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Business English: Making decisions
Business English: Making decisions

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3.3 Expressing action points

Compare the way the action points are expressed in the phone conversation and in the formal written document.

Informal oral communication

During the phone conversation Mark used the present continuous and be + going to + verb to express future plans and intentions:

I'm supervising the mailing.

Kiran's going to write the press release.

Nick is doing the mailing lists.

Formal written communication

In the action list, an official internal document, future plans are expressed using subject + infinitive with ‘to’:

Kiran Sanjeevan to write draft press release.

Ashley Joseph to prepare summer press photos.

In the next two activities you practise noting action points and then reporting decisions to another person.

Activity 17

Use the table you completed in Activity 13 (see Section 3.1) and the examples above to write a list of action points for the relocation project. Check the answer to Activity 13 to ensure that you have the information correctly noted. Use the infinitive with ‘to’ as in the example.

Example

Diana Lees to draw up Christmas work timetable.

  1. Diana Lees

  2. Billy Shepherd

  3. Billy Shepherd

  4. Fred Gooch

  5. Eva Lawrence

Answer

  1. Diana Lees to prepare information pack for staff.

  2. Billy Shepherd to interview David Bailey about Mobil's relocation.

  3. Billy Shepherd to interview Steve Vance about financial help for staff.

  4. Fred Gooch to research staff opinion about relocation.

  5. Eva Lawrence to arrange visit to Milton Keynes.

Activity 18

Use the list of action points from Activity 17 to prepare a phone call to your colleague Gary Avis. Use the present continuous or to be going to + infinitive in your answers as shown below. When you have prepared the activity, listen to the following audio clip and take part in the conversation.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Extract 19
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Extract 19
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

GARY Hello. Gary Avis speaking.

YOU Hello, Gary. I'm ringing about the action points from the relocation meeting.

GARY Tell me about it.

YOU You're lucky – you don't have anything to do. Let's see. Billy's going to be busy. He's ...... (present continuous).

GARY Anything else?

YOU Yes. He ...... (present continuous) Steve Vance about financial help for staff.

GARY I hope they give me some financial help. What's Fred doing?

YOU ...... (to be going to) so he'll be talking to you.

GARY Great. What else?

YOU Well, Eva ...... (to be going to).

GARY What about the boss? Isn't she going to do anything?

YOU Diana ...... (to be going to) a timetable for ...... and she's ...... (present continuous) pack. Anyway, I'll send you the list when I've got it. OK?

GARY Yes, thanks a lot – see you.

YOU Bye.

Answer

Model answers to this activity are given in the audio clip and transcript.