Wait, expect, hope, look forward to

For and Since: Simple English Videos ESL Lesson

I’ve got a new trick to show you. Oh good. Now you sit over here and I’ll sit over here. Uhuh. And then I’ll wave my magic wand. Nothing’s happened. Oh hang on. We’ve changed places. Yes. Well, I didn’t expect that. Here are four very common and very useful verbs and they have similar meanings so they can be confusing. Let’s look at what you need to know to get them right. We’ll start with ‘wait’. Mmmm. This is good. Wait! It’s not ready yet. Waiting is doing nothing until something else happens. Carter’s waiting for Ksenia to come. She’s going to take him for a walk. Wait for me. I’ll be about ten minutes. All right Mr Hunter. So waiting is just staying in a place and passing the time. Travellers wait for busses. Pedestrians wait to cross the street. And surfers wait until a big wave comes along. Notice what follows the word ‘wait’. We can wait for something. We can wait to do something. We can wait until something happens. And we can just wait. But notice that we can’t wait something. ‘Wait’ isn’t folowed directly by a noun. Now here’s a nice expression to learn. When we say we can’t wait for something, it means we want it to happen very soon. Milk and cookies. Santa Claus is coming tonight. I can’t wait. So if you want something to happen soon, say you can’t wait. I’m so tired, I can’t wait for the weekend. Now let’s compare ‘wait’ with another verb. I’m waiting for Jay to come home. I expect he’s looking for a parking space. Waiting is passing the time, but when we expect something, we think it’s probable. Ah Jay, this weather’s lovely. Yeah, but we’re expecting hurricane force winds tonight. Oh, we’d better take the deck furniture in. Yup. OK, give me a hand. If we don’t think something is probable, then we don’t expect it. For you. Oh, I didn’t expect that. Thank you. Come in. Oh, it’s you. Well, who did you expect? Frank Sinatra? So if something’s a surprise, say you didn’t expect it. Nothing’s happened. Oh, hang on. We’ve changed places. Yes. Well, I didn’t expect that. Well, well. This is a pleasure. I didn’t expect to see you Charlie. But Chris, you asked me. My wife. Well it’s good to see you anyway. Now here’s another expression. If a woman is going to have a baby, we can say she’s expecting. Mmm. Come in. Oh hi Rachel, sit down. Hi Rachel. Hi. How are you? I’m fine thanks. You look terrific. Thank you. You’ve put on a lot of weight Rachel. Well, yes Jay. I’m pregnant. You’re expecting? Yes. Congratulations! So you’re not fat. Now something to note. When we expect something we generally have a good reason to believe it’s goinjg to happen. So we’re waiting for Jason. Yes. Where is he? He left at ten so I’m expecting him any minute. OK. If Jason left at ten, we can expect him soon. If there are dark clouds, we can expect rain. So we expect things when there’s evidence that they’ll happen. Now notice that expecting isn’t about what we want to happen. We have other verbs for that. I got Vicki a necklace for Christmas. I hope she likes it. I hope you like the dinner. Sure. It’s fine. When we hope something, we don’t know if it will happen or not. Perhaps he’ll like the dinner, or perhaps not. I’m expecting a baby. I hope it’s a boy. So ‘expect’ is logical and rational and ‘hope’ is more emotional. It’s about what we want to happen. We didn’t win the lottery. Did you expect to win? No, but I hoped we would. OK. So we’ve looked at the verbs ‘wait’, ‘expect’, and ‘hope’, and there’s one more. So when are you going to California, Jason? Erm, the twenty second. I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends. When something good is going to happen and we think about it with pleasure, we look forward to it. I am going to take Carter for a walk. Oh, look at his tail wagging. He’s really looking forward to it. When we’re looking forward to something, we’re happy and excited about it. Good morning. I’m Joan Spencer. Oh yes, Miss Spencer. We’re expecting you. Won’t you have a seat? Thank you. How do you do Miss Spencer. Ready to go to work? I’m looking forward to it, Mr Arnold. You’ll often hear this verb in business contexts, and you’ll often see it at the end of business emails, when we’re referring to future contact and what’s going to happen. Look forward to’ is always followed by a noun. We look forward to things like parties, birthdays and holidays or vacations. So what happens if you want to use a verb after ‘look forward to’? I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends. You have to add -ing. That way to make a gerund. A noun form of the verb. Jay, your mum called earlier. Oh yeah? Yeah, she’s looking forward to seeing us on Sunday. Sunday? Oh! And that’s it for these verbs. We hope you’ve enjoyed this video and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Bye!

How to sell features and benefits in English

Features and Benefits – Selling a product: Simple English Videos ESL Lesson

It’s my first day as a salesman. I wish Vicki were here.Don’t worry, I am here. Good. I’m a little nervous.You’re going to be great. I’ve got my magic wand so I can help you. You’ll be here if I need you?Yes. I’ll just be invisible. Oh look, here comes a customer. In this lesson you’re going to learn some useful English phrases for talking about products along with some great phrases for selling. And you’re also going to learn some phrases for persuading people and selling your ideas. Where did Vicki go? Oh, good morning. Can I interest you in our product?I don’t know. What is it? It’s a lighter. I see.It contains flammable gas.Well, it’s a lighter. Of course it does. It’s 12 inches long.I can see that.And it’s red.I don’t think I like the colour. Vicki! Vicki, it’s not going well. That’s because you’re just talking about the features. Tell her about the benefits. The benefits? Yes. How is it going to make her life better? Oh I see. And don’t forget to let her try it. Have another go. Good morning. I have a product that will make your life easier. Really? What’s that? You can throw away your matches and use this to light all your candles, fires and grills. Oh it’s a lighter.This long pipe keeps your hand away from the flame so you never get burned. I like that. I’m not sure about the colour though.It’s bright red so it’s easy to find in the kitchen drawer. Well, that makes sense.Try it. It doesn’t work.No, it does. Pull hard. It’s very stiff.It has a safety catch. Would you like to buy it?No, I don’t think so. It’s too difficult to operate.We sold half a million last year.Thanks all the same.It’s only ten dollars. Vicki! It’s OK, don’t panic. You were doing well. You just need to explain how it works and tell her the benefits. The benefits.Yes, that safety catch is a great feature, and it’s a terrific price.OK.Try again. Do you want to try it?Yes please.Now pull very hard. It’s stiff because there’s a safety catch. Yes, it is very stiff. That’s a special feature. It means you don’t have to worry about children playing with it. It’s childproof.Exactly.That’s very good. How much is it?” Just $10, so you can afford to buy one for all your friends and family .Hmmm. People often give them as gifts because they’re so useful. I need to get some Christmas presents. We sold half a million last year.OK, I’ll take twenty.Sure. Would you like to pay by cash or credit card? Thanks Vicki! So Jay got the sale! Now did you understand everything they said? Let’s check some vocabulary. It contains flammable gas. Well, it’s a lighter. Of course it does. Flammable means easy to burn and set on fire. And what about inflammable? Does it mean the opposite? No! Inflammable means the same as flammable. Sometimes English is so confusing. OK. Let’s look at the word ‘light’ . You can throw away your matches and use this to light all your candles, fires and grills.Oh, it’s a lighter. Light’ is a verb here. It means make something start to burn. We can light fires, grills, cigarettes and candles. Notice we don’t set fire to them. We light them. We only set fire to things when we want to destroy them. OK, two more words. It is very stiff.That’s a special feature. It means you don’t have to worry about children playing with it.It’s child proof.Exactly. If something is stiff, it’s difficult to move. And if something is childproof, it’s designed so that young children can’t open or use it. Lids on medicine bottles are stiff so they’re childproof. Great. Now let’s look at some phrases you can use to sell products. It’s 12 inches long. Features are facts that describe a product and say what’s special about it. But if you want to sell the product, you probably need to talk about its benefits. This long pipe keeps your hand away from the flame so you never get burned. Benefits are things that make our lives better. Let’s look at some more. It’s bright red. It’s easy to find in the kitchen drawer.Benefits are things that make life easier. It has a safety catch. You don’t have to worry about children playing with it.Benefits are also things that make life more pleasant and worry-free. It costs ten dollars. You can afford to buy one for all your family and friends. So notice these phrases. They’re are useful when you’re selling a product, and they’re also useful for selling your ideas. When you want to persuade someone to do something, talk about its benefits. Tell them the good things that will be possible. You can also use these phrases to tell them how your ideas will make their life better. You know this lighter has another feature.What’s that?A flame adjuster switch.What’s the benefit of that? Well, when you’re lighting birthday candles, you just want a little flame. But when you’re lighting the grill you want a big one.

Baseball Idioms Part Four

Baseball Idioms 4: Simple English Videos ESL Lesson

This is our final video on baseball idioms. You’ll learn some great new expressions. And you’ll learn a song. Come on. Let’s get going. The wonderful thing about baseball is you never know what will happen. Every game is different. It’s a new game with new possibilities. We need an idea for a sales promotion. Let’s have a competition. We had one last year. And nobody entered. Forget last year. It’ll be very different this time. We do have a lot of new products this year. Exactly. It’ll be a whole new ball game. Hmmm. A whole new ball game? Yes, it means a completely different situation – totally new. Now we’d better tell everyone about home plate. It’s a piece of white rubber and it has five sides. It marks the place where the batter stands. Yes, home plate is where a lot of the action starts. When a batter steps up to the plate…. Hang on. There’s another idiom. We’ve got a problem. The website went down three times last week. Yes, I’m afraid the webmaster quit. There are problems with the code, but we have no control over that. Well, who’s responsible then? Somebody’s gotta fix it. Yes, fix the code. It’s quite a challenge. Well, who’s going to do it? What? Me? Don’t worry Christina. Jay will fix it. It’s a wonderful challenge for him. He can’t wait to start. Excellent. Thanks for stepping up to the plate, Jay. Bye now everyone. But I don’t know anything about website code. So to step up to the plate means to take on the responsibility for something. Yes, when the batter steps up to the plate, they rise to a challenge. Now how many chances does the batter get to hit the ball, Jay. Well, it depends. They can only get three strikes. Now I’m the batter. The strike zone is from my chest to my knees. If the pitcher throws a ball and it’s in the strike zone and I don’t swing, that’s a strike. If I swing and miss, that’s a strike too. Three strikes and you’re out. That’s another idiom! You were two hours late this morning. Yeah. And you were two hours late last Wednesday. Yeah, sorry. That’s two strikes. If you’re late again, you’re out. You’d fire me? Yes. Three strikes and you’re out. So a strike is a kind of failure. That’s right, and you’re only allowed to fail three times. After that, you’re out. Now tell us about left field and right field. Left field is a long way from first base. It’s hard to throw the ball to first base from left field. So it’s surprising when balls come out of left field. Yeah. We have big plans for you, Graham. We’re going to give you a promotion. You’re going to be our sales manager for all of Asia. Gee, I’m sorry guys, but I quit. You’re resigning? Yeah, I got a better job. But we had everything planned! Wow! That came out of left field. So something out of left field is surprising. Yep. It’s odd or strange. It’s often something bad too. We don’t expect balls to come from left field. They’re unconventional. Yep. When ideas are crazy or eccentric, we might say they came out of left field. So is it the same with right field? No, that’s a little different. Right field is a quiet place. Nothing much happens there. How long have you been working here, Jay? Twenty seven years. And you’ve always had the same job? Yep. You’ve never had a promotion? No. Sounds like you’re stuck out in right field. Yep. So if you’re stuck in right field, nothing much happens. Yeah, if you’re in right field, you’re disconnected from the action. I’ve heard a lot of these basball idioms used in British business conversations as well. And some of them are similar to cricket. But some of them were a whole new ball game for me too. We hope you find them useful. Yeah, we hope they help you hit it out of the park. We’ll be batting for you. Batting for you? Yes, we’ll be on your side, rooting for you. Rooting for you? Yeah, you root for your favorite team. You mean you support them. Yeah, like I root for the Phillies. Root, root, root for the home team, if they don’t win it’s a shame. And it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out at the old ball game.

Sympathetic and Nice

Sympathtic: Simple English Videos ESL Lesson

We had a big phone bill last month. Oh really? Why? I sat on my phone and it called China. That stinks. How much was it? Six hundred dollars. What? That’s awful. What a bummer! Sympathetic and nice. What’s the difference? Ashley’s got a bad cold. Oh you poor thing. Do you want a hot drink? Oh, I think I’ve got some aspirin in my bag. Someone who’s sympathetic understands other people’s feelings, especially their problems. Oh Jay. Look at you! I spent too long in the sun. You poor thing! Let’s go and find some cream to put on it. Hi. Hey. I just got a parking ticket. Oh, that’s terrible. Oh my! Thirty six dollars. I’m so sorry. So what can we say when we’re sympathetic? That stinks. Oh that’s terrible. What? That’s awful. What a bummer! On my! You poor thing! I’m so sorry. So people who are sympathetic are kind to people who have problems and they show they care about them. Poor Maria. You really have had a wretched time of it. You are very understanding. If only there was something I could do. Just now if you could bring me an aspirin. I have a headache. Don’t move. Just you wait there. I’ll be back in a moment. But sympathetic doesn’t mean friendly and pleasant in English. Someone like that is nice. I met the new logistics manager. She was very friendly and pleasant. Yeah, she’s very nice, isn’t she? Nice. We use this word a lot. Especially in British English. That was a fantastic movie. It was awesome. Yeah, it was nice. Just nice? Yeah, I really liked it. I’ve got so much to do. Yeah. I’m worried. How am I gonna get it all done. Uhuh. Oh Jay. What? Well you’re not very sympathetic. Hey. Have I told you that I love you very much? Oh. He’s not very sympathetic, but he’s very nice. Can I tell them to hit the subscribe button now? Yeah, go on. Subscribe! Subscribe!

Understanding in business meetings

Managing Discussions – Part 3: Simple English Videos Lesson

Kathy, do you have a moment? Yes? I just received this message and I don’t understand it. What does IDK mean? The letters IDK? Yes. I don’t know. Hmm. I’ll ask Vicki. Vicki, what does IDK mean? I don’t know. Well I don’t know either. People are so hard to understand. I’ll go ask Louise. Welcome back to our third video on managing discussions. Sometimes the hardest thing about business meetings in making sure everyone’s understood one another. And that’s what this lesson’s all about. So let’s go back to the meeting we’ve been following and see how they do it. Are we wrapped up then? Yeah. Ah, just a moment. Is there anything else anyone wants to say? Is the meeting going to be at eleven o’clok again next week? Yes, is that a problem? Well sometimes I have to go to the other site in the morning and it’s hard to get here in time. Sounds like you need a faster car then. I’m afraid I have another meeting at two. Errr, don’t worry about it then. Just get up earlier on Tuesdays. Yeah. So are you saying it’s not a problem, Jay? I’ll work something out. OK. So we’ve agreed we’ll meet at eleven o’clock again next Tuesday. Yeah. Fine. Are we finished then? Looks like it. Yes, this meeting is officially over. Did you understand everything? What about this phrase? Are we wrapped up then? Yeah. Wrapped up means finished. And what about Jay’s question. Is the meeting going to be at eleven o’clock again next week? Why did Jay ask that? Because the time was difficult for him. Well sometimes I have to go to the other site in the morning and it’s hard to get here in time. So are they going to change the time of the meeting for Jay? No. I’ll work something out. When we work something out we find an answer, a solution to a problem. Great! So now let’s look at some things you can do to check everyone understands in meetings. The first one is summarize the important points. People say a lot of things in meetings so make sure the key points get heard. If you’ve made a decision, briefly restate it. OK, so we’ve agreed we’ll meet at eleven o’clock again next Tuesday. Summaries like this are helpful. Everyone can check they’ve understood. And that’s good because sometimes people don’t hear things. I didn’t hear what you said. I didn’t catch that. Sorry? Can you say that again? What was that again? You can use all these phrases to get people to repeat things. And if you don’t understand, you can say something like this. I’m not following you. I don’t get it. What do you mean. But if you don’t understand, try to be specific. So customers in Europe need to pay VAT. OK? No, I don’t follow. You don’t understand. No, I don’t get it. What don’t you get? I forgot. Customers in Europe will need to pay VAT. What do you mean by VAT? Value Added Tax. It’s similar to sales tax in the US. Oh, I see. This question’s specific. It tells us what you don’t understand. Now there’s another very useful way to check you’ve understood. That’s to paraphrase. Let’s watch Louise doing it. I’m afraid I have another meeting at two. Errr, don’t worry about it then. So are you saying it’s not a problem, Jay? I’ll work something out. To check she’s understood, Louise paraphrases – she puts what Jay says into her own words. So are you saying it’s not a problem, Jay? I’ll work something out. Customers in Europe will have to pay VAT. So are you saying they’ll have to pay a kind of sales tax? Yeah, sort of. OK. I get it. So are you saying that IDK means I don’t know? You gotta be kidding me. Now what about ending a meeting? First you’ll want to check that everyone has finished talking. Is there anything else anyone else wants to say? It gives people a chance to speak if they want. And if they don’t, you can end the meeting. This meeting is officially over. And this video series is officially over too. If you have anything else you’d like to say about managing discussions and business meetings, please write to us in the comments. And make sure you subscribe to our channel so you can stay up to date with all our videos. Subscribe to our channel to see more of our videos. And if your organization needs specialized English language training, we make videos for that too. So get in touch if we can help.

Come, Go, Bring, Take, Fetch and Get

Come Go Bring Take Fetch: Simple English Videos ESL Lesson

Carter, bring me the newspaper. Carter, get the newspaper. Why don’t you go and fetch it yourself? No, he has to learn. Carter, bring me the newspaper. I don’t think it’s working. This lesson’s about some very common verbs that can be confusing. These four verbs are all irregular. Can you remember them? Come, came, come. Go, went, gone. Bring, brought, brought. Take, took, taken. Great! Now the tricky thing is the meanings. Let’s start with ‘come’ and ‘go’. I’m getting hungry. Well, we’re having dinner with Graham and Carole tonight. Now are they coming here or are we going there? We’re going there. Oh good. You don’t like my cooking. (Laughter) I love your cooking. We use ‘come’ for movements towards us. We use ‘go’ for movements away. Come. Good boy. Good boy. Go to your crate. Good boy. Bring’ and ‘take’ are similar. The direction is important. The mailman’s brought the mail. I’ll take it to Vicki. So we use ‘bring’ for movements towards us. We use ‘take’ for movements away. There’s a good boy. Jay, erm, if you bring me his leash I’ll take him out. OK. Thank you. There’s a good boy. So it’s easy, huh? Come here. Go away. Bring it here. Take it away. Well not quite. ‘Go’ and ‘take’ are straightforward. We use them to talk about movement to another place. But ‘come’ and ‘bring’ are a little tricky because sometimes we imagine ourselves in the position of the person we’re talking to. We choose the verb that matches their point of view, not ours. A dinner party? Oooo, we’d love to come. What can we bring? So I’m speaking about the position of the person I’m talking to here. A dinner party? Oooo, we’d love to come. What can we bring? So here’s a way to think about it. Coming and bringing – movement towards you or the person you’re talking to. OK. Dinner’s ready. I’m coming. OK. Dinner’s ready. I’m coming. Is Juan here yet? No. Erm.. Where are you holding the meeting? Room 306. I’ll bring him up when he arrives. Thanks. Is Juan here yet? No. Erm.. Where are you holding the meeting? Room 306. I’ll bring him up when he arrives. Thanks. Now there are two more verbs to look at before we stop. ‘Fetch’ is a regular verb and ‘get’ is irregular. Get, got, gotten. Get, got, got. No it’s get, got, gotten. British and American English are a little different. OK, I’ll be back in half an hour. Oh, are you going to the cafeteria? Yes. Could you get me a doughnut? Yes. So ‘get’ means go to a place and bring something back. In British English we can say ‘fetch’ here too. It means the same as ‘get’. OK, I’ll fetch you a doughnut. You mean you’ll get one for me. Yes. Great! Fetch’ sounds very old fashioned in American English. Oh, did you get me a doughnut. No, sorry. They’d sold out. I got a cheese sandwich instead. But I don’t like cheese. Well, not to worry. I do. Subscribe to our channel to see more of our videos. And if your organization needs specialized English Language Training, we make videos for that too. So get in touch if we can help.

Baseball Idioms Part Three

Baseball idioms – Part 3: Simple English Videos ESL Lesson

Welcome back to our third video on baseball idioms. Baseball is such a great game. If you can understand it. Baseball’s really popular in the United States. Everyone loves a trip to the ballpark. Ballpark. It’s part of our first idiom. How much will you need to fix the roof. I don’t know. There’s materials, paint, labor. Well, just give me a ballpark figure. Maybe five thousand dollars. What? A ballpark figure. It’s an estimate. So many people attend a big game that it’s hard to count them accurately. So a ballpark figure is a rough estimate of a big number. Yes, baseball crowds are large. The thing is everyone grows up playing baseball here. There are lots of little leagues. Leagues – we have them in football too. Soccer. Leagues are groups of teams that play one another. Yeah. Kids play in little leagues and professional players play in the big leagues. Big leagues! Another idiom. Oh boy, have we got a problem. We’d better hire a lawyer. We’d better hire a big league lawyer. So what’s a big league lawyer? A very important one. They operate at the top level. They know how to play hard ball. Hard ball? You can play baseball with a hard or a soft ball. Hard balls are dangerous so kids learn to play with softballs. It’s a lot of money. Everyone wants to win this contract. The competition will be tough. Yep, they’ll be playing hard ball. So if someone plays hard ball? It means they’re strong, experienced and willing to take risks. So to play hard ball is to play tough. Maybe aggressively. Baseball can be a dangerous game. Now here’s another idiom with the word ‘league’. Everybody say hey! What are you watching? Oh I love this video that Jason made. Me too. He’s fantastic in it. Yeah, he’s in a league of his own. If you’re in a league of your own you’re exceptional. Yeah, you’re too good even for the top team. Now statistics are important in baseball, aren’t they? Yes, we have batting averages. If a batter has a perfect record for hitting the ball, they get a batting average of a thousand. I’ve been reviewing everyone’s sales figures. Vicki, your results are excellent. Thank you. You’ve been our top salesperson every month this year. You’re batting a thousand. Batting a thousand. Now Jay. It’s been a difficult year for me. I can see that. You’re in a slump. So batting a thousand. That’s the maximum possible. You can’t do better than that. And if a batter is in a slump? Their statistics have been very bad. OK. It’s time to stop but we hope these idioms will help you bat a thousand. And come back soon and we’ll have another baseball idioms video. What are you eating? Oh. Crackerjacks. People eat them at ball games. Would you like some? Oh yes please. Here we go. They’re like in the song. Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks. You know we should teach them the song in the next video. Yeah. It’s like popcorn. Yep.

Making decisions in business meetings

Managing Discussions – Part 2: Simple English Videos Lesson

OK everyone. It’s decision time. Yes or No? Jay? I’m not sure. What’s your opinion? Oh. How do you feel about it? I don’t know. What do you think? It’s difficult. Do you have any thoughts, Kathy? Yeah. I think we should make a decision. Right now? Welcome back to another video on managing business discussions. Meetings always have a purpose. It could be to pass on information or update everyone. It could be to brainstorm ideas. Or it could be to make a decision. Let’s watch a meeting where a decision is being made. So we need to decide what we’re going to do about getting tablets. Oh, I’d love a new tablet. Me too. Let’s get them. How soon can we have them? Hold on. How do you feel about this, Gemma? We need to check out some different prices. You know there could be some better deals out there. Jay? She’s got a point. Sally? Mmm. I suppose so. Could you do some research Gemma, say by next Tuesday? Tuesday? Yeah, no problem. OK great, so Gemma will get some prices and we’ll review the matter at our next meeting. So did you understand everything? What was the topic of the discussion? Getting new tablets. And did they decide to buy some? No. They’re going to do some research first. We need to check out some different prices. You know there could be some better deals out there. Notice the phrase ‘check out’. It means look at or examine something to see if it’s good or acceptable. Deals are special low prices. Great. So now let’s look at some phrases you can use to reach decisions in your English meetings. First you need to get everyone focused. We need to decide what we’re going to do about getting tablets. So tell everyone what they need to do. Different people may have different opinions and ideas and that’s a good thing, or it can be. But we can make some bad decisions at meetings if we don’t listen to the right people. Oh, I’d love a new tablet. Me too. Let’s get them. How soon can we have them? Hold on. How do you feel about this, Gemma? Hold on. Stop or pause so we can collect different opinions. Now there are different ways to ask for opinions. We can simply call on people by name. Jay? She’s got a point. Sally? Mmm. I suppose so. And we can ask what they’re thinking. All these phrases work and they’re very common and useful for meetings. There are more phrases you could use. These are less common but you might hear them in a formal business meeting, a news interview or a formal debate. Welcome to Education Today. And tonight’s question is should schools give tablets to students? Where do you stand on that, Mrs Fagan? Oh they must! And what’s your opinion, Mrs Hollett? Absolutely not! And there you have it. Two perspectives on whether schools should give tablets to students. Once you’ve collected everyone’s thoughts, you can come to a decision. For a meeting to be effective, it has to have results. So you also need action points. Could you do some research Gemma, say by next Tuesday? Tuesday? Yeah, no problem. There are three elements to this action point. What’s the job – the action we’re going to take? Who is going to do it? We need to know who’s responsible. And when by? What’s the deadline? We need to get price estimates. That’s a big job. Yeah, I don’t have time I’m afraid. I’m busy too. What? You need to get three price estimates by Friday. Who me? Yes, make a note of it Jay. Jay to get three price estimates by Friday. Good. What’s the next item on the agenda. So we’ve looked at a three step process here. First tell everyone what they need to decide. We need to decide what we’re going to do about getting tablets. Second, collect opinions so you can make a good decision. How do you feel about this Gemma? And third create an action point. Decide who will do what and by when. Could you do some research Gemma, say by next Tuesday? And don’t forget to summarize the decision so everyone knows what’s happening. So Gemma will get some prices and we’ll review the matter at our next meeting. And that’s the end of this video, but come back again soon and we’ll look at some more phrases for managing discussions. Subscribe to our channel to see more of our videos. And if your organization needs specialized English language training, we make videos for that too. So get in touch if we can help.

Do you like…? What’s it like?

The word ‘Like’: Simple English Videos Lesson

Did you know the word ‘like’ can be all of these things? Now that can be confusing. In this video we’re going to look at two meanings of ‘like’ and fix a common mistake. Let’s start with ‘like’, the verb. What are you watching? Detective Smith. Oh, I like this programme. When we enjoy things, we like them. Happy birthday, Jay. Oh, thank you. Oh, it’s a bow tie. Oh, thank you! I love it. Oh I’m so glad you like it. So, if we think something is nice we like it. And if we don’t think it’s nice we don’t like it. Easy, huh? OK. Now let’s look at another meaning of ‘like’. Come on, Vick. Let’s go for a run. Oh no. Do we have to? Your heart is like a muscle. You have to exercise it. Oh. If one thing is like something else, it’s similar. Like is a preposition here, and we use it to talk about things that are similar. It’s freezing out. I know, feel my hands. They’re like ice. Now, now darling. You mustn’t cry any more. Cheer up. Would you like to hear old uncle make a noise like a duck? (duck noises) Well sorry. Hmph. Now there’s a question that often confuses my students. Do you know what it means? Hi! Where are you? I’m in my hotel room. What’s it like? It’s fabulous. Is ‘like’ a verb or a preposition in this question? It’s a preposition. So this question doesn’t mean ‘Do you like it?’ It means what’s it similar to? Describe it for me. We went to a networking event last night. Oh, what was it like? Boring. It was very useful. There were about a dozen people there and everyone made a short presentation. I didn’t like it. Kathy’s not asking if you liked it, Jay. She wants us to tell her about it. Did you meet any interesting people? Yes. Well, I did. I didn’t talk to anybody. So these are useful questions and they mean tell me what you think. Use them when you want people to describe things. Now here’s an English food product that I like, but most Americans haven’t tried it. I’m going to give some to Jase. Let’s see if he likes it. Have you ever had Marmite before? No I haven’t. Wow! It’s almost like Nutella or something. Uhuh. So it’s like a dessert. Uhuh. Like a, like a chocolate or something. That’s different. It’s erm… almost like beef bouillon, or something. Wow! What do you think? It’s pretty powerful stuff. It is powerful stuff, isn’t it? But all British kids grow up on it. Wow! So what’s marmite like? Is it really like a chocolate dessert? No. The taste surprised Jase. Marmite is like beef bouillon. So Jase, do you ever want to have Marmite again. Erm… Possibly. Do you think Jase likes it or is he just being polite? Tell us in the comments below.

Managing time in business meetings

Managing Discussions – Part 1: Simple English Videos Lesson

I hate meetings. Me too. They’re such a waste of time. We never get anything done. What’s this meeting about? No idea. I thought you called it. That’s funny. I thought you called it. No. What time is it supposed to finish? Three o’clock. Half an hour to go. Welcome to the first in a series of lessons on managing discussions. We’re going to be looking at things you can do and say to make your English meetings more efficient and productive. Let’s go to a business meeting and get started. So I said to him, I’ve told you about this before. And he said, I know you have. So I said, well tell me what you’re gonna do about it. And he said …. Yes, thanks Jay. Erm, perhaps we could come back to this later if we have time. Speaking of time…. Do you have another appointment then? Bank manager at eleven forty-five. Overdrawn again? Can I remind everyone that I’m trying to get through this by eleven thirty? Good, because I have to go to New York. Yes, I know Jay. OK. Let’s turn to item three which is security. Sally, could you fill us in on the new procedures? Yes, sure. Did you understand everything? Let’s check. What about this part? Speaking of time…. Do you have another appointment then? Bank manager at eleven forty-five. Overdrawn again? Sally has an appointment with her bank manager, but what does ‘overdrawn’ mean? We put money into our bank account, deposit it. And then we withdraw it, take it out. If we’re overdrawn, we’ve taken out more money than we put in. That’s not good. Now what about this phrase? Let’s turn to item three which is security. Sally, could you fill us in on the new procedures? Yes, sure. Fill us in. If you fill someone in you tell them what’s happened. You give them information and bring them up to date. OK. Now let’s look at some different things you can do to make your English meetings more productive and efficient. First of all you’ll need an agenda – that’s the list of different points that need to be discussed. Let’s get started. Yes. What’s on the agenda? There are two items. The annual budget and the office party. Let’s start with the party! An item is a thing, so here it’s a topic or subject on an agenda. Now time is always limited, so you need to make sure people keep moving along through the agenda. I have to go to New York. Yes, I know Jay. OK, let’s turn to item three which is security. Turn to’ means move on, go onto the next topic. Now here’s a different problem. What are you going to say if someone starts talking too long? So I said to him, I’ve told you about this before. And he said, I know you have. So I said, well tell me what you want to do about it then…. Nobody is interested in what they’re saying, but how can you get them to stop? What can you say? Stop talking. Be quiet. Shhhh. You’re wasting time. I’ll give you ten dollars to keep quiet. Shut up. Shuddup. Zip it. Well, you could say these things, but not if you want to be polite. Let’s look at what Louise said. And he said, I know you have, so I said, well tell me what you want to do about it then and he said…. Yes, thanks Jay. Perhaps we could come back to this later if we have time. Louise was diplomatic. And if time is slipping away, there’s something else you can do as well. Set a target time for the meeting to finish and then remind everyone. Can I remind everyone that I’m trying to get through this by eleven thirty? Remind – it means help someone remember. And get through – that means complete, finish. And speaking of time, we need to stop now. But come back again later and we’ll have another video on how to manage discussions. Subscribe to our channel to see more of our videos. And if your organization needs specialized English language training, we make videos for that too. So get in touch if we can help.