Accepting and Refusing

  • Would you like some cake?

Yes, please.
Sure. Thanks.
Okay. Thank you.

No, thank you
I'd better not.
No, but thanks for offering.

  • Would you like to go see a movie?

Okay. Sounds good.
Sure. I'd love to.
Yeah. Good idea

No, I'd rather not.
I'm sorry, but I can't.
No, but thanks for inviting me.

  • How about some more pie?

All right. Thanks
Looks good. Thanks
Don't mind if I do.

No, thanks.
I'm really full. Thanks anyway.
Looks delicious, but I'll have to pass.

  • How about going skiing this weekend?

Great. What time?
Sounds like fun.
All right. When and where?

Sorry. I'm busy this weekend.
I don't think I can.
How about some other time?










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Apologizing

Apologizing

  • I’m terribly sorry, but it was an accident.
  • I’m really sorry, but I didn’t mean to do it.
  • I’m sorry, but I didn’t do it on purpose.
  • I just forgot. Sorry.

Responding to apologies

Affirmative Response

  • That’s all right. I understand.
  • Don’t worry about it.
  • Oh, that’s OK.
  • No problem.

Negative Response

  • Oh, no! How could you!
  • Really?!
  • You what?!
  • I can’t believe you?









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Describing a picture

What do you see in the picture?

  • There is a…
    There's a …
  • There are some…
    There're some …
  • Is there a . . . ?
  • Are there (some) . . . ?

Locations

On the right/left
Near the window

By the door
In the box

On the chair
Under the table

Actions

§ The man is + V-ing…

§ The woman is + V-ing…

Clothing

§ What is the man/woman wearing?

§ She/He is wearing a/some…

Opinions

§ What do you think…?

§ I think…?

Tell a Story

§ Yesterday, Ms. Jones . . .

  • Use PAST tense









Making complaints

There are a number of formulas used when complaining in English. It's important to remember that a direct complaint or criticism in English can sound rude or aggressive. It's best to mention a problem in an indirect manner. Here are some of the most common:

  • I'm sorry to have to say this but...
  • I'm sorry to bother you, but...
  • Maybe you forgot to...
  • I think you might have forgotten to...
  • Excuse me if I'm out of line, but...
  • There may have been a misunderstanding about...
  • Don't get me wrong, but I think we should...

Construction

Formula

Example Finish

I'm sorry to have to say this but

I think we need to take another approach.

I'm 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 I'm out of line, but

your work has not been adequate lately.

There may have been a misunderstanding about

what I expected from you.

Don't get me wrong, but I think we should

concentrate on the Smith account for the moment.

Guessing

There are a number of ways to guess in English. Here are some of the most common:

  • I'd say he's about ready to quite his job.
  • It might need some oil.
  • He could be in the garden.
  • It looks like a miniature motor.
  • Perhaps he needs some time off work.
  • Maybe they want to come and visit this summer.
  • It's difficult to say, but I'd guess that it's used for cleaning house.
  • I'm not really sure, but I think they enjoy hiking in the mountains.

Bringing up a sensitive topic

  • Can I talk to you for a minute?
  • Can I ask you something?
  • Do you mind if I ask you something?
  • I need to talk to you for a minute.
  • I have to tell you something.
  • There's something I need to tell you.
  • There's something I think you should know.
  • We need to talk.

Getting someone to explain something you have not understood

What do you mean?/ What do you mean by…?
Do you mean (that)…?/ Does that mean (that)…?
What exactly does that mean?
What are you saying/ trying to say?
Don’t you mean…?
What (exactly) does that …mean?

Could/Would you explain this word, please?
‘Trade convention’?/ ‘Curriculum’?/ etc. (echoing the problem word with a question intonation)

Sorry, I didn’t understand (the word)…
Sorry, I’m lost.
Sorry, I’m afraid you’ve lost me there.
Sorry, I don’t/didn’t quite follow you/ what you were saying about…

I’m not sure I understand/ follow you.
I’m afraid I don’t understand.
I don’t quite see what you mean/ what you’re getting at, I’m afraid.
I’m sorry, I’m not quite clear on…
I don’t get you/it/the point.
What's the point?

In case you don’t know the answer

  • I don’t know.
  • I don’t know anything about that.
  • I haven’t thought about that.
If the question is too vague

  • I’m sorry, could you be more specific?
  • What do you mean exactly?
  • What’s the point?

Speaking 1: What’s the point?

Ask your partner the following questions:

  • How many are there in your family?
  • What’s the most important thing in your life?
  • What is/was your GPA in university?
  • Do you have a girlfriend/ boyfriend?

If you need time to think

  • Hmm, let me see…
  • Let me think about that.
  • Well…Good question.
If you don't understand

  • Pardon me? Could you please repeat that?
  • I don’t understand.
  • I didn’t hear what you said.
  • What does that mean?

Speaking 2: Pardon me?

Ask your partner the following questions:

  • Do you believe in ESP?
  • Have you ever been to a BYOB party?
  • What’s the purpose of life?
  • What do you think of MLI?

If you feel your English is not good enough

  • I know what you’re talking about, but it’s difficult for me to explain in English.
  • I’m not sure if I can answer properly in English, but let me try.

If the question is too personal or rude

  • I’m sorry, I’d rather not say.
  • That’s a little personal.
  • I’d rather not talk about it.
  • It’s none of your business.

Speaking 3: It’s none of your business!

Ask your partner the following questions:

  • How many men/women have you kissed?
  • Are you a good kisser?
  • How much money do you make?
  • Can you explain the meaning of “yin & yang”?
  • What grosses you out?

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