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Capýtulo 1:

 Coming into contact. Entrar en contacto en inglés

 “All things are difficult before they are easy”

LEAD-IN thinking....


Imagine you meet some business people at a faire for the first time. Which of the following subjects are considered to be:

  • Safe
  • conversation killers
  • a bit risky



Knowing people for the first time can be risky not only because there might be cultural differences between you and the others but also because first impressions last.

In a business context, when we meet someone for the first time, it is very important to use the appropriate language and to be aware of the diplomatic protocol to follow. In other words, it is necessary to know the set of rules for the correct performance on different formal occasions.

In this unit we are going to practice how to give our best through language performance when greeting someone, introducing people, giving and asking for personal details and trying to keep a conversation going.

Before that, let’s have a look at some tips related to more cultural and behavioural matters:


¡  For more on:

-       BODY LANGUAGE: http://library.thinkquest.org/26618/en-3.4.1=meeting.htm

-       CULTURAL AWARENESS:http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/culture-tests.html

-       COLOURS: http://www.independent.co.uk/student/postgraduate/mbas-guide/its-all-in-the-hues-that-you-choose-687468.html



¿? BASIC Useful language:



  Text     BASIC Useful language


Note that when we introduce ourselves in English we use the first person subject pronoun (I) whereas when we

Want to introduce someone else; we use demonstrative pronouns (this/these).

Activity 1.

Read this dialogue and fill-in the gaps with most suitable word:


Nick:           Hi, Nick.

Emma:        Hi, I’m Emma. I’m a of Frank.

Nick:           Yes I know, I work with him. Let me you his sister. She’s here for the weekend. Julie, is Emma. She’s a friend of Frank.

Julie:           Hi, Emma. Nice to you.

Emma:        Hi! Nice to meet you, too. Frank has told me a lot about you...



When meeting people for the first time, we might be interested in some personal details from the other and

vice-versa. Personal details can go from the name to the job position.  Later on, we’ll get deeply on talking about job positions and responsibilities. Let’s have a look now to some very basic and general expressions:



If we want to keep a conversation going, we can use follow-up questions. They are questions used to express your interest on what the other person is saying and also to find out more information.

Look at this example: 

A: I’ve lived here for five years now.

B: Oh, really? Where did you live before?

Also, question tags are a good strategy to keep a conversation going. Note that the intonation we use in question tags can affect its purpose. If we do not know the answer and are asking for clarification, then we use a rising intonation (our voice goes up). However, if we know the answer and are simply asking for the listener to agree with us, then we use falling intonation (our voice goes down).


We can ask short question immediately after hearing something, in order to show interest and ask for more information as well. This is what we refer to as reply questions.

Look at this example:  

A: It’s my birthday today.

B: Is it? Congratulations.

Remember, when giving your personal details and trying to keep a conversation going,

SMILE and keep good EYE CONTACT, conversations will then last longer! !




Activity 2.

Imagine you are speaking to someone at a conference. Use these ideas to make questions using question tags.

Example:  a. John’s a nice guy, isn’t he?

a. John / nice guy

b. He / not live in London

c. presentation /great

d. you / give a talk


Try practice saying these sentences with the different intonations seen before.

Capýtulo siguiente - The office. La oficina en inglés

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