5����������������������������� Everyday Conversational Expressions���������� ��������������� ��������������� Directing a Conversation p.2


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* 5 Directing a Conversation (p.2 of 8)


5.4 ��When you mention additional things


Et cetera.�� Listen�� <�In school we play football, soccer, basketball, tennis, et cetera.�>

And so on.�� Listen�� <�At the grocery store I bought bread, milk, vegetables, fruit, and so on.�>

And so forth.�� Listen�� <�People in the disaster zone need water, food, blankets, tents, and so forth.�>

And all like that.�� Listen�� <�This band plays jazz, rock, country, folk, and all like that.�>

And everything like that.�� Listen�� <�At the clothes department they sell shirts, skirts, suits, dresses, and everything like that.�>

And one more thing.�� Listen�� A �I want to add one more item to those I have already listed.��� <�And one more thing. Don�t walk around alone after dark. It may be dangerous.�>

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5.5�� When a speaker deviates from the main topic


You�re getting off the subject.�� Listen�� <�Stop arguing in circles. You are getting off the subject.�>

You�re begging the question.�� Listen�� A �You are trying to evade the issue.��� <�It�s impossible to argue with you. You are begging the question.�>

That�s not the point.�� Listen�� A �That is not the issue.��� <�Yes, I understand that you have personal issues. But that�s not the point. You are a sportsman, and you need to show results.�>

That�s beside the point.�� Listen�� A �That is outside the scope of the issue.��� <�You are a great artist, no doubt. But that�s beside the point. Your art should generate income. Simply put, you need money.�>

That�s beside the question.�� Listen�� A �That is outside the scope of the question under discussion.��� <You�re going into nonessential detail. That�s beside the question. Don�t shift our debate off the subject.�>

That has nothing to do with it.�� Listen�� <�I don�t understand why you refer to your unhappy childhood while we are investigating the accident you caused. That has nothing to do with it.�>

That has nothing to do with what I�m talking about.�� Listen�� <�I�m glad to hear that. However that has nothing to do with what I�m talking about.�>

That�s not at issue.�� Listen�� <�I�m going to disregard the sad story of your life and all that. That�s not at issue.�>

That�s not the issue.�� Listen�� <�I admit, this product has some drawbacks and could be improved technically. But that�s not the issue. This product failed to find its niche in the market. This is why I propose to discontinue its production.�>

That�s irrelevant.�� Listen�� <�Why are you bringing that up? That�s irrelevant.�>

That�s another story.�� Listen�� <�I understand that your question is somehow related to our discussion. But that�s another story.�>

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5.6�� When you want a speaker to get to the point


Get to the point.�� Listen�� A �Make your most important statement.��� <�You�ve been talking for half an hour already. Get to the point. Don�t go into detail.�>

What�s your point?�� Listen�� A �What is your most important statement?��� <�OK, I understand all that. What�s your point?�>

What�s the point?�� Listen�� <�I�ve heard your story. What�s the point?�>

Spare me the details.�� Listen�� A �Don�t dwell on the details of secondary importance.��� <�All right, spare me the details, get to the point.�>

What are you saying?�� Listen�� <�The total income of our family has been decreasing in recent years.� � �What are you saying? That we haven�t been frugal enough?� � �No. I�m saying that we haven�t been making enough money.�>

What are you trying to say?�� Listen�� <�It�s very expensive to keep a hospital in our town.� � �What are you trying to say? That we don�t need a hospital in our town?�>

What are you trying to tell me?�� Listen�� <�Your husband is abusive. Also, he drinks to excess.� � �What are you trying to tell me? That I need to leave my husband?�>

What are you trying to get at?�� Listen�� <�Boss, studies show that one college graduate can do the job of three retirement-age employees.� � �What are you trying to get at? That I�m too old to work here?�>

What are you getting at?�� Listen�� <�I have much work to do.� � �What are you getting at? Are we going to have our mini-vacation this weekend or not?�>

What do you mean?�� Listen�� <�I don�t quite understand what you are saying. What do you mean?�>

What do you mean to tell me?�� Listen�� <�Darling, wouldn�t it be wonderful to eat at a restaurant tonight?� � �My dearest wife, what do you mean to tell me? Have you burned the dinner again?�>

What�s the bottom line?�� Listen�� AWhat�s the conclusion?��� <�I�ve been patiently listening to you for a long time. What�s the bottom line?�>

Cut to the chase.�� Listen�� AGo directly to the point.��� <�Why don�t you stop this chatter and cut to the chase?�>

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5.7�� When you request an answer


What�s your answer?�� Listen�� A �What is your response or decision?��� <�We made you our offer. What�s your answer?�>

What�s your response?�� Listen�� <�I�m offering you a fair price for your boat. What is your response?�>

What do you say?�� Listen�� A �What do you say in response?��� <�I can give you a hundred dollars for your old motorcycle. What do you say?�>

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5.8�� When you ask for details or explanation


Why?�� Listen�� AFor what reason? For what purpose? What caused it? Please explain.��� <�I closed the window.� � �Why? It�s pretty hot today.� � �Flies and mosquitoes might come in.�>

Why not?�� Listen�� AWhy are you saying no?��� <�I don�t think you need to eat so much ice cream.� � �Why not? I like it.� � �There is much sugar in it.�>

How so?�� Listen�� AHow does it happen in such a way? Please explain.��� <�Not all arctic birds suffer from global warming.� � �How so?� � �Some birds thrive in warmer climate.�>

How come?�� Listen�� AHow did it come about? Why?��� <�You are expecting a new earthquake in the next few years. How come?� � �I have a hunch.�>

Why do you think so?�� Listen�� AWhat allows you to make this conclusion?��� <�You are stating that Mrs. Smith is innocent. Why do you think so�? � �I have evidence.�>

Why do you think that?�� Listen�� <�This week is going to be colder than usual.� � �Why do you think that?� � �I watched the weather channel on TV last night.�>

What makes you think so?�� Listen�� <�The Moon is getting farther from the Earth with every turn.� � �What makes you think so?� � �Actually, I don�t know. I read about it in some scientific magazine.�>

What makes you so sure?�� Listen�� <�This car is out of order.� � �What makes you so sure?� � �I can�t start the engine.�>

How do you know that?�� Listen�� AWhat is the source of this information?��� <�You claim that the suspect was at the crime scene. How do you know that?� � �I was there myself.�>

Could you explain it in more detail?�� Listen�� (used with can or could)�� <�I heard your point. However I missed something, I guess. Could you explain it in more detail?�>

Could you provide some details?�� Listen�� (used with can or could)�� <When the press secretary finished his briefing on the incident, the head of the press corps asked him, �Could you provide some details?�>

Could you give me an example?�� Listen�� (used with can or could)�� <�You�re saying that medieval Japanese poetry is highly emotional. Could you give me an example?�>

Can you illustrate that?�� Listen�� (used with can or could)�� <�You are stating that your new analytical method is more accurate than alternative ones. Can you illustrate that?�>

Could you tell a little more about it?�� Listen�� (used with can or could)�� <The journalist asked the general, �We understand this military operation is top secret. However, could you tell a little more about it?�>

Could you elaborate on that?�� Listen�� (used with can or could)�� < �I guess your plan is good. But I didn�t quite understand the last part. Could you elaborate on that?�>

Is there anything else you can tell me?�� Listen�� (used with can or could)�� <�Thank you for your information. I appreciate your honesty. Is there anything else you can tell me?�>

What else can you tell me about it?�� Listen�� (used with can or could)�� <The journalist told the witness, �I�ve heard your testimony. This is a very unusual case. What else can you tell me about it? Do you have any private information to share?�>

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