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Module 1. Functions


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Colloquial language
Language normally used in informal conversation but not in formal speech or writing, e.g. Give Gran a ring, OK?
Decline, refuse an invitation
To say that you will not accept an invitation, e.g. I'm sorry but I can't.
Enquire
To ask for information, e.g. What time does the train leave?
Express
To show or make known a feeling or an opinion in words.
Express ability
I can swim.
Express intention
I'm planning to visit him next year.
Express necessity
He needs to get a new passport.
Express obligation
You must wear a seatbelt.
Express permission
You can have a look at my book.
Express preference
I'd rather have coffee than tea.
Express probability
He should be in later.
Express prohibition
You mustn't use your mobile phone while driving
Formal language
Language used in offical conversations or writing, e.g. Yours faithfully.
Function
The reason or purpose for communication, e.g. making a suggestion; giving advice.
Functional exponent
A phrase which is an example of a function and shows the purpose of what the speaker is communicating, e.g. Let's ...
Greet
To welcome someone, often with words, e.g. Hello, how are you?
Inappropriate
Language which is not suitable in a particular situation.
Informal language
Language used in unoffical conversations or writing, e.g. Hi John.
Instruct
To order or tell someone to do something, e.g. Please turn to page 12 and do exercise 1.
Negotiate
To discuss with someone to reach an agreement, e.g. If you help me now, I'll help you next week.
Neutral
A style of speaking or writing that is neither formal nor informal, but in between. It is appropriate for most situations.
Predict
To guess or say what you think may happen, e.g. I think the story will end happily.
Register
The formality or informality of the language used in a particular situation.
Request
To ask someone politely to do something, e.g. Please could you open the window?
Speculate
To guess something based on information you have, e.g. I think it might be an easy test.