Friday, 23 August 2013

Spoken English New

Phrases for Conversation
1. Hi.
2. Good morning.
    Good afternoon.
    Good evening.
3. How are you?
    How are you doing?
    How ya doing?   (Informal)
4. Fine. How about you?
5. Okay. Thanks.

1.  I’m John.
     I’m Jackie.                                      (Use first name in informal situations)
2.  I’m John Kennedy.
     I’m Jackie O’Neill.                            (Use full name in business and formal situations)
3.  (It’s) nice to meet you.
     (It’s) nice meeting you.
     (It’s) good to meet you.
4.  Nice to meet you too.
1. This is my friend, Jack.                             Hi Jack. I’m Linda.
              my brother, Bob.
              my sister, Cindy.
              my father, Mr. Harris.
              my mother, Mrs. Harris.
              my teacher, Ms. Watson.
              my student, Carrie.
              my friend, Mary Jones.
              my boss, Mr. Ritter.
              my co-worker, Penny Pitcher.
2. Nice to meet you.          Nice to meet you too.

1.  This is Minnie Rivers.
     That is Mr. Lewis.
2.  Minnie is a writer.
     Mr. Lewis is a barber.
     Gail is an artist.
     He is a photographer.
     She is a secretary.
     He’s a dentist.
     She’s a doctor.

3.  I am a computer programmer.
     I’m a businessman.
     I’m a businesswoman.
     I’m not a mechanic.
4.  We are writers.
     They are engineers.
     You are a student.
     You are students.
5.  This is an apple.
     This is a banana.
     That is an orange.
     That is not a tomato.
     It is a telephone.
     It’s a horse.
     It’s not an airplane.
1. What is this?
2. What is that?
3. What's this?
4. What's that?
5. What are these?
6. What are those?
7. Where is Mr. King?
8. Where is Ms. Knight?
9. Where's Johnny?
10. When's the movie?
11. When's lunch?
12. How is the food?
This is a table.
That is a chair.
It's a pen.
It's an apple.
These are pencils.
Those are books.
He is over there.
She's (right) here.
He's in the house.
It's at 9:00.
Lunch is at noon.
It's delicious
  1. Jeremy is from Ohio.
2.      Kelly is a saleswoman.
3.      He’s a university student.
4.      Ronda lives in Texas.
5.      I work at a restaurant.
6.      I live in Florida.
7.      Where are you from?
8.      9. What is your occupation?
  1. Oh really? What part of Ohio?
2.      Is that right? What company?
3.      Oh. What university?
4.      Really? What city (in Texas)?
5.      Oh really? Which restaurant?
6.      Oh yeah? Where in Florida?
7.      I’m from Delaware.
8.      I’m a police officer.
1. I work in a post office.
2. Greg works in a bank.
3. They live in Washington.
4. I eat breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
5. She goes to work at 9:00 a.m.
6. Eddy plays basketball every Friday.
7. Penny starts class at 10:00.
8. I don't drink beer.
1.      Are you a letter carrier?
2.      Is he a teller?
3.      Are they senators?
4.      What do you eat?
5.      Where does she work?
6.      Where does he play?
7.      When does she finish?
8.      Why (not)?
No, I'm a postal clerk.
Yes, he is.
No, they aren't.
(I eat) eggs, bacon, and toast.
In the cafeteria.
At the gym.
At 11:00.
I don't like it.

Simple questions(yes/no questions)
Are you from Canada?
Is he a doctor?
Is this free?
Do you like apples?
Does she live in New Orleans?
More examples of Yes/No Questions
Is she going to the dance?
Are they flying home?
Are you coming to the party?
Examples of simple Wh- questions
What do you do (as an occupation)?
What do you do on the weekends?
Where are you from?
Where do you live?
How do you say that in English?
How do you spell your name?
How do you know Mr. Amos?
Yes, I am.
No, he isn't.
Yes, it is.
Yes, I do.
No, she doesn't

Yes, she is.
No, they’re taking the bus.
No, I have other plans.

I’m a computer programmer.
I usually stay home and watch television.
I’m from Ontario, California.
I live in Arizona.
I don’t know.
He’s my teacher.

1. How many fingers do you have?
2. You have eight fingers?
3. How many brothers does Ryan have?
4. How many students in your class?
5. How old is your sister?
6. How many hours do you work every day?
7. How many people are in the group?
8. How many cookies are left?
9. How many toothpicks are in the box?
  1. I have eight fingers.
2.      Eight fingers and two thumbs.
3.      He has four (brothers).
4.      Thirty-five, including me.
5.      She is seventeen.
6.      From nine to five. Eight hours.
7.      About seventy.
8.      Five or six.
9.      More than a hundred.

1. What is your favorite color?
2. What's your favorite kind of music?
3. Favorite sport?
4. Do you have a lucky number?
5. What kind of food do you like best?
6. How about movies?
7. Who is your favorite movie star?
8. What city do you like most?
  1. Purple.
2.      I like pop music.
3.      Kung fu.
4.      Yes. It's eight.
5.      I like Cantonese food.
6.      Action.
7.      Jackie Chan.
8.      Hong Kong, of course

1. What is Ms. Chan doing?
2. What is he doing?
3. What are you doing?
4. Who is singing that song?
5. Who is washing the dishes?
6. Where are you going now?
She is writing a letter.
He’s playing hockey.
I’m reading a book.
Frank (is).
The children are.
I’m going to the library.
  1. Oh. That’s nice.
2.      That’s interesting.
3.      Is it interesting?
4.      Oh. It sounds good.
5.      That’s great.
6.      Okay. Have fun.
Personality and Appearance
Tell me about your father.
What kind of person is he?
What does he look like?
What does your mother look like?
How about your little sister?

What is your brother wearing?
What kind of shoes does he have (on)?
Is Susan wearing a dress?
Anything else?
Well, he's very friendly, smart and funny.
He's young, short and handsome.
He has straight black hair and green eyes.
She's tall, thin and beautiful.
She has blonde hair and wears glasses.
She has curly red hair and a cute smile.
Everybody likes her.

He's wearing light brown pants and an orange t-shirt.
Sneakers, and he's wearing white socks.
No. She's wearing a blue skirt and a yellow blouse.
Yes. She's wearing boots and carrying a purse.


It's seven o'clock.
It's twelve o'clock.
It's three ten.
It's seven fourteen.
It's nine fifteen.
It's one twenty-one
It's eleven oh five.
It's two oh nine.
It's six thirty.
It's four fifty.
It's ten forty-five.
It's eight thirty-five.
It's seven p.m. / a.m.
It's noon / midnight.
It's ten (minutes) after three.
It's fourteen after seven.
It's (a) quarter after nine.
It's twenty-one minutes past one.
It's five after eleven.
It's nine minutes past two.
It's half past six.
It's ten minutes to five.
It's quarter to eleven.
It's twenty-five minutes to nine.
1. What did you do last Friday?
2. Where did you go?
3. When did you get back?
4. Where did you stay?
5. What did Sally have for lunch?
6. What did he eat last night?
7. How was the weather?
I went to a baseball game.
I went to Detroit.
I got back on Saturday night.
I stayed with my parents.
She had soup and sandwiches.
He ate Chinese food.
It was wonderful.

1. What will you do tomorrow?
2. When will you finish?
3. What will we do in class today?
4. Where will they put the table?
5. When will Joe leave for New York?
6. How will he get there?
I'll help my mom with the housework.
In the afternoon.
We'll play some word games.
They'll put it next to the window.
He'll leave right after dinner.
He'll take the bus.

Note: Another way of talking about the future is with the phrase "be going to" + verb.
For example,
I am going to eat out tonight.
Mr. Wolfe is going to stay home.
What are you going to do tomorrow?
I'm going to visit my grandmother.
How are you going to get there?
I'm going to walk through the forest.
Please be careful!

1. When is your birthday?
2. What year?
3. Were you born and raised here?
4. Did Sam grow up here?
5. Where did Lisa go to school?
6. Which university did Rick go to?
7. When will she graduate?
8. When did they get married?
9. When was your son born?
10. What day is your wedding anniversary?
11. When did they move to Pittsburgh?
12. When did his grandfather pass away/(die)?
December 29(th)
That's personal.
No. I wasn't.
Yes, he did.
In California.
Next April.
They got married in June.
Two months ago.
It's July 17th
Last September.
Five years ago.

How's the weather today?
How do you feel?
How are you feeling?
Is everything okay?
What's wrong?
What's the matter?
Are you all right?
What happened?
It's really cold.
I'm fine.
Not too good.
I feel sick.
I have a headache.
My leg hurts.
I cut my hand.
He broke his arm.
Let's stay inside.
That's good.
Sorry to hear that.
That's too bad.
Here's some aspirin
Let me help you.
That looks serious.
Call 911!

1. I like fruit.
2. Helen likes sports.
3. Ms. Cramer doesn’t like coffee.
4. Tony does not like action movies.
5. Does Terry like swimming?
6. Does Phil like soft drinks?
7. Does Sheila like salad?
8. Do you like Chinese food?
What kind?
What kind of sports?
Really? Does she like tea?
Oh. What kind does he like?
Yes, he does.
No, he doesn’t.
No, she does not.
Yes, I do.
Or, No, I don’t.
Or, A little.
Oranges and bananas.
Football and tennis.
Yes, she does.
(He likes) drama

1. Where are the pencils?
2. How much is this mirror?
3. How much does this cost?
4. How much are these?
5. Do you have any t-shirts?
6. That comes to $26.59.
7. That will be $17.48.
They’re on the second shelf.
It’s $19.95.
That one is $5.00.
They’re $4.00 each.
What size? Medium or Large?
Here’s $30.00.
Here’s $17.50. Keep the change.
Okay, thanks.
Okay. I’ll take it.
How about this one?
That’s too expensive.
Your change is $3.41

In speaking, contractions are often used in place of auxiliary verbs such as is, are, am, will, have, has, had, and would.
See the following examples:
I am British.
He is Chinese.
They are Italians.
There is a man at the door.
Where is the butter?
What is he doing?
Who is that?
She is going to the beach.
We are going to eat now.
They are not ready yet.
I will be back in a minute.
There will be lots of food.
I have seen that movie already.
She has finished her homework.
I had played that game before.
We would be glad to help.
They would like to go now.
I’m British.
He’s Chinese.
They’re Italians.
There’s a man at the door.
Where’s the butter?
What’s he doing?
Who’s that?
She’s going to the beach.
We’re going to eat now.
They’re not ready yet.
I’ll be back in a minute.
There’ll be lots of food.
I’ve seen that movie already.
She’s finished her homework.
I’d played that game before.
We’d be glad to help.
They’d like to go now.

Are you a doctor?
Yes, I am.
No, I’m a nurse.
Is he from Colombia?
Yes, he is
No, he isn’t.
No, he’s from Venezuela.
Is it time to go?
Yes, it is.
No, it isn’t.
Not yet.
Is she married?
Yes, she is.
No, she isn’t.
I don’t know.
Are they here yet?
Yes, they are.
No, they aren’t.
Do you live in Oklahoma?
Yes, I do.
No, I don’t.
No, I live in Texas.
Does she drink coffee?
Yes, she does.
No, she doesn’t.
No, she drinks tea.
Does it fly?
Yes, it does.
No, I don’t think so.
Do you need some help?
Yes, I do.
No, I’m fine.
Can I have this?
Yes, you can.
No, you can’t.
Should we go?
No, not yet.
Could you help me?
No, sorry.

It’s been nice talking to you.
Nice talking to you too.
(I’m sorry, but) I have to go now.

See you later.
See ya                          (informal)
Catch you later              (informal)

Thank you
I appreciate it.

Thanks for the tour.
Thanks for your time.
Thank you for the nice gift.
I appreciate your kindness

When you enter the store/start a conversation with the clerk:

What a clerk might say:
May I help you?
Can I help you?
Can I help you find something?
What can I do for you?
What a customer might say:
Excuse me. Do you work here?
Can I ask you something?

What a customer might respond:
Yes. I’m looking for ________________.
Do you have any ___________ (s)?
Can you tell me where the ___________is/are?
When you check out/leave the store:
Did you find everything you needed?
Did you find what you were looking for?
Did you find everything okay?
Will that be all (for today)?
Is that everything?
(Will there be) anything else?
That’s all for today.
That’s it. Thanks.

Describing a Picture
What do you see in the picture?
There is a
There’s a
There are some
There’re some
Is there a . . . ?
Are there (some) . . . ?

On the right/left
Near the window
By the door
In the box
On the chair
Under the table
The man is _______ ing
The woman is __________ing
What is the man/woman wearing?
She/He is wearing a
What do you think
I think
Tell a Story
Yesterday, Ms. Jones . . .
Use PAST tense
A: What do you do for a living?
A: What is your occupation?
B: I’m a____(mechanic)___________.
A: A____(mechanic)_____________? That must be a lot of work.
B: It is. Every day I ___(fix)_____ ___(cars)______.
A: How interesting. How many___(cars)_____ do you __(fix)____?
B: I ___(fix)_____ about __(8)____ __(cars)____ every day.

Match the occupation with the daily activity.
1.      Mechanic
2.      Teacher
3.      Dentist
4.      Doctor/Nurse
5.      Journalist
6.      Fisherman
7.      Gardener
8.      Chef/Cook
9.      Fire fighter
     10. Photographer
a)      catch fish
b)      take pictures
c)      fix cars
d)     cook meals
e)      pull teeth
f)       plant flowers
g)      put out fires
h)      take care of patients
i)        teach classes
j)        write news stories
Use the occupations and activities to make conversations like the one above:
Paul, this is John.
John, this is Paul.
1. Have you met Paul?

2. Have you two met each other?
    Have you two met each other?

No, I haven’t.

No, we haven’t.
Yes, we have.
Paul, this is John.
John, this is Paul.
Anne, this is Marie.
Marie, Anne
Expressing Goodwill
. . .when someone is arriving
Welcome back!
Come in.
It's good to meet you.
(first time only)
It's good to see you again.
(after the first time)
. . . when someone is leaving
It's been nice talking with you.
Have a good/nice day.
Have a nice weekend.
Have a nice trip.
Have fun.
Keep in touch.
Good luck!
Good luck on your test.
You can do it!
Do your best.
Do the best you can.
Work hard.
Keep up the good work.
Take it easy.
Don't worry.
That's okay.
It's going to be all right.
Everything will be fine.
No problem.
Responses to good news
That's great!
That's wonderful.
That's really good news.
I'm glad/happy to hear that.
Good for you!
Good job!
Responses to bad news
That's too bad.
That's really sad.
That's terrible!
(for really bad news)
I'm sorry to hear that.
(for sad news)

1. May I help you?
2. What can I do for you?
3. Is there something I can help you with?
Yes, I’d like to buy these razors.
I’m looking for the cameras.
No, I’m just browsing.
Thanks anyway.
How much is this?
Okay, that’ll be $6.85 with tax.
They’re in Aisle Two.
It's $4.95.

Remember that in English, we divide prices at the decimal point.
For example:
four dollars (and) fifty-nine cents
four / fifty nine
(long way)
(short way)
(Time is also divided in a similar way: 12:47 is said “twelve / forty-seven”)
Americans often say large numbers in “phrases” of two digits.
For example:
two hundred sixty-seven
two / sixty seven
four thousand three hundred eighty-one.
forty-three / eighty-one
(long way)
(short way)
Some people also use two-digit phrasing with telephone numbers:

five-six-five // eighty-three / forty-seven
Practice the following prices (both long and short ways) with a partner:
That will be____(price)______
That comes to ____(price)____
*Also: a dollar seventy-nine
**Also: twenty-nine (dollars) even

1. I think you should buy the blue one.
2. I don’t think you should sell your car.
3. Let’s go bowling tonight.
4. Why don’t we go skiing on Saturday?
5. Why don’t you come with me to China?
That’s a good idea.
Thanks for the advice, but I really need the money.
Sorry, I can’t. I’m meeting a friend for dinner.
Sounds like a good idea. Where do you want to go?
Thanks, but I’ve already been there.

What are you doing this Saturday?
Do you want to go see a movie?
What's playing at the Century Fox?
Should we go see it?
How about "Run of the Mill?"
Why don't we go to a concert instead?
Not much.
That sounds good.
"Candlelight in the Window."
I'd rather not. I don't like horror movies.
No. I heard that's really boring.
Great idea!

1. Can you help me with my math?
2. Could you bring me some coffee?
3. Would you open the car door for me?
4. Could I ask you a favor?

Sure. What’s the problem?
I’d be glad to. How do you like it?
No problem. It looks like your hands are full.
It depends. What is it?

What did you say your name was?
Did you say Andersen or Henderson?
Is "Cathy" spelled with a C or a K?
And what was your address again?
Sorry, I didn't catch the last part.
I can't hear you very well.
It's Cathy Henderson.
Henderson, with an H.
It's C as in Cadillac.
72 West Sunshine Blvd., Suite 501.
Do you want me to repeat it?
Maybe you should turn down the radio.

1. Give me a paper towel.
2. Please mail this letter for me.
3. Would you please turn down that music?
4. Will you type my term paper for me?
5. Would you give me a ride home?
Here you are.
Okay. I’ll stop by the post office on my way home.
Sorry. Is it bothering you?
Sure. When do you need it?
Sorry. I’m not going in that direction

1. Do you want to dance?
2. Would you like to go hiking this weekend?
3. How about going swimming on Friday?
4. How would you like to play golf tomorrow?
No thanks. I’m kind of tired right now
Sure, I’d love to. What time should we meet?
Ah. Can I get back to you on that?
Sounds like a great idea. Where do you want to go?

1. Here. Have a cookie.
2. Would you like some pie?
3. How about a glass of wine?
4. What will you have (to drink)?
5. Would you like some more cake?
6. Can I get you some milk or something?
No thank you. It looks delicious though.
Thanks, but I don’t drink (alcohol).
Orange juice will be fine.
Sure. It’s really good. Did you bake it yourself ?
Well, a glass of water would be okay.

1. Can you play the piano?
2. How about the guitar?
3. Can Billy ride a bike?
4. Does Abby speak Mandarin?
5. Do you sing?
6. Is Connie good at dancing?
7. Do you know how to use a computer?
Yes, but not very well.
(I can play) a little.
No, he can't. He's too young.
Yes, she speaks very well.
Not really. I have no talent in that area.
Yes, she's a great dancer.
Of course!

1. We can stay here for the evening.
2. I may be in California next Monday.
3. She might not make it to the wedding.
4. We could go (and) see a movie.
    Or we could go out for ice cream.
I’d rather not. It’s only a few more hours (of driving).
Well, let me know what you decide.
That’s too bad. I hope she feels better soon.
That would be fun.

            Talking about locations
1. Where are the magazines?
2. Where is the remote control?
3. Where did you put the keys?
4. Where's the spider?
5. Where's Fluffy?
6. Where's Troy's toy truck?
7. Where did you find the book?
They're in the living room, on the coffee table.
It's probably on the sofa, between the pillows.
I think they're in the bedroom, in the top drawer.
It's in the bathroom, next to the bathtub.
He's probably hiding under the rocking chair.
It's outside by the big brick bridge.
It was on top of the refrigerator.

1. Excuse me. Is there a grocery store around here?

2. Can you tell me how to get to Phoenix?

3. Where’s Tanner’s Leather Shop?

4. How do you get to the bank?
Yeah. There’s one right across the street.

Sorry. I don’t live around here.

It’s on the corner of Holly and Vine. Next to the library.
Go straight down this street for two blocks. Turn left when you get to Maple Street. Stay on Maple for half a block. It’s on the left hand side.

1. Excuse me. Is there a grocery store around here?
2. Can you tell me how to get to Phoenix?
3. Where’s Tanner’s Leather Shop?

4. How do you get to the bank?
Yeah. There’s one right across the street.
Sorry. I don’t live around here.
It’s on the corner of Holly and Vine. Next to the library.
Go straight down this street for two blocks. Turn left when you get to Maple Street. Stay on Maple for half a block. It’s on the left hand side.
Where is the bank?
It’s on Main Street.
It’s next to the post office.
It’s between the bakery and the barber shop.
It’s on the corner of Ninth Street and Pine (Street).

Where’s Lagoon?
It’s in Davis County, near Kaysville.
It’s on I-15, between Farmington and Kaysville.
It’s ten miles north of Salt Lake City.
How do you get to the sporting goods store?
(on foot)
First, go down State Street until you get to 4th South.
Then, turn left.
Then, go down 4th South for three blocks.
It’s on the right side of the street next to Wendy’s.
(by car)
Take State Street to 4th South.
At 4th South, turn left.
Stay on 4th South for about three blocks.
The sporting goods store will be on the right, next to Wendy’s.
How do you get to (your house in) Lehi?
Take I-15 south about 20 miles.
After you cross the mountain, watch for the signs to Lehi.
Take the first Lehi exit.
When you get off the freeway, make a right turn at the stop sign.
Follow the road (15th East) for five blocks.
Make a left turn on Royal Drive.
Continue on Royal Drive until you see the big oak tree.
My house is on the left hand side.
It’s a two-story, red brick house with a large front yard.
You can’t miss it!

1. How do you get to work?
2. How long does it take?
3. How often do you ride the bus?
4. Do you ever walk to work?
5. Are you going anywhere this summer?
6. How are you going to get there?
7. Why don't you fly?
I usually drive my car.
It takes half an hour.
Once in a while.
No, that would take forever.
Probably to Jacksonville.
By train.
Airplane tickets are too expensive.

1. What does Martha look like?
2. What else can you tell me?

3. What is George like?

4. Tell me about your new apartment.

5. What did you think of the Himalayas?
She’s tall, dark and beautiful.
Well, she has long, black hair and blue eyes. She's kind of chubby and wears glasses.
He’s funny, cute and really rich. He reminds me of that guy on the Morning Show.
Well, it’s pretty small. It only has two rooms and a bathroom. But it’s comfortable enough for me.
Well, the view was gorgeous. Of course, it took two days to get there, and the weather was freezing!

Like / Would like / Look like / Be like

Would like vs. (Do) like
What kind of food do you like?
(Facts, personal preferences)
I like ice cream, bananas, soda pop
I like Chinese food.
What kind of food would you like?
(If you could choose)
I would like Italian food.
What kind of friend(s) do you like?
I like someone who is easygoing.
I like a person who has talent.
I like people who are kind.
What kind of person would you like to marry?
I would like someone who has a lot of money.
I like a man/woman/person who is friendly.

Be like vs. Look like
What does John like?
(What are his personal preferences?)
He likes horror movies, basketball, chocolate ice cream...
What does John look like?
(Physical description)
He is tall, dark and handsome. He has black hair and wears glasses.
What is John like?
(Description of personality)
He is a nice guy. He is very kind and friendly.

1. Which sofa should we buy?
2. I need a new watch.

3. Which runner are you cheering for?

4. I like the blue sweater.

5. How much sugar should I add?
This one is larger, but it is also more expensive.
The Classie is nicer than the Timebox.
That one is less affordable though.
Sammy. He’s the fastest.
But Timmy is the most handsome.
I think the red one is better.
but the green one is the best.
Only a little.
That’s too much!


When do you…

(present tense)

When did you…

(past tense)

When will you….
When are you going to
When do you plan to

What time do you…

Extended Time

How long do you…
      did you
      will you

How long does it take you to…

Ongoing Action

How long have you….


How often do you…

I usually/always…


I (past tense)

I will…
I am going to
I plan to

(same as above)

I (usually)
I (past)
I (future)

It takes (me)

I have …

I (present tense)

in the evening
at 9:00
on Mondays
before dinner
after I eat lunch
when I get home

last night
before class
while I was eating

next Tuesday
in a few days

at 7:30
around 4:00

from 9:00 to 11:00
for three hours

ten minutes
six days

for five days
for two hours
since yesterday

often, usually
always, never
once in a while
Non-count Nouns

I’d like to buy some ____________.
How much do you need?
Let’s see. Five ____s* should be enough.
All right. Five____s of ________.
Anything else?
No, that will be all for today.

*Use measure words with non-count nouns.
For example:
Three bottles of milk.
Two cans of soda pop.
A pound of ground beef.
Count Nouns

I’d like to buy some _______________s.
How many do you need?
Let’s see. Five (of them) should be enough.
All right. Five __________s.
Anything else?
No, that will be all for today.

Measure words can also be used for count nouns.
For example:
Four boxes of crackers.
A package of cookies.
Six pounds of apples.
Or: Six apples
      Seven donuts

This can be used to practice Count and Non-count nouns in context.
When talking about non-count items (such as sugar, water, toothpaste, etc.),
it is common to use measure words to indicate how much of the substance you are referring to.
Below are a few examples of measure words used in English.
A bowl of rice
A dish of spaghetti
A pound of meat/cheese
A piece of cake/pie
A can of soup
A box of cereal
A bag of flour
A carton of ice cream
A jar of peanut butter
A loaf of bread
A slice of bread/pizza
A package of pasta
A dash of salt
A cube of ice
A pack of gum
A head of lettuce/cabbage
An ear of corn
A kernel of corn
A grain of wheat/salt
A stalk of celery
A spear of asparagus
A clove of garlic
A teaspoon of medicine
A tablespoon of vinegar
A glass of water
A cup of coffee
A pint of blood
A quart of milk
A half gallon of juice
A gallon of punch
A tank of gas
A jug of lemonade
A bottle of wine
A keg of beer
A shot of vodka
A drop of rain
Personal items
A bar of soap
A tube of toothpaste
A container of shampoo
A stick of deodorant
A bottle of perfume/cologne
A roll of toilet paper
A ball of cotton
Sewing items
A spool of thread
A skein of yarn
A yard/meter of ribbon
A (square) foot/meter of fabric/cloth
A piece of paper
A pad of paper
A roll of tape
A stick/piece of chalk
A bottle/tube of glue
A jar of paste
A pair of scissors

1. Measure words can also be counted:
one slice of toast, two slices of toast, etc.
2. Some items can be either count or non-count, depending on composition or arrangement. For example,
A bar of chocolate (non-count [perceived as one solid item])
A box of chocolates (count [perceived as several individual items])

In the sample conversations below, R is the "Receiver" and C is the "Caller."
Conversation 1
R: Hello.
C: Hello. Is Steve there?
R: I'm sorry. He's not here right now.
C: What time will he be back?
R: Around five thirty.
C: This afternoon?
R: Yes. May I ask who's calling?
C: This is his friend, Greg.
R: Okay. I'll tell him you called.
C: Thanks.
Conversation 2
R: Tyler residence.
C: Is this Naomi?
R: No, this is her sister, Nancy.
C: You sure sound like Naomi.
R: Oh. Can I take a message?
C: Sure. Please tell her that Andy called.
R: Okay. I'll give her the message.
C: Thanks.
R: Bye.

1. Tell us about your trip.
It was the most horrible five days of my life. First, we missed our flight; then we had to wait four hours for our luggage. The food on the plane was terrible, and there was no shower in the hotel.
2. What happened to your ankle?
Well, my best friend and I went skiing over the weekend. I wanted to try something exciting, so I took the most difficult trail. I hit a bump and fell. Then I slid 500 meters before I could stop.
3. What did you do last summer?
We went scuba diving in Malaysia. It was my first time, so I learned a lot. We took a boat out to a tiny island, found the perfect spot, and swam for hours among the fishes.
Phrases for Conversation - Low Intermediate
General greetings and inquiries
How’s it going?
How’s everything?
How’s life?
(This means “How are you?” not “Where are you going?”)
Asking about present activities
What’s up?
What’s happening?
(What are you doing now?)
Asking and telling about recent events
What’s new?
Guess what?
(What interesting has happened since I last saw you?)
(I want to tell you something. Ask me about it.)
(The appropriate response to this is “What?”)
A: Guess what?
A: I just got a new job.
B: What?
B: Congratulations!

Bringing up a serious topic
Can I talk to you for a minute?
Do you have a minute?
Got a minute?
Rejoinders are quick responses to show that you are interested or paying attention.
(Oh) Really?
That’s interesting.
Is that right?

Note how rejoinders are used in the following situations.
1. I just got a new job.
2. I lost my wallet yesterday.
Oh really? That’s great!
Oh really? That’s too bad.

Rejoinders may also take the form of follow-up questions. Note how they are used in the following situations.
1. I just bought a new car.
2. Johnny is in the hospital.
3. I’m going to Hawaii.
You did?
He is?
You are?

Asking for Opinions
What do you think?
What’s your opinion?
What are your ideas?
Do you have any thoughts on that?
How do you feel about that?
Giving Opinions
I think we should get a new car.
I don’t think we need one.
I believe (that) smoking should be outlawed.
I don’t believe (that) it should be illegal.
In my opinion, Gone with the Breeze is the best movie ever made.
I feel that it’s the right thing to do.
I don’t feel that it’s such a good idea.
I agree.
So do I.
Me too.
Me neither.
I don't either.
(Agreeing about a negative idea.)
(Agreeing about a negative idea.)
You're right.
That's right.
Good idea.
I think that's a good idea.
I disagree.
I don't think so.
(No.) That's not right.
Yes, but...
(I'm sorry, but) I don't agree.

For Conversation Practice:
Wh- Questions can be used to ask for more information:
What did you do over the weekend?
Where did you go for Spring Break?
How was your trip?
When did you get back?
What kind of things did you see?
Who did you go with?
How many people were there?
Whose car did you drive?

When asking for details about a particular item you are considering buying, you can say
Could you give me some information about this computer?
Can you give me more details about that CD player?
Could you tell me about this bookcase?
What can you tell me about these blenders?

Textbook Recommendation: Touchy Situations, Chapter 1

are commonly used for asking permission
Can I ask you a question?
May I have a piece of cake?
Could I get you to turn off the lights

Some other common phrases are
Do you mind if I smoke?
Would you mind if I asked you something?
Is it okay if I sit here?
Would it be all right if I borrowed your lawn mower?

Giving Permission
Go ahead.
No problem.

Asking for Advice
What do you think I should do?
What do you suggest?
What would you do (in this situation)?

Giving Advice
I think you should get a lawyer.
Maybe you should try someplace else.
Why don’t you call the company?
If I were you, I would tell her.

First of all,
To begin with,
In the end,

What would you do if . . .
Suppose . . .
Imagine . . .

Present Hypothetical
If I were rich, I would buy a bigger house.
If I had a bigger house, I would invite my friends over.

Past Hypothetical
If Jack had been there, he could have prevented the incident.
If I had seen that movie, I would have cried.

Formal Hypothetical
Should you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Had I been there, I might have been able to help.

Bringing up a sensitive topic
Can I talk to you for a minute?
Can I ask you something?
Do you mind if I ask you something?
I need to talk to you for a minute.
I have to tell you something.
There’s something I need to tell you.
There’s something I think you should know.
We need to talk.
Prefacing a negative subject
I don’t mean to be rude, but . . .
I hate to tell you this, but . . .
I don’t know how to tell you this, but . . .
You might not like what I have to say, but . . .
I wish I didn’t have to tell you this, but . . .
This may be unpleasant, but . . .
This may seem blunt, but . . .

Accepting and refusing politely may depend on what you are asked. For example

Would you like some cake?
Yes, please.
Sure. Thanks
Okay. Thank you
No, thank you
I’d better not.
No, but thanks for offering.
Would you like to go see a movie?
Okay. Sounds good.
Sure. I’d love to.
Yeah. Good idea
No, I’d rather not.
I’m sorry, but I can’t.
No, but thanks for inviting me.
How about some more pie?
All right. Thanks
Looks good. Thanks
Don’t mind if I do.
No, thanks.
I’m really full. Thanks anyway.
Looks delicious, but I’ll have to pass.
How about going skiing this weekend?
Great. What time?
Sounds like fun.
All right. When and where?
Sorry. I’m busy this weekend.
I don’t think I can.
How about some other time?

It is . . .
This is something . . .
It’s something that you . . .
You can (verb) it.
You can (verb) with it.
You can use it to (verb).
It is used for V + ing.
You need it for V + ing.
You need/use it when . . .
If you want/need to (verb), then you can . . .
Is it . . . ?
What do you do with it?
What is it made of?
What is it used for?
What’s the difference between A and B?

Indirect Requests and Information Exchange

Tell someone to do something
Please tell Crissy to clean up her room.
Could you tell Bob to call me?
Tell him not to do that.
Tell someone some information
Can you tell them (that) the party starts at nine?
Please tell Mr. Hopkins (that) I will be late.
Ask someone to do something
Please ask Teresa to give me a call.
Could you ask Russell to be here at five?
Ask someone for some information (Yes or No)
Ask Paula if she is coming to the party.
Could you ask them if they did the homework?
Please ask her whether she finished the assignment.
Ask someone for some information (Open ended)
Ask Randy what he is doing.
Please ask her when she will be here.
Would you ask him what he wants?
Will you ask them how much it costs?

Tag questions are used when seeking confirmation of what one believes to be true. They restate, in question form, the previously spoken sentence. For example,
He is an engineer. Isn’t he?
They’re not from Colorado. Are they?
Zack is really tired. Isn’t he?
She is going to Taiwan, isn’t she?
You have never been to Las Vegas. Have you?
The Rays are playing the Jays. Aren’t they?
You went to the supermarket. Didn’t you?
Zane doesn’t live in Missouri. Does he?
Ms. Zeller has a new car. Doesn’t she?
(Positive statement, negative tag)
(Negative statement, positive tag)
(Positive statement, negative tag)
(Positive statement, negative tag)
(Negative statement, positive tag)
(Positive statement, negative tag)
(Positive statement, negative tag)
(Negative statement, positive tag)
(Positive statement, negative tag)
In tag questions, the corresponding pronoun and the first verb of the corresponding yes/no question are used. Also, notice that with positive statements, negative tag questions are used and vice versa. See also: Grammar: Yes/No Questions
Common mistakes:
You are the zookeeper. Yes
You’re the zookeeper. Aren’t you?
You come from Canada. No?
You come from Canada. Don’t you?
You’re the boss. Are you?
You’re the boss. Are you?
Simon is from Singapore. Isn’t it?
Simon is from Singapore. Isn’t he?
(Incorrect-in most situations)
Some modals can be used in tag questions: can, will, would, could, should and must.
Mr. James will be at the ceremony. Won’t he?
They couldn’t do it. Could they?
Note: When the subject is “I” and the statement is in present tense, aren’t is commonly used for tag questions.
I’m the winner. Aren’t I?
I’m the winner. Am I not?
(Common usage)

Phrases for Conversation - High Intermediate      Phrases for Conversation - High Intermediate
Giving your opinion
I think that . . .
I don’t think that . . .
In my opinion . . .
Asking for support or details
Why do you think that?
Could you elaborate?
Could you give (me) an example?
Can you illustrate that?
What evidence do you have?
Could you explain it in more detail?
Could you provide some details?
Supporting your opinions
Let me illustrate,
For example,
For instance,
To give you an example,
Let me give you an example,
To elaborate,
First, (second), etc.
(These phrases can be followed by details, examples, elaboration, or a summary of your main points.)
Asking for input
What do you think (about . . . )?
How do you feel (about . . . )?
Any ideas?
What are the alternatives?
Exploring Options
Let’s look at Option 1.
What (do you think) about Plan B?
How about the third alternative?
Let’s consider Bob’s proposal.
Moving on
Let’s move on to Option 2.
What about Plan C?
Let’s look at the fourth choice.
How about Mary’s idea?
Should we move on to the next point?
Before we move on, we need to consider . . .
On the other hand,
Yes, but . . .
You may be right, but . . .
I may be wrong, but . . .
Correct me if I’m wrong, but . . .
On the contrary,
(Be careful with this one. It appears to be a direct negation of what was just stated, but can actually be an emphatic reaffirmation of one’s own opinion. For example: It’s not hot. On the contrary, it’s cold.—“Not hot” and “cold” mean the same thing.)

There are five kinds of . . .
There are two types of . . .
There are three categories of . . .

We can divide (this) into three parts:
This can be broken down into four sections.
They are:

Opening a discussion
To begin with,
We need to discuss . . .
find out
Let’s start by (V ing)
We’ll start by (V ing)
The problem here is . . .
The important thing (here) is . . .
The main thing we need to discuss is . . .
Let’s look at . . .
It looks like . . .
It appears that . . .
Asking for input
What do you think?
How about you?
How do you feel about that?
Any ideas on that?
(That sounds like a) good idea.
Sounds good.
The problem with that is . . .
That raises the issue of . . .
brings up
Asking for Elaboration
Could you elaborate (on that)?
Could you tell me a little more about it?
Could you give (me) some details?
Could you fill me in on that?
Could you expound on that?
What else can you tell us (about that)?
Is there anything else you can tell us?
Is there more to it?
To elaborate,
To give you more information,
Let me explain.
Let me elaborate.
Let me tell you a little more (about it).
Let me give you some details.
What’s more,
Clarifying your own ideas
In other words,
What I mean is . . .
What I’m trying to say is . . .
What I wanted to say was . . .
To clarify,
Asking for Clarification
What do you mean (by that)?
What are you trying to say?
What was that again?
Could you clarify that?
Clarifying another’s ideas
You mean . . .
What you mean is . . .
What you’re saying is . . .
(I think) what she means is . . .
What he’s trying to say is . . .
If I understand you, (you’re saying that . . . )
If I’m hearing you correctly,
So, you think (that) . . .
So, your idea is . . .
Interrupting politely
Excuse me,
Pardon me,
Sorry to interrupt,
May I interrupt (for a minute)?
Can I add something here?
I don’t mean to intrude, but . . .
Could I inject something here?
Do you mind if I jump in here?
Getting back to the topic
Now, where was I?
Where were we?
What were you saying?
You were saying . . .
To get back to . . .
Asking for Instructions
How do you (do this)?
How do I . . . ?
What is the best way to . . . ?
How do I go about it?
What do you suggest?
How do you suggest I proceed?
What is the first step?
Giving Instructions
First, (you) . . .
Then, (you) . . .
Next, (you) . . .
Lastly, (you) . . .
Starting out
Before you begin, (you should . . .)
The first thing you do is . . . .
I would start by . . .
The best place to begin is . . .
To begin with,
After that,
The next step is to . . .
The next thing you do is . . .
Once you’ve done that, then . . .
When you finish that, then . . .

The last step is . . .
The last thing you do is . . .
In the end,
When you’ve finished,
When you’ve completed all the steps,
(Good morning, afternoon, evening)
I’m happy to be here.
I’m glad to have this opportunity to . . .
Today, I’d like to talk (to you) about . . .
My topic today is . . .
The focus of my remarks is . . .
I’d like to share some thoughts on (topic)
Main points
Let me start by . . .
First, let me tell you about . . .
I’ve divided my topic into (three) parts: (They are . . .)
Giving examples
For example,
For instance,
Let me illustrate,
To illustrate,
In conclusion,
To conclude,
To summarize,
To sum up,
Do you) know what I mean?
Do you know what I’m saying?
Do you understand?
Are you following me?
Are you with me (so far)?
Have you got it?
Any questions?
Got it?
Showing Understanding
I see.
I understand.
I get it./I got it.
Gotcha. (Informal)
Expressing Lack of Understanding
I don’t get it.
(I’m sorry.) I don’t understand.
What do you mean?
I’m not following you.
I don’t quite follow you.
I’m not sure I get what you mean.
What was that again?
Conceding to Make a Point
That may be true, but . . .
I may be wrong, but . . .
You might be right, but . . .
You have a good point, but . . .
You could say that, but . . .
Correct me if I’m wrong, but . . .
I don’t mean to be rude, but . . .
I hate to bring this up, but . . .
I don’t mean to be negative, but . . .
This may sound strange, but . . .
Focusing on the main problem/issue
What is the main problem?
What is the real issue (here)?
(I think) the major problem is . . .
Our primary concern is . . .
The crux of the matter is . . .
(As I see it), the most important thing is . . .
The main problem we need to solve is . . .
We really need to take care of . . .
It all comes down to this:
Asking for input
What should we do about it?
What needs to be done?
What do you think we should do?
What are we going to do about it?
Do you have any suggestions?
Any ideas?
Making Recommendations
I recommend that . . .
I suggest that . . .
I would like to propose that . . .
Why don’t we . . .
If you would like to make a comment or insert a remark in an ongoing conversation, it is polite to acknowledge what someone has just said before stating your own ideas.
Some phrases for doing this are:
That’s interesting. I think that...
Interesting point. I would add...
Hmmm. I hadn’t thought of that before.
Questions can also be a useful way of bringing new ideas into a conversation:
What do you think about . . .
Have you considered . . .
What about . . .
Sometimes a more direct approach is appropriate:
Can I add something here?
(Do you) mind if Paraphrasing involves restating someone else’s ideas in your own words.
There are several phrases that can be used to introduce paraphrasing:
So . . . (rephrase the other person’s ideas)
In other words . . . (paraphrase)
I understand. (You’re saying that . . .)
Oh. I see. (You want to say that . . . )
I get it. (You mean . . .)
So, what you mean is . . .
Let me see if I understand you correctly. . .
What I think you’re saying is . . .
If I’m hearing you correctly . . .
 I interject something here?

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