Derek Callan . Professional English


15.01.2014 - Derek Callan

Number 37: Current events

Happy New Year everybody!

 My first post of the new year is on the topic of small-talk:

 Let’s take a look at some useful phrases for talking about current events:


Did you hear the news today?

I heard on the radio today that they are planning to build a new airport in Innsbruck.

I read in the paper today that the price of oil is going up.

Did you see the video clip of Thomas Morgenstern’s accident?

What do you think about the unrest in Thailand?

Did you see the game last night? That team is unbeatable at the moment!

Will you be watching the Olympics on TV? Are you interested in winter sports?


Why not try them out next time you have the chance?

All the best for now,


11.12.2013 - Derek Callan

Number 36: Giving and receiving gifts

Hello everybody!

It’s the festive season, so let’s look at some phrases used for giving and receiving gifts:



  • I hope you like it.

  • I thought you might like this.

  • Merry Christmas! Here’s a little gift / present for you.

  • It’s just something small, but I hope you like it.


  • I’d like to give you this gift on behalf of myself and the whole company.

  • We hope you and your staff have a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful new year. Please accept this gift as a token of our appreciation for your business.



  • That’s so kind!
  • You shouldn’t have!
  • This is exactly what I wanted!
  • That’s very thoughtful of you.
  • Formal


  • Thank you very much. That’s very generous of you.
  • Thank you very much. That’s very kind of you.
  • I hope you find these phrases useful over the next couple of weeks, and I hope Christkind or Santa brings you something nice!

    One last thing: I think this song is one of the best Christmas songs ever! Maybe you know it?

    Have a wonderful Christmas and an even better new year!

    All the best,