Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Barbara: Good afternoon!
Braden: Braden here. How to Get Special Pricing at an American Hotel. In this lesson, you’ll learn about Introduction to register usage and Group discounts.
Barbara: This conversation takes place in the afternoon, on the phone.
Braden: And it’s between Sarah and a receptionist.
Barbara: Sarah and the receptionist have never met so they’ll be speaking professionally.
Braden: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Sarah: My name is Sarah Walker, and I am calling on behalf of the Department of International Relations at the University of Indiana.
Receptionist: Yes, ma'am. How may I be of service?
Sarah: We are organizing an international seminar the first week of March, and we would like to host a dinner for our delegates at your restaurant. Are those dates open?
Receptionist: Let me check. I'm glad to inform you that there are currently no reservations for the first week of March.
Sarah: Excellent. I do have a few questions for you.
Receptionist: Yes?
Sarah: What kind of services do you provide?
Receptionist: We have three types of menus; our regular menu, a gluten-free menu, and a kosher menu. Since we have an in-house chef, we are also able to special order almost any recipe with advanced notice.
Sarah: Excellent! We have two delegates with special dietary requirements. How many restaurants do you have in the city and where are they located?
Receptionist: Just the one. We pride ourselves on being a unique traditional restaurant.
Sarah: Do you have a group pricing menu that I could look at?
Receptionist: Have you spoken to the manager?
Sarah: No. Why?
Receptionist: To get special pricing you're going to have to talk with the manager.
Sarah: Would you be able to transfer me to them?
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Braden: So, we wanted to talk a little bit about Group discounts.
Barbara: There are two distinct concepts when talking about purchasing in groups. The first is called collective buying. This is the concept behind websites such as groupon.com and many others.
Braden: Here, a discount is offered if a large group of people is willing to purchase the same item. This technique is common for purchasing products such as electronics, clothing, or refrigerators.
Barbara: Group discounts function in the opposite direction. In this case, a large group searches for and negotiates with a retailer to receive a discount on the same or similar items.
Braden: This practice is very common when negotiating for lower prices at restaurants and hotels, however extremely rare with products such as refrigerators, clothing, or electronics.
Barbara: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Vocabulary and Phrases
Braden: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Barbara: service [natural native speed]
Braden: work performed by a person or people who serve
Barbara: service [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: service [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: locate [natural native speed]
Braden: discover the exact place of something
Barbara: locate [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: locate [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: menu [natural native speed]
Braden: list of dishes that can be ordered
Barbara: menu [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: menu [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: special [natural native speed]
Braden: better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual
Barbara: special [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: special [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: manager [natural native speed]
Braden: a person who directs a team, often a business team
Barbara: manager [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: manager [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: provide [natural native speed]
Braden: equip or supply
Barbara: provide [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: provide [natural native speed]
: Next:
Barbara: transfer [natural native speed]
Braden: move from one place to another
Barbara: transfer [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Barbara: transfer [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: In the dialogue, we heard the phrase "in-house chef."
Braden: An in-house chef is a professional cook for a restaurant, hotel, or company.
Barbara: The difference between an in-house chef and a normal chef lies in that usually an in-house chef has permission to create new dishes upon request.
Braden: Usually, a restaurant or hotel has a specific menu, and the items available on the menu are the only things allowed to be made in the kitchen. For that matter, usually, the only ingredients in the kitchen are for making those specific dishes.
Barbara: An in-house chef typically has access to many ingredients and can create specific dishes upon request or create something new. The idea stems from a comparison to your own house where you can buy your own ingredients and make whatever food you want.
Braden: Could you break this down?
Barbara: in-house chef (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: in-house chef (fast)
Braden: Our next phrase is I’m glad to inform you. This is a polite phrase. It’s sometimes switched around to be “You be glad to know.”
Barbara: This phrase is used to introduce good news, in the case of the dialog, that the dates are free.
Braden: By using the word “inform” the speaker distances himself from the listener. This creates a formal, yet polite, feel to the conversation.
Barbara: Be that as it may, “I’m glad to inform you” isn’t commonly used in non-business contexts and never used in casual conversation. You'd sound stuffy, and like you're trying to sound smart.
Braden: Could you break this down?
Barbara: You be glad to know (slowly)
Braden: And one time fast?
Barbara: You be glad to know (fast)
Braden: Let’s take a look at the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Barbara: The focus of this lesson is an introduction to registers
Braden: In the dialogue, we heard the phrase
Barbara: Yes, ma’am. How may I be of service?
Braden: This is an example of a register. In linguistics, a register is a particular style or type of language used. What determines which register or which type of language we use is the context.
Barbara: At the advanced level, one of the most important "next steps" is to correctly identify and work within the different registers.
Braden: In English, registers are closely tied to formality and relationships. You can often identify if the relationship is formal, casual, professional, intimate, etc. based on the register used.
Barbara: Registers are kind of like boxes. In any given situation only one register (or box) is appropriate.
Braden: While in that context, you can only use the vocabulary, sentence structures, and pronunciation contained in that box...or register.
Barbara: In business contexts, the formal and consultative registers are most frequently used.
Braden: Therefore, it's important to increase the vocabulary and appropriate sentence structures that belong to that register.
Barbara: Let’s look at the major register categories. We’d just like to point out that there are many ways of dividing registers and the categories we’re going to talk about are just the basics.
Braden: First, the Frozen category. This is a language that does not change. Typically, these are prayers and pledges, "set" speech which is often scripted.
Barbara: Since it's a fixed language, it's often archaic. For example, on all money in the USA the frozen phrase "In God we trust." is found.
Braden: Next we have the formal category. This category uses complete sentences and specific word usage. This register is often used to show respect.
Barbara: The formal register is used in places such as work, school, and public offices. This is the register used for most writing.
Braden: For example, "Thank you for submitting your resume. We will call you within three days if you have been chosen for an interview."
Barbara: Next we have the Consultative register. This uses the formal language used in conversation. This register is used with colleagues, peers, co-workers, etc.
Braden: "I apologize for being blunt, but the service was unsatisfactory, and I'd like a refund."
Barbara: Next we have the casual register. This register denotes language used in conversation with friends. This register is often idiomatic and full of slang.
Braden: For the advanced ESL learner, this is probably your most complete register.
Barbara: Example phrases would be things like, "So, how are things back East?"
Braden: Last we have the Intimate register. This is language between family members, close friends. It’s often full of "private" language full of codewords specific to the members of that group or known only to those in the "in-group."
Barbara: For example, "How are you doing, my love?"
Braden: You wouldn’t call just anyone, “My love.”

Outro

Braden: That just about does it for today.
Braden: Thanks for listening!
Barbara: See you later!

11 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:30 PM
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Hello EnglishClass101.com listeners! How are you today? Did this lesson help you?

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 05:38 PM
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Hello Yifei,


Thanks for getting in touch.


"How are things back east?" is a question asking how things are going/ what the situation is in an area east. This would only be asked to someone who knew what area is meant by 'east.'


I hope this is helpful to you. 😄👍


Sincerely,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Yifei Guan
Tuesday at 04:20 AM
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Hello, what's the meaning of “So, how are things back East?"

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 08:28 PM
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Hi there Lorna,


Thanks again for a great question and for the positive feedback!


Another way to answer a business call would be to say "How may I assist you?" or "What can I help you with?"


Be sure to use "Good morning/afternoon" and an introduction to yourself too e.g. "This is Éva speaking."


I hope this is helpful to you!


Cheers,

Eva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Lorna
Wednesday at 05:46 PM
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Hi 101 team:


Glad to inform you that I loved this lesson.


Could you be able to provide me, in a business context, another examples to answer a phone call, besides "How may I help you" or "How may I be of service?


Thanks in advance

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 01:17 PM
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Hello Luis,


Thank you for taking the time to ask us your question.


You can say this statement without the word 'do' as well.


Please let us know if you have any questions throughout your studies.


Cheers,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Luis
Monday at 04:52 PM
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Hi, I Have a doubt is the sentence "I do have a few questions for you", is ok to say "I have a few questions for you" with out "do"?

Englishclass101.com Verified
Sunday at 05:12 PM
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Hi AungZW,


Thank you for posting.


Should you have any questions, please let us know.


Sincerely

Cristiane

Team Englishclass101.com

AungZW
Wednesday at 03:55 PM
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Thumb

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 11:10 AM
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Hi ALEXANDER,


Sarah Walker (A in the conversation) doesn't know who the manager is, so she doesn't know if the manager is male or female. If you don't know whether someone is male or female, instead of using "him" or "her" and maybe being wrong, you can use "them" instead. Basically, she used "them" because she doesn't know if the manager is a man.


Thanks,

Kellie

Team EnglishClass101.com

ALEXANDER
Wednesday at 10:28 PM
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B: To get special pricing you're going to have to talk with the manager.

A: Would you be able to transfer me to them?


The question is:


Why "them" instead of " him" ?