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1.Describe your role

Tense: present simple and continuous

I’m responsible for our website and managing the IT systems. But I also develop new system for the future.

We ‘re constantly improving the usability of our app.

I work for xx company.

I’m a software engineer.

I work as a software engineer.

I’m responsible for …

I work in an e-commerce company/an office/ Singapore).

We provide infrastructure service.

I have 10 years of experience in web application development.

My job involves …

I’m based in …

My main role is to …

Our headquarters are in …

I’m head of marketing/ in the marketing department.

2.Describing processes

Grammar: Passive Voice & Sequencers

To be + Past participle

Iphones are made by Apple.

Stamps are sold at the post office.

A claim is reported by the customer.


To begin with

First of all

Firstly, Secondly, thirdly, etc



After that




3.Writing reports

Grammar: Linking words, Referencing

Addition ( and, also, besides, on top of this)

Contrast (however, but, although, despite this)

Result (So, for the reason, as a result, therefore)

Comparison(similar to)

Example( for example)

Reason( because of)

The People Team is developing a cross-cultural program, which will be rolled out in Singapore first. They will share more details about this in the coming months. If you haven’t indicated your interest, please do so here.

When the issue first came up, the AB team only checked the status of their own services and left the suspicious certs to the CD team. Tom then came to the conclusion that the MBP certs were fine. We accepted this without confirming and double checking, which was a mistake because the MBP certs actually had some problems. This shows that there are still some blind spots in the whole pipeline, and as a result, we failed to find the root cause. We need to keep investigating the problem until we do so.

As we must ensure we have a clear and accurate operation in the production environment, please double check your operation or script which needs to be executed there. It’s also better for us to have the testing before the execution. On top of this, adding the operation review is a very important process, as we will have reviewers in the future. Please consider all possible risks when you execute the operation. After you have found a new solution that you want to deploy to the environment, please first review it with your leader or peers before deploying it.

4.Problems and suggestions

Describing problems













Grammar: Verb patterns

I’m not ready to do that.(infinitive)

I apologise for doing that. (gerund)

He let me do that. (base verb)


1) Are used after certain verbs:

agree, ask, decide, help, plan, hope, learn, want, would like, and promise

2) To show purpose: (in order to…)

I left for Russia to study Russian.

I came to the office to solve the mystery of the missing keys.

3) After adjectives:

Everyone is welcome to participate.

They are certain to win.


1) Are used after certain verbs:

enjoy, fancy, discuss, dislike, finish, mind, suggest, recommend, keep, and avoid

2) After prepositions of place and time

I made dinner before going out.

They won by cheating.

3) To replace the subject or object of a sentence:

Jumping off a cliff is dangerous, but a real thrill. Trudi likes using coconut oil.

5.Dealing with problems

Saying there’s a problem

I seem to have a problem.

It looks like we have a serious problem.

Finding out more details

Can you be a bit more specific?

Are you saying …?

Diagnosing a problem

It could have something to do with …

In that case, it’s probably…

Making a suggestion

Have you tried …?

What I suggest is that …

Accepting a suggestion

Right, that make sense.

Rejecting a suggestion

I’m not sure it’s…

I’m not sure about that idea.

Taking action

I’ll come over…

So, the best thing would be to …

6.Giving suggestions & Modal verbs

Grammar: Modal verbs

should, need to, must, shouldn’t, don’t have to

You mustn’t go there… because it’s dangerous.

You don’t have to go there…because I already did.

You mustn’t call him… because he needs to rest.

You don’t have to call him… because he will remember.

7. Performance

Chris is going to have his 6-month performance review. He filled in this form before talking to his manager. Read it and answer this question: Is he happy in the company?

1. Have the last six months been good/bad/satisfactory? Why?

Good. I’ve really learnt a lot since I started here and everyone has been really helpful.

2. What do you consider are your most important achievements of the six months?

I completed my initial training in June and was given a permanent contract.

3. Which parts of the job interest you the most? And the least?

Solving problems with machinery.

4. How could your performance be improved in your current position?

Just continue what I’m doing – learning more.

5. How does Chris feel about working with other people?

It’s okay, but he likes working alone. It’s something he needs to work on.

1. What have they agreed to do?

Boss will speak to Head of Engineering about technical training for Chris.

Chris will look at the questionnaire on teams and team working.

2. What question does Chris’s manager ask to check agreement?

Is that OK with you?

3. What does the manager say to signal that it is the end of the meeting?

Now, is there anything else you’d like to add? We’ve still got five minutes.

Performance dialogue phrases

(Manager) Starting(Manager) Giving feedback(Manager) Encouraging self-evaluation
As you know, the aim of this conversation is ..

Let’s begin by …

Overall …/In general…

I would like to say before we begin that…
(+)I’m/We’re very happy/pleased with your performance…

You seem to be doing very well.

(-)Perhaps one thing to work on is …

One thing I wanted to discuss was…
How are you getting on with…?

Have you thought about…?

What do you think would help you to …?

Is this an area you’d like to develop?

How do you feel about…?
(Employee)Evaluating your own performance(Manager)Setting objectives(Manager) Agreeing on objectives
I’m really happy with…

I think… is an area for improvement.

Something I need to work on is …
So let’s summarise what we’ve agreed.

You intend to …

You need to think about…

One thing you’re going to do is …
How does that sound?

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Is that OK with you?

Performance dialogue phrases

(Employee) W依赖ays to respond(Manager)Ending the meeting
(+)That’s good to know.
That’s nice to hear.

Oh really?
I didn’t know that was an issue.

(-) I’m not sure I completely agree.
That’s all from me today. Thanks for your time.

That was a good chat. If there’s nothing else. I’ll see you at the (next meeting)…

I’ll let you get back to your work.

8. Dealing with conflict

Grammar: Adverb clauses of condition

Useful expressions

Starting the conversationPresenting your point of view
I called you in today to talk about…
I’d like to talk about…
We need to talk about…
It seems to me that…
I feel…
In my view, …
I take your point but…
I’m afraid I have to disagree with you there.
I think we might have different ideas about…
Help me understand why…
Would you be willing to…?
What would you need from me?
Ending on a positive note
I’m grad we were able to work it out.
I appreciate you telling me this.
Thanks for listening to me.

Using adverb clauses

1. As long as you can show me you’re taking shorter breaks. I’ll amend the review.

2. I won’t change my review until you can show me that you can come in on time.

3. I’ll revise the review as soon as you show me that you can meet the deadlines.

4. Unless something big changes, I’m confident I’ll improve.

5. He is very choosy. He will eat sushi unless it’s prepared by a Japanese chef.

Adverb + present tense, Future(will, going to) / Modals(should, might, can)

If you work hard, you will get an excellent appraisal.

As long as you work hard, you will get an excellent appraisal.

Unless you work hard, you won’t get an excellent appraisal.

Until you work hard, you won’t get an excellent appraisal.

Adverbs with meanings similar to if: provided that, on condition that, only if, as long as, as soon as(time)

until can mean before and up to the time: I can’t complete the reports until next week. Until I was 20, I lived with my parents.

unless means “if …… not ……”: Unless you work hard, you won’t succeed. Peter won’t go unless his dog can accompany him.

Sometimes you can use both unless or until: Until you work hard, you won’t succeed. I won’t go until/unless you come too.

However, only one is possible in some contexts: I lived with my parents until I was 20. He will get fired unless his attitude changes.

9. Numbers and Figures

1. We need to get 12( a dozen) curry puffs for the meeting.

2. It’s nearly 4.45(quarter to 5). Let’s go!

3. Inflation is up by 0.5%.(oh;nought- BrE/zero-AmE)

4. Mr Kim is arriving in 2 weeks.(a fortnight)

5. Arsenal beat Chelsea 5-0.(nil)

6. The match ended 1-1.(all)

7. James Bond is known as 007.(double oh)

8. The party finished on time at 12.00 am.(midnight)

9. We’ve got 2(a couple of) hours left.

10. They have already spent $15,000(k/grand) on the project.

Countable/ Uncountable/ Both


We use quantifiers to give information about the amount of something.

much/many/ a lot/ lots of

I have a lot of data.

I don’t have many team members.

There are many problems.

A lot of / lots of is used with both countable and uncountable nouns.

  • There’s a lot of data.( uncountable)
  • There are a lot of people.(countable)

A lot of/ lots of is followed by a noun. Without the noun, remove of

  • Do you have time? Yes, lots.
  • Were there many issues? Not a lot.

Much and many are often used in negative sentences and questions

  • I don’t have much information
  • Do you have many team members?

It’s possible to use many in affirmative sentences, but not much.

  • There are many options to choose from.
  • I have much a lot of information.
  • This is going to take much a lot of information.
  • This is going to take much a lot of time.

10. Negotiations


Be prepared. Be clear in your own mind how far you are prepared to compromise and what you need to achieve.

Open the negotiation with a highball or lowball offer. Lead with a figure that is higher than you are willing to accept.

The negotiation doesn’t start until someone says “no,” so don’t be afraid to say it.

Listen to counter proposals, and then move to the middle in the negotiation to reach an agreement.

Always do your research. Understand what is possible or reasonable, and what is not.

Be strategic. Identify one thing you want most, and then be willing to give way on other points to get it.

Useful language

Beginning of NegotiationSignalling flexibility
One area we need to discuss is how long the transfer will be for.There may be room for some movement there.I’m sure we can sort something out.
Proposal/Counter-proposalSignalling rejection
One option would be to …

Would you be willing to meet me halfway?

Okay, what kind of figure were you thinking of?

We were hoping for something a bit closer to two years.

We might be in a position to…

Would you be willing to accept a four year stay?
5 years was not quite what I had in mind.

I’m sorry, but I’m afraid that’s impossible.

I’m afraid it just wouldn’t work if we had to stay that long.

I won’t be able to get my boss to agree on this.

Okay, I’d be happy to stay longer, provided that the company will provide a relocation allowance.
So, are we in agreement on a three year transfer?

I’m happy with that, thank you.

11. Reporting progress

Grammar: Present Perfect tense

Tina worked in Tokyo and Hanoi as a teacher before moving to other locations around Vietnam. All in all, she has worked in seven different countries, achieving great success. She has been a leader in the industry for 10 years, and even won an award last year from the government.

Past participles

Choose chosen

begin begun

take taken

withdraw withdrawn

conduct conducted

input inputted/input

get got/gotten

rise risen

Present Perfect: we can use past simple or present perfect for completed action in the past.

She worked in Tokyo.

She has worked in Tokyo before.

We use past simple when we’re talking about a specific point/event in the past.

She worked in Tokyo in 1998.

She worked in Tokyo before moving to Hanoi.

We use present perfect to talk about actions that began in the past and are still true today.

She has been here since 10am.

We use present perfect to talk about experience up to now

I haven’t finished the report yet.

We use present perfect to give news.

There has been an increase in cases all over the world.

This is the first time I have had this problem.

12. Editing and proofreading

Do you know where the longest road on Earth can be found? The Pan-American Highway is about 48,000 km long. It begins in Alaska and passes through Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Then it continues down the west coast of South America all the way to Argentina. Altogether, the highway passes through 14 countries. In 8 of the 14 countries ,the roads are very bad. You have to do a lot of dangerous driving, so you have to be careful.

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