Posted in English Learning

Business Vocabulary: Money Talks – 13 Expressions Connected To Money.

Unless you’ve been holidaying on the planet Zorg, you’ll have noticed or even been caught up in the frenzy of Black Friday, Black Weekend and Cyber Monday sales raging through the retail world.

Did you hit the ‘bricks and mortar’ shops or did you limit your shopping sprees to the online world?

Did you get some fabulous deals?

Or did you, like me, go into hibernation?

Whether you turned shopaholic for a day, weekend or week or ignored every single email screaming at you to buy the latest must-have item, you’re probably planning for the Christmas and end of year season.

Or should I say, budgeting? You’ve probably just been paid and this salary payment is going to go towards the Christmas budget.

Budget means one thing: money.

What better time than to introduce you to 13 expressions related to money that I just know you’ll be using in the next few weeks.

Shall we start?

#1 Put your money where your mouth is

How many times have you heard someone make promises to you and not deliver on their promises? And you scream at them to once and for all “put their money where their mouth is”. In other words, to put whatever they say into action.

“If he’s committed to making significant changes, he needs to start putting his money where his mouth is”.

#2 Throw money at something

Most problems in business can be resolved, so long as you throw money at the problem. In other words, money can solve most issues. However, the money could be well spent or could be wasted. For instance, it was no use throwing money at the project because it failed.

#3 On the money

You know you’re on the money when you’ve identified a complex issue that’s been puzzling your team. Because what you’ve identified as being the issue is correct.

“Tom is on the money (correct) when he says that the problem we have is not with the software but its vulnerability to hackers.”

#4 Money talks

It does indeed. Have a problem? Need something done quickly? If you have money, you’ll get anything you want done. Sad but true.

#5: Get/have your money’s worth

753km later and it’s time for me to replace my running shoes. I can safely say that I’ve had my money’s worth with those shoes. In other words, I’ve had exceptionally good value from them.

We all like to get our money’s worth from products and services, don’t we? It makes us feel good.

#6: The smart money

“The smart money says this company will be one of the successes of 2018.” They should know because the smart money is the people who have a lot of knowledge about a subject and whose opinions are respected.

#7: Break the bank

I hope last week’s spending spree didn’t break the bank. In other words, you spent way more than you have.

Or perhaps you’re planning on making a new investment and you’ve budgeted for it and feel confident it will not break the bank (use up all your money).

#8 Be flat broke

Because the last thing you want is to end up flat broke after making that significant investment. You still need money to live on and being flat broke is no fun.

#9 Foot the bill (Pay for something, especially expensive)

This month has been especially difficult financially because I’ve had to foot the bill for the extra work we needed done on the website. And that work wasn’t cheap.

#10 Have money to burn

Don’t you find it infuriating to see people spend money on anything and everything and behaving like they have money to burn (waste)? What a waste.

#11: Be loaded (British English informal)

“He sold his software company last year so I am sure he’s loaded (rich/wealthy).”

#12: Money doesn’t grow on trees

I bet your parents told you that money doesn’t grow on trees every time you asked for too many things when you were little. Sometimes it’s worth reminding ourselves of the value of hard-earned money especially in this over-materialistic world.

#13: Be worth its weight in gold

When was the last time you spent or invested in something or someone and felt that what you got from it was worth its weight in gold? In other words, what you got back was truly useful or helpful or made a big difference to your life.

If your business provides a service and your clients’ feedback is that your service is worth its weight in gold, wouldn’t you be delighted? I’d be ecstatic.

You can improve your business English with the help of English Teacher in Livermore and make your English more effective.

Posted in English Learning

Differences between present simple and present continuous

English verbs can sometimes be a little irritating when it comes to figuring out if you have to use one tense or another. Today we are going to look at the differences between the uses of the present simple and the present continuous in English.

When do we use the the present simple?

This is the tense we use when we are talking about everyday things and habitual actions in general in the present.


  • I live in Spain
  • He always goes to the cinema
  • They never do their homework.

What about the present continuous?

In English, we do not tend to use the present continuous to describe general things in English but more to describe things that we are doing in a specific moment as the action is an ongoing action.


  • I’m going to visit my cousin this evening
  • They’re playing football after work
  • He’s finishing his project after school

In some instances, people in the United Kingdom actually use the present continuous for the distant future instead of “will”. It is important to remember that “will” remains the official future simple auxiliary verb.

What’s the key?

It is important to remember the clear differences of these tenses:

Present simple – To speak in general in English about general present tense actions

Present continuous – To speak about an ongoing continuous action or close future action

You can easily learn English at home easily but if you want to become proficient then you can learn from English Second Language Teacher in Livermore who will help you to improve your learning mistakes.

Posted in English Learning

Auxiliary Verbs in English

In this article, we want to help you understand and use these English verbs to improve your proficiency in English as a whole. In this article, we will look at the auxiliary verbs in English with their grammar and examples. We will explain the function of auxiliary verbs in English as well as their meaning.

What Is an Auxiliary Verb?

You probably already know that in English, the verbs are classified into different groups according to their uses and functions. One of those groups is auxiliary verbs.

When to Use an Auxiliary Verb

They are used to form the perfect and continuous tenses as well as the passive voice. English also uses auxiliary verbs to form negative and interrogative sentences.

English Auxiliary Verb: to be

To be is used to form the continuous tenses and the passive voice. Like all conjugated auxiliary verbs in English, the verb to be is accompanied by another verb.

  • Present continuous: She is working with an eco-friendly firm now.
  • Past continuous: She was working with a non-profit organization.
  • Future: She is going to be playing at the concert next Sunday.
  • Passive voice: The house was built during the Great Depression.

English Auxiliary Verb: to do

If you are trying to understand the auxiliary verbs in English and their meaning, the verb to do may baffle you, just a bit. As an auxiliary, this verb is used in the formation of interrogative and negative sentences both in the present and in the past. In this case, it has no meaning itself.

  • Present interrogative: What do you do for a living?
  • Past interrogative: Did she break that window?
  • Present simple negative: I don’t like dancing.
  • Past simple negative: She did not break that window.

Note: There are contractions of to do that are used in negative sentences both in the present (do not = don’t, does not = doesn’t) and in the past (did not = didn’t). It is necessary to keep this in mind if you are doing auxiliary verb exercises in English so that you do not get confused.

English Auxiliary Verb: to have

In English, the verb to have means “to possess” when used as the main verb. On the other hand, it means “to have” when used as an auxiliary verb. As an auxiliary, to have is used to form both active and passive compound tenses.

In the active voice, this auxiliary is used to form the perfect tenses and is conjugated in the present (have, has) or in the past (had). It is combined with the past participle of the main verb.

  • Present: You have a beautiful smile.
  • Past: He has done some research on the subject.

In the passive voice, to have is conjugated in the present or the past tense. It is combined with both the verb to be and the past participle form of the main verb.

  • Present: Something has to be done to solve the problem.
  • Past: Some research has been done on that subject.

This auxiliary verb can also be found in interrogative and negative sentences.

  • Interrogatives: Have you drunk too much?
  • Negative sentences: I have not taken the test yet.

Note: There are contracted forms of to have that are used in negative sentences both in the present (have not = haven’t, has not = hasn’t) as well as in the past (had not = hadn’t).

English Auxiliary Verb: will

Will does not change according to time, person, or number. The verb will is a modal verb that also functions as an auxiliary verb in English. It does this in the formation of the simple future (accompanied by another verb).

  • Assertion: I will visit my best friend next week.
  • Negation: I won’t go to the party next month.

It is also used in the following expressions.

  • Desire or intention: I will do everything I can to help you.
  • Habits or trends: He will tell you the truth most of the time, but not always.
  • Capabilities: My new car will do 300 km/h.
  • Determination: I decided to be an engineer, so I will be one.
  • Inevitable facts: We’re at war. People will die.
  • Orders: You will clean your room right now.

English Auxiliary Verb: would

The verb would is, like will, a modal verb. It does not vary in person, time, or number. As an auxiliary verb in English, it is used in the second conditional for hypothetical situations. It appears in affirmative, negative, and interrogative sentences.

  • Assertion: I would love to meet him someday.
  • Negation: I came by taxi. He told me he wouldn’t drive me.
  • Interrogative: Would you sell your house for one million dollars?

Auxiliary Verb Exceptions

While some of the sentences with auxiliary verbs in English are interrogatives, there are cases in which the auxiliary verb does not appear. The omission occurs in some interrogative sentences that are introduced by the interrogative pronouns what and who. This is because the pronoun itself functions as the subject of the verb, making the auxiliary unnecessary.

Who came?

What happened?

Here we have shown you how auxiliary verbs are used in English with explanations and examples. They are definitely an essential tool when it comes to being able to communicate fluently in this language. If you found this interesting and want to improve your skills in English, the language of the modern world, we put our teaching system at your disposal.

You can become confident in speaking english by taking the help from English Teacher in Livermore and who can also make you efficient in communicating with others.

Posted in English Learning

The Advantages of Studying English Online

You have probably come here looking for an answer to what the best way to study English is. Whether you are starting from scratch or already have a base you want to improve on, the time has come to decide which methodology is best.

We have prepared this article to help you make your decision. It will explain the advantages and disadvantages of studying English online and why we are convinced that this is one of the best ways to learn the language. Come on then, let’s resolve any doubts you may have.

English Classes Online

Not so many years ago, things were simpler, right? If you wanted to study a new language, you signed up for a class at a specialized academy or institute. You then spent a good number of years attending classes and studying. But was that really simpler? Or has technology helped us to make learning a language more enjoyable and dynamic?

Today, you can choose between learning English online or in person. This allows you to adapt the learning method to your schedule to the rhythm of your life instead of having to be the one who adapts to the rhythm of the language school.

How Do Online English Classes Work?

Many of the people who come to online teaching platforms wonder if online English courses really work. Sometimes, if a thing seems too easy and accessible, it makes us distrust its effectiveness a little. That is a valid doubt. Just think of how long people assumed that the only way to succeed was to continue attending years of classes in an institute.

Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages of learning a language online, as there is for everything. Our goal is to help you evaluate precisely these points. Once you have a clearer picture, you will be able to make a truly well-informed decision.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Classes

Let’s leave the best for last. We will start with the main disadvantages of this teaching method.

  • You do not have any classes to attend. Is it really a disadvantage to not be forced to learn at a specific time and in a specific place?
  • There is no teacher to learn from. You may not have a teacher in front of a blackboard, but online English courses have very good professionals who work as tutors for those who are studying on their platforms.
  • You cannot practice speaking. While you may not have live conversation classes, that does not mean that you will not have a way to practice your pronunciation. You can even practice how to handle yourself in everyday situations in English such as going to the movies, traveling, meeting people, going to a job interview, etc.

So, it seems like the world of studying online is not so bad after all. Do you want to know some of the advantages of learning this way? And how do online English courses work?

  • You can study anywhere. With online classes, you are not the one who goes to a classroom, rather the classroom comes with you. By learning through internet platforms, you can connect to the platform from wherever is most convenient for you.
  • Mobile devices. Online teaching platforms are designed so that you can access them from any mobile device with an internet connection. This means that you can carry your classes around comfortably in your pocket or bag.
  • There are no fixed schedules. Just as you do not have a fixed place to study, you also do not have a schedule which you are required to follow. This allows you to not only manage your schedule with more freedom but also to take advantage of the time spent in places like waiting rooms and public transport. It will be there anytime you want to learn a little more.
  • More economical. Because they do not have to maintain a physical building or a group of teachers, applications that teach languages can give you the same benefits as studying in an academy for much less money.

What’s Better: Online or Physical Classes?

We have already examined the advantages and disadvantages of studying English online. In fact, you have seen that the things that are usually perceived as disadvantages in this teaching style are really a great asset for someone that knows how to take advantage of them. Now the time has come for you to ask yourself what is the best way to start your English learning journey.

If you are one of those people who enjoys doing things on their own terms and choose the time and place that you dedicate to each activity in your life and are looking for methods that conform to your daily dynamics instead of having to do follow the established norms, we recommend that you start studying online.

If you have decided to venture into the world of modern learning and be part of the growing group of people who do so, we invite you to try the ABA English teaching method. We have designed everything to allow you to get the most out of your studies with free video classes, online teachers accompanying you through every step, and short films that immerse you in everyday English. You will have all of this while retaining the freedom to continue living your life and doing your favorite activities without being tied down by inflexible schedules or fixed classes.

You can improve your writing vocabulary and everything related to English Grammar from Top English Teacher in Livermore .

Posted in English Learning

5 Phrasal Verbs with the verb “Get” that you can use in a Business Context

Two months ago (I cannot believe how time flies!) I wrote this post about 5 phrasal verbs you can use with the verb “Take” in a Business English context. In that post I said that the most common verbs that are used as phrasal verbs are get, put, take, come and go.

I started off with “take” and this post is now dedicated to the verb “get”. Depending on the preposition that follows the verb, the meaning of the the phrasal verb and how it’s used in a sentence can change quite a lot. This is very challenging for language learners to grasp.

It’s also true that in English, phrasal verbs are often used instead of an appropriate verb which can be extremely frustrating for language learners. For example, we often say call off a meeting” instead of cancel a meeting.

Let’s take a look at  5 phrasal verbs, their alternative meaning and how they are used in a business context.

1. Get Around

  • We managed to get around the problem by dealing with our suppliers directly. (avoid)

2. Get Into

  • We got into an argument over the sales deadlines at the meeting. I was so upset. (became involved)

3. Get Through

  • I’ve had a really constructive day today. I got through a huge amount of paperwork. (completed)
  • I’ve been trying to get through to our distributors all day without success. (contact)

4. Get On

  • get on really well with my colleagues. We make a great team. (have a good relationship)
  • How are you getting on with the presentation for next week’s conference? (to progress)

5. Get (something) Across

  • In a sales pitch, it’s very important to get your message across clearly and concisely. (communicate)

These phrasal verbs can be used in a non-business context as well. Can you create other sentences with them? Do you know other phrasal verbs with “get”? None of the idioms on this page are unusual or old fashioned, so you can be confident using any of them with native English speakers and can also take the help from Top English Teacher in Livermore and can easily speak English with others.

Posted in English Learning

Business Phrasal Verbs: 15 Phrasal Verbs and Expressions You Can Use Over Coffee

Phrasal verbs are most English learners’ worst nightmare. Unfortunately they are so commonly used in English by fluent speakers that you’ll hear them several times in a conversation. And that’s the same for communication with proficient English speakers in a business setting. You can’t escape them!

What are phrasal verbs?

Phrasal verbs are verbs used with another word (an adverb or preposition) to create a commonly used phrase.

Phrasal verbs are idiomatic — you can’t guess the meaning of a phrasal verb by interpreting each of the words it contains literally. For example, if you say, “I’ll look into the mirror,” you are going to direct your sight to a mirror. In this case, look into is not a phrasal verb; it’s simply a verb followed by a preposition. On the other hand, if you say, “I don’t know what phrasal verbs are, but I’ll look into it,” you are not directing your sight into phrasal verbs—you are going to find out more about them.

How to learn and remember phrasal verbs?

My clients often ask me how best they should learn phrasal verbs and I categorically tell them that memorising a list of phrasal verbs outof context is a big NO!

What is far more effective is to learn them in context, in other words, in the different settings you find them. If the setting is familiar, the phrasal verb will be easier to understand and remember.

I prefer to teach phrasal verbs under different topics.This does three things: (1) it shows you that phrasal verbs are a normal part of English, (2) it ensures you don’t get overwhelmed by too many phrasal verbs at once, and (3) it gives you practice using phrasal verbs in the correct context.

Let’s take a look at a business meeting over coffee

Imagine the scene. You’ve arranged to meet a good client of yours. Instead of meeting at their offices, you’ve decided to meet for a coffee at a nearby cafe’.Here’s what happens:

Tony: Hello Jack. Sorry for being so late. Have you been waiting long? Jack: Not too long. About half an hour.

Tony: Oh I am so sorry about that. I was just walking out of the door when I was called in  (asked to do something) by my boss who wanted to introduce me to a long-standing client of the firm’s. 

Jack: No problem at all. It gave me a chance to catch up with (do something that should be donemy emails. What would you like? An espresso, cappuccino or latte?

Tony: I think I’ll have a cappuccino.Jack: That’ll be one cappuccino and an espresso macchiato for me, thanks.Jack: So, how’s it going?

Tony: Oh you know, same old, same old….Jack: How do you mean?Tony: Well, you know we’re working on this new rail project? Well, we’ve been putting in (give) hours and hours of work and we don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

Jack: In what way, you’re not getting anywhere?

Tony: The other side are insisting on double pay at the weekends for their employees and they simply won’t give up (abandon) their demands.

Jack: And that’s something that’s unacceptable for your clients?

Tony: Oh yes, they will not give in (surrender) to bully tactics. Anyway, I don’t want to talk about it. Let’s change the subject. By the way, did you pick up (receive) the message I left you about the Deighton case?Jack: Yes, I did. I’m sorry I meant to get back to (reply) you.

Tony: Well, what do you think? Do you think we could work something out (agree)?Jack: In terms of what exactly?

Tony: Well, in terms of whether your firm would be prepared to step in (take their place) should we need?

Jack: I can’t see that it would be a problem but I’ll need to run this by (tell) my managing partner.

Tony: If you could do that sooner rather than later, I’d appreciate it.Jack: I’ll see what I can do.

Tony: Great. Now you set this meeting up (arranged)so what can I do for you?Jack: Well, I was wondering if you could put in a good word for me (say something positive) at the next AGM?

Tony: Of course, I could. After all, what are good friends for if we can’t stick up for (support) each other.

Jack: Oh,  thanks so much. I really didn’t know who I could turn to (get help).Tony: You can always count on (depend on) me.

Jack: You’re not only a great client, you’re a real friend.

You can get all the information from English Teacher in Livermore who will help you learn everything about English Grammar and help you become more proficient in English.

Posted in English Learning

5 Phrasal Verbs with the Verb “Take” you can use in Business English

Whilst phrasal verbs are simply verbs + prepositions, their meaning and how they are used can totally change depending on what preposition follows the verb.

The five most common verbs used in phrasal verbs are: get, come, go, take and putI  plan to write about each verb in separate blog posts and give examples of the different meanings the phrasal verbs have in the context of Business English.

In this blog post, I want to start with the verb “take”.

It’s fair to say that in the English Language, rather than using an appropriate verb we often use a phrasal verb instead. To make matters worse, the phrasal verb can mean different things depending on the context of the sentence.

This, of course, can cause great confusion to language learners when doing business in English.

Let’s consider these phrasal verbs and their equivalent, alternative verb.

1. Take On

  • I’m afraid I’ve taken on too much work. I don’t know how I’m going to cope. (accepted)
  • We have just taken on two new members of staff. (employed)

2. Take Down

  • took down some notes during the Chairman’s speech. (wrote)

3. Take Over

  • Last year they took over ABC company. (got control of)

4. Take Off

  • The company really took off once their latest version of the video game was launched. (made great progress)
  • The company has decided to take ten percent off the price of their designer shoes. (reduce the price)

5. Take out

  • We have taken out a company loan to help with the business (borrowed).
  • I have taken out an insurance policy to cover our key employees (obtained).

Are you looking for an English second language teacher in Livermore to help improve your conversation skills? We are waiting to hear from you. See you on the mountain!

Posted in English Learning

English Grammar Pill: Tackling the Present Perfect Tense Through Music

English learners everywhere will agree: the present perfect tense can be really complicated! Often times, it can be difficult to know when it’s right to use the present perfect. To help clarify some of this confusion, we’ll take a look at some popular songs that exemplify three of the most common uses of the present perfect. In addition to being fun to listen to, these songs show real-life examples of the present perfect in action, which should clear up some of the questions or doubts that you might have.

Before getting started, let’s check out the basics of the present perfect tense:

Form: present tense of have past participle

Examples:     He has taught English since 2007.

Have you ever seen a beluga whale?

                       Ive just moved to London.

                       I can’t believe that shes never eaten sushi.

Now, onto the music!

Usage 1:  To describe life experiences

A very popular use of the present perfect is to describe your past experiences: to talk about the things you’ve done or the places you’ve been to. The exact time that these experiences occurred does not matter; we use the present perfect to demonstrate simply that they happened some time before the present moment.

Examples:     have climbed a lot of mountains.

                    She has been to six different countries.

In I’ve Been Everywhere, country singer Johnny Cash talks about some of the American cities that he’s visited in the past. In doing so, he gives us many great examples of this use of the present perfect.

I’ve been everywhere, man.
             I’ve breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I’ve had my share, man.
           I’ve been everywhere. I’ve been to:
Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota . . .

Note that Johnny Cash uses the contracted form of “I have” — I’ve — when talking about his experiences. Also, if you’re trying to brush up on your United States geography, this is a great song for learning the names of American cities and states!

We can also use the present perfect to ask about others’ life experiences. When asking this kind of question, we often use the present perfect in conjunction with the adverb ever. The song Glitter in the Air by Pink shows us how to ask questions about others’ experiences using the present perfect. Remember that the auxiliary verb “have” jumps to the front of the sentence in questions!

Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?

Have you ever thrown a fistful of glitter in the air?

Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, “I just don’t care”?

Usage 2:  
To describe something that happened in the past and continues now

Another common use of the present perfect is to talk about something that started in the past, and is still happening in the present moment. This use of the present perfect is often accompanied by the adverbs for or since to indicate how long the event or action has been going on. Note that “for” is always followed by a period of time (e.g., a day, ten seconds, a while), whereas “since” is always followed by a specific date (e.g., 1492, last week, 5:30).

Examples:     have lived in New York for two years.

                     She has been a teacher since 2002.

London-based singer Sam Smith’s love song I’m Not The Only One uses the present perfect with the adverb “for” to describe something in the past that’s still happening in the present moment.

Comprehension check: In the lyrics above, Sam Smith says that he began to have doubts months ago, and still does now. Later, he indicates that he started loving someone many years ago, and still loves that person today.

Another popular English band, One Direction, also sings about love using the present perfect in 18. However, instead of using the adverb “for”, they use the adverb “since”. Compare One Direction’s lyrics below to Sam Smith’s lyrics above to see the difference between “for” and “since” when using the present perfect:

have loved you since we were 18
Long before we both thought the same thing

Usage 3: To describe the very recent past

The third common use of the present perfect tense is to describe actions and events that have happened in the very recent past, usually within a few minutes (for events that occurred further in the past, we use the simple past). In this case, we often use the adverb “just” in between the auxiliary (some form of “have”) and the main verb.

Examples:     Ive just eaten breakfast.

Shes left the office and is now on her way home.

To illustrate this use of the present perfect, we return to another song from Sam Smith. In I’ve Told You Now, Sam Smith describes a situation in which he avoids talking to someone, until he reaches his breaking point and finally says something. His use of the word “now” highlights the recency of the action.

Indeed, the present perfect tense can be a challenge, but hopefully, these songs have made it a little bit less intimidating. Of course, don’t forget to sing along — that way, you’ll get in some speaking practice, too!

If you’d like to hear some examples of the present perfect when it’s spoken, not sung, consider trying your hand at a free English listening test. With a little practice, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the present perfect.

You can get all the information from English Language Teacher who will help you learn English Grammar very fastly and make you more efficient in communicating with others..

Posted in English Learning, Uncategorized

How To Make Others Slow Down On The Call Without Apologising For Your ‘Bad’ English.

★ “They all speak so fast.”

★ “ James’s accent is so hard to understand. I think he’s from Manchester.”

★ “Simone uses typical British expressions/idioms I’m not familiar with.”

★ “I don’t always catch all the words they’re saying.”

★ “They sometimes use sentences I just don’t understand.”

And the worst bit.

“Every time I apologise and ask them to repeat what they’ve said, they repeat it in EXACTLY the same way!”

So what does she do?

Feeling dejected, she asks them to send her an email to confirm what’s been said.

And she tells herself:

★ If only she knew more vocabulary, she wouldn’t have this problem every single time.

★ That if she mastered English grammar, it would be so much easier to follow the conversations.

★ That she really needs to learn more idiomatic expressions or phrasal verbs.

★ She has to improve her listening skills to understand British English.

★ She’s never going to get that promotion if she continues having problems on the phone with the London team.

In other words, she blames her ‘bad’ English for her inability to communicate with her British colleagues.

Breaking news: “Better grammar and more vocabulary aren’t going to solve her problems with her London team. Learning how to communicate with them is.”

Communication is a two-way street.

First of all, she needs to understand this crucial message.

Communication is a two-way street.

Both sides have a responsibility to understand the other person and to be understood by the other person.

This means you (the international speaker) AND your British/American colleague (the monolingual English speaker):

★ Listening carefully.

★ Speaking clearly.

★ Adapting your language to your audience.

★ Speaking at a slower pace.

Let’s take a look at what Pilar (and you) have done and do to fulfil your responsibility.

★ You’ve enrolled in English conversation classes to improve your fluency.

★ You regularly practise your listening skills by listening to podcasts.

★ You’ve faithfully completed those English grammar worksheets.

★ You’ve signed up to a number of online courses that promise to get you speaking like a native speaker.

★ You’ve read umpteen books or articles in English to improve your vocabulary.

★ You try hard to speak slowly and clearly so that your colleague understands you.

And yet…

Despite all your valiant efforts, you still find it so hard to understand your British or American colleague. And they struggle to understand you too.


Thing is…You’re only one side of the coin.

You need to look at the other side of the coin to see what they have done or are doing to fulfil their responsibility to communicate with you.

Here’s what happens when your typical British (or American) speaker communicates with you (the international speaker).

★ They forget who they’re speaking to.>> In other words, that you’re an international speaker of English with a different level of proficiency.

★ They don’t adjust their accent to make themselves clear.>> I am not suggesting people eradicate their accent, but if you know that your audience is not familiar with your accent, you need to soften it to ensure they understand you until they get used to it.

★ They don’t adapt their language to International English. >>They use colloquial, culture-specific expressions that no one outside of the UK (or USA)  would understand or be expected to understand.

★ They sometimes overcomplicate the language they’re using: “ Should you happen to see him, would you mind letting him know that I’m expecting him to call me soon as.” (unnecessarily complex grammar structure)

★ They speak too fast often leaving no ‘white space’, in other words, pauses to check you’re following the conversation.>> Or worse still, they mumble making it hard for you to understand what they’re saying.

★ They’re so focused on speaking, they forget to communicate.

They’re not fulfilling their side of the bargain.

And yet, they don’t think they’re part of the problem.

In her latest book*, Chia Suan Chong observes that: “English-speaking monolinguals sometimes get offended by the suggestion that they could be the problem in a situation of international communication.”

This is further demonstrated by a client who, when in a meeting with a British supplier, told me: “ It was hard for me to understand his pronunciation and, which is worse, I am afraid this irritated him.”

It’s YOUR fault.

★ It’s so much easier to allow you, the international speaker, to take all the blame for not understanding your British colleague.

★ It’s so much easier to allow you to feel bad about your English and to put the responsibility solely on you to make yourself understood.

Well…it’s time to fight back!

It’s time to remind your British/American colleague that speaking fluently doesn’t mean they’re communicating effectively.

It’s time to face the monolingual English speaker with courage and confidence.

Confident in the belief that you have all the tools in your toolbox to deal with any communication issues you may have with them.

Tools that have nothing to do with perfect grammar or sophisticated vocabulary.

Let’s explore these tools.

Here’s how you can get your British/American colleague to slow down without apologising for your ‘bad’ English.

Before the call.

★ Plan your call >> think of what information you need to share >> what information you need from them >> try and anticipate what their response is likely to be >> if you’ve had previous email correspondence with them, have the text ready in front of you. >>The chances are they’ll use the same expressions on the phone.

★ If you already have some idea of what you’re planning to discuss, make a note of the important words and phrases you are likely to hear or say. >> this will help you identify them more easily during the conversation. >> This will give you the reassurance you need should you mishear a word or phrase.

★ Record the call >> if you can, record your call on your smartphone. >> This will allow you to re-listen to the conversation, re-play any issues and reflect on what to do differently next time.

During the call.

★ If, in the middle of the conversation, your colleague starts reeling off a set of numbers (like telephone numbers or sales figures) or an email address, tell them you’re going to write the information down. >> “That’s great. I’m just going to write this information down. Please give me a second to get pen and paper. Ok, I’m ready.” >> This will automatically make them slow the pace down.

★ As you write the details down, tell them you’re going to repeat it back to them for confirmation>> “Ok, so that I am clear, Simon’s email address is ……”>> Once again this makes them slow down and listen to you.  

★ Don’t be afraid to ask them to slow down but don’t apologise>> “I’m afraid you’re going too fast. Can you repeat that last sentence and this time I’ll make a note of it?”

★ Blame it on a bad line >> I’m afraid I didn’t catch that. It’s a bad line. You said that …… Is that correct? >> You’re passing the responsibility to them to listen and confirm.

★ If they use an expression you’ve not heard before, tell/ask them >> “What do you mean?”  or “I’m not familiar with that expression.”>> You’re not apologising, but you’re inviting them to say it another way. >> Remember you’re not expected to understand every colloquialism or cultural reference.

★ If you’re not sure you heard correctly, check it with them >> Was that forty (four oh) or fourteen (one four)?

★ If they don’t understand something you’ve said, give them an example or say it another way. >> Again don’t apologise for your English or your accent >> they need to get used to how you speak too.

★ Some people are naturally fast talkers and often find it hard to slow down and stay slowed down >> If that’s the case, keep reminding them to slow down and don’t apologise. >> You need to help them be aware of this.

The more you’re aware of what’s happening during those conversations, the easier it’ll be to adapt to them.

Awareness comes with reflection.

After the call, take a few minutes to reflect.

★ If you recorded the call, play it back and listen to the conversation.

★ What were the positives? >> What did you understand? >> Why did you understand? >> Was it because they slowed down, they spoke clearly and so on.

★How comfortable were you using one of your tools?

★ How did they respond when you used one of your tools in your toolbox? >>Did you find them slowing down? >> How did it make you feel? >> Did the dynamics of the conversation change for the better?

In today’s global business world where English is the common language of commerce, we all have an interest in facilitating good, effective communication between ourselves. You can improve your writing vocabulary and everything related to English Grammar from Top English Teacher in Livermore and can get best English tutoring in whole area.

International communication in English goes beyond perfect grammar, complex vocabulary, academically-correct spoken English and accent-free pronunciation.

We, monolingual English speakers AND international speakers of English, have a responsibility to ensure that both sides help each other communicate successfully.

Posted in English Learning

Why performing at your next business meeting in English won’t win you applause or respect (and what will instead).

You’re leading your next business meeting in English. You’re both excited and nervous.

“I want to wow my audience”.

Which means:

➤ My grammar must be mistake-free.

➤ I must use sophisticated language to demonstrate how professional I am.

➤ I need to include some complex sentence structures to impress my audience.

➤ I should include the latest buzzwords.

➤ I must have the answers at my fingertips and respond without pausing. That way it will highlight my expertise.

In other words, you want to give a flawless (perfect) performance at that business meeting.

So, how do you go about preparing for this performance, sorry, meeting?

Well, here’s your dilemma. Unlike a pianist who has set pieces they’ll be performing and can practise them in advance, you’re not too sure how you’re going to practise for this meeting.

In theory, you could:

➤ Dust down that English grammar book you have and work through some exercises.

➤ Check  Google Translate for the vocabulary you want to use.

➤ Look up the latest buzzwords and try to remember to incorporate them at the meeting.

➤ Practise writing some complex sentences and verbalising them.

In practice, you do none of the above.

Instead, you slowly get more and more stressed out about this impending meeting.

➤ What if I don’t sound good because of my accent?

➤ What if I make grammar mistakes?

➤ What if I can’t answer the questions quickly enough?

➤ What if I can’t think of the right words?

➤ What if they realise I am not good enough?

By the time, the meeting is due to start you’re a nervous wreck wondering how on earth you’re going to get through it in one piece.


What if I told you that you could avoid all that stress without resorting to perfect grammar and complex sentence structures or sophisticated vocabulary?


By refocusing your attention on what or, more importantly, who matters.

Your audience.

Newsflash: In seeking to perform (speak) perfectly, you’ve completely forgotten your audience!

In focusing on yourself, your audience has become invisible to you.

You’ve completely forgotten about the purpose of the meeting – to communicate with them.

In wanting to perform for (read speak at) them, you’ve forgotten:

➤ To consider what your audience needs from you >> to be a helpful resource or a ‘soliloquizing authority ’?

➤ Who your audience is >>experts or non-experts of your sector? >> international or monolingual English speakers?

➤ What their level of English proficiency is >> will they understand the language you want to use? >> do they NEED that language to do their jobs?

➤ To think if using buzzwords would make your message any clearer or simply confuse your audience >> is using buzzwords truly going to help your audience or are they there simply to boost your ego?

Beam that spotlight away from you and your stress levels fall

The moment you focus on your audience, your stress levels fall because the spotlight is no longer on you producing grammar-perfect sentences, sophisticated vocabulary or flawless pronunciation.

The spotlight is no longer on how well you’re performing (speaking), but on how well your audience is responding to you.

And this requires you to watch, ask questions and listen. In other words, communicate.

What a relief!

This is how you can wow your audience without stressing over your English.

Before the meeting

➤ Think about the purpose of your meeting >> is it to get an agreement on a proposal, project deadline >> is it to persuade your colleagues/clients about the merits of a board decision >> is it to motivate your team >> is it to encourage your team to adopt a new way of thinking?

➤ Consider what information your audience needs to fulfil your objective >> do they need facts and figures >> do they need a backstory? >> do they need your support?

➤ Think about who your audience is >> are they international speakers or monolingual speakers of English >> what’s their level of English proficiency?

➤ How should the information they need be delivered >> does it need clear and plain English? >> would buzzwords and jargon be appropriate? >> would non-complex sentence structures be appreciated? >> should the stories you tell them be in the English they understand?

During the meeting

➤ Observe your audience >> watch their body language >> are they following what you’re saying? >> do they look confused? >> do they look interested? >> are they asking questions?

➤ Ask checking questions >> if they look confused or you want to ensure they’ve understood the point, ask them a checking question like “do you think my suggestion could work with your team in Dubai?” >>from their response,  you’ll soon know if they understood you or not and address the issue if needed. >> maybe you need to adjust your language >> say the same thing another way (paraphrase).

➤ Engage with your audience >> invite their opinion>>  don’t just say “what does everyone think?” >> select someone and ask them “Gerard, you’ve done some work on this before, I’d love to know what you think.”>> invite others to contribute after Gerard has spoken.

➤ Ask questions and listen to their answers >> listen to understand NOT to reply >> if you’re there as a resource, you listening more than speaking will be essential.

After the meeting

➤ Reflect >> take 10 -15 minutes to go over the meeting >> make notes.

➤ Did you achieve your objective?

If yes, how do you think you achieved it? >> what worked? >> was your audience responsive? >> how so? >> asking questions? >> responding to your questions? >> appreciating the time you gave them?

If no, why do you think you didn’t? >> what happened? >> was it your language? >> did you not ask enough questions? >>did you rush through the meeting?>> how would you do things differently next time?

Remember that as leader of the business meeting, your main purpose is to steer and inspire your audience to action.  To improve your communication skills with your audience, you can take the help from Top English Teacher in Livermore and can improve your speaking and writing skills effectively..