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06 Time for questions

Page history last edited by Béatrice H. Alves 11 years, 6 months ago

 

6. Any questions?

 

 


 

6.1  Inviting questions

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Are there any questions?

We just have time for a few questions.

And now I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

In context

  • Are there any questions or comments?
  • Does anyone have any questions?
  • I'd be very pleased to have your comments.
  • I'd like to invite you to raise any questions now.
  • If you have any questions, I'll be pleased to answer them.
  • I'm afraid we're running late. Does anyone have any quick questions?
  • We still have 10 minutes for questions.

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6.2  Answering questions

6.2.1  Language problems – Clarifying questions

 

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I’m afraid I didn’t (quite) catch that.

I’m sorry, could you repeat your question, please?

So, if I understood you correctly, you would kite to know whether…

So, in other words, you would like to know whether…

If I could just rephrase your questions. You’d like to know…

I’m afraid I don’t quite understand your question.

In context

§         Could anyone in the audience translate this question?

§         Could you repeat that, please?

§         Could you speak more slowly, please?

§         I didn't catch the beginning of your question.

§         I’m afraid I don’t quite understand your question. Could you be a bit more specific?

§         If I have understood you correctly, Louis, your question is how we can meet the delivery date?

§         I'm afraid I still don't understand.

§         I'm sorry I didn't understand.

More on clarifying and reforming questions on the Tips page.

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6.2.2  Answering questions

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Well,…

Oh, I see. Yes, well, …

Well, let me answer your question right away.

First of all,…

OK. Of course…

That’s a very valid question.

In context

§         I'm glad you asked that one.

§         That's a good point.

§         The answer is very simple.

§         Well, let me explain.

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6.2.3  Avoiding giving an answer

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If you don’t mind, could we discuss that on another occasion?

I’m afraid that’s not really what we’re discussing today.

Well, actually I’d prefer not to discuss that today.

In context

§         Good point, but I’d prefer not to deal with this here.

§         I’m afraid that information is confidential for the moment.

§         If you don’t mind, I’d prefer not to discuss that today. Actually, there will be a meeting next week where that will be decided.

§         Perhaps we could deal with this at some other time.

 

Obs: When avoiding giving an answer, make sure that your tone of voice is friendly and your reply is polite.

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6.2.4  Admitting you don’t know

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Sorry, I don’t know that off the top of my head.

I’m afraid I’m not in a position to answer that question at the moment.

I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to your question,
but I’ll try to find out for you.

Sorry, that’s not my field. 

In context

§         I'm afraid I'm not the right person to answer that one.

§         Could you discuss that with my colleague Michael Brown?

§         I'm not sure about that.  I’ll ask someone from the purchase department to get in touch with you on that.

§         Sorry, I’m afraid that’s not my field. But I’m sure Linda from the training department could answer that question.

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6.2.5  Postponing questions

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If you don’t mind, I’ll come back to this point later in my presentation.

Can we get back to this point a bit later?

I’d prefer to answer your question in the course of my presentation.

Would you mind waiting until the question and answer session at the end?

Perhaps we could go over this after the presentation.

In context

§         Can I get back to you later?

§         Could we discuss that one over coffee later?

§         If you don’t mind, I’ll deal with this point in the third part of my presentation.

§         I'm afraid I'll need to get back to you on that one.

§         Sorry, if you don’t mind, I’d like to answer your question a bit later when we discuss targets.

§         That subject will be coming up this afternoon.

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6.2.6  Checking that questions are correctly answered

 

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Does that answer your question?

Did I make myself clear?

In context

§         Does that answer your question?

§         I hope that's clear.

§         Well, if there are no more questions, all that remains for me to do is to wish you a nice evening.

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6.3  Asking questions

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Could you give us…?

Does that mean…?

Would you mind…?

May I ask…?

I’d be interested

Do you mind telling me…?

Could you tell me…?

 

In context

§         Can you tell us how you arrived at these results?

§         Could you tell me when the other branches will join us on that?

§         Do you mind telling me what that would mean for us?

§         May I ask if there are any figures to back this up?

§         May I ask if there are any other options?

§         Would you mind telling me how we compare with our competitors?

 

Obs: If you want to be more polite (and less aggressive), it is better to use less direct questions.

On how to build indirect questions, see the grammar sudy guide.

 

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