29th April 2020
How would you describe the activity in these photos ?
Use expressions of opinion –
In my opinion// I believe // I feel // (It) seems to me // I assume
They look like // In my view // (He / it) appears to me // I imagine
How is it going ? // How are you ? // how are you doing ?
How is it going with the new software ? // How is the new software ? // Any problems with the updates ?
Are you busy ? // Can you give me a hand ? = Can you help me ?
Can you take over from Jill ? = Can you do what Jill is doing now ?
Have you made any progress // Have you made any headway ? // Are you working well on a big task ?
How did your interview go? = How was the interview ?
How did the meeting go?
Get back to me by 5 ? = Contact me by 5 o’ clock
Did you hear back from IT ? = Did IT contact you ?
What are you up to ? = What are you doing
What are you working on ? Can mean at the moment OR in general
Learning the ropes = learning what the job involves
snowed under = very busy
Let’s call it a day = We can finish work now
Can you run that by me again ? = Please repeat.
REMEMBER – saying ‘what ?’ can be quite rude in English; better to say:
Sorry ? Excuse me ? Pardon ?
Asking about current projects:
- What are you working on at the moment ?
- How is it going with your new assistant?
- Have you made any progress with your big project?
a) She is a little slow because she is still learning the ropes
b) We are preparing wages
c) It’s a big job but we’re making headway
Asking about recent events:
- How did your presentation go last week ?
- How was your business trip? When did you get back ?
a) It was great, thanks. I got back Monday evening.
b) Really well. Powerpoint is so useful !
Asking about news:
- What’s new?
- Did you hear back from that potential big customer yet?
- What have you been up to in your department?
a) Not yet, I’ll have to chase him up
b) In my job ? Nothing is new, same old thing, day in, day out !
c) We have been doing our year-ends.
Asking about plans and predictions
- When do you think they will finally sign the contract?
- Did you go to the conference this weekend?
a) No, I couldn’t make it, I was snowed under.
b) We should get their signature by Friday.
Glitch– a computer term meaning any small, unexplained problem with IT – now used to mean any small problem in life.