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Office Vocabulary :
Paper clips pencils erasers pens message pads clip board index cards labels computer swivel chair pencil sharpener director manager payroll personnel scissors file folders liquid paper desk tacks staple remover filing cabinet diskettes clip adding machine boardroom business cards tape coffee cup boardroom pad of paper receptionist briefcase ruler stapler three hole punch photocopier

overhead projector

Circle the words above that relate to the pictures. Identify the office vocabulary in the pictures below
1. ___________________________ 2.____________________________ 3.____________________________ 4. ___________________________

5. ____________________________ 6. ____________________________ 7. ____________________________ 8. ____________________________

Conversation Practice : Telephone Messages

Good morning, Lewis and Lopez Language School for Business. Mr. Rivera : Hello. May I speak with Silvia Lopez please? Secretary : I´m sorry. She´s not in the office at the moment. May I take a message ? Mr. Rivera : Yes, please. This is Mr. Rivera. Secretary : Could you spell that for me, please ? Mr. Rivera : Sure, it´s R­I­V­E­R­A and my telephone number is 345­6565. Secretary : Thank you. I´ll make sure she gets the message. Mr. Rivera : When do you expect her back in the office ? Secretary : I´m not sure. She said she had a meeting with some important clients at 2 p.m. so she should be back between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Mr. Rivera : Great ! I really need to talk to her today, if possible. Secretary : Don´t worry sir, as soon as she comes in, I´ll give her the message. Mr. Rivera : Thanks a lot. It´s concerning a possible new client. Secretary : Oh, she´ll be happy to here that. Thank you for calling.

Secretary :

Practice the conversation above and then repeat it with some personal changes. Fill out the following message pad using the conversation above and then fill out another using your own information.

Date : Time From : To : Phone no.: Concerning Date : Time : From : To : Phone no. : Concerning


Role Play :
Act out the situation in front of the class. Write a script if necessary.

Situation 1 : A: You are calling Tickson Enterprises and you want to speak
with Mr. Ron Tickson. He is the president of the company . You are his accountant, Ms. Hammond, and there is a serious problem with his financial statements. B : You are Mr. Tickson´s secretary. He is in an important meeting at the moment and he can’t be disturbed, but you know that this is a serious problem.

Situation 2 : A : You are a customer calling the local telephone company to complain about
your bill. The charges are too high. B : You are a customer service representative for the local telephone company. The customer is question is always complaining about their bill, but it is always correct.

Preposition about Dates and Times
In English, we use the prepositions on, in, and at when we talk about dates and times. The chart below will explain when we use them

year only : I was born in 1965. month only : She came to Canada in September. month and year : We arrived in January, 1997. at an unspecified time in the future : My boss is coming back from holidays in a week/month / a few days.. season : The flowers bloom in spring. parts of the day : in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening

day of the week : We have a meeting on Monday. date of the month : I will begin my new job on the 12th. day, month and year: John started working for the company on July 3, 1975.

at a specific time : We start work at 8:30 . at night : I don’t like to work at night. at a time of the day : We eat lunch at noon. lunch, dinner, supper

day and month : My birthday is on August 15th.

Grammar Tip:
In English, we capitalize the days of the week and the months of the year but not the seasons. Ex. I went to the office early on Monday. My father’s birthday is in May. But I love to go swimming in the summer.

Exercises :
Determine whether to use on, in or at for the following sentences. 1. My sister was born _______ November 14th, 1967. 2. The party is _____ the 31st of May. 3. I love to take walks ______ the morning. 4. The meeting is ______ Wednesday _____ 9 a.m. 5. The Montreal Olympic Games were ______ 1976. 6. School usually starts ______ September. 7. I am always late. I can never get to work _____ time. 8. We will be having a meeting _____ a couple of days. 9. My brother’s wedding was ________ night 10. Don’t forget to finish your report. It is due ______ the 21st. 11. My family loves to go skating ______ the winter.

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Tell and Ask Messages with statements
The board meeting is on Tuesday. The financial reports are due today. The report is finished.

Please tell Martin the meeting is on Tuesday. Would you please tell Martin the financial report are due today..? Could you tell him that the report is finished?

Messages with imperatives
Call me later today about the project. Bring the financial statement. Pick up the report this afternoon.

Please ask Martin to call me about the project. Would you ask him to bring the financial statements. Please ask him to pick up the report this afternoon.

Tell and Say
If you say who you are talking to , use tell. Otherwise use say. Below are some examples of both. Robert told me that he was coming to Mexico for a visit. Natalie said that she didn´t want to go to the office today because she was sick. My husband told his sister about his new job. My mother always tells us what she thinks is best for us. The newspaper says that it is going to rain today.

Fill in the blanks using tell, ask or say. 1. Betty______ me that she has a pile of work*. 2. The secretary _______ that she had a headache. 3. What did you _________ ? 4. Could you ______ him I called? 5. At the meeting the director _________ about the problems in the company. 6. Jill _______ her brother about her promotion. 7. My friend _________ me about her new job.

Conversation Practice :

Customer : Operator : Customer : Operator : Customer :

Information, please ? Customer : Hello, operator ? Operator : Yes. Can I help you ? Customer : Yes, I am trying to make a direct call to Japan, but I think I have the wrong country code. Operator : The country code for Japan is 81, but you must dial 011 first, then 81 and then the code for the city you want. What city do you want? Customer : I want to speak to my sister in Kyoto. Operator : Okay. You have to dial 011­81­752 and then the local number. Could you connect me directly? I could, but it would be more expensive. You’re better off* dialing directly. Okay. Thanks operator. Oh, by the way* do you know what the time difference is from here to Kyoto ? Yes. It’s thirteen hours ahead. In other words, it’s 8 p.m. here, which would make it 9 a.m. in Kyoto right now. Oh, that’s perfect. She’s just getting ready to go to work. Thanks again.

Discuss the vocabulary from the conversation and answer these questions 1. Who did the customer want to call? 2. Where did she want to call? 3. What was the country code and city code of the place they wanted to call? 4. Was it cheaper to use the operator to call or to dial directly?

*Culture Note: The expression to be better off means he or she is/was/ will be
in a better position or situation. In other words, this action would be advantageous. The expression by the way, is usually used in a stream of thought when the person wants to mention an additional point, make another inquiry, or ask another question. It is quite a casual expression, but it can be used in business scenarios, too.

In partners, practice the following conversation and then choose a place and a person you would like to make a long distance call to and repeat the conversation with the changes.

Calling for Information
For beginners to the net. The courses will help you surf the net without problems. Courses begin Sept. 12th. Schedule is Mon. and Wed. 7:30­9:30 p.m. (4 weeks) $100

For all levels; beginner, intermediate, and advanced students. Fully­qualified and dynamic teachers. Courses begin Oct. 9th. Tues. and Thurs. 6­9 p.m. (12 weeks) $500

Groove to the rhythm of the Latin salsa or African reggae. Keep warm during winter and experience another culture at the same time. Course begin Jan. 10th Fridays 7­9 p.m. (6 weeks) $120


If you love international food and you love to cook, you would love this course. Courses begin July 1st Saturdays 1 ­ 4 p.m. (8 weeks) Each week we travel to a different country ! $200

Partner 1 : You are calling for information about a particular course. You need to
find out how much it is, when it begins, how long the course lasts and what days and times the course will be held.

Partner 2 : You are a receptionist at Frontier College. You can use the list above to
answer questions about the courses.

Write it !
Write an ad for an exciting course. ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________

Functional Conversation:

In business and in your personal life, there are many ways to thank people and to accept thanks. Here are some common expression of thanks and accepting of thanks.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank... We are here today to express our appreciation to... We hope this medal/ award will help you remember how grateful we are. I really appreciate you ... I am extremely/so / very grateful. We really didn’t know how to thank you. I never got the chance to thank you. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for... Thank you again. Thank you so much for... That was really thoughtful. Thanks a lot. Thanks a lot, sweetheart. This is great, honey! You didn’t have to do that.

Accepting Thanks:
We’re glad to help out. Thank you. Glad to be of help. Don’t mention it. Oh, it’s nothing, really. My pleasure. No problem. Don’t worry about it. It’s not a big deal. You’re welcome. It was my pleasure.

Go over these expressions in class with your teacher make sure you understand all of them. Some of the expression are formal and some are informal make sure you know the difference. Role Play :
Act out the following situations with a partner. Don’t forget to use the expressions from the previous page. 1. Thank one of your classmates for helping you with your English homework. 2. Thank one of your colleagues for help in an important presentation.

3. 4. 5. 6.

Thank your father for lending you some money. Thank your mother for looking after your children for the weekend. Thank a stranger for saving your life in a car accident. Thank your friend for helping you through a crisis.

Now think of someone you would like to thank for something and act it out in front of the class.

Irregular Past Tense
Since this unit is about the office. We will focus on verbs dealing with business.

Simple Present
tell : She always tells me not to yell. say : They say that money makes the world go around. take : Please take a message. lose : I don´t want to lose my job. find : Bruce finds a lot of information on the internet. meet : We always meet on our coffee breaks know : I know a lot of important people in the business.

Simple Past
told : She told me about her problem. said : They said they didn’t like the job. took : The receptionist took the message. lost : Yesterday, my friend lost her job. found : He found the information he needed at the library. met : I met an interesting candidate for the position. knew : I knew about the cutbacks in the company, last week.

Exercises :
Complete the following sentences, using the past tense verbs above. 1. Tom ___________ me when we were in high school. 2. Angela __________ she wanted to go home. 3. Kevin and I ___________ an excellent deal on a new car. 4. I _________ an old friend for dinner. 5. We ___________ a taxi home because it was very late. 6. My boss _________ me that I was an excellent employee. 7. She _________ her wallet on her way to work.

Receptionist: Good afternoon, Xerox. May I help you? Mr. Stevens: Yes. There’s something wrong with the photocopier. The paper keeps getting stuck. Receptionist: Okay, I will connect you with customer service. They can arrange to have a technician go to your office. Technician: Hi, sir. The receptionist told me you are having some problems with the photocopier. What seems to be the problem? Mr. Stevens: The paper keeps jamming * in the machine. We don’t know what to do. Could you come today and fix it? Technician: I’m afraid we are very busy today. Could I come tomorrow? Mr. Stevens: Would it be possible to come early in the morning, at 7:30? Technician: How about at 8 a.m.? Mr. Stevens: Alright, I guess that will have to do * . So I can expect you tomorrow at 8 a.m.? Technician: Yes. I´ll write that in my agenda. Our appointment is for tomorrow Tuesday, March 31st at 8 a.m. Mr. Stevens: Great. Could I please have your name? Technician: Yes, it’s Robert Thompson. Mr. Stevens: Thanks. My name is Joshua Stevens. Please ask for me when you arrive tomorrow. I’m the office manager. Technician: Sure, Mr. Stevens. See you tomorrow.

*Cultural Note: The verb to jam means to get stuck or to be blocked. We always
refer to things being jammed never people. The expression that will have to do infers that there is a lack of satisfaction. In other words, it’s not the best solution but he/she will have to deal with it.

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