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Mark Twain quotes:

A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.

— Mark Twain, US humorist, author (1835 – 1910)


put something off

Posted in Category/Categories: Phrasal verbs.

to something off
Explanation:This means to delay something, to postpone something which was scheduled.
Example:We put off the meeting till tomorrow.
Example:Can we put off our appointment until 2:00?
Example:She put it off until next week.
Structure: put off something
to putoffthe meeting
to putoffthe appointment
to putthe appointmentoff
to putitoff

Note that this phrasal verb has two structures: put off something, put something off/put it off.
Also note that if we use the pronoun “it”, we have to put it between “put” and “off”: put it off.

count on someone

Posted in Category/Categories: Phrasal verbs.

to count on someone or something
Explanation:This means to rely on someone or something, to consider them to be reliable.
Example:He is someone we can always count on.
Example:She can be counted on.
Example:Can we count on this company?
Structure: count on someone/something
to countonJohn / the company
to countonhim / them, etc.
to countonit

Note that this phrasal verb has one structure: count / on / (the rest)

sort something out

Posted in Category/Categories: Discussions, Phrasal verbs. Tagged with , .

sort out a problem
Explanation:The figurative meaning is to fix a problematic situation, to solve a problem.
Example:Can you sort out this problem with the new supplier — we need to start production next week.
Structure: sort out a problem
to sortouta problem (with a longer phrase)
to sorta problemout
to sortitout

Getting someone to do something

Posted in Category/Categories: Email, Meetings, Phrasal verbs.

Getting someone to do something
Explanation:You want something to be done by a deadline. You want to "get someone to do something" by then. (Sinngemäß: dafür sorgen, dass jemand etwas bis zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt erledigt.)
The use of “please”:If something has to be done, tell the other person clearly. It helps if you are in a position in the hierarchy to do that, for example if you are the supervisor. In this case you can use "please", though do not overuse the word. It can seem too pushy, reproachful (vorwurfsvoll) or even sarcastic.
Examples of “please”:
  • Please finish this by Friday.
  • Can you finish this by Friday please?
Use “we”:Sometimes it is good to use the "we" pronoun so the other person doesn't feel like you are focusing on him or her, or giving an order.
Examples of “we”:
  • Can we finish this by Friday?
  • We need this done by Friday at the latest.
  • This is a priority, we really have to complete this by Friday.
Use the passive form:We can also use the passive (to be done: something is done) to make the request less direct.
Examples of the passive form:
  • This has to be done by Friday.
  • Can this be taken care of by the end of the week?
  • What can we do to make sure this is done by Friday?
Ask when and if it is convenient:You can ask if it is convenient for the other person to do it.
Examples of this:
  • When you have a minute, could you check this data?
  • Could I bother you to take a look at this report and let me know if we can send it to the customer as is?
  • Can you fit this into your schedule…?

get an overview

Posted in Category/Categories: Phrasal verbs, Words. Tagged with .

An overview of how get is used
Explanation:Get is a verb which is mainly used in speech and informal writing. It usually replaces some other, more formal, verb.
Uses of get with examples:
  • to buy, pick up, obtain
    He got a new car last week. She got you a coffee.
  • Receive
    I got your email this morning. Did you get my letter?
  • Understand
    I don’t get the meaning of this sentence.
  • Cause something to be done
    I got my car checked. She got her hair styled.
  • Arrive
    I got home late last night. He got to work at 10:00 this morning.
  • Change of state, condition
    It is getting warmer now. He got sick on the weekend. (But NOT: He got manager last month.
  • Send something to someone
    I will get it to you by Friday.
  • To contact someone again, to return a call or email
    I will get back to you this afternoon. (See my entry:…)


Posted in Category/Categories: Words. Tagged with .

phrases with the noun access
Explanation:The sentences below are examples of using collocations, which are groups of words that often appear together.
Access:Some verbs are often used with the word “access”. In this case we are using the verb “to provide” with the noun “access”.
  • The customer requires us to provide access to the our reports.
Further examples with other verbs:
  • They will only allow access for a limited time.
  • You can gain access to your user data by logging in.
  • In order to obtain access to the system, you have to create a strong password.
  • If you use the wrong password three times, the system will refuse access.