Corso inglese

Corso inglese




I riassunti , gli appunti i testi contenuti nel nostro sito sono messi a disposizione gratuitamente con finalità illustrative didattiche, scientifiche, a carattere sociale, civile e culturale a tutti i possibili interessati secondo il concetto del fair use e con l' obiettivo del rispetto della direttiva europea 2001/29/CE e dell' art. 70 della legge 633/1941 sul diritto d'autore



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Corso inglese


Università Ca’ Foscari – Venezia
Facoltà di Scienze MM. FF. NN.

Lingua Inglese (idoneità)

English for Informatica

Prof. Victor Rupik B.Eng., MBA


1 Comparisons
2 Conditionals
3 Countable and uncountable nouns
4 Future forms
5 The gerund and the infinitive after verbs
6 Link words
7 Modals
8 Numbers, dates, and measurements
9 Passive form
10 Past simple
11 Past continuous
12 Past perfect
13 Present perfect
14 Present perfect continuous
15 Present simple
16 Present continuous
17 Verb + -ing or infinitive
18 Adjectives and Adverbs
19 Adverbs of degree
20 Compound Adjectives
21 Relative Clauses
22 Prefixes
23 Dealing with Figures
24 Asking Questions
25 Noun Plurals
26 Collective Nouns
27 Morphology and Computers
28 Compound Nouns
29 Definite and Indefinite article

Business Communication: Correspondence
Business Etiquette
Grammar review
Common irregular verbs

Practice Exam

1 Comparisons

1 Many adjectives use more and the most for the comparative and superlative form
e.g. more intelligent > the most intelligent
more useful >the most useful
The exceptions to this are all adjectives of one syllable (see table below), and adjectives that end in -y or -ow.
e.g. easy > easier > the easiest
happy > happier > the happiest
narrow > narrower > the narrowest
yellow > yellower > the yellowest

Most l-syllable Comparative Superlative
adjectives +er + est
small,great smaller, greater the smallest,
the greatest
1 vowel + double final double final
1 consonant consonant + er consonant + est
big, wet bigger, wetter the biggest, wettest

Note also the following irregular adjectives:

Adjective Comparative Superlative
good better the best
bad worse the worst
little less the least
much more the most
far further / farther the furthest / farthest

2 To compare two people, things, or events use a comparative adjective + than.
Microsoft is bigger than Amazon.
A Ferrari is more expensive than a Fiat.
3 To make an equal comparison (to say that things are the same), you can use as ... as.
Canada's GDP per head is as big as Italy's. Sweden's inflation rate is not as low as Japan's.

4 To compare adverbs (you usually make adverbs by adding ly to the verb, e.g. slow > slowly) use more and less.
I work more efficiently if I remember to take short breaks.

5 Comparisons can be made stronger or weaker by using modifiers such as: a lot, a little, considerably, much, slightly.
This one is much / slightly / a lot bigger than that one.

A Form the comparative and superlative of the following adjectives.
Fast late cheap good fat bad
far happy feasible

B Read this report comparing the use of online investment facilities in Canada and the US. Underline the correct form in italics.
Nearly half (48%) of Canadian Internet users who have been online for less than/that a year have already banked online, while just 13% of American Internet newcomers have done so. Active Internet users in Canada and the United States who have not yet banked online agreed they favour more / most traditional methods of banking and have concerns about privacy or security.

15% of active Canadian Internet users have invested online compared to 10% of American users. In both Canada and the United States, the bigger / biggest users of online banking are aged 18 to 34. Internet users aged 55 and older are less/the least 1ikely to do their finances over the web.
Clearly the use of online banking and investing will only increase in the future as the younger / youngest generation, who are the more / most comfortable using the web far these purposes, ages and moves into more / most complex financial dealings.
While Canadians are more / most likely to take their finances online, active Internet users in the United States are far more likely / likelier to shop online than / as Canadian Internet users, and subscribe to three times as/so many online newsletters than /as their Canadian counterparts. For example, more / most American Internet users (77%) have bought a product or service online than / as Canadian Internet users (68% ). In the last year, American online shoppers have made more than twice as many online buys as / that Canadians 14 purchases compared to 6.5.

2 Conditionals

1 First conditional
if + present simple + will
We use this form to say what we believe the result
will be of a future action.
If you don't finish the report by lunchtime, the boss won't be pleased.
It is often used in negotiations to state conditions.
If you order more than ten, we'll give you a discount.
It is also used for threats and warnings.
You'll get an electric shock if you touch that.
You can use unless to mean 'if not' in the condition clause.
You'll miss the flight unless you leave immediately.

2 Second conditional if + past simple + would
We use this form to talk about future situations that we don't think are likely to happen or are imaginary.
If I behaved like that, the boss would sack me. (But I never have behaved in this way in the past and it's very unlikely I will start now.)

If I were the CEO of the company, I would completely restructure it.
(But I am not, and never will be.)
Compare this with a real possibility, which would be
expressed in the first conditional.
If I don't get promoted, I will probably leave the company.

We use the second conditional in negotiations to make tentative offers, or when we want to show we are not sure about the situation or are less willing to make a concession.
Would you accept my offer if I agreed to lower the price by 1%?
(I am not sure this will be acceptable to you; 1% may not be enough.)
The second conditional is also used to make a request sound more polite.
Would you mind if we postponed the meeting till tomorrow?

NB In conditional sentences we can change the order of the 'if' clause and the main clause.
I'll help you if you want. / lf you want, I'll help you. I wouldn’t work here if the salary wasn't so good. / lf the salary ... , I wouldn't work here.

A Match the beginnings with appropriate endings.
1 If I bought that many
2 If I go to my English lesson today
3 If I had time
4 If I have time
5 If I passed the exam
6 So if I buy in bulk

a I will finish the report today.
b I will get a discount.
c I will learn more words.
d I would be very happy.
e I would spend too much.
f I would study more.

B Underline the correct form
1 If you press / will press too hard, it will / would break.
2 I will / would tell her if I see l will see her.

3 If I am / were CEO I will / would float the company.

4 I worked / would work in London if I had / would have the chance.
5 I will /would buy a new house if I win / won the lottery.

C. Put the verbs in brackets into appropriate tenses and then complete the sentences.
1 lf my boss (ask) me to do some overtime today, I……
2 I probably (get) promoted if……
3 If my company (as) me to study English for a month in London, I…..
4 If(be) more relaxed at work if……
5 If I (can) live anywhere in the world I……

Exercise 1

Underline the correct words.

1 If we're/we would be late, they’ll start/they'd start without us.
2 If we will take/take a taxi, we'll arrive/we arrive sooner.
3 If we worked/would work for ADC, we'll get/we'd get a better salary.
4 When inflation will go/goes up, there would be/is usually pressure on salaries.
5 If we don't hurry/won't hurry, we would be/we'll be late.
6 If you change/are changing your mind, give me/you will give me a ring.
7 Unless you click/would click on that icon, it didn't/it won't print out.
8 If you ordered/order on the Net, we always will send/send an email confirmation.
9 If I lend /will lend you this book, when do you return/will you return it?
10 If you heard / hear anything in the next few days, let me / letting me know.

Exercise 2

Read these sentences and decide if the events are likely or imaginary. Complete the sentences by putting the verbs in brackets into the present simple + will or the past simple + would. Use contracted forms where possible.

1 It's not far. If you _________ (follow) this road, you _________ (come) to the station.
2 If I ___________ (be) on the Board of this company, I ____________ (argue) against the
3 If you ___________ (have) any questions, I ________ (deal) with them at the end of my
4 If the council _________ (ban) all cars from the city centre, there __________ (not be) so
much pollution.
5 A: I have no idea what the other side are going to propose in the negotiation tomorrow.
B: Neither do I. If I _________ (know), I ___________ (tell) you.
6 A: My train leaves in forty minutes.
B: It only takes ten minutes to the station by taxi. If you _______ (leave) now, you _____ (catch) it.
7 A: Is that the time? I really should be going.
B: If you ___________ (wait) a moment, I ___________ (give) you a lift.

8 A: Would you like to go to English evening classes with me?
B: I'm sorry, but I can't. I'm really busy. If I __________ (have) more time, I ______ (love) to.

Exercise 3

Complete the sentences with the correct pair of possible forms, a) or b).

1 If the bank lends us the money, ________ it in new machinery.
a) we'll invest/we're going to invest b) we'd invest / we were investing
2 When_________ a lot of orders, we always employ extra staff in the factory.
a) we'll get / we got b) we get/we've got
3 If ________ this project again, I think I’d do it differently.
a) I was starting/I started b) I’ll start / I’ve started
4 If the computer crashes, _________ someone from the IT department.
a) you’d call / you are calling b) call / you’ll have to call

Exercise 4

Underline the correct words. This exercise includes imaginary futures.

1 If you phoned/had phoned me yesterday, I had told/would have told you.
2 If you took/would have taken more exercise, you might feel/had felt better.
3 If Tim would have listened/had listened more carefully, he wouldn't have made/didn't make that mistake.
4 If we’d found/we found suitable premises, we’d have moved/we had moved earlier.
5 If people kept/had kept their offices more tidy, it might present/presented a better image to our visitors.
6 If I’d known/I would know about their financial problems, I wouldn’t do/wouldn’t have done business with them.
7 If our side had been/was better prepared, we succeeded/could have succeeded in the negotiations.
8 I wouldn’t/won't worry if I am/were you.

Exercise 5

Complete the sentences with the words from the list below. Each word is used twice.

when as long as in case unless
1 I’ll speak to you again _________ I’ve looked at the contract in detail.
2 Leave your return flight open ________ the negotiations take an extra day.
3 We can start the project next week __________ everyone agrees.
4 We can start the project next week _________ anyone disagrees.
5 The Board will be happy ___________ our share price remains high.
6 Keep your receipt _____________ you need to return the goods.
7 The new stock will arrive __________ the Christmas sales are finished.
8 We'll probably make a loss this year ___________ sales improve in the last quarter.

Exercise 6

Underline the correct words.

1 I wish I hadn't drunk/didn't drink so many whiskies last night.
2 There's so little space in here. I wish I have/had a bigger office.
3 I don't feel well. I wish I could stay/will stay in bed this morning.
4 I hope you enjoyed/enjoy yourselves at the theatre tonight.
5 I've been waiting thirty minutes for the bus. I wish I took/had taken a taxi.
6 I must get in touch with Sue. If only I know/knew her number!
7 I'm not a good typist. I wish I could type/would type better.
8 I wish Jim didn’t interrupt / doesn’t interrupt so often in meetings.
9 I have to finish this report by tomorrow. If only I would have/had more time.
10 Enjoy your holiday. I hope you have/could have a good time.
11 That presentation was a disaster! I wish I could do/would do it all again!
12 I'm disappointed with this camera. I wish I didn't buy/hadn't bought it.


3 Countable and uncountable nouns

1 Countable nouns are things we can count. They can be made plural using an s and can be . preceded by a / an / one.
e.g. a book, one book, two books a plan, one plan, several plans
2 Uncountable nouns are things we cannot count. They cannot be made plural using an s and cannot be preceded by a / an / one. They are often materials, liquids, and abstract things.
e.g. water, gold, health
3 Some words may be uncountable in English but countable in other languages.
e.g. accommodation, advertising, advice
In some cases (e.g. business, experience, glass, paper) nouns can be both countable or uncountable depending on their use.
Paper is becoming an expensive commodity.
She reads the paper (ie. newspaper) every day.
4 You can use some with plural countable and uncountable nouns.
There are some new computers in the stockroom. (C)
There is some new information about the problem. (U)
We use some in questions with both plural countable and uncountable nouns when the question is an offer or request (when we can see what it is that we want and know it is there).
Would you like some beer / advice / information? (U)
Can you give me some books? (C) (I can see the books I want on the shelf.)

5 Any is used in questions with both plural countable and uncountable nouns to ask if something is available or if it exists.
Do you have any books on the subject? (C) (I don't know if you have any books.)
Is there any beer left? (U)
We use any in negative statements with both plural countable and uncountable nouns to express the idea of nothing.
We don't have any pans. (C)
There isn't any money. (U)
6 Below are some quantifiers you can use with countable and uncountable nouns.
with countable nouns in questions and negatives
(for positive statements use a lot of)
e.g. How many people are there in your department? Not many.

with uncountable nouns in questions and negatives
(for positive statements use a lot of)
How much time have you got? Not much.

lots of / a lot
with countable and uncountable nouns in negative and positive statements There ore a lot of people in the department and we have got lots of time for this project. We don't hav ea lot of (much) money, though.

A few/few
with countable nouns
A few letters of my friends ore coming. (means a small number; but is neutral or positive)
Few people come to the meeting. (means 'not many' and is negative)

a little / little
with uncountable nouns
We have spent a little of the money already. (means a small amount, but is neutral or positive)
You have little chance of succeeding. (means 'not much' and is negative)

A Write countable (C) or uncountable (U) after the following nouns.
1 baggage 2 behaviour 3 suggestion 4 evidence 5 function 6 furniture
7 help 8 insurance 9 job 10 idea 11 merchandise 12 news

B Underline the correct form.
The Internet search engines are some / any oft he largest and most commonly used search engines on the World Wide Web. Their huge databases of millions of web pages typically index each / every word on each / every one of these pages. By using them, searchers hope to find every / all page that contains an occurrence of their search term.
Several/ Enough search engine companies have boasted for years of the millions of pages indexed in their data base, and much / many others gladly announce the latest total number of pages, or URLs, in their data base. However, not all / every search engines can actually deliver the total number of results that they claim to find, and for the moment there aren't any / some that can make really intelligent searches which always find what the searcher was looking for. Despite this, most generate enough / several information for the general public ¬but for serious researchers this may be too little / few.

4 Future forms

There are three main forms which we use to talk about the future.

l be + going to + infinitive
We use be + going to to refer to plans and intentions which we decided before the rime of speaking. He's going to change job next year. (He has already decided to do this.)
Are you going to see the Louvre while you're in Paris?
(Is this part of your planned itinerary?)
We also use this form to make predictions based on present or past evidence. In some cases we can already see that something is starting to happen. Look - it's going to rain. (The clouds are black.) They're not going to like these changes to the schedules. (past experience shows they don't like changes.)

2 Present continuous
We use the present continuous to talk about personal plans and arrangements in a very specific way, particularly when we mention the time and place.
I am meeting Catriona at 4.30.
They're flying on Wednesday.

We are opening a new office in New York next year. (We have already started looking for premises.) We are going to open a new office in New York one day. (This is only an intention, no plans have been made yet.)

3 will + infinitive
We use this form to express a spontaneous decision or an offer to do something made at the moment of speaking.
The phone's ringing. OK I’ll answer it.
I've lost my wallet. I’ll help you find it.

In emails and letters we use will to refer to attachments or say what action we intend to take. As you will see from the attached copy ...
I’ll contact our sales manager and ask her to mail you.
I’ll be in touch soon.
We also use the will form to make predictions based on personal intuitions (rather than visible evidence).
Interest rates will probably go down if the Democrats win the election.
I'm sure England won't win the World Cup.

The will form is also used to talk about future states and events with verbs that don't take the present continuous.
She will be 30 next May.
We will know tomorrow.


Underline the most appropriate form of the verb in italics. In some cases more than one may be possible.
The year is 2097 and some space scientists from around the world are meeting to discuss what they have already prepared for future projects.

'We are preparing / will prepare to send a rocket to Pluto, 'announced the Americans .'It is having / will have six men aboard and is staying / will stay for a whole month before making the long trip back to Earth .'

'That's nothing 'said the Russians. 'Next week we are launching / are going to launch our spaceship containing 200 men and women to Uranus we will probably start / are probably going to start a colony there.'

'Our country is beating / will beat you both,' said the British scientist, 'We will / are going to send a rocket straight to the Sun.'
'How are you going to do / are you doing that? 'said the American and Russian scientists. 'The rocket is going to l will melt before it gets there. 'No, it isn't / won't, 'replied the British scientist. 'We will/ are going to send it up at night'

B Complete the sentences using will, going to, or the present continuous of the verb in brackets.
1 'Could I speak to Mr Yo, please?' 'Yes of course, I (fetch him)
2 I'm afraid I can't come to the office dinner next week because I... (go on holiday)
3 We've finally made a decision about the product launch. We ... (go ahead May)
4 'We're running out of envelopes.' 'I (order more)
5 'The photocopier doesn't work.' 'OK.I (call technician)
6 He's resigned from the company and he ... (take job in New York)

C Underline the correct form on the basis of the comment in brackets below.
1 We will sell / are selling the company. (We've found a buyer.)
2 I will meet / am meeting Jo at the airport. (Jo knows about this arrangement.)
3 I will help / am helping her. (I've just decided.)
4 Shares in BMX will / are going to fall. (I have some inside information.)
5 Jo is going to teach / is teaching me Chinese. (Our lessons have already begun.)

5 The gerund and the infinitive after verbs

There are some verbs which are always followed by the gerund or ing form, and others which are followed by the infinitive with to.
There are some rules that can help you work out these verb patterns.

1 The gerund
We use the ing form:
a after verbs and expressions of emotional attitude towards something, e.g like, love, dislike, enjoy, hate, stand, mind.
Working Americans enjoy spending time with their families.

b after certain other verbs, e.g. risk, avoid, spend time.
I don't want to risk losing their custom.

c when the activity is the subject or object of a sentence.
Using a computer all day can be bad far your back.
We don't encourage drinking on the premises.
d after verbs that express ideas or advice, e.g. recommend, propose, suggest.
Health experts recommend taking much longer lunch breaks.
(Also The experts recommend that we take longer breaks.)
e We also use the gerund immediately after prepositions e.g. before, after, since, by, about, on, for, in, to.
An MP3 is generally used for listening to music. Before using it you need to attach the headphones.
I look forward to hearing from you.

2 The infinitive
We use the infinitive:
a after verbs that focus on a purpose or objective e.g. would like, want, plan, promise, decide, hope. We would like to inform you that we have decided to accept your proposal

b after verbs that tell someone what they can do or what we want them to do, e.g. allow, ask, enable, expect, help, instruct, permit, persuade, tell.
This program allows you to write spreadsheets.
I persuaded him to let me use his mobile.

c as the subject of the sentence to indicate an objective.
To learn English (objective) you need to study hard.
Compare with: Learning English (activity) is easy.
d after adjectives and with how.
It's easy to use.
If you like I’ll show you how to use one.

Some verbs take either the ing form or the infinitive depending on their meaning.
I stopped to look at the website. (I interrupted what I was doing before.)
I stopped looking at the website when the boss came in. (I was looking at the website before he came in.)

A Underline the correct form.
FAQ (frequently asked questions): Document that answers the most common questions in a newsgroup or mailing list. It may be a good idea studying / to study the FAQ document before posing l to pose a question to a mailing list or newsgroup in order to avoid repeating l to repeat a common question.
log on: This term means connecting l to connect to a computer gaining / to gain access to its programs or information. Often this is done by writing l to write one's user identity and password.

B Put the verbs in italics into the –ing form or the infinitive.
A company thought it would help continue its perfect safety record by show its workers a film aimed at encourage the use of safety goggles while work. Unfortunately the film's depiction of industrial accidents was so graphic that 25 workers suffered minor injuries when they were trying leave the screening room. Thirteen others fainted and one man required seven stitches after cut his head when he fell off a chair while watch the film.

6 Link words

1 Meaning
a Link words used for ordering and sequencing include:
informal or neutral: first, then, next, at the same time, finally, in the end
formal: firstly, secondly, simultaneously, subsequently, lastly
b Link words used for adding information include: informal or neutral: and, also, too, besides, what is more, as well
formal: moreover, in addition, furthermore
c Link words used for contrasting include: informal or neutral: although, though, even though however, despite this, instead, on the other hand, even so, then again
formal: by contrast, nevertheless, on the contrary, nonetheless, conversely
d Link words used for correcting or giving different emphasis to previous statement include: informal or neutral: actually, in fact
formal: as a matter of fact, in reality
e Link words used for giving parallel, informal or neutral information: again, in the same way, similarly, equally
formal: by the same token, likewise
f Link words used for giving examples and specifying include:
informal or neutral: such as, like, this means that
formal: for example (e.g.),for instance, that is to say, i.e..
g Link words used for indicating a result include: informal or neutral: so, consequently, as a result
formal: therefore, thus, hence, thereby, accordingly
h Link words used for concluding include: informal or neutral: to conclude
formal: in conclusion, in summary

2 Word order
Most of the words and expressions above can appear at the beginning or in the middle of the sentence. Many writers follow them with a comma. We have lost our main customer. As a result, we will have to make some drastic cuts.
You have shown no initiative. In addition, your work has been of substandard quality.
We will, however, still require 600 copies of the CD ROM.
We have thus decided to cancel our order.

Too and as well are generally found at the end of the sentence.
She has been to Paris and to Berlin too / as well. although, though, and even though can be placed in two positions.
Although he has worked here for years he has never been promoted.
He has never been promoted even though he has worked here far years.

A Underline the most appropriate word or expression in italics. Check with a dictionary if you are not sure of the exact differences in meaning between words.
1 I still remember my first day at work. Similarly / On the other hand I can't remember anything at all about my first project.
2 I don't think she's ever been to New York. In addition / fact I don't think she's ever been to the US.
3 I have worked in Asia. I have also / too worked in the Middle East.
4 We have still not received payment for our invoice. As well / Moreover, the contract for the current order has still not been signed.
5 She doesn't speak Japanese very well. However / On the contrary, she speaks Chinese fluently.

B Complete the extract from the report using these words:
also, although, consequently, finally, however, moreover

Sales are running at a lower rate than last year. _________ stocks have grown. _________, the general decline in the steel industry has meant that there have ________ been job losses. _____________, this trend may be offset by the growth in new technologies involving steel, ______________we may not see the results of this for several years. _____________, the appointment of the new sales manager…

7 Modals

Modal verbs are auxiliary verbs - they are usually used in a sentence with another main verb. We use them to express concepts such as ability, advice, obligation, necessity, and possibility. We also use them in offers, requests, and suggestions.
Modals have no s in the third person singular.
e.g. She should study more.
He might give the presentation.
Modals do not use the auxiliary verb do / does to make questions and negatives (because modal verbs are auxiliary verbs themselves).
e.g. He can't come tomorrow. Shall I help you?

Modals do not usually have a past or future form. This means that a different verb often needs to be used when expressing past or future ideas.
e.g. I can't do it today and I won't be able to do it tomorrow.
You must work harder! We had to work very hard last year.

1 Ability, possibility: can, could, may, and might
Use can(not) to express a general ability to do something.
She can't speak English very well.
I can play golf.
Use can to express certainty (when something is 100% possible) and cannot (can't) to express 100% impossibility.
I can come tomorrow. (I am certain.)
She cannot come to the meeting. (It is impossible for her to come.)
Use may and might (not) in situations when you are not certain. Might is usually less definite than may. I may / might come to the meeting. (It is possible that I will come, but it's not definite.)

You can also use may, might, and could to speculate about the future or talk about probability.
We may decide to open a new office in Warsaw. (50% probability)
They might not come to the meeting if they don't have enough time. (Less than 50% probability)
I could be wrong. (but not necessarily)
Interest rates could / might even go up by another 5%. (I am speculating.)

A Underline the correct form.
1 We will / may go the US next year but I'm not sure.
2 In five years' time inflation will / could be at over 15%.
3 I will / may tell him as soon as I see him.
4 It could / will rain, so we should take our umbrellas.

B Complete these sentences about your work environment using can (not) and may / might not.

¬ 1 I _________________ get a rise in salary this year.

2 I _________________ eat while working.
3 I _________________ arrive and leave at a certain time.
4 I _________________ wear whatever I want.
5 I _________________ play music while I work.
6 I _________________ take frequent coffee breaks.
7 I _________________ play the piano.
8 I _________________ look for a new job in the next few years.

2 Advice and obligation: have to, must, need, and should
When we tell someone that we think something would be good or useful for them we use should, and must when we want to give them a very strong recommendation.
You should try using another search engine - it would be much quicker. You must go and see that mouse - you would love it.

We use should when ethics are involved.
I think the Third World debt should be cancelled.
Companies should give more of their profits to charity.
When talking about our general work responsibilities (to show that an obligation probably comes from some one else) we use have to. When we want to say that something is not necessary or is not our responsibility we use don't have to or don't need to.
We have to arrive before nine in the morning but we don't have to clock in.
Although I work in Finland I don't need / have to use Finnish in my job because everyone speaks English.

We tend to use have to and not must when giving instructions - must sounds impolite.
Alternatively we use the imperative (with please). Please visit our website where you will find details of all our prices.

We use must when we give ourselves orders. Must is also found in warnings and notices.
I must answer all those emails.
We must get ourselves a new filing system.
Helmets must be worn on the building site at all times.

We use must not to prohibit something.
You mustn't smoke in a non-smoking compartment.

A Underline the correct form in italics.
1 We don't have to / mustn't work tomorrow because it's a public holiday.
2 You don 't have to / mustn't touch that. It will give you an electric shock.
3 We generally have to / must be at work before 09.30.
4 You have to / must visit this website. It's really interesting.
5 You have to / should try this new version; it's much more reliable.

B Compare these sentences about your own work environment using (don't) have to, must(n’t), should(n’t), or (don't) need. Try to use each form at least once.
1 I contact clients by phone.
2 I go on specialization courses.
3 I go to frequent meetings.
4 I make written reports of my work progress.
5 I spend several hours a week studying English.
6 I travel frequently for work.
7 I use the Internet for my own personal use.

3 Offers, requests, invitations, and suggestions:
can, may, could, would, shall, and will
Use can, may, and shall to offer to do something. May is more formal.
May / Can / Shall I help you?
Use can, could, will and would to request something. could and would are more polite.
Can / Could /Will / Would you help me?
Use would you like to invite someone.
Would you like to come out for dinner tonight?
Use shall to make a suggestions.
Shall I open the window?
Shall we go to the bar?

Make offers, invitations, and requests using the prompts.
1 You need to send a fax.
2 You need a taxi.
3 You want to know if you can smoke.
4 At lunch, you can't understand the menu.
5 Invite a client to dinner.
6 Offer to help client with his luggage
7 Suggest having a break.
8 You want the bill.
9 You need help with your luggage.
10 You want to know when breakfast is served.

Exercise 1

Complete the sentences with must or have to. Both are possible each time, but one is more natural in a spoken context.

1 I _____________ remember to email Steve and thank him for all his help.
2 Sorry, I __________ go now, the meeting begins in five minutes.
3 You ¬¬________________ send your tax form by 31 January.
4 You_____________ try to be more diplomatic when you're speaking to Tim.
5 I__________ go the dentist next Friday morning, so I'll be a little late.
6 I really__________ go the dentist. I've had this awful pain for two days.



Exercise 2

Decide whether each pair of sentences has the same meaning. Write I for identical or nearly identical, S far similar or D for completely different. At the end there will be nine of I, two of S and three of D.

1 You'd better go now.
2 We don't have to cut the budget.
3 You should have a rest.
4 You can't smoke here.
5 We must sign the contract.
6 You must be here before 8.30.
7 You mustn't touch that key!
8 You didn't have to give a tip.
9 We have to work harder on this.
10 I ought to leave now.
11 You shouldn't worry so much.
12 I must write these letters now.
13 I couldn't use the email.
14 We don't have to decide yet

You should go now.
We mustn't cut the budget.
You ought to have a rest.
You're not allowed to smoke here.
We should sign the contract.
You have to be here before 8.30.
You don't have to touch that key.
You didn't need to give a tip.
We must work harder on this.
I have to leave now.
You ought not to worry so much.
I'd better write these letters now.
I didn't need to use the email.
We don't need to decide yet.

Exercise 3

A businessman is describing his trip to Lagos. Complete the text with had to, didn't have to, couldn't, should have or shouldn't have. Each phrase is used twice.

“I (1) _____________ travelled on the 10 am flight, but when I got to the airport they told me that the flight was overbooked and I (2) ______________ catch a later flight. Then at the check-in desk they told me that I (3) ____________ take both my bags as hand luggage, so I (4) _____________________ let one of them go in the hold, which was very annoying as I had my diary in it, and it delayed me by nearly an hour at baggage reclaim at the other end. When I got on the plane I wanted to use my laptop, but of course I (5) __________until after take off. The flight attendant told me to turn it off and said that I (6) ___________known not to use it. To be honest I'd just forgotten, and he (7) ______________ been so rude. Er, it was quite late when I finally left Lagos airport, so it was lucky I (8) ____________ go to any meetings that afternoon. And, looking back at what happened, I (9) ___________travelled with that airline - they have a lot of problems with overbooking. And my company was paying for the flight so I (10) _____________ choose the cheapest option.”




Exercise 4

Match each sentence 1-12 with one of the formal sentences a)-l).

1 I can do it.
2 I mustn't do it.
3 I don’t have to do it.
4 I have to do it.

5 I couldn't do it.
6 I didn't have to do it.
7 I had to do it.
8 I could do it.

9 I should have done it.
10 I shouldn't have done it.
11 I shouldn't do it.
12 I should do it.
a) It's necessary.
b) It's not necessary.
c) It's allowed.
d) It's not allowed.

e) It was necessary.
f) It wasn't necessary.
g) It was allowed.
h) It wasn't allowed.

i) Doing it would be a good idea.
j) Doing it would be a bad idea.
k) Doing it was a bad idea.
I) Not doing it was a bad idea.


8 Numbers, dates, and measurements

1 Cardinal and ordinal numbers
213 two hundred and thirteen (UK)
two hundred thirteen (US)
2,130,362 two mi11ion, one hundred and thirty thousand, three hundred and sixty-two
13th thirteenth
31st thirty-first
2 Calendar dates
UK: day / month / year -10.03.01
the tenth of March, two thousand and one
or March (the) tenth, two thousand and one
US: month / day /year - 03.10.01
October third, two thousand one
1996 nineteen ninety six
or nineteen hundred and ninety six

1701 seventeen oh one
or seventeen hundred and one

3 Fractions, decimals, percentages

1/4 a quarter / one quarter
1/2 a half / one half
3/4 three quarters
0.25 (zero) point two five
0.056 zero point zero five six
37.9 thirty seven point nine
10% ten per cent
100% one hundred per cent

4 Money

€678 six hundred and seventy-eight euros
€1.50 one euro fifty (cents)
$450,617 four hundred fifty thousand six hundred and seventeen dollars
$1.90 one dollar ninety

5 Measurements
1 m 70 one metre seventy
3.5 kg three point five kilos
3 m x 6 m three metres by six
10° ten degrees
-10° minus ten degrees or ten degrees below zero

6 Sport
3-0 three nil (football)
30-0 thirty love (tennis)

7 Phone numbers

00441619804166 zero zero four four one six one nine eight zero four one double six
or oh oh four four ..., etc.
ext.219 extension two one nine
0800 oh eight hundred

Write down the following information about yourself and then find out the same information about your partner: Take it in turns to ask questions.
e.g. When did you get your first job?
1 The date you got your first or current job.
2 Your weight in kilos when you were eighteen.
3 Your ideal temperature for a summer's day.
4 The price of a square metre of flat / house space in your town.
5 The percentage of your day that you spend on the phone.
6 Your home telephone number.
7 The name and email of a friend.
8 What you think the ratio of work to leisure should be.
9 The ideal length of a business lunch.


9 Passive form

Correct form of be + past participle
1 We use the passive:
a when we are more interested in the person or object that experiences an action than the person or object that performs the action.
The New York stock exchange was founded in 1792. (The stock exchange is the most important element in this sentence, the identity of the person who founded it is irrelevant.)

b when we don’t know or cannot express who or what performed the action.
Four hundred thousand credit cards are stolen every year. (We don't know exactly who steals the cards.)
The photocopier was left on all night. (We don't know who was the last person to use it.)

c to describe processes. We use by to say who or what performs the action.

The chemicals are transported by lorry and are then delivered to the factory.

d to report formal decisions or to make announcements.

It has been decided to lay off 1,000 workers.
It was agreed to spread the redundancies over six months.
2 Verbs often used in the passive:
a to describe processes: is transported / is collected / is transferred / is analysed
b to describe creation and discovery: was produced / was invented / was discovered
c to describe damage and injury: was harmed / was damaged / was killed

3 We don't use the passive when:
a we want to be more informal, e.g. in emails and spoken English.
A comparison was made of the two products. (formal, scientific)
We compared the two products. (neutral, spoken English)
b it is important to be direct and easy to understand, e.g. in manuals and instructions.
It is essential that the disk drive unit is switched on before use. (indirect)
Make sure you switch on the disk drive unit before using it. (direct)

A Underline the correct form in italics.
1 Fifty thousand copies sold / were sold last year.
2 He has promoted / has been promoted.
3 They have promoted / have been promoted the movie all over the world.
4 It decided / was decided that the service should discontinue / should be discontinued.
5 The inflation rate is / has gone up.
6 He is / has bought himself a car.
7 Your taxi is / has arrived.
8 She was / had taken to the airport.
9 The machine was / had stopped far repairs.
10 An important document had lost / had been lost.

B Put the verbs in italics into the active or passive form of the past simple.
An incredible mistake occur in a hospital. A nurse notice that many of their dying patients had one thing in common: they had all stayed in same room in intensive care. A team bring in to investigate the possible causes, and many precautionary measures take: the room fumigate; the air conditioning unit check; and all medical equipment serviced. More patients died and criminal involvement of some kind suspect. The doctors decide to monitor the room even more closely. What they discovered late that night was that a cleaner come into the ward every night with an electric floor polishing machine. There was only one electric socket in this ward, however, and she therefore unplug the life support system each night in order to provide power for her polisher, obviously without thinking about the terrible consequences.

C Complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first.
1 Your email has been forwarded to the Marketing Department.
I have ...
2 The form should be completed in black ink.
Please ...
3 An analysis was carried out of the samples.
We ...
4 The following points should be borne in mind when dealing with complaints.
Remember ...

Complete the following table:

Active Passive
Present simple Someone makes the pizza The pizza is made
Present continuous The pizza is being made
The pizza has been made
Past simple Someone made the pizza
Someone was making the pizza
Past perfect The pizza had been made
Going to
Will Someone will make the pizza
Must The pizza must be made
Have to


Exercise 1

Complete each sentence with a passive verb. You may need a negative form.

1 Somebody damaged the goods in transit.
The goods _____________________ in transit.
2 Thousands of people see this advert every day.
This advert ______________________________by thousands of people every day.
3 They will not finish the project by the end of the month.
The project _________________________________by the end of the month.
4 They have closed fifty retail outlets over the last year.
Fifty retail outlets __________________________ over the last year.
5 We are reviewing all of our IT systems.
All of our IT systems __________________________.
6 We cannot ship your order until we receive payment.
Your order ____________________________ until we receive payment.

Exercise 2

Decide if it is necessary to say who does the action. If it is not necessary, cross it out. If it is necessary, put a tick.
1 I don't think your proposal will be accepted by people.
2 The company was founded by the father of the present chairman.
3 All our machines are serviced by highly trained technicians.
4 This machine isn't working again! It was repaired yesterday by a technician.
5 The conference was opened by someone from the London Business School.
6 I'll be shown round the factory by someone, and then I’ll meet the sales team.

Exercise 3

A marketing manager is writing a training manual that explains how the company uses questionnaires to do market research. Complete the text by putting the verbs from the list below into the present simple passive.

design send back distribute offer outsource analyse put

First, we carefully select a sample of people to ask. Then the questions __________by a small team within the department. Next, the questions _____________into sequence and grouped together by topic. After that, we print the questionnaire and it ____________ to everyone in the sample. Of course, not all the forms _____________ to us, but we try to collect as many as possible.
Sometimes a small gift ______________ to people who return the forms, as an incentive. Finally we enter all the results onto a spreadsheet, and the information ____________ by the marketing department. If we are using a very large sample the distribution and collection __________ to an external company.

10 Past simple

infinitive + ed
For irregular verbs, see end of this grammar section.
We use the past simple to talk about completed actions in the recent past (even one second ago) or the distant past.
She founded the company in 1969.
They went to the bar a few minutes ago.

If you say when something happened (e.g. yesterday, last week, when she was at university, many years ago) you must use the past simple and not the present perfect.
Time expressions which are typically associated with the past simple are: yesterday, last night, a few minutes ago, in 1945, then, before, after

11 Past continuous

was / were + verb + ing
1 We use the past continuous to describe an event that was in progress when it was interrupted by a shorter event. The past simple is used for the shorter completed event.
I met Jo when I was coming to work.
While I was surfing the Internet the boss walked in.
It also describes an event that was in progress around a particular past rime.
What were you doing at 4.00 p.m.?
I was taking part in a meeting.
We can use the past continuous to make tentative suggestions or requests.
I was wondering if you could help me with a problem?
I was thinking about taking next week off
2 The past continuous is not used to talk about past habits or to refer to how often something happened.
We didn't sell many products in our first years of business.
I phoned them several times yesterday.

A Underline the correct form in italics.
1 I slept / was sleeping when the fire alarm went / was going off..
2 A: Then we went to the pub.
B: What did you do / were you doing after that?
3 We did / were doing business with them on a few occasions.

4 They lived / were living in Paris first, then Bonn and then they moved /were moving to Prague.

B Underline the correct tense in italics on the basis of the information in the sentence below.
1 I didn't know he used / was using Powerpoint.
(I didn't know he knew how to use Powerpoint,)
2 I left / was leaving the room when my boss came in.)
(I probably didn't want to see my boss.)
3 As I told / was telling you yesterday.
(I probably have something more to tell you.)
4 They asked me what I did / was doing.
(They wanted to know what my job was.)

12 Past perfect

had + past participle

1 We use the past perfect when we are already talking about the past and we want to talk about an earlier past.
When I arrived at the casino I realized I had lost my keys.

We don't use the past perfect when we describe simultaneous or sequential events.
I lost my keys when I went to the casino.
2 Certain lime expressions are typically associated with the past perfect. They are used when one completed action happened before another. e.g. by, by the time that, when, as soon as, before, after
The meeting had already started when I arrived.
After he had discussed the current projects he went on to talk about future plans.

B Underline the correct tense in italics on the basis of the information in the sentence below.
1 I remembered that Jo worked / had worked for IBM.
(Jo doesn't work for IBM now.)
2 I realized the boss was / had been in the next room.
(I could hear the boss's voice.)
3 They asked me if I came / had come from Beijing.
(They wanted to know about my journey.)
4 When her husband left / had left for work she phoned her mother.
(She often phoned her mother.)

C Put the verbs in italics into the past simple, past perfect, or past continuous. In some cases both forms are possible.
It be the first time that three friends find a job. They work on a building site, building a wall. After they had been there for a few hours the foreman come to see them. He was surprised to find one of them already build a complete wall, while the other two stand doing nothing. They said they not work because they were both lamp posts. The foreman sack the two men immediately. As soon as his two friends had gone home, the man digging the hole also stop work! It's OK: said the foreman I haven't sacked you. You work very well, so carry on: The man reply: 'That's all very well saying I can keep my job, but how do you expect me to work in the dark?'

Exercise 1

Underline the correct words. This exercise includes examples of the past perfect, used to, the past simple and past continuous.

1 While I looked / was looking for my keys, I suddenly remembered I left / had left them at home.
2 In those days the unions used to / had used to go on strike whenever there was / was being a problem.
3 After they were buying / had bought the company, they started / were starting to make a lot of people redundant.
4 Jack used to have / was having a Mac, but then he used to change / changed to a PC.
5 I asked about my package in reception, but they said / were saying that it still hadn't arrived / wasn't arriving.
6 I was sure that I used to lock / had locked the door to my office last night, but it was / had been open this morning.
7 I’m sure that the winters used to be / had been colder when I was a child. I remember that we used to walk / were walking to school in the snow every winter.
8 I had gone / went back to the restaurant to look for my umbrella, but found / was finding that someone took / had taken it.
9 When George saw / was seeing Diane at the seminar, he knew / was knowing that he met / had met her somewhere before.
10 While I had / was having breakfast I looked / was looking at the financial pages to see the share prices. I saw / was seeing that my original investment grew / had grown by over 40%.

Exercise 2

Complete the sentences with the best form of the verb in brackets. In each sentence one verb will be in the past simple and the other in the past perfect.

1 After she _________ (make) a few notes, she ______________ (start) writing the introduction to the Annual Report. .
2 Gary _____________ (be sure) that he __________ (set) the alarm before leaving the office.
3 I ____________ (call) my wife on my mobile because the meeting ______________ (still not finish).
4 Once I____________ (speak) to him, I___________ (realise) there had been a misunderstanding.
5 After Jill ______________ (give) her first presentation, she _________ (feel) much less nervous.
6 Before Edite _____________ (become) Michael Edward's personal assistant she ___________ (already work) in the company for two years.
7 I ___________ (not see) the figures before the meeting, so it __________ (put) me at a disadvantage during the discussion.
8 Sorry it took so long. I ____________ (have to) go down to the store room because we __________ (run out of) paper for the photocopier.
9 The rain _____________ (stop) by the time I ____________ (get out of) the taxi.
10 I ____________ (be) surprised to find that she ____________ (already leave).

13 Present perfect

have/has + past participle

1 The present perfect often connects the past to the present. The action took place in the past but is not explicitly specified because we are more interested in the result than in the action itself.

I’ve bought so many books that I don't know where to put them.
I can see that you've made a lot of progress.
We use the present perfect for:

a actions that took place during a period that has not yet finished.
The stock market has crashed twice this year. (It's only August.)

b actions which took place at an indefinite or unknown time.
I’ve taken part in three video conferences.

c actions that began in the past and continue into the present.
I have worked here for six months.
We've made a lot of progress in this project so far.

d to announce news.
My email address has changed.
We have redesigned our website.

e in emails and on the phone to indicate what actions have been taken.
I have spoken to Invoice Processing and they have forwarded your request to the manager.
2 For and since are often used with the present perfect. When talking about an action's duration we use for if we talk about the period of time, and since if we say when the action began.
e.g. for six years, for a long time, for more than an hour.
since 2001, since January, since he joined the company.
Other time expressions typically associated with the present perfect are:
ever, never; just, already, yet; in the last few days / months etc., all day, all week, all my life etc., how long, once, twice, several times, etc.

Many of the above expressions can also be used with the past simple, if they refer to a completed period of time:
We’ve made a lot of money this first quarter. (Said in March - the first quarter of the year hasn't finished.)
We made a lot of money this first quarter. (Said in April or later - the first quarter is complete.)
3 The present perfect is used to talk about past events when no specific time is given.
However, if we go on to give more specific information about the subject and start talking about a specific date, we have to use the past simple.

I've bought a lot of stuff from Amazon. (not very specific information)
What exactly did you buy? How long did it take to receive your orders? (specifying)

A Complete the expressions with for or since, as appropriate.
1 ________ the company was founded
2 ________ more than a year;
3 ________ the introduction of the euro
4 ________ the last six weeks
5 ________ she got her degree
6 ________ I've known you


B Put the verbs in italics in the news report into the present simple, present perfect, or past simple.
Devco announced / have announced that they are going to buy their competitors QXT. QXT is / has been in serious financial problems for over a year - last quarter's profits / have been down again by 60%. In a statement released earlier today Devco's CEO, Alfonso Fuego, said / has said; 'We had / have had a lot of support from QXT shareholders and I assured / have assured them at the shareholders' meeting last week that Devco will do everything to turn the situation around within at most six months. QXT union members are not / have not been
so confident. In a meeting last Friday they revealed / have revealed that they are / have been worried about their jobs since news of a possible takeover has been / was leaked to the press earlier this year.

C Match the beginnings with the correct endings.
1 She's been in Paris far six weeks ...
a she's learning French there.
b she learnt French there.
2 They've gone to NY far a year ...
a they'll be back next Spring.
b they came back last Spring.
3 She was his project leader for six months and he ...
a learnt a lot from her.
b has learnt a lot.
4 I am here for six months ...
a it will be a great experience.
b I have really enjoyed it.
5 I have been responsible for the Asian market ...
a among other markets.
b and then after the African market.

Exercise 1

Complete the sentences by putting the verbs in brackets into a form of the present perfect. Use contractions where possible.

1 Are you sure it isn't working? ……………………. (you/try) it?
2 I (never /see) such a boring presentation.
3 Luckily, our customers (not/complain) about the price rise.
4 We (already/spend) quite a lot of money on this project.
5 (they/reply) to your last email?
6 I (not/get) the figures to hand - can I call you back later?
7 Unemployment (go/up) by 2% since January.
8 I'm sorry, she's not here. She (just/leave).
9 Their shares (fall) by 15% since the merger.
10 (you/ever/take) the Eurostar to Brussels?

Exercise 2

Complete the sentences with a suitable time expression from the list below.

already never since yet ever just for always

1 The goods will be with you soon. They've ………………….. left our warehouse.
2 I've had a great idea! Why don't we launch a new range of colours?
3 We've known each other more than twenty years.
4 I've used my credit card on the Internet. I don’t think it's safe.
5 I haven't had a chance to speak to Magda ………….., but I'm sure she'll agree.
6 I've worked in insurance, ever since leaving university.
7 I'm sorry he hasn't called you back. He's been in a meeting ………… lunchtime.
8 Have you been to Sao Paulo? It's completely different from Rio.





Exercise 3

Read this email from Steve, the Purchasing Manager of a UK importer, who is in Poland on a business trip. Complete the email by choosing the correct alternative from A, B, C or D below.

From: Steve McGinlay
To: Mike Evans

Subject: Poland

Sorry I haven't contacted you (1) …………….last week, but I've been very busy. I've (2)……… Katowice in the south¬ west of Poland (3)……………….a few days, and I've (4) …………..returned to my hotel in Warsaw, from where I'm sending this email. I visited several firms when I was in Katowice and one of them looks quite promising. I've (5) seen their factory, and I've got some product samples to show you.
Unfortunately I haven't met the guy in charge (6)………….. He wasn't there - he's (7) ………to Gdansk and should be back next week.
So, the trip has been quite successful (8) …………………. . Have you (9)………….been to Central Europe? Everything is changing very fast - I've (10)………………seen so much building work going on. Anyway, I'll email you again later in the week to let you know what's happening.
Regards, Steve

1 A for B since C just D so far
2 A going B gone C being D been
3 A for B since C already D so far
4 A now B been C just D so far
5 A yet B already C been D gone
6 A just B already C now D yet
7 A going B gone C being D been
8 A so far B yet C just D now
9 A yet B since C ever D never
10 A yet B since C ever D never

Exercise 4

Underline the correct words.

1 Yesterday I phoned / I've phoned the bank about my overdraft.
2 I work here / I have worked here since the end of last year.
3 Your taxi has just arrived / just arrived.
4 We're enjoying our trip. We have made / made a lot of useful contacts.
5 l've seen / I saw Hugh Hopper a few days ago - he sends his regards.
6 We went / have been to an interesting seminar last week.
7 Today has been / was really busy - and it's only lunchtime!
8 Today has been / was really busy. It's 7 pm - I'm going home.
9 I'm afraid Patrizia left / has left the office an hour ago.
10 I'm afraid Patrizia isn't here - she left / has left the office.

Exercise 5

Complete the sentences by putting the verbs in brackets into either the present simple, past simple or present perfect.

1 The company is doing very well. Last year sales ……………… (go up) by 15%, and so far this year they ……………. (go up) another 12%.
2 We…………………..(operate) all over Latin America. Recently we……………..(set up)
branches in Peru and Ecuador.

3 This…………………….(not look) like the right block. Are you sure we................................. (come) to the right address?
4 …………………….(you/see) my laptop? I'm sure I………………….(leave) it here earlier.
5 I…………………Just/met) Andrew from Sales …………………….(you/know) him?
6 I …………………………(never/speak) to him, but I …………………….(speak) to his assistant on the phone yesterday.
7 I ………………………..(work) for WorldCom now – I …………….(be) there for more than five years …………………..(you/know) WorldCom?
8 I …………………..(work) for WorldCom since last year, but now I ……………..(want) to change jobs …………………(you/hear) of any vacancies?

Exercise 6

Complete each mini-dialogue by putting the verbs in brackets into the correct form. One verb will be in the present perfect and the other in the present perfect continuous. Use contractions where possible.

1 A: What's the matter? You look worried!
B: Yes, I am I…………………………(look at) the contract in detail, and I …………(notice) a lot of potential problems.
A: Oh, such as?

2 A: I ……………(phone) Carol all day, but there's no reply.
B: I expect she …………(go) to Head Office.
A: Oh, yes, I forgot.

3 A: 'Tosca' is coming to the Opera House …………….(you see) it?
B: No, not yet. Shall we go? I ………..(look forward) to it for ages.
A: So have I. What about next week?

4 A: How long ………………..(you produce) cars at this site?
B: About four years. We ……………….(invest) twenty million dollars in plant and machinery.
A: Oh, and how long will it take to recoup your investment, do you think?

14 Present perfect continuous

have / has + been + past participle
1 We use the present perfect continuous:
a to describe actions and trends that started in the past and continue in the present. We are interested in the process as well as the result.
How long have you been working here?
I've been writing the report all morning.
b to talk about the effect of recent events.
Why are you covered in ink? I've been repairing the photocopier.

He's been working for fourteen hours non-stop that's why he looks so tired.

c in emails and on the telephone to outline problems or to introduce a topic.
I gather you have been experiencing problems in ordering our products.
I've been talking to Jim about the fault in your computer but I can't find your emaiI describing…. ...
2 The present perfect continuous is not used:
a for completed actions - compare:
Interest rates have reached 8%. (a completed action)
Interest rates have been going up all year. (and have not stopped going up)
b To specifically quantify an action, e.g. talk about the number of times it happened. Use the present perfect simple instead - compare:
He's been talking on the phone all morning. (and he is still talking now)
He's made a least 25 phone calls this morning.

A Underline the correct form in italics.
1 I have written / been writing emails all morning - I have written / been writing 20 so far.
2 We have received / been receiving no reply to our request far information.
3 He has worked / been working too hard that's why he's always so tired.
4 He has worked / been working for several different companies. He has worked / been working for his current company for six months.
5 They have known / been knowing each other since they were at school together.

B Read these extracts from emails and letters. Put the verbs in italics into the past simple, present perfect, or present perfect continuous.
1 I hear you have problems with the new system. Sorry about this. I speak to the Systems Manager and she promise to get back to you by lunchtime. She also ask me if you could send her the log file.
2 Thanks for buying me lunch yesterday. Great to see you. It made a nice change as I be so busy lately. By the way, I forget to ask you if you could give me your boss's email address. We work on a project recently which I think she would be interested in. Anyway take care and speak to you soon.

3 We note from our records that we still not receive any payment for our invoice dated 3 March, reference number ZX45791. I would like to point out that this is the third time we request payment. I would be grateful if you would contact me about this as a matter of urgency. I try to ring you several times and I Ieave several messages with your secretary. I enclose a further copy of our invoice.

C For 1 and 2, choose the correct answer
1 She's been living here for six months.
When did she arrive?
a six months ago b we don 't know
2 I’ve been reading a computer manual.
Does this mean that I have completed the manual?
a yes b probably not

Present Perfect simple and continuous (additional exercises)

Exercise 1

Complete the sentences by putting the verbs in brackets into a form of the present perfect. Use contractions where possible.

1 Are you sure it isn't working? ……………………. (you/try) it?
2 I (never /see) such a boring presentation.
3 Luckily, our customers (not/complain) about the price rise.
4 We (already/spend) quite a lot of money on this project.
5 (they/reply) to your last email?
6 I (not/get) the figures to hand - can I call you back later?
7 Unemployment (go/up) by 2% since January.
8 I'm sorry, she's not here. She (just/leave).
9 Their shares (fall) by 15% since the merger.
10 (you/ever/take) the Eurostar to Brussels?

Exercise 2

Complete the sentences with a suitable time expression from the list below.

already never since yet ever just for always

1 The goods will be with you soon. They've ………………….. left our warehouse.
2 I've had a great idea! Why don't we launch a new range of colours?
3 We've known each other more than twenty years.
4 I've used my credit card on the Internet. I don’t think it's safe.
5 I haven't had a chance to speak to Magda ………….., but I'm sure she'll agree.
6 I've worked in insurance, ever since leaving university.
7 I'm sorry he hasn't called you back. He's been in a meeting ………… lunchtime.
8 Have you been to Sao Paulo? It's completely different from Rio.


Exercise 3

Read this email from Steve, the Purchasing Manager of a UK importer, who is in Poland on a business trip. Complete the email by choosing the correct alternative from A, B, C or D below.

From: Steve McGinlay
To: Mike Evans

Subject: Poland

Sorry I haven't contacted you (1) …………….last week, but I've been very busy. I've (2)……… Katowice in the south¬ west of Poland (3)……………….a few days, and I've (4) …………..returned to my hotel in Warsaw, from where I'm sending this email. I visited several firms when I was in Katowice and one of them looks quite promising. I've (5) seen their factory, and I've got some product samples to show you.
Unfortunately I haven't met the guy in charge (6)………….. He wasn't there - he's (7) ………to Gdansk and should be back next week.
So, the trip has been quite successful (8) …………………. . Have you (9)………….been to Central Europe? Everything is changing very fast - I've (10)………………seen so much building work going on. Anyway, I'll email you again later in the week to let you know what's happening.
Regards, Steve

1 A for B since C just D so far
2 A going B gone C being D been
3 A for B since C already D so far
4 A now B been C just D so far
5 A yet B already C been D gone
6 A just B already C now D yet
7 A going B gone C being D been
8 A so far B yet C just D now
9 A yet B since C ever D never
10 A yet B since C ever D never

Exercise 4

Underline the correct words.

1 Yesterday I phoned / I’ve phoned the bank about my overdraft.
2 I work here / I have worked here since the end of last year.
3 Your taxi has just arrived / just arrived.
4 We're enjoying our trip. We have made / made a lot of useful contacts.
5 l've seen / I saw Hugh Hopper a few days ago - he sends his regards.
6 We went / have been to an interesting seminar last week.
7 Today has been / was really busy - and it's only lunchtime!
8 Today has been / was really busy. It's 7 pm - I'm going home.
9 I'm afraid Patrizia left / has left the office an hour ago.
10 I'm afraid Patrizia isn't here - she left / has left the office.

Exercise 5

Complete the sentences by putting the verbs in brackets into either the present simple, past simple or present perfect.
1 The company is doing very well. Last year sales ……………… (go up) by 15%, and so far this year they ……………. (go up) another 12%.
2 We…………………..(operate) all over Latin America. Recently we……………..(set up)
branches in Peru and Ecuador.
3 This…………………….(not look) like the right block. Are you sure we................................. (come) to the right address?
4 …………………….(you/see) my laptop? I'm sure I………………….(leave) it here earlier.
5 I…………………Just/met) Andrew from Sales …………………….(you/know) him?
6 I …………………………(never/speak) to him, but I …………………….(speak) to his assistant on the phone yesterday.
7 I ………………………..(work) for WorldCom now – I …………….(be) there for more than five years …………………..(you/know) WorldCom?
8 I …………………..(work) for WorldCom since last year, but now I ……………..(want) to change jobs …………………(you/hear) of any vacancies?

Exercise 6

Complete each mini-dialogue by putting the verbs in brackets into the correct form. One verb will be in the present perfect and the other in the present perfect continuous. Use contractions where possible.

1 A: What's the matter? You look worried!
B: Yes, I …………………………(look at) the contract in detail, and I …………(notice) a lot of potential problems.
A: Oh, such as?

2 A: I ……………(phone) Carol all day, but there's no reply.
B: I expect she …………(go) to Head Office.
A: Oh, yes, I forgot.

3 A: 'Tosca' is coming to the Opera House …………….(you see) it?
B: No, not yet. Shall we go? I ………..(look forward) to it for ages.
A: So have I. What about next week?

4 A: How long ………………..(you produce) cars at this site?
B: About four years. We ……………….(invest) twenty million dollars in plant and machinery.
A: Oh, and how long will it take to recoup your investment, do you think?


15 Present simple

I work -he works we try - she tries

you catch -she catches you go -she goes

1 We use the present simple:
a to describe states and situations that are permanent and always true.
The President lives in the White House.
The earth revolves around the sun.
b to talk about habits and things that we do regularly.
I work for an Internet service provider.
She leaves home at 6.30 every morning.
c in formal emails and letters to say why we are writing, what we are attaching, etc.
I write to complain about the poor service ...
I enclose the budget estimates you requested.
I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Time expressions typically associated with the present simple are: frequently, often, occasionally, etc. every day, on Saturdays, each week, once a year.

2 The present simple is not used

a to make suggestions, ask for advice, or offer to do things. Use shall or will instead.
Shall we go out for dinner tonight?
Shall I ring you to confirm the arrangements?
I will let you know the results of the tests tomorrow.

b for actions or situations that began in the past and continue into the present. Use the present perfect instead.
I have lived here for six months. (Not: I live here for six months.)

16 Present continuous

be (are / is / are) + verb + ing

1 We use the present continuous:
a to describe an incomplete action that is going on, now at this moment.
You are reading an explanation of the present continuous.
The sun is shining outside.
b to talk about an incomplete action that is going on now, in this present period. Here now has a wider sense than now, this moment.
We're working on a new project.
The number of people using the Internet is growing constantly.

c to talk about a temporary event or situation.

I usually work in my own office, but today I’m working in Carol's office.
She' s staying in a hotel until she finds a flat to rent.

d in emails and letters to give a less formal and more friendly tone, particularly with verbs such as write, enclose, attach, look forward to.
I am attaching those photos of the kids I told you about.
I'm really looking forward to seeing you again.

e to talk about future arrangements (see future).
Time expressions typically associated with the present continuous are: currently, now, at the moment, for a few weeks, in this period, this week, next month.

2 Some verbs are never used in the continuous form. The majority of these are verbs that describe a state rather than an action.
a verbs which describe an opinion or mental state: believe, forget, imagine, know, mean, notice, recognize, remember, think (i.e. have an opinion, not the activity), understand.

I understand you have had some problems with the new machine.

b auxiliaries and modals: be, have, can, must, should

There is a meeting on Friday, can you come?

c senses and perception: feel, hear, see, seem, look, smell, taste.

This room smells of gas.

d emotions and desires: e.g. hate, hope, like, love, prefer, regret, want, wish.

We regret to inform you that ...

e measurement: e.g. contain, cost, hold, measure, weigh.

This package contains the start-up software.

3 In cases where these verbs are used to refer to actions rather than states, they may be used in the continuous form.
We are having dinner with the president on Friday. (have means 'eat' not 'possess')
We were thinking about opening a new office. (think means 'consider' not 'have an opinion')

A Put the verbs in italics into the correct tense.
1 It's raining / rains very hard. Can you give me a lift home?
2 I don't have / am not having much spare time at the moment. I'm studying / study to pass an exam.
3 The price of shares varies / is varying according to economic conditions.
4 I speak / am speaking French fluently because I grew up in Paris, but I'm forgetting / forget
my German because I never use it.
5 Anne normally deals / is dealing with enquiries from overseas, but I’m dealing / deal with this one.

B In each of the following sentences, put one of the verbs into the present simple and one into the present continuous.
1 What he (talk) about? I (not understand)!
2 I’m afraid Mr Passos is (have) lunch at the moment. (Have) an appointment?
3 We (interview) candidates for a new managerial post at the moment, but we urgently (need) more secretarial staff.
4 The new model (perform) very well in all weather conditions. It's not surprising that
it (become) more and more popular.
5 I (think about) applying for the post in the Accounts Department. It (depend) what
the salary is.

17 Verb + -ing or infinitive

Verb + -ing

Some verbs are followed by an -ing form. Some of the commonest verbs follow below:

As manufacturers consider automating their distribution channels, they should not lose sight of the effectiveness of personal contact.

Auto manufacturers are concerned consumers will postpone buying cars until after next July, when the current 22% sales tax on autos is expected to fall.

Van der Hoeve, CEO of Royal Ahold, spends 50 per cent of his time travelling and getting onto the sales floor as much as possible. As he explains: “I usually get a good feel for the store as I walk around”.

saying and thinking admit*, consider*, deny*, describe, imagine*, mention*, suggest*
liking and disliking dislike, enjoy, fancy, (not) mind
phrasal verbs carry on, give up, keep on, put off
phrase with can't can't bear, can't help, can't resist, can't take, can't stand
other common verbs avoid, delay, finish, involve, keep, miss, postpone, practise, risk
common phrases It's not worth ..., spend/waste time/money ...
It's no use/good ..., There's no point (in) ...,
(* see verb + that clause below)

Some of the verbs in the list can also be followed by a noun. These include: admit, deny, imagine, suggest, dislike, enjoy, fancy, keep, mind, practise.

The Minister admitted taking a bribe. and The Minister admitted his mistake.
What do you fancy doing this evening? and I fancy a nice, cold beer.

The group of verbs with can't can also be followed by a noun. I can't bear avant-garde jazz.

We use mind in questions and negative sentences.
A: Do you mind waiting a moment?
B: No, I don't mind.

Go and come plus -ing form are often used for sports and outside activities.
I often go skiing in the winter.
Do you want to come shopping with me?
Some verbs and verb phrases have to as a preposition. These include: look forward to, object to, be used to, get used to, respond to. Prepositions are always followed by the -ing form. I'm looking forward to seeing you next week.
After a few months in the UK I got used to driving on the left.

Verb + to + infinitive

Some verbs are followed by to + infinitive.
“PCCW has openly stated that it wishes to become the biggest broadband player in Asia,” says Richard Ferguson, a telecom analyst in Hong Kong. “That means it cannot afford to stand still.”

“And by working together with the guys at IBM, Kodak and so on, we're actually managing to improve the local supply base for all of us.” says Jaime Reyes, head if Hewlett- Packard’s printer operations.

plans and decisions aim, arrange, choose, decide*, intend, plan*, prepare
expectations demand*, deserve, expect*, hope*, want, wish*, would like
promises and refusals fail, guarantee, offer, promise*, refuse, threaten
other co'mmon verbs agree*, can/can't afford, learn*, manage, pretend*, seem*, tend, train, wait
(* see verb + that clause below)

Note that verb + to + infinitive is also used in these cases:

To explain why we do something (the 'infinitive of purpose')
I'm calling to find out if you stock spare parts.

After a question word
Can you show me how to get on to the Internet on this computer?

With used to, be going to, be able to, be allowed to, have to, need to and ought to.

Verb + object + to + infinitive

The following verbs are followed by an object + to + infinitive.

Advise*, allow, ask, cause, encourage, expect, forbid, force, help, invite, order, pay. prefer, persuade, remind*, teach*, tell*, train, want, warn*
(* see verb + that clause below)

Russia will ask the Paris Club of creditors to postpone the signing of bilateral agreements on the repayment of debt.

Li also persuaded four banks, including HSBC Holdings and Bank of China, to lend him
$11 billion, a record in Hong Kong.

Make and Let

After make and let we use the bare infinitive without to.
I made them check everything very carefully.
They let us have all these free samples.

Verb + that clause

The verbs marked with an asterisk* in sections can also be followed by a that clause. In everyday speech we can leave out the word that.
I suggested speaking to Eliza about it. I suggested (that) we could speak to Eliza about it.
We decided to cancel the meeting. We decided (that) we would cancel the meeting.
They told us to wait. They told us (that) we should wait.

Exercise 1

Underline the correct words.
1 We can't afford to miss/missing this opportunity.
2 Do you fancy to go/going for a drink after work?
3 Are you waiting to use/using the phone?
4 It's not worth to spend/spending any more time on this.
5 We decided to close down/closing down the factory in Belgium.
6 You promised to deliver/delivering by April, and it's now May.
7 I considered to call/calling him, but I decided it was better to write.
8 If we don't decide soon, we risk to lose/losing the whole contract.
9 She agreed to prepare/preparing some figures before the next meeting.
10 I'm sorry, there seems to be/being a misunderstanding here.
11 Is Mr Messier busy? OK, I don 't mind to wait!waiting for a few minutes.
12 He refused to sign/signing the contract until he'd spoken to his boss.
13 May I suggest to postpone/postponing the meeting until next week?

Exercise 2

Complete these sentences with the verbs from the list below. Choose either the -ìng form or to + infinitive.

give write fly receive make recognise advertise help think speak

1They agreed______________ us thirty more days to pay the invoice.
2 He pretended _______________ me, but I don 't think he knew who I was.
3 There's no point _________________ this brand on TV, it would cost too much.
4 We're expecting ________________ some more stock early next week.
5 I'll join you later. I need to finish ________________ this report.
6 I learnt _____________ Portuguese when I worked in Brazil.
7 I work in public relations. My job involves ______________ contact with the media.
8 I can't help ________________ that something is going to go wrong.
9 I can't afford __________________ business class all the time.
10 I can't promise ________________ you with this problem, but I'll do my best.

Exercise 3

Complete the following sentences with verbs from the list below. Include an object in every case.

advise remind persuade expect help encourage force

1 I’m sorry I missed work yesterday. The doctor __________________ to stay in bed.
2 I tried to _______________ come with us tonight, but he said he was busy.
3 Could you ________________ call Head Office later? I might forget.
4 If you employ a secretary, it will ______________ deal with all the paperwork.
5 She hasn't called yet, but I _______________ contact me some time today.
6 I didn't feel very confident, but she ________________ apply for the job.
7 The fall in demand has _______________ make some of our best workers redundant.

18 Adjectives and Adverbs

An adjective describes a noun.
Last year we had a significant increase in profìts.
Last year profits were much better than this year.
If you want big gains on the stock market you need a long-term view.

An adverb says how (quickly), when (tomorrow) or where (over there) something happens

Adverbs can come in different positions. 'How' adverbs usually come after the verb.

We planned everything very carefully.
The economy is growing slowly.

Frequency adverbs come after be and auxiliaries, but before other verbs.

She is never late.
She has never arrived late.
She never goes there.

Other 'when' adverbs can come before or after the verb.

Last year our profits rose slightly Our profìts rose slightly last year.

If we have several adverbs together, the usual word order is:


Our profìts rose slightly in Germany last year.

As well as describing verbs, adverbs can also describe adjectives and other adverbs

It’s relatively expensive. (adverb + adjective)
He arrived extremely late. (adverb + adverb)

Form of adverbs

Many 'how' adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective. A few add -y -ally, or -ily, depending on the spelling of the original adjective.

slow – slowly slight – slightly careful- carefully
full – fully dramatic - dramatically steady - steadily

Some adverbs and adjectives have the same form. Examples include fast, hard, early, late, high, low, right, wrong, daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly.

This is a fast machine. (adj.) This machine goes very fast. (adv.)
It's a hard decision. (adj.) He's working very hard at the moment. (adv.)

Note that the adverb hardly is not related to the meaning of hard. It's so noisy I can hardly think. ('hardly' = almost not)
Note that good is an adjective and well is an adverb.

She's a good negotiator. She negotiates well.

Gradable and non-gradable adjectives

Look at these sequences:

boiling hot, warm, mild, cool, cold freezing
excellent/fantastic good, bad awful/terrible
enormous ¬ large / big, small, tiny minute

Adjectives in the middle of the sequence are 'gradable'. We can make them stronger or weaker with words like very, a bit, quite, reasonably, relatively, extremely.

The weather was quite hot/cold.
The meal was very good/bad.
Adjectives at the end of the sequence are 'non-gradable' or 'extreme'. With these adjectives we
use absolutely

The talk was absolutely excellent / awful.



Order of adjectives

When we have more than one adjective we use this order:

Opinion wonderful, lovely, nice, difficult, important
Size large, small, long, short
Other qualities cheap, clean, quiet, fast
Age new, old, second-hand
Shape, pattern, colour circular, flat, striped, red, black
Origin, nationality French, Japanese, American, Scandinavian
Material wooden, metal, plastic, steel
Type (what kind?) third-generation (phone), economic (policy), safety (device), investment (bank), face (cream)

Words in the final two categories can be nouns used as adjectives.

Here are some examples:

a 10-page American legal contract (size, nationality, type)
a fast new sports car (quality, age, type)
an efficient worldwide distribution network (opinion, size, type)
a cheap clean energy source (quality, quality, type)


Adjectives ending -ing and -ed

Adjectives ending -ing describe something we are reacting to (outside us).
Adjectives ending -ed describe our feelings and reactions (inside us).

The meeting was very interesting. I was interested in your idea about outsourcing.

Asia Online president Kevin Randolph says he does not concentrate on the number of customers because he is not really interested in mass marketing. “I am interested in quality marketing,” Randolph says. “We have 100, 000 customers, which is an interesting number, but I am not managing the business based on that.”

Other pairs like this are: bored/boring, confused/confusing, excited/exciting,
fascinated / fascinating, surprised / surprising, tired / tiring

I found her comments quite surprising. I was surprised by her comments.


Exercise 1

Complete the second sentence so it has a similar meaning to the first sentence.
1 There was a slight fall in profits in April.
In April profits ____________________________.
2 There was a dramatic improvement in our share price last month.
Last month our share price ____________________________________ .
3 There has been a significant drop in demand for oil over the last few months.
Demand for oil ______________________________ over the last few months.
4 Let's have a brief pause for coffee.
Let's _____________________________ for coffee.
5 There has been a steady improvement in the inflation figures.
The inflation figures __________________________________________ .
6 There was a slow recovery in consumer confidence last year.
Consumer confidence ________________________________ last year.
7 There has been a gradual rise in unemployment.
Unemployment _________________________.
8 There has been considerable growth in Korean GDP over recent years.
Over recent years Korean GDP __________________________ .

Exercise 2

Underline the correct adjective.

1 I couldn't do any more work last night. I was just so tired/tiring.
2 I don't think the audience liked the talk. They looked bored/boring.
3 I don't think the audience liked the talk. It was a bit bored/boring.
4 Your new multi media project sounds really excited/exciting.
5 You look worried/worrying. Is anything the matter?
6 Their profits last year were extremely large/enormous.
7 Their profits last year were absolutely large/enormous.
8 The sales figures last month were very bad/terrible.
9 Warsaw is absolutely cold/freezing at this time of year.


Exercise 3

Complete the sentences with one word from the list A and one word from list B.

A: badly completely easily extremely heavily quite unexpectedly well

B: delayed designed helpful illegal late made promoted recognisable

1 This suitcase is very ____________________. It will last for years and years.
2 The new product is being ______________________. You see the adverts everywhere.
3 This website is very _____________________. I can't find the information I need.
4 You've been ___________________. I really appreciate it.
5 Our offices are ________________________ . Look out for the large flags at the front.
6 I'm sorry, my flight has been ______________________ . I’ll call you when I arrive.
7 Taking bribes is ___________________________. You'll lose your job if they catch you.
8 I arrived at the presentation _____________________ , and missed the first part.




Exercise 4

Put each group of words into the best order.

1 old-fashioned a large machine cutting
2 wooden square two cartons
3 new package an amazing software
4 period a transition three-month difficult
5 chips computer Taiwanese high-quality
6 a strategy well-planned investment
7 access cheap Internet high-speed
8 a new revolutionary computer handheld
9 a powder washing new wonderful
10 awful plastic cheap souvenirs



Exercise 5

Complete the sentences with a word from the list below. At the end of each sentence write adj. (adjective) or adv. (adverb) to show how the word in the gap is being used.

good well fast fast hard hard hardly late late monthly
1 We're going to introduce a ___________ newsletter for all employees.
2 I'm sorry, your goods are going to arrive about a week ___________.
3 That flight time is too ___________. Haven't you got anything earlier?
4 Everything's fine. The meeting is going very __________.
5 I was so tired that I could ______________keep my eyes open.
6 The hotel was ____________ , but we didn't like the food in the restaurant.
7 It’s a _____________ choice, but I think Carla is the better candidate.
8 I had to work very ______________ to get everything finished on time.
9 I'm sorry, I don't understand. You're talking too _____________ .
10 We'll have to make a _____________ exit if things start going wrong.

19 Adverbs of degree

Adverbs of degree show how big or important something is. They make the meaning weaker (small degree) or stronger (large degree).
Small degree: a little, a bit, slightly
Medium degree: quite, fairly, pretty, rather, reasonably, relatively
Large degree: extremely, really, very, absolutely, completely

Marc Paber is noted as a slightly eccentric but often very accurate market tipster.


Look at these examples.

With adjectives: It was a little expensive/rather strange/very professional
With adverbs: It was done a bit late/quite quickly/very professionally
With verbs: I really disagree. They’ve increased their offer a litle
With comparatives: It's a bit/slight/y/considerably/y/much/a lot cheaper

Too, enough, not enough

Too means “more than is necessary or good”. Not enough means “less than is necessary or
good”. Enough means “as much as is necessary” or “sufficient”.

Adjectives: The salary is too low. The salary isn't high enough

Adverbs: I'm sorry, it goes too slowly. I'm sorry, it isn’t fast enough

Nouns: There’s too much work. There isn’t enough time

Note the positions: too comes before adjectives, adverbs and nouns; enough comes after
adjectives and adverbs, but before nouns.
We use too many/few + plural nouns and too much/little + uncountable nouns.

There are too many people involved in the project.
I think we spent too much money on the consultants.

We can leave out the noun if the meaning is clear.
Just a little milk, please. Not too much.
There are six chairs. Is that enough?

Other structures with too and enough
After too and enough we can use a phrase with for.

Their delivery times are too long for us.
Have we got enough chairs for everyone?

After too and enough we can use a to infinitive.

Sales are too slow to make much profit.
We don’t have enough time to do everything.

So and such

We use so and such for emphasis

So with adjectives and adverbs: The meeting finished so quickly.

Such a with adjective + singular noun: It was such a quick meeting.

Such/So many/So few with plural nouns: You have such friendly colleagues
We sold so many policies last month!

Such/So much/So little with uncountable nouns: It was such good advice.
I have so much work to do.


So/such and too are different. So/such express an opinion which can be either positive or negative. Too suggests a difficulty, that something cannot be done.

There are so many people involved in the project. (it's just my opinion)
There are too many people involved in the project. (we need to reduce the number)
So/such can be used with that to express a result. Too cannot be used with that.
The meeting finished so quickly that I was home by 5.30. (NOT too quickly that)

Quite, fairly, pretty or rather?

Quite, fairly and pretty mean “a medium amount”. “Like most businesses, we’re fairly cautious about what might come in the next couple of years, mainly because of the Asian situation”

In American English pretty is a common way of saying 'very'.
We can change the meaning of quite in British English by stressing the adjective in speech. The
meaning changes to 'very'. This is called understatement.
The restaurant was quite good. (normal meaning: it was OK)
The restaurant was quite good. (understatement: it was very good)

Rather also means 'a medium amount', but it often suggests that something is bad, surprising or unusual. It is more formal.
It’s rather late to do anything now. (It's a little too late, I'm afraid)
The restaurant was rather good. (I enjoyed it, surprisingly)

With a comparative we can only use rather, not quite.
The meeting took rather longer than I expected. (NOT quite longer)

With some adjectives quite means 'absolutely' or 'completely'. These include: absurd, certain, different, hopeless, impossible, ridiculous, right, sure, true, wrong.
I'm quite certain about this. (= absolutely certain)
Are you sure that's quite right? (= completely right)

Exercise 1

Match each phrase 1-8 with the phrase a)-h) with the closest meaning. Be careful - some are similar.

1 It's a bit slow.
2 It's quite slow.
3 It’s rather slow.
4 It's relatively slow.
5 It's so slow.
6 It's too slow.
7 It's slow enough.
8 It's not slow enough.

a) It's comparatively slow.
b) It's slightly slow.
c) lt's fairly slow.
d) It's a little too slow, I’m afraid.
e) I want it to be even slower.
f) There's a problem. I want it to be faster.
g) It really is very slow.
h) OK. That's as slow as it needs to be.

Exercise 2

Underline the correct words.

1 The salary they are suggesting sounds so good/too good to be true!
2 There were so few/so little customers that I went home early.
3 We can't pull out now. There's too much/too many money involved.
4 It was such/so a boring meeting that I nearly fell asleep.
5 The meeting was such/so boring that I nearly fell asleep.
6 I had to say 'no' - the cost was so much/too much for the budget I was given.
7 We had so much/so many new business that we needed extra staff.
8 I had so much/so many reports to write that I put the answering machine on.
9 We have so few/so little information that we can't make a decision.
10 The meeting was so short/too short to cover all the points properly.
11 Can you help me? I'm not enough tall/tall enough to reach the top shelf.
12 There isn't enough money/money enough in the budget for your idea.

Exercise 3

Complete the sentences with one of these words: too, enough, so, such, much, many, little, few.
1 Is your coffee______ hot? Would you like a little more milk?
2 I had _________ trouble finding somewhere to park that I arrived late.
3 I had _____________________ problems finding somewhere to park that I arrived late.
4 There were ________________ replies to the last mailing that we won't do another.
5 I had _________________ cash on me that I couldn't even buy a sandwich.
6 The price of their shares is __________ high to buy any more right now.
7 We're making _____________ progress that we should finish a week early.
8 We're expecting a lot of people. This room won't be large __________.
9 I couldn't do any work on the train. I was __________ tired that I fell asleep.
10 She speaks ____________ quickly for me to understand.
11 They pay ___________ late that we won't receive the money until June.
12 That's _______________ a good idea. It'll save us thousands of dollars.


Exercise 4

Complete the second sentence so it has a similar meaning to the first sentence and contains the word in brackets.
1 I didn't buy that laptop because the screen was too small. (enough)
I didn't buy that laptop because ___________________________.

2 The problem was so difficult that I referred it to my line manager. (such)
It ______________________________ that I referred it to my line manager.

3 There weren't enough copies of the agenda. (few)
There ____________________________________of the agenda.

4 There's not enough space on this spreadsheet for all the results. (little)
There's ____________________________ on this spreadsheet for all the results.

5 It was such a good presentation that they gave us the contract immediately. (so)
The _______________________________ that they gave us the contract immediately.

6 I sold too few units last month to get a bonus. (enough)
I ________________________________ last month to get a bonus.

7 I've got such a busy schedule that I can't meet you until next Tuesday. (so)
My schedule _____________________________that I can't meet you until next Tuesday.

8 We've sent out lots of brochures and we'll need to print some more. (many)
We've sent out ____________________________we'll need to print some more.

9 I haven't got enough time to prepare for the meeting. (too)
I've got _______________________________________ to prepare for the meeting.

20 Compound Adjectives

Compound adjectives are made up of two or more words, usually written with hyphens between them.

There are many different ways of forming compound adjectives, but the most frequent are:
(a) adjective or number + past participle:
an old-fashioned theory
(b) adjective or adverb + past participle:
heavily-populated regions
(c) adjective, adverb or noun + -ING form
coal-exporting nations low-lying areas
(d) number + singular countable noun:
a five-year plan a six-week training course

Exercise 1

Form as many compound adjectives as possible with the words below:

1) ____________ - class
2) ____________ - time
3) ____________ - free
4) ____________ - handed
5) well- ___________

Exercise 2
Combine the words from the box to make compound adjectives, and
complete the definitions.

short user up produced
mouth mass price watering
hard good friendly sighted
half open mouthed looking

1) A person suffering from myopia is
2) Someone who is physically attractive is
3) Food which looks and / or smells good is
4) Someone who has very little money is¬
5) Something manufactured in very large quantities is
6) Someone is if they are amazed or astonished.
7) A program or machine that is easy to use is
8) If something is sold at , it costs 50% less than it did before.

21 Relative Clauses

1 We use who or that in a relative clause to identify people.
The people who/that we employ are very highly qualified.

As people is the object of the clause the relative pronoun can be left out.
The people we employ are very highly qualified.

If the relative pronoun defines the subject of the sentence, it must be included.
A counterfeiter is a person who copies goods in order to trick people.

2 We use that or which in a relative clause to identify things.
Have you read the report that/which I left on your desk?

If that or which identifies the object of the clause it can be left out.
Have you read the report I left on your desk?

If that or which defines the subject of the sentence, it must be included. Organisations that are flexible can respond to change.

3 Non-defining clauses provide extra information about the subject or object of a sentence. The extra information is separated by commas.

Philip Condit, who is chairman of Boeing, wants the airline to become a global company.

Note that it is not possible to use that.
The Dorfmann hotel, which is situated 30 kms outside Vienna, charges
US$ 1400 per person.

Again, it is not possible to use that in a non-defining clause.

Use the relative pronouns below to complete these quotations.

Which gap does not need a relative pronoun?

who which that where

1 “The job for big companies, the challenge __________________ we all face as bureaucrats, is to create an environment ______________ people can reach their dreams.” Jack Welch (US business leader)
2 ”He _______________ has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” Aristotle (Greek philosopher)
3 “A leader shapes and shares a vision, __________________ gives point to the work of others.” Charles Handy (British writer and philosopher)
4 “A leader should be humble. A leader should be able to communicate with his people. A leader is someone ______________ walks out in front of his people, but he doesn't get too far out in front, to where he can't hear their footsteps.' Tommy Lasorda (US sports personality)
5 “A leader is someone ___________________ knows what they want to achieve and can communicate that.” Margaret Thatcher (British politician)

In the text below, all the relative pronouns have been taken out. Put them back in, where appropriate.

A leader among men

Carly Fiorina, has been called America's most powerful business woman, is Chief Executive of the huge Hewlett Packard group, manufactures computers and printers. Ms Fiorina, has spent most of her working life in the telecommunica¬tions industry, started out as a sales rep¬resentative with AT&T, she rose rapidly through the ranks. Later she was a key player in the creation of the equipment and components company Lucent Technologies, she was in charge of the sales and marketing of networking prod¬ucts. Ms Fiorina now oversees an organi¬sation is one of the 30 leading companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

22 Prefixes

When you are reading, you will come across unfamiliar words. It is often possible to guess the meanings of these words if you understand the way words in English are generally formed.

prefix stem suffixes

An English word can be divided into three parts: a prefix, a stem, and a suffix. Pre-means 'before'. A prefix, therefore, is what comes before the stem. Consider, as an example, the prefix de- (meaning 'reduce' or 'reverse') in a word like demagnetize (meaning 'to deprive of magnetism'). A suffix is what is attached to the end of the stem. Consider, as an example, the suffix -er (meaning 'someone who') in programmer ('a person who programs').
Suffixes change the word from one part of speech to another. For example, -ly added to the adjective quick gives the adverb quickly. Prefixes, on the other hand, usually change the meaning of the word. For example, un- changes a word to the negative. Unmagnetizable means 'not capable of being magnetized'.
Let us now consider some prefixes, their usual meanings, and how they change the meanings of English words.


Negative and positive Size Location
Time and
order Number

re- semi-
ex- inter
fore- mono-

Study these tables. Try to find additional examples, using your dictionary if necessary.



Exercise 1

l Negative and positive prefixes:

Prefix Meaning Examples
Negative un- I unmagnetized
in- incomplete
im- not impossible
il- illegal
ir- irregular, irrelevant
non- not connected with non-programmable,
mis- bad, wrong misdirect
dis- opposite feeling disagree
opposite action disconnect
anti- against antiglare
de- reduce, reverse demagnetize, decode
under- too little underestimate

Positive re- do again reorganize
over- too much overload

2 Prefixes of size:

Prefix Meaning Examples
semi- half, partly semiconductor
equi- equal equidistant
mini- small minicomputer
micro- very small microcomputer
macro- large, great macroeconomics
mega- megabyte

3 Prefixes of location:

Prefix Meaning Examples
inter- between, among interface, interactive
super- over supersonic
trans- across transmit, transfer
ex- out exclude, extrinsic
extra- beyond extraordinary
sub- under subschema
infra- below infra-red
peri- around peripheral

4 Prefixes of time and order:

Prefix Meaning Examples
ante- before antecedent
pre- prefix
prime- first primary. primitive
post- after postdated
retro- backward retroactive

5 Prefixes of numbers:

Prefix Meaning Examples
semi- half semicircle
mono- one monochromatic
bi- two binary
tri- three triangle
quad- four quadruple
penta- five pentagon
hex- six hexadecimal
sept(em)- seven September
oct- eight octal
dec- ten decimal
multi- many multiplexer

6 Other prefixes:
Prefix Meaning Examples

pro- before,
in advance program
forward progress
auto- self automatic
co- } together, with co-ordinate
con- connect

Exercise 2

Read the following sentences and circle the prefixes. For each word that has a prefix, try to decide what the prefix means. Refer back to the table if you need help.

1 Floppy disks are inexpensive and reusable.

2 If a printer malfunctions, you should cheek the interface cable.

3 The multiplexer was not working because someone had disconnected it by mistake.

4 Improper installation of the antiglare shield will make it impossible to read what is on the screen.

5 After you transfer text using the 'cut and paste' feature, you may have to reformat the text you have inserted.

6 You can maximize your chances of finding a job if you are bilingual or even trilingual.

7 Peripheral devices can be either input devices (such as keyboards) or output devices (such as printers).

8 Your pay rise is retroactive to the beginning of June and you will receive a bi¬annual bonus.

9 The octal and hexadecimal systems are number systems used as a form of shorthand in reading groups of four binary digits.

10 As the results are irregular, the program will have to be rewritten.

Exercise 3

Fill in the gaps with the correct prefix from the following list.

auto maxi mono de mega multi dec micro semi inter mini sub

1 Most people prefer a colour screen to a ____________chrome screen.

2 ___________ script is a character or symbol written below and to the right of a
number or letter, often used in science.

3 A _________ byte equals approximately one million bytes.

4 Once you finish your program, you will have to test it and ________bug it to remove all the mistakes.

5 The introduction of _______ conductor technology revolutionized the computer

6 If a computer system has two or more central processors which are under
common control, it is called a ________ processor system.

7 The __________ imal system is a number system with a base of 10.

8 When the user and the computer are in active communication on a graphics system, we refer to this as ____________ active graphics.

Exercise 4

Make these words negative by adding the appropriate prefix

in un im dis

1. frequently
2. loyal
3. specific
4. like
5. real
6. probably
7. available
8. advantages

23 Dealing with Figures

Saying numbers

Years 1984 nineteen eighty four
2001 two thousand and one

Currencies £3.15 three pounds fifteen
$7.80 seven dollars eighty
€250 two hundred and fifty euros

Decimals 16.5 sixteen point five
17.38% seventeen point three eight percent
0,185 (nought /zero) point one eight five


Bigger numbers

3560 three thousand five hundred and sixty
598, 347 five hundred and ninety-eight thousand, three hundred and forty seven
1m one / a million (1,000,000)
3bn three billion (3000,000,000)
$7.5bn seven point five billion dollars
£478m four hundred and seventy eight million pounds



Read the article below. Then write all the numbers and symbols in full, according to the way they are pronounced. For example, 1999: nineteen ninety-nine; £3.1m: three point one million pounds.

EuroDisney runs new project The French Government yesterday approved a Euro 4.6bn urban development project east of Paris, coordinated by EuroDisney, and designed to create 22,000 jobs by 2015.

Yule Gatto takeover bid
Yule Gatto, the chemicals group, launched a £240m bid far Holliday Chemical. Yule shares fell 32p (about 10%) to 274 in response to the news. Holliday's shares dropped 8p to end at 225p.

Prince invests in media and technology
The worldwide fall in stock markets last month encouraged Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to invest in media and technology companies. The Saudi prince spent $400m on a 5% stake in News Corporation, $300m on 1 % of Motorola and $150m on 5% of Netscape Communications.

Monet market
A beach scene painted in 1870 by French impressionist Claude Monet when he was desperately short of money made £3.8m at Christie's Auction House in London.

New car registrations in Europe
New car registrations in Western Europe in November rose 10.4% to 991,800 from 898,400 a year ago, said the European Auto Manufacturers Association.

FT sales record
Sales of the Financial Times hit an all-time record in November. Worldwide sales were 12.4% up on November, last year.


Describing Trends

We can describe trends in English in different ways:

Verbs of change
Profits are falling.
Unemployment is rising in many areas.

Our business grew by 10% last year.
Sales grew to $5.8 million.

Different Tense
In recent months our profits have risen dramatically.
In January we were making a loss.
We've been going through a difficult period.

To describe changing circumstances we can use verbs of movement.

Improve increase recover rise
Decline decrease drop fall

A dramatic movement may be expressed by:

rocket soar
dive plummet

A slight movement can be indicated by:

edge up edge down dip


The amount of increase can also be indicated using these verbs:

halve double triple quadruple increase tenfold

Or with a preposition:

Our business grew by 15% last year
Sales have increased from 1.0 million to 1.8 million.


Changes which have not reached their end point are expressed using -ing.

Profits are falling.
Unemployment has been rising

If the change is complete we use a perfect tense.

The Government has privatised the rail network.


Draw a graph or symbol to describe or give an example of the following words:

Decline gain drop increase rocket plummet double
Fall halve level off triple recover decrease fluctuate improve peak rise

Which of the above verbs also have noun forms? What are they?
For example, to increase an increase.

Peter Bingham, President of a clothing company, is in a meeting with his Sales Director John Amidon, and his Financial Director, Kate Simmons. Complete their conversation with appropriate forms of the verbs in brackets. Sometimes more than one tense is possible.

Peter I'm glad you managed to make it today. I'd like to start by taking a look at the year's sales and profit figures. First of all John, could you summarise the sales figures?

John Well, we had a good January - 5.2 million. January's a difficult month because sales always……….. (drop) after Christmas. In February we launched the new children's line and it went very well. Total sales…….. (rise) to almost 8 million, which was nice. Unfortunately they then……….. (plummet) after the Fire in the main factory. But by the end of April we……….(recover), 10.2 million was the figure – and since then sales…………(go up) steadily month by month. The December figures aren't in yet, but it looks like we…………(probably reach) 15 million this month.

Peter Good. I've got a couple of questions, but I’ll save them for later. Kate, sales have increased, but has that meant higher profits?

Kate Yes, it has. We're waiting for the final figures, but we already know that overall in the first three quarters of the year, profits …………(rise) by 15% compared to last year, from 960,000 to 1.1 million. In fact since April, profits………….(increase) every single month and they……….(still go up).

Peter What about next year?

Kate Well, as you know, next year we're going to centralise distribution, so costs …………(decrease). Even if sales ……………… (level off), profits………….(improve).

24 Asking Questions

1 In questions which can be answered with either yes or no, we put an auxiliary verb before the subject.
Is your present job interesting?
Are you willing to relocate to Milan?
Would you have to give notice?
Have you applied for any other jobs?
Do you have a clean driving licence?
Does your partner work?
2 We use questions beginning with wh- or how when asking for information.

Where were you born?
What did you study at college?
How long did you stay there?
How many people finished the course?

3 When who, what or which is the subject of a sentence, an auxiliary is not used.

Who gave you the information? (NOT * Who did give you ...)
What happened at the meeting? (NOT * What did happen ...)
Which costs the least? (NOT * Which does cost the least?)

4 Requests and questions can be made more polite by making them less direct.

Would you mind if I smoked?
Do you mind if I use your phone?
Could you tell me how you found out about our service?
I'd like to know what you don't like about your present employer.
5 Note that in reported questions, as in indirect questions, the word order is the
same as for a statement.

'How soon will you be able to start?'
He wanted to know how soon he would be able to start.

Exercise 1

Ask questions. (Look at the answers before you write the questions.)
(where / from?)
(how long/married?)
(how old / they?)
(he/enjoy his job?)
(arrest anyone yesterday?)
(how often / go / on holiday?)
(where / next year?)
From London originalIy.
In Manchester.
12 years.
Yes, three boys.
4, 7 and 9.
He's a policeman.
Yes, very much.
I don't know.
UsualIy once a year.
We don't know yet.


Exercise 2
Make questions with who or what.

Somebody hit me.
I hit somebody.
Somebody gave me the key.
Something happened.
Diane told me something.
This book belongs to somebody.
Somebody lives in that house.
I fell over something.
Something fell on the floor.
This word means something.
I borrowed the money from somebody.
I'm worried about something.

Exercise 3
Put the words in brackets in the correct order. All the sentences are questions.

1 (when / was / built / this house)
2 (how / cheese / is / made)
3 (when / invented / the computer / was)
4 (why / Sue / working / isn't / today)
5 (what time / coming / your friends / are)
6 (why / was / cancelled / the concert)
7 (where / your mother / was / born)
8 (why / you / to the party / didn't / come)
9 (how / the accident / did / happen)
10 (why / this machine / doesn't / work)

Exercise 4

Underline the correct words.

1 Spoke you / Did you speak with Lara Yesterday?
2 What did Lara say / said when you spoke to her?
3 A: Do you like Scotch whisky?
B: Yes, I like. / Yes, I do.
4 How works this machine /does this machine work?
5 Who set up Microsoft / did set up Microsoft?
6 When set up Microsoft / did Microsoft set up?
7 Who did telephone me / telephoned me this morning?
8 Who you telephoned / did you telephone this morning?

Exercise 5

Rearrange the words in each group from the list to make questions. Then match them to the answers below to make a complete dialogue.

you business here are on you did do that what before
are for how you staying long like what's it
been how have long there you working arrive did when you
you what do do to is first this Lyon your visit
staying you where are involve travelling job does much your

1 A:
B: Yes, I'm here on a sales trip.
2 A:
B: I work for a small biotech company.
3 A:
B: About four years, I suppose.
4 A:
B: I was in pharmaceuticals.
5 A:
B: Yes, quite a lot. I travel all over Europe, but especially in France.
6 A:
B: No, I've been here once before.
7 A:
B: A couple of days ago.
8 A:
B: Until Friday, then I go back to the UK.
9 A:
B: At the Holiday Inn.
10 A:
B: It's very comfortable actually, and the restaurant is good.

25 Noun Plurals

The plural of a noun is usually made by adding -s to the singular noun:
cart --- carts horse --- horses

If the noun ends in -s, -ch, -o, -sh, -x, -es is added:
class --- classes church --- churches

Many foreign words ending in -o have plurals in either -s or -es:

scenario --- scenarios cargo --- cargoes

If the noun ends in a consonant before -y, the plural is formed with -ies:

city --- cities country --- countries floppy --- floppies

If the noun ends in a vowel before -y, the plural is regular:

day --- days play --- plays

A few nounss ending in –f or -fe form the plural with –ves

life --- lives half --- halves

Some nouns do not have a plural form and are never used with a plural verb:

employment health advice information furniture

Some nouns are always plural:

police clothes trousers scissors glasses

Most nouns ending in –ish have plurals in which -is is replaced by -es:

crisis --- crises analysis --- analyses hypothesis --- hypotheses

Exercise 1

Write the plural forms of the following nouns. (Use a dictionary if necessary).

index basis reply society virus volcano mouse
postman medium housewife criterion foot
charity dynamo thesis fax virus directory
mouse floppy

26 Collective Nouns

Some nouns that refer to groups of people can be used with either singular or plural verbs and pronouns:

The government says it is / say they are worried about unemployment.

A singular verb is used when thinking of the group as a single unit.
A plural verb is used when thinking of the group as a number of individuals:

Our family isn’t rich any more. (family as unit)
My family are perfectly normal. (members of the family)

The names of many organisations are collective nouns, and can be used with singular or plural verbs and pronouns:

The UN has decided to maintain its peace-keeping force in Kosovo (a col¬lective decision)
The BBC want to test new programming schedules (various departments)
Other collective nouns include:

bank government press
company committee public
council management staff
union population team
Italy, England etc. as the national sports teams


A singular verb is used when talking about fractions of a single thing:

Two-thirds of the earth’s surface is covered in water.
80 per cent of goods traffic is transported by road.
30% of mail is sent via internet

A plural verb is used when talking about fractions of a number of things:

Half of the country's workers are below the poverty line.
50% of e mails are spam.

Plural verb forms are used with percentages referring to plural nouns.

Ten per cent of the people earn so little that they cannot feed themselves.
80 per cent of patents were granted to lone investors.
Percentages and fractions can be used on their own as noun groups when it
is clear what they refer to:

Only 10 in 100 people speak a third language whereas
30 in 100 speak a third language.

30 in 100 has a plural verb as it denotes a percentage of people.

Many singular quantifying expressions may be used with plural nouns and

Only a handful of people go abroad each year.
The majority of people have no property.
Other expressions used in the same way include:
a couple of / a lot of / a (certain) number of / the rest of / a group of

Exercise 1

Underline the most suitable form.

A lot of shops and supermarkets now opens / open on Sundays. Although
some people has / have religious objections to Sunday opening, the majority
is / are in favour of it. Staff at some supermarkets is / are protesting because
It / believes / they believe that its / their / family life will suffer. However, the
Shop-workers' Union claim / claims that nearly 90 per cent of its / their
members does not / do not think that working on Sundays will affect the
quality of its / their family life.

27 Morphology and Computers

Morphology 1

Choose the correct word to complete each sentence. You may have to change some words slightly.

electron, electronic, electronics, electronically

a An ______________ pen is one example of an input device.

b A computer solves problems ________________ .

c Many ____________________ students go on to work as engineers.

technology, technological, technologically, technologist

a The computer is the greatest _______________ invention of the twentieth century

b There are two ___________________ involved in a graphic tablet.

c Today's computers are ___________ far superior to those used a few years ago.

identify, identifying, identifiable, identity

a The graphic tablet’s pattern recognition software immediately ________ the letters and numbers written by the stylus.
b Most computer companies will not allow people without an ________ card to enter their premises.
c A password is a mechanism for _____________ the computer-user and allowing access.

compute, computing, computation, computerize, computerization

a The _____________of the manufacturing division will be expensive in the short term, but cost-effective in the long term.

b We should be able to ______________ our profit far next year fairly accurately with the new program.

c I could tell from all the ____________ on the board that a maths lesson was in progress.

Morphology 2

Choose the correct word to complete each sentence. You may have to change some words slightly.

instruction, instruct, instructed, instructor

a Our maths __________ explained to us the principles of binary arithmetic.

b We were ___________ to document our programs very carefully.

c Both ______________ and data have to be changed to machine code before
the computer can operate on them.

compilation, compiler, compile, compiled

a Our university computer does not have a PASCAL ____________ .

b Usually, a programmer ____________ his program before he puts in the
c A source program cannot be directly processed by the computer until it has been
____________ .

result, results, resulting

a The linkage editor links systems routines to the object module.
The ____________ program, referred to as the load module, is directly
executable by the computer.

b The _________ of these mathematical operations were obtained from
the university mainframe and not from my micro.

specification, specify, specific, specified, specifically

a Our company bought three packages with very ________ applications:
payroll, accounts receivable, and accounts payable.

b An applications program is designed to do a ____________ type of work,
such as calculating the stress factor of a roof.

c Did the analyst give the new programmer the _________ necessary to
start on the project?

Morphology 3

Choose the correct word to complete each sentence. You may have to change some words slightly.

1 create, created, creating, creation, creativity

a The ____________of this database will give us a huge advantage over our competitors in the long run.

b The procedure for __________ a new file is very simple.

c The new position we are advertising is going to require someone with enormous __________ .

2 generate, generated, generative, generation

a Exercises can be quickly __________ using this program.

b Our company is working on a new ___________ of software products.

c This development is sure to ___________ great interest.

3 access, accessed, accessible, accessibility

a All user requests to ___________ a database are handled by the database management system.

b ___________ to the computer room is restricted to authorized personnel.

c Those files are not ____________ unless you know the password.

4 analyse, analysed, analysis, analyst

a When a text is _____________ , all pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, and verb forms are automatically identified.

b This ____________ shows that most PC users are not aware of the fun potential of the software products they buy.

c The DBMS first receives the request and ___________ it for syntax errors.

Morphology 4

Choose the correct word to complete each sentence. You may have to change some words slightly.

1 consider, considered, consideration, considerable, considerably

a We'll have to _________ using another company if they can't provide the software we need.

b The company has invested a ____________ sum of money in ergonomic workstations.

c The CEO has submitted this proposal for your ___________ .

d This computer is ___________ faster than the old one.

2 apply, applying, applicant, application, applicable

a We have interviewed five ________ for the new position.

b The last part of the form is not __________ to foreign students.

c My student is thinking of ____________ for a government grant to continue his research.

d The new book uses business ____________ to teach computer studies.

3 explain, explained, explaining, explanation, explanatory

a The package includes an ___________ booklet.

b The instructions are very clear and do not require any further ___________ .

c It will only take a couple of minutes to __________ how the program works.

d If you are new to this system, almost everything will have to be ____________ .

4 depend, depending, dependent, dependence, dependable, dependably

a The company has supplied us ___________ for over ten years.

b We have to reduce our _____________ on imported goods.

c This is very ______________ equipment. We have never had a serious breakdown.

d Today, many companies______________ more on FAXs than on mail.

5 connect, connected, connecting, connector, connectivity, connection

a ______________is an important concept in global communications.

b He only got that contract because he has ___________ in the government.

c Make sure the ___________________ is not loose before you call a service technician.

d Once the new telephone lines are ______________ , our system should be more efficient.

28 Compound Nouns

The language of computing in English contains an ever-increasing number of compound nouns, that is, a group of two or more nouns which act as a single noun.

memory capacity information systems an address bus
a bar code scanner an arithmetic unit

It is important to be able to recognize how such compounds are formed in order to understand what they mean.
The exact relationship between the words depends on the particular expression, but all these expressions have one thing in common: the last word in the chain says what the thing is, while the preceding word or group of words describes the thing. So when we read compound nouns, we have to start with the last word and work backwards.


An address bus is a bus dedicated to address information.
The memory capacity of a computer is the capacity of its memory.

A large number of possible meanings can be expressed by compound nouns. For instance, the first noun or group of nouns can tell us what the second noun is made of, what it is for, or what it is part of.

1 Material: the first noun tells us what the second consists of.
a silicon chip (a chip made of silicon)
a ferrite ring (a ring made of ferrite)

2 Function: the first noun tells us what the second noun is for.
an address bus (a bus dedicated to address information)
an input device (a device for inputting)
an arithmetic unit (a unit which performs arithmetic functions)

3 Part: the second noun refers to a part of the first noun.
a computer keyboard (the keyboard of a computer)
a monitor screen (the screen of a monitor)
a program feature (a feature of a program)

4 Activity or person: the second noun refers to an activity or person related to the first noun.
computer programming (the programming of computers)
a computer programmer (a person who programs computers)
systems analysis (the analysis of organizational systems)
a systems analyst (a person who analyses organizational systems)

5 Multiple nouns: sometimes a compound noun will join together with one or more other nouns to give an expression that has three or four words. In such cases, it is important to examine the expression very carefully to break it into its constituent parts. The secret, as always, is to read the expression from the back towards the front.
4 3 2 l
a document-image-processing program (a program which processes images of documents)
Note: some expressions are written separately, while others are joined by hyphens. There are no clear rules for this. Sometimes you will see the same expression written in different ways in different texts.
document-image-processing program
document image-processing program
document image processing program

However, it is important to be consistent within a single text.

Exercise 1

A device that scans bar codes is called a bar code scanner. What name is given to:
1 a unit that gives a visual display of information on a screen?
2 a device that reads magnetic cards?
3 a device that plots graphs?
4 a device that prints using a laser as the light source?
5 a unit that holds magnetic disks?
6 a device that prints using a jet of ink?
7 the rate of transmission of data?
8 a package for making presentations using multimedia?
9 a program which processes data in batches?
10 the process for the conversion of disks for computers?
11 diskettes used with computers
12 a survey of the public's opinion
13 companies operating in the private sector
14 tax paid on income
15 a fat derived from an animal
16 an expert in marketing techniques
17 a person who programs computers
18 a person who analyses systems

Exercise 2

Using the explanations in Exercise l as models. Write short simple explanations of the following items:

1 an input device
2 an optical character reader
3 a graphics stylus
4 a document sorter
5 a fibre optics transmission system
6 a sequence control register
7 a liquid crystal display
8 network configuration information
9 a desktop document manager
10 a multimedia editing software package
11 milk chocolate
12 a wine glass
13 fruit juice
14 energy drink
15 cheesecake
16 tomato ketchup
17 a milk bottle
18 a cigarette packet

29 Definite and Indefinite article

Definite article the

Used with singular and plural countable nouns in specific context

I studied the program.
The programs are interesting.

The not used before uncountable nouns in generic context

Time goes faster as you get older.
Hardware is becoming less expensive

The not used before plural countable nouns in generic contexts

Philosophical texts can be hard to understand.
Computer hackers can cause a lot of damage.

Note the use of a clause can make something specific

The time (that) he spent at university.

Use the with singular noun for a class of animals or things

The dog is man’s best friend.
The computer is very important in the financial world.

Use the with superlatives and ordinal numbers.

The biggest users of SMS are young people
The robotics department is on the 7th Floor.

The is not used with:-

Possessive adjectives
eg. This is my car

Names of meals
I had breakfast this morning.

if the meal is a specific meal then we use the

The dinner we ate last night was wonderful

Names of games

I enjoy watching and playing rugby.

Means of transport

eg I go to work by train

Names of people

I am meeting John in the restaurant at lunchtime.

Names of countries and Cities unless defined in some way or they are plural.

Italy is in the European Economic Union

The Netherlands has a large percentage of land below sea level.

Names of single mountains but used with mountain ranges

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Scotland.

Everest is in the Himalayas

Names of lakes

Lake Garda is in North Italy

Months, years, %

The indefinite article A/An

An is used with vowel sound.

Used with singular countable nouns
He is an Economist

Not used when referring to office of person
She became CEO in 2002.

No article with countable nouns in generic reference
They are students.

Indefinite article can be used with singular countable nouns for general classification
A dog is a faithful animal.
A doctor treats ill people

Used in expressions of frequency and ratios
Once a month 100 km an hour

Used after adverbs
Rather and quite

They had quite a good time (abbastanza)
He is rather a difficult person (piuttosto)

Exercise 1

Put a or an before the words below:

advert commercial concept USP (Unique Selling Point) university
VI P hour European exhibition MBA employee endorsement

The text below is about an unusual advertising campaign for a car. It uses a famous actor who died nearly 20 years before the advertisement was made. There are no articles in the text. Write in the articles a, an, or the where appropriate.


More than 6,000 famous advertising people from around world gathered in Cannes at end of last month for 44th International Advertising Festival.

Many of those looking through 4000-plus commercials were searching for multinational advertiser ideal: simple idea that crosses borders and appeals to people on same level in different markets. Unfortunately most of awards were for ads created specifically for local markets.

New Ford Puma campaign was created too late for this year's festival, but expect to see it shine at 45th. Designed to launch Ford's new sporty coupé across Europe, it contains that instantly recognisable idea that those multinational agencies' clients seek.

Essentially, late, great Steve McQueen drives Ford Puma through streets of San Francisco in manner in which he drove 1960s Ford Mustang in big classic movie Bullitt.

Footage from film, supplied by Warner Brothers, is combined through use of extraordinary computer technology with footage of Ford Puma. Car follows one of routes Mustang took in film.

As McQueen 'drives' around city, car receives admiring glances from passers-by ranging from traffic cop to attractive woman out walking. Finally he pulls onto his garage where he parks Puma alongside original Mustang.

Look at the underlined words in the text. Then answer the questions below.

1 In paragraph 4 which streets are we talking about?
2 In paragraph 5 which: a) film b) car c) route d) Mustang are we talking about?
3 In paragraph 6 which: a) city b) car c) Puma d) Mustang are we talking about?

Why do we use the to answer the questions in the above exercise?
Why do we use a or an instead of the before these words?
1 a Ford Puma (paragraph 4) 3 a traffic cop (paragraph 6)
2 a 1960s Ford Mustang (paragraph 4) 4 an attractive woman (paragraph 6)

Exercise 2

Underline the correct words.

1 Where's a/the fax they sent this morning? I can't find it.
2 I have an/the appointment at a/the bank.
3 I had a/the very good holiday. A/The weather was marvellous.
4 I've been working so hard that I need a/the break.
5 They are a/the largest manufacturer of light bulbs in a/the world.
6 A/The presentation was a/the great success.
7 Can I give you a/the lift to the station?
8 I think I need a/the new pair of glasses.
9 We need to reach a/the decision as soon as possible.
10 There must be an/the answer to a/the problem.
11 Mike is an/the accountant. He works on another/the other side of town.
12 His office is a/the biggest one in a/the building.
13 Where is a/the document that we were looking at just now?
14 The Portuguese/The Portuguese people are very good negotiators.

Exercise 3

Put either a/an or a dash (-) to show no article.

1 ___ money makes the world go round.
2 Sheila drives_____French car.
3 Rita works in____insurance agency in____ Lisbon.
4 _____health is the most important thing in ____life.
5 This is ____ good time for ______ sales of new cars.
6 This is the number to call for______information.
7 I've got _____colleague who is _____ systems analyst.
8 _____ product knowledge is very important for _____ sales representative.
9 He is _______ engineer. He studied ______ engineering at university.
10 We produce ____ full sales report four times _____ year.

Exercise 4

Put either a/an, the or a dash (-) to show no article.

1 _____ Italians have given us ______ lot of _______business.
2 _______ most people thought that it was ______ very good product.
3 I like to drink _____ glass of wine in _____ evening.
4 I wish I could speak English like _____English.
5 As soon as _____Helen gets off ____ plane, ask her to give me ______ call.
6 ______ smoking is not permitted in this area.
7 There's _____ visitor at ______ reception desk.
8 When I arrived at _____ airport, I had _____ drink and waited for _____flight.
9 I want _____action, not _____words.
10 ______ person with _____MBA usually gets ____ good job.
11 I'll get you _____ coffee from ____machine.
12 Marie comes from _______France.

Exercise 5

Underline the correct words.

1 We went to Pisa/the Pisa and saw Leaning Tower/the Leaning Tower.
2 Crete/The Crete is very beautiful at this time of year.
3 My son is in hospital/the hospital and can't go to school/the school.
4 You can go from Heathrow/the Heathrow by underground/the underground.
5 Helmut Kohl/The Helmut Kohl was Chancellor/the Chancellor who helped to reunite Germany/the Germany.
6 We flew over Alps/the Alps and saw Mont Blanc/the Mont Blanc.
7 In near future/the near future video conferences will replace many meetings.
8 I'm tired! Thank goodness it's time to go home/to home.
9 New York/The New York is in United States/the United States.
10 I usually have lunch/the lunch at about one.
11 I used to work for Deutsche Bank/the Deutsche Bank in City of London/the City of London at start/the start of my career.
12 My son wants to go to university/the university after his exams.
13 Do you know Lake Windermere/the Lake Windermere? It's in Lake District/the Lake District, in north-west/the north-west of England/the England.
14 I bought this suit from Bond Street/the Bond Street.
15 The Government should do more to help the poor/the poor people.
16 On our trip to UK/the UK we toured around south-east/the south-east and visited Canterbury Cathedral/the Canterbury Cathedral.
17 They wouldn't pay, so we took them to court/the court.
18 John/The John is at work/the work at moment/the moment.
19 We travelled to Italy/the Italy by car/the car.
20 Danube/The Danube is the main river in Central Europe/the Central Europe.

Exercise 6

In each pair of sentences, fill in one space with the and the other space with a dash (-) to show no article.

1 a) _______profits are increasing across every division of the company.
b) _______ profits we made last year were up in comparison to the year before.
2 a) ________information in your report will be very useful to us.
b) ________information about the Kazakh market is hard to find.
3 a) _______visitors should sign their name in the book at reception.
b) ________visitors from Germany will be arriving at ten.
4 a) This magazine article gives _____advice about which stocks to buy.
b) Thank you for _______ advice you gave me last week.
5 a) _______bonds I have are all long-term investments.
b) ________bonds are a safe investment when interest rates are falling.
6 a) ________French exports to the rest of Europe are up 4% this year.
b) _______ French are world leaders in the luxury goods market.
7 a) _________ management is an art, not a science.
b)_________ management are blaming the unions for the breakdown in negotiations.



Business Communication: Correspondence
Task 1

Presentation and structure

The layout of business letters often varies slightly from company to company. .

Decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F).

On unheaded notepaper, you should always write your name above your address.

On unheaded notepaper, the address of the sender is on the right.

Our ref. refers to the writer’s filing system.

In the UK, the date 2/4/93 means February 4th, 1993.

You should always write the name and position of the person you are writing to above his/her company address.

You use the salutation Dear Sir or Dear Madam when you know that the person you are writing to is older or more senior than you.

If you begin with Dear Sir, you end with Yours faithfully.

The initials p.p. indicates that the person signing the letter is doing so on behalf of someone else.

It is unusual for the writer to put his/her company position at the end of the letter.

In business letters, dates should appear as numbers separated by full points (.) or obliques (/).

The abbreviation Ms can refer to both married and unmarried women.

If you are writing to Mrs Anne Swanson. you open with Dear Anne Swanson.

Short business letters are regarded as impolite.

Americans may begin a business letter with the salutation Gentlemen. followed by a colon.

The letters Enc. mean that something else has been sent with the letter.


Study the layout and structure of this typical business letter

XP Publicity
Via Santa Marta 34
31124 Conegliano
Tel 0438 456723
E mail

21 October 2004

our ref: 45/PZ
your ref: 34/789

JFB Office Supplies
Unit 8
Jubiter Business Park
Dear Sir/Madam,
Re Filing cabinet order
I recently ordered a filing cabinet from your company and I am writing to say that I am not satisfied with the one which has just been delivered.
There are several reasons for this. Firstly, the colour is not as ordered. You have sent me a grey cabinet rather than in white as ordered. Secondly, the lock doesn't work. Finally, I found a large dent on the top, which was probably caused during delivery.
I must ask you to replace the filing cabinet with one which is the correct colour and in perfect condition. I would be grateful if you could telephone me on 06845 721399 as soon as possible in order to make the necessary arrangements.
Yours faithfully,
P Zampieri
Paula Zampieri (Ms)
Purchasing Manager

Write your address in the top right-hand corner. Do not write your name.
Write the recipient's name and address on the left-hand side below the date. Write the number first, followed by the street, town (and postcode, if you know it). Do not indent their address.
Write the first line next to the left-hand margin. Write Dear + the person's name, if you know it. If not, begin Dear Sir (for a man), Dear Madam (for a woman), or Dear Sir/Madam (if it could be either). Don't use a title like Dear Manager and remember to put a comma at the end.
If you want, you can begin the next line under the name.
In the first paragraph, clearly state your reason for writing. Use the middle paragraphs to explain the details, beginning a new paragraph for each main point.
If you are replying to an advert, say where you saw it and when. If you are replying to a letter, give the date of the letter.
In the final paragraph, sum up and/or say what action you want to be taken.
If you begin Dear Sir or Dear Madam, end with Yours faithfully. If you begin with a name, end with Yours sincerely. These endings are followed by a comma.
Print your name clearly after your signature.




Task 2
Letter puzzle
Reorganise this letter
Mr Stanley Morgan,
Dixons Electrics,
Fem IndustriaI Park,
London N17 PB5

Yours sincerely,
Boon and Co
Shangai City Complex
Hong Kong
Tel: + +65 6554 5050 – fax: + + 65 6555 0508 - Email Boon@

Your ref: SM/iw
Our ref: PT/mt
Patrick Tay
Patrick Tay
Export Manager

Thank you for your letter of 31 October.

We are pleased to enclose a leaflet which gives full details of the Sony Portable Digital Voice Recorder's specifications. We can confirm that the price for this model is $203.00 as advertised on our site but this offer expires on 30 November. So I would urge you to place an order as soon as possible while stocks last.

5 November 2004¬
Re: Sony ICD-Bio Portable Voice Recorder

Dear Mr Morgan,

We look forward to receiving your order

We are able to ship our goods within 24 hours of receiving your order. I am also enclosing a copy of our terms of payment for your reference.

Task 3

In each of the following sentences, choose the correct word to fill the gap.

l I would be ______________if you could send me details of your PS/2 range.
thankful please content grateful

2 You were ______________to us by our associates.
advised suggest recommended informed

3 We were given your _______by The Chamber of Commerce.
identity company name placing

4 Thank you for your letter ___________19 June.
in on of from

5 Please _______________enclosed our current catalogue and price list.
find look receive examine

6 We would appreciate _____________you could send us further information on
your range of non-impact printers.
it that this when it if

7 I would be grateful if you could arrange far your Technical Director on me. will call is calling to call calls

8 We look forward from you.
hear to hear hearing to hearing

9 We would be grateful an early reply.
to of for with

10 Should you require anything further at this time, please do not _______to
contact me.
avoid hesitate delay prevent

Task 4

The following letter was written to accompany an order. There are 8 mistakes (grammar, style, word order, vocabulary, spelling, etc.). Can you find and correct them?

Dear Mr P.J.Wilson,

Thank you for your fax of 19 May. Please found enclosed our order no. 88694 for five EMC180 scanners.

We would like confirming that payment for this initial order will make by banker’s draft on delivery. We will take advantage of the 39 day credit period for any subsequent orders.

We would appreciate if you could arrange for the scanners to be shipped as soon as possible.
I look forward to hear from you in short.

Yours faithfully


S Gianelli
Chief Buyer


Task 5

Match the beginnings and ends of these sentences.

1 Please find enclosed our current price a cheque or credit card.
2 Please fill in the order b with you for 2,000 units.
3 The prices quoted are subject to c we can expect delivery.
4 Payment can be made by d discounts you can offer.
5 We offer free overnight delivery on e for £395.95.
6 We would like to place an order f place further orders with you.
7 Please could you let us know what trade g list and order form. .
8 If the product sells well, we will h form on Page 260
9 Please find enclosed a cheque i orders of over £50.00.
10 Please let us know when j VAT at 17.5%.

Task 6

When writing formal letters, we often precede questions which ask for information with phrases like Could you please let us know... and Kindly inform us...
Look at the examples below and note how the original questions change when they become part of a longer question or statement. Then change the questions which follow in the same way.

A When/Where/How will the consignment arrive?
Could you please let us know when/where/how the consignment will arrive?

B Do you offer discounts on large orders?
Could you tell us whether you offer discounts on large orders?
C Are you interested in this offer?
Please let us know whether you are interested in this offer.


l How would you like us to pay?
Could you please let us know ______________________________?

2 How many items would you like to order?
Please let us know _______________________________________?

3 Do you have the items in stock?
Could you please tell us ___________________________________ ?

4 Are these terms acceptable to you?
Please let us know ________________________________________?

5 Do you anticipate any delays with delivery?
Please let us know ________________________________________ ?

6 When would you be able to ship the order?
Kindly inform us _________________________________________ ?

7 Where would you like us to send the order?
Please let us know ________________________________________ ?

8 Would you be prepared to offer us a quantity discount?
Could you please tell us ____________________________________ ?

9 When would you like to receive payment?
Please let us know _________________________________________ ?

10 Would you like us to arrange a maintenance contract?
Kindly inform us __________________________________________ ?

Task 7

Making a complaint

Rewrite these sentences using the passive. Beginning with the words indicated.

l You have sent us the wrong items again.
The wrong

2 You should have delivered this consignment last week
This consignment

3 Someone broke two of the VDUs during transportation.

4 Someone sent the order by sea mail instead of air mail.
The order

5 Please let me know when you think you can sort this matter out.
Please let me know when you think this matter

6 You should have sent the documents by registered post.
The documents

7 A faulty connection could have caused the problems with the hard disk.
The problems with the hard disk

8 You omitted the manuals from the order.
The manuals

9 You delivered the printers over three weeks late.
The printers

10 We will not pay the invoice until this problem is rectified.
The invoice

Task 8

Match the beginnings and ends of these sentences.

l I am writing to complain about the late a collected from the
2 I am writing with reference b on the invoice.

3 We are returning the goods to you because c a fault in the
manufacturing process.
4 Please arrange for the goods to be d we are not satisfied with
5 Please send us a refund for e delivery of items I ordered
last week.
6 Please accept my apologies f to order UH-8 79/94.

7 The problem arose due to g the full amount.

8 We would like to apologize for the error h for the inconvenience.

Task 9

In each of the following sentences, choose the most appropriate word from the options in brackets.

1 I am writing to (apply, request, ask) for the post of Sales Consultant advertised in today's edition of 'The Independent'.

2 I enclose my curriculum vitae for the (job, position, work) of Program Manager.

3 As you will see from the enclosed (CV, covering letter, application), I have had several years' experience of Export Sales.

4 I (qualified, left, graduated) from Manchester Technical College with an HND in Electronic Engineering.

5 At present, I am (worked, employed, taken) by Unisys, where I work in the Customer Services Department.

6 I would be grateful if you could send me an application (form, formula, card).

7 While I was at Dell, I was (liable, responsible, charged) for the day-to-day running of the Technical Services Department.

8 At ICL my duties (inc1uded, added, completed) installing and testing new computer systems.

9 I look (forward, ahead, on) to hearing from you.



Read the company memo regarding their email policy towards employees.



To: Toni Franco
From: Alba Rizzo
Subject: Company e-mail policy
Date: 5 November

It has been brought to my attention that a certain number of our employees are misusing the company email system. Please remind staff in your department about our policy regarding e-mails.

The use of emoticons* is not encouraged.
All emails must be answered within at least 8 working hours.
Priority emails should be answered within 4 hours whenever possible.
Users need to request permission from their supervisor before subscribing to a newsletter or news group.
Personal emails must be kept in a separate folder, named "Private". All personal emails must be deleted weekly so as not to clog up the system.
The forwarding of chain letters, spam and jokes is strictly forbidden.
On average, users should try and send no more than 2 personal emails a day.
Do not send mass mailings.

Staff should also remember that all personal messages distributed via the company's system are company property.


Cheek your comprehension: How should Bellotica's employees interpret company guidelines?

Necessary Permitted Prohibited Good idea Bad idea
reply within 8
reply within 4
permission to
receive newsletters

the sending of
personal emails
empty private
folder each week
chain letters, spam
& jokes
limit personal
emails to 2 a day
mass mailings

* emoticons or smileys are characters you can find on your computer keyboard. They are used in e-mail messages and for communicating over the Internet. Not for general business use!

Working with Words Remind or Remember?

Alba Rizzo wrote:

Please remind staff in your department about our policy regarding e-mails.

Staff should also remember that all personal messages distributed via the company's system are company property.

Study these sentences:
Please remember to send those invoices.
It means: Don't forget to send those invoices.

Remind me about your products.
It means: Tell me again about your products.

Remember to phone Jack correct
Remind me to phone Jack correct
Remind to phone Jack. wrong
Remember me to phone Jack wrong

Complete the email messages with remind or remember.

From: Shelley Davis <
To: Gale-Bames <
Date: 18 Ju1y
Re: Frankfurt Food fair

Hi Gale
I've tried to phone you a few times but you always seem to be out of the office! Could you remind/remember to let me have the details about the trade fair in Frankfurt next month?

From: Robert Getley, Accounts Department
To: Mr Graham Bruce, Purchasing Manager
Date: 11 April
Re: Overdue Payment

Dear Mr Bruce
May I remember/remind you that we are still waiting for you to settle invoice 9887650? As you know, our terms of payment are 30 days net . I am afraid we cannot handle any more orders from you until the invoice has been paid.
Yours sincerely
Roger Getley

From: Clare Ferguson
To: Mario Marrone
Date: 3 October
Re: Leather samples

Dear Mario
Thank you for your kind hospitality in Verona. Would you remember/remind to send me the samples you promised? I’d like to show them to our assistant manager. Could you also remind/remember us about your terms of payment and shipping costs for orders of more than 500 items?
Looking forward to doing business with you
Clare Ferguson

Test your skills for business correspondence

In the letters below, choose the correct expressions.

Letter 1: Making an enquiry

Dear Sir/Madam,

Video-Conference Equipment - Model HP 23X

I am writing to enquire about your range/series/list of audio-equipment which we saw advertised on your website.
We want more information/We desire more information/We would like to receive more information about Model HP 23X. Would you kindly confirm the price as shown on your website and let us know your terms of payment / payment conditions I payment agreement and delivery charges?

If we receive a favourable offer we may be able to pass a large order/ we may be able to send a large order / we may be able to place a large order/ with you.

We wait for your news / We look forward to receiving your reply / We wait to hear from you.
Yours faithfully,

S Morgan
Stanley Morgan

Purchasing Manager
Choose the best translations for these expressions.

1. gamma series Range List
2. Desideriamo avere più informazioni We want more information We desire more information We would like to receive more information
3. condizioni di pagamento terms of payment payment agreement payment conditions
4. vi passeremmo ordini considerevoli We may be able to send a large order We may be able to place a large order We may be able to pass a large order
5. In attesa di sentirVi

We wait for your news We wait to hear from you We look forward to receiving your reply

Letter 2: Answering an enquiry

Dear Mr Morgan

Re: Video-Conference Equipment –Model HP23X

Thank you for your letter of 19 June.

We are honoured / We are pleased / We are thrilled to confirm that the price for this model is £899 including VAT, as advertised on our website.

Please find enclosed / Herewith enclosed you will see / We are attaching our current price list together with our terms of payment and delivery charges.

I have also taken the liberty of sending you, under separate cover / in a separate folder / with a separate envelope our latest catalogue which has full details about our range of products. We are sure that you will find our prices highly convenient / economic / competitive.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, in case you want more information / if you need further information / when you desire other information.

We look forward to receiving your order and to doing business with you.

Yours sincerely

Helen Barnett

Helen Bamett

Sales Manager

Choose the best translations for these expressions.

1. Siamo lieti We are pleased We are honoured We are thrilled
2. Vi spediamo allegato alla presente We are attaching Herewith enclosed Please find enclosed
3. Con plico separato Under separate cover In a separate folder With a separate envelope
4. conveniente Convenient Economic Competitive
5. Nel caso desideriate ulteriori informazioni When you desire other information If you need further information In case you want more information



Test your skills for business correspondence

It is very important to use the right degree of formaIity in business correspondence.

In the letter below there are expressions which are too informaI or too friendly for a formal business letter.
Choose the most formal and most suitable expressions to complete the letter.

Placing an order

Dear Ms Burns

Re: order HP228

After our chat just now / With reference to our recent telephone conversation / having spoken to you a moment ago. I would like to confirm our order (No. HP228) for the following:

Cotton nightdress white 25 $ 19.99 ea.
Silk pyjamas cream 25 $ 45.00 ea.
Lycra T-shirt black 50 $ 12.50 ea.

If you do not have the items in stock, please advise us immediately / let us know right away / tell us straight away.

The goods should be shipped C.I.F. *

We would appreciate delivery / Please send us the goods I We hope we'll get the goods by the end of February.

Hope to hear from you I Write back soon I We look forward to receiving your acknowledgement.

Yours sincerely

Tamara Wilcox
Tamara Wilcox

Chief Buyer

*C.I.F. = Carriage + Insurance + Freight. This is an incoterm commonly used in international trade transactions and describes the way goods will be transported and paid for.


Complaining and Apologising: Test your comprehension

Making a complaint

Dear Ms Burns

Re: Order HP228

We regret to inform you that we are extremely disappointed with the consignment of nightdresses, which was delivered yesterday. The quality of the cotton does not in any way correspond to the sample you sent us a few months ago.

As our Spring Sale is starting next week, we do not feel that there is sufficient time to return the goods to you or for you to supply us with an alternative model.

I believe the best solution for us would be to retain the goods but at a substantially reduced price;

I look forward to hearing your comments as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Tamara Wilcox

Tamara Wilcox

Chief buyer

Check your comprehension by choosing the best response.

1. The Problem:
the nightdresses were the wrong style
the fabric did not match up to expectations
the goods were delivered too late for the Spring Sale

2. The Solution
keep the goods but refuse to pay for them
keep the goods but sell them at a discounted price in the Spring Sale
keep the goods but demand a large discount



Dear Ms Wilcox

Re: Order HP228

I was sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with the goods you ordered.

As you know our company prides itself on the high quality of its fabrics and it is not in our interests to supply inferior or poor quality goods. We have not received any complaints from our other customers, but I can assure you we will look in to the matter.

I am afraid that we are not prepared to offer any further discount until we have investigated the problem this end. However, as a valued customer, we would like to offer you the opportunity to purchase any new line from our Summer catalogue at a 15% discount off list price.

I apologise once again for any inconvenience caused

Yours sincerely

R Burns

Roberta Burns

Sales Manager

Check your comprehension by choosing the best answer.

1. The reasons
the company admits that other customers have not been happy with the fabric
the company denies having supplied poor quality goods
the company offers to investigate the problem

2. The solution
a 15% discount on the order
a 15% discount on a new order
no discount at all until the problem has been solved

Test your language: Informal or Formal?

Emails tend to be less formal than letters or faxes; it depends on whom you are writing to. An email to a person you don't know will be more formal than to a person you know well.

Complete the table below with the following expressions.

We do apologise for ... We regret to inform you that ...
You'll be pleased to hear that... Do you want me to ... We would appreciate it if you could ...

Giving good news We are delighted to inform you…
Giving bad news
I’m sorry but ……
Offering help Would you like us to……

Making a request
Could you ……
I’m really sorry about …


Read these statements and tick the three which most closely represent your beliefs about work.

1. People are naturally lazy and avoid work if they can.
2. People find satisfaction in work
3. Everybody in an organisation is capable of creativity
4. Work is a necessary evil.
5. People prefer to follow orders and instructions.
6. Work is as natural as play or rest.


Look at the words based around employ

employer unemployed employment
unemployable employee unemployment employed

Complete the sentences using each word just once

a) The new factory has provided opportunities of _________ for local people.

b) Beatrice won the __________of the month prize 3 times last year.

c) She has been ___________ ever since she finished her studies; she just can’t find a job.

d) People are worried about the rise in ____________ .

e) The company is a model ____________ and takes good care of the people _________
in its factories.

f) He is dishonest, lazy, and stupid – he’s completely _____________ .


Types of job

Look at the list below. Which type of job would you prefer.

Would you rather:

a) work in a team or alone?
b) work in a manufacturing industry or a service industry?
c) work in a large or a small organization?
d) be self employed or an employee?
e) work for the state or in the private sector?
f) be a member of a national company or a multinational company?
g) work in a large town or city, a small town or in the countryside?
h) be based in an office or in a job involving travel?
i) work abroad or stay in your own country?
j) have contact with the general public or have no contact with the general public?


Complete the sentences by rearranging the letters in CAPITALS to form a word to do with work.

1. They've sent me an ____________ form. PLITACAIOPN
2. They want two written _________; they suggest an employer and a teacher. EFEERRNCES
3. Well, they've invited me for an________ next week. Can I borrow your suit? ITEWRVNIE
4. The job offers a ____________________ of £25,000 a year. SARAYL
5. His academic _________________are good but he doesn't have any previous _______________ . UALIIOFQCATISN / PEEERINCEX
6. Employers are interested in practical ____________ like word-processing and fluency in languages. SLKLSI
7. In Britain, the normal working week for ______-time employees is anything up to eighteen hours a week, while people working __________ -¬time do around thirty-eight hours. PATR / LULF
8. Officially, she works thirty-five hours a week but sometimes with _____________ she does as many as fifty. VEOTIMRE
9. Now she works from home, she doesn't have to ____________ by train to and from London every day. CMMOTUE
10. Nowadays many designers or information technology workers are ______________; that is, they sell their work or services to different organizations. ERLENAEFC


Study the list of things which are important in a job

• opportunities for promotion
• comfortable working conditions
• status and respect
• interesting and satisfying work
• fringe benefits (e.g. company car, private health insurance)
• a good salary and holidays
• colleagues I like
• a fair and reasonable boss
• training opportunities
• job security

1) Choose the three which are most important and least important to you.
2) Compare your answers with a partner and agree on the same list.
3) As a class, decide the three most and least important.

Look at the adjectives below. Divide them into those that describe people and those that describe the job. Which adjectives can describe both?

enthusiastic secure confident challenging
dynamic flexible stressful patient
boring reliable creative conscientious
trustworthy worthwhile ambitious
What do employers want?
Many employers think that skills (what you can do) and personal qualities (what you’re like as a person) are as important, if not more important, than paper qualifications.
(General, transferable skills needed in nearly all jobs)
• Communication
• Numeracy
• IT
• Team working
• Problem solving
• Managing your own learning
• Customer care
• Time management
• Flexibility
• Planning and organisation
• Motivation and enthusiasm
• Showing initiative and being ‘self-starting’
Think of examples from your univeristy or working life that demonstrate the above qualities and skills.

Selecting the right person for a job

In your opinion, which factors below are important for getting a job?
Choose the seven most important. Is there anything missing from the list?

age sex appearance astrological sign contacts and connections
experience family background handwriting hobbies intelligence
personality qualifications references health and sickness record blood group

Discuss this question: Do people change during their working lives? If so, how?

Now read the article below. What does it say about the question above?
Find the answer as quickly as you can.

How to select the best candidate……….. and avoid the worst

Investing thousands of pounds in the recruitment and training of each new graduate recruit may be just the beginning. Choosing the wrong candidate may leave an organisation paying for years to come. Few companies will have escaped all of the following failures: people who panic at the first sign of stress; those with long, impressive qualifications who seem incapable of learning; hypochondriacs whose absentee record becomes astonishing; and the unstable person later discovered to be a thief or worse. Less dramatic, but just as much a problem, is the person who simply does not come up to expectations, who does not quite deliver; who never becomes a high-flyer or even a steady performer; the employee with a fine future behind them. The first point to bear in mind at the recruitment stage is that people don’t change. Intelligence levels decline modestly, but change little over their working life. The same is true of abilities, such as learning languages and handling numbers. Most people like to think that personality can change, particularly the more negative features such as anxiety, low esteem, impulsiveness or a lack of emotional warmth. But data collected over 50 years gives a clear message: still stable after all these years. Extroverts become slightly less extroverted; the acutely shy appear a little less so, but the fundamentals remain much the same. Personal crisis can affect the way we cope with things: we might take up or drop drink, drugs, religion or relaxation techniques, which can have pretty dra¬matic effects. Skills can be improved, and new ones introduced, but at rather different rates. People can be groomed for a job. Just as politicians are carefully repackaged through dress, hairstyle and speech specialists, so people can be sent on training courses diplomas or experimental weekends. But there is a cost to all this which may be more than the price of the course. Better to select for what you actually see rather than attempt to change it.
From the Financial Times

Read the article again and answer these questions.

1 What types of failures do companies experience, according to the article?
2 What does a fine future behind them mean?
3 What advice does the article give to managers?

In another part of the article (not included here), the writer suggests that selectors should look for three qualities:

a) Intelligence and ability b) emotional stability c) conscientiousness.

1 Do you agree? Explain your opinion.
2 Place the following words under these three headings. What other words can you add?

astute bright calm clever easy-going neurotic punctual quick-tempered reliable hard-working moody responsible sharp slow

Intelligence and ability emotional stability conscientiousness


Read the following article and decide if the following statements are true or false.

I’m very nervous about my job interview. What’s the best way to prepare for it? Do you have any tips on what I should focus on?" RD, London

Preparation, preparation, preparation

There's no excuse for a lack of research. With the internet, there is so much information close to hand. Of the hundreds of candidates that I have interviewed, lack of preparation is the number one mistake.

Almost all of us feel interview nerves – especially if we have not been interviewed for quite a while. On the one hand, the adrenaline can work in your favour by helping you think faster on your feet. On the other, you can become tongue-tied, forget to talk about some of your most important achievements and talk about things you did not really mean to mention.

First tip: remember interviewers are often nervous too! Their first priority is to get the job filled with the most suitable person and that can often bring its own anxieties.

Know the job

Study the job specification – it is not just an advert for the vacancy; it is telling you what they are looking for. You can use this as a guide to the areas that you are likely to be questioned about.

What skills are required? What technical and subject knowledge are they expecting? What are the soft skills like team working, planning, organising, influencing and persuading?

Once you are clear on these, think through the examples that best demonstrate your skills and experience. Write these down. Your most relevant examples might be from your current or previous job. If you do not have anything appropriate, consider school and college work, work experience and hobbies that might make useful demonstrations.

Find someone to chat to about the job. Sometimes a contact will be given on the advert – if so, call them. If not, phone the company’s recruitment team and ask who you can talk to.

If you are going for a job in the same organisation where you already work, is it possible to work alongside someone for an afternoon in the area you have applied for? The job specification is a great start but talking to people in the job, or even better shadowing them, will put you ahead of the crowd.

Know the industry

Keep up with what is happening in the industry. Read the industry magazines and websites.

The practicalities

When and where is the interview? Turning up late and sweaty will give you a bad start. Make sure you have clear directions and give yourself plenty of time to get there. If you are going somewhere unfamiliar, can you dry run the journey?

Find out who is interviewing you – who are they, what are their job titles? Google them. Make sure you have the right people but do not freak them out by demonstrating an intimate knowledge. Just knowing something of who they are might help you include something in your interview that will interest them in particular.

Dealing with nerves

If you get seriously nervous, then arrive in plenty of time. Find somewhere quiet and do some breathing exercises. In the interview, take your time and do not rush to answer a question. Just pause, let the question sink in and then answer.

Remember, it is a two-way conversation, so participate – try to actively listen to what is being asked and if you are unclear, ask for clarification. If you feel you have given a bad example, then come back with another until you feel you have answered the question fully.

Take in your own notepad – you do not want piles of notes but a few bullet points can help you focus on saying the things that you want to talk about.

Nerves often mean that when you are asked if you have any questions, you can not think of a thing to say. To the interviewer, this can look like you are not interested or you can not think on your feet, so have a couple of questions prepared on your notepad.

Nowadays, we are all amateur specialists in body language, so people read all sorts of interpretations in to eye movements and hand gestures. Just remember the basics – make eye contact with each of the interviewers and smile and nod. It makes it more inclusive and more like a conversation.

It is really useful to rehearse – so get a friend to practice interviewing you. Ask them for feedback on your answers – and also ask them to watch your body language carefully.

Most of us never fully get over interview nerves – and adrenaline can be a good thing – but plenty of preparation will help you focus, will help you concentrate on your success stories – and, whilst practice might not make perfect, it will certainly make it easier.
True or False
1. It is not important to be prepared for an interview.
2. Adrenalin can cause problems in an interview.
3. The interviewer is never nervous.
4. The job advertisement does not contain much information about the job.
5. The interviewer will not be interested in your hobbies or free time activities.
6. Before the interview it is a good idea to phone the company for more information.
7. The interviewer will not mind if you arrive late.
8. It is impolite to ask the interviewer to repeat a question or ask him/her for an explanation of the question.
9. Try to look serious at the interview.
10. An interviewer will not expect you to ask questions.

Traditional Style Interview Questions
Recruiters who are not yet using the behavioural style interview process generally use the traditional style. The recruiter will ask about your educational background, past work experience, extra-curricular activities, and outside interests and activities.
Almost all interview questions asked in the traditional style can be boiled down to their bare essence. When that is done, most questions give the recruiter in depth information about 1) CAN you do the job? 2) WILL you do the job? And 3) Do you FIT into my organization? They are therefore, CAN, WILL, or FIT questions.
A list of typical questions follows. They have been grouped by their essence group. It would be wise to write out your responses to these questions.
CAN type questions:
1. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
2. How has your education prepared you for a career?
3. Why should I hire you?
4. What qualifications do you have that will make you successful in your job?
5. What relationship should exist between a supervisor and subordinate?
6. Describe your most rewarding educational experience.
7. Why did you select your college or university?
8. What led you to choose your field of major study?
9. What college subjects did you like best? Why?
10. What college subjects did you like least? Why?
11. If you could do so, how would you plan your academic study differently and why?
12. What changes would you make in your college or university? Why?
13. Do you have plans for continued study? An advanced degree?
14. Do you think that your grades are a good indication of your academic achievement?
15. What have you learned from participation in extra-curricular activities?
16. What major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it?
17. What have you learned from your mistakes?
WILL type questions:
1. What are your long-range (5, 10, 15 years) and short-range (1-4 years) goals and objectives? When and why did you establish these and how are you preparing to achieve them?
2. How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
3. What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
4. What do you think it takes to be successful in an employment situation like ours?
5. What contributions can you make to our operation?
6. What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
7. Are you willing to spend at least six months as a trainee?

FIT type questions:
1. What rewards do you expect in your career?
2. What do you expect to be earning in five years?
3. Why did you choose your career?
4. Which is more important to you: money or type of job?
5. How would you describe yourself?
6. How do you think a friend or professor would describe you?
7. How do you determine or evaluate success?
8. What qualities should a successful manager possess?
9. If you were hiring someone for this position, what qualities would you look for?
10. In what kind of a work environment are you most comfortable?
11. How do you work under pressure?
12. In what part-time or summer jobs have you been most interested? Why?
13. How would you describe the ideal job for you following graduation?
14. Why did you decide to seek a position with us?
15. What do you know about our company?
16. What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
17. What size company are you looking for? Why?
18. What criteria are you using to evaluate the employer for whom you hope to work?
19. Do you have a geographical preference? Why?
20. Will you relocate? Does relocation bother you?
21. Are you willing to travel?
22. Why do think you might like to live in the community in which our office is located?
Questions from you
Try to think of some questions to ask at interview. If you have researched the company well, you will be able to come up with questions concerning the organisation. You may also like to find out more about your responsibilities in the role, the organisations long and short term aims, training opportunities, overall organisational structure and what they would hope you achieve in the first six months.
Other things to remember:
You may consider writing a letter to thank the interviewer for their time and to express your interest again.
Find out what happens next with the interview process and express your interest (if it is genuine!)

Business Etiquette

In what business situations would you use the words and expressions below?

Congratulations! Cheers! Make yourself at home. Help yourself. I don't mind.
Excuse me. Sorry. It’s on me. I'm afraid…….. Please ....... Could you ... ?
That sounds good.

What would you say in the following situations?

1 You don't hear someone's name when you are introduced to them.
2 You have to refuse an invitation to dinner with a supplier.
3 You are offered food which you hate.
4 You want to end a conversation in a diplomatic way.
5 You have to greet a visitor.
6 You have to introduce two people to each other at work.
7 You have to introduce two people to each other at a party.
8 You have to propose a toast.
9 Your colleague's been made redundant (lost his/her job) .
10 You arrive half an hour late for a business lunch.

Match the questions on the left with the answers on the right.

1 Is this your first visit to the Far East? a) In the UK, in Oxford.
2 Oh really. What do you do? b) Nearly ten years.
3 Where are you based? c) No, I come here quite often.
4 How long have you been there? d) No. Actually this is my first trip.
5 Have you been to Hong Kong before? e) I'm the Marketing Director far a small import-export company.
6 Business or pleasure? f) Business I'm afraid.
7 How long have you been here? g) Till tomorrow night.
8 How long are you staying? h) A week.
9 Where are you staying? i) I really like it. There's a lot to do.
10 Is it comfortable? j) It's good, but eating in the Peninsular can be quite expensive.
11 What's the food like? k) Very! And it has a great view over the harbour.
12 So, what do you think of Hong Kong? l) At the Peninsular Hotel.

How important are the following for a successful conversation?

Listen carefully. Be patient. Stay silent.
Give only yes or Interrupt a lot Keep eye contact.
no answers. Ask questions. Be friendly.

How important are the following things when doing business in your country?

Are they: a) important b) not important or c) best avoided?

exchanging business cards formality (how you dress, how you talk to
shaking hands colleagues, what names you use, etc.)
kissing punctuality
socialising with contacts humour
small talk before meetings giving presents
accepting interruption being direct (saying exactly what you think)
using first names

Personal appearance at work

Read the two case studies below and answer these questions.

1 What job did the men do?
2 Why were their employers upset?
3 Who apologised? Who accepted the change?
4 Who intends to sue his employer? Why?

John Humphries, aged 62, is a lorry dri¬ver who is proud of being well-dressed for work. However, his employer told him that he must not come to work in a collar and tie to drive his 17-tonne lorry. If he did so, he faced the sack. When working, Mr Humphries, an ex-Royal Airforce man, wore dark blue trousers, a light blue shirt, and a red and grey striped tie. He felt he looked smart and impressed the cus¬tomers. 'If you present yourself properly, you look good and get respect,' he said. Mr Humphries' employers were not impressed when he refused to give up his collar and tie. They wanted him to conform to the company's new image of casual clothing such as T-shirts or sweat shirts. They even threatened to dismiss him if he didn't accept their new dress code. Union officials advised him to accept the change and follow the company's policy. He agreed.

Yoshiaki Nishiura, a 25-year-old lorry driver from western Japan, was sacked because he dyed his hair brown. (This is a popular fashion with a growing number of young Japanese.) Although he apologised and dyed it black again, he was still fired. His employer, Mr Yamago, believed that behaviour like Mr Nishiura's undermined company discipline and corrupted morale. He blamed it on American influence. 'We need drivers to maintain a professional appearance to make a good impression,' he said. A Japanese journalist said, 'Japanese firms expect all employees to look the same and think the same. When you enter a company, you sign away your human rights.'
Mr Nishiura is going to sue his employer far unfair dismissal.

Discuss these questions.

1 What do you think of:
a) the employers' decisions? b) the employees' reactions?

2 How important is your personal appearance at work?
Think about formal clothing, uniforms, men with earrings, and tattoos, etc.

Match the adjectives in column A to the nouns in column B. Make six word partnerships.

growing dismissal ¬
human appearance
company number
professional rights
good discipline
unfair impression

Now complete these sentences with word partnerships from the list

1 It is important to make a…………… ……………at an interview by dressing appropriately.
2 In a case of…………. …………., an employee may sue a company to get their job back or to receive financial compensation.
3 A ………………… of firms realise that their employees’ appearance is important. Therefore, many companies are introducing dress codes for their staff.
4 If a management allows staff to be absent from work without reason, this will affect………. ………………
5 When dealing with customers directly, it is important to have a …………
6 Some people say that being able to go on strike and having a minimum wage are basic………… …………..



Telephone Etiquette

How good are your telephone manners?

Every time you make or receive a call at work you are representing yourself and the company, so the impression you create is extremely important. A good knowledge of proper telephone etiquette will help you make the right impression and maintain successful business relationships. In fact, your phone technique can make or a break deal for the company. Here are some guidelines to help you use the phone as a power tool.


After you read each of the guidelines, check your telephone etiquette by ticking on the appropriate answers

• Always answer the phone promptly. Then be sure to identify yourself and the company and department. Make sure you get the caller’s name right from the start of the conversation and use it as much as possible.

1 You are very busy. The telephone keeps ringing and interrupting your work. You:
a let the phone ring; if it’s important the person will phone back
b answer the call with an abrupt “Yes? Who is it?”
c respond immediately, letting the caller know who and where they have come through to.

• If you need to leave the line to obtain information, it is courteous to give the caller the option of waiting or being called back. You might ask "Would you prefer to hold?"or "Shall I call you back?" If the caller decides to wait, give progress reports every 30 seconds or so. This lets the caller know that he/she has not been disconnected or forgotten.

2 You don't have all the information you need to respond to a client's enquiry. You:
a ask the client to phone back; it's not polite to ask someone to wait.
b offer the client the chance of holding the line or being called back.
c tell the client to hold on for about 30 seconds while you get the necessary information.

• Do not make commitments for other people if you have to handle a call for another colleague. You should say “I’ll give her your message as soon as she gets back to the office” rather than “She’ll call you as soon as she returns”

3 You answer a call to your business colleague who is at a business meeting. You:
a explain where your colleague is and that you don’t know when she will be back.
b promise to get your colleague to return the call.
c assure the person that you will let your colleague know about the call.

• When you are the person making the call, be sure to use proper phone etiquette from the start. A greeting such as "Good afternoon, this is Belinda Bright of Dreamakers, I'm returning a call from Richard Jones, is he available? is a bit of etiquette well spent in the long run. It would also be wise to learn and use the names of your business contacts' assistants, their secretaries or receptionists, and make them feel noticed and important.

4 When you make a call, you should:
a introduce yourself before asking to speak to someone.
b deal directly with your client’s assistant, this will make her feel important.
c always call people by their first names; they will remember how friendly you are.

• When you get through to the person you want to speak to, remind them of any previous communication between you. This helps to jog a busy person's memory and gives your call an immediate context. If your call is not expected, ask them if they have the time for you. Calling unannounced is much like "dropping in" and you shouldn't overstay unless invited. If the other person does not have time, briefly state the purpose of your call and ask for an appointment to follow up at a later time.

5 When you get through, you should:
a check that the person has time to speak to you.
b make an appointment to speak to the person another time.
c invite the person to call you back.

• Employ active listening noises such as "yes" or "I see". This lets the other person know that you care about what they have to say. Remember to smile while you're speaking. Believe it or not, people can "hear a smile" over the phone!

6 While you are talking you should:
a Make a lot of noise so that the person can hear you.
b Smile so that your voice has a friendly quality.
c Make the person laugh; everyone appreciates hearing a joke.

• Keep a pencil and pad near the phone and jot notes during phone conversations. Recap at the end of the call, using your notes and repeat any resolutions or commitments on either side to be sure that you both have the same information.

7 While you listen, you should:
a make notes about what you have to do in the office so that you don’t waste time.
b take notes of the conversation so that you can point out any mistakes your client makes.
c write down the details to help you go over what you and your client have agreed.

• End the call on a positive note by thanking the other person for their time and express an interest in speaking with them again. If not, just let them know you appreciated them speaking with you and end the call. A gracious good bye leaves the door open for further communication and in this day of mergers and acquisitions you never know who you will be doing business with in the future. Remember, in this global marketplace, some of the most powerful business relationships that a company has built up have been between people who have never seen each other.

8 Finishing a conversation on a positive note is important because:
a you never know if you might want to apply for a job with another company.
b it leaves the door open for future business relations.
c powerful business relationships can only be forged on the telephone.

Quiz Check

How did you get on?
8 correct answers: Your telephone manners are perfect. Well done!
5/6/7 correct answers: Pretty good. Read the guidelines again before making any phone calls!
Below 5: Your telephone manners need to be improved. They could lose a company vital business.

Making arrangements on the telephone

Study the Useful language below. Then do the exercises that follow it.

Making arrangements
Could we meet on Monday at 10.30?
Are you free sometime next week?
How about next Friday?
What about April l0th?
Would Wednesday at 2pm suit you?
Is11.15 convenient?

Changing arrangements
I'm afraid I can't come on Friday/then.
We've got an appointment for 11.00, but I'm afraid something's come up.
Could we fix another time?

That'll be fine.
That's OK.
No sorry, I can't make it then.
My diary's rather full that day /week.
Sorry, I've already got an appointment at that time.


Role play these two telephone situations.

1 One of you is a company employee who has arranged to meet a colleague (your partner) from one of your subsidiaries. Explain that you cannot keep the appointment, and give a reason. Suggest an alternative time.

2 You are on a business trip and you want to stay an extra day. Telephone the airline office to arrange a different flight.


Getting through 1

Underline the best response

Switchboard: Good morning, Cape Installations, Glenda speaking. How can I help you?/ What do you want? / Who is that?

Francesca Baggio: Hello, I'm / this is / here is Francesca Baggio speaking. I'll speak / I’d speak / I’d like to speak to Sharon Bennett please.

Glenda: I'm sorry, could I have / hear / listen your name again please?

Francesca Baggio: Yes, it's / I'm / she's Francesca Baggio, I call / I am calling / I called from Sidel, Italy. Could you put me through / connect me through / pass me through to Sharon Bennett, Mr Green's secretary, please?

Glenda: Oh, you need extension 524. Hold / Stay / Wait the line please and I’ll connect you / I'd connect you / I connect you ……..I'm afraid the line's blocked /occupied / engaged, Ms Baggio. Shall I ask her to call you back*?

Francesca Baggio: No, don’t worry, I’ll try again later, thank you, goodbye.

Glenda: Goodbye.

* to call back : to telephone again later
Note the difference in the two expressions:
Shall I ask her to call you back?
Will you call back?



Getting through 2

Here's an unsuccessful attempt at getting through to a client. Underline the best words to complete the text.

1. Your boss asks you to telephone / call to / ring in a new client.

2. You pick up the cornet / receiver / transmitter.

3. You listen for the dialling / engaged / busy tone.

4. You make / push / dial the number and the switchboard answers.

5. You ask the switchboard to connect / link / join you to your client's extension.

6. The switchboard asks you to hang / hold / attend.

7. The line goes off / dead / silent.

8. You ring again. The switchboard explains that you were switched off / turned off / cut off.

9. You can't hear the switchboard very well. It's a very noisy / bad / weak line.

l0. You shout to the switchboard that you can't hear very well; she thinks you are shouting at her and hangs up / throws up / holds up.


Test your telephone skills 1

Read the extracts from different telephone conversations. Which set expression would you use to complete each one? Tick the best alternative.


Situation 1

Caller: Well, what we'd really like to know is whether you would be prepared to give us a 15% discount on our order. We are regular clients of yours as you know and this year's prices are well up on last year's. What do you say?

You: a I'm sorry, I didn’t catch your name.
b I'm sorry, I'll have to go. I've got someone on the other line.
c I'll have to get back to you on that.


Situation 2

You: Is that you Karen? Could you check last month's sales figures for me? I need to…………oh just a minute.

a I'm sorry I’ll have to go, I've got someone on the other line.
b I'm afraid he's off sick at the moment.
c I'm rather tied up at the moment. Could you call back?

Karen: Don't worry, ring me back when you've finished taking your call.


Situation 3

Caller: Good morning, this is Anna Sluszkiewicz of Polskie Elektro Energetyczne here, I'd like to speak to Mr Fisher please.

You: a I'm afraid he's off sick at the moment.
b I'll have to get back to you on that.
c I'm sorry I didn't catch your name. Could you spell it please?

Caller: Yes, it's Anna Sluszkiewicz, that's S - L- -U - S - Z - K- I - E - W - I - C - Z.

Situation 4

RF: Customer Services, good morning. Rosie French speaking.

You: Rosie? This is Alessandro Miani.
a Is this a convenient time to call?
b I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name.
c I'm rather tied up at the moment. Could you call back?

RF: Oh Alessandro, hello! Perfect timing! I've just finished sorting out your order. I was going to ring you, as a matter of fact.

Situation 5

RM: Good afternoon. This is Ralph Mooney speaking. I'd like to speak to Peter Sellars please.

PS: Oh hello Ralph. How are…..oh hang on just a moment……….Ralph? Are you still there?

RM Is this a convenient time to call?

PS a I'm rather tied up at the moment. Could you call back?
b I'll have to get back to you on that.
c One of our clients has just arrived in the office.

RM: Of course! No problem I’ll ring you back this afternoon.

PS: Thanks. I’ll speak to you later then. Bye.

Situation 6

ET: This is Emily Tennant of Greiger & Co. I'd like to speak to your Sales Manager please.

Switchboard: Oh, that would be Mr Granger, but

a I'm sorry, I’ll have to go. I've got someone on the other line.
b I'll have to get back to you on that.
c I'm afraid he's off sick at the moment.

ET: Oh dear, nothing serious I hope?

Switchboard: No, he should be back next week.

Telephone Language

It is useful to learn set expressions to help you handle telephone calls efficiently.

Look at the set expressions in A. Match them to the sentences in B.


1. Is this a convenient time to call?

2. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

3. I'm sorry, I’ll have to go. I've got someone on the other line.

4. I'm afraid he's off sick at the moment.

5. I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name.

6. I'm rather tied up at the moment. Could you call back?

a) I'm not sure, I’ll phone you back when I can give you an answer.

b) You can't speak to him: he's away ill.

c) Am I disturbing you?

d) I didn't hear your name clearly.

e) I’ll have to stop speaking to you now; I have to answer another call.

f) I can't speak now; I’m too busy. Would you mind phoning me again at another time?


Complaining and Apologising

Check your comprehension. Tick the correct answers.


RF: Robert Frost speaking
CP: Good morning Mr Frost. This is Carlo Ponte in Treviso.
RF: Oh good morning Mr Ponte. What can I do for you?
CP: I'm calling about the machines we ordered from you last month. We're not at all happy with them.
RF: Oh? What exactly is the problem?
CP: Well, according to your technician, the machines should be turning out 200 plates an hour, but we're not getting anywhere near that figure. We're lucky if we get half that number. Production has slowed right down and we're having problems in getting our orders out on time. .

1. The problem is that:
¬ a the machines have broken down.
b the rate of production is down.
c the number of orders are down.

RF: I see .I'm sorry Mr Ponte. I can understand your difficulty. I’ll talk to one of our technicians and get back to you this afternoon.
CP:I'm afraid that's not good enough Mr Frost. I want one of your technicians out here by Friday morning. I want those machines working to full capacity on Monday morning!
RF: I think that might be difficult because all our technicians are working off site at the moment, but I’ll see what I can do. Perhaps I could arrange for someone to fly over at the beginning of next week? Would that be acceptable?

2 Mr Ponte wants a technician:
a by this afternoon
b by Friday morning
c by the middle of next week

3 Mr Frost's technicians are not available because:
a they are all busy.
b they are all on strike.
c they are all off sick.

CP: Well, I suppose that will have to do. But if we don't have the machines working to full capacity by the middle of next week I'm afraid I will have to cancel our contract.
RF: I'm sure that won't be necessary Mr Ponte. I’ll deal with the problem immediately and I’ll get back to you as soon as we have organized the flight.
CP: Thank you, I expect to hear from you this afternoon then.
RF:I’ll do my best. Again I do apologise Mr Ponte.
CP: Thank you Mr Frost, goodbye.
RF: Goodbye Mr Ponte.

4 Mr Ponte threatens to:
a send the machines back.
b break off business relations.
c sign a new contract.

5 Mr Frost resolves the situation:
a by agreeing immediately to Ponte’s demands
b by talking to the firm’s technicians
c by promising action in the near future

Test your telephone skills
Complete the telephone conversation by underlining the best response.

A T: Angela Trevisan speaking.
ZK: Good morning Ms Trevisan. This is Zoe Knight of Fashion Focus.
AT: Ah yes Ms Knight. What can I do for you?
ZK: I'm calling you about the rolls of material we ordered last month.
AT: (1) What's wrong? / What exactly is the problem? / Tell me.
Haven't you received them yet?
ZK: Oh yes, they were delivered on time, but unfortunately ten of the rolls are very badly damaged. Could you contact your shipping agent and find out why they were delivered in such bad condition?
AT: (2) I'm sorry, but we've had a lot of trouble with our shippers recently /
I'm sorry, I find that hard to believe / I'm sorry, I'll contact him straight away.
I’ll get back to you after I've spoken to him.
ZK: Thank you Ms Trevisan. The problem is that we are trying to get our spring collection out on time and we will have to halt production unless you can replace the rolls immediately.
A T: (3) I can understand your difficulty / How unfortunate for you / That's terrible.
ZK: Do you think you could send us some replacements by the end of the week?
A T: (4) Of course / That's a good idea / I’ll see what I can do. We might be able to send you five by the end of this week and a further five in ten days. (5) Would that be acceptable? / Take it or leave it / What do you say?
ZK: Yes, that would be fine. Thank you Ms Trevisan.
A T: (6) Please accept my sincerest apologies / Again, I do apologise / I do beg your pardon. I’ll do my best to confirm everything this afternoon.
ZK: Thank you. Goodbye.



Common irregular verbs

Infinitive Past tense Past participle
be was/were been
become became become
begin began begun
bite bit bitten
blow blew blown
break broke broken
bring brought brought
build built built
burn burnt burnt
buy bought bought
catch caught caught
choose chose chosen
come came come
cost cost cost
cut cut cut
do did done
draw drew drawn
drink drank drunk
drive drove driven
eat ate eaten
fall fell fallen
fed fed fed
fel felt felt
fight fought fought
find found found
fly flew flown
forget forgot forgotten
freeze froze frozen
get got got
give gave given
go went been/ gone
grow grew grown
hang hung hung
have had had
hear heard heard
hide hid hidden
hit hit hit
hold held held
hurt hurt hurt
keep kept kept
know knew known
le ad led led
learn learnt learnt
leave left left
lend lent lent
let let let
lose lost lost
make made made
mean meant meant
meet met met
pay paid paid
put put put
read read read
ride rode ridden
ring rang rung
rise rose risen
run ran run
say said said
see saw seen
sell sold sold
send sent sent
set set set
shake shook shaken
shine shone shone
shoot shot shot
show showed shown
shut shut shut
sing sang sung
sink sank sunk
sleep slept slept
speak spoke spoken
spend spent spent
spread spread spread
stand stood stood
steal stole stolen
stick stuck stuck
strike struck struck
Swim swam swum
take took taken
teach taught taught
tear tore torn
tell told told
think thought thought
throw threw thrown
wake woke woken
wear wore worn
win won won
write wrote written

Practice Exam

Esame Lingua Inglese, 15 Settembre 2005

Cognome____________________ Nome __________________ Matricola ________________

Read the text below and decide which word A, B, C or D best fits the space :-

If your hard disk is packed to bursting point, the IT department is __(1)__ too busy to fix your email problems and your business can’t afford to buy the tools that you’d like to develop the company website, then it’s time to think __(2)__ using an application service provider (ASP). __(3)__ than installing software on each machine or server within your organisation, you rent applications from the ASP, which provides remote access __(4)__ the software and manages the hardware required to run the applications.
There are a lot of advantages to this approach: the havoc caused by viruses __(5)__ the idea of outsourcing your email and office suite services an attractive option. It always gives you more__(6)__ – you pay for applications __(7)__ and when you need them, rather than investing in a lot of __(8)__ hardware which you are then tied to for years. Not __(9)__ to worry about upgrading to the latest version of your office suite or battling with the complexities of managing an email system, leaves businesses with more time. Time to focus on __(10)__ they do best.
However, there are some potential pitfalls. __(11)__ applications remotely requires a lot of bandwidth, which is only readily available from a broadband connection or a leased line to the ASP itself; it is also important to ensure that the ASP will be able to provide a __(12)__, reliable service which will be available __(13)__ you need it.
Providing applications and storage space for vast numbers of users requires __(14)__ powerful technology on the part of the ASP. This includes security controls and data storage as well as providing the physical links to customers. For the most part, ASPs don’t own the data centres that store the information, they lease space from data storage specialists. In this way they can be confident of meeting customers’ increasing storage requirements __(15)__ buying more space as it’s needed.

1. a) many b) far c) lots d) a lot
2. a) about b) to c) that d) in
3. a) Instead b) Better c) Rather d) More
4. a) to b) for c) at d) in
5. a) is b) has c) does d) makes
6. a) flexibility b) hours c) spaces d) chance
7. a) like b) as c) so d) such
8. a) costing b) costs c) cost d) costly
9. a) having b) to have c) don’t have d) have
10. a) which b) that c) what d) all
11. a) To have b) For having c) Have d) Having
12. a) balance b) secure c) well d)safely
13. a) whoever b) whatever c) however d) whenever
14. a) any b) a lot c) lots d) some
15. a) by b) in c) of d) for

Reading Comprehension

Read the following article and decide if the following 8 statements are true or false( rispetto a cio dice il brano). Mark an X in the relevant box.

More than one million computers on the net have been hijacked to attack websites and pump out spam and viruses. The huge number was revealed by security researchers who have spent months tracking more than 100 networks of remotely-controlled machines. The largest network of so-called zombie networks spied on by the team was made up of 50,000 hijacked home computers. Data was gathered using machines that looked innocent but which logged everything hackers did to them.

The detailed look at zombie or 'bot nets of hijacked computers was done by the Honeynet Project - a group of security researchers that gather information using networks of computers that act as "honey pots" to attract hackers and gather information about how they work. While 'bot nets have been known about for some time, estimates of how widespread they are from security firms have varied widely. Even in unskilled hands, it should be obvious that 'bot nets are a loaded and powerful weapon

To gather its information the German arm of the Honeynet Project created software tools to log what happened to the machines they put on the web. Getting the machines hijacked was worryingly easy. The longest time a Honeynet machine survived without being found by an automatic attack tool was only a few minutes. The shortest compromise time was only a few seconds.

The research found that, once compromised machines tend to report in to chat channels on IRC servers and wait instructions from the malicious hacker behind the tools used to recruit the machine. Many well-known vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system were exploited by 'bot net controllers to find and take over target machines. Especially coveted were home PCs sitting on broadband connections that are never turned off.

The months of surveillance revealed that the different 'bot nets - which involve a few hundred to tens of thousands of machines - are used for a variety of purposes. Many are used as relays for spam, to route unwanted adverts to PC users or as launch platforms for viruses. But the research team found that many are put to very different uses. During the monitoring period, the team saw 'bot nets used to launch 226 distributed denial-of-service attacks on 99 separate targets. These attacks bombard websites with data in an attempt to overwhelm the target. Using a 'bot net of machines spread around different networks and nations makes such attacks hard to defend against.

One DDoS attack was used by one firm to knock its competitors offline. Other 'bot nets were used to abuse the Google Adsense program that rewards websites for displaying adverts from the search engine. Some networks were used to abuse or manipulate online polls and games.
Criminals also seem to be starting to use 'bot nets for mass identity theft, to host websites that look like those of banks so confidential information can be gathered and to peep into online traffic to steal sensitive data.
"Leveraging the power of several thousand bots, it is viable to take down almost any website or network instantly," said the researchers. "Even in unskilled hands, it should be obvious that 'bot nets are a loaded and powerful weapon."


Mark the following statements as True or False:

True False

1) The smallest network of computers found consisted of □ □
100 machines.

2) ‘Bot nets were discovered quite recently. □ □

3) The security firms have estimated the exact number of ‘bot nets
in use. □ □

4) The Honeypot project was able to hijack many machines. □ □

5) PCs connected to broadband are the least vulnerable to attack. □ □

6) ‘Bot nets are used to send information to which people do not want. □ □

7) ‘Bot nets have been used to close down web sites. □ □

8) The Honeypot project team are confident that a solution to this □ □
problem will be found.


Read the text below and decide which of the following words best fits the space.

programmers information specialists bugs

systems vice versa hacking

security skills networks

A hacker was originally an expert or enthusiast of any kind (eg horse riding, astronomy). It was first used in conjunction with computer programming in the 1960s, when certain computer _______________ used the term to describe themselves. Hackers are people who enjoy exploring the details of programmable _____________. The term hackers has, over the last few years, been increasingly misunderstood and misused. In the media you can often find articles telling of hackers breaking into computer systems and websites stealing and destroying ________________. In reality however, people who call themselves hackers are the best IT ______________ with extensive programming and networking knowledge. Hackers are often very intelligent. A hacker will take delight in _____________ into a computer system, and will get joy from finding _________ and holes in the operating system allowing him access.
The word hacker is now widely used and recognized over the world as a computer user breaching a system's _____________ and stealing valuable information. This happens much to the annoyance of true hackers who feel they are not respected. However this term is now so widely used that it has changed its meaning and is used instead of Cracker.
Hackers are often ex-crackers who have decided to use their ____________ to help other people and make a living. They are often hired by governments and other large corporations to find holes in, and hence protect, their computer ________________. For this reason crackers have no respect for hackers and _______________. Hackers consider themselves as an elite, and there is a sense of ego satisfaction in being and being known as a hacker.

Think of ONE word which best fits each space. There are 12 spaces.

With 2000's ASIMO model Honda added many features, (1) _________ enable ASIMO to interact better with humans. These features fall under 5 categories:

ASIMO can walk alongside a human while holding hands
1. Recognition of moving objects
Using the visual information captured (2) ______ the camera mounted in its head, ASIMO can detect the movements (3) _______ multiple objects, assessing distance and direction. Common applications this feature would serve include: the ability to follow the movements of people with its camera, to follow a person, or greet a person when he or she approaches.
2. Recognition of postures and gestures
ASIMO can also interpret the positioning and movement of (4) ________ hand, recognizing postures and gestures. Because of this ASIMO can react (5) ______ and be directed by not only voice commands, but also to the natural movements of human beings. This enables it to, for example, recognize when a handshake is offered or when a person waves and respond accordingly. It can also recognize movement directions such (6) _______ pointing.
3. Environment recognition
ASIMO can recognize (7) _______ objects and terrain of its environment and act in a way that is safe for both itself and nearby humans. For example, recognizing potential hazards such as stairs, and by stopping and starting (8) ___________ avoid hitting humans or other moving objects.
4. Distinguishing sounds
ASIMO's ability to identify the source of sounds has been improved, and it can distinguish between voices and other sounds. It can respond to (9) ______ name, face people when being spoken to, and recognize sudden, unusual sounds such as that of a falling object or a collision, and face in (10) _________ direction.
5. Facial recognition
ASIMO has (11) _______ ability to recognize faces, even when ASIMO or the human being is moving. It can individually recognize approximately 10 different faces. Once they are registered it can address them (12) _______ name.


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