BUSINESS ENGLISH GRAMMAR

MODULE 1- The Grammar of the Verb

Functional grammar
• a functional grammar starts from functions and goes down to grammatical structures • the functions of – expressing time • - expressing the attitude of the speaker • - expressing suggestions, proposals • - descriptions • - connecting ideas in the discourse are all represented by grammatical structures:

Business Meetings
• I negotiate, I negotiated, I shall negotiate, I will have negotiated, • I suggest you should lower the price; • Our new director is a very hard-workingman; - I would like to add…; - May I use your phone?/ • Nevertheless, the price is negotiable.

I. The Grammar of the Verb
• • • • 1. The function of expressing time Present Tenses Past and Perfect Tenses Future Tenses

Present Tenses
• • • The Simple Present Form The simple present tense has the same form as the short Infinitive (without to) of the verb, to all persons, except the third person singular where we add –s to form it. Thus, the simple present tense of the verb to offer is: I offer; you offer; he, she, it offers; we offer, you offer, they offer. We use the auxiliary to do to form the interrogative and negative of the present simple tense:

Form
Affirmative I sell etc Interrogative Do I sell? Negative I do not (don‟t) sell

Spelling
• Some verbs add –es instead of –s to form the third person singular in the present simple tense. It is the case of verbs ending in -o (go/ goes), -sh (blush/ blushes) -ch(watch/ watches), -ss (dress/ dresses), -x (fix/ fixes) and in some cases -y[1](carry/ carries). - when –y is preceded by a consonant we change the -y into -i and add -es

Use
• • • • • • • The Present Simple Tense indicates: 1. Habitual actions: I often work overtime. 2. General truths: Good professionals always succeed. 3. Factual pieces of information: Our district has a huge workforce.

The same tense is often used
• • • • • • • • • • • • • 4. In the journalistic discourse: Foreign investors come to Romania. 5. When giving directions: You turn left after the second park and you will see our company. 6. When giving information on timetables and planned events: The plane leaves at 8 o‟clock, as usual; The conference begins on the 1-st of September. The Present Simple Tense is also used in: 7. Conditional sentences type 1: If I succeed in the interview we will be colleagues. 8. Instead of the present continuous tense, with verbs that do not have a continuous aspect: Now I believe our boss is right. 9. In time clauses as well: As soon as I get the job I‟ll pay all my debts.

The Present Continuous
• Form • The continuous form is a verb tense used to show an ongoing action in progress at some point in time. It shows an action still in progress. Verbs can appear in any one of three continuous tenses: present continuous, past continuous, and future continuous. • The verbs in the continuous form use a form of to be + the present participle (an -ing verb). It is the form of the helping verb that indicates the tense. Here are the affirmative, interrogative and negative forms of the present continuous tense:

• He/ she/ it is (it‟s) writing (Affirmative) • Is he/she writing? (Interrogative) • He/she is not (isn‟t writing) (Negative)

Spelling
• Verbs ending in a single –e drop it before –ing: argue/ arguing; verbs ending in –ee keep them before –ing: agree/ agreeing. When a verb ends in a consonant preceded by a vowel, the consonant doubles before –ing: stop/ stopping, begin/ beginning, signal/ signalling (Br.E[1])/ signaling (Am.E[2]) but enter/ entering and budget/ budgeting. • [1] Br. E = British English • [2] Am. E = American English

Use
• • • • • • • • • The present continuous tense is used to express: An action happening at the moment of speaking: I can‟t come, I am writing a report now. Arrangements and plans in the near future: She is leaving by the 5 o‟clock plane tomorrow. Repeated actions: I am always spending the weekends there. Temporary situations My colleague is working in one of our branches in London. • An action whose frequency annoys the speaker: • I am always waiting for you, please try to be punctual.

Note
• There are verbs that are not normally used in the continuous tenses: • verbs of mental activity: know, remember, understand, believe, forget, recognize etc. • verbs expressing feelings: desire, love, hate, wish, detest etc. • verbs of possession: possess, own, owe, belong etc. • verbs of the senses[1]: see, feel, hear, smell etc. • the auxiliaries to be and to have. • [1] In some cases these verbs can be used in the continuous form: I was feeling his pulse; I look forward to hearing from you; He is seeing her to the office door etc.

Past and Perfect Tenses
• • • 1.The Simple Past Tense

Form
Regular verbs form the past tense by adding –d or -ed to the short infinitive, (produce/ produced; report/ reported etc., while irregular verbs (about 250) have various forms for the past tense: make/ made; buy/ bought; sell/ sold etc. There is no formula to predict how an irregular verb will form its past-tense and pastparticiple forms. Although they do not follow a formula, there are some fairly common irregular forms. Some of these forms are:

Although they do not follow a formula, there are some fairly common irregular forms. Some of these forms are: • Be • Break • come • Cut • Meet • Pay • Run • swim

Regular, as well as irregular verbs have no inflections in the past tense and form their interrogative and negative aspects by the help of the auxiliary to do.

• I reported/ I bought- affirmative • Did I report/did I buy? - interrogative • I did not (didn‟t) report/I did not (didn‟t buy)- negative

Spelling
• Verbs ending in –y ( if –y is preceded by a consonant) change the –y in –i and add –ed to form the past simple tense: try/ tried; vary/ varied, apply/ applied but play/ played; obey/ obeyed[1]. The final consonant of a verb doubles before adding –ed, when that consonant is preceded by a vowel: submit/ submitted; offer/ offerred (Br. E)[2], but enter/ entered and budget/ budgeted.[3] • [1] -y preceded by a vowel does not change in –i. • [2] the form of the verb is offered in Am. E. • [3] when the final consonant is preceded by another consonant

Use
• The simple past tense is used to express:
• An action completed in the past. • She applied for that job two months ago; We began work on the project in 2006. • A past habit. • He always took the floor in our meetings. • It is also used: • In the specific language of reports and descriptions. • When we received the first computer we had no idea how to use it; Last year our turnover was by 2% less than this year. • In conditional sentences, type 2. • If we worked in the same company we would certainly meet at least once a month, at the general meetings.

2.The Past Continuous Tense
• • Form The past continuous tense is formed by the auxiliary verb to be in the past tense 2. and the present participle (the –ing form) of the verb. I was negotiating (affirmative) Was I negotiating? (interrogative) I was not (wasn‟t) negotiating (negative)

• • •

Use
• • • • • The past tense continuous usually expresses an action that is in development in a moment from the past: My colleague was speaking on the phone when I entered the office. In the language of descriptions we often have a combination of simple past tense and past tense continuous: The atmosphere was calm, the accountants were working on the last files and everybody seemed to be happy. The past continuous is also used in indirect speech as a past equivalent of the present continuous:

Using past and present tenses in presentations

Application1
• 1. Fill in the text with the verbs listed below to get factual information about illustration : • Illustrations ……. be supported by captions and text that ….. the reader’s interpretation of the data. In technical writing, there … two types of illustrations: figures and tables. Anything that… …..a table …….. a figure—no matter what form it ….. Figures include drawings, graphs/charts, photographs, maps, etc. Technical writers differ in their use of terminology for illustrations. • • are is considered must is not differ guide takes • Apart from factual information, the present simple tense may be used to ask for or give instructions, to make summaries at the beginning of a presentation, to talk about timetables, to express general truths or usual activities.

The language of meetings

Application 2
• 2. Apart from factual information, the present simple tense may be used to ask for or give instructions, to make summaries at the beginning of a presentation, to talk about timetables, to express general truths or usual activities. Fill in with the present simple form of the verbs in brackets and state which of the above they represent: ● How I (get) to the sum that I see on your graph? ● The new branch of our bank (open) on the 12-th of April. We will be there, waiting for you. ● The first part of my report, represented in this table, (focus) on the features of our new product. ● He (present) us a report every Monday morning. ● A good professional (guarantee) a high level of work quality to his potential customers. ● You (make) the average which you (add) to the other sum and what you (get) is the figure you (put) in that rubric of the table. ● The train leaves at 5 o’clock, please, don’t be late.

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Application 3
• 3. Complete the following sentences appropriately, putting the verbs in the present tense continuous wherever possible[1]: • ● After many problems, our new product is now (sell) well in many countries. • ● I‟m afraid I can‟t join you, tomorrow morning I (leave) by the 7.00 train. • ● What are you (do)? you still (work) on that table? • ● I not (hear) you now, the connection is not good. • ● He (see) a guest to the door and then, I‟m sure he will invite you in. • [1] Mind the fact that some verbs are not normally used in the continuous tenses

Application 4
• This is part of a report written about some university activities that took place in the past. Put the verbs in brackets at the right tenses. • …………………………………………………………………………. • The Legal Information Center’s instructional offerings (continue) to improve as a result of advances in technology. Computer assisted instruction (be) dramatically (enhance) utilizing the new fully networked, wireless mobile computer labs on each campus. The labs (provide) the flexibility to be set up in any classroom or within the library in an environment that maximizes teaching. Students (take) advantage of the wireless networks installed in both campus libraries. Also, public access computer workstations (be) replaced in accordance with our systematic policy.

Application 5
• Read the comments that a member of the Production department from your company makes and then: a. decide which of the following the underlined forms of verbs express: - the continuity of a past action - an action in progress in the past, when interrupted by another one - repeated events in the past - polite formulas b. continue with what you imagine the interlocutor‟s answer was; use past tense continuous as often as possible ► “I can very well see from the budget chart that during these last years, our colleagues from the Marketing department were trying to solve their priorities, by establishing a good relation with their potential customers, among other things. I was wondering only why they didn’t ask for our help. I remember they were having some problems with one of the most reliable customers, and while they were discussing conditions of sale, that person interrupted them and suggested a totally different pattern. What do you think?”◄

• • • • • • • • • • •

3.The Present Perfect Tense
• Form • The perfect form is the verb tense used to indicate a completed, or "perfected," action or condition. Verbs in the perfect form use a form of have or had + the past participle. (It is the form of the helping verb that indicates the tense.) • The present perfect is formed with the simple present tense of the auxiliary to have and the past participle of the notional verb: We have negotiated a deal. In irregular verbs the past participle will vary.

Confusion created in business

The Present Perfect Tense
• Affirmative I have agreed/ he has chosen • Interrogative Have I agreed?/ Has he chosen? • Negative I have not (haven‟t) agreed./ he has not (hasn‟t)

Use

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

The present perfect tense expresses: 1. An action that took place in the past and has an effect/result in the present I cannot open my office door because I have lost the key. 2. An action that took place in an incomplete period of time (up to the moment of speaking): We have received a letter from our subsidiary this week/ lately./ We have interviewed him today/ this morning. 3. An action that happened at an indefinite time: I have heard of the new device but I have never tried it. 4. An action that was completed in the recent past: The participants have just had their coffee break. 5. An action from the past that has a connection with the present: I have already seen this file, no question of that. 6. An action that began in the past and lasted until the moment of speaking. They have worked with our company for two years. The present perfect is also used with other temporal expressions: so far, since, ever, never, yet, already. Haven’t you finished the report so far?; Have you ever entered our new office?

4.The Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Form

• We form the present perfect continuous with the present perfect of the verb to be and the present participle of the notional verb.

• Affirmative: I have been listening He/ she/ it has been listening • Interrogative: Have I been listening? Has he/ she/ it been listening? • Negative: I have not (haven‟t) been listening ?He/ she/ it has not (hasn‟t) been listening

The Present Perfect Continuous Tense
• Use • We use the present perfect continuous to express an activity that started in the past and is in development in the moment of speaking. • He has been speaking in front of the Board for more than 10 minutes and he still has a lot to say./ How long have you been waiting for this result?/ I have been here since 10 o‟clock.[1] • [1] Remember that some verbs (among which to be) are not usually used in the continuous form, see the chapter on The Present Continuous Tense

Communication in meetings

5. The Past Perfect Tense
Form • We form the past perfect tense with the past tense of the verb to have and the past participle of the notional verb. • Affirmative: I had planned/ he had planned. • Interrogative: Had I planned? Had he planned? • Negative: I had not (hadn‟t )planned/ he had not (hadn‟t) planned.

Use 1

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

1. An action that took place in the past, before another past action I had understood his intentions before he actually started to speak. 2. An action that is the past equivalent of the present perfect or the past tense Direct Speech . : 1. The President said “I have not prepared a proper presentation for today” “. 2.The guest said: “I liked your premises very much.” 1.The President said that he had not prepared a proper presentation for that day. 2. The guest said that he/she had liked their premises very much.

Indirect Speech.

Use 2
• 3. An action that did not happen actually, used with expressions like; I wish, if only, I’d rather • I wish I had never applied for that job./ If only I hadn‟t applied for that job! • The past perfect tense is used especially with the following temporal expressions: when, as soon as, till, until, before, after, since, for. • He waited for us until we had finished our meeting./ He had understood nothing from that document when he asked for help.

6. The Past Perfect Continuous Tense
• Form • As it is a perfect and continuous tense, it will be formed by the help of both the auxiliary to be and to have, respectively the past perfect of the verb to be (had been) and the present participle of the notional verb: • Affirmative: I had been practising • Interrogative: Had we been practising? • NegativeI had not (hadn‟t ) been practising.

Use
• This tense expresses an action that was in development in a moment from the past, moment occurring before another past action. • She had been working with that company for 5 years when they fired her. • It can also stand for the past equivalent of the present perfect continuous. • Direct Speech She said: “I am tired because I have been working for a couple of hours.” • Indirect Speech: She said that she was tired because she had been working for a couple of hours.

Future Tenses
• 1. The Simple Future Tense • Form • The future can be expressed in several ways. One is with the modals shall for the 1-st person sg. and pl.(less and less used ) and will for the other persons (the tendency today is to use will for all persons) and the infinitive of the verb we need to use: I shall/will discuss with him over lunch tomorrow; I don‟t know with what company he will be in five years time.

Form
• Affirmative I shall/will (I‟ll) work • Interrogative Shall/will I work?I • NegativeI l shall/will not (shan‟t/won/t)

Form
• • • • • • • Another way of expressing future is by using: 1.The present continuous tense: I am visiting that exhibition tomorrow. 2.The present simple tense: The car arrives here at 8 o‟clock sharp. 3. Be going to: We are going to replace the old office furniture with something more functional.

Use
• • • • • • • • • Shall and will are used in: 1. future habitual actions: The annual report will be presented anyway, tomorrow. 2. formal announcements and weather forecasts; Prince Charles will be in Scotland next month./ Tomorrow it will rain all over Scotland. 3. in conditional sentences: If you insist we’ll make the presentation next week. 4. in temporal sentences I shall be there as soon as I finish my work here.

• To be going to is used to express intentions and predictions.: • We are going to buy a new computer for this office in the next future. • I think he is going to get angry if you tell him about the meeting.

2.The Future Continuous Tense
• Form • We form this tense with the future simple of to be and the present participle of the verb we need to use. This time tomorrow I will be travelling by plane. • Affirmative: I shall/will be travelling. • Interrogative: Shall/will I be travelling? • Negative: I shall/will not be travelling.

Use
• • This tense is used to express: • A future action in progress: • We‟ll be having the annual meeting by this time tomorrow. • Polite enquiries: • Will you be staying for lunch? • An ordinary course of events: • He will be taking the exam in Statistics next month.

3. The Future Perfect Tense
• Form • The future perfect tense is formed with shall/will and the perfect infinitive of the verb we need to use: • Affirmative: I shall/will have saved. • Interrogative: Shall/will I have saved ? • Negative: I shall/ will not have

Use
• This tense is used to express an action that at a certain future time will be in the past. It is used with specific time expressions: by that time, by then, by the 10-th of November, by the end of the year etc. • By the end of this month we will have produced much more than that. •

Application 1
• • • Decide which of the underlined forms of verbs are correct in the context. Familiar with the plight of low-income women in Nepal, Ms. Tamradar decided/has decided some time ago to set up a business to assist them. As she has/had expertise in Nepali paper manufacturing, she has founded/founded DWC this year. DWC produces, with low-income women’s help, a wide range of paper products for sale in Nepal and abroad. DWC has already exported its products, to a number of countries, including the USA, Canada, and Austria. Lately, Ms. Tamradar has participated / participated in a BizMantra promotional workshop organized in association with the Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries (FNCSI) and is planning to use this experience in her own company.

Application 2
• In the paragraphs below some situations are explained by the help of both past and present tenses. Put the verbs in brackets in the right tense to make logical texts. • • My room mate (be) a student in Economics. He (write) a project in Statistics right now. He (start) writing it 2 hours ago. It means he (write) for 2 hours and he (not finish) yet. I forgot to tell him that someone (call) and asked about him before he started his project. • Look at graph 2, you can see how the demography (explode) two years ago and how it (decrease) again this year. • By (watch) the data from this table you can understand why she said that the project ( go on) for years.

Application 3
• Put the verbs in brackets into the right form (present, future, the going to form): • When I (graduate) from Oxford University, I (return) to my native town. • The traffic is terrible. We (be) late. • By the time we (get) to the station, our delegate‟s train (already arrive) and he‟ll be wondering where we are. • “Are you going to be at the office next Friday?” “No, I (visit) a factory in Brasov.” • Iris has bought a new car. She (take) us on a tour.

Using tenses appropriately in business

Using tenses appropriately in business
• The sequence of tenses in the Indicative Mood When we report we can use either direct or indirect speech. For the indirect speech there is a certain sequence of tenses that we should follow if the verb in the main sentence is at a past tense; adverbs of time, pronouns and possessives are also changed in indirect speech in such cases. •

The sequence of tenses in the Indicative Mood
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Direct speech He says: ”I am happy with my job.” 1. She said: “I keep a register with all the data.” 1.Present tense 2. She said: „I kept a register with all the data.” 2. Past tense 3. She said: “I shall/will keep a register with all the data.” 3.Future simple Indirect speech Verb in the main clause at a present tense: He says he is happy with his job. Verb in the main clause at a past tense: 1.She said (that) she kept a register with all the data. 1. Past tense 2. She said (that) she had kept a register with all the data.” 2.Past perfect 3. She said she should/would keep a register with all the data. 3.Future in the past

The sequence of tenses in the Indicative Mood
• We can also report orders or questions, in the following way: • Direct speech • He said to his subordinate: “Report to me immediately when you come back.” • The boss asked Jane:” Do you like your team?” • My colleagues asked me: “Where have you been, whom have you spoken to?” • Indirect speech • He asked his subordinate to report to him when he came back. • The boss asked Jane if/ whether she liked her team.My colleagues asked me where I had been and whom I had spoken to.

II The function of reaching compromises
in business “I want you to do this!”

The function of reaching compromises in business

The function of reaching compromises in business

The Conditional Mood
• I agree to pay this price for your merchandise if you take the responsibility of the international transport. If we agreed, we hope you would reciprocate by adding a quantity to the initial one. If you cannot satisfy our conditions we will be reluctant to signing a contract with you. If we hadn’t known you for such a long time we wouldn’t agree to those conditions.

The present conditional
• Form • We form this tense by the help of should/would and the short infinitive of the verb we conjugate. • Affirmative I should/would declare • Interrogative Should/would I declare? • Negative I should/would not declare.

The present conditional
• Use • The present conditional tense is used: • As a past equivalent of the future simple tense • The boss said you would deliver the presentation the next week. • In conditional sentences • If he had a better score I am sure he would apply for that job.

The Perfect Conditional
• Form • We form this tense by the help of should/would and the perfect infinitive of the verb we conjugate. • Affirmative I should/would have declared • Interrogative Should/would I have declared? • Negative I should/would not have declared

The Perfect Conditional
• • • • Use We use the perfect form of the conditional: As an equivalent of the future perfect tense: We thought you would have made the presentation before we entered the conference room. • In conditional sentences: • If he had worked more he would have finished the project on time.

Conditional sentences
• In conditional sentences a condition is introduced, usually by the help of if; actually, if introduces the subordinate clause: • If the workers really need it they will form a union. • We would gladly go to visit their company if they invited us. • They would have announced us if the project had been ready.

• The three examples above represent the three different types of conditions (probable, possible/improbable and impossible)

Conditional sentences
• • Conditional sentence type 1 In this type of sentence the action of the verb from the if-clause is in the present tense simple and it usually expresses a probable action. The verb in the main clause may be in the present simple or future simple tense, depending on the speaker‟s intentions: The Marketing Director will notice you if you suggest that type of advertisement

Note
• Unless is an equivalent of if + not: • If they are not hardworking people we will not employ them. • Unless they are hardworking people we will not employ them. • If may also be replaced by provided (that), on condition (that), so long as: • We might lower our prices provided/ on condition that/ so long as you bought a larger quantity of our goods.

Conditional sentence
• Conditional sentence type 2 • In this type of sentence the verb of the main clause is in the present conditional and the verb of the subordinate clause is in the present subjunctive (the same form with the simple past tense indicative), suggesting a possible or even improbable action. • I would[1] negotiate with them if I really wanted those products [1] might and could may be used instead of should/would

Conditional sentence
• Conditional sentence type 3 • The verb in the main clause is in the perfect conditional tense and the verb in the if clause is in the past subjunctive tense (the same form with the past perfect tense) in this type of sentence. The condition suggested is an impossible one. • The accident would not have happened if the workers had been more attentive

Conditional sentence
• • • • • • Mixed conditionals Sometimes a combination of type 2 and type 3 conditionals is possible as long as there is a logical coherence of actions. If the products weren‟t so old we could have found buyers by now. If he had attended only that meeting he would be at home at this hour. Note 1. In some cases if is omitted in conditional sentences, but the general meaning of the sentence remains the same. If it hadn’t been for the head of the department we would have had a much smaller budget. Hadn’t it been for the head of the department we would have had a much smaller budget. (subject – predicate inversion) But for the head of the department we would have had a much smaller budget. (the whole verbal structure is replaced by but ) 2. Sometimes will, would or should are used after if; in polite requests, or when will expresses the will of a person for example: If he will fill up the application form he will have a chance to be hired. If you would tell me where the trouble is I would probably help you.


• • • • •

Reaching compromises in business meetings

Application 1
• Fill in the following rejoinders, extracted from a negotiation, with the right form of the verbs in brackets. • If we agreed with the other suggestions, it (be) conditional on the price. • Fine. We (can move) to that point, now? You (not like) to see the figures I have brought along, first? They (may) be of interest to you. • Yes, sure, I (like) to see them right away. But only if you take the transport responsibility we (be prepared) to do business with you. • I understand. Look, we (like) to sign this transaction with you, but you put us in a difficult situation, therefore we have to discuss it over, maybe next week. Is it all right with you?

Application 2
• Complete the missing parts of the following sentences: • • • • • • 1. We would have more answers if we …… some more recent statistics to use. 2. If we hadn’t made our last demand they ……with all our proposals. 3. If that is your only condition I…….happy to sign the contract. 4. I wouldn’t have left in a hurry if I ….. you. 5. She wouldn’t have been promoted if it ……… for her boss. 6. ……….for her colleague, she wouldn’t have received the prize.

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