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Conversation Gambits

El ic Keller and Sylvia T Warner

Real English Conversation Practices

Language Teaching Publications

Language Teaching Publications

33 Popular Misconceptions


34 We take It for Granted


35 SaYing no Tactfully


36 Door-to-door Salespeople


37 Demanding Explanations


38 Expressing your Reservations


39 Taking thmgs mto Corrsrderatron 40 Arguments and Counter-arguments

50 5 I

4 I Seemg the Good Side


42 Generahsmg


43 Exceptions

44 The GeneralIsation Game



45 lIIustratmg your Pomt


46 What yOIJ really mean


47 FInIsh your Story


3. Responding Gambits


48 Right or wrong


49 Crowd Reacnons


50 Gettmg to Know Someone


51 Can I help you')


52 The Love Test


53 I haven t a Clue'


54 It serves you nght'


55 Analyse your Handwntmg


56 Inkblots


57 Bemg Sytrrpnthetrc 58 The InterView

78 79

59 ShovlIng Interest


60 Are you followmg me')

61 CommunicatIon Problems

81 82

62 Accepting a ComplIment






To the Student

How natural is your conversation in English?

The main 'Nay we make our conversation sound natural is by using

'gambits' A gambit is a word or phrase which helps lJS to express

what we are trying to say. For example. we use gambits to introduce

a topic of conversation: to link what we have to say to what someone

has just said: to agree or disagree; to respond to what we have

heard. In one sense, a gambit has very little meaning - it does

not express an opimon: it may only mtroduce the opmlon. On the

other hand, if we never use gambits in our conversation, other

people will think we are very direct. abrupt, and even rude -

they will get a wrong picture of us as people So gambits are full

of meaning. They show our attitude to the person we are speakmg to and to what (slile is sayillg.

\Ve could go into a shop and ask. Ho',v I'I'IUd1 is this? But it is more

natmal and pleasant if we ask. Could you tell me how much this is please?

If you have just heard that your teacher is going to get marned, you could walk il Ito tile class and allllOUI Ice tile fact. but yOU will

have more effect if you start, Are 1101;4 sitti,qg down? You WOIq't (;eUeve

this but our teacher is getting married

If you want to express a deeply-held belief, people will understand

you better if you start, I personally feel that ... - and if you think

your view is surprising, people will react better if you introduce

it with Not P1!erljfme will agree witfi me hUt I think (we ,hould biinq back hanging)

Gambits will make your English sound more natural. more confident.

and will make you easier to talk to. Above all, you will not be


The activities

In each of the activities you are asked to work in pairs or small

groups to have conversations In each activity there is a list of gambits

at the side. Before you start your conversation, make sure you

can say them. Try to use them in your conversations. If you find

them difficult. have the conversation again and try to use them.

It will help you it, after your conversation, you try to write it down

and Include the gambIts. Then read aloud what you have written Do 1I0t tl Y to lIIelIlO! ise the gambits. 'Ibu will I elIle III bel tllem

better if you try to involve yourself in the activities in an active

way. Ask your teacher it you sound natural when you use them. Above all. try to use them whenever you have an English

COl (vel satioll outside the classroom.

Remember, for these activities the gambits are as important as

the content of yQJ If conversation!

The last activity (63. Mini-conversations) includes a list of subjects

for discussion which you can use for ideas in many of the activities.

1. Opening Gambits

We use opening gambits to help us introduce ideas into the

conversation The beginning of a conversation is usually the most

difficult part for most people. If we start In a natural and friendly

way we will most likely have a positive meeting If we start 'on

the wrong foot'. we may be misunderstood

We use opening gambits not only to start a conversation, but also

to introduce new ideas during a conversation. So, we may wish

to get someone's attention by sayrng. Excuse me, please, or we may wish to introduce a surprisitlg piece of news wit}1, You mag not believe

Or we may want to add a small piece of information with, By the

way ... Somethmg more serIOUS can be mtroduced With, In my View. If you tl y to use the gambits in tltis section in the activities as

much as you can, you 'Vvill remember them more easily vv'hen you

have real conversations outside the classroom.


You want to buy the things below. What would you say to the shop

I'd like to know ...

assistant? lIse s!litable phrases from the list

I'm interested in ...


I Example' Yes, I'd like to know how much

Could you tell me ... ?

May I help yO!I?

electric typewriter - price?

tflls typewriter costs.)

Do you knO'.Y ... ?

Wbat can I do fur YOII?

bicycle - how many gears?

Could you find out ... ?


desk lamp - what kind of bulb it


Could I ask ... ?

Would you like some help?

these pyjamas different colours?

1 Do you happen to

know ... ?

What would you hke?

stereo receivers which IS the best?

Can I help you?

oil vv'hich is the best for my car?

Are you looking for

batteries - where in the



Do you need help?

shampoo for my hair?

You look lost.

a carrier bag - how much and


1. 'cess hkely ~he assistant Y~III know.

2. Breaking in

1Excuse me

Often we have to approach strangerstoaskthem forsomeinformation


Two to four students volunteer to be the questioners. They should think up son Ie thillgS to ask about (ideas below)

Excuse me for

interrupting, but ...

The rest of the class stand up and form small groups (3/4) and talk

about anything you want. (hobby? friend? tomorrow? holidaY?1

May I interrupt for a

The volunteers then approach the groups and 'break in' to ask their


questions. Try to use phrases from the list.

. , " 2please

When each of the volunteers has been to each of the groups. evel ybody sitsdowlI agaill. The volUllteels thelll epol ttlte allswelS

they got.



Excuse me. can you teU me how to get to the cafeteria?

May I Interrupt for a moment? I d like to know how to get to the

Some things to ask about

How to get to the nearest supermarket/bus stop/telephone box.

'J./here you can get change/a haircut/stamps.

Where you could find a good. but not too expensive restaurant.

Where to get adVice on buymg a computer/new car.

1. Used to attract attenlion.

2. Most common at the end of a

3. Ti,e fllendly way to SCI) Yes.

The teacher (or a student volunteer) chooses a topic and starts to

Sorry, but ...

talk about It Anyone In the class then tries to interrllpt using one

of the phrases in the list.

Excuse me for

The speaker answers butafterthatbringsthediscussi,onbacktothe

interrupting, but ...

Tt Y to illtell upt as oftell as possible at Id ill diffel ell t ways.

Can I add here that ...


I'd like to comment on

- Last night I went to a football match ...


- Excuse me for interrupting, but which one?

- Anyway, so I went to the game, got my seat ...

Sorry, but where exactly were you sitting?

Can I add something?

- Arsenal against Liverpool:

In the main stand. As I vias saying, I ...

Can I say something


Some possible topics

1. 'What you did last night

I'd like to say something,

2. A funny thing that happened at work

if I may.

3. A joke you heard recently

4. An argurnent you've had with someone

Can I ask a question?

5. Ilow you get to work or school

6. A fabulous meal you've enjoyed recently

1 May I ask something?

To return to the topic

Anyway, ...

In any case, ...

To ~et back to what I was

saymg, ...

Where was I?

I. Smile people ttllflk may is more

polite than can In questions like trus.

_. _...-- .. ---'Z" ---- -- ---~ .... --- ~-- ,...--

I'm calling to find out ...

Asking a complicated Qllestion is diffiClllt Asking it on the phone is

even more difficult.

I'd like to ask ...

Work in pairs. Section 1 gives you the information you need to ask

your questions, Section 2 givestheanswers. Match uptheinformation

Could you tell me ...

WIth the correct answer. Then take turns to ask the questrons. You Illust stal t YOUI questiolts witlt one of tlte pili ases fr all I tile list.

I'm calling about ...


I was wondering if you

1. You are calling the theatre to find out what time this evening's

could tell me ...

performance starts.

2 YOll are calling the post office to find out how to send a parcel

I wonder if you could

to New Zealand 50 that it arrives in time for Christmas.

help me ...

3. You are ringingthe airlineto find outthe earliest flight from Tokyo

to Hong Kong a week tomorrow.

with Dr Crawford.

5. You are ringing your local paper to find out hO',!>/ to place an

I'd like to talk to

advertisement - you want to sell a pair of skis.

somebody about ...

6. You are ringing Snodgrass and \Vhite, a local firm of solicitors,

to find out about their job advertisement in your local paper.

7. You are ringing a language school to find out how much their

evening courses cost.

8. You are ringing the local raib.vay station to find out if trains are

fIInning normally again after yesterday'S storm.

Section 2

a. Part-time/£60 per week/secretary/telephonIst.

h. By surface before Nov J st/By air before Dec 3rd.

e. All runningapprox. 20 minutes late/no buffet services available

d. It has been cancelled.

e. Ads mustbe placed by 4.30 pm on day priorto day of issue/pay

cash at the office or credit card by phone.

f. I wo evenmgslthree hours per evenmg/£60 per term; four evenUlgs/UIt ee hoUts per evening/f 120 pel term.

g. 6.30 am (then 10.30, 15.30, 19.001,

h. He is on holiday for a month/his assistant is Dr Mills.


5. Actions in Order

Activity I

First of all,

Here are some rules from an instruction manual on how to catch a sltopliftet. Tlte order of tlte i'tstlUCtiollS is ,nixed up. You ale tlte


manager, training a new store detective. What would you say to the

trainee lise phrases from the list First re-order the instn ICtions


o The detective asks tiLe slropliftel to come to the rrrarraqer's


After that,

o The detective acts as if (s)he wele bLlying something.

the store before stopping him or her.


o The detective waits until the shoplifter has gone out of

o When the detective sees a shoplifter taking something,

(s)he does not show that (s)he has noticed.

o The detective simply taps the shoplifter on the

shoulder and says, "I think you have something that isn't


Make sure you ...

o The detective dresses as (s)he normally v1lould to go


Be careful not to ...

Activity 2

Remember to ...

The follO';ving are some basic rules to follow if your photocopier refuses

to work. The order in which to apply these rules is mixed up. Imagine

Don't forget to ...

youa,esltowinga 'lew elllployee what to do wllert the lIIachirtedoes

not 'Nork. Re order the rules and introduce them with phrases from

o Do not try to lepair the machine yourself

o Press the re-start button before closing the cabinet.

o Check that there IS paper in the paper-feed tray.

o Check the toner (black ink) level. Replace if empty.

o Call the engineer if the machine is still not J.vorking.

o Check that th~re is no paper jammed between the

o Do not use a sCre'vVciriver or any other metal tool. You

could easily electrocute yourself.

6. Tellitu: a Storv

- .,


The sketches below show a bank robbery.

First of all,

If you are In class -

Make upastor y wllereead I studentirltroducesoneslepofthesLory

usiflg a suitable phrase from the list

To begin with,

It you are working alone - write out the story in such a way that it could be read on the radio.



are unsure of the meaning of a word, check in a dictionary

After that,

So then

'" hoods, baladavas, van, ~a!jci~Uit television

Nouns: robbers, dl 5 notes, alarm, c 05

dditional vocabulary un manager, bank

k counter, bun e,

deT-, . 'lie hand <wer,

h threaten, 0 , .

Verbs: park rU5 , tart the engme.

h Id fill, count, ternfy, ,

make a getaway, run, 5

7. Listine Excuses


First of aJl1 • I I

Here is a telephone conversation explaining why you can't go on a

The main reason is. I •

weekendtripwith friendsasyoll hGld planned. Fill inthephrGlsesfrom

the list.

Secondly, .. I


Your friend



With tWO:

Fine thanks. What's the :E-----problem?

~ Hi, this is Bob. How are you?

The other reason is I ••

.. I'm afraid' can't go with you

this weekend.

Oh, that's a pity. What's the .th=

~ Two things actually ...

with several:

Another reason is I ••

is in town for the weekend

Besides that,

an m

afraid I'm a bit short of

money at the moment.

And on top of that,

And finally,

W .. ntlng

Write down some more reasons why YOII can t go on the tnp Start

each witha phrase from the list. Then listthem in orderofimportance


I. Make up some other reasons for not going

Present them quickly in order of importance to another student.

2. Work in pairs, taking turns to invite and find excuses for turning

down mvrtations to:

a. go out to a really expensive restaurant tonight

b. spend a fortnight - nota week - cycling in the country this


c. come round to your home to see your huge collection of


You will hnd it easier if you make a short note of your excuses before

you rr.


8. The Main Thing

What do you look for in a job - good money, a challenge, the freedom

First of all,

to be creative, a chance to work with people?


The main thing is ...

Work in pairs Write down what you think is the most importantthing

The most important

about a job. Tell your partner, and then (slhe reports it to the class.

thing is ...

Try to use the phrases in the list

To DOUl pmim'r:

To the class.

I think the most important

Marie thinl(s the most

thing is a lot of money

important thing is earning a

lot of money.


Write your answers. What do you look for when you apply for a job?


Try to use the phrases when you talk about the following:

2. What is important when bringing up a child?

3 YOII are planning a walking holiday in the rna' mtains, How should


4 Vall are driving along an icy road when suddenly the car starts

5. You are gomg for a very Important interview You are usually so

nervous at mterviews that you do badly. How should you prepare

9. The Main Problem

The trouble is . . .

Divide into two teams. The students in one team pick one of the

The problem is . . .

A member of the other team has to say a related sentence from Column B, starting with a phrase from the list within I S seconds

The real problem is .

Some of the sentences in column B fit more than one topic -

The point is ...

or none at all! If in doubt ask the players to explain any choices

you don t understand.

The lawful thing is .



The trouble is, nobody (mows

Don't forget that ...

how to handle them.

Round 1


Raising children

It makes saving a waste of time.

The rising cost of living

Nobody knows how to h,mdle it

Learning a language on

It's an uphill struggle.

yom own

Tlte fUltllcr away you are, the

Living together

worse it is.

Round 2


It wears you out before the day is

Mother in la",,, for the

Nobody knows how to handle it.


It makes you feel so depressed.


It bOI es you to tea I s.


Everybody gets on everybody's


You need will-power to stop

Round 3

1. AltelI latives to awful ale tl'mitJle,

Try again. This time the topics are given, the other team has to


make up a suitable response using one of the phrases

Topics. Drugs, football hooligans, unemployment, famine,

forgetting to do your homework, flying, computers, politics,

learning English.

10. A Surorisitu: Fact

.. IL-'

. - ..


Do you realise that ...

Sometimes the best way to supportan argument is to come up wIth an unexpected fact

The following paragraph contains some surprising facts (given In dnlrcsf

Believe it or not,

Read the paragraph aloud and introduce each of these facts with one

You may not believe it,

of the phrases from the top list. andadda qualifier from the bottom list.

but ...

[ V plays a very large part In British life (There were 2 3 TV 5 per

It may sound strange,

Iiouselloid ill Blitaill in 1987)

but. ..

Do you realize that there were, on average, 2.3 TV's per

:The surprising thing

household in Britain in 1987? Normally TV is an important part

of British life.

IS ...

As a rule


Wnte out the sentences In ItaliCS each with itsopening phrase and



D' .


Do you agree with the text you read?

On the whole,

If not. give your arguments and try to include some surprising facts

1. These relate to a pomt you have

already made they come In the

which you know

middle of what you are saying

2. These connect what you say to

what has lust been Said usually

they Introduce a comcuience

All of these expressions are rather Informal, and Will sound natural11sed

to somebody you Imow rather well


J 1. Surprising News .

Guess what!




happened (or will happen) to you. Use the phrases in the list

I've got news for }'Cu!


Do you know what!

Guess what! I found that five pound note you that lost last month!

Did you! ·...,here was it?

Are you sitting down?

Surprise! It was in the pocket of the jeans you lent me!

You'd better sit down!


We don't have any classes today!

You won't believe this,

2. I know who s come first rn the class!

but ...


Have you heard our teacher's getting married?

4. Now wnte a dialogue With your own surpnsmg news.


First. each studenttnes tothmk of some good and bad news. Make

Each student then takes his turn presenting the neViS to the class

Remember to lise the phrases in the list

Good News

Bad News


not very Impressed by It In fact everything that Isfhe thought was


Yesterday you were invited to see the new home of a friend You were

wonderful you didn t like

The only thing is ...


Re-wntethese Ideas using the phrases In the list to Introduce your Ideas

To tell you the truth,

I. She thought It was very spacious but you felt the ceilings were

To be honest,

00 ow


2. She had bought most of her furniture second-hand and you

thought It looked cheap and rather old-fashioned

3. She was very proud of her choice of wallpaper but you thought

It made the whole place look dark

4. She thought tile view frolll tile balcony was fanLaslic but all you

could see was the tops of other houses

5. She was espeCIally pleased wuhtbecotteetablewhrch herhusbaod

had made You thought It looked rough and not very well made

6. Oothecoffeetabletherewasa lamp which she said she had paid

£200 for She said It was 18th century and worth a lot more You saw

the same ones 00 sale for £25 10 a local store


Write down some more possible Ideas then act them out In front of

the class

1. ThiS expression IS the one you

would most often use to Introduce something you K"ew would allnoy or

Insult the other person It can be a

real warning of a shock to cornel

13. The Hidden Truth

Frankly, I doubt jf ...

Study this advertisement for a French course that claims it is better

than all other courses.

Let's face it,

The catch is ...

¥¥ •••••••••••••••

Learn to speak and think in French in 10 ic

The truth of the matter

is ...

The real uestion is ...

'Come on now!

Aren't yo II slIfprised athow qllicklya child Jearnsa language? it:

We, at French Quick Ltd , have studiedhow children learn and ~

we have produced a course that's second to none and makes

learning French as easy as ~hll~'s play! ic

Our new revolutionary approach - "Exclusive Submersion" it

W iUI Ule aid of v ideo, and pI ogldlll11Ied lessons all computer, it t@aches you how to think and speak in French! You may ask,

just 10 lessons using the famous "Exclusive Submersion" method, we provide yOlJ with a vocablllaryeqllaI taiba1 oUbe ..

"How long will this take?" Well, not as long as you think. In it:

average native speaker of French , and you don't get a headache it:

in the process!

designedrnodules which you can work at in tbe comfort of your

You'll be speaking French right from the very first lesson! And ic:

own home and at your own speed. it:

after only 10 lessons you'll be able to take part 111 any French

conversation! ..

*' So don't waste another day! Write to me personally today, and it

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I'll send you a free demonstration lesson. ..

* French Quick Ltd.' ~

~ The French Academy 36 Cottage Lane

*" Avon by Sea iC

1. Used only 'With friends.



In small groups, pick out sections of the advertisement which you

find questionable Discuss them using the phrases in the list

For example:

"Hesayshere Iniust I o lessons' Tbecatcbis how long is each lesson?"


Write a complaint to the newspaper about the advertisement Use

the phrases from the list You may find phrases from the follOWing list Ileipful as well

It's not fair to say .

It's deceptive to sa1j .

He mafa:s useless promises.

A typical sales tedmique

Money-back guarantee.

Talking of ...

Work in small groups - minimum 4 maximum j 0 Sit in a circle One

person starts by saying the first thing that comes to mind about last

That reminds me ...


For example I didn't get much work done 1ast weekend.

18ythe way,

The next person changes the subject USilig a pillase flOi'll tile list

Talking of weekends, we're thinking of having a party next

Oh, before I forget, ...


COllti! rue till all tire ideas a! e firrished: then sta r t again with your own


If someone cannot say somethmg they drop out of the game The

winner IS the person left when everyone else has dropped out

1 Last weekend

~ 1\.T011l7 Vn':J.Y'C Puo

l' \ ........ ,"' ..... "" ..... .., ..... '-'
I \
j_ L \

/ ? A nartv -: \
/ .I.' -J 1

/ 4. Football

a Vrl11Y r'llllT'I1 irll'l':l /
.............. V' ..... ""''-'''''' /
~ ~
_._- - 'J
8. A delicious meal

~ .
O. or oppmg
1. This IS also used to "Interrupt '\
1f1"l11r<:PW' whsm vn r
something you want to tetl the other -, L
fJ"" ,,"v u"~ ~''''' v~w ~ 'V" \ ¥
'1. ~Upermarket 15. Current Affairs


I think ...

Listen to today s news or buy today s newspaper, Pick a news Item which you are interested in perhaps somethIng you know a little

I suppose ...

about WrIte short notes gIving your opinloll of the IlewS Itelll

(If you cannot listen tothe news or buy a paper thereisa listofpossible

I'suspect that ...

topics at the bottom of this page)

When everyone has prepared their opinions work In groups of 3 or

I'm 2pretty sure that ...

4 Each studentthen states hIS or her opinion usmgthe phrases from

I'm fairly certain that ...

the list


It's my opinion that ...

Aher makmg th", short notes stlldents may then W[Jte 01 It their

I'm 3convinced that ...

opinions in full sentencesas if they were writing an article for a students'

magazine or 'leader article for a newspaper

Alternative news items

I 4wonder if ...

I, A lecelttrepol tsuggests tltatwor k Isplayillg tooililpor lalita lole

2. A survey has Just been published showing that only 2 % of the

population go to church regularly Is religion less meaningful today?

3. After a series of horrific killings the government is trying to ban

guns completely from pnvate use Only the army and police would

be allowed to carry guns

4. The Education Secretary announced lastweekthat he isthinking

oflowenngtheschoolleavlngagefrom 16to 13 sothatyoungpeople wllo do I tot like selloal ca I t leave for a couple of yeal s get a lob tl tell

come back later in life

5. The Government of an Afncan republic hasannouncedthat itnow lIas lIuclear weapons It lias thousands of stat villg arid Itomeless

people in parts of the country away from the capital

1. Gives a tentative OPIIIIOII

2. Informal, only With friends

3. A strong opinion

4. A way of giVing an "open" OpIniOn, WlllclllltVltes other people to

comment too

16. Guessing

I'd say ...

Work in groups of 3 or 4. Take it in turns to guess the answers to the

questions. Do notthinkaboutyourans'vvers. Justtrytoguessand use

Could it be ...

the phrases in the list.

Perhaps it's ...

1. What do the following pictures show?

I think it's ...



Ti ~
/)/ 7(\\
<:: \_\J)
//))1 ~
/1/7 ~
v / V 2. How long is this line?

3. How many dote; are there in this heap?

...... 1':.· ., · -_. _. -.-:: "" ".' ..... '.'.

5 Which of these two CIrcles IS larger')

I'd say ...

Could it be ...

It looks like ...

It's difficult to say, but I'd

4 Which of these IS the longer?

guess ...

~ =--;
----- »>:
- 6. Each of these lines says I speak Enghsh

In which language?

a. Ik praat engels

eo leg taler engelsk

h. Eu falo Ingles

f. [Igo ga dektmasu

c. Be5zelek angolul ~

g. Nma5ema knngareza

d. Lmguam angltcam loquor

h. Ana kalam al mghse

Possible choices

Sudanese Dutch Japanese Hunganan Latm SwahilI DanIsh

17. A Conviction

I honestly feel that ...

Read the following point of view. Decide whether you agree or not.

I'strongly believe that ..

1'- ...... _,.: ............. &.. ..... "1 feel that evervone has the same chance in life. We're
I III ,",UIIY III,",'V\A lIlg, ••• all born, go to school, and then we have a choice. Some
lA/: .. &.. ................... &.. .. people want to work hard and get on - they buy nice
"ILIIULU Q UUUI"n, homes and bigcars. Otherpeoplejust laze around and
never 00 verv mucn. lust last week 1 was oown in tne
I'm positive ... centre of town and this long-haired guy came up to me
and asked for money. I didn't give him any money, but
I'm 2absolutelv certain I gave him a piece of advice. I told him to have his hair
that ... cut and get ajob like everyone else. He just gave me a
~ , _l T T 'll cr.
Ul. Ly lVVl\.aHU .~avvay . .l.lL. 1.1 t:)L.LllVV"UC.1L.11!l1lL. vv n.i r
o>n o>tt;t1,rlp 1 a .. I" th"'t 'R It ;fhp ,lrlr]..."rl h.,rrll;L·" YnP hp
rnl drl hflVP pvprvthincy T hf\vP"
v Writing

1. If you agree, write I 0 sentences saying why. Use the ideas in the

text alld the pili ases iJ I tIle list.

2. If you disagree, \vrite 10 sentences explaining why. You may want

to mention the following ideas:

social class quality of school

inflation the individual



Divide the class into those who agree a nd those who disagree. Discuss

the different arguments in the two groups. Each group should decide

on one person to presentthe mainarguments Afterthesetwopeople

have spoken, everyone should join in the discussion.

Topics for further discussion:

Drinklng and driving

1. Alternative firmly.

Apartheid in Soutl [ Afl ica

2. Very strong.

Money spent on Space Research

You have been stopped In the street by a lady conductmgan oprruon

In my 1 opiruon,

poll Vbll thlOk she IS trYlDg to sell YOII something but she works for

a national newspaper and Istrytngto fmd outabout modern attitudes

I personally believe ...

\Vork In paIrs one person asks the questions When all the pairs

have flQlshed cha nge partners The people who asked the ql1estlonS

I personally think ...

must now answer

Use the phrases In the hst to Introduce your opinions

I personally feel ...

ot everyone will agree

with me, but ...

Io rn mind, ...

organise t


What about your own up-bringmg How did your parents split the


In some homes the Wife earns more than the husband Should the

husband give up work to look after the children and let the woman

be the breadwinner?

Remember to practise the phrasesl

1. Stronger If you add persona'!

dogmatic or opinionated


In my opinion,

Think of all the changes you would like to make in your classroom

routine For example, you may wish to change the times of your classes

From my point of view,

have longer holidays have smaller classes etc

'Nell, personally,


[n pairs one stlldent propose a change The second stlldent sholild

If I had 1my way,

explain how this would affect him or her personally.

What 11'm more


concerned with is ...

Student I: Why don't we come to school in the afternoons and evenings. I hate coming to school in the mar ning.

In 1 my case

Student 2: Well from my point of view that's impossible The

only bus I can get is In the mornmg. There are no buses around lunchtime:


Each student writes down a proposed change on a piece of paper.

Students pass their papers to another student who writes down an


Ideas for changes

Why don't we spend more time talking?

I'd like to have more breaks.

I'd like to do some more grammar exercises

Can we read English newspapers for a change?

1. Stress my, or I,

20. Sharinl! a Confidence


I've heard ...

Start a rumour about someone you know by whispering it to your

neIghbour Use one of the phrases from the list. The neighbour can passtile I UIIIOUI 011 01 add sOlllethiJ Igtoitto makeitrrroreinterestirrg

1They say ...

Continue until the rumour has gone round the whole class The last

person annOllnces it to the whole class

Just between you and


This activity will ollly WOI k if the I umours a. e not tt ue; If allyone

tries to ~e nasty to someone, the game must be stopped and

re-starte .

I heard 20" the grapevine


This shouldn't be passed

around but, ..

Circulate rumours on paper Everyone starts a rumour about his

neighbour to the left. Wnte It atthetop of a sheet of paper. Everyone then passeshispieceofpaper to theperso[1 011 his right Change the

Have you heard . , ,

rumour a little and start it 'vvith one of the phrases from the list Fold

Maybe I shouldn't say

over the first rumour so that the next person can see only the latest

rumour. Pass the paper on, each person changIngthe rumour. When tile I ulIlOUlS havegotlc loutld tlleclassalld leached the pel SOli tl ICy

this, but, ..

are about that person reads the last rumour on the sheet.

Possible rumours

has fallen in love with a famous film star

has won a lot of money in a lottery

has Just bought a VERY expensive car is going to emigrate to New Zealand

might be promoted

Why not, .,

Write down 10 ways of getting money

"thy don't you

1. __


f. . ..



You eould always, ,.



One way would be to , , ,



Perhaps you could , , .


If I were you, I'd, , ,

III pails 01 Ie studer It reads a problem. The otllel suggests a way of

getting the money to solve the problem.

What about .. , ing,

I. I want to fmd another flat. My neIghbours make so much norse t Cd! t't sleep. I've found a leally !lice place, but they want f 1000 as

Try ... ing.

2. I'sa 1960Ford, butlt smperfeCt corrditiorr Tlte ownel is leaving fO! Austlalia tolliOllOW alld wallts

£800 cash. What can I do?"

3. 'They've got a sale on in the electricity showroom. There's this

super vacuum for £50. It normally costs £90. The trouble is I've only

got £35 on me. If I don't go back down, it'll have gone:'

4. Think of something you would really like to have. Decide its price.

Ask your partner what you should do.


rI Ing

Write your problem ona piece of paper andpassitto your neighbour

to suggest a solution.

22~ Offering a Suggestion

. - .

Why don't you ...

Think of how you could solve the problems below Work in pairs taking

turns to suggest solutions. Use the phrases In the "st.


Perhaps you could ...

1. Some fnends have come for dmner. You have pushed the cork mro the wine bottle and people ale waiting.

Have you thought

2. You have just locked your car door and realised that you have left

about ...

the keys inside.

3. Youandyourfnendshavelustbeenshoppmgandyou re returning to the II lUI tt-storey cal par k. But you Ilave for gottell wiler e you left

I have an idea

1Let'S ...

4. Every morningyouturn offthealarm, go to sleep foranother hour.

and then you're late for work. You might lose your job.

5. You have just arrived at the airport and realise that you have left

your plane ticket at home.

6. VOII invited oneofyollrbestfriendsfora meal yesterday evening,

but she said she would be too busy at work. So you decided to go

out alone. You saw her with another friend going into the cinema.

7. You had a test this morning in English. You saw a friend cheating.

You don't know whether to speak to him about it.

8. Think of a problem you have or have had. Ask your partner to suggest a solutiol!.


Write suggestions to each of the problems above.

1. Only used to suggest domq

23. The Great Escape . .

Our plan;s to ...

You and three fnends have been put In prison In a far away country

for a crime you did not commit Below you \'vlll fmd

UI' th' k' f

YVe rem '"90".

a floor plan of the pnson

a map of that part of town

'Mhat we have in mind

the dally prison timetable

is ...

Work In groups of 4 to plan your escape

Use the phrases from the hst

What we plan to do is ...


I'll tell you what we'll do,

Make your plan In note form and then present It to the class

What about this for an


idea ...

Write your plan In a letter to a fnend who can help you escape from

the outsIde

Prison timetable

8.00am breakfast in the common dining ... hal1

9.00am dean-up of cells

10.00am - visiting hour: speaking is only

I I.OOam permitted through the iron bars of the

small cell door windows

]2 aOam

lunch in the cell


change of guards

2.00pm -

exercises for pnsoners In the fenced-m




dinner in the common dining hall


lights out

--".. ."
.. ~~, ~.~ - :'
STREET , .... ,
• I o •
~ , V;?~2~ '- ,
UJ .... - q.
:z fi
-' "I- "l- I I
_J 4 q.

~ 4 4 4 4 4 ;:) ..
" . ","'
b ' I.~I£.~.
9 /:-~, ':.- :':.
~ ',~,~~~.:.c: it~,I.
LIBERTY AVENUE :'=.~4.:~_' . "':r ........ ~ Floor plan

1 triple gate

7 northwest guard tower

2 guard rooms

3 guard common room

I) northeast guard tower 9 southeast guard tower

4 cells

'5 commoll dillillg rOOI1l 6 hall

10 southwest guard tower II fenced-in yard

12 trees along Liberty Avenue

Map of the town

Why don't you . . .

It IS S 30 pm Mark IS at Francmes home where hes lust had a

snack He has a lot of luggage HIS tram leaves at 5 4 S pm FranclAe

You could always . . .

offers to dnvc him to the ra!lway station becallse she bas to go

out to the supermarket anyway

If I were you, I'd

Francme and I\~,ark get mto the car with 10 minutes to get to the

station It s only a short 'Nay but more complicated than you think

Why not ...

~ especially at that time of day


~I r
.. ~
Trv =
I oJ ._ .._. -
I.L Iu
• 'V START ~. DUFFERIN t" z. •
~ 'll'l' DRIVE
ffiw WIiJ
~2 w
, .1i C[) ::J CL~~CCT ...( fJ]) •
(Jl ~(Jl z
>- _..--.1 w
., a: « C[)
~ a: a:
O§ tr a:
« «
o ..J
• AVENUE ~ ";~o Iii Iii
~ z-l • •
_." s
.. -'< -s!

r- 1IF .r-
• ,_. ". HIAWATHA TERRACE ' '" •
.... ~ -s
o ltl-s ~s
• ...
'fI TECUMSEH AVENUE '" work In pans as the driver Francine and the helpful Mark who

has lots of Ideas about the best possIble route

Use the phrases from the ! to make suggestions

\A/hen y011 have finished and have arrived at the station write Ollt

directions for the qUickest possIble route al by car b: on foot

2. Linking Gambits

Conversation is like a game of football. One player can only run with

the ball In one directIon for a certain time Sooner or later he must change direction or pass the ball to another player. In a typical

conversation, we can only talk aboutthe same topic for a shorttime

Then we must move in a different direction, or give someone else

a c ance.

For example, we can link our own idea to what someone has just said

with, But the problem with that is . or Not to mention the fact that Sometimes

itcan be very difficult to say what you mean You wantanotherchance

In the conversation, so you say, Let me put It another way Or you may

want to disagree, but in a way that will not offend with, That's a good

idea but ...

The main reason for using linking gambits is that your listeners will

be more prepared for your arguments and views. They will know from

your linkswhetheryou are goingtoagreeor disagree If you use links,

you will find that you are more easily understood. Remember that

a lot of the mlsunderstandtngbetween people comes from how they

say something, not what they say.

In a case like this,

Here are two 'case studies' adapted from real life situations Read

through each one, think up a solution, and make a note on a piece

In a situation like this,

of paper

In this sort of situation,


Work in small groups, Onest1ldentshol ddask forcomments and the

otherts) offer a solution, trying to use the phrases in the list.


F rom your first notes, wrtte a paragraph giVing your solution

Frank has a good job in London working in the Department ot the Environment. He has been in the same department since he Jeft

Ulliversity al Id I lOW I Ie has special I espol Isibility fol Ilistoric Buildings

If he stays there, he expects to be head of his department within 10

years, Cathy, his wife, has a very well-paid job with an insurance

company based in the centre of London. She has been with the same firn I fOI 12 years. The Govel nment has decided to de-centralise Frank's

department in order to create more jobs in the North of England

The department is moving to Newcastle Frank and Cathy have two

children who are very happy in their schools. They have lots of friends.

It would be impossible for Cathy to get such a good job in Newcastle.

Case 2

)'J mg-ae is from Korea. She's the mother of three children (3,5 and

91. The youngest was born in Britain, buttheotherswereborn in Korea.

Recel Itly, tl Ie two oldel cllildl el I I lave beel I giv illg I lei a lot oftl ouble

\Vhen she speaks to them in Korean, they anS'Ner her in English and

they speak Englishtoeach other When thefamilygoeSOllttogether

they pretend thatthey are notpartofit. Whentheybringfriendshome,

they get very embarrassed when Yung-aespeakstothem in Korean.

They have become very cheeky to both their father and their mother

What can Yung-ae do?


. .. - .

Read through this case study. Write answers to the questions whIch follow. Then work in pairs and groups to act outthe role play situations

That's just the point.

Try to use the phrases from the list.

But the question is ...

Case Study

But the real question

Edward and Adrienne are students at a London polytechnic. They have known

is ...

each other for two years and have been gomg out together for 18 months.

They are very serious about their relationship. They are thinking about getting married when they leave college in a year's time. Edward is English and

This raises the problem

01 ...

comes from a middle class background. His parents live in carlisle in the

north of England. Adnenne IS black and IS on a scholarshIp from her home

ill Zimbabwe. They both realise the problems of a mixed marriage. And, of course, there are many cultural differences. They are young, tolerant,

But can't you see ...

and they help each other in their studies. Edvlard's parent£ knew he had

a girlfriend, but had not met Adrienne until last week Edward had not told

them that she was black. The parents were very polite and they seemed to

get on well "vith Adrienne. Later, Adrienne said that she thought Ed\\>'aFd's

parents seemed disappointed she was not white. Edward knev,l what she

meant and couldn't help feeling hurt and disappointed that his parents were

not more enthusiastic.


I. What do you think is Edward's biggest worry?

2. \Vhat problems would Adrienne face if she married Edv,tard?

3. What problems WOI rid Edward face?

4. What do Edward's parents probably think of the situation?

5. How do you think Adrienne's parents will feel if she marries in


Role-play situations

1. Edward talking to his best fr iend.

2. Adrienne talking to her best friend.

3. Edward's parents talking about the situation alone.

4. Edward's parents talking to their best friends.

27. Adding Things

To start with,

There has been a particularly brutal murder in your town. Last night

the police put out a picture ofa I nail they would like to questioll. You

And another thing,

have just been in town shopping and you are sure you saw the man.

Vall decide to go in to yom nearest police station

What's more,


Just a small point,

Work in pairs with one student as policeman Use the phrases in the

list. You will find help with vocabulary to describe the man below

Facial features

eyes: complexion.


IIY lUll. pa e.nneu

Iol1g. narrow. flat. wide. hooked


thick thin


It loastacl re:

heavy ff'ames. metill frames. large round busftg, IftiPi small


large, small. poiHted, stickil1g 0/;/1, pierced


tight-lipped, large /ips


sMort curfU, 10n(1, straigMt strag(1ly, pa rt 111(1 , dlliy. styled,

blond, brown, black, qrell, auburn

other features beard, sideburns, freckles. mole, scar, unshave«


When you have described the wanted man above cboose a famous

person to describe Can the others guess who you are describing?


Write a descnptlon of the man which you could give to the pollee.

28. Give a Reason ,

Sit In a circle. Take a piece of paper and write down a lob that would

And besides,

51 lit the student to your lett and the reason for choosing that iob

For example, if you think your neighbour would make a good taxi-


driver. you can write I t{wlk ~IOU SllOt~ld be a taxi-drrver because you are Slid)

a careflll drIVer

Fold the paper so that the next student cannot read what you have

11n addition,

written but put the name of the student to your left at the bottom

of the paper Then pass it to the student on your nght.

What's more,

ThiS student adds a new reason for choosing a job For example. he

or she could add. Alld besides. UOU IT' so popular WIth U'OIllfll Then pass

And another thing,

the paper to the next student on the right.

Not to mention the fact

Continue round the circle until each papercomesbacktothestudent wi lose naille is atthebotton I of the page. Atthatpointeach student

that ...

reads the list of suggestions to the rest of the class Don t forget to

Plus the fact that ...

lise the important phrases

Some reasons for choosing a job

Not only 2that, but ...

I. This may be your last chance to make some money.

2. Think how famous you would be.

3. You seel II to enjoy war kitlg willi people.

4. Have you thought what it 'vvould do for your image?

5 Anything is an improvement on what you're doing now


Write down fourthings which you should have done recently butdidn t

The reason why ...

a letter you haven t yet written a book you' raverr't I etuilled

Because ...

a person you haven't rung

a visit y011 haven't made



Work in pairs. First. exchange lists of what you haven't done One

Because of that . . .

student should start to challenge the other. Start

You should have ..

That's why ...

You'll have to. .

Why haven't you ...

That's the reason

Answer with good reasons, using the phrases in the list to introduce

why ...

your reasons.

I For this reason ...


Problem: Ihaven'tgiven youbackthebook I borrowed from you last

Student 1: [ only gave you that book for ashorttime YOU should have given it back months ago.

Student 2: I'm sorry. The reason why I haven't given you it back is

because I couldn't find it. I packed all my books in boxes when I moved:

that's why I can't find anything at the moment.


30. Thinking Ahead .

The class SIts In a CIrcle The first student connects two of the Ideas

If ...

JO the bubbles below uSing one of the lInkIng words from the lrst

For example:

111 ever ...

If I lose my job I II have to sell the bouse.

When ...

Tile next student now has fIve seconds to connect the second Idea

VJlth another

Whenever ...

For example:

As soon as ...

If I sell the house. I'll have to live with my mother.

If you cannot think of a sentence you must drop out of the game Wile" all the Ideas I,ave been used you lIIay tlllllk of your OWII

By the time ...

Unless ...

~ - .. ~--- - ----

What I mean is ...

Sometimes we say something which we don t really mean Then we

must go back and say Itagam but more clearly and more accurately

V/hat I meant was ...

Work with another student and make one of the statementS In the IIstbelow They areal! I at/,er extreme so you should lrlodel ate what

Let me put it another

you say uStng a phrase from the Itst


For example:

What I'm saying is ...

Stuciellt I

I never leal n anything in school

Student 2

Do you really mean that?

~hat I'm trying to say

Student 1

Well, what I mean is I don t think I learn very much

maybe from one or two teachers but not all.

Extreme statements

Don't misunderstand me,

If I said that, I didn't

I. I can t stand teachers

2. I d nevel live III Ellgtalld

3. I never swear

mean to ...

4. People who smoke In public should be fmed

1 Let me rephrase what I

5. Students are lazy

6. I always say exactly wllat I tlllllk

just said.

7. [never have to look a word up In the dictIonary

8 [don t make grammar mistakes

Now think of your own pre[UdlCeS

I I People who

shollid be pllt ID



shouldn t be allowed

1. More formal

~ ~ . ... ..... ........... ~. .

Sometimes people have misunderstood us so badly that \,ve have to

That's not '.vhat I said at

'put the record straight' and explain



Student 2 has done something - for a good reason, but this is not


I've no idea who told you

what Student I has heard.

Wor k ill pair s: Studer It I stal ts arid Studellt 2 sllould tl y to explain

Goodness, where did you

the truth using the information and a phrase from the list. Each student

must only look at their own part

get that idea from?

Student 1 starts:

11'm afraid that just isn't

I. What's this I heard about you jogging because you were getting fat?


2. Someone saId to me that you ve gone on a diet so that you won t have to buy flew clothes.

The fact of the matter

is ...

4. What s this I heard about you cycling to work because you can t afford tile petrol for your car?

2Look, let's get this

. 5. Someone told me you're thinking of giving up English lessons

straight, ...

because you think you'll never learn

Student 2 - The Truth


l. You decided to start jogging in order to keep fit.

2. You havegoneona diet because your doctor told you to. You have

a serious health problem and you have no choice about dieting. 3. You are learning Italian in order to go on holiday there in the

summer. You do not have a Spanish girlfriend.

4 Vall have recently started cyclingtowork in anattempttakeep fit

5. You thi nk you may have to stop com i ng to Engl ish lessons beca use

you are too busy to spare the time.

1 Milch stronger without I'm afraid

2. Shows not only that you've been

misunderstood, but you are annoyed

a ou I.

33. Popular Misconceptions


. .. .

Just because many people believe something does not make it true

Some people say ...

You've probably heard

For example

that. ..

It may seem ...

Many people think that lightning never strikes twice in the same place, but actually it often does.



1. Columbus discovered Amenca.

2. Mell call stalld greateJ paill tllall women:

But in fact,

4. Oysters rna e you sexier

3. Eating red ~eat makes you aggressive

But actually!

5. If you touch a frog or toad, you II get wartS

6. Bats ar e blind.

7. Flying is ahvays faster than taking the train

The truth of the matter

8 If YOII get biccllps hold yom breath and COllnt to ten

is ...

9. If you burn you skin, put butter on it.

10. If you get your feet wet. you'll get a cold

Think of similar ideas which you have heard and discuss the truth

in pairs.


Write out each misconception and explanation.


-- . ._" ~

When welookata glassofclean water wethink thatthewateris pure and clean But If we look at a drop of the same water under a

At first glance it looks as

if ...

microscope we may discover that it is full of th i ngs which are invisible

to the naked eye We could say

At first glance it looks as if this is a glass of clean water. But in

Many people think

that. ..

fact. if we look at it under a microscope. we see all kinds of things.

'Nork In pairs and work Ollt descriptions of the following P;:IIrS of

We take it for granted


that ...

seems as

But actuall

Describe the following in a similar way:

4. The surface of your skin

5. The hospital service

6. The police

7. Unemployed people

8. Teachers in city schools

9. The social services

SaVing no

---- ----""

Ifsomeoneasksyoll to do sometbing yOll can say 'no' ina direct way

or you can suggest doing something else,

I'm not keen on ...

In order to practise the phrases used to say no, students should work

I don't particularly like ..

in pairs.

Each situation has the ideas for a dialogue where B says 'no' to what

I can't 'stand ...

A is suggesting Read only your own part, and use the phrases from

the list.

It's not my idea of ...


I'd really rather not ...

1. Let's go out for dinner.

{You love going outto a hamburger bar. ordering everything, then

eating it in your car I

2. Let's go to a concert.

A preference

(You want to go to a Bach concert. It will last 4 hours]

3. Let's go for a drink.

prefer ...

(Your idea of an evening out is to go down to the pub and spend

the evening drinking.)

I'd really much rather ...

4. Do you fancy going walking at the weekend?

(You like to set off at 6 on Saturday mornings for a whole day in


rather ...

the hIlls,)

5. Would you like to come and meet my pal ellts?

(You are very keen thatyourfriend meets your parents. Youthink

(s}he likes you very much.)

1, Whenever you eat out you like to go to one of the most expensive

restaurants in town. 'Ybu would never dream of going near a

2. You hate classical music and think it is only for snobs. There is a

rock concert on at the Ice rink tomorrow.

3. Youareollly 16andknowLliaLifyoUl palelltsKllew you hadbeen

out drinking, they would be very angry.

4. Your idea ofa nice weekend istodoabsolutely nothing. You would

be prepared to go for a walk round town to look at shops

5. You know that A would like your friendship to become more

serious. but you have your eye on someone else. In fact you are

hoping to go Ollt with this other person tomorrow.

verb (t 'vey a Iloun (tea), or to + o Wait).

Divide the class in two groups - the salespeople and the customers.

I'm not really interested

The salespeople are goi ng to try to sell their goods to the (! Istomers

in ...

and they in turn are going to say 'no to everything.


But I'm not worried

about ...

Get together for 10 minutes and study all the thlOgS you have to sell

Make up good arguments why the consumers should buy them

I've got no use for ...


Gettogether and collect reasons why you do not need all thearticles

I'm perfectly happy

with ...

Each salesperson should pick a customer and try to sell the product

- politely The customer must reject if for good reasons The

salesperson then moves on to another customer until they have tried

to sell something to everyone!

1. Kitcllell gadgets

a. an electric toaster

b an electric can opener

c. an electric corkscrew

a. a cream to take lines away

b. a cream to remove unwanted hair

c. a spray to lIlake your hair arty colour you wa lit

3. Housework aids

a. a spray to polish wood

b. a carpet shampooer

c. the most powerful vacuum cleaner ever made

4. Gardening aids

a. a plant food which will make flowers last for months

h. a chemical to make your grass look really green

c. a spray which will kill all insects

1Can you explain why ...

Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we have little control

over \vhat happens to us. For example, imagine you are flying to

Do you mean to say " ..

London to catch a connection to New York. You get to london

Heathrow and you have three hours to catch your connecting flight

I don't understand

Butthere isa strike of baggage handlers. There arethousandsofpeople

why ...

trying to get information but it is impossible You cannot get any

explanation for anything

"'h . at th t

tv Y IS I a ...

Eventually, after you have been waiting for 12 hours, a representative

How come ...


Does this mean ...

Workin pairs with the information below, onestJ Identisthepassenger,

the other is the airline official Use the phrases in the list.

!nformation available

1. There will be no definite information on departure for

another two hours.

2. No meal vouchers will be available

3. The airline cannot accept responsibility for baggage.

4 The airline will not pay for any hotel bills

5. There is only one young man on duty giving information.

6. The aircraft is available and waiting to go: the problen I is no

baggage can be touched


At the end of your trip, '.'v'rite a letter of complaint to the Complaints

Department (I Istomer Services Air World

aggressive (but of course you may

1. All of these show you are annoyed and can easily sound


When someone puts forward a plan which you don t agree with

11'm afraid ...

completely, y011 have to be able to express yOllr dOllbts and your


I don't see how ...

tmagillethesituation where someone in your family perhaps your

son or your "'life suggests the following changes in your life. Work

in pairs one suggests the cha nges. the other expresses reservations

But the problem is ...

Use the phrases in the list to introduce your reservations.

Yes, but ...

Change 1

For ten years you have rented the same two-bed roomed flat. 'ybu

I doubt ...

!lOW I lave two children, a girl and a boy. They will soon need their

POSSibly, but ...

own rooms. \Vhat about looking for a bigger house?

Change 2

Yes, but the problem

All your life you've had trouble sleeping. Every night at about 3 in

really is ...

the morning you wake up. go to the kitchen, make yourself a cup of

What I'm worried about

tea, and read a book. 'ybu then go back to bed and waken uparound 8.30. YOU! paltnel thillKs you should see a doctol.

is ...

Cbange 3

What bothers me is ...

You were brought up to be ver y polite. alld "ever say what you really

think of someone. Your son has justtold you that you are a hypocrite.

He wants you to start showing people what you really thinkofthem.

Change 4

You have always been a 'big eater'. As a result you are no longer as

thm as you used to be. Your partner suggests you go on a crash diet!

Introducing any answer which your

listener may think IS "unhelpful".

Bearing in mind ...

Nobody is perfect. and fewofusare reallygoodatanything. We usually

J lave difficulties to take into consideration

Considering ...

First, write down some of your achievements in the left hand column,

If you remember ...

and the difficulties you had In the nght-hand column

For example, perllapsyou gota good liial k ill [lIglisll, but you drdrrt

have much time to spend ,.vorking at home.

Allowing for the fact



When you consider


that ...


Responding to a




Oh, thank you very

Work in pairs with your own ideasand with the ideas below. Ask your


partner what his achievements are, and compliment him/her taking

into account their difficulties.

That's very kind of you.

For example:

Stlldent I'

How good is your English?

Do you reany think so?

Student 2:

Well, I can understand the news on TV.

Student 1:

That's excellent, bearing in mind you've only

been learning for a couple of months.

Student 2:

I hank you very much.

Ideas to help



6. I passed my driving test

Thetest was held atthe rush-hour

7. I got to the class on time.

There was snow on the roads

8. I finished my course at the

1 ve got j young children.

mversity 9. I if Ivited Bill.

He was ver y rude to r lie last week.

10. SheBa s just got a job.

She has written over a hundred


40.. Arguments and Counter-erguments,

Very often, when we have a plan, someone has an objection or a


reservation. We then have to think up a counter-argument to try to

persllade them.

Yes, but ...

In tl lis dialogue the husband is trying to pel saade I lis wife tllat tlley

need a cottage in the country.

Yes, but don't forget.


why don't we buy a cottage in the country - somewhere we could go at weekends al ,d for ! rotrdays (Plan)

That would be great,


Thats a WOd idea, but4dOA't~OU think th~ children "'till

except ...


AGAIN this summer! (Reservation)

That s pr obably true, but I think it would be ! lice fal us,

That's a good idea,

and after all, it VlOn't be long before they'll vlant to go off

but.: .

with their own friends (Counter-argument)

Workirl pairs witll these ideas asi! Ig tile pllrases for reservations and


counter arguments.

A take liP skiiing

Even so,

B: don't have the time or money

A. it would be fun, good exercise

Even if that is so,


A: cheaper than paying rent

That may be so, but.

2. A:

3. A: fly to Moscow

B: cheaper to go by train

That's probably true,

but. ..

A: we'd lose a week of holiday just travelling, plus all the

money on food

Possibly, but ...

4. A: buy a new car - the old one's rusty

B' we haven't finished paying for the old one

A: the old one's dangerous

B. the neighbours would object

A: why not invite the neighbours

B' your reservation

A. your counter-argument

On the other hand,

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? This is an optimists gamel

Tile class divides illto two tea II IS. Take tUJIIS to Illake corrrplarrrts;

But then again,

starting \Nith the ideas belo'N. The other side must try to say something

Look at it this way,

For example.


Team I: Everything's so expensive nowadays, isn't it?

learn 2: Yes, but on the other hand, wages are much higher than they used to be.

Even so,

Each team take it in turn to make statements and to anS'vVer. The

answers must be introduced by one of the phrases from the list.

OK, but, ..

Each team has IOsecondstoanswer. Playtwoorthree 'rounds' with

each round lasting 5 minutes.

But lin the long run,

1. It's been raining nov./ every day this month.

2. This coffee is really strong

Very true, but ...

3. [liglisli is ver y difficul L.

4. Grammar is really boring.

To make up for It, ...

5. I hate learning to spell.

6. I've put on 5 kilos since Christmas.

7. Volvos are very expensive.

8. You can't park anywhere around here!

9. It can be very cold in Norway in winter.

10. I can t understand Plerres accent.

11. Bill is very mean with money.

12. Liz is always late.

13. Joan can't dance. She's awful. isn't she!

14. Children have too much money these days

15. Schools ate fal too libelaL

16. Teachers aren't strict enough.

] 7 I hate starting school at 8 in the morninp


18. Its wrong that people get paid for giving their blood.

1. Thismeans "i,f, you think on a

.. _....... . ..

4:.l. uenereusmg

We all have irritating habits - at least in the eyes of other people! Picka partner ifpossibleoftheopposite sex Your partner has just

suggested that you ought to get married. You don't think you are

suitable. Use one of the excuses below - an irritating habit

Use moreand more of the habits to try to persuade your partnerthat marriage is lIot fal you

When your partner is persuaded, change roles. You can use the

follm"lingideasoryollrown Iisethewordsand phrases from the list.


As a rule,



In itatillg habits

l. I sleep with thewindow wide open even in themiddleofwinter.

2. I Sing very loudly In the bath.

3. I quite ortell dorrt go to bed till 3 or 4 in Ule rrrorrrtng;

4. Ican'tcookatall I'mhappy\vithahamburger Idon'tlikeforeign


Most of the time

5 I am very moody. When I get up I can be in a great mood, but

Again and again

by IUllclltillle lcall be sodeplessed tlldtllldvetogo to tlledoctol.

7. I talk in my sleep.

Time and again

Less frequent

8, 1 snore very loudly.

9. l like to keep my flat cool. My room is never more than 15°.

10. I don't have a bath very otten.

11. 1 smoke in bed.

12. I seldom do the dishes. I just let them pile up.

Every so often


From time to time

I. What is the secret of a good marriage?

Every now and then

2. Which habits would annoy YOU in someone else?

3. Which of YOUR habits would you try to stop if you got married?

43. Exceotions

. -


Divide the class into two groups ~ the optimists and the pessimists

In general,

The other group must make a 'typical' comment with an exception

Thepessimistswill make pessimistic comments and state pessimistic

Generally speaking,

exceptions ~ the optimists, vice versa

As a rule,

For example:

Pessimist: In general. British winters are pretty cold and dismal.

By and large,

Optimist: They certainly can be, but there are exceptions. of

course Winters in the south west can be very mi1d

In my experience,

Ideas to talk about:

British cars

German cars

In most cases,





Pop stars



Pessimistic comments:

There are exceptions, of

very depressing




too expensive

never work hard


One exception is ...

can't be trusted

o t" ..

}'Llmlstlc comments'

But what about ...

good value


But don't forget ...




Possible Exc@ptions

my car

my sister

- - -__. -

Work in small groups of 3 or 4 Below you will find lists of tOPICS Your


teacher will tell you which list IS yours YOu must think of as many

genera Hsations with exceptions as POSSI ble In the time a II owed One

person in your group should write them down Another person can

In general,

agree to read them out to the class The group with the most

generalisatIons IS the winner For example

Generally speaking,

In general old people are very conservative. There

As a rule,

are exceptions, of course. My own grandmother

started jogging when she was 80.

By and large,

Topic list 1 Topic list 2
1. Grandparents 1. Women
2. leenagers 2. Babies
3. Millionaires 3. Dogs
4. Teachers 4. Cars
5. Students 5 Policemen
6. Men 6. Priests In my experience,


There are exceptions of


2 Doctors 2. Schools
3. Americans 3. Wild animals
4. Pop groups 4. TV News Readers
5. Actors 5 Hambmgers
6. Politicians 6. Money One exception is ...

But what about ...

Topic list 5

But don't forget ...

1. Third World countries

Let's not forget ...

2. Vegetarians

3. People who believe ill capital pUilisll1 [ lei It

4. People who live in flats

5. Foreigners to my country

6. Fitness fanatiCs


- _. -----~-- -----0 ., - --- - ---_-

For example,

Our teacher's a real show-off. Look at the way he drives up

ill his Rolls-Royce!

For instance,

The party was a real disaster. To give you an idea of how bad

It was - everyone had left by 10 o'clock!

Take the way (he) .

In conversation we very often want to illustrate what we are saying

Take for example .

lJ.dth an example If vve tell a fnend that our teacher is a bore',

we can t leave it there The other person wants to know more

For one thing . . .

The phrases in the list will help you to introduce the extra information.

On the next page there are lists of words used to describe people

To give you an idea.

Use your dictionary to look up words which are new to you Learn

the ones you thlOk Will be useful to you

Look at the way .

Complete the following descriptions.

1 Vall wOllldn t believe what peo !liar people Illsed to work With.

'8y way of

Take myoId boss. He was a real For lOstance,

lie used to ~ _

Illustration .

2. I suppose it takes all types to make a world The other week

we were visitmg some of my father s family We haven t seen them fur about 10 years The oldest sort: fur example, was a complete

To give you a n idea, he

3 VOII shollid have been at Peter's party I'here was a guy there

who was so you just couldn't believe it He was

a real Take for example the way he


4. Wnte a description of someone you know

Describing people








a laugh








a (computer) buff




a giggle


Politics Personality Types
activist individualist flirt
chauvinist worrier tease
nationalist devious wolf
revolutionary graciollS casanova
liberal polite clock-watcher
Socialist M. C. P. tramp
Conservative feminist down-and-out
democrat boor hippie
conservative with a real gentleman! blllly
a small C lady slave driver
Negative words
gossip nitwit coward
loudmouth blockhead chicken
windbag thick wallflower
bore stupid SISSY
indiscreet idiot hypochondriac
snob hypocrite drunkard
smart alec charlatan glutton
egotist qllack lecher
primadonna liar sex-maniac
creep do-gooder grumbler
drip go-getter complainer
twit show-off pain in the neck 58

Hesitation Phrases:

Imagine you are a journalist interviewing a politician for a newspaper


ue, urn ...

Journalist: What are you going to do about the slums?

\Yell, let's see.

Politician: Well, let me think ... that is a very difficult question.

Journalist: In other words, you don't have any plans.

Mmm, I'll have to think

hesitation phrase.


If someone inSISts on fmdmg out our opiruon. they can re-state what they tllink we believe.

So what you're saying

Work in pairs as journalist and politician with the following interview

is ...

questions. Use the phrases in the liSts and make conversations

like the example above.

So what you're really

Issue 1 - The NeVI Nuclear Povler Station

saying is ...

I. What is your opmion of nuclear power'?

In other words,

2. Are you in favour of the new nuclear power station being

built 10 miles away?


If I understand you

3 ~o ~~~~~~nk, it w,W :~~e health problems for the people

n unng vitla .

4, What is happening to the people who have to leave their

So yoU mean that . . .

homes to make way for the power station?

5. Why have all the decisions been taken in secret?

Issue 2 ...- Houses for the Homeless

A large empty bulldmg In the centre of town has been occupled

by squatters people with !lowlier e to live.

1. Do you have plans to bring in the army to evict the


2. Is it true that you have cut off the water to the building?

4. Where are you going to put these people when they

finally come out?

All good stories have to come to an end. The phrases in the list give

To cut a long story short,

yO!! ways of drawing your story to an end

Herearetwo star iesabouttwo peopleand titefilsttir [Ie theysrrrcke-i

So in the end,

Stor 1

So, in short,

"I remember that my grandfather used to smoke huge Havana cigars.


Healwaysboughtthem in boxes which hekeptin the kitchen CI Ipboard

One day when he was In the garden WIth my grandmother, my brother and I creptillto tile kitcllell and operled tlteClgar cupboat d. We took

To sum up,

one of them and hid out in the weeds. Vie took ages trying to light

it After a feM p1lffs we were both violently sick \X/hen we found the

All in all,

courage to go back. our grandmother smelled the cigar on our breath

made us eat some garlic so that grandfather wouldn't find out."

To put the whole thing in

She was a wise woman and realised what we had been up to. She

a nutshell

Add a phrase and finish the story.

Story 2

"When I wasatschool. some oftheother boys said you could smoke

cmnamon sticks. We were too young to buy cigarettes, but anyone could go illtoa cher Ilist'sshopand buy cillilalrioll sticks. 'rbu said that

your mother needed them for cooking. So I decided on my first

experiment with smoking. In I went and nervously paid for the

cinnamon sticks. I waited till there was no one else at home one day before taking them out and trying to smoke. They tasted horrible!

I sat on my bed and tried and tried. So I thought to myself, 'This isn't

worth it llnless it makes me look older' So I went into the bathroom

and looked at myself in the mirror - bright red with bloodshot eyes.

I had to admit that I looked like the silly little boy that I was"

Add a phrase and finish the story.

Story 3

Now tell the class about the first time you yourself did something

forbidden. Use one of the phrases from the lrst to finIsh the story.


Do YOII feel gllilty abo! It the story y011 have told?

Children are always going to disobey rules

Why do we bother to give them rules?

Language Teaching Publications

3. Responding Gambits

If someone asks you a question. you answer it if you can But

conversations do not consist of questions and answers. We very

rarely ask direct questions. We make observations and pass

comments. We expect other people to respond to us. How they

respond tells us how to develop what we say. This means that

successful conversations depend partly on how we respond to what

other people say. For example, If you disagree very strongly With wllat someolle says. you could say Yon must be joking! and the other

person knows that you are surprised this will make the person

think more carefully before contim ling.

The gambits in this section allow you to agree or disagree at different

levels. to show surprise, disbelief. or polite interest. Among the

most useful gambits are Sorry. I don't follow uou - to get people

to repeat what they said. and I{('ally? to get them to develop what

If you learn the responses in this section. other people will find

YOLI mllch easier to talk to and y011 will find YOlJ[self more relaxed

and fluent in conversation.

48. Right or wrong


There are many ways of saying that a person is right or wrong about

a piece of factual information.

That's right.

Work in pairs or small grol Ipsof 3 ora sayingwhateach of the following

signs and abbreviations means Your partners will tell you whether

you are ri ht or wrong by usin one of the phrases from the list

Traffic Signs





No, r m afraid not.

Not quite.

You're close.

Mathematical Signs


8. -7-

9. -00


11. >

12. :::::

I don't know.

I'm not sure.

13. em 14. °e 15. etc
16. PS 17. MP 18. PM
19. Be 20. Ph.D 21. rv
22. RSVP 23. IOU 24. POW
25. ETA 26. COD 27. DC
28. hp 29. mph 30. UN
31 WHO 32 GNP 33. MD
34. LTD 35. EEC 36. NATO
37. CD 38. Pta 39. %
Answers 00 page 95 Sometimes we agree or disagree with someone so strongly that we


want to say 50 while he or she is talking

As a class write down views which are controversial. 'Ybu can use the

Hear! Hear!

ideas below When these views are ready, anybody in the class who

feels strongly about anyone of them should stand up and state it

You're absolutely right!

strongly and say why The rest of the class should use the phrases

in the list to agree or disagree,

1you said it!

For example'

I agree!

I don't believe in examinations.

~ Come on! Don't be silly!

2S0 do I!

They're iust a waste of time and they're no good for anybody.

- Hear, hear. I agree with you.

2Neither can I!

Controversial topics.


A woman's place is in the home

That's just not true!

Adverts on TV

Murderers should be hanged.

Oh, come on!

Football only creates violence.

The tax on cigarettes should be doubled.


9 People who attack children need to be IInderstood ~ not pllt

into rison.

10. You should be allowed to park wherever you want.

Don't give us that!

11. All trains and buses should be free to people over the age of o S.

12. No planes should be allowed to fly at night.

13. France is for the French, Germany is for the Germans. Stop all

14. Men should be paid more than women. They work harder.

15. Passports should be abolished. Who needs them?



One of the main ways we get to know someone better IS when we

find out what they believe - especially if the person agrees with us

That's (very) true.

Work in pairs Try to think up the advantages and disadvantages of

the folloWing ideas. Offer your opinions to your pat tt ,er and see If

I agree with you there.

you agree or disagree Take it in turns. Use the phrases in the list

Yes~ I know exactly what

For example:

you mean.

The main advantage to being poor is that you don't have to worry

about income tax.

I'hat s very true. But I wonder If It's as sImple as that.



Yes, but don't you

I. Being slngle/marned. 2. Living together.

think ...

3. Living in the city/country.

I agree with you, but ...

4. Growing a beard

hand ...

Being poor/nch Having children

Yes, but on the other

Living near a pub

11 don't see it quite like

10. LiVin~ in a ca~ital Ci~


11. Trave ing abr ad a I t.

12. Abortion

13 Teaching children to drink alcohol

14. How to teach young people about AIDS

15. Buying Insurance

1. rhls can be qUite Strong, and a warn In

51. Can I help you? -

Sometimes we walk into a shop and know exactly what we want. At

11'm afraid I don't know.

other times, v..,re can't make up our minds. We look at something; we

check the price, wetry it on and still wecan'tdecide. The list of phrases

I' m afraid I can't decide.

gives all the language you need lf you can t decide

Work in pairs one person is the shop assistant the other is the

I'm afraid I can't make up

customer Work with the following list otpurchasesand thedialoglle

my mind.

skeleton below

I. a 'Hedding ring

I'll have to think about it.

2. a bottle of perfume

3. a car \large or small two or four doors) 4_ a stel eo (call you afford CD'»)

I'm really not sure.

8. wallpaper for the living room (colour? pattern?)

21 think I'll leave it, thank

7. a tie

9. a record for a friend


lOa shirt IplainistripedfwhiteicolQlJ(edkottonipolyester)

Assistant: Excuse me, ca n I help you?

Customer. I'm looking for a _

Assistant: SIze) Colour') Price'?

Customer: (You can t decide)

Assistallt. Well. what about _

Customer: (You stIli can t deCide I

listener may mo unhelpful

added to any response which the

2. Trus fixed phrase IS used when you want 10 say 'Iou are nol gOing to

buy anything and are gOing to leave


52. The Love Test

Strong agreement

Are you a hopeless romantic - willing to do anything for your love')

Or a re you a dmvn-to-ea rth realist who accepts life with or \vithout love?

Of course I would!

Work in pairs and interview eacn other using the Love Test on the

I certainly would!

Take itin turns to interviev,l each other. Onestudentasksthequestions,

the other chooses answers from the phrases in the lists There is a

special scoring system below

Mild agreement


I think I would.

For questions 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, score as follows:

StlOlig agl eelliellt I

I might.

Mild agreement 2

Indecision 3

Mild disagreement 4

I might consider it.

Strong disagreement S

I think so.

For questions I, 3, S, 7, 9, score as follows.

Strong agreement 5

Mild agreelllerit 4

'd ..

m eetStOn

Mild disagreement -f:

Strong disagreement

I can't decide.

I can't make up my mind.

I'm not sure.

The Love Test
1 v" 1-.'">, ~r+A rl ...... ~ .... AI II. Mild disaareement
.. ',-,u , ..... '- '-' ..o''-'-'''-''J t-'u CI ,"- \IV IS '-"VIII'C:> a ,,-u y
attractive person Could you fall In love with someone ~, .L.I, ..
else' ~core -- I""IUUClUIY IIUl.
2. Would you consider marrying someone from a .. ... .
very different back.ground to your own') Score -- I con I minK ~O.
3. Would you consider Writing off to a computer ..
dating firm') Score I uoum u,

4. Do you believe that marriage is for life') Score --
5. Would YOU consider zettma marned and not Strona rli(''''~~~m~nt
having children? Score oJ oJ
" \Alnl drl \/nl <::::1' nn tn cnrYlpnnP '" liit-<=>ri ,lPn, N~v~r in a million vearsl
• JJ J J ~
much - because YOU thouehtsomeone berrer might
come along') Score Nnt nn vour lifp-I
7. If the person you love died would you stili
consider lite worth living? Score -- Not (eVen} iT you palo me!
8. Could you fall in love with someone whom you
do not find physically attractive? Score -- NOt TOr all tne lea In
q ntl vou ;:UJTPpth::lt" Mpn :::Irp i -J, in Ultlmpn crunat
J u
for one reason and one reason only"? Score

10. Imagine that you have very little money Would
you consider marrying someone whoalso had very
little money) :::,core --
T~~. rI d-h ''''~,~ ,t-;", ~ -~ .. r-v ,,,ro~oc;fn.r
'-' '''"'-'u, '-' '-'" " ... , .,,, .. JVU U '--, LU L'-' 1'-'''''0'-- / .» ~
thp rpe:1 lite: Total
score: 53e I haven't a Clue!

I'm afraid I don't know.

Divide the class into two teams One student asks the questions

another keeps the score Each team scores I pomtfora correctanswer

I'm sorry I don't know.

and two POints if a team member uses one of the phrases from the

list - admitting that they don't know the answer

I haven't a clue.

llele are 20 questions The tealllS Illay also sperld IS minutes

preparing questions for each other.

I COUldn't tell you.


I'm not sure.

I. What was the name of the first man on the moon?

2. What exactly were his first words?

Oh, it's slipped my mind.

3. What year did Man land on the moon?

4. What's the longest f ivel in the wOlld?

I've forgotten.

5. 'Jlhat country is it in?

6 What is the capital city of Switzerland?

7. Where were the 1980 summer Olympic Games held?

It's no good, I can't

8. How Wdlly al ether e ill a dOLen?


9. How many are there in a baker's dozen?

10. How many Beatles were there?

11. Where was Elvis Presley born?

12. How many volumes are there in the Encyclopedia Britannica?

13. How far away is the sun?

14. At what speed does Concorde fly'?

15. Who invented basketball?

16. What is the weight of a golfball?

17. When did Queen Victoria die?

18. How many bees are there in a normal beehIVe?

19. What do we call a large group of sheep?

20. What is the population of France to the nearest million?

Usually when we hear bad news, we are sympathetic Sometimes,

It serves you right.

however. it is difficult to be sympathetic if we feel that the person

'deserved' what happened for example, if they never lock their

It's your own fault.

car and it is stolen.

Example dialogue:

What did you expect?

I've just had my car stolen!

- It serves you right. You should have locked it.

Perhaps that'll teach you,

I've just been thrown out of my flat!

- What did you expect? You shouldn't have had so many wild

Work in pairs, taking turns to react. Use these ideas and the phrases

In t e 1St.

2. lost your drlvmg lIcence

always speeding

3. got an electric shock

- didn't SWitch ott the electricity before trying to mend the light

4. went to sleep during the exam

went to a party till 4 in the morning

5. had a fight With Pete

6. didn't get the £ 50 back from Bill

told you to take a map

Make up your own responses to the following

8. I've just got a parking ticket.

9. I was ill last night.

10. I was late for the train

11. There's something wrong with my alarm clock.

12 I've illst been ignored by Mary


Can yOll name a misfortlme which YOIl 'deserved'.



Many people believe that you can learn a lot about a person if you

analyse their handwriting Whether yO!! believe it or not if can be

I'm not surprised.

great fun.

Work in pairs. One person must agree to be the 'expert' and work

That doesn't surprise

with the information on page 74/5.

The other:

I Take a piece of paper with NO LINES.

Yes, that sounds like me.

2. Write, in your ordinary handwriting, the following two

I knew it!


I'm sure that he'll go swimming today,

Tomorrow it'll be too cold for swimming,

I thought so.

and then he'll have to go fishing,

Nowdothefollowingtests. Only the 'expert' should look atthe answers.

Just what I've always

Test 1


Hold a ruler below the written lines. Are all the words on the line


like this?


You're joking!

or do they go up and down, like this?

You must be joking!


I don't believe it!


No, definitely not!

Come on!

Theexpertdecidesw'hetherthe handwriting matches la or lb. writes

itdown readstheinterpretationfrompage74/5 and records it Each

I don't think so.

subject accepts or rejects the analysis making use of a gambit. Now,

go on to Test 2.

I d_on't think that's very

Are you pulling my leg?

That's news to me!

Draw a line below a few words In the middle of the sample. Does it

go up 01 dOWII all the page? Estimate which of the lines below corresponds best to your partner s slant of writing.




The expert interprets and records the results. The subject responds

with a gambit. Continue in this way for each test.

Doesthe handwriting slopetothe right. tothe left. or isitin-between?

Which is the set of parallel lines that fits the small letters?


Is there little, some or much space between the lines?


That doesn't surprise

b ~5

I'm not surprised.

Yes, that sounds like me.

I knew it!

I thought so.

Just what I've always

Test 6


Check ifthe letters are usually connected sometimes disconnected


or llsllally disconnected



You're joking!

c. c£.(5connecie4

You must be joking!

I don't believe it!

Test 7

Look at the m's in 'swimming':

No, definitely not!

Come on!

a. pointed ~

c. arcades ~

b. garlands ~

d. thready~

I don't think so.


I don't think that's very

Test 8

Check how even--slzed the letters are:

Are you pulling my leg?

a. varying size

That's news to me!

b. same size throughout

. .

c. tapering size

Test 9

Look at the letter 'e when it comes at the end of a word What does

it generally look like?

a long ~ b short ~ c no ~
final final final
e. curling t ascending g descending
final ~ final ~"6-1 final ~
i. final j. final k. short
hooking hooking curving
up ~ down ~ final ~
Test ]0 d rising ~


h dropping

final ~

I. lasso

final ~

Check If the letters 0 and a are usually open or dosed.

Test 11

Find out hO'vv the i's are dotted most of the time .

a. dot right over c f. wavy dot -c
b. dot high J g. dot flying to the left __£
c. dot flying to the
right 1..- h. hook dot ~
d. circle dot i. dash dot
thick dot • i. no dot
e. -£ h Test 12

Compare hmv the t's are crossed In most cases

a. bar to the right Z f. looped bar $'
b. bar to the left ;{ g. down-slant bar ;l
c bar centered 7;{ h up-slant bar hlghL
d. bar high left ex i. heavy bar ~~
star cross ~"ff I. bar Tfllssing /
e. Z{ 4

Interpretation of handwriting analysis

Agreeing la
That doesn't surprise Id
me. 2f
Yes, that sounds like me. 3a 01 b
I knew it! ld 01 e
if g or h
~1i or I
I thou ht so. 43 or b
4d. e or f
Just what I 've always 5a
thought. ')b
Absolutely! 6a
You're joking!
You must be joking! 7b
No, definitely not!
Come on! 8a
I don't think so. 8c
I don't think that's very :~
fair 9c
Are you pulling my leg? 9f
That's news to me! 9h
91 or I straightforward. dependable systematic

unsystematic carefree versatile

exuberant. 0 timisnc isometimes tem

ambitious optimistic

irrn con I en no speCial characteristics indicilted

passive unhappy (sometimes temporarily]

gloomy pessimistic

self corrscious ego-cerrtric dllalytic

emotionless reserved

110 special cllalactellstics Illdicated

generous spontaneous friendly

eager impulsive

intellectual rational. unassertive

no specia c aracteristics in icate generous restless. somewhat lAattentl've. assertive

confused. unclear

clear organized

good at organization. generous

logical. adaptable

mixed rational-intuitive

meticulous. unadaptable somewhat Impractical

energetic, competitive

together with I b, and 2c. and 4a or b' eccentriC together with 2b. enth'lsiastic

together with 3c and 4a or band 'lc and oa discerning carehd

together with 1t. g or h lively

together with 'ic and ob wise

adaptable, I ecepti ve to nelA> ideas pleasure lov ing

tozether with 2b* enthusiastic

reserved, strong-willed

together With I band ::ta or b I creative together With I b snd Ie. and 4", or b eccentriC


together with I band 4a or b versatile


together with I a honest tactful discreet


reserve self-centered

interested in musical matters

protective, sensitive friendly

timid h


tenacious, stubborn

together with 1 band 703 and 8a sly

together With 3c Interested in possessions

ql critical

lOa frank outspoken

( sincere

together with I a and 8b frank outspoken

c secre we

together with 1£1 or b. iilnd 5c and 7<1 critic .. 1

II £1 meticulous preCise together with Rb ver~'


II b imaginative. enthusiastic


II f humorous

Ilg hesitant. cautious

witty. perceptive

together with 4a or b fussy

\ I i absent-minded. careless

I :2a impulsive. quick lively

together with 2c and ]a or band 9f or i: very determined

together with la. and 9a or f: independent

12g opinionated. critical

12 i strong-willed

togethel with 2c. dlld 73 01 b. alld gr 01 i. vel y detel I Ililled

together with 7a: aggressive

12j careless. absent-minded

Caution: Even the best handwriting analysis cannot fully describe a oersons character. One study. for Instance. showed a maximum accuraCY of only 7'3 '7.; [t is therefore

best not to take this game too seriously.

• ln combinations. all noted elements must be present


56. Inkblots

When you are surprised

Whatdo you see in these inkblots? Some people see people. animals,

faces or trees Some people can t see anything at all

1 Really!

Work in pairs and tell each other 'What you can see, If you can't see

anything at all. try to relax, and let your imagination work, React to

Are you joking?

each other's ideas using a phrase from the list


Filially, shal e youl ideas togetlleJ witll tJ Ie w J lole class,

For example'

Where? Show me.

Maria said she saw two horses laughing at each other in the seventh


I can't see that.

+That's what I thought too!



~/hen you agree

That's what I thou ht

1 ThiS expression IS often I lSArl to


make the other person say more This SlAgle word IS usually enough to do

2. Or, you repeat the other person's

auxiliary verb So can I


57. Being Sympathetic

Less serious news

How do we react when we have some bad news') It depends on the

nev,rs Some things are more important than others and we react to

Oh no!

something serioliS in a different way from something less serial IS

however unfortunate.

V/hat a pity!

Have you heard that 300 people were killed when a plane crashed

this morning?

What a shame.

=-Oh how terrible!

What a nuisance.

I didn't get the job after aU.

-Db. what a pity!

Poor you.

If you reacted to the first situation with What (J pil&, people would

think that you 'Nere a strange person indeed!

Very sad news

Work In pairs WIth these sentences One person give the news: the otltel I eact ill all applOpl iate way usillg a pltl ase fl 0111 tile list.

How awful!

I. My girlfriend .... sprained ." ankle .... first day ... holiday.

2 Someone I knew had all his money stolen

How terrible!

jacket pocket.

3. My uncle .... passed away. . last week.

4. Someone I know at work .... told.. . cancer.

I'm really sorry to hear

5. I .... bike stolen.

6. Someone.. . stole. . car I adio .... lunchtime.


7. Several hundred people ... killed .... yesterday's earthquake.

That must've been awful!

8. Someone pinched .... passport .... all my cash .... hotel room.

9. A colleague made redundant. .. 25 years. samecompany.

10. My sister hit. ,. Illouth .... Cdl dool broke a tooth.

D· .


laIR about what you say AND what you do when you hear very bad

news in your country.

1. What would you say in your language In the follOWing situations'

a. A friend tells you that there has just been a terrible earthquake

- thousands of people are dead.

b. A friend tells you that she has just heard that her mother has

c. A friend tells you that his house has been burgled.

d. A friend tellsyouthathehasto gotothedentistthisafternoon

e. A friend tells you that his wife's car broke down in the very

centre 0 town.

2. In your country do people DO something different when they hear

a piece of bad news?


58. The Interview '

Ingroupsof 3 or 4 prepareto holdan interview fora job. Decidewho

We", let me see.

will be the applicant and who will be the 'interviewing board',

Theapplicant: you have been managerofa medlum-sized supermarket inthecentre of town for 10 years. You think you have been successful

'Nell, let me think.

and a good boss. When the intervieViers ask a question, use one of

I'll have to think about

the phrases from the list The phrases will give YOll a little more time

to think of your answer.


mterviewmgtheappl!cantforthe postof manager. Osethequesnons below 01 thinkupyoul owrrqtrestiorrs TaketUllls toaskthequestions

How shall I put it?


let's put it this way.

I. Why would you like to leave yoU! present job?

The best way I can

2. Say a little about the viork you do.

3. How long have you been manager?

answer that is ...

4. What IS the worst problem you have had In your present lob?

5. What (!lakes you think you will enjoy this new job?

6. Do youth ink you are popular with the people vv'ho \-vork for you?

Mm, that's a difficult

7. If you could choose yOllr own boss, what kind of person would

question. Let me see.

ou choose?

8. If you didn't agree with your boss about something important.

' • ..,hat 'lIQuid you do?

9 Think of the sit! lation where one of YOII r employees was late for

work three days out of four. He isa very good worker. What would

you do?

10. What do you think you will be doing in 10 years time?

II. What do you do In your spare time?

]2. How much do you think we should pay you?


59. Showine Interest

..- .


When we hsten to other people we often want to show them how

IAterested we are 1R theIr conversation We do thIs In dIfferent ways


smtltng WIth our eyes



Work In pairs One student describes an excrtmg or amusing event

from the lrst of Ideas below or somethIng real the other student respondstnthethreewa\s Usephlasesfrolll tile list Usetlleplll ases


u hJ!c the other person IS speaking Don t walt for pauses or for the

other person to finish speaking

And then?


I The day I won a million

2 My favounte holiday


3 My worst day ever

4 I he best meal I ve ever had

2Did yOU?

5 How we share the work In my home

6 My first trip to Bntaln/AmerIca

7 My worst day at school

Have you?

8 Something really good that has happened to you 9 SUIlletlllllg leally elllballasslIIg

Are you?

10 Your story

Were yOU?

Was it?

1 ThiS Single word IS the easiest way to make another person continue With

their story or to expand on what they

2 You repeat the 1:lUXllial y tI at tile

previous speaker has used The

effect IS tfle same as usmq Really?

- - - - -- - ., - -- - - -- - - - -- -i:7 - --

If we have to listen tosomethinglongand complicated, wemay want

to ask the speaker to repeat vv'hat was said.

Andifwearethepersongivingtheinformation, we may wantto check that the other person has understood correctly

Repetition Gambits

'vVould you mind

Work in small groups of 3 or 4. Take it in turns for one person to read

repeati 119 that?

the problems below. That person should use the 'checking gambits'.

The listeners should use the repetition gambits.

Sorry, I didn't catch the


last part.

I. Start with 5 multiply by 4 divide that by 2 subtract 3 then multiply

by 10, then take half of that. What do you get?

2. If you write with your left hand, but draw with the opposite hand,

and kick a ball With the foot on the same Side, yet put the phone to your ear all the othel side, whicll is the side where you ale SIIOlt-

Sorry, you've lost me.

Sorry, I don't follow you.

What was that again?

sighted, which eye is your good eye?

3. So you want go to the stadium. Well. It s qUite a long way, actually. Gostraiglitalollg hele till you get to tl Ie traffrcltgrrts; flat tile filstset.

the second set. then turn right. then the second OR the left, then it's

a straight road forabollta mile till y011 gettothe Odeon Cinema JIlst

past the Odeon. there's a big roundabout. go straight across it. and

the stadium is ill tile pal k a CCIIlple of IIUlldl ed yalds Oil tile left. It's

not difficult to find!

OK so far?

4. Assume you have a tower made up of four bUilding blocks: at the

bottom there isa cube, then there is an octahedron (eight-faced solidl.

Checking Gambits

Are you with me?

Are you still with me?

Is that clear?

Have you got it?

ontopofwhichthereisa cylinder. andattheverytopthereisa pyramid.

Now suppose you put the cylinder underneath the octahedron. Then

you put the cube below the pyramid. Then you put the octahedron

atthe bottom of the whole pile What is the sequence of building blocks

Do you understand so



5 Make {IP yom own problem and present it to YOllr grollp Make

notes to help you.


Sorry, what did you say?

lt isvery easy to misunderstand someone onthetelephone We can't

see the person we are speaking to The line can be bad There ma),


be other noisesarolJod 115 In thisdiffiCilltsitlJation we usejhe phrases

in the list

I didn't get the bit

Work in paIrs with these serious situations Correct communication

about ...

is essential One stlldent is the telephone receptionist for emergencies

Take it in turns to be the caller

I'm sorry I can't hear you.

It's a very bad line.



Caller: This is an emergency. There is a fire on the sixth floor of my

block 1 live On the fifth floor and there are clouds of smoke coming out of the flat abOve me ,flat 609, 25 Sussex Dri ve~ The hall outside

my flat is filling with smoke.

Switchboard: Gettbe name address flat nllmber typeofh'lilding

Find out if flames are visible. Tell the caller to set off the fire alarm

alld n lake SUt e to use the stairs, not the lift. Say the fire bl igade is

Situation 2 - Police

Caller: There's a fight in a bar at '31'3 King Street behveen a big fat

glly with enormolls mllscles and a small fat glly with a mOllstache

who rooks like a professional wrestler. They're using knives. One of tlletll lias a gUll. TI Ie big guy is bleeding badly,

Police station: Get the address of the bar, a description of the men

and the name and address of the caller Tell him thata police car will

be there within minutes.

Situation 3 - The Vet

Caller: You went I nto your bath room and fou nd a huge boa constnctor ill tllebatll Tliesllakedidtl't r nove, ar rd you played it cool You dosed

thev.indowandthebathroomdooF You live at 104 Farnham Crescent

Vet· Cet the name and address of the caller Tell him to pI It the toilet

seat down, keep the bathroom door shut A snake specialist will be

there in two hours time

Situation 4 - the Hospital

1. Remember speakers of British English do not use Excuse me In this

Caller. 'ybur wife is having a I,eal t attack. Sire is feelirlg severe pain

meaning For them, Excuse me IS used b€lfore they disturb somebody,

in her chest and left arm. She is s'Neating heavily and is very short

and only Sorry? or Pardon? are pOSSible Ilele

of breath You live in flat 3a 48 Regency Road

Hospital: Get the address and tell the caller that an ambulance will

be on its way straightaway. Tell him to give his wife a rtificial respiration,

to keep her in a sitting-position but not to move her too much.

Situation 5

Would you mind saying

that again?

Think of an emergency situation which you have been involved in

yourself Act out the situation wIth a telephone receptIonist


Could you repeat your

address, please?

Have you ever been Involved In a real-life emergency) Tell tlie others about it

Could you spell it,

Did you do the FIght thing?



Oh, thank QU.

Are you good at accepting a compliment - or do you become

That's very kind of you.

than paying one!

Work in pairs paying apd acceptillg cOlilpliments in turn You may

It's very kind of you to

use your OVvR Ideas or the Ideas belO\v

say that.

For example:

Do you really think so?

o~ t an you. r oug titatt at new shop that's just opened.

I ~a~y I~(e yoU~ dre~s Mar~e.

Thanks. I needed that.

Ma rie was pleased and added extra i nrorrnanon - the dress was new

But sometimes we want to play down the compliment.

You 've made my day!

For example'

I really like your dress Mar ie.

Oh, than I, you. I've had it for years.

Ideas for compliments

1. a dress

2. a shirt

nc i very neat handwriting

the way someone's had their hair done

7. a new houselflat

Match these 10 ideas with the following ways of 'playing down' a

a. Oh. it took no time at all.

b. My boyfriend gave it to me,

c. I've just changed my hairdresser.

d. It's from Marks t. Spencers.

e. I'm not too keen on the colour myself.

f. 1 spent a yeal ill tile States,

g. I hope it's not too vulgar!

h. It took us a long time to fInd It.

i. I was taught very well.

j. But it uses too n lOch petrol

Mostoftheactivites in this book help you to practise the gambits

for one or two bits of a conversatIon BIlt YOIJ might like to

build longer "mini-conversations to remind you of some of the

gambits you have practised earlier.

On these few pages you will find suggestions for some rruru-

conversations which you can practise In pairs

Remembel. the idea is to practise tile gal [(bits If yOU al e 51101 t

of ideas for the contentofyour conversations use one or more

of the Sllblects on pages 89 to 93



















O~:I ;~~~g~

] :~:~iF

0 I


Remember, in all the activities in this book, it is more important to

practise the Conversation Gambits - The language is more important.

while you are practising, than the content of what you say!

Sometimes you may have trouble thmkmg of Ideas for the content of son Ie oft I Ie practices. To Ileip you, Ilere are 30 subjects witlI a few

important ideas connected with each. You can use any of these subjects

for the mini-conversations (pages 85 to 88). or for many of the otber

activities in the book.


Too much violence

Good value for money

Trivial programmes Kills COllversation

Ternfrc source of news Vel y educatiol1al

Makes people passive

Helps lonely peopie

Living in the country

Isolated and lonely

Neighbours help each other more

Dull and boring

Surrounded by nature

OK In summer, awful In winter Too IIldllY insects

No stress or pressure Fresll air

Healthy eating

I know what's best for me

Think of the future

Enjoyment more important

Good for you

Boring and tasteless

Avoid cancer

Only for fanatICs

Teenage drug abuse

Heavy fines

Got to understand why Care in special centres

Parents to blame


Long-term problem

Sign of the times

Aid to the Third World

Guns, armies, weapons


Irresponsible leaders

Famine, starvation Malnutrition

Chanty beginS at home


Caring and sharing



A necessity

Carbon monoxide




StatlJS symbol

I he modern world



Only for the power-crazy


Power corrupts

Party politics

Career politiCians

A necessary evil

Derllouacy Alternative?

Nuclear power


The nuclear age

Waste from nuclear reactor

Cheap source of energy


Remote places

Tb reat to the world

Best available

Living in the city

Noisy, dirty, unhealthy

Always something happening

Traffic danger

Stimulating, exciting

Pace of life, stress

Night life

Too many people

Plenty of variety

Old buildings

Should be demolished Tile pi ice of pr ogl ess

Add character Cor ISCI vatioll

Old fashioned, cold

Human design

Waste energy

Concrete jungle

To strike or not to strike

\lery low wages

Boss is very nice

Can only take holidays in winter

Good food in the canteen

Atmosphere is too dusty unhealthy

Easy to take time off to go to dentist

Firnl r!lade huge profits last yeal

Bonus at (I II istllldS

Reporting an accident

Volvo driver was to blame

Lorry overtook on the crossing

Volvo was going too slowly

Speed limit

The old lady didn't look before crossing

It was getting dark

Traffic Iigllts wei err't WOI killg

Difficult to say

Describing the man who ran away


Darkish hair

Above average height

Black straight hair

Not from this part of the country

Welsh accent

Dark suit

Quite well dressed

The ideal teacher


Lots of hon leWOI k


Up-ta-date, madern approach

Properly dressed

jeans, no tie

TalkS a lot but students must be silent

Allows students to talk


Too comfortable

Basic human rights

Deterrent IVlade to suffel


The taxpayers money

Home comforts Understandillg



Freedom of the individual

Lung cancer

My right to decide



Man created God

God created Man

No need


No life after death

Meaning to life



Sex education in schools

In the home

Who else could teach iP

Not what schools are for

Unwanted pregnancy

How far do you go?

Responsible attitudes

Love more important than sex


The green movement

Bunch of crackpots


Ollt of date

DestrtJction of the environment


Forest whales, clean air


Global village

Man's best friend

Fouling the streets


Companionship, guide dogs

Iinhealthy for children

The old and the lonely

Bite, rabies deaths

Faithful, sheep dogs


Mt Etna has erupted

Last time was 1958

Hundreds dead


Thousands homeless


Air crash




What is 'Nrong')

Trouble at home

Teenage son in trouble with police



Crazy about cars


I. Typewnter £200

3 letters don't WOI k

Very relrable

Have you dlopped it?

Very careful

Very good make

Only I week old

2. Car, £8,000

Beautiful n lodel

Terrible noise

Don't understand

Worst in 4th gear


3. Dress. £45


Hole under arm

Don't understand carefully checked


No refund bllt wi]] repair

Only prepared to accept a refund or replacement

but not a repair

4. Holrday m Turkey, £550 Hotel was awful

Should have phoned from Turkey Should have cOlllplailled to

Had to share a room!


Return flIght was 23 hours late

£ 50 off next year s holiday

Teenage problems

Parents should be stricter

Trust your children

Home by lO.30pm latest

Stop pocket-morrev if probleilis

Remind what things were like when you were young

Home by midnight

Talk problems through as a family

Be a friend not a parent


Come to the party

Rather not



ancing Good food

an t

Call eat at home

Great music

Got better at home

Sue will be there

Think about it

Buying a nev; stereo

Best value for money

Bit expensive

Good amplifier

Doesn t look attractive

40 watt speakel s

Too big fur my room

Special offer at moment

Sounds better



Planning a trip to the tropics

lnnoculations. visas, sun cream, pills, lightdothes, mosquito net. insect

repellent. cotton underwear phrase book, gUide bookS

Language Teaching Publications


The Love Test


10-20: You're a hopeless romantic.

21-39: You have both romantic and realistic tendencies.

40-50: You are a dry realist.

48. Right or 'wVrong - Answers

I no entry 2 no left turn. 3. no U turns, 4, speed limit 40

5 bicycles only 6 parking restricted to owners of special permits

7, plus or minus 8. divide 9 tends to infinity 10. square root

11. is greater than 12, is approximately equal to 13. centi-

metre 14 degrees centigrade 15. etcetera 16. postscript

Isomethmg added at the end of a letter) 17. Member of Parliament/Military Police 18. Prime Minister 19. before

Christ 20. Doctor of Philosophy 21. television 22. please reply

23, lowe you 24. prisoner of war 25. estimated time of

arnval 26, cash on delivery 27. dlrect current 28. horse power 29. lIIiles per lIour 30. United Nations 31. WOIld Health

Organisation 32. gross national product 33. tV1a naging

Director 34. limited 35. European Economic Community

36 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 37. compact disc

38. peseta 39. percent 40. public limited company.