The Trunk

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If elephants could write, they'd use their trunks. The Trunk is a collection of articles with advice on language, learning and communicating better in English at work.



Don't translate to get your message across

Saying what you mean so that it sounds natural is one of the challenges of writing in English for your business.[more]

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5 questions about writing in English

What do people say about writing in English when it’s not their first language?[more]

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Feel the fear and write in English anyway

Feeling fearful, anxious or hesitant about writing in English?[more]

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Remember the “it” when using “appreciate”

We can use "appreciate" to ask and to thank. However, people often forget to add "it" when using "if" in a polite request.[more]

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Sum it up but keep it short

Another quick and easy way to keep the writing wheels oiled is to create a one-sentence summary of something you’ve recently read or written.[more]

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How to enhance your Business English writing by relaxing

Sorry, this doesn’t mean not doing anything – although sometimes that’s exactly what you should do. Rather it’s to encourage you to make some time for relaxed reading in English.[more]

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How to speed up your Business English writing

While active copying concentrates on getting it right, speedwriting focuses on getting something down on paper.[more]

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Is writing in English to grow your business your next step?

It’s hard enough pushing “publish” in our native language, let alone in another language. But if now is the time for you to reach a wider audience for your business, then it’s also time to build up your confidence in writing in...[more]

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How to fill in those 5-minute gaps

Finding the time to work on your Business English can be challenging. One way is to fill in the short gaps we all have during the day when waiting for the bus to come or for someone to arrive or for lunch to be served.[more]

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Is it "at" or "in"?

A common confusion is which preposition to use in the following fixed expressions.[more]

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Why an elephant?

Clients often tell me how much they like the elephant on my website and business card, and then ask why I chose an elephant.[more]

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KISS+1 for Business English training

Here’s some advice on how to keep your training sessions short and simple plus stimulating.[more]

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Can you help me with small talk?

Clients often tell me that meetings and presentations can be less intimidating than the prospect of making small talk during the coffee break or at lunch.[more]

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Problem pairs can cause confusion

Prime candidates for confusing words are affect/effect and effective/efficient.[more]

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Use MORE to upgrade to the next level

One day we realise that our good enough English could be better, or in fact needs to be better to improve our performance at work. MORE can help us to reach our goal. Use MORE to upgrade to the next level.[more]

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It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it

How successfully you can express yourself in English depends on your language proficiency and your communication skills.[more]

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Is that one word or two?

Sometimes it’s the little things that slow us down or trip us up, such as trying to remember if a word is spelt together or apart.[more]

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Are you sick of studying English? Try training rather than studying

When you’ve been learning English for a while, it can become a bit repetitive and tedious. Sometimes a change in mindset can help.[more]

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