Tuesday, November 30, 2010

GOOD Way to Give BAD News

Sometimes when speaking English as a second language -as in life- we need to give bad news or tell someone that something is not possible or available.

Fortunately, if it's not a matter of life and death, there are ways to lessen the negativity of the situation.

So if you wish to make a lesser impact, avoid the use of no, as natives speakers tend to do in a similar situation and apply the following special phrases:

I'm afraid...

I'm afraid Bill is still in a meeting.
Instead of: Bill can't talk to you right now.

I'm afraid we're going to go with the other product.
Instead of: We will not buy your product.

I'm sorry, but...

I'm sorry, but the hotel is full until the end of the week.
Instead of: We don't have any vacancy.

I'm sorry, but Sally was feeling ill and went home.
Instead of: Sally is not here now.


Actually, I'm speaking to someone on the other line right now.
Instead of: I can't talk to you right now.

Actually, I'm in the middle of a meeting now.
Instead of: Can't you see I'm busy?

**Remember, Spanish speakers: actually does not mean currently/presently; it means in fact/in reality.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TURKEY DAY (An important American Holiday)

Thanksgiving Day, also known as "Turkey Day," is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Its name refers to expressing thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation. It's also a time for family and friends to get together.

Traditionally, it has been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. And with the passing of time, this holiday has since moved away from its religious roots.

In Canada, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October. In the United States, it falls on the fourth Thursday of November.

The precise historical origin of the holiday is disputed. Although Americans commonly believe that the first Thanksgiving happened in 1621 at Plymouth, Massachusetts, there is strong evidence for earlier celebrations in Canada (1578) and by Spanish explorers in Florida (1565).

Thanksgiving and the turkey dinner it's identified with are also commonly found in American pop culture.

To provide a well-known example, here is a fragment of the memorable 1973 Thanksgiving special from a true American classic: Charles Shultz's cartoon series PEANUTS featuring Snoopy, Woodstock and Charlie Brown. Enjoy!

Thank you for you stopping by and Happy Thanksgiving from PLS English Users!