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How to Write an Effective Memo
Permanent availability has led to a permanent flow of information. Where we stuck post-it stickers to someone's monitor or keyboard, or dropped a hand written note on someone's table in the past, we now send short text messages (SMS) or emails. In this chapter we will have a look at how we can create quick and efficient memos.
How Would You Like to Sound? – British or American English?
Does it matter to learn 'Oxford English' or 'American English'? - What influence do accents have on acceptance and appreciation in business and private situations? - We take a closer look on the impact and work on the best strategy.
Personality Assessment Tests
Personality Assessment Tests have become very common in recruiting. We have a look at both sides of it, for the interviewee and the interviewer.
English for Business Executives

We use the passive when we are focussed on the object of a sentence or when we do not know who caused the action.



active: Rembrandt paints a picture.  (The focus is on Rembrandt)

passive: This picture is painted by Rembrandt (Now the focus is on the picture)

active: We request all passengers to proceed to gate A34.

passive: All passengers are requested to proceed to gate A34.   (we’re hiding the “we” here in order to make it impersonal)

active: Someone built this house in 1788.

passive: This house was built in 1788. (we’re hiding the “someone” here making it impersonal)



«to be» + past participle of the main verb 

What is a ‘past participle’? Example:   infinitive: to go  present = go   simple past = went    past participle = gone

go → went → gone

get → got → gotten

request → requested → requested

ask → asked → asked

consider → considered → considered

remind → reminded → reminded

break → broke → broken

read → read → read  (attention! – while they all look the same the two “read” in both past forms are pronounced like “red”)


Passive in different times:

the man is hit by a car.

the man was hit by a car.

the man has been hit by a car.

the man had been hit by a car.



In business you will find a lot in the form of

your attention is required

your are kindly requested to

you will be asked to

it has to be confirmed

in all these cases the purpose of using the passive form is to hide who does it in fact, who asks you to do this or that.


The “by”-Agent:

This house was built. → This house was built by Peter Hampton.

This report was established on the current marketing figures → This report was established by the sales department based on the current marketing figures

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written by Mark Twain


Often you will find short forms like

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Sailing by Rod Steward

to be advised

to be announced

to be …………

accepted by




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