
Not at all.
No Mention, Please.
Dont mention it.
Exercise: Write 5 sentences each, substituting the underlined words.
a. thanks for your invitation.
b. Im very grateful to you.
c. Thank you Mom, its wonderful.
Exercise: Use your dictionary (Only English-English Dictionary) and write down t
he meaning of the words given below:
Exercise: Write 10 sentences starting thanks for you______ _____ _____
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Saying Goodbye (Parting/Farewell)
Saying goodbye is as important as saying hello. The process of saying goodbyes w
ith love and caring can be very meaningful. Dont be dismayed at good-bye. A farew
ell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments, is
certain for those who are friends. We often say bye or byebye instead of good bye.
Given below is the text of a parting situation:
Venkatesh : Well, I have an appointment now.
Deepika : Im quite in a hurry too
Venkatesh : Good to see you, Good bye.
Deepika : Bye, bye, Take care of yourself.
Now read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn
by-heart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge,
and rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read thes
e word groups aloud several times.
Bye, bye!
Good bye!
Good bye for now!
See you!
See you again!
Okay, see you again.
See you in the evening!
Good night!
Take care. Bye!
Bye. Take care of yourself!
Well, bye then, Mathew!
Good bye, everyone!
Must you go/leave now?
Have a pleasant/nice journey.
God bless you.
Please convey my regards/compliments to your father.
May luck be with you?
Good night.
I am going now.
I guess Id better go now.
Its getting late, and I have to go now
Must you go so soon?
I am afraid, I really have to.
I will be back.
Certainly, come back soon.
See you later.
Have a nice day!
I hope we can get together again.
Come back to India someday
Have a good flight
Goodbye everyone and thank you for everything.
Bye-mom, see you soon!
See you later guys.
O.K. Bye.
Bye darling.
Remember! : Dont say Good Day, for its the usage of the last century. Use Have a nice
day! instead
Rewrite the sentence given below, substituting the word groups given in brackets
I have an Appointment soon____________
(very shortly)_______________________
(this evening)_______________________
(in a few minutes)___________________
(an hour from now)_________________
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Meetings & Greetings
A greeting is what we say when we meet our friends and people who are close to u
s. E.g.: Good Morning. It is customary to greet people when you meet them. Some
say Good Morning, Good Evening etc., and others say Hello, or Hi. Whatever be the form
f greetings, it immediately dissolves barriers between two persons and creates a
feeling of oneness. Learn the habit of greeting people
Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good Evening are considered as formal greetings. Hell
o and Hi are considered as informal and at the same time the best forms of greeting
which is acceptable in most situations. A replay to these can be either Hi or Hell
o or if you wish you can use the added pleasantry How are you? And the response to H
ow are you? should be Fine, thanks you, How are you? and nothing more than this.
When you greet someone who is in bad health, dont ask, How are you? Instead you can
ask, Hello, How are you feeling today?
Now onwards, whenever you meet or part with someone, say a suitable word groups
from the ones given in section C.
Read the Small Conversation text (given below) several times. Focus on fluency u
ntil it feels smooth. If possible record the conversation and listen to it. Re-r
ecord until you are satisfied with the fluency. While reading it is advisable to
read like: GoodmorningMary as if there is no space in between the words Good, Morn
ing and Mary.
John: Good Morning, Mary.
Mary: Hello, Good Morning John, How are you?
John: Fine, thank you, and you John?
Mary: Im OK, Thanks.
Now read the following word groups aloud several times. Please dont try to learn
by-heart. Your sub-conscious mind will do that job, even without your knowledge,
and rush onto your tongue whenever required. Yes, your job is just to read thes
e word groups aloud several times.
Good Morning (Morning to 1 Noon)
Good Morning Mr. George
Good Afternoon (1Noon to 5 PM)
Good Evening (5PM to 11 in the night)
Hello John, how are you?
Hello John, how are you?
Hello George!
Very well, thank you, and you?
Im fine.
Im glad to see you!
Its my pleasure!
Its been a long time since we met!
Ive heard a lot about you!
Look, who is it? Who is here?
Are you surprised to see me?
Hows everything?
What a nice surprise!
Hi, Peter! What are you doing here?
Hello (Where are you going?)
Hello, (in response) how are you?
What is your name?
Its nice to see you again!
How nice to see you again!
How is your mother?
Exercise: Use your dictionary (Only English English Dictionary) and write down t
he meaning of the words given below:
On wards____________________________
Several ______________________________
14 Smart Keys to Speak English fluently
1. Dont worry too much about making Mistakes
Many students worry that they are prone to make a mistake and that the people li
stening will not understand them. Please understand that English is a foreign l
anguage, and we are bound to make mistakes in the initial stages of learning. I
f you are too sensitive about making mistakes and trying to convey information p
erfectly, most likely your efforts will only frustrate your partner in conversat
In speaking English, you probably fell that youre making hundreds of mistakes-but
, in fact, youre only making five or six mistakes hundreds of times.
Get over your shyness and hesitation. Use the language as often as you can; the
more you speak the faster you will learn. The more often you speak, the easier
it becomes.
2. Dont try to avoid fillers, noises, repetition of words, pauses etc.,
Go through the following piece of real English taken from an interview with tennis
player Goran Ivanisevic just after he had won the Wimbledon Tennis Championship
This was my dream, all my life and..eryou knowto serve for the match, suddenly I ha
ve a match point out of nowhere, you knowI came here, nobody even talked about me
and now I am holding this trophy. And its, its justthe support today is like..erI
meanI waser three times in the final but this, this is just unbelievable, this is t
oo good
When a spoken interview is written down, we can see that many of the sentences a
re not grammatically correct and that the speaker repeats words to give himself
time to think, about what he is saying. He also uses fillers like er.. which are r
epetition of words, pauses etc., are the life of spoken language. If these feature
s are absent, your speech will have no life in it.
Most of the students fail to learn spoken English because they deliberately try
to avoid the fillers, noises, repetition of words, pauses etc.
As you listen to native speakers, you will notice that they use filler phrases to
varying degrees. These are phrases like What Im trying to say is . . . , If you kno
w what I mean . . . , Let me think a minute here etc., which give speakers a small s
pace to think before they express their next idea.
Now, tell me, is this the problem you also face while trying to speak English? Y
es, when you want to speak English you try to speak without any mistakes: in oth
er words, you try to speak just like written English. And naturally the result
will be disastrous. So remember: dont try to avoid fillers, noises, repetition of word
s, pauses etc., while speaking English. These fillers, noises, repetition of words,
etc., are the life of spoken language.
3. Dont Speak Fast
Being fluent does NOT mean speaking quickly. It is better to speak slowly and c
learly than quickly and incoherently. Speak too quickly with the wrong intonatio
n and rhythm; and native speakers will have a hard time understanding you. Dont
worry about your listener getting impatient with your slow speech. It is more i
mportant that everything you say is understood.
4. Be a confident Speaker.
It is easy to become nervous if you only focus on grammar rules when you are spe
aking. But as you see from Goran Ivanisevics interview (see key 2 on page 8), wh
at you want to say is more important than how you say it! The key to relaxing wh
en you are speaking is to talk about something which you find really INTERESTING
. Speaking is easier when you have something to say, and you are enjoying the co
If you are very nervous, try to practice saying what you want to say yourself a
few times- in other words rehearse what you want to say. Planning and rehearsal
can make your speaking more confident. Try to keep a relaxed attitude! If you
are TOO worried about correctness, your speech may be filled with pauses!
People who say I cant speak English well are correct. People who say Every day in e
very way, my English is getting better and better are also correct. What you thi
nk is what you get. Practice saying the second sentence every day, and you will
see greater improvement in your English and in your confidence.
5. Be aware of Chunks
Becoming aware of chunks is another way to improve your fluency. When you listen
to English News, there are probably phrases or groups of words which you hear t
ogether all the time. For example when announcers begin talking about a program
e which is about to start, they usually say, Coming up next is. In this situation co
ming up next is a chunk of language a phrase or group of words which you hear tog
ether all the time. While learning English, it is very important to notice how w
ords are often heard together. By learning and using useful chunks of language y
ou can begin to sound more fluent.
Our brain tends to store language in chunks, rather than individual words. Thus
, when we speak or write, it is more efficient for us to remember and use phrase
s as chunks rather than constructing them one word at a time. This increased e
fficiency promotes fluency.
While focusing on phrases rather than individual words, you can begin to build y
our store of language chunks. This can help you become more fluent because you
will not need to think about each individual word in the sentence.
6. Dont follow written English Style/ Dont learn by heart
Dont try to follow a formal written English style while speaking English. Dont mak
e deliberate attempts to speak full and complete sentences as in written English
. Also dont try to connect your sentences through logical connectors like Above al
l, in addition to etc.
7. Speak Spontaneously
Dont try to speak sentences translated from other languages. Always speak spontan
eously. Talk to yourself, rehearsing conversations and explanations you might ne
ed to do. Play back in your mind language what you just heard, mimicking intonat
ion, stress and rate of speech. This will help you to think in English, improve
your fluency and reduce your anxiety about speaking English.
8. Dont worry about starting trouble
Even native speakers of English find it difficult to get started. In fact this i
s something that is a normal part of their everyday speech. So, dont let the star
ting trouble disturb you. Using discourse markers is a good idea in handling st
arting trouble.
Okay, all right, right then, well, hmm, you know, like, etc., are all examples of
discourse markers used in conversation. They are employed to give the speaker a
second to think about what he wants to say.
Like is very heavily used as filler at the moment, especially by young adults an
d teenagers. For many young people it has become a speech habit. Here are some e
xamples of use:
That strong wind that caused all the damage to the beach huts. That was back in
like/lets see October?
I dont ever throw my rubbish away in the street. I like/you know care about the e
nvironment and stuff.
She didnt get the joke! Im like laughing my head off, but she couldnt see what was
funny about it.
He phoned me to say it was all over. I said like you cant do that to me.
Youre from Tunbridge Wells. Thats like / lets see south of London?
He was rapping away like Eminem. And Im like wow!
9. Hear English Everywhere
You are very good at languages. Thats obvious, because you already speak one lang
uage very well your own! And if you can learn and speak one language well, then
you can certainly learn and speak one or more other languages.
But did you ever ask yourself: How did I learn my own language? In fact, you never
really learned it at all you just started speaking it. One day, when you were abo
ut two or three years old, you started speaking your language. A few words at f
irst, not full sentences. But you spoke. And very soon you made progress without
even thinking about it. It was like magic!
But it wasnt magic. It was the result of hearing. For two to three years before y
ou spoke, you heard people speaking your language all day and maybe all night. Y
ou heard people speaking your language. Maybe you listened to people, but more i
mportantly you heard them. Then, as if by magic, you started to speak. All that
hearing was necessary for you to start speaking. For two to three years, words w
ent IN to your head. Then words came OUT of your head! That is why hearing (and
listening to) English as much as possible is so important to you now. The more E
nglish you put in, the more youll get out!
So how can you hear a lot of English when youre not in an English-speaking countr
y or family? Fortunately, there are many ways of hearing English in al most all
countries of the world.
You can receive English language radio in most countries. Two of the best intern
ational networks are the BBC World Service and Voice of America. Both of them ha
ve special programmes for learners of English. In addition to this you can make
it a habit to listen to News broadcast by All India Radio.
TV is an excellent resource for hearing and listening to English. The pictures h
elp you understand what is being said. Again BBC, CNN, DD News, NDTV24/7, Star N
ews etc, and the good choices to serve our purpose. When you are watching T.V.
observe the mouth movements of the speakers. Repeat what they are saying, imitat
ing the intonation and rhythm of their speech.
Songs in English are everywhere, even on foreign-language radio and TV stations.
Listen to them often. Buy some cassettes or CDs, or make recordings, and try to
write down the lyrics of an entire song. But choose one that is not too difficu
lt. That means it should be reasonably slow, and with the words sung clearly. So
me pop songs are very unclear and are difficult even for native English-speakers
to understand fully!
Make it a habit to go to English films. If you need to read the sub-titles, at l
east youll be hearing English even if you dont understand it.
CD Player /Computer
CD Player has one really great advantage. You can hear/watch repeatedly by repla
ying them. If there are sub-titles, you can cover them with paper (which you can
remove if you really dont understand after listening several times). And you can
record programmes from Radio/ television and then watch them several times to i
mprove your understanding.
Try to make friendship with English speaking people so that you can practice you
r English through conversation. This will serve as an exercise for your speaking
as well as listening. And if you dont have a lot of time to go out and meet peop
le, at least you can chat a little by telephone.
Speak lots of English with your friends, both natives and foreign nationals. You
improve your spoken English by speaking English in different situations with pe
ople of all nationalities. If you want to speak English better in the future, sp
eak it as much as possible Now!
Speak lots of English with your friends, both natives and foreign nationals. You
improve your spoken English by speaking English in different situations with pe
ople of all nationalities. If you want to speak English better in the future, sp
eak it as much as possible Now!
Finally, dont worry if you dont understand everything you hear. Hearing comes firs
t! Understanding comes next! Even if you dont understand everything, you will sti
ll be learning. It is possible to understand the content even if you know only 3
0% of the words that you hear! Your listening ability will improve day by day an
d its fun!
10. Develop your Vocabulary
Even native speakers of a language have both an active and a passive vocabulary.
Active vocabulary consists of the words you use frequently and comfortably in s
peaking and writing, while passive vocabulary consists of the words you recogniz
e when you read and listen.
Typically, a language speakers passive vocabulary is much bigger than his/her acti
ve one.
When you encounter a new word or expression that you want to learn, do you simpl
y want to be able to recognize it again or is it important to make it part of yo
ur active vocabulary?
Make a list of frequently used words that are difficult for you to pronounce and
ask a native speaker or consult a dictionary and learn its correct pronunciatio
n. Record these words listen to them and practice saying them.
Take an active approach to learning new words. If you and add 5 words a day, to
your vocabulary, 6 days a week (you can rest for one day), you will learn about
130 new words a month; 10 words a day would bring you over 260 new words a month
! Because you are searching for words that you want to know, it will be easier t
o remember them. (Hint- approach new words by subject: things in the kitchen, th
ings in the bedroom, things connected to your hobbies, etc.) Do it this way:
a) Keep a small notebook handy: Think of a word you know in your mother ton
gue. As you read, study, listen to TV or talk with other people, note down words
and expressions that you think would be helpful for you. Note that often, certa
in words are used together frequently, particularly in specific disciplines. Its
helpful to note down not just individual words but sets of words that seem to fr
equently appear together. You will sound more fluent and comprehensible if you u
se words in combinations as native speakers do. When you find the English word,
write it down on the left side of your vocabulary note book.
b) Look it up in your dictionary. Refer only an English English dictionary.
Get into the habit of looking up words in a dictionary every now and then. Beco
me familiar with the phonetic symbols of your dictionary and look up the correct
pronunciation of words when you are not sure.
c) Write the English definition on the right side of the page.
d) Copy a sentence from the dictionary. This will help you learn how to use
the word correctly. Do not yet write your own sentence. Practice reading this se
ntence until it becomes natural for you.
11. Make Substitutions
If you learn some basic sentences in English, you will be able to make unlimited
number of sentences based on this basic structure. This process is called subst
itution. Let us see how it works:
Basic sentence: Do you speak English?
Substitutions: 1. Do you speak Hindi?
Do you speak Spanish?
Do you speak Tamil?
Do you speak Greek?
Do you speak Italian?
(Just imagine how many sentences you can make substituting English)
2. Do your sisters speak English?
Do your parents speak English?
Do your brothers speak English?
Do your lawyers speak English?
Do your teachers speak English?
(Just imagine how many sentences you can make substituting you into youre)
3. Do you speak English fluently?
Do you speak English rapidly?
Do you speak English very well?
Do you speak English correctly?
(Just imagine how many sentences you can make adding one more word)
12. Read aloud
Flex the muscles of your mouth! Understanding something doesnt mean that muscles
of your mouth can produce the sounds. Practice speaking aloud what you are learn
ing. It may seem strange, but it is very effective. Read aloud in English for f
ifteen to twenty minutes each day. This will help you strengthen the mouth muscl
es that you use when you speak English. Research has shown that it take s about
three months of daily practice to develop strong mouth muscles for speaking a ne
w language.
13. Read a book
Find a book that is not too difficult dont be embarrassed to start with a childre
ns storybook with pictures! Once you feel comfortable with these kinds of books,
you can start reading simple short stories and then graduate to novels. By readi
ng a story, you create a picture in you r imagination that will connect differen
t parts of your brain to English. They will definitely give you a lot of exposur
e to those structures, words and expressions that are used every day in real-lif
e speech. Books written by James Hadley Chase, Arthur Hailey, Erle Stanely Gardn
er, and John Grisham are ideal from this point of view. Do not stop every time y
ou find a new word. Guess what the word probably means, continue reading, and ch
eck in your dictionary at the end of the page or chapter.
14. Record your own voice
Record your own voice and listen for pronunciation mistakes. Many people hate to
hear the sound of their voice and avoid having to listen to themselves speaking
. However, this is a very important exercise because doing it will help you beco
me conscious of the mistakes that you are making.
In the following pages you will find a number of sentences or word groups, conve
niently classified into different categories. Read these sentences or word group
s aloud several times. Please dont try to learn by-heart. Your sub-conscious mind
will do that job, even without your knowledge, and rush into your tongue whenev
er it is required. Yes, your job is just read these word groups aloud several ti
mes. While reading these sentences or word groups, you may feel that, these are
all primary level sentences and word groups. If you have any such feelings, give
it up, because the aim of this practice is not to improve your understanding of
the meanings of the sentences or word groups, but to help you get your organs o
f speech, which are used to working in a particular way, the English language wa
nts them to work.