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  • Today we're looking at our new widget plant being built at Southside. I've asked Barbara

  • to report on progress and bring us up to date and up to speed. Barbara?

  • Thanks Denise. I'll just outline the process we've been through, identify some problems,

  • and give you an estimate on completion time and the outcome financially.

  • Is it good news or bad news?

  • Bear with me. Now, if you recall, after a feasibility study, we put the project out

  • to tender eighteen months ago, and selected Ezybuild as our project manager.

  • Work commenced about fifteen months ago, and it's been progressing to schedule until recently.

  • What's the problem?

  • Unfortunately there are three: Firstly, there's been a delay in materials - specifically steel

  • because of industrial issues at the suppliers. Secondly, we've lost days due to the weather.

  • And finally, there's been a resulting cost blowout.

  • So what are we going to do?

  • Well, they've managed to get another supplier now. I suggested moving the completion date

  • back. That way, there's no penalty, and they agreed to re-deploy their workers until building

  • can start again.

  • Smart thinking.

  • We've been waiting for the rain to stop - but we can't control the weather!

  • And the cost?

  • At this stage, just a small overage. But I'll be watching it very closely over the next

  • few months. With no more delays, we're expecting to complete the project just one month behind

  • schedule.

  • Good work Barbara.

  • Humph Today's episode is a focussed meeting with

  • a specific purpose. Barbara has been asked to report on the progress of a project. Our

  • focus today is on the verb tenses she uses to report. Firstly, let's look at how Denise

  • asks for Barbara's report. Today we're looking today at our new widget

  • plant being built at Southside. I've asked Barbara to report on progress and bring us

  • all up to date and up to speed. Denise says, "Today we're looking at our new

  • widget plant."

  • She uses the present continuous tense, 'we're looking' or 'we are looking' because she's

  • telling them what they are doing, and what they are going to do at the meeting now.

  • She doesn't use the simple present 'we look', because that is used for regular actions.

  • Then she says, "I've asked Barbara to report."

  • She uses the present perfect tense, 'I have asked' because she asked Barbara to report

  • before the meeting, and Barbara is about to give her report.

  • We'll look more at present perfect later.

  • And she wants Barbara to bring them 'up to date' and 'up to speed'.

  • These are common expressions. To bring someone 'up to date' is to tell them what has happened

  • up to the present. And to bring someone 'up to speed' is to make sure they know all the

  • relevant facts.

  • How does Barbara respond? Thanks Denise. I'll just outline the process

  • we've been through, identify some problems, and give you an estimate on completion time

  • and the outcome financially. She says, "I'll just outline the process."

  • She uses the future tense, I will, because she's talking about something she's going

  • to do in the next few minutes. Notice that the 'will' is not repeated, but it applies

  • to all three of the things she says she is going to do.

  • Let's see how Barbara reports on progress. Now, if you recall, after a feasibility study,

  • we put the project out to tender eighteen months ago, and selected Ezybuild as our project

  • manager. Because Barbara is describing events in the

  • past, she uses the simple past tense. We put the project out to tender.

  • We selected Ezybuild as the project manager.

  • These events happened in the past, and they are finished.

  • Work commenced about fifteen months ago, and it's been progressing to schedule until recently.

  • Again we see the simple past in the phrase: Work commenced about fifteen months ago. The

  • work started at a particular time in the past. But look at the next phrase: "It's been progressing

  • to schedule." When we look at continuous events - things

  • that happen over a period of time, we use a continuous tense. The work started in the

  • past, and it has continued until the present. This is called the present perfect continuous

  • tense. It's here is short for, it has. Try some other examples with Barbara.

  • Work's been going on since last year.

  • We've been monitoring progress continuously.

  • I've been checking the work regularly. Now let's look at how Barbara describes the

  • three problems. Firstly, there's been a delay in materials

  • - specifically steel because of industrial issues at the suppliers. Secondly, we've lost

  • days due to the weather. And finally, there's been a cost blowout.

  • Notice the verb tense Barbara uses.

  • there's been a delay we've lost days

  • there's been a cost blowout

  • These are all present perfect verbs, using 'has' or 'have'.

  • there has been we have lost

  • Present perfect tense is used to describe events which began in the past and are still

  • true now.

  • In business it can be important to use the correct verb tense. Using the wrong one can

  • change the meaning. For example, if Barbara said, "There was a delay", it means this delay

  • happened in the past, and there is no delay now.

  • If she says, "there is a delay", she means that delay is still happening - they are still

  • losing time.

  • But if she says "there has been a delay", she means the delay started in the past and

  • has continued up until the present. But as we'll see, she is now fixing the problem.

  • Well, they've managed to get another supplier now. I suggested moving the completion date

  • back. That way, there's no penalty, and they agreed to re-deploy their workers until building

  • can start again. Let's look at the verb tenses here:

  • "They've managed to get another supplier." They managed to get another supplier in the

  • past, and that supplier is still now supplying the materials.

  • I suggested moving the completion date back. She suggested it at a particular time in the

  • past. There's no penalty. There is no penalty now.

  • They agreed to redeploy their workers. They agreed at a particular time in the past. Redeployed

  • means they were sent to work somewhere else. Look now at the last part of the scene.

  • We've been waiting for the rain to stop, but we can't control the weather!

  • And the cost?

  • At this stage, just a small overage. But I'll be watching it very closely over the next

  • few months. With no more delays, we're expecting to complete the project just one month behind

  • schedule. Here we see some examples of continuous tenses

  • to help meaning. We've been waiting - We have been waiting

  • for the rain to stop, and we are still waiting. I'll be watching - I will be watching in the

  • future over a long time. We're expecting - we are expecting at the

  • moment, and we will continue to expect in the future.

  • Notice also how Denise asks a question. But we can't control the weather! And the

  • cost? She says, "and the cost?" The upward inflection

  • in her voice, "and the cost?" tells us this is a question, although it's not a complete

  • sentence. The complete sentence would be, "What will it cost?" In spoken English, this

  • is very common.

  • Practise some examples with Denise. And the cost?

  • And the result?

  • And the reason? Today we looked at reporting back. Remember,

  • first summarise what you are going to report on. We also focussed on the different verb

  • tenses, which help exact meaning.

  • That's all we have time for today, so I hope we'll be seeing you next time for The Business

  • of English.

Today we're looking at our new widget plant being built at Southside. I've asked Barbara

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英語のビジネス 第7話 進捗報告 (The Business of English - Episode 7: A report on progress)

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    Zenn に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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