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I know I am not good at...

As for when I look at myself (in a mirror),... well... then I see

someone a bit different.

That's probably my main fault.

I should say I'm not exactly — how should I say?

I suppose I'm not coherent in my behaviour.

You'd have to see it to believe it!

You shouldn't be asking what I think of myself, ... but what

I think of...

It's law and order what we need.

I say get rid of...

I'm the sort of ordinary decent person who wants to bring law and order back (to this country).

Well, I'm an easy going bloke unless of course...

You wind me up. Then I'm a bit vicious.

I think I've kept myself respectable — that's the word.

I've tried to help ... I've done my best.

Perhaps you might consider me a bit of a fanatic.

About... But basically I'm a good chap.

Not too polemic ... fond of... That's me.

When I was young I was very shy.

I didn't make (close friends) till... in ..., till quite late in life.

I became quite good at being by myself.

I had no one to rely on ... and no one to ask for advice. That made me independent.

Unit Five




Positive response:

True... exactly...

I am all out for it.

I am in favour of it.



You have my whole/full support...

I am giving it my backing.

I can see no reason to oppose.

I urge you...

Please, do consider my words very carefully.

My reaction is extremely favourable.




I can't approve of it...

No, it bears no relation to...

I would find it difficult to (accept it)…

I'm not sure you are right about it...




My personal opinion is...

I'm inclined to think that...

It goes further than that...

That's one way of looking at it, but...

You would be well advised.


Unit Six




Asking for opinions


What's your opinion of...

What do you think of...

How do you feel about...

I was wondering what your opinion of... (tentative)

What about... (informal)


Expressing personal opinions


In my opinion

From my point of view

Personally, I think that

It would seem to me that (tentative)

As far as I'm able to judge (tentative)


As I see it (direct)

Frankly, I think (direct)

I reckon (informal)


Asking for clarification


I'm sorry, I don't quite understand what you mean by...

I'm sorry, could you explain what you mean by...

I'm afraid, I'm not really very clear about what you mean by... (tentative)

I'm sorry, but could you possibly explain what you mean by... (tentative)

Did you mean that...

Do you really think that...

Did you say...

But you said earlier that...

I don't understand what you mean by...

What (exactly) do you mean by... (all rather direct)


Giving clarification


what I'm trying to say is (that)...


the point I'm trying to make is (that)...


Well, I I what I mean is (that)... (tentative)



What I mean is (that)...

(both direct)

What I'm saying is (that)...



All I'm trying to say is (that)... (informal)



Well, to be frank (strong, blunt)




Unit Seven




Let's get this straight from the start...

There appears to have been a slight misunderstanding here.

I'm afraid you've got it all wrong...


Haven't I already mentioned...

I think I should point out, however...

If I may say so, I believe you've confused...

Am I mistaken in thinking that...


Unit Eight




Giving advice


I would advise you to DO...

Personally, I think your best course would be to DO...

(slightly formal)


It might be a good idea if you DID... (tentative)

Your best bet would be to DO...

I suggest you DO...

Why don't/can't you DO... (direct)

I think you should DO...

(If I were you) I'd DO... (direct, informal)


Accepting advice


That sounds a good idea.

(certainly) like Thank

seems good advice. you.


That's certainly a possibility. (slightly tentative)


Right do

I’ll that. Thanks, (direct: informal)

Yes. try


Rejecting advice


I’m not sure I do that. You see

‘d be able to + EXCUSE


Isn't there anything else I can/could DO...?

I'm sure that's excellent advice, only + EXCUSE (tentative)

I'm afraid that's not really possible/out of the question. (direct)








A group of students earned some money during their summer holidays. At a special meeting they discuss the best way to spend the money.

There are the proposals to be discussed:

1. a trip to St. Petersburg

2. purchase of some equipment to launch a disco club

3. distribution of the money among the students


Cast list



Jane/Andrew students, members of the summer team




Lecturer B., a young lecturer, the students' tutor

Ann/Michael, a member of the student committee

Mary/Nick, representing a student newspaper

Pauline/Paul, a British student on an exchange visit to Moscow


What you must decide


Which two of the proposals would most benefit everybody concerned and the English department? A vote must be taken.


Role cards


Helen/Eugene Aged 19

You were one of the team. You are a great traveller. You are happy as in summer you worked in a new place and now you look forward to a trip to St. Petersburg. If all the group doesn't want to go to St. Petersburg you'd like to have your share of the money and go there alone (though it is less preferable as you usually get lost in new places and don't make friends easily).


Jane/Andrew Aged 22

You were one of the team. You worked last summer to earn some money to get married but it's a secret yet. So you prefer to have your share of the money. If somebody is really very keen on dancing there are a lot of disco clubs in the city. The most you agree with is a trip to St. Petersburg as you were there as a child many years ago.


Lucy/Peter Aged 21

You were one of the1 team. You enjoyed your summer work very much. You think that a disco club is just the thing for you as you believe that dancing is the best way to relax and to enjoy yourself. Your second choice is the distribution of the money among the students. No trip to St. Petersburg for you as you've been there more than once.


Nina/Alex Aged 21

You were one of the team. You are sure all the money ought to be spent on the equipment for a disco club. All the students will benefit by it. You also know that Jane/Andrew is saving money for the wedding trip but you must keep it secret. Being a devoted friend you speak in favour of the distribution of the money among the students.


Lecturer B. Aged 28

You are a young lecturer, the students' tutor. As a compara­tively young person you share their enthusiasm about a disco club. But you think that being a tutor you should argue for a trip to St. Petersburg. You feel that you are expected to help with the arrangements. (You would like to go to St.Petersburg as well.)


Ann/Michael Aged 23

You are a member of the student committee. You did not work with the group this summer as you were ill and you envy them. You try to learn more about their work. You support a purchase of some equipment for a disco club. You believe that a trip to St. Petersburg is not a bad idea but needs a lot of organisation. You conduct the discussion and the vote at the end of it.



Mary/Nick Aged 22

You write for the student newspaper. You have been asked to cover the meeting. In the course of it you try to find out more about the students' summer work (place, the kind of job, environment, etc.). You think that next summer you would go with the group too. Involve the British student in the discus­sion.


Paul/Pauline Aged 21

You are one of the British group cm an exchange visit. Stu­dents in Great Britain don't get any grant during their vaca­tions. You do work every summer but it's your own business. You have to look for a job and you are happy to take up any­thing that will turn up. You tell the students about it when asked.


Possible follow-ups

1. Do you think the students' summer work should be relat­ed to their future profession? Whatever your answer, give your reasons.

2. Write up this role-play as a newspaper article.

3. Prepare a talk by a visiting student from Great Britain on students' life (unions, clubs, societies).


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