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TOEFL IELTS - USEFUL PHRASES

Updated on June 1, 2013

USEFUL PHRASES

INTRODUCING YOURSELF

I don’t think we’ve met before.

I’m Paul.

ON SOME ONE’S BIRTHDAY

Many Happy returns of the day.

Wish you a happy birthday.

ON THE PHONE

May I speak to…Please ?

Speaking.

Just a moment please ?

Can I take a message ?

I’ll ask him/her to ring you.

Sorry. I’ve got the wrong number.

CHECKING ENGLISH

Could you say that again, please ?

What does this means, Please ?

I don’t understand this.

How do you spell..?

How do you pronounce this, please ?

Is this correct, please?

DIRECTIONS IN THE STREET

Excuse me, could you tell me where …….is please ?

Excuse me, is there a ….. near here, please?

Turn left/right.

Take the first turning on the left/right.

It’s straight ahead.

SENDING A GREETING TO SOME ONE

Give me regards to…

Remember me to……

ON (OR JUST AFTER) JANUARY Ist.

Happy New Year.

Thank you, The same to you.

PHONETICS

A guide to pronunciation is given for any word that is difficult to pronounce, or difficult to recognize when read, or spelt the same as another word but pronounced differently.

The sounds represented are as follows "

a as in cat                               I as in pin                      r as in red

a as in ago                              I as in pencil                 s as in sit

ah as in calm                          I as in eye                     sh as in shop

air as in hair                           j as in jam                      t as in top

ar as in bar                             k a sin king                   th as in thin

aw as in law                           i as in leg                       th as in thins

ay as in say                            m as in man                   u as in cup

b as in bat                              n as in not                     us as in circus

ch as in chin                           ng as in sing                  uu as in book

d as in day                             nk as in thank               v as in van

e as in bed                              o as in top                     w as in will

e as in taken                           o as in lemon                 y as in yes

ee as in meet                          oh as in most                 you as in unit

eer as in beer                          oi as in join                   yoor as in Europe

er as in her                             oo as in spoon               yr as in fire

ew as in few                          oor as in poor                z as in zebra

ewr as in pure                        or as in corn                  zh as in vision

f as in fat                               ow as in cow

g as in get                              p as in pen

h as in hat

FLUENCY IN SPOKEN ENGLISH

Spoken English is not the same as written English learn't in school.

So while speaking one often tries to copy the style of written English. Which sounds more like reading than talking.

People don't and can't speak English by learning by heart sentences in the language.

Besides one cannot anticipate all contexts and situations where we may have to speak or how a conversation might progress.

Fluency essentially means talking with a flow - where we speak without stopping midway and are able to communicate our thoughts using the right words for contents and effects.

This is possible when the tongue knows the words and principles of a language without consciously trying to use them.

That is why many people can't talk even after years of experience in written English. Besides when we write, we get as much time as want for thinking about the subject matter, for planning the construction of sentence, for selecting or up the right words and phrases and for correction a d editing.

While talking, planning, correction and editing have to be done simultaneously at the spur of moment.

Fluency in English speech is an absolute must and not luxury. To positions and success, these days, is essentially for those comfortable with this tongue, for it definitely commands attention and respect.

BASIC FUNCTION

ADVISING :

I'd complain if I were you.

You ought to take a couple of days off. (Ought to suggest a stronger more objective opinion.)

AGREEING :

I'm looking forward to the weekend. So am I.

I love chocolate. So do I.

I don't like football on Television. Neither do I.

(* Use neither to agree with negative remark.)

APOLOGISING :

I'm sorry. (Not really anyone's fault)

I am sorry. (stress on am - a real apology)

Excuse me. (Before you disturb someone)

Excuse me, please. (When you want to pass someone.)

Have you got the tickets yet? I'm afraid not.

Could I speak to Dinesh Please? I'm afraid he is out at the moment.

(Use I'm afraid to "soften a negative or unhelpful answer")

ASKING FOR SOMETHING :

A kilo of apples, please. (it sounds unfriendly without 'please')

Could you pass the salt, please.

ASKING SOMEONE TO DO SOMETHING :

Could you spell it, please. (It sounds unfriendly with 'please')

Would you mind opening the door, Please. (Would you mind doing for people you don't know)


COMPLAINING :

I have been waiting for twenty minutes.

It was only yesterday that I bought it. (Stress the auxiliary to show you are annoyed)

You did promise to help me.

ASKING FOR PERMISSION :

May I borrow you pen ? (personal)

Do you mind if I smoke?

Is it all right if I park here? No, I'm afraid parking isn't allowed

(more objective)


CORRECTING :

I think you've made mistake. (usually with 'I think')

I think it should be Rs. 5, not Rs. 8.

I think it was 1986, wasn't it?

I think the train goes at ten past, doesn't it?

INVITING :

Would you like to have lunch with us? Oh thank you. I'd love to. That's very kind of you, but I'm afraid I can't.

OFFERING :

Would you like a cake? (Offering something)

Thank you, I'd love one.

Let me carry that for you.

We'll do the washing up. (General offer to help)

Shall we pick up at the station ?

Can I give you a hand ? (general offer to help)

Thank you. That;s very kind of you.

It's all right, thank you. I can manage.

Have a Cake.

Help yourself.

SUGGESTING :

Why don’t you get a taxi ? (to the other person)

You could send it by air mail.

Let’s go now or we’ll be late. (doing something together)

Why don’t we buy her a pen.

SYMPATHISING :

Oh dear ! What a nuisance ! (something not very important)

Oh dear ! I am sorry to hear that (more serious. Stress am)

THANKING :

Thank you. (not very important)

Thanks very much.

Thank you, That is kind of you. (When you are grateful stress one work strongly)

Thanking you. That will be a help.

WARNING :

Be careful; (general)

Look out;

Mind the floor, it’s slippery.

Don’t forget to take a coat.

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