You’re holding a script, which contains all the sentences you’ll speak on stage.

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No searching for English words. No grammar mix-ups. No bad translations.

Sound nice?

It’s not that far from reality.

There are several situations in the workplace where you can use a “script” lớn communicate with colleagues & clients. In the office, we’re constantly meeting new people, working on projects, sending emails và even just hanging out in the break room. All of these things have their own expected dialogues.

We’ll give you the script you can use to lớn master all of these office encounters. Below, you’ll find common office English expressions for greetings, telephone conversations, small talk & more.

As you memorize these English for office expressions, you’ll be able khổng lồ hold more conversations và feel more confident in your business English overall.

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient và portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

Master These 6 Areas to lớn Rock Business English for Office Professionals

Throughout this post, we’ll be using brackets—which look like this: < >—to indicate parts of a sentence you should fill in with your own information.

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Today’s workplaces are often more relaxed than in the past. This means that the way we use English has also changed in the workplace.

Think about a common interaction between work colleagues for example, when a worker thanks another for some help or a favor. What is the typical response in this situation? You’re welcome? Perhaps, it sounds okay, but there are more than 16 different ways khổng lồ say this in English with formal và informal connotations.

Don’t believe me? check out the clip below to lớn learn how you can add some variety to lớn your business speaking skills.

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1. Meeting People at the Office

Meeting people can be a stressful experience if you’re not sure what you should say. Thankfully, there are many key phrases và office English conversation starters you can memorize khổng lồ make meeting new people a pleasant and easy activity.

Saying “Hello”

When you’re approaching someone new, it’s nice to start the conversation with a polite greeting. Some common phrases you might use are:

Hi, how are you today?

Good morning.

Good afternoon.

Good evening.

Introducing Yourself

It’s generally polite lớn introduce yourself lớn new people and learn their names as well. Here are some phrases you can use lớn tell someone your name & to learn his or hers:

I’m , what’s your name?

I’m , I don’t believe we’ve met.

My name is , I don’t believe we’ve met.

After you’ve learned a new person’s name, it’s nice to lớn indicate that you’re happy to have made introductions. For example:

It’s nice to meet you.

Pleased to meet you.

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To keep the conversation going with someone new, it’s a good idea lớn ask some broad questions about his or her background. Some common questions (and ways to respond) are:

Where are you from?

Reply: I’m from .

Where did you go lớn school/college/university?

Reply: I graduated from in .

Saying “Goodbye”

When it’s time to end an office English conversation with someone you just met, it can be nice khổng lồ reiterate that you’re glad khổng lồ have met them:

It was nice to lớn meet you.

I enjoyed meeting you.

Thank you for introducing yourself.

You can also say “goodbye” to lớn your new friend in a few different ways, such as:

Take care.

Have a nice day/morning/afternoon/evening.

I hope you have a pleasant day.

2. Business Related Idioms

There are endless English idioms (expressions that don’t translate easily) used in the office. Some common ones you’re likely to lớn encounter include:

In the red (In debt/operating a loss)

Keeping your eye on the ball (Staying focused on your goal)

Steep learning curve (Difficult/requires lots of effort to lớn learn)

Back to lớn the drawing board / Back lớn square one (Both of these idioms mean you have lớn start your goal/project over from the beginning.)

Some other terms you’ll need to lớn be familiar with are used to shorten words or expressions.

For example, “24/7” means “all the time” and “ASAP” is an acronym that stands for “As Soon As Possible.” You can find several more examples of business English idioms here.

It’s important to become familiar with these sayings so you aren’t left confused when you hear them in the office.

3. Telephone Use at the Office

Answering the Phone

The first impression you make with someone might be over the phone. It’s a good idea khổng lồ use a professional greeting if you’re not sure of your audience beforehand:

Hello, this is speaking.

Hello, you’ve reached , this is speaking.

Common Phrases

During a phone call, you’ll likely need to identify the caller and find out how you can help him or her. Sometimes, you’ll have trouble understanding what has been said và other times you may get interrupted by another call.

These are some useful phrases lớn memorize so that you’re prepared to lớn tackle phone calls with professionalism.

May I ask who’s calling?

How may I help you?

Excuse me a moment, I’m getting another call.

I’m sorry, could you repeat that?

Ending Your Phone Call

Ending a phone conversation on a pleasant lưu ý is easy with phrases such as these in your vocabulary:

It was nice speaking with you.

Have a nice day.

Have a nice afternoon.

Thank you for calling.

4. Email at the Office

Appropriate Language

The funny thing about email is that sometimes it needs khổng lồ be perfectly formal and other times it may need to lớn be more casual. It’s very important to lớn know the purpose & audience of your email as you’re writing it to make sure that you present yourself properly.

If you’re sending an thư điện tử to a potential employer you would want to lớn use a formal format. However, to send a quick chú ý to a coworker about a project, a more casual approach is likely best. Be sure khổng lồ pay attention khổng lồ the culture in your office environment and write accordingly.

Common Parts of Business Email

As I mentioned above, make sure you know the intended purpose of your thư điện tử as well as your audience so that you can choose the proper format for things like the greeting và closing phrase.

Email greetings:

Dear Mr. Smith: (Formal)

Hi, John, (Informal)


Sincerely, . (Formal)

Thank you, . (Formal or informal)

You can also simply leave your name at the over of an email, which is considered a more informal closing.

Common Errors

The biggest email mistake you might make is, as I mentioned above, using either an overly formal or overly casual tone for your intended audience.

Some other problems you may run into involve spelling errors and word usage that even native speakers struggle with. A common issue when writing in English is confusing similar words, such as:

Their, They’re or There

It’s or Its

It can also be easy khổng lồ mess up your subject-verb agreement:

The projects announced at last month’s meeting is on track.” (Incorrect)

The projects announced at last month’s meeting are on track.” (Correct)

Another common mistake when writing in English is to confuse the words “effect” and “affect.” Generally, “effect” should be used as a noun while “affect” is used as a verb.

“The advertising chiến dịch had a positive effect on sales.”

“I walk lớn work every day, so my schedule isn’t affected by traffic jams.”

An exception to this rule is made when saying “We effect change.”

Lastly, be sure to lớn avoid “texting” language, such as TTYL (talk khổng lồ you later) or slang terms, such as gonna (going to).

5. English for Office Small Talk

Saying “Hi”

It’s always nice to lớn make some work friends. You want to lớn sound comfortable around them, so using some more casual greetings will make you seem more at ease.


How’s it going?

What’s up?

How’ve you been?

Long time, no see. (It’s been a long time since we saw each other.)

General Conversation

If you don’t know exactly what you should talk about, these are some easy conversation starters for a casual chat:

Did you see the game last night?

How about this weather we’ve been having?

Did you do anything fun last weekend?

Got any exciting plans for the week?

Ending Your Chat

When you’re parting ways, keeping that conversational flow going is a breeze with phrases like these memorized:

See you later.

Nice chatting with you.

See you around.


6. Ending a Business Discussion

Sometimes a simple “bye” isn’t enough when speaking with your trùm cuối or coworkers. Perhaps you need lớn indicate that you’ll follow-up on your discussion or that you value the time they’ve spent speaking with you.

If you need to take further kích hoạt on your own or look into something, you can end the conversation by saying, “I’ll get back with you on that tomorrow/next week/next month.” That means you’ll pick up the conversation again in the future.

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To show you appreciate the conversation, you can say, “I’m glad we could discuss this.”

Being unsure of what to lớn say in new situations can feel intimidating. However, with a strong idea of what English for office phrases & words to use you can feel confident in your interactions at work every day. Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to lớn get a copy. (Download)

Sarah Frady spends her days chasing after her two little girls. She has a B.S. Degree from the University of South Carolina. She spends her evenings as a professional writer & entrepreneur. She endeavors to uplift, inspire, educate và encourage other moms on her blog Our Happy Imperfection.