Jobs & Karriere : Brush up your English!

Small Talk im Pub – kein Problem. Aber wie wohl fühlen Sie sich, wenn Sie mit Geschäftspartnern Englisch sprechen müssen? Testen Sie Ihr Englisch


1. Unavailable for calls

It's easier to take phone calls for absent colleagues if you know some common phrases. Decide which statement is best.

a) Keep it general: 1. I'm afraid but he's not unavailable right now. 2. I'm so afraid he's not available right now. 3. I'm afraid he's not available right now.

Use this one if your colleague is talking on the phone at the moment: 1. He's on another line. 2. He's on another wire. 3. He's on another cable.

Be vague if your colleague is ill: 1. She's on sick leave. 2. She's thrown a sickie. 3. She's sick to the stomach.

d) Offer help: 1. I'm sure her colleague could offer service. 2. Her colleague could quite possibly give aid. 3. Perhaps her colleague could help.

Pass on a request for a call back: 1. Can I make her call you back? 2. May I ask to call you back? 3. Shall I ask her to call you back?

2. Choose the best phrase for each of the following situations

a) You want the caller to wait: Hang up, please. / Hold the line, please.

b)You want to ask why the caller is calling: May I ask what it's about?/ What are you calling for?

c) You want to let the caller speak to someone else: Just a moment, I put you through. / Just a moment, I'll put you through.


3. Calling a meeting

Finding a time when everyone is free can be difficult. Peter calls one of the team members to check when she has time. Some of the verbs they use have lost their letters. Find them again.

Peter: Hi, Peter Black here again. I'm sorry, Kathleen, but I have to (a) c___l our meeting this Thursday. Kathleen: Oh, not again. How many times have we had to (b) r_sch___l_ this meeting? Peter: I can't remember! Look, John has gone to London. As he's the boss, we can't really (c) h___d this one without him, can we? Kathleen: No, not really. Well, we could (d) br___g it fo___rd to Wednesday. Peter: No chance. He's leaving on Wednesday afternoon. We could (e) po___e it till Friday. Kathleen: Sorry, but I can't possibly (f) d__ Friday. Monday? Peter: Sure, why not. I'll (g) pe__c_l in 2 p.m. I'll call you back to (h) c___rm. Kathleen: I just hope Monday (i) s___ s everyone.

4. Presenting facts and figures

You need to be prepared to make short presentations in meetings. Peter presents his data on buying and renting office property. Choose the correct words to complete his presentation: Well, as you know, I've been looking (a) into / in the options (b) on / of buying and renting office space. This afternoon, I'd like to fill you (c) in / out on developments in the property market (d) for / about the type of offices we need, and then I'll go (e) forward / on to show you two financing options. Finally, I will talk you (f) through / about what I see as the main advantag es and disadvantages of both buying and renting. So, I'll start by taking a look (g) at / for this graph, which shows us the (h) up and down / ups and downs in the market (i) over / since the past three years. As you can see, the overall trend is (j) upwards / ups.


5. Not all about work...

When making small talk with business partners, most people prefer to discuss certain „safe“ topics. Choose the best word to complete each question.

a) How was your last business trip / journey / voyage, then? b) And what do you think over / of / on our capital? c) So, how's trade / commerce / business? d) How cold does it get / become / be here in winter? e) What exacting / exactly / exact do you do? f) Have you ever stayed here before / beforehand / for? g) Which department are you at / in / by? h) How are you staying / keeping / holding? i) It's a spot / bit / drop chilly, isn't it? j) How often do you work off / out / in? k) What do you do in your spare time / extra time / overtime?

6. In the restaurant

Eating out together can help to improve a business relationship. Imagine you are having dinner as the guest of your business partner. Find the correct response to your host's comments.

Host: Let's order the drinks first.

Guest: a) ___ Host: Why don't we have the Merlot? Guest: b) ___ Host: Would you like a starter? Guest: c) _____ Host: OK. And have you decided on a main course? Guest: d) ___ Host: Good choice. I'm having the risotto. It's a speciality here. Guest: e) ___ Host: Great, let's order, then. Waiter!

1. Really? Then maybe I should try it, too. 2. Hm, the steak sounds good. I think I'll have that. 3. I think I'll have wine. Which one would you recommend? 4. No, I think I'll save some room for dessert instead. 5. Good idea. I prefer red, too.


7. Where exactly?

Complete the questions using at, on or in. a) Does Paul still work ___ Siemens? b) Did you leave your wallet ___ the office? c) Could you sign your name ___ the line ___ the bottom of the page? d) Why was there a meeting ___ headquarters yesterday? e) Could we talk about this ___ the phone later?

8. Do or make?

Circle the correct verb.

a) Can I use your mobile to make/do a quick call? b) She recently made/did a course on computer firewalls. c) Could you call John and make/do an appointment for me, please? d) Sarah made/did an excellent speech at the conference. e) Sorry, I've got no time. I've got too much work to make/do. f) Have you made/done the arrangements for the trip?


9. How often?

Complete the text with the words from the box that have a meaning similar to that of the expressions in brackets. frequently/hardly ever/occasionally/seldom/twice a day/usually (2x) I check my e-mail (a) ___. (b) ___, all I get is spam, but (c) ___ there's a message from my old friend Tom. We (d) ___ went hiking together, but now he lives in China and (e) ___ comes home to England. Because of the time difference, we (f) ___ speak to each other on the phone, and letters (g) _______ take so long, so e-mail is the best way to keep in touch.

10. Pay on time!

Find the missing verbs. We give you the first letter. We are writing concerning the above invoice, dated 16 July, which does not seem to have been (a) s___. A copy of the invoice is (b) e___ with this letter. Please (c) e___ that we receive payment without delay. If you have already made the payment, please (d) i___ this reminder.

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