วันศุกร์ที่ 30 มกราคม พ.ศ. 2552

Phrases for Conversation

Supporting Opinions

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

Exploring Options

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 it 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:

Discussion Techniques

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,

Simple Presentations

(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 instance,
Let me illustrate,
To illustrate,

In conclusion,
To conclude,
To summarize,
To sum up,

Checking for Understanding

(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 . . .

Analyzing Problems

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.

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 I interject something here?


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 . . .

วันอังคารที่ 27 มกราคม พ.ศ. 2552

Days of the Week - word origins

Have you ever wondered where the names come from for the days of the week or why there are actually seven days in a week? I often have, but never really went into it until today. Nobody really knows why there are seven days in a week - there are so many different reasons. One being that God created the world in six days and had a rest on the seventh day. Another reason could be that there was one day of the week for each of the seven visible planets i.e. Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.

MONDAY - Monday is from Old English Mondaeg and means "day of the moon". It was dedicated to the Moon.
TUESDAY - Tuesday is an Anglo-Saxon name honouring the god of war called Tiw. It is pronounced "tue". It was dedicated to Mars.
WEDNESDAY - Wednesday is an Anglo-Saxon name honouring the god "Odin" or "Woden". It was dedicated to Mercury.
THURSDAY - Thursday is an Anglo Saxon name and means "day of thunder". It was dedicated to Jupiter.
FRIDAY - Friday is from Old English Frigedaeg, and is named after the Norse goddess "Frigg" who was the wife of Odin. It was dedicated to Venus.
SATURDAY - Saturday is named after the Roman god "Saturn".
SUNDAY- Sunday is an Anglo- Saxon name and means "day of the sun". It was dedicated to the Sun.

Why are there 12 months in the year, 60 minutes in an hour etc?

Why are there twelve months in the year?

Julius Caesar's astronomers explained the need for 12 months in a year and the addition of a leap year to synchronize with the seasons. At the time, there were only ten months in the calendar while there are just over 12 lunar cycles in a year.
The months of January and February were added to the calendar and the original fifth and sixth months were renamed July and August in honour of Julius Caesar and his successor Augustus.
These months were both given 31 days to reflect their importance, having been named after Roman leaders.

Who divided the day into 24 hours?

The Ancient Egyptians were the first to use 24 hours to divide the day. They divided the day into 12 hours from sunrise to sunset, and the night into a further 12 hours from sunset to sunrise.

Why are minutes and hours divided into 60?

When the hour was divided into 60 minutes, consisting of 60 seconds, the number 60 was probably chosen for its mathematical convenience. It is divisible by a large number of smaller numbers without a remainder: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20 and 30.

Basic English: Charles K. Ogden

Basic English: International Second Language
Ogden, C. K., 1968

If one were to take the 25,000 word Oxford Pocket English Dictionary and remove the redundancies of our rich language and eliminate the words that can be replaced by combinations of simpler words, we find that 90% of the concepts in that dictionary can be achieved with 850 words. The shortened list simplifies the effort to learn words, spelling, pronunciation, and irregularities. The rules of usage are identical to full English so that the practitioner communicates is perfectly good, yet simple, English.
We call this simplified language Basic English, the developer is Charles K. Ogden, and was released in 1930 with the book: Basic English: A General Introduction with Rules and Grammar. He founded the Orthological Institute to develop the tools for teaching Basic English. His most famous associate, I.A. Richards, led the effort in the Orient, which uses the techniques to this day.
The intent of Ogden is shown in the title of his seminal text, Basic English: International Second Language. English is the most widely distributed language, it is the language of international commerce, and is a language of simple structure. A student from western European is supposed to be able to learn the reduced language in 60 hours, that is to say, a motivated student spending three hours of a typical night school class, can learn vocabulary, pronunciation and idiom in a month.


come, get, give, go, keep, let, make, put, seem, take, be, do, have, say, see, send, may, will, about, across, after, against, among, at, before, between, by, down, from, in, off, on, over, through, to, under, up, with, as, for, of, till, than, a , the, all, any, every, little, much, no, other, some, such, that, this, I , he, you, who, and, because, but, or, if, though, while, how, when, where, why, again, ever, far, forward, here, near, now, out, still, then, there, together, well, almost, enough, even, not, only, quite, so, very, tomorrow, yesterday, north, south, east, west, please, yes

THINGS – 400 General words

account, act, addition, adjustment, advertisement, agreement, air, amount, amusement, animal, answer, apparatus, approval, argument, art, attack, attempt, attention, attraction, authority, back, balance, base, behavior, belief, birth, bit, bite, blood, blow, body, brass, bread, breath, brother, building, burn, burst, business, butter, canvas, care, cause, chalk, chance, change, cloth, coal, color, comfort, committee, company, comparison, competition, condition, connection, control, cook, copper, copy, cork, cotton, cough, country, cover, crack, credit, crime, crush, cry ,current, curve, damage, danger, daughter, day, death, debt, decision, degree, design, desire, destruction, detail, development, digestion, direction, discovery, discussion, disease, disgust, distance, distribution, division, doubt, drink, driving, dust, earth, edge, education, effect, end, error, event, example, exchange, existence, expansion, experience, expert, fact, fall, family, father, fear, feeling, fiction, field, fight, fire, flame, flight, flower, fold, food, force, form, friend, front, fruit, glass, gold, government, grain, grass, grip, group, growth, guide, harbor, harmony, hate, hearing, heat, help, history, hole, hope, hour, humor, ice, idea, impulse, increase, industry, ink, insect, instrument, insurance, interest, invention, iron, jelly, join, journey, judge, jump, kick, kiss, knowledge, land, language, laugh, law, lead, learning, leather, letter, level, lift, light, limit, linen, liquid, list, look, loss, love, machine, man, manager, mark, market, mass, meal, measure, meat, meeting, memory, metal, middle, milk, mind, mine, minute, mist, money, month, morning ,mother, motion, mountain, move, music, name, nation, need, news, night, noise, note, number, observation, offer, oil, operation, opinion, order, organization, ornament, owner, page, pain, paint, paper, part, paste, payment, peace, person, place, plant, play, pleasure, point, poison, polish, porter, position, powder, power, price, print, process, produce, profit, property, prose, protest, pull, punishment, purpose, push, quality, question, rain, range, rate, ray, reaction, reading, reason, record, regret, relation, religion, representative, request, respect, rest, reward, rhythm, rice, river, road, roll, room, rub, rule, run, salt, sand, scale, science, sea seat, secretary, selection, self, sense, servant, sex, shade, shake, shame, shock, side, sign, silk, silver, sister, size, sky, sleep, slip, slope, smash, smell, smile, smoke, sneeze, snow, soap, society, son, song, sort, sound, soup, space, stage, start, statement, steam, steel, step, stitch, stone, stop, story, stretch, structure substance sugar, suggestion, summer, support, surprise, swim, system, talk, taste, tax, teaching, tendency, test, theory, thing, thought, thunder, time, tin, top, touch, trade, transport, trick, trouble, turn, twist, unit, use, value, verse, vessel, view, voice, walk, war, wash, waste, water, wave, wax, way, weather, week, weight, wind, wine, winter, woman, wood, wool, word, work, wound, writing , year

THINGS – 200 Picturable words

angle, ant, apple, arch, arm, army, baby, bag, ball, band, basin, basket, bath, bed, bee, bell, berry, bird, blade, board, boat, bone, book, boot, bottle, box, boy, brain, brake, branch, brick, bridge, brush, bucket, bulb, button, cake, camera, card, cart, carriage, cat, chain, cheese, chest, chin, church, circle, clock, cloud, coat, collar, comb, cord, cow, cup, curtain, cushion, dog, door, drain, drawer, dress, drop, ear, egg, engine, eye, face, farm, feather, finger, fish, flag, floor, fly, foot, fork, fowl, frame, garden, girl, glove, goat, gun, hair, hammer, hand, hat, head, heart, hook, horn, horse, hospital, house, island, jewel, kettle, key, knee, knife, knot, leaf, leg, library, line, lip, lock, map, match, monkey, moon, mouth, muscle, nail, neck, needle, nerve, net, nose, nut, office, orange, oven, parcel, pen, pencil, picture, pig, pin, pipe, plane, plate, plough/plow, pocket, pot, potato, prison, pump, rail, rat, receipt, ring, rod, roof, root, sail, school, scissors, screw, seed, sheep, shelf, ship, shirt, shoe, skin, skirt, snake, sock, spade, sponge, spoon, spring, square, stamp, star, station, stem, stick, stocking, stomach, store, street, sun, table, tail, thread, throat, thumb, ticket, toe, tongue, tooth, town, train, tray, tree, trousers, umbrella, wall, watch, wheel, whip, whistle, window, wing, wire, worm

QUALITIES – 100 General

able, acid, angry, automatic, beautiful, black, boiling, bright, broken, brown, cheap, chemical, chief, clean, clear, common, complex, conscious, cut, deep, dependent, early, elastic, electric, equal, fat, fertile, first, fixed, flat, free, frequent, full, general, good, great, grey/gray, hanging, happy, hard, healthy, high, hollow, important, kind, like, living, long, male, married, material, medical, military, natural, necessary, new, normal, open, parallel, past, physical, political, poor, possible, present, private, probable, quick, quiet, ready, red, regular, responsible, right, round, same, second, separate, serious, sharp, smooth, sticky, stiff, straight, strong, sudden, sweet, tall, thick, tight, tired, true, violent, waiting, warm, wet, wide, wise, yellow, young

QUALITIES – 50 Opposites

awake, bad, bent, bitter, blue, certain, cold, complete, cruel, dark, dead, dear, delicate, different, dirty, dry, false, feeble, female, foolish, future, green, ill, last, late, left, loose, loud, low, mixed, narrow, old, opposite, public, rough, sad, safe, secret, short, shut, simple, slow, small, soft, solid, special, strange, thin, white, wrong

วันเสาร์ที่ 24 มกราคม พ.ศ. 2552

This Lotus Touts

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

FOUR. When you say, 'I love you,' mean it.

FIVE. When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.

SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.

NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.

TEN.. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name c alling.

ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN! .. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

FIFTEEN. Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.

&n bsp;SIXTEEN.'When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN. When you realize you 've made a mist ake, take immediate steps to correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when p icking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice

TWENTY- ONE. Spend some time alone.

Making the First 10 Minutes of an Interview Count

Seven Tips
By The Creative Group
A hiring manager can often tell if you're the right fit for his or her organization just minutes after the two of you shake hands. In a recent Robert Half survey, executives polled said it typically takes them only 10 minutes to form an opinion of a candidate during an employment interview, despite meeting with staff-level applicants for nearly an hour, on average.

With such a short amount of time to interact with a hiring manager, how can you evoke a positive response? Projecting confidence and enthusiasm is key, so keep the following advice in mind:

1. Dress to impress. For better or worse, a good part of the impression an interviewer first forms of you depends on how you're dressed. So wear a nice suit or business-appropriate dress, even if you know the office to be a casual environment.

2. Remain calm. One of the best ways to make a good first impression is to quell any pre-interview jitters. Plan to arrive at the interview destination 10-15 minutes early. This will give you time to compose yourself and relax a little.

3. Show some respect. Many hiring managers ask everyone who has interacted with a candidate -- from administrative staff to members of their department -- for feedback on the prospective employee. So be pleasant toward those you meet and avoid the urge to hold a loud cell phone discussion in the elevator or lobby.

4. Break the ice. Small talk plays an important role in the interview by helping to break the ice and put both parties at ease. If the hiring manager asks if traffic was heavy or if you had problems finding your way to the office, offer more than just a "yes" or "no" answer. Just be sure not to prattle on.

5. Focus on the little things. The fact that employers form opinions of candidates so quickly places additional importance on the more subtle points of the interview, such as giving a firm handshake, maintaining eye contact and practicing good posture. Your nonverbal cues can say a lot about your personality and interest in the position. Crossing your arms, nodding hurriedly or making tense facial expressions can all send the wrong message.

6. Demonstrate your knowledge. Hiring managers often start interviews by asking job candidates some straightforward questions about their experience, knowledge of the company and ability to excel in the position. For example, "Can you tell me a little about yourself?" "What do you know about our firm?" and "Why do you want to work here?" are three common questions. Research the business beforehand so that when answering these types of queries, you can relate your responses to the firm's needs or priorities.

7. Remain positive. The executives surveyed said interviews take an average of 55 minutes for staff-level job candidates and 86 minutes for management-level applicants. Even if you fear you've already made a negative impression in the hiring manager's mind, stay positive and focus on what you can do during the rest of the meeting to convince the employer you're right for the job. Consider whether you're making any common nervous mistakes -- such as rushing your responses or not listening to the full questions -- and adjust your communications as necessary.

No matter how well you prepare for an interview, things may not always go as smoothly as you had hoped. Whether you become tongue-tied or are thrown a curveball question, roll with the punches. Keeping a positive attitude and remaining confident in your ability to land the job is one sure way to impress any hiring manager.

The Creative Group is a specialized staffing service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals on a project basis with a variety of firms. For more information, visit

25 Perfect Phrases for Starting a Business Conversation

Have you ever wondered how to start a business conversation?

Conversation is the art of combining questions, listening, and self-disclosure so that two strangers can build a common ground between them. Be attentive, be curious, and be sincere.

So here are my 25 phrases you can use to start a business conversation:

General Business:

1. Tell me about your company/institution/school.
(This way you get a general idea of how your might help.)
2. Tell me about your current role?
(This helps you to understand the perspective of the person you are talking with.)
3. Do you like what you are doing?
(This gives you a measure of optimism in general.)
4. What specifically do you love/like about your work?
(This helps to understand the motivations of the person better.)
5. What are some of your biggest challenges facing you right now?
(This helps you to see how you might help address some of the top challenges.)
6. What are you passionate about? (This is my personal favorite question!)
(Notice if they give you a business response or personal response. This is just to get to know the person a little better and perhaps give you something to build common ground.)
7. What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
(This is just to get to know the person a little better and help build common ground.)

At an event:

8. I didn’t expect so many people to be here, you?
(This is simply small talk, you’ll need some back-up if this is a non-starter.)
9. The first speaker had some interesting ideas, what did you think?
10. This event has been great so far for me, how about for you?
11. I am so glad I finally got the chance to come here. This is my first time. You?
12. Which workshop/speaker have you found the most interesting/helpful?
13. This session is really crowded. What made you decide to choose this session?

Compliment Approach: (However, it is critical that you are sincere.)

14. That laptop bag looks really sturdy…you like it?
15. I read your website/blog/paper—really interesting. Can you tell me more about…
16. Heard about your new position, congratulations…what do you think will be your biggest challenges?
17. Great (watch/tie/shoes/scarf/jewelry). I bet there’s a story behind that. Where did you get?

Advice Approach:

18. Which one (food/drink/session/etc) do you suggest?
19. Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?
20. What do you think about X (fill in anything relevant)?

Popular Culture Approach:

21. What do you think about social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook?
22. What do you think about microblogging like Twitter and Plurk?
23. Are you a mac or PC fan?
24. Are you a Lost fan? What’s your theory?
25. What do you think gas and oil prices will be in six months?

Telephone language and phrases in English

How to answer and speak on the phone
Answering the phone
Good morning/afternoon/evening, York Enterprises, Elizabeth Jones speaking.
Who's calling, please?
Introducing yourself
This is Paul Smith speaking.
Hello, this is Paul Smith from Speakspeak International.
Asking for someone
Could I speak to John Martin, please?
I'd like to speak to John Martin, please.
Could you put me through to John Martin, please?
Could I speak to someone who …
I'm afraid Mr Martin isn't in at the moment.
I'm sorry, he's in a meeting at the moment.
I'm afraid he's on another line at the moment.
Putting someone on hold
Just a moment, please.
Could you hold the line, please?
Hold the line, please.
I'm sorry, I don't understand. Could you repeat that, please?
I'm sorry, I can't hear you very well. Could you speak up a little, please?
I'm afraid you've got the wrong number.
I've tried to get through several times but it's always engaged.
Could you spell that, please?
Putting someone through
One moment, please. I'll see if Mr Jones is available.
I'll put you through.
I'll connect you.
I'm connecting you now.
Taking a message
Can I take a message?
Would you like to leave a message?
Can I give him/her a message?
I'll tell Mr Jones that you called
I'll ask him/her to call you as soon as possible.

Writing business letters

Useful phrases: Yours faithfully or Yours sincerely?
You already know how important it is to speak good English in an international working environment. If you work for a company which does business abroad, you probably read and write a lot of English, too. Writing, just like speaking, is communication. In our letters and emails we need to express many things: authority, gratitude, dissatisfaction, etc. Expressing ourselves well and with the correct level of formality is an important skill.
Do you have that skill? Ask yourself these questions:
Do you present yourself in a professional manner when you write? What image do you give to the people who read your letters and emails?
In short, you want to give a professional image when you write to your customers and business partners. To get you started, we've prepared some lists of standard phrases. Take a look at:

Opening lines

Why do we need an opening line in a business letter or formal email?- to make reference to previous correspondence- to say how you found the recipient's name/address - to say why you are writing to the recipient.
10 Good Opening Lines:
With reference to your letter of 8 June, I ...
I am writing to enquire about ...
After having seen your advertisement in ... , I would like ...
After having received your address from ... , I ...
I received your address from ... and would like ...
We/I recently wrote to you about ...
Thank you for your letter of 8 May.
Thank you for your letter regarding ...
Thank you for your letter/e-mail about ...
In reply to your letter of 8 May, ...
Closing lines
Why do we need a closing line in a business letter or email? - to make a reference to a future event- to repeat an apology- to offer help
10 Good Closing Lines:
If you require any further information, feel free to contact me.
I look forward to your reply.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I look forward to seeing you.
Please advise as necessary.
We look forward to a successful working relationship in the future.
Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Once again, I apologise for any inconvenience.
We hope that we may continue to rely on your valued custom.
I would appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.

When 'Yours faithfully' and when 'Yours sincerely' in a business letter?
When the recipient's name is unknown to you:
Dear Sir ... Yours faithfully
Dear Madam ... Yours faithfully
Dear Sir or Madam ... Yours faithfully

When you know the recipient's name:
Dear Mr Hanson ... Yours sincerely
Dear Mrs Hanson ... Yours sincerely
Dear Miss Hanson ... Yours sincerely
Dear Ms Hanson ... Yours sincerely

When addressing a good friend or colleague:
Dear Jack ... Best wishes/Best regards

Addressing whole departments:
Dear Sirs ... Yours faithfully

100 Essential Business English Verbs

Here are 100 commonly-used verbs you should know and be able to use if you work in an English-speaking business environment.
charge for
get worse

List of 100 Essential Business English Nouns

100 commonly-used nouns you should know and be able to use if you work in an English-speaking business environment.

disadvantage distribution
environment equipment
preparation price

วันศุกร์ที่ 23 มกราคม พ.ศ. 2552

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Steve Jobs
Commencement Address at Stanford University
delivered 12 June 2005, Palo Alto, CA

I'm honored to be with you today for your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. Truth be told, I never graduated from college, and this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today, I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots. I dropped out of Reed College after the first six months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife -- except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl.
So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking, "We've got an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said, "Of course." My biological mother found out later that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would go to college. This was the start in my life.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life.
So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out okay. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked far more interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms. I returned coke bottles for the five cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first
Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the "Mac" would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on that calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever -- because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky -- I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz¹ and I started
Apple in my parents' garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a two billion dollar company with over 4000 employees. We'd just released our finest creation -- the Macintosh -- a year earlier, and I had just turned 30.
And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. And so at 30, I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down -- that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from
the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me: I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named
NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the world's first computer-animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, and I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometime life -- Sometimes life's going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love.
And that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking -- and don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking -- don't settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I've looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for "prepare to die." It means to try and tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and, thankfully, I'm fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept: No one wants to die.
Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It's Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it's quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called
The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the "bibles" of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 60s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and Polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along. It was idealistic, overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I've always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 glasses of wine...A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, 'I want you To recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things; your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favourite passions; things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.The sand is everything else; the small stuff.If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented.The professor smiled. 'I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend.'

A list of adjectives

-a- able adorable adventurous acidic afraid aggressive agreeable ajar alert alive amazing amused amusing ancient ashamed attractive average awesome awful

-b- bad beautiful beneficial better best big bite-sized bitter black black-and-white blushing boiling bouncy brave breakable brief bright broken brown bumpy bustling busy

-c - calculating calm careful careless caring charming chubby cheap cheerful clean clear closed cloudy clumsy cluttered cold colorful comfortable concerned cool cooperative coordinated
courageous crazy creepy crooked crowded cuddly cumbersome curly curvy cute

-d- damaged dangerous dark dazzling dead deep defiant delicious delightful delirious descriptive deserted disastrous disgusting dreary different difficult dirty distinct dizzy drab dry dull

-e- eager early easy elated elderly elegant embarrassed empty enchanted enchanting energetic envious equal even evil excellent excited exciting expensive extra-large extra-small

-f-fair familiar famous fancy far far-flung fast fat fearful fearless filthy fine first flaky flat flimsy fluffy foolish frail free fresh friendly frightened frightening full fumbling funny fuzzy

-g- giant gigantic gifted glamorous gleaming glistening glorious good gorgeous graceful grateful gray great greedy green grotesque gruesome grumpy gullible

-h-handy happy hard hard-to-find hateful healthy heavenly heavy helpful helpless hideous high homely horrible hot hungry husky

-i- icky icy ignorant ill-fated ill-informed impolite important incredible infamous insidious intelligent interesting irritating itchy

-j- jealous jittery jolly joyous juicy jumpy

-k-keen kind kindly

-l- lame large last late lazy lean light limping little long long-term loose loud lovely loving low lucky lumpy

-m- magnificent marvelous mammoth massive meaty meek mellow melodic messy milky miniature misty modern motionless mountainous muddy mundane murky mushy mysterious

-n- narrow natural naughty near neat new next nice nimble nippy noisy normal nutritious nutty

-o- obedient obese odd old old-fashioned open orange ordinary outgoing outrageous outstanding

-p- pale paltry perfect plain plastic pleasant polite poised poor powerful precious pretty precious previous pricey prickly proud puny purple pushy puzzled puzzling

-q- quaint quick quiet quirky

-r- rapid rare real red remarkable rich rigid right ripe roasted robust rotten rough round rude

-s- sad safe scared scary scrawny second second-hand selfish serious sharp shiny short shrill shy sick silent silky silly simple simplistic skinny sleepy slim slimy slippery slow small smart smoggy smooth soft solid sophisticated sore sour sparkling spicy spiffy spiteful spotless spotted squares tale steep sticky stingy stormy strange straight striped strong stupendous stupid sturdy substantial super superb superficial sweet

-t- tall tame tan tart tasty tedious tender tense terrific testy thankful thin third thirsty thoughtful tidy tight tiny tired tough tremendous tricky troubled truthful

-u- ugly unequal uneven unhealthy unique unkempt unknown unnatural unruly unsightly untidy unused unusual unwieldy unwritten upset used useful useless

-v- valuable vast victorious violet vivacious

-w- warm watery wealthy weak weary well-groomed well-made well-off well-to-do wet white whole wicked wide wide-eyed wiggly wild windy witty wonderful wooden worried wrong

-y-yellow young yummy

-z-zany zealous zesty

Adverbs -- Common List in American English

accidentally afterwards almost always angrily annually anxiously awkwardly
badly blindly boastfully boldly bravely briefly brightly busily
calmly carefully carelessly cautiously cheerfully clearly correctly courageously crossly cruelly
daily defiantly deliberately doubtfully
easily elegantly enormously enthusiastically equally even eventually exactly
faithfully far fast fatally fiercely fondly foolishly fortunately frantically
gently gladly gracefully greedily
happily hastily honestly hourly hungrily
innocently inquisitively irritably
joyously justly
lazily less loosely loudly
madly merrily monthly more mortally mysteriously
nearly neatly nervously never noisily not
obediently obnoxiously often only
painfully perfectly politely poorly powerfully promptly punctually
quickly quietly
rapidly rarely really recklessly regularly reluctantly repeatedly rightfully roughly rudely
sadly safely seldom selfishly seriously shakily sharply shrilly shyly silently sleepily slowly smoothly softly solemnly sometimes soon speedily stealthily sternly successfully suddenly
suspiciously swiftly
tenderly tensely thoughtfully tightly tomorrow too truthfully
very victoriously violently vivaciously
warmly weakly wearily well wildly
yearly yesterday

All the prepositions you need to know for your tests

aboard about above absent according to across after against ahead of
all over along alongside amid or amidst among around as as of as to as + ADVERB OF TIME + as as early as as late as as often as as much as as many as, etc.
aside astride at away from bar barring because of before behind below beneath beside besides between beyond but by by the time of circa close by close to concerning considering despite down due to during
except except for excepting excluding failing for from
given in in between in front of in keeping with in place of
in spite of in view of including inside instead of into
less like minus near to next to notwithstanding
of off on on top of onto opposite
other than out out of outside over past
pending per plus regarding respecting round
save saving similar to since than thanks to (this means because of) through throughout till to toward or towards (both forms are correct, but toward is considered slightly more formal)
under underneath unlike until unto up
upon up to versus via wanting with
within without