Dialogue - English

Hide

Vocabulary

Hide
annual (British) something that happens once a year
agenda schedule
committee a formal group of elected people that focuses on investigating and taking action on a particular issue or range of issues
objections expressions or feelings of disapproval
judgement an opinion or conclusion
occur happen
gauge estimate or the amount of
scheduled describing something that has been planned
execute put into effect
guideposts something that acts as guidance to a particular end point
respective relate separately to each of two or more things
seminar a conference or other meeting

Lesson Notes

Hide

Grammar

The Focus of this Lesson is the "-ate" Syllable
"As you all know, every year we coordinate the third-largest international seminar in the United States."


 

Many learners of American English stress the "-ate" syllable. However, the first syllable should be stressed (estimate), even if and "-ed" ("estimated") or "-ing" ("estimating") is added.

For example, it's exaggerate not exaggerate, motivate not motivate, and congratulate not congratulate.

The stress shifts to another syllable only when "-ion" is added ("estimation"). With practice, the pattern will become natural and automatic.

For example:

estimate estimated estimating estimator (estimation)
indicate indicated indicating indicator (indication)
coordinate coordinated coordinating coordinator (coordination)

 

Parts of Speech Tip



Sometimes "-ate" words are adjectives, nouns, and adverbs, as well as verbs.

Adjective with "-ate": "That's an accurate description."

Noun with "-ate": "He's a graduate of Harvard."

Adverb with "-ate": "Send the package immediately."

"It" adjectives, nouns, and adverbs with "-ate," the stress pattern is the same, but "-ate" sounds like the word "it."

Noun ("-ate" = "it")
"Here is a duplicate of the letter."
"He's going to give us an estimate."

Verb ("-ate" = "ate")
"I need to duplicate the letter."
"He's going to estimate the cost."

 

Verb

Add "-ed"

Add "-ing"

Noun/adjective

Add "-ion"

graduate graduated graduating graduate graduation
associate associated associating associate association
demonstrate demonstrated demonstrating X demonstration
differentiate differentiated differentiating X differentiation
separate separated separating separate separatio

Cultural Insights

Business English—Introduction to Meetings



One of the most common requirements of business English is holding meetings in English. The following sections provide useful language and phrases for conducting meetings and making contributions to a meeting.

 

Meetings generally follow a more or less similar structure and can be divided into the following parts:

I. Introductions
Opening the Meeting
Welcoming and Introducing Participants
Stating the Principal Objectives of a Meeting
Giving Apologies for Someone Who is Absent

II. Reviewing Past Business
Reading the Minutes (notes) of the Last Meeting
Dealing with Recent Developments

III. Beginning the Meeting
Introducing the Agenda
Allocating Roles (secretary, participants)
Agreeing on the Ground Rules for the Meeting (contributions, timing, decision-making, etc.)

IV. Discussing Items
Introducing the First Item on the Agenda
Closing an Item
Next Item
Giving Control to the Next Participant

V. Finishing the Meeting
Summarizing
Finishing Up
Suggesting and Agreeing on Time, Date and Place for the Next Meeting
Thanking Participants for Attending

VI. Closing the Meeting
The following pages focus on each part of the meeting and the appropriate language for each situation.

Lesson Transcript

Hide
INTRODUCTION
Braden: In this lesson you’ll learn about Using -ate words to determine stress and we'll give you an Introduction to Meetings.
Barbara: This conversation takes place in the morning, at a meeting.
Braden: And both Sarah and the Chairman are speaking to the group.
Barbara: This is a formal committee meeting so the conversation will use formal language.

Lesson conversation

Chairman: Good morning everyone. I'd like to welcome you all as committee members for the 32nd annual International Relations seminar. Sarah, what's first on our agenda?
Sarah: We need to determine how frequently we will be holding these planning meetings, on what day they will occur, and at what time of the day.
Chairman: Traditionally, these meetings have been held Wednesday at noon, every other week. Any objections?
Sarah: I see no objections so the next meeting will be on Wednesday the 12th of September at noon.
Chairman: Down to business. As you all know, every year we coordinate the third-largest international seminar in the United States. This year it's been scheduled for the first week of March and our topic for this year is energy. Sarah built separate task lists for each of you to complete by the next meeting.
Sarah: If I may, Mr. Chairman, these task lists are not comprehensive. They are more like descriptions of checkpoints we need to reach in the immediate future. Please use your best judgment to gauge how, when, and where to execute your duties within your respective responsibilities.
Chairman: Thank you, Sarah. For all of you, Sarah will coordinate all the communication aspects of the seminar. If there's anything official you want communicated to the group or to the attendees, tell her.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Braden: This is our first lesson in our advanced series. And in this series, we're going to talk a lot about business English. And specifically in this lesson, we're going to give you an introduction to Meetings.
Barbara: One of the most common requirements of business English is holding meetings in English. So we're going to provide you with useful language and phrases for conducting meetings and making contributions to a meeting.
Braden: First, meetings generally follow a more or less similar structure and can be divided into the following six parts – introductions, reviewing past business, beginning the meeting, discussing items, finishing the meeting, and closing the meeting.
Barbara: First, introductions. During the introduction, the group leader Opens the Meeting, Welcomes and Introduces Participants, States the Principal Objectives of the Meeting, and Gives Apologies for Someone Who is Absent. Not necessarily in that order, but usually, those steps take place.
Braden: Second, the group reviews Past Business. This is usually done by reading the meeting Minutes, which are a type of official version of notes of the Last Meeting, and then they deal with Recent Developments.
Barbara: Third, the group Begins the Meeting. In this phase, the agenda is introduced. If different roles need to be assigned it also happens now. For example, allocating roles such as secretary, note taker, leader, etc.
Braden: Fourth, the group, continues by Discussing Items, Introducing the First Item on the Agenda, Closing the Items, moving on to the next Item, and Giving Control to other participants so that they may participate.
Barbara: Fifth, the group moves on to Finish the Meeting. Some of the key aspects are Summarizing, Finishing Up, Suggesting and Agreeing on Time, Date and Place for the Next Meeting, and Thanking Participants for Attending.
Braden: And last of all the meeting is closed. These are the basic phases of a meeting. Sometimes, depending on the organization, there may be more parts and steps or less. However, in most companies, most meetings follow this general structure.
VOCAB LIST
Braden: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Barbara: committee [natural native speed]
Braden: a formal group of elected people that focuses on investigating and taking action on a particular issue or range of issues
Barbara: committee [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: committee [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: seminar [natural native speed]
Braden: a conference or other meeting
Barbara: seminar [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: seminar [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: occur [natural native speed]
Braden: happen
Barbara: occur [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: occur [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: objections [natural native speed]
Braden: expressions or feelings of disapproval
Barbara: objections [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: objections [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: guideposts [natural native speed]
Braden: something that acts as guidance to a particular end point
Barbara: guideposts [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: guideposts [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: gauge [natural native speed]
Braden: estimate or the amount of
Barbara: gauge [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: gauge [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: judgement [natural native speed]
Braden: an opinion or conclusion
Barbara: judgement [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: judgement [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: respective [natural native speed]
Braden: relate separately to each of two or more things
Barbara: respective [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: respective [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: execute [natural native speed]
Braden: put into effect
Barbara: execute [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: execute [natural native speed]
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
Braden: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Barbara: The first word/phrase we’ll look at is....
Barbara: In the dialogue, we heard a phrase that demonstrated Specifying meeting times
Braden: One of the routine parts of having a meeting is setting dates and times. This can be for major events or just for the next meeting.
Barbara: In the dialog, the example was for a meeting. Sarah said, “I see no objections so the next meeting will be on Wednesday the 12th of September at noon.”
Braden: The phrase structure is like this – First say “The next meeting will be on” then you insert the (day of the week, like "Friday"). If you’re writing, you insert a comma after the day of the week.
Barbara: Next is the date, (as in "the twenty-first").
Braden: After that, insert the preposition "of" followed by the (month).
Barbara: Last is the preposition "at" followed by the time the meeting is scheduled to start.
Braden: Altogether it becomes - "The next meeting will be on (day), the . . . (date) of.. . (month) at ... (time)" Or altogether, The next meeting will be on Wednesday, the 7th of September at twelve-thirty.
Barbara: If needed you can add a location at the end using the preposition (in) followed by the location.
Braden: So, "in this room" or "in a conference room." For me, the key here, to this entire phrase structure, is to remember that you shouldn’t use the same preposition twice. If you do, then you’ve probably put things out of order.
Barbara: Our next phrase is If I may,...
Braden: This is a very polite phrase usually used by a subordinate to their superior.
Barbara: “If I may,...” is used to ask permission because the verb “may” communicates the idea of permission. At this point, it is different from “can” which expresses the idea of capability.
Braden: Could you break this down?
Barbara: (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: (fast)
Braden: Let’s take a look at the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Braden: So ---, what’s the focus of this lesson?
Barbara: The focus of this lesson is the -ate syllable.
Braden: In the dialogue, we heard the phrase
Barbara: As you all know, every year we coordinate the third-largest international seminar in the United States.
Braden: Many learners of American English stress the -ate syllable. It’s “EStimate,” not “esTImate” or “estiMAte.”
Barbara: Even if an -ed is added to get “estimated” the stress is still in the same place. The same goes if you add an -ing to get “estimating.” It’s still the same stressed syllable.
Braden: For example, it's “exAggerate” not “exaggerAte,” “MOtivate” not “motivAte,” and “congrAtulate” not “congratulAte.”
Barbara: The stress shifts to another syllable only when -i-o-n is added as in “estimAtion.
Braden: Let’s look at some examples. First, we have, “indicate” and “coordinate.”
Barbara: In the past tense they become “indicated” and “coordinated.” Notice how the stress is on the same syllable.
Braden: In the -ing form we have, “indicating” and “coordinating.” The stress is still on the same syllable.
Barbara: Next is the -tor form. Here we have “indicator” and “coordinator.” Still, the stress is on the same syllable.
Braden: Last we have, “indication” and “coordination.” only in this state does the stress change.
Barbara: Now it’s at the end, “indication” and “coordination .“
Braden: A quick tip about using parts of speech. -ate words can be adjectives, nouns, and adverbs, as well as verbs.
Barbara: For example, as an adjective, an example sentence would be – "That's an accurate description."
Braden: As a noun, an example sentence would be, “He's a graduate of Harvard.”
Barbara: And as an adverb, an example sentence would be, “Send the package immediately.”
Braden: Now the tip is that in adjectives, nouns, and adverbs with -ate, the stress pattern is the same, but -ate syllable is pronounced like the word "it."
Barbara: Let’s use the word "duplicate" in an example sentence, "Here is a duplicate of the letter."
Braden: As a verb, it would be, "I need to duplicate the letter."
Barbara: Another -ate word would estimate, "He's going to give us an estimate." This is used as a noun.
Braden: Used as a verb, it would be, "He's going to estimate the cost."
Barbara: Let’s look at a word with many syllables. How about the word “differentiate?”
Braden: “Differentiate” has five syllables. The stress is on the second syllable before the -ate.
Barbara: So it’s “differentiate.” and “differentiated” with the -ed and “differentiating” with an -ing.
Braden: You can’t use “differentiate” as a noun, so no examples of that. Sorry about that!
Barbara: However, if you add on the -ion suffix, you get “differentiation.”
Braden: Here the stress changes to the syllable directly before the -ion syllable. And it becomes “differentiation.”

Outro

Braden: That just about does it for today!
Barbara: Thanks for being with us.
Braden: Thanks for listening.
Barbara: Bye-bye!