25 February

Getting the details

What to say if you didn’t understand someone’s introduction Introductions can be pretty stressful. Perhaps you’re taken by surprise. Or you may find yourself not listening properly, because you’re desperately thinking about what to reply. On top of that, you’ll probably be hearing the other person’s voice for the first time and won’t have had […]

5 February

Small talk: Back to basics

What could be easier than introducing yourself in English and engaging in a little, very basic, small talk? It’s a topic covered in the very first unit of many business English books. Yet I notice that these seemingly simple exchanges can cause problems for non-native-speakers. Perhaps because the expressions used here are set phrases which […]

27 May

Information + information = informations?

What have infomation, furniture and advice got in common? They’re all uncountable nouns. Uncountable nouns are concepts or materials which aren’t individual objects or events and therefore can’t be counted. They don’t have a plural form – you can’t say informations, furnitures or advices. And you can’t use the indefinite article (a/an) with these nouns, instead use some or the definite article (the): He gave […]