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Top Used Business Grammar

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Top Used Business Grammar

CONTENTS
Present Tenses

1.

2.

Present Simple

Present Continuous

Past tenses

3.

4.

5.

Past Simple

Past Continuous

Past Perfect

Combining Past & Present



6.

7.

Present Perfect

10

The Future

11

Conditionals

8.

9.

10.

First conditional

12

Second conditional

14

Passive Voice

15

3

1. Present Simple

Form

The Present Simple is formed with the infinitive form of the verb. We
also add s for the third personal singular.

. s
.

I/you/we/they work here.


He/she/it works here.
Negatives are formed with do/does + not. In speech and informal
writing we use contractions.

do/does + not.
.

I/you/we/they dont work here.


He/she/it doesnt work here.
Questions are formed with the auxiliary verb do/does and the infinitives.


do/does .

Do you work here?


Does she work here?

Uses
a) Talking about actions and situations which are generally true:

,
:

High taxation discourages investment.


We sell our products into many markets.

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PRESENT TENSES

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Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in


people.
b) Giving the information about timetables and scheduled events:

The office opens at 9 am.


The meeting starts at 8:45 tomorrow morning.
The legislation comes into force on the 1st of January.
c) Saying how often things happen:

, :

!Note that we usually use the Present Simple with frequency adverbs: always, often, usually, seldom, never, every, once, twice
a... etc.

,
:
always, often, usually, seldom, never, every, once, twice a... . .

When she gets to work she always checks her e-mail.


My boss attends our morning meetings twice a week.
Every Monday our team discusses the week plan.

2. Present Continuous



Form

The Present Continuous is formed with the auxiliary verb be and the
ing of the main verb.


be ing .

I am working here.
You/we/they are working here.
He/she/it is working here.
Negatives are formed with verb be + not. In speech and informal
writing we use contractions.

be +
not.
.

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Questions are formed by inverting the subject and the auxiliary be.


be.

Are you working here?


Is she working here?

Uses
a) Describing current situations and ongoing processes (the time
reference is at and around now, before and after the situations referred to. But the situation may not be in progress literally at the exact
moment of speaking):

,
.
):

Were waiting for permission to go ahead with the project.


Big Japanese companies are thinking again about uniform
pay systems.
My boss is dealing with your enquiry but you wont get a
rapid answer.
b) Talking about temporary situations:

:
Theyre staying at the Crillon Hotel until the end of the
Conference.
Hes working in London on a fixed-term contract.
They are offering a 20% discount for the duration of the trade
fair.

c) Describing changing/developing situations (in this case we use


Present Continuous to describe changes which have not finished yet):

/ (

, ):

The number of people using the Internet is growing.


The prices for real estate are growing.

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Im not working here.


You/we/they arent working here.
He/she/it isnt working here.

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Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with


healthy living.

PAST TENSES


3. Past Simple

Form

The Past Simple of regular verbs is formed by adding ed to the


infinitive. For irregular verbs we use their Past simple (2nd) form.


ed .

(2).

I/you/we/they/he/she/it worked here.


Negatives are formed with did + not. In speech and informal writing
we use contractions.

did + not.
.

I/you/we/they/he/she/it didnt work here.


Questions are formed with the auxiliary verb did and the infinitives.

did .

Did you work here?


Did she work here?

Uses
a) Preparing reports, e.g. a companys annual reports

, , .

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b) Describing something, e.g. the history of a company

-, , .
When George Eastman introduced the first Kodak camera in
1888, he wanted to supply the tools of photography at the
lowest possible price to the greatest number of people. The
rapid growth of his business made large-scale production a
necessity

4. Past Continuous



Form

The Past Continuous is formed with the past of be and the ing of
the main verb.


be
ing .

I was working here.


You/we/they were working here.
He/she/it was working here.
Negatives are formed with the past of be + not. In speech and informal writing we use contractions.


be + not.
.

I was not working here.


You/we/they werent working here.
He/she/it wasnt working here.
Questions are formed by inverting the subject and the past of auxiliary be.



be.

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Last year was a tough year for our company. On the one hand,
we earned more than a billion dollars and improved our
market position. On the other hand, our total profit declined
which caused

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Were you working here?


Was she working here?

Uses
a) Describing a background event (we use the Past Continuous to
describe an event which was in progress when it was interrupted by
another one. The second, shorter event, is in the Past Simple):

(
,
.
,
):

I was just leaving the office when my boss arrived.


We were talking about safety procedures when the fire alarm
went off.
My boss and I were discussing the changes in the project
when the phone rang.
b) Describing events planned in the past which did not take place:

, ,
:

I was planning to visit the partners office but it was closed.


She was going to phone them yesterday but didnt have time.
They were planning to fix the problem during the working
hours but didnt succeed.

5. Past Perfect



Form

The Past Perfect is formed with the auxiliary verb had + the past
participle. In speech and informal writing we use contractions.


had +
.
.

I/you/we/they had worked here before he arrived.


He/she/it had worked here before he arrived.

had + not.

.

I/you/we/they hadnt worked here before he arrived.


He/she/it hadnt worked here before he arrived.
Questions are formed by inverting the subject and the auxiliary verb
had.


had.

Had you worked here before he arrived?


Had she worked here before he arrived?

Use
a) Talking about events that happened before other events:

, :
The meeting had finished before my boss showed up at the
office.
When he made his business proposal the contract had been
already signed.
The prices had increased before everybody expected.

b) Using phrases like I wish, If only and Id rather:

, : I wish, If only Id rather:


I wish I had been more interested in English at school.
If only I had bought those shares; theyve gone up 27%.
Id rather my subordinates had asked me before taking an
initiative.

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Negatives are formed with had + not. In speech and informal writing
we use contractions.

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COMBINING PAST & PRESENT


6. Present Perfect



Form

The Present Perfect is formed with the present tense of the auxiliary
verb have + the past participle. In speech and informal writing we
use contractions.



have + .
.

I/you/we/they have worked here.


He/she/it has worked here.
Negatives are formed with have/has + not. In speech and informal
writing we use contractions.

have/has +
not.
.

I/you/we/they havent worked here.


He/she/it hasnt worked here.
Questions are formed by inverting the subject and the auxiliary verb
have.


have.

Have you worked here?


Has she worked here?

Uses
a) Describing present results of past actions:

:
It has shaken up company structures just as much as
external markets.

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b) Talking about life experience (there is no focus here on when he
did these things in the past. Only the experiences are important):

(
, .
):

Hes done many jobs in his time.


Hes been a journalist.
Hes worked for the New York Times and now hes an editorin-chief.

7. The Future

a) Talking about plans and arrangements (we can talk about plans
using the Present Continuous):

(
):

Im meeting Mr. Smith next week. Hes arriving on Tuesday.


Shes got a new job so shes leaving the firm in November.
Im seeing my future boss at lunch.
b) Describing present intensions (we use going to rather than will
for plans, decisions and firm intentions)

(
going to , will , )

When are you going to visit us next?


She is going to leave in a months time.
How much money are you going to offer them?
!Note that in general, we prefer a present form when the future
event involves some sort of a present plan, an intention or an arrangement.

! , , ,

,
,
.

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It has broken up the barriers of geography and time.


It has flattened organizational structures, eliminating vast
numbers of jobs.

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c) Making predictions/forecasts (mostly for making either prediction


or forecast we use the modal verb will):

/ (
will):

Will recession hit the UK?


Im sure youll enjoy your visit you our Head Office.
Which Russian company will make the biggest profit next
year?

CONDITIONALS


If introduces a condition something may or may not happen depending on the circumstances.

If

, . -,
.

8. First conditional



Form

The first conditional consists of two sentences (condition and result):


( ):

If + present Simple (condition), will + infinitive (result)

If + (), will
+ ()

If the compromise deal fails, who knows what will happen


afterwards.

Uses )
a) Speculating about the future (if can be used to speculate about
the future consequences of a specific event. In this case, the verb in
the second part of the sentence is preceded by will)

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(
.
will)

If I do an MBA, Ill improve my job opportunities.


If we break into the Indian market, our turnover will go up
substantially.
If our main competitor goes bankrupt, well increase our
market share.
!Note that the use of the present tense in the first part of
the sentence indicates that the situation is possible; doing an MBA is feasible, breaking into the Indian market is
seen as quite likely, the competitor may well go bankrupt.
!And also note that it is incorrect to use will with the first verb: NOT *If
I will do an MBA

, ; doing an MBA , breaking into the Indian market


, the competitor .
! ,
will : *If I will do an MBA

b) Making sentences with unless (unless often replaces if+ negative expression):

Compare :
unless (unless if+
):
Compare :

Well stop the meeting now if there is nothing else to


discuss.
Well stop the meeting now unless there is something else
to discuss.
If you dont wear a suit and tie you wont be allowed into
the club.
You wont be allowed into the club unless you wear a suit
and tie.
!Note that we can also use unless when you make a statement with
either a warning or a threat:

,
unless , ,
:

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We wont be able to do business with you unless you comply


with your ethical policy. ()
Unless we receive payment by the end of the week we will
be forced to consider legal action ()

9. Second conditional



Form

The second conditional also consists of two sentences (condition


and result):


( ):

If + past Simple (condition), would + infinitive (result)

If

+ (),
would + ()

If the compromise deal failed, we wouldnt know what to do


next.

Uses
a) Imagining/speculating about the past (imagine what would happen in the following (unlikely) situations)

/ (,
() )

If the price ration had been higher, I would have bought


some shares.
If we had anticipated the crash, we wouldnt have lost so
much money.
The presentation might have been better if she had felt
more confident.
!Note that in American English would have is possible in both clauses:

! ,
would have :

I would have told you if I would have known earlier.

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(
):

If you gave us a 5% discount wed make a firm order of 5,000


units.
How long would you hold the prices if we ordered today?
I would purchase the equipment if you threw in the
accessories.

10. Passive Voice


Form

The Passive voice is formed by choosing appropriate tense of TO BE


+ a past participle (3rd form of the verb)


TO BE + (3-
)

Uses
a) Focusing on the action:

:
The date was changed. (Past Simple) (
)
The missing file has been found. (Present Perfect)
( )
He has been promoted to the post of Sales Director. (Present
Perfect) ( )

b) Describing a process or procedure (we use the passive because


we are more concerned with the process itself than who carries it out):

(
, ,
, ):

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b) Bargaining (it is common to make hypothetical statements in negotiations):

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Wine is made from the fermented juice of grapes. Grapes


are picked at optimum sugar/acidity levels. After picking, the
grapes are taken to the winery, de-stemmed and crushed in
a variety of presses. The juice is then clarified by settling or
by centrifuge
c) Writing in a formal style (when writing in a formal style (e.g. reports, minutes of meetings) we often choose an impersonal style by
using the passive and beginning sentences with it):

(
(, , )
,
):

It was agreed to increase the share capital.


It was considered to be an unacceptable alternative.
It has now been decided to postpone the proposed
construction.