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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 925 English Lesson 19 - How to Talk about Ability in English | Business English

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You're learning with nine to five English - business English for the workplace.

Hi Tim here with another 9 to 5 English lesson. In today's lesson we're

going to learn how to talk about abilities. There are lots of

opportunities at work to talk about your abilities and I don't just mean job

interviews. That's an obvious one but there's also work planning project

meetings and just discussing who should do what on a daily basis. I mean you're

not going to ask the person who doesn't have the ability to type to prepare that

big report right the simplest way to talk about basic abilities is using the

words can and be able to so you might say I can type 60 words a minute

or I am able to type 60 words a minute it's that simple

how about a bit of practice talking about basic abilities let's try some

examples listen to each sentence then repeat it for yourself ready let's get

started I can use the full Microsoft Office

suite

Harriett is able to speak Japanese fairly well

I'm pretty good at presentations in public speaking

as you just practiced you can also say you are good at something such as

presenting or bookkeeping that means you have the ability in that area but what

if you're really good at something what if your ability isn't basic but advanced

in that case you have a few options you can say you excel at something which

means you're not just good at it but excellent at it or you can say that some

ability is your greatest strength that expression might be especially useful in

a job interview let's give these expressions a try this

time you're talking about things you're very

good at once again you're going to repeat the examples after you hear them

I really excel at website design

one of my greatest strengths is managing people

I'm really confident in my sales abilities

did you notice that last example if you say you're confident in some ability it

means you think you're very good at it confidence is important so don't be

afraid to express it but being confident doesn't mean saying you can do

everything there are some abilities you don't have and how can we talk about

things we can't do well that word can't is one way it's just the opposite of can

and the opposite of be able to is unable to let's try these opposite expressions

to talk about things you cannot do I can't understand this new software

I'm unable to stay focused during long meetings

I'm not very good at presentations

great work you now have the ability to talk about things you can and cannot do

but wait a second how can we talk about past abilities I mean what if you were

good at something in the past but can't do it anymore

the simplest way to talk about a past ability is with the word could which is

the past of can for example when I was in college I could learn new words very

easily you can also say you used to be able to that used to expression is for

something that you did in the past but not now how about a little practice for

talking about past abilities repeat the examples after you hear them when I

lived in Spain I could speak Spanish fluently

Quinn was good at Photoshop when he first started here

I used to be able to work 60 hours a week but not anymore

remember when we talked about being good at something well in the past it's as

easy as saying you were good at it and it's often helpful to say when you

could do something as you just practiced okay now how does talking about

abilities sound in a conversation let's find out with the short dialogue between

Shelley and Andrew Shelley is asking Andrew about his language abilities so

tell me can you speak any foreign languages yes I'm pretty good at French

and German I see and do you know any Spanish no I'm unable to speak Spanish

as you heard Andrew is pretty good at French and German but he's unable to

speak Spanish pretty simple right now it's your turn to practice will repeat

the dialogue but this time we're going to be bout the second speakers words you

will have to say those parts yourself remember to start by saying that you're

pretty good at two languages then you'll say you are unable to speak another

language here we go so tell me can you speak any foreign languages

I see and do you know any Spanish

all right that about does it for this lesson

we've learned some great ways to talk about things you can or cannot do tune

in next time when you'll learn how to ask for and give advice until then so

long and happy learning

The Description of 925 English Lesson 19 - How to Talk about Ability in English | Business English