Just want to let you know I’ve just published my latest Kindle ebook at the Amazon store. It will be available FREE this weekend. Hope you enjoy it.
We all like to read writing that moves smoothly. Clunky writing, or writing where we have to think about the relationship between sentences or paragraphs, slows us down. And in today’s information-rich world, many of us have too much to read to want to slow down and spend time working out just what a writer meant.
In English we have a number of useful transition words—words that link our ideas together. In the table they are arranged in lists to show you their function. These words create logical relationships between your ideas and they make your writing easier to read.
I hope you find them useful.
|Furthermore||In fact||First, second, third, etc||For example||On the other hand|
|In addition||Surprisingly||Next||In this case||Similarly|
|Moreover||In any case||Then||Such as||However|
|As a matter of fact||Certainly||At this point||In particular||Whereas|
Idioms abound in English. In this series I am not providing comprehensive lists (I don’t think I could). I’ve focussed on the most commonly used ones. As well as some idioms, I’ve also listed some commonly used sales and marketing expressions.
To come down in price: to become cheaper
To bring down the price: to lower the price of a product, to make it cheaper
To do a roaring trade: to sell a lot of something very quickly
To plug (a product): to promote (a product)
To work out the kinks (informal): to solve a problem you are having with something
To make cold calls: to telephone somebody you do not know in order to sell them something
For sale: available to be bought, especially from the owner
On sale: available to be bought, especially in a shop/store; being offered at a reduced price
Sales drive/campaign: a special effort to sell more of a particular product
Seller’s market: the situation when the people selling something have an advantage, because there is not a lot of a particular item for sale, and prices can be kept high
Buyer’s market: the situation when there is a lot of a particular item for sale, so that prices are low and people buying have a choice
To have an ace up your sleeve (informal): to hold a secret advantage, for example a piece of information, that you are ready to use if you need to
Hard sell: a method of selling that puts a lot of pressure on the customer to buy
Common Sales and Marketing Verb Phrases (Collocations):
break into/enter/capture/dominate the market
gain/grab/take/win/boost/lose market share
find/build/create a market for something
start/launch an advertising/a marketing campaign
develop/launch/promote a product/website
create/generate demand for your product
beat/keep ahead of/out-think/outperform the competition
meet/reach/exceed/miss sales targets
In English we use many idioms. But what is an idiom? According to my Concise Oxford English Dictionary an idiom is ‘a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words’.
In most cases, particularly with some of the more informal idioms, I recommend that you avoid them when you are writing for business. In business writing we are often writing for someone whose native tongue is not English, and idioms can be a barrier to them understanding what we mean.
That said, there are some idioms which are used so often in business that they have become quite acceptable. In this tip we will look at some of the idioms and expressions that are in common use when we talk about meetings.
|To adjourn a meeting||To end a meeting|
|To call a meeting to order||To start a meeting|
|To call on someone to speak||To invite someone to speak, to give a meeting participant permission to speak|
|To carry a motion||To win acceptance for a proposal or idea in a meeting, usually through voting|
|To circulate the agenda||To distribute the programme of the meeting to participants before the meeting so they know what will be discussed|
|To defeat a motion||This happens when a proposal or idea does not get enough votes to pass. When a motion is defeated the proposed action will not take place.|
|Follow-up meeting||A meeting where participants discuss business that wasn’t completed at a previous meeting, or discuss new business related to an agenda item.|
|To have the floor||To have permission to speak, without interruption, during a meeting|
|To hold a meeting||To conduct a meeting|
|To put (or lay) something on the table||To present a matter for discussion at the meeting|
|To make (or table) a motion||To make a suggestion at a meeting that will be voted on by the participants|
|To move to do something||Another way of saying to table a motion.|
|To open a meeting||To begin the meeting proceedings|
|To be out of order||Used when someone does not obey the speaking rules of the meeting. For example, someone may speak when someone else has the floor.|
|Robert’s Rules of Order||A reference book that provides guidelines on how to conduct a meeting and a code of conduct. It has been adopted officially by some organisations.|
|To rule someone out of order||When the chairperson states that someone is not following the rules of the meeting|
|To run a meeting||To conduct or chair a meeting|
|To second a motion||To agree with a motion that is tabled. In formal meetings someone will move the motion and it will be seconded before it will be put to a vote.|
|To table a discussion||To postpone a discussion until a future meeting|
|To take minutes||To record the details of a meeting to create the official record of the meeting|
When it comes to pronouns (words that replace nouns in sentences) sometimes people don’t know whether to use the singular form of the verb or the plural, particularly with indefinite pronouns.
Singular indefinite pronouns use a singular verb and plural indefinite pronouns need a plural verb…but that sentence may not help you! So here’s a list of indefinite pronouns.
But first a simple rule to make it easier. Indefinite pronouns which end in –one or -body are always singular (anyone, everyone, somebody etc.). So someone goes and they both go …
|Singular Indefinite||Plural Indefinite||Singular or Plural Depending on Context|
The important thing to keep in mind is that when you’re writing, choose one version and stick to it.
|British (UK)||American (US)|
|Past actions with result now||Use present perfect |
I’ve lost my mobile phone. Have you seen it?
|Use present perfect or past simple
I’ve lost my cell phone. Have you seen it?
I lost my cell phone. Did you see it?
|Using shall||Either will or shall can be used with the first person (I or we)|
I will/shall be late to the meeting because my car’s broken down.
Shall can be used to ask for advice.
Which version of the report shall we use?
|Shall is unusual
I will be late to the meeting because my car’s broken down
Should is the more usual way to ask advice.
Which version of the report should we use?
|Can’t vs must not||UK English users use can’t to say that they believe something is not probable.|
I haven’t heard from David. He can’t have got my message yet.
|US English uses must not when something isn’t probable.
I haven’t heard from David. He must not have got my message yet
|The all important weekend||At the weekend/at weekends||On the weekend/on weekends|
(note: Indian English often uses fill up – not wrong, just different)
|Use either fill in or fill out||Use fill out|
|Round||Use either round or around.|
He turned round/around.
He turned around.
|Front/back||Use at the front or back |
Please sit at the front of the room.
|Use in the front or back
Please sit in the front of the room.