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Capítulo 2:

 The office. La oficina en inglés

“Actions speak louder than words”

LEAD-IN Thinking...

Logos empresas

Try to answer these questions:

-What do you know about these international companies?

-In your view, is it better to work for a large or a small company?


   How many times did you have to introduce yourself and your job responsibilities and you were not able to say a word? Have you ever needed to present your company, its organization and structure, and couldn’t do it because you lacked the vocabulary and expressions required to do so?

In this unit we are going to work on different aspects in order to be fluent when talking about your company and your job.  We will practice how to describe the profile and organization of a company, how to talk about job titles, roles, responsibilities and work, and how to detail personal qualities.

First of all, let’s have a look at some useful language about what you can say or you might hear in situations of this context.

            English   USEFUL LANGUAGE



The profile of a company is, generally talking, a concise description which, among other items of information, includes firm's history, number and quality of its human, financial, and physical resources, organizational and management structure, past, current and anticipated performance, and its reputation, and the standing of its goods or services.

This information can be given by the company in itself or can be checked on the company’s website. This information can be public to anyone interested in the company.

The information provided in the company profile, can be different from one company to another depending on its size, product-service and culture.

EnglishActivity 1.

Try to write the profile of your company according to this template. Remember it consists on concise information so don’t write long sentences nor give too much information.


Describing the organization of a company can be sometimes difficult if the company is a very big one.

The organization of a company is all the formal and informal framework of policies and rules, within which an organization arranges its lines of authority and communications, and allocates rights and duties.


Organizational structure determines the manner and extent to which roles, power, and responsibilities are delegated, controlled, and coordinated, and how information flows between levels of management. This structure depends entirely on the organization's objectives and the strategy chosen to achieve them.

In a centralized structure, the decision making power is concentrated in the top layer of the management and tight control is exercised over departments and divisions. In a decentralized structure, the decision making power is distributed and the departments and divisions have varying degrees of autonomy. In these terms we can talk about:

-  Hierarchical organizations: common, pyramid-like organization where one person is in charge of a functional area (engineering, finance, marketing) with one or more subordinates handling the sub-functions. In a hierarchical organization (whether business, military, political, or religious) higher levels imply greater superiority and domination than the lower ones, and the chain of command extends straight from the top to the bottom.

- Flat organization:  organizational structure where most middle-management levels and their functions have been eliminated, thus bringing the top management in direct contact with the frontline salespeople, shop floor employees, and customers.       






Mind the propositions used in these expressions.

Activity 2.

Match the parts of these sentences to complete the different expressions for describing responsibilities.


When describing our job and our responsibilities we often use the verb to work. This verb, combined with different prepositions, has different meanings.

Activity 3           

Fill-in the gaps of these sentences with the appropriate prepositions (you may need a dictionary):


               a. I work ________ a large international company.

               b. I work ________ the sales department.

               c. The colleagues I work __________ are very supportive.

               d. I work mainly ___________ our London office.

               e. At the moment I’m working __________ a big project.

               f. I have to work _________ very tight deadlines.

               g. I work ___________ Jane and Sara in Marketing.

               e. I am now working __________ Marketing manager Sophia Pawle in Web Design, a young department.

               f. I work  _________ Head of HR __________  Landmart.



Which of the following personal qualities best describe you?


Remember to use active verbs when talking about

your job and your personal qualities. For more on active verbs see ANNEX I

Activity 4           

The word below has five syllables and the third syllable is the stressed one.


Now, take the example “analytic” answer these two questions:  

a) How many syllables does the word have?

b) Where is the main stress?

Yes, it has four syllables and the third one is again the stressed one. According to this, its stress pattern would be:


Now, look at these words and write each of them in the correct column below bearing in mind their stress patterns:











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