Finding out about objects and places BULATS Speaking Part Three
Part One – Describing objects
Your partner works for a manufacturer of office equipment and stationery. You are a retailer who is thinking of selling one of their products in your shops. Ask them about at least three of these things, leading the conversation.
Price Payment terms Dimensions
Weight Appearance Functions
Power consumption Guarantee/ Warrantee
Servicing/ After sales service Green?/ Ecologically friendly?
Reliability Special features/ Unique selling points/ USPs
Do the same with objects from this list:
- A (permanent) marker
- A ballpoint (pen) = A biro
- A board room table
- A box of staples
- A box of tissues
- A briefcase
- A bulb
- A business card holder
- A calculator
- A clipboard
- A coat hanger
- A coat rack
- A cubicle
- A date stamp
- A desk calendar
- A desk lamp
- A diary
- A Dictaphone (= voice recorder)
- A drinks machine
- A fax (machine)
- A filing cabinet
- A fire alarm
- A fire extinguisher
- A first aid box
- A fluorescent light
- A fountain pen
- A glue stick (= a Pritt stick)
- A headset
- A holepunch
- A laptop
- A light switch
- A mobile phone
- A monitor
- A mouse
- A mouse pad
- A notepad
- A noticeboard
- A pair of scissors
- A partition
- A photocopier
- A picture frame
- A printer
- A projector
- A projector screen
- A ream of photocopy paper
- A ruler
- A security badge
- A smoke detector
- A stapler
- A swivel chair
- A tube of glue
- A vending machine
- A wastepaper basket
- A water cooler
- An A4 ring binder
- An address book
- An answer machine
- An automatic pencil
- An eraser
- An intercom (system)
- An umbrella stand
- Post Its
- Pot plants
- Rubber bands
- Some drawers
- Thumbtacks (= Drawing pins)
- Whiteboard markers
Do the same, but this time without knowing what product they are talking about. When you have finished the conversation, try to guess what thing they were thinking of.
What could the questions for each of the things you ask about be? Try to think of at least two options for each type of question, including one not using the words above.
Now discuss this question together: What are the most important factors when choosing office equipment and stationery?
Part Two – Describing places
Your partner is someone from the trade promotion agency of a city. You are thinking of setting up a new R&D facility somewhere. Ask about at least three of the things below, leading the conversation.
Population/ Size Economic growth Availability of suitable staff
Other businesses, including R&D Quality of life/ Standard of living
Prices/ Costs Available premises Transport connections
Location of city USPs
Choose one of the places below to answer questions about:
Guangzhou/ Canton Hamburg
Jerusalem KL/ Kuala Lumpur
Kiev Kolkata/ Calcutta
Moscow Mumbai/ Bombay
Quebec City Rome
Singapore St Petersburg
Tbilisi The Big Apple
The Hague Tokyo
Vancouver Vatican City
Do the same again, but this time without knowing which city they are talking about. When you have finished, try to guess what place they were thinking of.
What could the questions for each of the things above be? Try to think of at least two options for each type of question, including one not using the words above.
Now discuss this question together: What are the most important factors when choosing the location for a business premises?
- Price – How much does it cost?/ What is its usual price?
- Payment terms – What are the payment terms?/ When do we have to pay?/ Can I get credit to buy this?
- Dimensions – How thick/ long/ high/ tall/ wide is it?/ What are its dimensions?
- Weight – How much does it weigh?/ What is its weight?/ How heavy is it?
- Appearance – What does it look like?/ What colour is it?
- Functions – What can it do?/ What are its functions?/ How can I operate it?
- Power consumption – How much power does it use?/ Is it power efficient?
- Guarantee/ Warrantee – How long is it guaranteed for?/ Does it come with a warrantee? Servicing/ After sales service – How can I get it fixed if it breaks down?/ Is there a service plan available?
- Green?/ Ecologically friendly? – Is it good for the environment?/ How is it greener than other products?
- Reliability – Is it likely to break down?/ Can anything go wrong when I use it?
- Special features/ Unique selling points/ USPs – How is it different from similar products?
- Population/ Size – Is it a big city?/ How many people live there?/ What is the population?
- Economic growth – Is the local economy doing well?/ Are local businesses doing well?/ What’s the local economy like?
- Availability of suitable staff – Can we recruit from local universities?/ Are there lots of qualified people?/ What’s the unemployment rate?
- Other businesses, including R&D – What are the largest local companies?/ Are there any similar companies in that area?
- Quality of life/ Standard of living – Is it a good place to live?/ Are there many green spaces?/ Is it a good place to bring up a family?
- Prices/ Costs – What is the cost of living?/ What are rents like?/ How much would it cost to…?
- Available premises – Is there much empty office space?/ Is there an industrial estate?
- Transport connections – Is there an international airport nearby?/ Is it easy to get to…?
- Location of city – Where is it?/ How far is it from the capital?
- USPs – Is there anything special about this place?/ How is this city different from others?
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