Using Tense Appropriately in Business Descriptions
Use simple past tense to describe something that wholly occurred at a specific time in the past:
I graduated from NYU in 1998. NOT: I have graduated since 1998.
(That's when the ceremony occurred.) (Incorrect!)
I finished the Hollins project last week. I have finished the Hollins project last week.
(Specific time) (Incorrect!)
Use present perfect tense to describe something that has been in effect from a certain point in the past until now. Be careful! Some verbs are used for specific actions; others are used for conditions that cover lengths of time.
I met Mr. Flinders last year at a Convention in Little Rock. I have met him since last year. I have known him since last year.
(Specific time) (Incorrect!) (Correct!)
Use simple present tense to describe facts.
I work for IBS Corporation. He's a sanitation engineer. I am responsible for orienting new employees. She answers company correspondence.
Use present progressive tense to describe ongoing projects.
I am developing new software. She is teaching the hearing-impaired. We are building a new mall in East Heights.
Welcome to Cando Enterprises.
Welcome to London. I'm John Taylor.
Meeting someone you don't know
1. Patricia Murphy?
Hi, I'm Kevin Chen of Myotex Industries. Welcome to Taiwan.
2. Are you Mr. Blanks?
Yes, I am.
I'm Jane Placid. (We talked by telephone.) Welcome to Sydney. It's nice to meet you in person.
Nice meeting you too.
How was your flight?
Okay, but very long.
3. You must be Ms. Terius.
It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Brad Wilson. Welcome to Suntech.
Did you have any problem finding this place?
No, your directions were very clear.
Focusing on the main problem/issue
What is the main problem?
What is the real issue (here)?
(I think) the major problem is . . .
Our primary concern is . . .
The crux of the matter is . . .
(As I see it), the most important thing is . . .
The main problem we need to solve is . . .
We really need to take care of . . .
It all comes down to this:
Asking for input
What should we do about it?
What needs to be done?
What do you think we should do?
What are we going to do about it?
Do you have any suggestions?
I recommend that . . .
I suggest that . . .
I would like to propose that . . .
Why don't we . . .
Asking for Information
Information about company
What does your company do? What is your specialty? What do you specialize in? What is your main line of business?
We produce marketing materials.
We specialize in art and design.
What are your major products? What services do you provide?
We produce office machines.
We design software.
We provide technical support.
Information about products
Could you give me some (more) information on this?
What can you tell me about this (product)? Tell me about this one/model.