Sound POLITE, PROFESSIONAL & HELPFUL at Work | Business English Conversation
Well hey there I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!
I've been getting lots of requests for lessons
that will help you to expand your vocabulary
and help you to sound more professional
So that is exactly what this lesson is all about today.
I'm going to take some very common
everyday English verbs and improve them a little
or give you some more impressive ones to use instead.
So if you're ready to do that, stick around.
I want to jump in with a quick message from our friends
at Lingoda to talk about their business English course
and the fact that they're offering mmmEnglish students
the chance to try their classes for free
which I'll tell you about soon.
Anyone who studied business English will tell you
that it's quite different to general conversational English.
The language that we use at work tends to be more
formal so for anyone studying English to advance
their career, being able to communicate professionally
is going to help you to do that.
Luckily at Lingoda, not only can you study French,
Spanish, German and of course, English classes,
they also have a specific business English course
and what I love about this is that you're studying
focusing on the English skills that you need
to communicate effectively in your workplace
like presentation skills and interview skills.
The skills that you need to help you progress
your career and to succeed in an international company.
Like all Lingoda courses, classes are available
twenty-four seven and in small groups.
When I was taking Spanish classes with Lingoda,
we usually had three or four students in each class
which was awesome! I had lots of speaking practice.
Business English classes with Lingoda will increase
your fluency and your confidence to use
You can sign up for free for seven days
and try up to three group classes which is an
awesome way to see what the classes are like
before you decide to continue.
Or you can use this code down here and get
a fifteen per cent discount on your first month.
Use the link down in the description and definitely
Let's think for a moment about the many
basic functions that we do when we're at work.
We think about things. We make things.
We solve problems and we work together.
Now all of these words are good
and they will definitely help you to communicate
but they're quite basic so if you want to
sound impressive, impress your boss
sound more professional with colleagues and clients
then upgrading these words will definitely help.
So let's start with the verb 'think'
specifically to think of or to think about something.
To think about attending an event
Now we can upgrade this phrasal verb to 'consider'.
I will think about your suggestion.
Say: I will consider your suggestion
but I need to find some extra budget before I approve it.
Have you thought about employing?
Have you considered employing a marketing
Now if you're thinking about something and the decision
is difficult for some reason, it's also important
then using 'deliberate' is a much better choice.
So it's also a synonym of think about but it's used when
you're making a really tough decision
and you've got to take some extra time
You've been deliberating all week on this,
are you any closer to a decision?
We also have this idea of thinking something is...
best mentors in our organisation.
But we can improve this by using the verb 'believe'.
Ben is one of the best mentors in our organisation.
So it sounds much surer, more confident and more
We can also use 'consider' here as well
but the structure changes a little.
So I want you to pay close attention
to what changes in this sentence.
We can say: I think or I believe Ben is
I consider Ben to be one of the best mentors
So when you use this language, it helps you to speak
with authority, to be more impressive, more confident.
It really sounds like you know what you're talking about.
Another really common verb to use at work is 'to make'
That's what we're there doing isn't it? We're making stuff
and there are lots of different words that we can use
but it really does depend on the context as to which one
you can use or you should use.
Let's take a look at this sentence and see
Our team made a report or wrote a report.
Can you think of a more professional verb
Should we prepare a report for the board?
Our team has already produced a detailed report.
So these words 'prepare' and 'produce'
Prepare relates to the process, a little more.
relates a little more to the result.
So we often see the collocation produce content,
These are useful ones to keep in mind.
'To create' is another verb upgrade on make right
especially when you're talking about
design or creative activities,
really when you're making something new you know.
We're creating a new concept for the client.
Can you create a new image that we can
We created a design that will suit a range of users.
'Develop' is another synonym for make,
kind of leans a little more towards the process.
Our technical team is developing a plan to transition
A strategy. They're developing a strategy.
We also develop ideas and we develop solutions.
We're developing an affordable solution that will make
sure every family can access high-speed internet.
So these are really important collocations
to keep in mind when you're using these verbs.
Often the idea of change can be perceived as negative,
people don't usually like change, do they?
Often we talk about change at work
because we need to fix something.
It suggests that there is something wrong
it's definitely important to make sure that you're polite
and that you're using language in a supportive way.
And I've got some alternative words and some useful
expressions that will help you with that.
And 'modify' is a really good alternative.
Modify suggests minor changes,
and things that will improve the result.
Actually, you could also use the verb 'adjust'.
If it's okay with you, I'll adjust
this a little before we send it to the client.
Now when you're talking about changing ideas or
human behaviour, then 'adapt' is a really good choice
especially when there is a new situation or
a new set of circumstances that's behind that change.
Again, nobody really likes change do they but if you can
use a more positive verb to help talk about that change
then it's much easier to get other people on board right?
The new regulations are tough,
there's not much that we can do about it!
We just need to adapt and keep moving forward.
The word 'transition' is an excellent one to begin using
and to understand because it helps us to talk about
the need for change and the process of changing
So if we transition from one thing to another,
it suggests that we sort of move carefully you know,
it's not instant change which usually scares people.
If we talk about transition, it suggests that the change
is going to be gradual and carefully considered.
We want to make sure that our new team members
transition into their new roles
Although many of us try not to admit it,
we all guess what the heck is going on right,
it's part of solving problems and reducing risk
And there are so many great words that will help you
to sound more intelligent and more professional
when you have to take a guess.
But sometimes using 'guess' suggests that you're a little
uncertain, you know, and in a professional context,
So using 'estimate' suggests that
you've put some thought into this prediction
It's difficult to estimate the financial impact for families.
Now 'calculate' is a really good option
when you're talking about specific numbers.
We calculate that this will save
three thousand dollars a month.
Now we have a slightly different word form here
but you can express the same idea by saying:
By our calculations, we will save
three thousand dollars a month.
When you're thinking about why something happened
or you're considering what might happen in the future,
then 'speculate' is a great word.
So usually we say 'speculate on' or
I don't want to speculate on why he
And 'predict' is another great synonym for guess.
you're taking information that you have
and you're making a call or a decision
about the most likely outcome.
Industry experts are predicting significant
changes to our working environments post-pandemic.
It is difficult to talk positively about problems right
when things aren't going so well or maybe they've been
a little more difficult than you anticipated.
So what words can you use instead of 'problem'
which does kind of have a negative about it, doesn't it?
These are all possible replacements, right?
In a professional context, we want to make sure that we
communicate any problems that we have clearly
but also do it in a way that makes it sound like
you have solutions or you have a plan
before we landed on the result.
We anticipate some technical challenges but we're
confident that we've got the right team
We even talk about problems as
These are a little less formal ways of expressing it
but they definitely help to emphasise that the problem is
not so serious you know or that they're problems that
can be managed, they're just annoying.
I can see how these changes could create
some headaches for the sales team
but we're working on a solution.
There were a few hiccups with the new ordering system
but things have been much smoother this week.
And lastly, if you work in an office as part of a team,
it's very likely that you work together
with other people to get things done, right?
We work together. We work as a team.
But just to clarify, we do not do a teamwork
all right? This is a very common mistake
that a lot of my students make.
'Teamwork' is a noun and we never use it with
'do' okay? We don't do a teamwork.
And a much more professional way to explain that
you're working together with someone else
is to say that you collaborate.
I'm looking forward to collaborating
on projects with you in the future.
Now if you really want to emphasise that two people
or maybe two teams with different skill sets
or sets of expertise are coming together
to work together, we say that they're joining forces.
They join forces. And this is quite powerful.
When our development team joined forces with our
product team, they created something amazing.
So there you have it, I really hope that you found
a few new expressions to expand your vocabulary
range a little. Make sure that you keep these words
beside you at work during this week
and see if you can apply them.
You know if you're writing an email, make sure you stop
before you hit send, to try and
upgrade some of the language that you're using
to sound more professional and more helpful.
Now you know I like to set a little challenge
at the end of my lessons and that's because
just watching my lessons isn't really enough, is it?
You've got to put into practice what you've been learning
and it's only going to take you a few minutes.
So hit the pause button right now and write
a short paragraph using at least five of the
professional words that I shared during this lesson.
I'm really excited to get down there and check them out
make sure you're using them correctly.
I've got this lesson right here ready for you
to continue practising with me