11 April

Disagreeing politely and constructively

Recently I was talking to Mark, a friend of a friend from England, and we got onto one of my favourite topics: the  differences between the English and the Germans. 🙂 One thing he said was “Germans really like to argue, don’t they?” He went on to describe a meeting he’d attended where two German […]

3 April

What it can sound like when the English disagree

You must be joking! Rubbish! Nonsense! Oh, come off it! After you’ve given an opinion, you may hear any one of those from an English friend or a colleague you know well. And, of course, the message is completely clear: your friend or colleague disagrees with you. Now imagine that you express your opinion or make […]

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 […]