English at work : useful language

Language for disagreeing:

  • Well, I'm not so sure about that...
  • I see your point but I actually think...

Language for working long hours:

  • Burning the candle at both ends.
  • Doing overtime.
  • Putting in the hours.
  • Burning out.

Language for opening a presentation:

  • My name is…
  • Today I’m going to ….(and explain)
  • I’ll start by…
  • Then I’m going to move on to discuss…
  • And finally…

Giving feedback:

  • Could I have a word?
  • I'm a little bit concerned about...
  • You need to work on...
  • Perhaps you should think about...

Language for talking on he phone

  • Hello? Tip Top Trading. This is Anna speaking.
  • Hello? Anna speaking.
  • Hello Mrs Smith, how can I help you?
  • Hello Mrs Smith, how are you?
  • I'm really sorry, he's not available at the moment. Can I take a message?
  • I'm afraid he's busy - shall I ask him to call you back?
  • Thank you for calling, goodbye.

Language for politely refusing

  • Thank you for your offer. But I'm really sorry, I won't be able to.
  • I'm afraid it is against company policy…
  • It wouldn't be appropriate.
  • With regret, I'm going to have to say no.

Language for placing an order

  • I'd like to place an order for...
  • We're going to need...
  • Could you send...
  • Could we also have...
  • When can we expect to receive them?

Language for writing an email

  • Dear Mr Lime...
  • I hope you are well.
  • I am writing regarding...
  • Please could you confirm...
  • Best wishes.

Language for explaining a misunderstanding

  • I think there's been a misunderstanding.
  • There's been a bit of a mix-up.
  • Let me explain what happened.

Language for setting an agenda at a meeting

  • Thank you for coming!
  • Firstly...
  • Secondly...
  • After that...
  • Then...
  • And finally...
  • Any other business.
  • And then we can wrap up.

Language for asking for help

  • I would be most grateful if you could give me some help.
  • Please could I ask you for some advice?
  • I know you're busy but could you spare me a few minutes of your time please?

Language for making polite requests

  • Would you mind not doing that please?
  • I'm afraid it's against company policy.
  • I'm afraid it’s not permitted.
  • Sorry to have to ask you this but…

Language for during a fire drill in the office.

  • If you see a fire, raise the alarm.
  • Walk calmly to your nearest fire exit.
  • Meet at the fire assembly point.
  • No smoking on company premises.

Language to use in an emergency

  • There's no need to panic.
  • Please leave the building and meet outside.
  • Use the stairs not the lift.
  • Is anybody missing?

Language for booking a hotel room

  • Hello, I'd to check availability and prices for a room please.
  • Does the price include breakfast?
  • Are there any business facilities such as internet and wi-fi?
  • I'd like to go ahead and make the reservation please.

Language for complaining

  • I'm very disappointed with your service.
  • The standard of service is not good enough.
  • The room I booked did not meet my expectations.
  • I would like this matter resolved as quickly as possible,
  • I would like to cancel my reservation and get a full refund.

Language for delivering bad news

  • I've got to give it to you straight
  • The outlook is gloomy
  • I've got to announce a profit warning

Language for making a cold call

  • My name is Anna. Can you spare a few minutes of your time?
  • I’d like to tell you about our great new laser-curved fruit
  • How much plastic fruit do you buy?
  • Thank you for your time. We hope to hear from you soon.

Language for negotiation

  • What kind of price are you willing to pay?
  • I don't think we can go that low.
  • If you buy more stock I can offer you a bigger discount.
  • I'll meet you halfway.

Language for project management

  • We've got to compete on price.
  • We need to price our rivals out of the market.
  • We need to corner the market.
  • We need to build good relationships with our customers.

Further language for negotiating a deal

  • I'm sorry to hear you're not happy with our price.
  • Tip Top Trading prides itself on quality products and good value for money. * You are a valued customer and your business is very important to us.
  • We can match the price of our competitors.

Language for booking a flight

  • What is the outbound and return date?
  • Do you want to fly business or economy?
  • Do you want a fixed or flexible ticket?
  • Would you like a window or aisle seat?
  • Have you got a frequent flyer number?

Language for clinching the deal

  • Thank you for sparing the time to see us.
  • Each lemon comes with a satisfaction guarantee - I know you won't be disappointed.
  • I would be grateful if you could just sign the contract.
  • Thank you. It was a pleasure doing business with you.

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