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Let's Get to Work


Chapter 8 :

Let's Get to Work !

Office Vocabulary :

Paper clips file folders pad of paper

pencils liquid paper receptionist

erasers desk briefcase

pens tacks ruler

message pads staple stapler

clip board three hole punch

index cards remover photocopier

labels filing cabinet

computer diskettes

swivel chair clip

pencil sharpener adding machine

director boardroom

manager business cards

payroll tape

personnel coffee cup

scissors boardroom overhead projector

Circle the words above that relate to the pictures.

Identify the office vocabulary in the pictures below

1. _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r

2._________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _

3._________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _

_________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r

_________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _

_________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _

_________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _

_________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _

Conversation Practice : Telephone Messages

Secretary : Good morning, Lewis and Lopez Language School for Business.

Mr. Rivera : Hello. May I speak with Silvia Lopez please? Secretary : Iīm sorry. Sheīs not in the office at the moment. May I take a message ?

Mr. Rivera : Yes, please. This is Mr. Rivera.

Secretary : Could you spell that for me, please ?

Mr. Rivera : Sure, itīs R-I-V-E-R-A and my telephone

number is 345-6565.

Secretary : Thank you. Iīll make sure she gets the


Mr. Rivera : When do you expect her back in the office ?

Secretary : Iīm not sure. She said she had a meeting with some important clients at 2 p.m. so she should be back between 3:30 and 4 p.m.

Mr. Rivera : Great ! I really need to talk to her today, if possible.

Secretary : Donīt worry sir, as soon as she comes in, Iīll give her the message.

Mr. Rivera : Thanks a lot. Itīs concerning a possible new client.

Secretary : Oh, sheīll be happy to here that. Thank you for calling.

Practice the conversation above and then repeat it with some personal changes

Fill out the following message pad using the conversation above and then fill out another using your own information.



Date :

Date :


Time :

From :

From :

To :

To :

Phone no.:

Phone no. :



Role Play :

Act out the situation in front of the class. Write a script if necessary.

Situation 1 :

A: You are calling Tickson Enterprises and you want to speak with Mr. Ron Tickson. He is the president of the company . You are his accountant, Ms. Hammond, and there is a serious problem with his financial statements.

B : You are Mr. Ticksonīs secretary. He is in an important meeting at the moment and he can't be disturbed, but you know

that this is a serious problem.

Situation 2 :

A : You are a customer calling the local telephone company to complain about your bill. The charges are too high.

B : You are a customer service representative for the local telephone company. The customer is question is always complaining about their bill, but it is always correct.

Preposition about Dates and Times

In English, we use the prepositions on, in, and at when we talk about dates and times. The chart below will explain when we use them




year only : I was born in 1965.

day of the week : We have a meeting on Monday.

at a specific time :

We start work at 8:30 .

month only : She came to Canada in September.

date of the month : I will begin my new job on the

at night :

I don't like to work at

month and year : We arrived in January, 1997.



at an unspecified time in the future : My boss is coming back from holidays in a week/month / a few days..

day, month and year: John started working for the company on July 3, 1975.

at a time of the day :

We eat lunch at noon.

lunch, dinner, supper

season : The flowers bloom in spring.

day and month : My birthday is on August 15th.

parts of the day :

in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening

Grammar Tip:

In English, we capitalize the days of the week and the months of the year but not the seasons.


I went to the office early on Monday.

My father's birthday is in May.


I love to go swimming in the summer.

Months of the Year: Days of the Week:

January Monday

February Tuesday

March Wednesday

April Thursday

May Friday

June Saturday

July Sunday






Exercises :

Determine whether to use on, in or at for the following sentences.

My sister was born _______ November 14th, 1967.

The party is _____ the 31st of May.

I love to take walks ______ the morning.

The meeting is ______ Wednesday _____ 9 a.m.

The Montreal Olympic Games were ______ 1976.

School usually starts ______ September.

I am always late. I can never get to work _____ time.

We will be having a meeting _____ a couple of days.

My brother's wedding was ________ night

Don't forget to finish your report. It is due ______ the 21st.

My family loves to go skating ______ the winter.

Tell and Ask

Messages with statements Requests

The board meeting is on Tuesday. Please tell Martin the meeting is on Tuesday.

The financial reports are due today. Would you please tell Martin the financial report are due today..?

The report is finished.  Could you tell him that the report is finished?

Messages with imperatives  Requests

Call me later today about the project. Please ask Martin to call me about the project.

Bring the financial statement. Would you ask him to bring the financial statements.

Pick up the report this afternoon. Please ask him to pick up the report this afternoon.

Tell and Say

If you say who you are talking to , use tell. Otherwise use say. Below are some examples of both.

Robert told me that he was coming to Mexico for a visit.

Natalie said that she didnīt want to go to the office today because she was sick.

My husband told his sister about his new job.

My mother always tells us what she thinks is best for us.

The newspaper says that it is going to rain today.


Fill in the blanks using tell, ask or say.

Betty______ me that she has a pile of work*.

The secretary _______ that she had a headache.

What did you _________ 17317g61r ?

Could you ______ him I called?

At the meeting the director _________ 17317g61r about the problems in the company.

Jill _______ her brother about her promotion.

7. My friend _________ 17317g61r me about her new job.

Conversation Practice :

Information, please ?

Customer : Hello, operator ?

Operator : Yes. Can I help you ?

Customer : Yes, I am trying to make a direct call to Japan, but I think I have the wrong country code.

Operator : The country code for Japan is 81, but you must dial 011 first, then 81 and then

the code for the city you want. What city do you want?

Customer : I want to speak to my sister in Kyoto.

Operator : Okay. You have to dial 011-81-752 and then the local number.

Customer : Could you connect me directly?

Operator : I could, but it would be more expensive. You're better off* dialing directly.

Customer : Okay. Thanks operator. Oh, by the way* do you know what the time difference is from here to Kyoto ?

Operator : Yes. It's thirteen hours ahead. In other words, it's 8 p.m. here, which would make it 9 a.m. in Kyoto right now.

Customer : Oh, that's perfect. She's just getting ready to go to work. Thanks again.

Discuss the vocabulary from the conversation and answer these questions

Who did the customer want to call?

Where did she want to call?

What was the country code and city code of the place they wanted to call?

Was it cheaper to use the operator to call or to dial directly?

*Culture Note: The expression to be better off means he or she is/was/ will be in a better position or situation. In other words, this action would be advantageous. The expression by the way, is usually used in a stream of thought when the person wants to mention an additional point, make another inquiry, or ask another question. It is quite a casual expression, but it can be used in business scenarios, too.

In partners, practice the following conversation and then choose a place and a person you would like to make a long distance call to and repeat the conversation with the changes

Calling for Information


For beginners to the net.  For all levels; beginner, intermediate,

The courses will help you surf the and advanced students. Fully-qualified

net without problems. Courses begin and dynamic teachers. Courses begin

Sept. 12th. Schedule is Mon. and Wed. Oct. 9th. Tues. and Thurs. 6-9 p.m.

7:30-9:30 p.m. (4 weeks) $100 (12 weeks) $500



If you love international food and Groove to the rhythm of the Latin

you love to cook, you would love this salsa or African reggae. Keep warm

course. Courses begin July 1st Saturdays during winter and experience

1 - 4 p.m. (8 weeks) Each week we travel another culture at the same time.

to a different country ! $200 Course begin Jan. 10th

Fridays 7-9 p.m. (6 weeks) $120

Partner 1 : You are calling for information about a particular course. You need to find out how much it is, when it begins, how long the course lasts and what days

and times the course will be held.

Partner 2 : You are a receptionist at Frontier College. You can use the list above to answer questions about the courses.

Write it !

Write an ad for an exciting course.

_________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _______

_________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _______

_________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _______

_________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _________ 17317g61r _______

Functional Conversation:

In business and in your personal life, there are many ways to thank people and to accept thanks. Here are some common expression of thanks and accepting of thanks.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank...

We are here today to express our appreciation to...

We hope this medal/ award will help you remember how grateful we are.

I really appreciate you ...

I am extremely/so / very grateful.

We really didn't know how to thank you.

I never got the chance to thank you.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for...

Thank you again.

Thank you so much for...

That was really thoughtful.

Thanks a lot.

Thanks a lot, sweetheart.

This is great, honey!

You didn't have to do that.

Accepting Thanks:

We're glad to help out.

Thank you.

Glad to be of help.

Don't mention it.

Oh, it's nothing, really. 

My pleasure.

No problem.

Don't worry about it.

It's not a big deal.

You're welcome.

It was my pleasure.

Go over these expressions in class with your teacher make sure you understand all of them. Some of the expression are formal and some are informal make sure you know the difference.

Role Play :

Act out the following situations with a partner. Don't forget to use the expressions from the previous page.

Thank one of your classmates for helping you with your English homework.

Thank one of your colleagues for help in an important presentation.

Thank your father for lending you some money.

Thank your mother for looking after your children for the weekend.

Thank a stranger for saving your life in a car accident.

Thank your friend for helping you through a crisis.

Now think of someone you would like to thank for something and act it out in front of the class.

Irregular Past Tense

Since this unit is about the office. We will focus on verbs dealing with business.

Simple Present

Simple Past

tell : She always tells me not to yell.

told : She told me about her problem.

say : They say that money makes the world go around.

said : They said they didn't like the job.

take : Please take a message.

took : The receptionist took the message.

lose : I donīt want to lose my job.

lost : Yesterday, my friend lost her job.

find : Bruce finds a lot of information on the internet.

found : He found the information he needed at the library.

meet : We always meet on our coffee breaks

met : I met an interesting candidate for the position.

know : I know a lot of important people in the business.

knew : I knew about the cutbacks in the company, last week.

Exercises :

Complete the following sentences, using the past tense verbs above.

Tom _________ 17317g61r __ me when we were in high school.

Angela _________ 17317g61r _ she wanted to go home.

Kevin and I _________ 17317g61r __ an excellent deal on a new car.

I _________ 17317g61r an old friend for dinner.

We _________ 17317g61r __ a taxi home because it was very late.

My boss _________ 17317g61r me that I was an excellent employee.

She _________ 17317g61r her wallet on her way to work.

Receptionist: Good afternoon, Xerox. May I help you?

Mr. Stevens Yes. There's something wrong with the photocopier. The paper keeps getting stuck.

Receptionist: Okay, I will connect you with customer service. They can arrange to have a technician go to your office.

Technician Hi, sir. The receptionist told me you are having some problems with the photocopier. What seems to be the problem?

Mr. Stevens: The paper keeps jamming * in the machine.

We don't know what to do. Could you come today and fix it?

Technician I'm afraid we are very busy today. Could I come tomorrow?

Mr. Stevens: Would it be possible to come early in the morning, at 7:30?

Technician How about at 8 a.m.?

Mr. Stevens: Alright, I guess that will have to do * . So I can expect you tomorrow at 8 a.m.?

Technician Yes. Iīll write that in my agenda. Our appointment is for tomorrow Tuesday, March 31st at 8 a.m.

Mr. Stevens: Great. Could I please have your name?

Technician: Yes, it's Robert Thompson.

Mr. Stevens: Thanks. My name is Joshua Stevens. Please ask for me when you arrive tomorrow. I'm the office manager.

Technician Sure, Mr. Stevens. See you tomorrow.

*Cultural Note: The verb to jam means to get stuck or to be blocked. We always refer to things being jammed never people. The expression that will have to do infers that there is a lack of satisfaction. In other words, it's not the best solution but he/she will have to deal with it.

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