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Rubrika: The tenses

9. 1. 2006 | 17:19 

Conditionals

Conditionals probably are one of the most essential grammar forms used in business English, whether for negotiations, making plans, or simply ordering lunch at a restaurant. On the other hand, they seem filled with every verb tense possible, and unbelievably cluttered with too many auxiliaries like “will”, “had” and “would have”. Another problem comes when you must decide which segment should get the tense based verb group and which should get the verb structure with the hypothetical “would.” Perhaps this could help. The “if” clause sets the tone. If I am looking at a future possibility but I am not sure if or when it will happen, I simply leave it in the present tense (If I finish this early…)and leave the rest as the probable outcome in the future tense (I will send it to you.). In imagined situations, the “if” condition is in the past because it contrasts with the reality now, like a subjunctive tense (Had I more time, I would call you.). In the final conditional, the “if” clause looks at a situation prior to a decisive moment by using past perfect (If I had seen the other car [but I didn’t], I wouldn’t have hit it.). Try the following sentences to work out how the conditionals work for you. 

9. 8. 2005 | 16:19 

Tenses in practice II

Often our abilities have limits. There are, of course, things we can do now. There are the things we could generally do in the past, but not any more. There are also things which we were able to do at a specific time or in a specific situation, and which we may never manage to do in the same way again. And there are those things which we could have done but didn’t manage to do because something else held us back (e.g. we were late, tired, didn’t have enough time, etc.).  

9. 8. 2005 | 16:19 

Tenses in conflict situation

One of the most critical things in a conflict situation is to get a clear picture of what happened in the past, what is happening now and what is going to happen in the future. The tenses are necessary to paint a clear picture of the situation. See if you can reconstruct the situations here. 

4. 6. 2005 | 20:05 

Tenses in business use

In business, time is money. That’s why tenses are critical – they communicate time and order of events, what happened first, what is finished now and when future deadlines are. Mistakes with tenses can lead to a lot of confusion. English has a range of tenses. Sometimes it might seem like there are too many! But if you can learn to use the tenses well you will be able to give an accurate and clear picture of any situation. They all have a good use – I promise – and you will find your use of English becomes richer and more precise if you can master them. So, let’s try to interpret the following sentences – what happened and when? 

4. 6. 2005 | 19:34 

Going on a trip?

I have some advice for you. Well not really, but isn’t that what everyone else is telling you? People always want to suggest you what you should do to avoid general difficulties or future problems. Other times we ourselves may regret a particular incident that we should have avoided on a past trip. And for some of us who always make mistakes for long stretches of time, there is always someone to criticize us about what we shouldn’t have been doing back then. Here’s a short quiz to see if you should have listened to your travel guide - and your teachers - a little more closely. 

4. 6. 2005 | 19:22 

Tenses in practice

Boss: Are you coming to the meeting Friday afternoon? You: I think I’ll be at a client. Let me check. Sorry, on Friday I go see my client as usual. Are we really having a meeting on Friday? Who is chairing the meeting? We’ll probably discuss the same, boring topics as always. I think I’ll pretend to be sick! Sometimes, when expressing future meaning, we use both the present continuous tense and the future simple tense. The present continuous tense is used to say what you have already arranged to do. The future simple tense is used when you decide to do something at the time of speaking, and often times accompanied with ‘I think’, ‘I don’t think’. And just to make things interesting, if the future action is a habitual one, then we use the present simple. 

15. 2. 2005 | 10:40 

Call your client

Have you ever forgotten to call your client when he or she asked you to call? Have you ever forgotten calling your client after making the call? Did... 

14. 2. 2005 | 14:12 

The Tenses

There are many more tenses in English than there are in Czech and in the future we plan to focus on each tense individually. Here, we have prepared... 

29. 9. 2004 | 19:12 

Present simple or present continuous

When you have to describe your business activities, you may have to differentiate between general activities (things you regularly do), and... 
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