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Rubrika: Language work

5. 6. 2010 | 12:53 

The best business idioms at work

Business idioms can make your English sound more natural — but only if you use them correctly! Find out if you do in this test.  

18. 3. 2010 | 23:07 

Do you use too much business jargon?

Do you use a lot of business jargon with native speakers of English? Maybe you shouldn't. 

20. 12. 2009 | 18:05 

One hell of a ride

As the global financial crisis worsens, the reports get more dramatic. The demise of any financial giant can have devastating knock-on effects. When, for example, a major provider of home, car, life and aviation insurance collapses, the ramifications are certain to be far-reaching. Could you be dramatic enough in your choice of words? Try our quiz to find out. 

11. 10. 2009 | 13:13 

Basic forms of the future

Let's practise the simplest and most common tenses used to talk about the future. 

15. 5. 2009 | 18:59 

Life coaching

When times are hard, some organizations turn to training to stay ahead of competitors, and today is no exception. Recent years have seen a growth in what has come to be termed life coaching. 

22. 2. 2009 | 16:11 

Screwed up?

President Bill Clinton could never have used "I screwed up" when he was talking about his “sexual relations” with Monica... 

17. 9. 2008 | 19:55 

Who's baulking now?

Deborah CaprasContent Manager September has been a very dark month for financial markets. The collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers, a... 

18. 7. 2008 | 11:06 

Special Report: Multilingualism

Leonard Orban, EU Commissioner for Multilingualism, talks to Ian McMaster about the importance of foreign languages for EU firms. 

17. 6. 2008 | 19:31 

Obama & Clinton

Are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton going to be stronger together? Look at our new exercise. 

12. 5. 2008 | 21:54 

Fun with Macs

Maybe 500,000 people should have bought a Mac! 

18. 3. 2008 | 22:37 

Business abbreviations

Abbreviations and acronyms are very common in business communication today. You can check your knowledge of some of them in this test. 

10. 2. 2008 | 20:55 

Which article?

Do you know the rules for using articles in English? Here, you can practise some of the more tricky points by doing the following exercise. 

8. 8. 2006 | 10:03 

Sounds like ...

No one ever said English was logical. Or logically phonetic, for that matter. This is why we have words that look the similar, but sound completely different, e.g., beard and heard, words that look different but sound the same e.g. raze (to demolish) and raise (to lift). And to make matters worse, sometimes words that are spelt the same are pronounced differently depending on their meaning e.g. row (a line) and row (a fight). There’s no rhyme or reason! Well, maybe there is some rhyme… See if you can find the word that doesn’t sound like the others in the group. And watch for the words that have more than one pronunciation.  

8. 8. 2006 | 10:03 

Wrong Collocations

Collocations are word partners. Even though some words seem to make sense together, if they aren´t partners, you won´t sound natural when you say them. For example, we say heavy smoker, not big smoker, to describe someone who smokes a lot. In the following exercise, choose the word that is not a collocation, or partner, with the main word.  

16. 5. 2006 | 14:36 

Tricky word combinations

One of the biggest problems with English is that what you read and what you hear sometimes seem like two completely different things. As always, practice is vital, so we have created a set of ten tricky word combinations for you to think about. They have been spelt to represent the actual sounds you would hear in conversation with a native speaker on the phone. There is only one correct answer… Seeyifyacangeswotitis!  

29. 3. 2006 | 19:50 

Problem words in English

Let’s face facts…life is hard for a Czech learning English. You get a basic vocabulary, start using it in new and wonderful ways, and then some English speaker tells you, “I think I know what you mean, but we don’t say it that way.” 

9. 1. 2006 | 17:47 

Make or do?

The words “do” and “make” can cause real confusion among non-native speakers whose language only contains one term which expresses both ideas. “Do” is attached to words about activities, for instance duties, sports, jobs, tasks, and most actions ending in “-ing”. Anything that you consider as a process to carry out, undertake or even finish up would likely use “do” as well. “Make”, on the other hand, is more for creating or putting something together where you have a final product, arrangement or outcome. So keep these 2 ideas in mind: Is the thing you’re talking about a creating something that will stand as a “final product” or is merely a process/procedure to “finish up”? The choice will decide which verb is the right one.  

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. 

4. 11. 2005 | 15:38 

When and how to use adverbs!

In English, we use adverbs to modify our verbs and sometimes our adjectives. They give the sentences more meaning, more emphasis, or simply paint a truer picture of what is being said. For example, instead of simply saying “Seth drank the beer”, we would prefer something like “Seth drank the beer quickly”. The word “quickly”, being our adverb, is telling us HOW he drank the beer. We can also modify our sentences in terms of place. For example, we can say “Lisa was studying in her room” rather than simply, “Lisa was studying”. In this case, “in her room” is telling us WHERE she was studying. A third way of modifying our sentences is in terms of time. An example of this would be “Greg works in the shop on Saturdays” compared to simply “Greg works in the shop”. Here the term “on Saturdays” fills the place of an adverb, telling us WHEN he works in the shop. Here is the tricky bit. These adverbs are usually found in this order; with few exceptions, we arrange our adverbs at the end of our sentences, after the noun objects, in the order of HOW, WHERE, WHEN.These come after Example: Phillip read his book very carefully in the library yesterday. Here “very carefully” is the HOW, “in the library” is the WHERE, and “yesterday” is the WHEN. In the following examples, read the sentences given, and then decide where to place the additional information in the brackets. 

18. 10. 2005 | 14:06 

Do you know English proverbs?

An important idea can often be contained in only a few words. Proverbs are a way of communicating wisdom in a simple and memorable phrase. In fact, before written language was common, a village elder would often know hundreds of proverbs which could be used when making decisions for the community, or settling a local dispute. See if you can fill in the blank to complete some of these common English proverbs.  
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