At the end of the previous blog, there were some everyday collocations that moved away from the basic verb + phrase format (e.g. take a break / make sure / get away with murder).
To help them sink in (make you remember), here a chance for you to practise using them.
Rewrite the following business email to your senior manager in France, using the following collocations for the bold sections:
Adequate supplies to meet demand
Cause insurmountable difficulties
Major turning point
Set realistic aims
Dear M Delarue
I have some good news from the HCM office which I think represents a change in the company and how we do things and what we can expect to do in the future.
We have stopped using the old business model because when we tried, it made many, many problems that we were unable to solve, no matter how hard we tried. Now we are seeing real and tangible progress.
Our main concern now is to make sure we have enough products to fill all the orders for all of our customers. We need to plan ahead; as Marketing Director, I am on the look out for new markets to break into.
Two areas spring to mind:China and India. It is our intention that we become market-leader in those territories but we must not wish for too much too soon as there are many factors that stand in our way, such as infrastructure and logistics.
Finally, could you please send us the newest, latest copy of the company handbook, as our one in five years old and is out of date and does not have the latest facts and figures.
The story so far … we have two young Asian cousins who are about to meet each other, after a long time. Boram, a caring, thoughtful young music student, is going to the train station to meet Leon, also a musician, who is travelling to Seoul but doesn’t know the city. Despite having a busy schedule, Boram insists upon meeting Leon and making sure he is safe.
After his journey, Boram feels certain Leon must be hungry and in need of coffee. She decides to take him to a great cafe near the station. They can talk and get to know each other.
Boram pays for the drinks, and they go to find a table:
Here, there are introducing themselves. The conversation may go something like this:
Boram: How was the journey ? Are you tired ?
Leon: No, I’m Ok, thanks. This coffee looks great. Wow, how long has it been ?
Boram: Hhmmm, let me think … it must be six years since we last meet. How are your parents ?
Leon: Both very well, thank you, and they send you a little present. So, mum says you play piano ?
Boram: Violin. I play in the university orchestra. You’ve grown so much !
Leon: Of course, I’m not ten anymore haha. You play ? Can I hear you sometime ?
Boram: Actually, I’m playing this afternoon. If you like, I can take you and introduce you to some of my friends.
Leon: That would be cool. You are so kind. I insist on buying you lunch to say thank you.
That was a fairly natural exchange of pleasantries. They both appear nice people, and very polite. However, it is not very exciting or interesting. So, let’s make Leon less grateful and more self-centred:
Boram: How was the journey ? Are you tired ?
Leon: Oh, man … it was like … boring, you know. No hot girls on the train.
Boram: Oh. Sorry. How is your coffee ?
Leon: It’s terrible, We have much better in Busan. This place is lame. Don;t you know any cooler joints ? You look a bit boring. Mum says you’re a musician ?
Boram: Yes, I play vio…..
Leon: I’m a musician, I play bass in a radicle hip-hop, thrash-metal band.
Boram: I’d love to hear your band.
Leon: Ha ! I don’t think so. We don’t make music for little girls. This is real music.
Boram: Oh, well, would you like to hear my orchestra play ?
Boram: Great ! We are playi …
Leon: No, idiot, I’m joking, I can’t listen to that old crap ! Hey, can you give me some money ?
What do you think of Leon now ? Not so nice, hey ? See how he interrupts Boram, mocks her music and then demands money ? He’s a ‘nasty piece of work.’
Let’s turn the tables. How about if Boram, despite looking angelic and ‘butter-wouldn’t-melt- in-her-mouth’ appearance, is in reality arrogant, impatient and thoughtless.
Leon: It is so nice of you to meet me. I haven’t been to Seoul before on my own.
Boram: I had no choice. My mum made me, I don’t want to waste my time here.
Leon: And thank you for buying the coffee. I was really tired.
Boram: Mum gave me the money. Come on, drink it then I can go. I’ve got more important things to do.
Leon: Oh, I don’t want to keep you if you’re busy …
Boram: ‘Busy’ ? I have rehearsals in two hours and I have to go all the way across the city to meet you. Ridiculous, a grown man like you needs me to hold his hand.
Leon: Really, if you need to go, it’s ….
Boram: Well, if you say it’s Ok, I’ll go. You know the way ? If not just ask someone or, I don’t know, get a taxi. Do you have my phone number ?
Leon: No, what is i… ?
Boram: Oh, it doesn’t matter, I’m to busy to pick up. I gotta go.
That should change our perception of Boram. Not so friendly now, is she ?
Try writing short dialogues for different situations:
1: Leon really wants to see the top museums
2: Boram wants Leon to meet her friend, she thinks they would be good together
3: Leon is having an interview for a job and he is very nervous. Boram supports him.
4: Boram wants to take Leon shopping for new clothes. Leon likes his clothes and they have a playful argument.
5: They discover they really don’t like each other but they have to stay together because they are family.
And now … what to do if you’re stuck at home, self-isolating, and have lots of time to kill. My internet friend, Rachel Kim, from South Korea has a tip about a new craze sweeping her homeland:Dalgona coffee: