Íàçâàíèå: Business Grammar Builder. Äåëîâîé àíãëèéñêèé: ãðàììàòèêà (Ë.Â. Êîðóõîâà Í.Í. Íîâîñåëüöåâà)
Unit 14 modals and related verbs 4
Direct/indirect language A
Choice of language often depends on the social situation. Direct language is typical of informal situations, for example conversations between
colleagues. Indirect language is typical of formal situations, for example first
meetings where we have to be polite. In general:
- present forms (can, will) are more direct than past forms (could, would)
- short forms (Can you) are more direct than long forms (I wonder if you could)
To make a request (ask someone to do something) we use can, could, will, would. We can add the word possibly to make the request more polite. Could you (possibly) open the window, please?
Will/Would you give me a hand with these suitcases?
Question: My profession involves much socialising with middle/upper-class people. Can you recommend a small book in good modern manners and etiquette?
We use an indirect question to make the request more polite.
Do you think you could open the window?
I’d be grateful if you could open the window.
We can reply by agreeing to or refusing a request.
Agreeing: Sure. No problem/Yes, of course/Yes, certainly.
Refusing: Actually, it’s a bit inconvenient right now./I’m sorry but that’s not possible.
Requests with mind C
We can make a request with Would you mind... followed by an -ing form.
Would you mind repeating that?
Questions with mind mean Is it a problem for you? So, to agree to a request we say ‘no’.
A: Would you mind opening the window?
B: No, of course not.
To refuse we use a phrase like Well, Actually, To be honest and give a reason.
A: Would you mind opening the window?
B: Actually, I’m feeling quite cold.
To ask if we can do something we use can, could, may.
Can/Could/May I change my ticket?
Imagine a National Health Service in which patients are greeted at the door with a smile and a ‘how may I help you?’ Fantasy? It may not be as far away as you think.
We can use an indirect question to ask for permission.
Is it all right if I change my ticket?
I wonder if I could change my ticket?
We can ask for permission with Do you mind if I... ? or Would you mind if
I...? Notice the form of the verb that follows.
A: Do you mind if I smoke? A: Would you mind if I smoked?
B: No, of course not. B: Actually, I’d rather you didn’t.
We reply like in replies to requests. We often repeat the modal in the reply, but no when we reply to Could I... ? we say can not could.
A: Can/Could I speak to you for a moment?
B: Yes, of course you can.
Offers and invitations E
To offer help we use Can/Could/Shall I, Would you like me to, I’ll and Let
Shall I make a copy for you?
Would you like me to give you a lift?
I’ll give them a ring if you like.
Let me give you a hand.
To offer things we use Would you like or short phrases with choices. We reply by expressing a preference.
A: Would you like tea or coffee? A: What would you prefer?
B: I’d rather have coffee, please. Â. I don’t mind.
A: Anything to drink? Tea or coffee?
B: I’ll have coffee, please.
(= move it to an earlier time)
To invite somebody to do something we use Would you like to ...?
Would you like to come with us to the restaurant tonight?
We can reply to offers and invitations by accepting or rejecting them.
Accepting: Thank you very much./Thanks. I’d appreciate that./That’s
very kind of you.
Rejecting: That’s very kind of you, but ...../Thanks, but I can manage.
To make a suggestion we use Could, Shall, What about, How about, I think we/you should/could and Let’s. Notice the different forms:
We could/1 think we should/Let’s have a short break now. (statement)
What/How about having a short break now? (question + verb with -ing)
Shall we have a short break now? (question)
We often use the form of a negative question.
Couldn’t we/Why don’t we/Why not try to renegotiate this part of the
‘Describing my life takes hours. Why don’t you buy the business-school
case history about us? Everything is there.’- Nicolas Hayek, CEO of Swatch.
We can reply to suggestions by accepting or rejecting them.
Accepting: Yes, I think we should do that /That’s a good idea./ Yes, let’s do that.
Rejecting: I’m not really sure about that./That sounds like a good
(= reach the same place as)
MODALS AND RELATED VERBS
Exercise 1 (B, C, D, E, F)
Underline the correct words.
1 I’m very busy. Would you mind to give / giving me a hand?
2 Would you / Should you help me carry these boxes, please?
3 Do you like / Would you like some more soup?
4 May I / Would I ask you a personal question?
5 How about we talk / talking to another supplier?
6 Are you having problems? Will I / Shall I help you?
7 Are you having problems? Let me / I shall help you.
8 Would I / Could I borrow your copy of the FT?
9 I think you should / you can spend less time playing golf.
10 Excuse me, could you / may you tell me which street this is?
11 Do you think could I/ I could open the window?
12 Do you mind if I open / opened the window?
13 Would you mind if I open / opened the window?
14 Would you sign / Please to sign your name here?
Exercise 2 (C, D, E, F)
George is visiting Fernando in São Paulo. Complete the dialogue with the phrases from the list below.
FERNANDO: Please, come in. (1) ….. take your coat. It’s good to see you!
GEORGE: It’s very nice to be here in São Paulo. Thank you so much for your invitation to come and see your company. It was very kind.
FERNANDO: Not at all. It’s my pleasure. (2) ….. some coffee? Or mineral water perhaps?
GEORGE: I’d prefer mineral water, please.
FERNANDO: Still or sparkling?
GEORGE: Oh, (3) ….. , either would be fine. (4) ….. if I just make a quick call –
I didn’t get a chance earlier.
FERNANDO: (5) ….. . Go right ahead.
GEORGE: Oh, there’s no signal. Never mind. Um, you have a wonderful building here. It looks really impressive from the outside.
FERNANDO: It’s very new - we only moved in last year. It’s designed by one of our most famous architects, Cesar Pelli. (6) ….. show you around later?
GEORGE: Thanks. (7) ….. .
FERNANDO: Now then, (8) ….. get down to business (9) ….. telling me a little about your interest in our market? What exactly are your long term objectives here in Brazil?
GEORGE: Er, perhaps (10) ….. begin by explaining a little about the history of our company. I have a short presentation on my laptop. (11) ….. see it?
FERNANDO: (12) ….. .
Exercise 3 (B, C, D, E)
Read the following impolite dialogue between a hotel receptionist and a guest
1 Give me your name.
3 Spell it.
5 Leave your passport.
7 Of course.
9 It’s from seven thirty until ten.
11 Do you want a pen?
2 It’s Jessop.
4 It’s J-E-S-S-O-P.
6 OK. I want an early morning call.
8 When is breakfast?
10 Also. I must leave a message for a colleague.
12 Thank you.
Now rewrite the following lines from the dialogue. The words in brackets will help you.
Line 1 (May/have/name please) ….. Line 3 (Could/spell/that/me please) ….. Line 5 (Would/mind/your passport) …..
Line 6 (Do/think/bock me/early morning) ….. Line 8 (I wonder/you/tell me when) …..
Line 10 (Would/mind if I/message/colleague) …..
(= make a short, informal visit)
Line 11 (Would/like me/lend/a pen) …..
Exercise 4 (B, D, E, F)
Match situations 1-6 with questions a)-i).
This exercise includes many of the modal verbs covered in the previous units. Match each sentence 1–14 with a meaning a) – n)
(= have a friendly relationship with)
(= continue after stopping)