Useful English Expressions

Here is a  list of some expressions ( not exhaustive though) which can be used in English conversations, especially in formal meetings.
Interrupting/ getting somebody’s attention:
  • Sorry to interrupt but…
  • Excuse me for interrupting.
  • Can I just butt in a minute?
  • May I have a word?
  • Just a minute…
  • Hang on a sec ….
  • Could/May I come in here?
Giving Opinions:
  • I (really) feel that…
  • I am positive that.
  • In my opinion / view…
  • I reckon…
  • The way I see it …
  • As far as I’m concerned…
  • If you ask me,… I (tend to) think that…
Asking for opinions/contributions:
  • Do you (really) think that…
  • Are you positive that…
  • How do you feel about…?
  • What are your thoughts / views on ……?
  • What do you think about this……..?
  • Mr/Ms  XXX , can we get your input on ….?
  • Mr/Ms XXX, we haven’t heard from you yet.
  • Mr/Ms XXX, would you like to add anything here?
  • Has anyone else got anything to contribute?
  • Are there anymore comments?
Commenting on others’ opinions:
  • I never thought about it that way before.
  • Good point!
  • I get your point.
  • I see what you mean.
  • That’s interesting.
Agreeing with others’ opinions:
  • That’s (exactly) the way I feel.
  • I have to agree with you/him/her/etc.
  • I totally agree with you.
  • I’m completely with you on that (point).
  • I’d go along with that.
  • Exactly!
Disagreeing with others’ opinions:
  • I’m with you up to a point, but…
  • Up to a point I agree with you, but…….
  • I’m afraid I can’t agree..
  • I see what you’re saying but…
  • I kind of agree with you but…
  • I totally disagree!
  • That’s absolute tosh /nonsense!
Asking for verification:
  • Do you mean that…?
  • Is it true that…?
  • Are you serious?!
  • You did say XXXX, didn’t you? (‘did’ is stressed)
Asking for clarification:
  • I don’t quite follow you.What exactly do you mean?
  • I’m not sure I’m with you.
  • Sorry, you’ve lost me.
  • I’m afraid I don’t quite understand what you’re getting at.
Asking for repetition:
  • Sorry. I didn’t catch that. Could you repeat that, please?
  • Sorry. I missed that. Could you say it again, please?
  • Could you run that by me again?
  • Could you go over that again?
  • I’m afraid I didn’t understand that. Could you repeat what you have just said?
Clarifying whether listeners understand:
  • Have I made that clear?
  • Do you know what I mean?
  • Do you see what I’m getting at?
  • Are you with me?
  • Let me put it another way…
  • Let me spell out….
  • I’d just like to repeat that…..
Correcting Information:
  • Sorry, that’s not quite right.
  • Sorry, I think you misunderstood what I said.
  • That’s not quite what I had in mind.
  • That’s not quite what I meant.
  • That’s not what I meant.
  • I am afraid you don’t understand what I’m saying.
Advising and Suggesting:
  • Let’s….
  • We should… …
  • Why don’t you…….
  • How/What about…..
  • I suggest/recommend that…..
Here is a list of useful  phrases that can be used in telephone conversations.
  • Good morning / Hello. This is XXXX from XXXX.
  • My name is XXXXX
Asking to speak to someone:
  • Could I speak to XXXX please?
  • I’d like to speak to XXXX please.aiga_telephone_inv
  • Could you put me through to XXXX please?
When you answer the phone:
  • Good morning / Hello. XXXX speaking.
if the caller has asked for you by name, say “Speaking!”
Asking for caller identification:
  • May I know who’s calling?
  • Could I have your name please?
  • Who’s calling please?
Saying why you are calling:
I’m calling to………… / about ………….
I’m phoning about….
Saying that someone is not available:
  • I’m sorry, but XXXX  isn’t here at the moment.
  • ……………. but XXXX  is out of the office.
  • ……………..but XXXX away from his/her desk.
  • XXXX  is in a meeting.
  • XXXX is on another call.
  • I’m sorry, but the line is engaged.
Offering to take a message
  • Would you like to leave a message?
  • Can I take a message?
  • Can I take your name and number?
Leaving a message
  • Could you ask XXXX to call me back please?
  • Can I leave a message for XXXX?
Promising action:
  • I’ll give XXXX your message as soon as he / she comes back.
  • I’ll pass your message on.
Saying goodbye:
  • Thank you for calling.
  • Thanks for calling.
If you don’t understand what the other person is saying:
  • Sorry?
  • Pardon?
  • Could you repeat that please?
  • Sorry, I can’t hear you.
  • Can you spell that please?

Interview Tips

April 14, 2009

1.Before the interview
  • Learn all you can about the organization.
  • Write down and practice possible questions  in front of a mirror or with an audience of your freinds.
  • Dress well. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. 
  • Be ready with all the documents needed.
  • Get directions to the place of the interview. Have a phone number to call if anything goes wrong.
2. During the interview
  • Be on time!
  • Switch off your mobiles.
  • It is OK to be nervous.
  • Maintain a professional image.
  • Be ebthusiastic and positive.
  • Admit it when you don’t know something.
  • Do not talk too much.
  • Listen very carefully -don’t ever interrupt the interviewer.
  • Be honest.
  • Sell yourself.
  • Be aware of your non-verbal behavior, look them in the eyes.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have any.
3. After the interview
  • Make notes right away.
  • Wait!  Don’t call the employer back immediately.
  • Do not get discouraged if the result is negative.

Group Discussion Tips

April 14, 2009
  • Listen to the subject carefully.
  • Put down your thoughts on a paper.
  • Initiate the discussion if you know the subject well.
  • Listen to others if you don’t know the subject.
  • Support your point with some facts and figures.
  • Make short contribution of 25-30 seconds 3-4 times
  • Give others a chance to speak
  • Speak politely and pleasantly. Respect contribution from other members.
  • Disagree politely and agree with what is right.
  • Summarize the discussion if the group has not reached a conclusion.
  • Don’t initiate the discussion if you do not have sufficient knowledge about the given topic.
  • Don’t over speak, intervene and snatch other’s chance to speak.
  • Don’t argue and shout during the GD
  • Don’t look at the evaluators or a particular group member
  • Don’t talk irrelevant things and distract the discussion
  • Don’t pose negative body gestures.
  • Don’t mention erratic statistics.
  • Don’t display low self confidence with shaky voice and trembling hands.
  • Don’t try to dominate the discussion.
  • Don’t put others in an embarrassing situation by asking them to speak if they don’t want.

Spoken English Tips

April 1, 2009
spoken-english_21) Please be clear about your goals and learning objectives. What do you want to learn and why do you want to learn?
2) Learning a lnguage does not happen overnight. It is a gradual process and you need to be very patient.
3) Make learning a regular habit. Spare sometime everyday for learning English. It is better to study10 to 15 minutes everyday than spending 2 hours once a week.
4) Find some freinds with whom you can study and speak English. It is really encouraging to learn English in a group.
5) Always try to read listen something that you are interested in.  If you are a cricket lover start reading news articles and blogs about cricket. It will be  more enjoyable and effective.
6) Don’t be afraid of grammar. They are just some rules.Grammar alone cannot help us use the langugae. Relate grammar to practical  usage.
7) Practice speaking whatever you have learned aloud. It may look strange but it really helps.
8) Don’t hesitate to communicate whenever you have a chance. There is nothing like communicating and being successful. That gives you a lot of positive energy.
9) Do not be afraid of making mistakes. It is very natural and shows that you are in the process of learning.

10 Tips for Successful Public Speaking

April 1, 2009
public-speaking-6Do you feel some nervousness before giving a speech? Don’t worry.It  is natural and healthy. It shows you care about doing it well. But, too much nervousness can be very negative. Here’s how you can control your fear and make effective presentations:
1.    Know the room: Be familiar with the place in which you will speak. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.
2.    Know the audience: Greet some of the audience as they arrive. It’s easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.
3.    Know your material: If you’re not familiar with your material or are uncomfortable with it, your nervousness will increase. Practice your speech and revise it if necessary.
4.    Relax: Ease tension by doing exercises.
5.    Visualize yourself giving your speech:Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear, and assured. When you visualize yourself as successful, you will be successful.
6.    Realize that people want you to succeed: Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative, and entertaining. They don’t want you to fail.
7.    Don’t apologize:If you mention your nervousness or apologize for any problems you think you have with your speech, you may be calling the audience’s attention to something they hadn’t noticed. Keep silent.
8.    Concentrate on the message — not the medium: Focus your attention away from your own anxieties, and outwardly toward your message and your audience. Your nervousness will dissipate.
9.    Turn nervousness into positive energy: Harness your nervous energy and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm.
10.   Gain experience: Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking.