University English: the blog for ESL students

November 19, 2014

About Written Test #2

Filed under: announcements — richardlstansfield @ 1:50 am

* Telephone English *

What can you say when:
– you ask to speak to someone?
– you leave a voice-mail message?
– you want someone to return your call
– you need to interrupt because you have another call?
– you call someone by mistake?
– you can’t hear some of the other person’s words?
– the phone call suddenly ends?

Example:

What can you say when you ask to speak to someone?

Answer:

“Could I speak to ____, please?”

* Telephone English II *

Interrupting a Conversation:

– Just a minute/second.
– Excuse me just a second.
– I’m sorry. Hold on (a second).
– Could/Can you hold on a second?

Restarting the Conversation:

– What were you saying?
– You were saying?
– Where were we?
– What were we talking about?

* Telephone English III *

Beginning a Phone Call

Formal: to a teacher, boss, etc.

– Could I speak to … (e.g. Could I speak to Mr. Smith, please?)
– This is … (e.g. This is Fred Jones.)
– I hope I’m not bothering you by calling now.
– I hope I’m not calling at a bad time.
– I’m calling to … (e.g. I’m calling to see if I can meet you in your office.)

Informal, Friendly: to a friend

– Could I speak to _____ . (e.g. Could I speak to Tom?)
– This is … (e.g. This is Ali.)
– I hope I’m not bothering you (by calling now).
– I’m calling to … (e.g. I’m calling to see if you can tell me about today’s homework.)
– I’m calling about … (e.g. I’m calling about the homework assignment.)

Direct: to a store, theater, restaurant, hair salon, etc.

– Could you tell me … (e.g. Could you tell me if you sell CDs?)

Ending a Phone Call

Formal: to a teacher, boss, etc.

– I don’t want to take up any more of your time.
– Thank you for your help./Thank you very much.

Informal, Friendly: to a friend

– Thanks a lot.
– I’d better let you go.

Direct: to a store, theater, restaurant, hair salon, etc.

– Thanks for the information.

Other Useful Phrases (Direct)

– I heard about you from a friend of mine.
– I read in the newspaper that you were having a sale.
– Could you tell me how much the charge is?
– Could you tell me if you have/do/fix …

Other useful phrases

– May I ask who’s calling?
– May I leave a message?
– May I take a message?

* Trying to Remember Words *

– What’s his/her name?

– What do you call it/that … ? (singular)

– What do you call them/those … ? (plural)

– You mean _____ . / Do you mean _____ ?

* Finding the Right Word *

* The word I’m looking for … (The word I’m looking for is the name of an animal. //
The word I’m looking for means “strange.”)
* What do you/we call … ? (What do you call the thing we use to cook something quickly?)
* What’s it (called)? (What’s it used for?)
* It’s used for … (It’s used for hitting things.)
* You see it … (You see it in a house.)
* It looks like … (It looks like a TV.)
* … thing … (It’s a thing which has an iron head and a wooden handle.)

* Matching Similar Sentences *

Example:

Yes.

Answer:

Um-hmm.

* Vocabulary *

dormitory: a large building at a college or university where students live

goatee: a little short beard

wig: false hair

cargo pants: baggy pants with pockets

platform shoes: shoes with thick soles

ponytail: long hair tied at the back of your head so that it hangs down like a horse’s tail

identical twins: two babies who are born at the same time from the same egg, and look exactly the same

freckles: very small, brown spots on your skin from the sun

bald: when you don’t have any hair

braces: a set of wires that some children wear to make their teeth straight

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