Essential Language to develop positive relationships
In this telephone conversation between Harry and Sally, you heard a lot more small talk in the beginning of the conversation. As they are younger and American, this is quite common. But don’t worry, with the polite small talk phrases you have already learnt in the module before, and the more casual ones you are going to learn now, you will be able to make small talk with confidence!
More familiar greetings. This is used between people who know each other, or with cultures who are more relaxed, like Americans or Australians.
How are you getting on?
How’s it going?
How’s the family?
TIP – This is only if you know they have a family.
How’s things with you?
TIP – This is a commonly used slang form but not grammatically correct. The correct form is:
How are things with you?
It’s also polite to show interest and make a comment that mirrors the feelings of the other person.
I’m (so) glad/ sorry/ happy/ relieved/ … to hear that.
That sounds great/ terrible/ awful/ interesting/ nice/ encouraging/ fun/ …
To make arrangements you can use the following phrases:
Would she be free on that date?
Are you available next Tuesday afternoon?
What time would you like to meet?
When would be convenient for you?
Could you please let me know?
I’ll call you back in the next few days/week/month/at a later date.
Expressions of time
Use on with days: Could we meet on Monday?
Use in with months, years and other expressions: I’m going to visit my grandparents in October.
Use at with times and other expressions: Could you please call me at 3pm?
Use next to refer to future times, days, weeks, months or years: I hope we can meet again next week.
Use when to start a future time clause: Let’s meet again when it is convenient.
In the previous lesson, we stressed the importance of listening, here are some ways you can use to show you are listening.
Repeat what the other person said:
Elon is thinking the week beginning 26?
Repeat what the other person said but in your own words
Week 26, that’s from Monday June 22nd?
Use “listening” words like:
It is also important to summarise details, and at the end of a conversation, to make sure you understood what the person said. You can start your summarising sentences with:
So if I understand correctly, you said you want….
So, to repeat what you said, you need….
To summarise, you ….
So, let’s go over the main points
What we’ve agreed is …..
Now you’ll have a chance to check your understanding of these key phrases.