English Bites!

engbites1English Bites! are practical, bite-sized tips to help stimulate your interest in and improve your business English. Published twice a week, the articles include useful and informative advice covering many aspects of workplace English including grammar, vocabulary, writing, speaking as well as fun topics. It will take you just a few minutes to read and digest each tip. The important thing about learning any language is that you spend a little time each day learning and polishing what you already know. You can subscribe to English Bites! from the Newsletters link above. Once you've done that, you'll receive notifications of all new tips by email.

Welcoming Business Visitors

30 Nov 2020

welcomeKnowing how to greet business visitors is an important business speaking skill. This is often the first impression that a visitor will have of a company so you need to make a good impression. Treat visitors in a friendly and relaxed manner, and make sure they are comfortable if they have to wait around. Take an interest in who they are and what they've been doing.


Quite often you may need to keep your visitor waiting a few minutes especially if they arrive early. Here are some useful expressions:

May/Can I introduce myself. I'm……….
Hello, Mr/Ms Kong. I'm……….
Sorry to keep you waiting.
I hope you haven't been waiting long.

Use "Sorry to keep you waiting" if your client/customer is waiting for you in the reception area or lobby.

Here's a typical dialogue:

A: Hello, Ms Cowan. I'm Linda Wong, Ms Chan’s assistant. Pleased to meet you.
B: Pleased to meet you too, Ms Chan.
A: Sorry to keep you waiting. It's been a very busy morning.
B: That's no problem.
A: Did you find us OK?


It is important that when developing a conversation with a visitor, that you do not jump from one subject to another subject too suddenly.

Making Excuses

Sometimes, you may be required to explain the absence of your boss or colleague to a visitor. There may be various reasons for this, but it is important to explain clearly and state an approximate time that they will be available. You can use expressions like:

I’m sorry, Mr Brown is on the phone right now.
Mr Brown is just finishing off a meeting.
He'll be with you in about five minutes.
He'll be with you shortly.

Leading the Way

You should always direct your visitor/guest using clear instructions. After the initial greeting and/or explanation of a delay with your colleague/boss, you should then direct your visitor to the location of the meeting etc. You may find these phrases useful:

This way, please
Please follow me to the conference room.
If you would like to follow me, I’ll take you to ……..
We’ve booked a conference room on the sixth floor, so we need to take the lift.


Common Errors in Business Documents 1

Business Greetings

English is a Difficult Language to Master!

U.S. Public Holidays

Common Banking Terms

Querying Information: Functional Language

Drafting Subject Headings

Analysis of Business Documents 1

Business Grammar: Confusing Verb Tenses