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  1. Offroad's Avatar
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    #1

    discourse marker

    Dear teachers and friends...

    Could shed some light on this?

    I am trying to figure out what discourse makers would be appropiate when we are trying to get to a point quickly:

    Are they readable?

    a) ... to make things short...
    b) ... to make this story short...
    c) ... to summarise...
    d) ... getting to the point...
    e) ... bottom line is....
    f) ... the thing is...

    would there be any other more appropiate?

    Thanks

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: discourse marker

    'I'll cut to the chase...'

    b

  3. Offroad's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: discourse marker

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    'I'll cut to the chase...'
    b
    Alright, good one. But... are those sentences fine?

    Thanks

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: discourse marker

    Quote Originally Posted by marciobarbalho View Post
    Dear teachers and friends...

    Could shed some light on this?

    I am trying to figure out what discourse makers would be appropiate when we are trying to get to a point quickly:

    Are they readable?

    a) ... to make things short...
    b) ... to make this story short...
    c) ... to summarise...
    d) ... getting to the point...
    e) ... bottom line is....
    f) ... the thing is...

    would there be any other more appropiate?

    Thanks
    The first two sound a bit strange to me. In Br English we say 'To cut a long story short', though I've heard it with 'make' - maybe it's American . The last four are fine. 'Getting to the point' could also be 'coming', or used with the infinitive - 'to get' or 'to come'.

    'The thing is' often marks not so much a shortened story as an embarrassing admission (which usually, by its nature, is short - because the speaker isn't proud of it): 'The thing is, I need money'.

    '... bottom line is ...' would be OK without the verb - just a colon.

    Also, another is becoming quite common - often when the listener invites a short presentation: 'Can you just give me the elevator pitch?'. (The idea is that you happen to be in a lift for 2 minutes with a potential benefactor - the fact that it uses the word 'elevator' points to this expression's American origin; in this phrase we (Br Eng speakers) still use 'elevator'.)

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 12-Jun-2009 at 18:26. Reason: Fix typo

  5. Offroad's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: discourse marker

    very nice explanation, Bob.
    Well... I honestly don't know where I took the first one from, I usually learn English by listening, not reading... so I certainly did something wrong.

    Yes, to make a long story short...

    Thanks

  6. Senior Member
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    #6

    Re: discourse marker

    Hi marciobarbalho,

    You could also say:

    In a nutshell
    In conclusion
    To conclude
    To sum up
    All in all

  7. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: discourse marker

    I've also heard 'In sum' - but I suspect that people who use it may have been influenced by the French en somme; it's pretty formal.

    b

  8. Offroad's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: discourse marker

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I've also heard 'In sum' - but I suspect that people who use it may have been influenced by the French en somme; it's pretty formal.
    b
    English --------- In sum...
    French --------- En somme...
    Portuguese ----- Em suma...

    yes, pretty formal.

  9. BobK's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: discourse marker

    I thought it was similar in Spanish and Italian too - I didn't (and still don't) have a dictionary to hand though.

    b

  10. Offroad's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: discourse marker

    Bob, What percentage of people in England speaks a second language?

    It saddens me to know that only 0.6% of the amout of 190 million Brazilians speaks English.

    I guess it's pretty much the same in the US, besides those who speak Spanish, only a small percentage of them speak a foreing language like French.

    The other say, Mr Obama said:

    It's embaracing when Europeans come over here and they speak English, French, German... and when we (Americans) go to Europe, all we can say is "merci boku".

    check it out
    YouTube - Obama Embarrassed Americans Cannot Speak French

    very funny

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