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A couple of days ago I was asked to help write a formal email to someone, we talked about what they wanted to say, and then together changed the language from informal to formal.
When the masterpiece was finished, the person I was working with noticed a lot of phrasal verbs they had not seen before. While we often do use phrasal verbs a lot in informal English, there are a set of formal phrasal verbs which can be used in the business arena, both in spoken and written form.
I've taken 10 which appeared in our email with a email/letter completion task below.
Before we get into them, it's important to know that phrasal verbs are just like verbs and they also change their form to go with the right tense. It's also important to be aware that some phrasal verbs can't be separated, that is we can't choose to put the object in the middle like we can with separable phrasal verbs. Another thing is, when we choose to use a pronoun like him/her/it/etc with a separable verb, it should always go in the middle. And lastly, they always end with a preposition and that means the word that always follows should end in an ING (gerund) or a noun, so don't be that person who ends their email with I'm looking forward to see you.... but as I'm looking forward to seeing you
Bring forward - to bring a meeting or date closer to the current time.
Due to a change in our schedule we are going to bring forward the recruitment process.
Put back - to move a meeting or date to a further date than expected
Due to a change in management we are going to put back our recruitment process by 2 months
Call off - to postpone a meeting or event until an unknown future date.
We need to call off our meeting tomorrow because our Dutch colleagues are coming to visit
Take down - to make notes, usually of numbers
Can you take down this number and then pass it on to him
Look into - to investigate possibilities and options
We are currently looking into venues that can host our conference
Break down - to make things simple and clear on how a process will work.
I have broken down the schedule of tomorrow's meeting which you can find at the bottom of the email
Stop by - to visit a place. The day and time will be given when known. Drop in - to unexpectedly visit somewhere like the office.
John dropped in and left this contract for you
Point out - to make something clear
Before I start I need to point out there is no possible way to rearrange our next meeting
Run by - to ask someone who is usually in authority to make sure it's OK.
The designs are great, but I have to run them by James who is in charge of the project
Sign off - to approve something to say it's OK
The idea is great, but I need to run it by John, he is the one who can sign it off.
Bring up - to raise a concern
We are having this meeting because we need to bring up the problems we have with the lack of sales in Japan.
I am not a school, so I am not all about profit. I am an individual, a teacher, a teacher who specialises in working with Russian English learners, a native speaker from England who genuinely wants to help. You don't need to deal with a school or online school where you have to speak to this person about this and that person about that, you only speak to me directly, which makes life a lot easier. If you are interested in Skype English lessons or Zoom English classes, then please get in touch, I hope to speak to you soon.
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