Derek Callan . Professional English


24.09.2017 - Derek Callan

Number 80: Idioms Quiz

Hello everbody!


Take a look at the following sentence:


Rupert got cold feet at the last moment and cancelled the wedding.


What does that mean - to get cold feet?


Is it A or B?


A: to feel cold because you forgot your socks
B: to suddenly feel nervous about doing something that you have planned or agreed to do


Yes, that’s right – B is the correct definition


Why not test your knowledge of some other idioms in my quiz? Just click here

Have fun!

Hello everyone!


I hope you're all having a good summer so far.


The first and only post I published about TED Talks was way back in January 2015, so let me remind you of what TED Talks are: is a website where you can watch hundreds of talks on different topics by people from business, sports, technology, politics, science etc. It's a great way to improve your listening skills and learn new vocabulary and phrases along the way.


Here's a nice, short example to give you a taste:



You can also switch the subtitles off or choose another language.


If you enjoy this one, why not check out some more?


All the best,


26.05.2017 - Derek Callan

Number 78: Phrases for formal emails

Hello everybody!

It’s been too long since my last post, but better late than never!

Let's have a look at some useful phrases for formal emails:


Opening lines:

  • I hope all is well. (When you already know the person)
  • I am writing to enquire about ....
  • I am writing to inform you about ...
  • The reason for this mail is ....


  • I have attached a copy of the document you requested.
  • Please find a copy of the requested document attached.

Closing lines:

  • If you require any further information, feel free to contact me.
  • Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
  • I look forward to your reply.
  • I look forward to hearing from you.
  • I look forward to meeting you in person next week.


Tip - when referring to an action, the -ing form is always used after the phrase I look forward to…


I look forward to see you. INCORRECT

I look forward to seeing you. CORRECT

I hope you find these phrases useful.

All the best,

30.03.2017 - Derek Callan

Number 77: I'm glad you've brought that up

Hello everyone,


let’s have a look at the following phrasal verb:





to mention a topic or start to talk about it




1.     I don't like to bring this up, but we are having some problems with the new assistant.


2.     Wolfgang: Would it be possible to discuss the new sales strategy for a few minutes?

Boris: Yes, I’m glad you’ve brought that up Wolfgang – we need to clarify a few things.


What will you bring up in your next discussion?

All the best,


28.02.2017 - Derek Callan

Number 76: Get it off your chest

Hello everyone,

I hope all is well.

Take a look at the following phrase:


To tell someone about something that has been worrying you


  • Is everything ok? Is there something you want to get off your chest?
  • Herbert was unsure about his future at the company, so he got it off his chest and asked his boss directly.

Hope you find this post useful.

All the best,