Conversational English


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Tips on how to engage in conversations using English as a language

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Conversational English

  1. 1. Conversational English
  2. 2. Asking for Information <ul><li>Could you tell me… </li></ul><ul><li>Do you know… </li></ul><ul><li>Do you happen to know… </li></ul><ul><li>I’d like to know… </li></ul><ul><li>Could you tell me… </li></ul><ul><li>Could you find out… </li></ul>
  3. 3. Asking for Information <ul><li>I’m interested in… </li></ul><ul><li>I’m looking for… </li></ul><ul><li>I’m calling to find out… </li></ul><ul><li>I’m calling about… </li></ul>
  4. 4. Asking Questions <ul><li>Ask an appropriate question for the response: </li></ul><ul><li>A steak, please. </li></ul><ul><li>Oh, I stayed at home and watched TV . </li></ul><ul><li>She is reading a book at the moment. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Asking Questions <ul><li>We are going to visit France. </li></ul><ul><li>I usually get up at 7 o’clock. </li></ul><ul><li>No, he is single . </li></ul><ul><li>For about two years. </li></ul><ul><li>I was washing up when he arrived. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Cause and Effect <ul><li>Because he had to work late, we had dinner after nine o’clock. </li></ul>Examples: Because <ul><li>We had dinner after nine o’clock because he had to work late. </li></ul>‘ Because’ can be used with a variety of tenses.
  7. 7. Cause and Effect <ul><li>Since he loves music so much, he decided to go to a conservatory. </li></ul><ul><li>They had to leave early since their train left at 8:30. </li></ul>Examples: Since ‘ Since’ means the same as because; more informal, spoken.
  8. 8. Cause and Effect <ul><li>As long as you have the time, why don’t you come for dinner? </li></ul>Example: As long as ‘ As long as’ means the same as because; more informal, spoken.
  9. 9. Cause and Effect <ul><li>As the test is difficult, you had better get some sleep. </li></ul>Example: As ‘ As’ means the same as because; more formal, written.
  10. 10. Cause and Effect <ul><li>In as much as the students had successfully completed their exams, their parents rewarded their efforts by giving them a trip to Paris . </li></ul>Example: In as much as ‘ Inasmuch as’ means the same as because; very formal, written.
  11. 11. Cause and Effect <ul><li>We will be staying for an extra week due to the fact that we have not yet finished. </li></ul>Example: Due to the fact that ‘ Due to the fact that’ means the same as because; very formal, written.
  12. 12. Contrasting Ideas <ul><li>I’d really like to come to the movie, but I have to study tonight. </li></ul>Example: but
  13. 13. Contrasting Ideas <ul><li>They continued on their journey, in spite of the pouring rain. </li></ul>Example: in spite of <ul><li>In spite of the pouring rain, they continued on their journey. </li></ul>OR
  14. 14. Contrasting Ideas <ul><li>They continued on their journey, despite the pouring rain. </li></ul>Example: despite <ul><li>Despite the pouring rain, they continued on their journey. </li></ul>OR
  15. 15. Contrasting Ideas <ul><li>She is a very intelligent girl, however, her tendency to not pay attention in class causes her problems. </li></ul>Example: however OR <ul><li>She is a very intelligent girl. However, her tendency to not pay attention in class causes her problems. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Contrasting Ideas <ul><li>We wanted to buy a sports car, although we knew that fast cars can be dangerous. </li></ul>Example: although OR <ul><li>Although we knew that fast cars can be dangerous, we wanted to buy a sports car. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Can you tell me why it has taken you so long to respond? </li></ul>Demanding Explanations <ul><li>I don’t understand why… </li></ul><ul><li>Can you explain why…? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is it that…? </li></ul><ul><li>How come…? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Demanding Explanations <ul><li>Does this mean that…? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you really expect me to believe that…? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Expressing Conditions <ul><li>If we win, we’ll go to Friday’s to celebrate! </li></ul>Example: if <ul><li>She would buy a house, if she had enough money. </li></ul>- Express conditions necessary for result; If clause + expected results
  20. 20. Expressing Conditions <ul><li>Even if she saves a lot, she won’t be able to afford that house. </li></ul>Example: Even if -Show unexpected result -Even if clause + expected results
  21. 21. Expressing Conditions <ul><li>They won’t be able to come whether or not they have enough money. </li></ul>Example: Whether or not -Expresses idea that neither one condition nor another matters - Possibility of inversion
  22. 22. Expressing Conditions <ul><li>Unless she hurries up, we won’t arrive in time. </li></ul>Example: Unless -Expresses idea of ‘if not’
  23. 23. Expressing Conditions <ul><li>In case you need me, I’ll be at Tom’s. </li></ul>Example: In case (that), In the event (that) -Means you don’t expect something to happen but if it does… <ul><li>I’ll be studying upstairs in the event he calls. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Expressing Conditions <ul><li>Only if you do well on your exams will we give you your cellphone. </li></ul>Example: Only if -Means ‘only in the case that something happens’
  25. 25. Expressions Showing Opposition <ul><li>Even though it was expensive, he bought the car. </li></ul>Example: Even though, though, although <ul><li>Though he loves donuts, he has given them up for his diet. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Expressions Showing Opposition Example: Even though, though, although <ul><li>Although his course was difficult, he passed with high marks. </li></ul>-Show a situation contrary to main clause to express opposition
  27. 27. Expressions Showing Opposition Example: Whereas, while <ul><li>Whereas you have lots of time to do your homework, I have very little time indeed. </li></ul><ul><li>Mary is rich, while Ann is poor. </li></ul>-Show clauses in direct opposition to each other.
  28. 28. <ul><li>I don’t think you should… </li></ul>Giving Advice <ul><li>You ought to… </li></ul><ul><li>You ought not to… </li></ul><ul><li>If I were you / If I were in your position/ If I were in your shoes… </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>You shouldn’t… </li></ul>Giving Advice <ul><li>You should… </li></ul><ul><li>Whatever you do… </li></ul><ul><li>You had better… </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>How do you (do this? </li></ul>Giving Instructions <ul><li>How do I…? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the best way to…? </li></ul>Asking for Instructions <ul><li>How do I go about it? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you suggest? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you suggest I proceed? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the first step? </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Sequencing </li></ul>Giving Instructions <ul><li>First, (you)… </li></ul><ul><li>Then, (you)… </li></ul>Giving Instructions <ul><li>Next, (you)… </li></ul><ul><li>Lastly, (you)… </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>Starting out </li></ul>Giving Instructions <ul><li>Before you begin, (you should…) </li></ul><ul><li>The first thing you do is… </li></ul>Giving Instructions <ul><li>I would start by… </li></ul><ul><li>The best place to begin is… </li></ul><ul><li>To begin with, </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Starting out </li></ul>Giving Instructions <ul><li>After that, </li></ul><ul><li>The next step is to… </li></ul>Giving Instructions <ul><li>The next thing you do is… </li></ul><ul><li>Once you’ve done that, then… </li></ul><ul><li>When you finish that, then… </li></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>Finishing </li></ul>Giving Instructions <ul><li>The last step is… </li></ul><ul><li>The last thing you do is… </li></ul>Giving Instructions <ul><li>In the end, </li></ul><ul><li>When you’ve finished, </li></ul><ul><li>When you’ve completed all the steps, </li></ul>
  35. 35. Giving Warnings Don’t push so hard on that toy, or you might/will break it! Watch out! Be Careful! Work hard, otherwise you’ll fail your exam.
  36. 36. Making Complaints <ul><li>I’m sorry to have to say this but… </li></ul><ul><li>I’m sorry to bother you, but… </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe you forgot to… </li></ul><ul><li>I think you might have forgotten to </li></ul>
  37. 37. Making Complaints <ul><li>There may have been a misunderstanding about… </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t get me wrong, but I think we should… </li></ul><ul><li>Excuse me if I’m out of line, but… </li></ul>
  38. 38. Making Suggestions <ul><li>You/we could visit New York while you’re we’re there. </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s go to the travel agent to book our ticket. </li></ul><ul><li>Why don’t you/we go to a movie? </li></ul>
  39. 39. Making Suggestions <ul><li>How about going to Hawaii for your vacation? </li></ul><ul><li>I suggest you/we take all the factors into consideration before we decide. </li></ul><ul><li>What about asking your brother for help? </li></ul>
  40. 40. Offering Help <ul><li>Are you looking for something? </li></ul><ul><li>Would you like some help? </li></ul><ul><li>May I/Can I help you? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you need some help? </li></ul><ul><li>What can I do for you today? </li></ul>
  41. 41. Saying ‘NO’ Nicely <ul><li>Sorry but I don’t particularly like Chinese food. </li></ul><ul><li>I’d really rather not take a walk this afternoon. </li></ul><ul><li>I’m afraid I can’t go out tonight. I’ve got a test tomorrow. </li></ul>
  42. 42. Saying ‘NO’ Nicely <ul><li>Thank you, but it’s not my idea of a fun afternoon out. </li></ul><ul><li>Sorry, I’m not really fond of driving for the fun of it. </li></ul><ul><li>That’s very kind of you, but I really have to go home now. </li></ul>Say thank you then say no, offering an excuse.
  43. 43. Stating a Preference <ul><li>I’d rather go dancing. How does that sound? </li></ul><ul><li>Well, I’d prefer eating Italian. What do you think? </li></ul><ul><li>If it were up to me, I’d go out for dinner. </li></ul><ul><li>I think we should/ Why don’t we/ Let’s/ How about… </li></ul>