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4                              Everyday Conversational Expressions                           Starting and Ending a Conversation p.1

 

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* 4 Starting and Ending a Conversation (p.1 of 2)

 

4.1   When you attract somebody’s attention

 

Sir!   Listen   ASir, may I please have your attention?”   <“Sir! You’ve lost something.” – “Oh, this is my newspaper.”>

Madam! or Ma’am!   Listen   <“Madam! You dropped something.” – “Oh, these are my car keys.”>

Pardon me.   Listen   <“Pardon me. Your little child is just charming.”>

Excuse me.   Listen   <“Excuse me. You are not supposed to smoke here.”>

Hey!   Listen   <“Hey, Bob! I’m here under the table.” – “What are you doing there, Willy?”>

Hey, you!   Listen   <“Hey, you! Stop that!” – “What have I done?”>

Listen to Entire Passage

 

 

4.2   When you invite a person to talk

 

May I have a word with you?   Listen   AI need to speak to you.”   < – “Sure, Henry. What is it?” – “I need to show you some new information.”>

Can I talk to you?   Listen   <“Can I talk to you?” – “Not now. Stop by my office after lunch.”>

Can I talk to you for a minute?   Listen   < – “Okay. What’s the problem?”>

Do you have a minute?   Listen   <“Do you have a minute? I need to discuss something with you.”>

Can we talk?   Listen   <“Can we talk?” – “Is that about the accident? Not again!”>

I need to talk.   Listen   AI need to have a discussion with you.”   <“Go ahead. But I don’t have much time.”>

We need to talk.   Listen   AYou and I need to have a discussion.”   <“Something unexpected has just happened. We need to talk.”>

Let’s talk.   Listen   <“Let’s talk. We’ve got a number of topics to discuss.”>

There’s something I need to tell you.   Listen   <“There’s something I need to tell you. It may be important for both of us.”>

There’s something I think you should know.   Listen   <“There’s something I think you should know. The security of our project was compromised.”>

Listen to Entire Passage

 

 

4.3   When you start a conversation with a person who has just appeared

 

We were just talking about you.   Listen   <“Oh, James! We were just talking about you. Sit down and join our conversation.”>

I’ve been just thinking about you.   Listen   <“Hello, Bob. I’ve been just thinking about you. There is a topic I would like to discuss.” – “What is it?”>

Speak of the devil.   Listen   AI have just mentioned your name and you are appearing now – only the devil can do such a trick.”   <“Speak of the devil. Here comes Dave.”>

Listen to Entire Passage

 

 

4.4   When you start an unpleasant conversation

 

This may be unpleasant, but I should tell you.   Listen   <“This may be unpleasant, but I should tell you. The guest of honor isn’t coming to the reception.”>

I hate to tell you this, but we’ve got a problem.   Listen   < – “What is it?” – “An inspector was sent to us to audit our activities.”>

I wish I didn’t have to tell you this, but there is a problem.   Listen   <“I wish I didn’t have to tell you this, but there is a problem. The stock market crashed this morning.”>

I don’t know how to tell you this, but the project is in trouble.   Listen   <“I don’t know how to tell you this, but our project is in trouble. The board of directors is slashing funding.”>

You might not like what I have to say, but I have some bad news.   Listen   <“You mightn’t like what I have to say, but I have some bad news. They are increasing taxes again.”>

I don’t mean to be rude, but you should hear this.   Listen   <“I don’t mean to be rude, but you should hear this. There was a catastrophe on one of our oilrigs.”>

I don’t want to upset you, but you should know this.   Listen   <“I don’t want to upset you, but you should know this. There was a fire in your house.”>

I don’t want to alarm you, but we are in trouble.   Listen   <“I don’t want to alarm you, but we are in trouble. Our best player got sick, and now our team doesn’t have much chance to win the championship.”>

I hate to rain on your parade, but things have gone sour.   Listen   AI don’t want to spoil your celebration or plan…”   <“I hate to rain on your parade, but things have gone sour. The customer is turning our offer down.”>

I hate to burst your bubble, but we are losing competition.   Listen   AI don’t want to destroy your illusion…”   <“I hate to burst your bubble, but we are losing competition. Here’s a recent report that shows who is a new leader in the marketplace.”>

Listen to Entire Passage

 

 

4.5   When you want to ask a question

 

Pardon me,...   Listen   <“Pardon me, boy, is this the train to Chattanooga?”>

Excuse me,...   Listen   <“Excuse me, how can I get to City Hall?”>

Excuse me for asking...   Listen   <“Excuse me for asking. You have an unusual name. Where are you from?”>

I’m sorry,...   Listen   <“I’m sorry, what time is it now?”>

I have a question.   Listen   <“I have a question. Professor, what’s the practical application of your theory?”>

Do you mind if I ask you something?   Listen   < – “Go ahead. But remember, ask a silly question, and you get a silly answer.” – “I just want to ask you your favorite ice cream flavor. I’m going to get some ice cream.”>

Can I ask you something?   Listen   < – “Sure. Shoot.” – “What’s the distance between the Earth and the Moon?” – "Wow! It's a hard nut to crack!">

It’s none of my business, but...   Listen   < “It’s none of my business, but what’s the nature of your relationships with Mary?”>

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4.6   When you make somebody listen to you

 

Listen to me.   Listen   <“Listen to me. I’m offering you a sure deal. This time it will work.”>

Listen up.   Listen   <“Listen up. I’m giving you a direct order. Just do it.”>

Hear me out.   Listen   <“Hear me out. I’m not just curious about your life. I’m trying to help you.”>

Now hear this!   Listen   <“Now hear this! Indeed, instead of taking a short route, you can take a long, circuitous road. But what’s the purpose of it?”>

Are you listening to me?   Listen   <“Are you listening to me? I’m not edifying you for my own benefit.”>

Are you paying attention?   Listen   <“Are you paying attention? The next part of our discussion is very important.”>

Do you hear me?   Listen   <“Do you hear me? All I’m saying is that sometimes you do what you have to do, not what you want.”>

I’m talking to you.   Listen   <“I’m talking to you. Don’t pretend you don’t hear me.”>

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