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Lesson Transcript

Braden: Hi, everyone. Braden here.
Ann: Ann here. Apologies and Implied Promises. In this lesson, you will learn some excellent phrases for apologizing and about implied promises.
Braden: In this conversation, the guest is calling the front desk from their room in the late evening.
Ann: The conversation is between the guest and the front desk.
Braden: The speakers have a staff-customer relationship, so they will be speaking professionally.
Ann: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Ann:In this dialogue, the front desk agent used several phrases to apologize for the inconveniences the guest was experiencing.
Braden:There are many ways to do this in English. The most common way is to say, “I’m sorry...” followed by the reason you are saying you are sorry.
Ann:For example, “I’m sorry. The house is fully booked.”
Braden:Often, there are opportunities in which you can be more polite to your guests while apologizing. Most often, this happens by adding a word just before “sorry.”
Ann:For example, “I am awfully sorry, sir.” Here the word “awfully” is inserted before “sorry” to emphasize their “sorry-ness.”
Braden:You could also say, “I’m terribly sorry.”
Ann:Now let’s take a look at the vocabulary.
Ann:Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Braden:the first phrase we're going to look at is “Seems unusually loud.”
Ann:The phrase “seems unusually loud” refers to the sound the guest was hearing from outside the room.
Braden:Usually, when a hotel room door is closed, it is very difficult to hear sounds from the outside. The guest called to complain about the noise in the hallway being louder than normal.
Ann:The pronunciation for this phrase can sometimes be difficult. Let’s hear it one time slowly,
Braden:“Seems unusually loud”
Ann:This is often because of the letter “U’s” in “unusually” which makes three different sounds, one right after another.
Braden:First we have, “uhn” followed by “U” followed by “-oo-.” so, altogether it would be,
Ann:“Unusually” And the entire phrase is “Seems unusually loud.”
Braden:Our second phrase is “I do apologize...”
Ann:The phrase “I do apologize” is a more polite way of saying “I’m sorry.” It also has a slightly different meaning. “I do apologize” uses the verb “do” as a kind of auxiliary to “apologize.”
Braden:However, “do” only serves to emphasize the apology. It does not perform some of its usual grammatical functions, such as asking questions or helping sentences be past present or future or what ever.
Ann:The phrase “I do apologize” is usually followed by a conjunction such as “but” or “and.” For example, “I do apologize but the manager will not be in until 3 o’clock.”
Braden:or you could also say, “I do apologize and we will have this resolved as soon as possible.”
Ann:Ok, let's take a look at the grammar now.
Braden:In this lesson, you’ll learn about apologies and “implied promises.”
Ann:In the dialog, we hear the phrase “I'll send someone up to check on that right away.”
Braden:The front desk agent made many implied promises. An implied promise is when someone states that they are going to do something but they do not specifically say “I promise to...”
Ann:And then follow it with their promise. They simply make a statement about what will happen. For example, “I'll have some towels sent to your room immediately.”
Braden:These implied promises are important to hoteliers because, as caretakers of others, they are placed in a position of trust relative to the guest.
Ann:That’s right. For example, the front desk agent said “I’ll have someone go by your room in a few minutes.” She did not say “I promise.” However, her language is very specific and the guest will expect someone to be at their room within a few minutes.
Braden:If that does not happen, the guest may feel deceived, and the front desk agent may be held accountable if the guest complains to the manager.
Ann:To an American, phrases like “in a few minutes,” “right away,” and “immediately” all imply a very short period of time. Usually five minutes or less.
Braden:Our tip here is to not tell the guests you’ll have someone there “in a few minutes”, unless you know for sure that it can be done. If you don’t know how long it will take, you can tell the guest you’ll talk to someone and get an estimate.
Ann:For example, a guest calls and requests the mini-bar be restocked. You’re not sure how long that will take, so you say, “I’m not sure how long that will take but, with your permission, I’ll consult with the hotel staff and call you back as soon as I can.”
Braden:If you tell the guest something will happen and then it doesn’t happen within the timeframe that you told them, the guest may consider that lying, and they may complain to your manager.
Ann:If there is some kind of problem you know will delay your response, explain that to the guest. For example, imagine there is something wrong with the bathtub and the guest calls to complain.
Braden:First, you should apologize and then request that the guest wait for you to resolve the matter. In this case, you could say,
Ann:"I'm sorry sir, but our maintenance specialist is currently busy in another room. I will get a timeframe from him and call you back as soon as possible."
Braden:Alternatively, if the hotel manager allows it, you could transfer the guest to a nearby room. This way, the guest’s situation is resolved while you and maintenance can fix the bathtub without inconveniencing the guest.


Braden: That’s it for this lesson. Thanks for listening, everyone!
Ann: And we’ll see you next time!