So, you’ve got that exciting new job but you’re nervous about your spoken English.
If you think it requires a great deal to learn to speak English fluently, you need not worry. You can speak slowly and correctly. Fluency comes on its own with time.
Don’t try to memorize long and complicated sentences. All you need is to learn a set of simple and easy sentences. Your co-workers don’t care about your grammar or impressive vocabulary. They will probably understand and appreciate that you care to learn to speak English. If you do not understand something, you may ask them to repeat it slowly for you.
At this stage, it is enough that you’re understood. Be confident and the rest will fall into place.
There are many ways people introduce themselves but you can get started with the following simple English introductions.
Hi, great to meet you. This can be said to someone you just met and who introduced himself/herself.
I am the new (job position). What do you do? This will help introduce what you are going to be doing and help you to learn what others are responsible for.
Different ways of saying ‘hello’
Good morning/good afternoon/good evening. Can be shortened without the “good” too, for a more informal way of greeting someone for the first time that day.
How’s it going?/How’re things? This is a more informal way of greeting someone you already know.
How was your weekend? It’s always nice to take an interest in others and this shows a level of engagement beyond the professional job role. It can also open up a further conversation around interests. Try to remember what others are interested in. It is good to find a common ground.
How to say Goodbye
See you/see you later/see you tomorrow. This is a polite way to say ‘Goodbye’ to someone.
Have a nice weekend. At the end of the week, it is polite to wish someone a good weekend.
Asking For Things/Meeting etc
Where can/do I find (name of the object such as coffee maker/bathroom/a person). Right in the beginning, you do not know where things are. So you can use this sentence.
Where should I leave/put this? You may use this sentence to ask where to put something that you brought to work like your umbrella, coat, etc.
Where do we meet/are we meeting? This sentence can be used to ask for the location where a meeting is to take place.
Light conversation is about food, weather, or anything not too serious. It can open a conversation to form connections or friendships.
It’s hot/cold out there today. The weather is nearly a universal topic to start a conversation. You can open the small talk on the weather in several other ways depending on the weather. Examples: I can’t believe how hot/cold it is today or I can’t believe how wonderful the weather is today.
How long have you been here? You can start a conversation with someone in your office with this question.
Going out for lunch/coffee together
Do you want to discuss this over a coffee?. This is a way to suggest a meeting or brainstorming a problem along with a quick coffee.
Shall we go and grab some lunch. It means inviting someone to eat lunch together.
I am sure you will love (name of the restaurant). You may use this sentence to recommend a popular place to eat. People love food! This is definitely a good opener.
Help and Clarifications
Pardon, would you mind repeating that? This is the polite way to ask someone to repeat something they just said. You may not have heard the person clearly. So you can ask them to say it again.
Is there anything I may be missing? There are related rules for every job. You must understand and follow them to perform your tasks at an excellent level.
Who is the best person to help with this? This is to find out the right person who can help you solve your problem in the office.
Report and Ideas
Would you mind giving me your thoughts on this? You can use this sentence to politely ask your co-worker or your boss for input on your report.
This paper/file has everything you asked for. This is a plain way of letting your boss know you have completed the task.
I will need a time extension for the final project. This is to request more time from your boss for the submission of the final report.
I will need another day or two/I should wrap it up in a week. This is to let your boss know how much additional time you will need. It could be another 24 to 48 hours or one more week,
Meetings and Conferences
Are we meeting again after lunch? You ask this question to ensure that you do not miss a meeting that could have been extended to a longer session after lunch.
Excuse me, can I sit here/is someone sitting here. When very few vacant seats are left, you ask this question to the person on whose left/right, there is a vacant seat. This is to ensure you do not occupy someone else’s seat.
Excuse me, can you please remove your (bag/water bottle, etc). If you find an empty seat where there is a bag/water bottle, you can ask to make a place for you to sit.
Excuse me, do you mind if I record the meeting? You should take the permission of the speaker before recording their speech.
You may note how easy these sentences are. You can use them in your office setting even as you continue with your spoken English lessons outside the office setting.