Level 2


Directing a Conversation

This topic is very useful for business meetings and for starting conversations.

Initiating a conversation:

Some phrases can be both formal and informal, but be careful not to use one that is clearly informal in a formal situation.

Informal       Formal
Do you have a minute?         I'd like to have a word with you.
Hey, what do you think about our manager?         Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for comming to tonight's show.
What have you been doing?         May I have your attention, please?
Have you heard that a typhoon is comming?         Can we talk about the schedule for a minute?
Have you heard about the party tonight?         Let's begin the meeting. First on the agenda is the budget.
I'd like to tell you about my grandchildren.         I'd like you to consider this for a moment.
Good news everyone! I'm getting married!         I'd like to address the topic for today.
Are you interested in making more money?         Could I speak with you for a moment?
What's up?         Today, I'd like to talk about the budget.
What's new?          
What have you been up to?          
What's happening?          
What's going on?          
What are you talking about?          

 


Refocusing or changing the subject:

Some phrases can be both formal and informal, but be careful not to use one that is clearly informal in a formal situation.

Informal         Formal
Yeah, so...         That doesn't really matter here.
Anyway.         That's a good point, but there are other things we have to concider.
As I was saying earlier we should save money.         We can concider that later. Now let's ge back to the schedule changes.
By the way what's your name again?         It seems that may have strayed a bit from the topic.
How interesting. Anyway, what do you think about the new student?         That sounds like a topic for later discussion.
          Let's stick to solving THIS problem.
          Let's stick to relevant comments.
          Back to the topic at hand ...
           

Transitional or relating phrases:

Some phrases can be both formal and informal, but be careful not to use one that is clearly informal in a formal situation.

Informal         Formal
What about we go there instead?         On that same subject, ...
That sounds like someone I know.         Does this relate in any way? ....
Speaking of food. I'm hungry!         While we are talking about it, ....
That reminds me of the time I was sick with the same symptoms.         I think this may relate. ...
Does that include this?         A similar thought is ....
           

Including other people in a conversation:

Some phrases can be both formal and informal, but be careful not to use one that is clearly informal in a formal situation.

Informal         Formal
How about you?         I'd like to hear what Bob has to say.
What about you?         What's your response to that?
You look like you have something to say.         Does anyone have anything to add?
Wait, let's give Jim a chance here.         That's great, Bob. How about you, Jack?
What do you think about it?          

 


Ending a conversation:

Some phrases can be both formal and informal, but be careful not to use one that is clearly informal in a formal situation.

Informal         Formal
Maybe we should sleep on it.         In conclusion, we need more teachers.
We don't want talk this to death.         Thanks for your input.
I'll tell you more later.         I think we've just about covered that.
Sorry to cut things short, but I have to go.         Well, that's about all.
Well, it's getting late so ....         If no one has anymore to say about that ...
I'll get back to you later.         All right, that's a lot to think about.
Sorry. Gotta go.         Thanks for your time.
           

These are just a few examples of what you can say.

 

These are just a few examples of what you can say. If you have any questions, please visit my Guest Book and post your question.


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Last updated 2 March 2001
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