I’m looking forward to hearing from you

Here’s another chant, this one created on the spot in Paderborn at Benteler (for Akademie für Sekretariat und Büromanagement).
Hi ladies 🙂 !

Snap your fingers to anchor the +ing in your memory.

I’m looking forward to seeing you
I’m looking forward to meeting
I’m looking forward to hearing
from you
I’m looking forward to talking
to you.

Why? “To” is a preposition here, and prepositions are followed by +ing

I’m looking forward to +ing (informal, expresses feeling)
I look forward to +ing (more formal expession)
Look forward to +ing (informal email)

cul8r! See you later

language focus: verb + preposition + -ing

How long have you been here?

Management Circle offered a business communication seminar for management assistants in Frankfurt that I had the privilege to teach. They do a really professional job of organising these events. My students, Astrid, Christine, Elke, Petra, Sladana and Theresia were such a pleasure to be with. Two days are obviously very short, but I have the impression that they left the seminar highly motivated to apply their new skills. I tried not to slay them with input, which of course is always the danger with these short intensive courses. Overall, I’m very pleased with how things went.

Here’s a chant I used in this seminar which is really effective. Grammar needs to be “automated”, you shouldn’t be thinking about tenses when you talk – so that’s where chants shine. Continue reading How long have you been here?

At the time

A favorite student of mine uses at the time when he really wants to say at the moment. Here are some correct models:

  • At the moment I’m getting ready to teach my second compact seminar for Management Circle. The last one was in spring. I was learning to work my new laptop at the time.
  • I started my teaching career at a private school. We were living in Siegen at the time. I’m not teaching at any schools at the moment.

Notice how “at the time” goes with the continuous form, so it sets the scene for an incident that happened during that period. Create your own personal sentence to remember phrases like this.  Or anchor it in your memory like this:anch

now =  a moment = at the moment

then = a long time ago = at the time

Things Germans say wrong

1.    My chief is in a meeting.
2.    She’s a very engaged worker.
3.    I can’t understand what you’re saying. There’s something wrong with the hearer.
4.    She’s a sympathetic woman, I really like her.
5.    He works in the pharmaceutical branch.
6.    I jobbed as a temp before I started working here.
7.    I’ll send your confirmation per fax.
8.    I’m sorry, I overheard what you said. Could you say it again, please?
9.    When does your machine land?
10.    I’ll become the fish and the salad.
11.    I don’t like watching synchronized films – I prefer the original version with subtitles.
12.    I’d like to welcome you to our company on behalf of the direction.
13.    Here at the company people are supposed to dress decently.
14.    I’m a little irritated because I can’t find your file here. Are you sure you sent it?
15.    He’s a bit sensible on that issue, so I wouldn’t mention it if I were you.
16.    Could you please sign here at the bottom of the formula?
17.    We’re planning a representative new building.
18.    I still have a staple of work to do, so I’ll be here for another two hours.
19.    I’m a chief secretary.
20.    Sign on the backside, please.
21.    Did you become my message?
22.    Is this telephone number still actual?
23.    I might eventually be able to book you on an earlier flight.
24.    We’d like to spend you a nice dinner.
25.    I made my commercial training in Augsburg.


Photo: Gabi Schoenemann, www.pixelio.de

Language focus: German/English false friends in business English

Things we say wrong

Can you pronounce these words and spell them from memory: either, protein, caffein … height … neighbor, weight, freight … foreign … human being? English is hard for native speakers, too. Many Americans, including Bush and Palin, say “nucular” instead of “nuclear”. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “What you ought to know dot com” (224 shows so far) presents words that we have a hard time with.

Language focus: mistakes native speakers make