Learning Vocabulary: Making suggestions
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Rich, Jack and Rowan host an AGM (Annual General Meeting) at their local football club to discuss performance and future strategy. The language focus is on words and phrases we use to make suggestions. In this week's task, we want you to imagine that you run a local football club in your city. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess.
Learning Vocabulary: Making Suggestions
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack
Rowan: My name’s Rowan
Rich: and I’m Rich
Rowan: And welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast.
Jack: In the Premier Skills English podcast, we talk about football and help you with your English.
Rich: In this week’s roleplay, we’re holding an AGM at our local football club.
Rowan: An AGM is an Annual General Meeting and something that all companies have once a year. All the shareholders and directors of the company meet to talk about the company’s performance and future strategy.
Jack: At Ludlow Badgers FC there are only three shareholders. Rich who is operational manager of the club, Rowan who is in charge of finance and me. I’m the chair and in charge of everything!
Rowan: We will discuss things like the team’s kit, sponsorship and the signing of new players.
Rich: You will hear the roleplay in three parts and we will use lots of language connected to talking about options and choices. After each part, we will focus on some of this language.
Jack: This week’s task is to imagine you were a director or shareholder at a small community club in your city and tell us the choices you’d make about your team’s kit, sponsorship and players.
Rowan: If you’re listening to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcast platform, you should also check out our website.
Rich: On the Premier Skills English website you’ll also find the transcript, examples and activities to help you understand the language, and a task for you to complete.
Jack: You’ll also find a community of friendly listeners to interact with, in our comments section.
Rowan: And that includes us - we’re always around to answer questions and join in the discussions.
Rich: But if you listen on Apple Podcasts you can always write answers to our questions or any other comments in the review section.
Jack: Before we do the roleplay let’s look back at last week’s football phrase.
Last week’s Football Phrase
Rowan: If you didn’t hear our football phrase last week we’re going to give you one more chance to guess now.
Rich: Last week’s football phrase was **** *** *****. Leeds United and West Brom have been promoted to the Premier League and now we know the third team that has been promoted. Fulham beat Brentford in the **** *** ***** at Wembley.
Jack: You’re a Fulham fan, Rowan? Did you watch the match?
Rowan: It was brilliant. I was very nervous but I thought we were brilliant and I think we’ll do well in the Premier League next season. Better than last time I hope!
Rich: Congratulations Rowan and to Fulham of course. If you’re not sure what the football phrase is we’ll give you the correct answer at the end of the show when we give you a new football phrase.
Jack: The first listener to get it right last week was Mo Beckham from Turkey. Well done again MoBeckham!
Rowan: Lots of other listeners got the right answer too. Well done to Wsanta from Argentina, Mohamed kuna from Sudan, Hayato from Japan, Izabela and Salomaoh from Brazil, Emmanuel from France, Elghoul from Algeria, Lakerwang from China and Max Alex from Vietnam.
Rich: Also well done to Marco Zapien from Mexico, Robert Tavares from Brazil, Emanuel Kwarteng from Ghana, Gergo Nagy from Hungary, Idzingirai from Zimbabwe and Liubomyr from Ukraine.
Jack: It was great to see so many of you having a go at last week’s task. Lots of you disagreed with our season award choices which is exactly what we wanted.
Rowan: You used the phrases we gave you in the podcast really well: Fjchaves from Brazil saying that he doesn’t entirely disagree with me, Vic from Mexico taking issue with Rich’s choice of award and Elghoul from Algeria telling Jack that he had to be joking with his choice of team of the season.
Jack: If you haven’t heard last week’s podcast it’s called Learning Vocabulary: Agreeing and Disagreeing. You can find it on the Premier Skills English website or on Apple Podcasts.
Introduction to Roleplay
Rich: As we said earlier, this week’s roleplay is the Annual General Meeting at Ludlow Badgers - a small imaginary, local football club that plays in the 27th division of English football.
Jack: The only people present at this meeting are the three of us because we are the main shareholders. I’m the chair, Rowan is the finance and marketing manager and Rich is the manager of club operations.
Rich: You will hear us discussing possible changes to the club’s shirt, the club’s sponsor and the signing of new players.
Rowan: The roleplay is in three parts and after each part, we’ll give you the answer to the questions we’ve given you and look at a bit of language.
Jack: Let’s listen to the first part of the roleplay. While you are listening, we want you to answer two questions to check your understanding.
Rich: Question one: Why does the team play in black and white stripes?
Jack: Question two: Why does Rowan think a new away shirt is a good idea?
Roleplay - Part 1
Rich: Yes, no, I know but .. I swear I mentioned it. I said yesterday - I’m sure I did. The AGM - the annual general meeting. I’m at the football ground now. Let’s talk later.
Rich: I am. I’m here. I’m in the car park. I won’t be late ... no not as late as last night. I’m going in now.
Rowan: Hey, Rich. We’re about to start.
Rich: I’ve got to go. No, no that’s Rowan. I’ll see you in a bit, all right? Bye.
Rich: No, no bother. Right, let’s get down to business.
Rowan: Do you mind taking the minutes, Rich? I’ve got all the accounts here.
Rich: No, worries. Let me just get my laptop out. What’s on the agenda then?
Jack: We’ve got three main items on the agenda: kit, sponsorship and players.
Rowan: Let’s start with point number one - kit. I don’t think this will take very long. Home kit. I imagine we’re going to stick with the black and white stripes. We are the Ludlow Badgers after all.
Jack: But shirt sales are a money-spinner - perhaps we should look into changing the shirt a little. We sold over a thousand last year, which brought in enough to cover rent at the stadium and the team’s travel to away matches for the whole season.
Rich: Didn’t we charge over £30 for a shirt? It’s down as a £5000 profit in the books. That doesn’t seem to make sense.
Rowan: Don’t worry, Rich. It’s all above board. We had to pay the kit manufacturers upfront - they seem to be charging more and more every year.
Jack: What about black and white hoops?
Rich: We’re the Ludlow Badgers, not the Ludlow Racoons! How about selling our away kit?
Rowan: Nice idea but it’s plain white. I think we could be more radical maybe something like bright pink or perhaps luminous green.
Jack: It would certainly be eye-catching. Do you think they’d sell?
Rowan: Like hot cakes! We could even get a market stall in town which would be like a club shop. Home kits, away kits, scarves, badges and match tickets. We could make a bucketload of cash.
Rich: You mean the club could make a bucketload of cash.
Rowan: Yes, of course - everything gets put back into the club.
Language Focus 1
Jack: Let’s start by looking at the answers to the questions we set. The first question was: Why does the team play in black and white stripes?
Rowan: Well, it’s because the team are called the Ludlow Badgers. Badgers have black and white stripes so the team shirt also has black and white stripes.
Rich: And our second question was: Why does Rowan think a new away shirt is a good idea?
Jack: Well, it seems that Rowan is thinking about money. She is the finance manager after all, but is she thinking about money for the club or money for herself?
Rowan: You couldn’t possibly think that I am corrupt, Jack!
Jack: Not in a million years! OK, let’s look at some language.
Rich: In the roleplay, we said things like, ‘What about black and white hoops?' 'How about selling our away kit?
Rowan: In these examples, we’re using two basic phrases for making suggestions: ‘What about …?’ and ’How about …? Both of these phrases are followed by nouns or gerunds. For example: What about pizza for dinner? How about going to the park?
Jack: We could also use phrases such as ‘Why don’t we …?’, and ‘Could we …?’. These are used in question forms but they are suggestions. These phrases are followed by infinitives without to. Why don’t we have pizza for dinner? Could we go to the park?
Rich: Another example we used in the roleplay is 'I imagine we're going to stick with black and white stripes’. In this case, the phrase I imagine is followed by a future form.
Rowan: This is a suggestion of sorts although it is closing down the discussion a little as in this example we’re really saying that there are no other options or that other options would be a bit silly.
Rich: You could also use the phrase ‘I assume’ in the same way. For example: I assume we’re not going to the shops now, it’s too late.
Jack: Let’s listen to the second part of the roleplay. While you are listening, we want you to answer two questions to check your understanding.
Rich: Question one: Which sponsorship deal is worth the most?
Rowan: Question two: Which sponsorship deal does Rich prefer?
Roleplay - Part two
Jack: Let’s move on to point number two on the agenda: sponsorship.
Rich: We’ve been sponsored by Ludlow Leisure for the last five years. I’m sure they’d be interested in sponsoring us again. I think the football team and a local sports shop is a good combination.
Jack: You’re right, Rich. It has been good, but the truth is we need to look at the bigger picture. Rowan’s been looking into sponsorship and how we can get more money into the club.
Rich: I’m sure Ludlow Leisure gave us over £20,000, but in the accounts you’ve written Rowan, it seems to be less than ten.
Rowan: They have Rich but that’s over a number of years. It was £10,000 a season, but then there are overheads and other costs.
Jack: There are always other costs, Rich. You know that.
Rowan: That’s right. Anyway, I’ve been calling around local businesses and I think we can get a much better deal than Ludlow Leisure.
Rich: I’m not so sure …
Rowan: There are two offers on the table already. Both bigger than our current deal.
Rich: That’s er ... fantastic.
Jack: Great work, Rowan. Let’s hear what you’ve got.
Rowan: The first is from Rashers. It’s a regional chain. They’ve got over 20 restaurants in the region and they’ve offered us a two-season deal. It could be worth just over £100,000.
Rich: Rashers? Really? The fast-food joint? Let’s not go with them as a sponsor.
Rowan: Why is it an issue?
Rich: We’re a local family football club and Rashers sells the kind of stuff most parents want to keep their kids away from: chips, burgers, fizzy drinks and then chips again.
Rowan: Nobody forces anyone to buy their food.
Rich: The thing is I don’t think it creates the right image for the club. Isn’t their logo someone eating a burger? We don’t want that on our shirts, do we?
Jack: What other offers do we have, Rowan?
Rowan: Our second option is Dave’s Car Dealership in town. Dave has said he’ll give us £35,000 for the season and he’ll give us two top-end cars to drive around this season.
Rich: Dodgy Dave? Really? Have you forgotten that heap of junk he sold me last year? And who would get the cars?
Jack: Well, we could offer one to a new signing. It could be like a signing-on fee. I'm sure we could get a better player if they had a nice car to drive around for the season.
Rich: And the other?
Jack: Well, as I am the chair …
Language Focus 2
Rowan: Let’s start by looking at the answers to the questions we set. The first question was: Which sponsorship deal is worth the most?
Jack: Well, it appears that the deal from Rashers is worth the most because that is £50,000 per season.
Rich: Although it looks like the deal from Dave’s Car Dealership might be worth more to Jack personally.
Jack: What do you mean? Are you saying that I am corrupt?
Rich: Not in a million years!
Rowan: The second question was: Which sponsorship deal does Rich prefer?
Jack: It seems that Rich would like to continue with the same deal we’ve had for years which is worth less money. Very strange.
Rich: OK, let’s look at some language. In the first section, we spoke about how we use questions to make suggestions.
Rowan: Another common way of making a suggestion is by using ‘let’s + verb’.
Rich: In the roleplay, we made a few suggestions using ‘let’s’ such as ‘Let’s move on to point number two on the agenda.', 'Great work, Rowan. Let’s hear what you’ve got.', and Rashers? Really? The fast-food joint? Let’s not go with them as a sponsor’.
Rowan: In the last section we spoke about the phrases ‘what about.. And ‘how about …’.
Rich: These are suggestions in question form but let’s or let us in its full form is actually an imperative but they are used in similar ways. Listen to these examples:
Jack: How about going to Scotland for a holiday?
Rich: Let’s go to Scotland for a holiday.
Rowan: Let’s go to the cinema on Saturday.
Jack: What about going to the cinema on Saturday?
Rich: Let’s listen to the final part of the roleplay. While you are listening, we want you to answer two questions to check your understanding.
Rowan: Question one: Which player does Rich want to buy?
Jack: Question two: Which player does Rowan want to buy?
Roleplay - Part 3
Jack: Let’s move onto point number three on the agenda: players.
Rich: Well, as we know, a few players left the club at the end of the season, so we need a few more players for the squad especially if we want to improve on our thirteenth place finish last season.
Rowan: Well, I think we may be able to spend some money on a player, especially if we increase our shirt sales and get a new sponsor for the start of the season.
Rich: I think we can get most of our new players from the local area at no extra cost, but if we were to sign a player for money I think we need a new goalkeeper.
Jack: I’m not so sure Rich. I think we need to improve at the top of the pitch. What do you think about a new striker?
Rowan: A new striker is exactly what we need and I have some news. I’ve been talking to our chief scout …
Rich: You mean Sara … your sister-in-law.
Rowan: Yes, well, she watches more football than all of us put together.
Jack: And you know that Jordan has had trials at a number of professional clubs.
Rich: Jordan? Your nephew, Rowan?
Jack: He could be exactly what we’re looking for. A young striker who’s played at a higher level. He wouldn’t cost the earth.
Rich: I’m not so sure if this is the right thing to do, how would it look signing a family member with the club’s money? Maybe we should offer him a trial?
Language focus 3
Jack: Let’s start by looking at the answers to the questions we set. The first question was: Which player does Rich want to buy?
Rich: The answer was a goalkeeper and the reason is simple that is the position that is most important for the team.
Jack: The second question was: Which player does Rowan want to buy?
Rich: The answer is a striker and the reason is not so simple. She wants the club to buy her nephew with the money from a new sponsorship deal and give him a new car.
Rowan: Are you saying I’m corrupt?
Rich: Not in a million years. I’m just naturally suspicious that’s all.
Jack: OK, I think it’s best if we look at a bit of language now. In this last section, we’re going to focus on a bit of pronunciation.
Rowan: In the roleplay, Jack made this suggestion ‘What do you think about a new striker?’
Rich: Jack doesn’t say ‘what do you think’, he says ‘what do you think, ‘do you think’, ‘do you think’, ‘what do you think’.
Rowan: Do you becomes d3.
Jack: This is an example of what we call connected speech. Connected speech can be difficult both to understand and use. Let’s focus on this in three more sentences. We want you to listen and repeat these sentences twice:
Rich: Do you think Manchester City will win the Champions League?
Rich: Do you think Manchester City will win the Champions League?
Rowan: When do you think we’ll get fans back in stadiums?
Rowan: When do you think we’ll get fans back in stadiums?
Jack: Do you think Rowan really is corrupt?
Jack: Do you think Rowan really is corrupt?
Rich: OK, so we’ve looked at quite a bit of language in this podcast and we’ve got lots more examples and activities to help your understanding on the Premier Skills English website. You can find this lesson on the homepage now.
Rich: This week’s task is to imagine that you are a director at a small, community club like Ludlow Badgers FC in your country or city.
Rowan: We want you to tell us what you would call your club.
Jack: We want you to tell us the colours and design of your kit.
Rich: We want you to tell us about the local sponsors you think you might be able to find for your club.
Rowan: And we want you to tell us about a player you think you could get to play for your club. Maybe a famous older player from your country or city that is now retired. Who could you get to come out of retirement to play for your team?
Jack: Write all your answers in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website and try to use some of the phrases we used in the language section.
Rich: or write your answers in the review section on Apple Podcasts if that’s where you listen to us.
Rowan: Have you got a football phrase for us, Jack?
Jack: I have. This week’s football phrase is ******* *****. This is something that has been introduced in the Premier League recently. At the halfway point in each half, the teams stop for a minute to have a drink. It is called a ******* ***** and they are also used when the temperature is very high.
Rich: Let’s see who can get our football phrase right. If you are still wondering what the answer was to last week’s football phrase it was play-off final.
Rowan: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below. If you get it right, we’ll announce your name on next week’s show.
Jack: If you have a question for us about football or English you can email us at email@example.com
Rich: or you can leave your questions and comments on the website in the comments section or on our Facebook page or Twitter feed
Rowan: or you could give us a rating and a fantastic review on Apple Podcasts.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
How much did you understand?
Here is the vocabulary you saw at the top of this page and how Rowan, Rich and Jack used it in the roleplay. Do you know the words in bold?
No, no bother. Right, let’s get down to business.
We’ve got three main items on the agenda: kit, sponsorship and players.
But shirt sales are a money-spinner - perhaps we should look into changing the shirt a little.
We had to pay the kit manufacturers upfront - they seem to be charging more and more every year.
There are two offers on the table already. Both bigger than our current deal.
Well, we could offer a car to a new signing. It could be like a signing-on fee.
I’ve been talking to our chief scout …
Maybe we should offer him a trial?
Listen to the roleplays again to hear how Rich, Rowan and Jack used these words and phrases.
Making Suggestions (Questions)
In the second roleplay, you heard Jack, Rowan and Rich using quite a few phrases to make suggestions when they were talking about ideas for the club's kit, sponsor and new players. We often use question forms to make suggestions. Here are some of the phrases that were used in the roleplay. Do you know the phrases in bold?
What about black and white hoops?
Why don't we think about a new sponsor?
How about about selling our away kit?
We often form suggestions as questions to be polite which include: 'What about ...?', 'Why don't we ...?', and 'How about ...?'. These types of questions are good for making suggestions as they are polite and the listener can respond by extending the idea if they like it or just say something like 'good idea' if they don't want to discuss that idea further.
Making Suggestions (Modals)
We also use modal verbs (could, might, shall) when we make suggestions. We use 'could' in question forms and positive sentences, 'might' is more common in positive sentences and 'shall' in questions to make suggestions. Here are some examples:
We could even get a market stall in town which would be like a club shop.
Shall we go to the match this afternoon?
It might be a good idea to leave now.
Making Suggestions (Let's)
Another phrase that is very common to make suggestions is let's + verb. Remember that 'let's' means 'let us' so the suggestion always includes the speaker and it is used as an imperative. There were a lot of examples in the roleplay:
I’m at the football ground now. Let’s talk later.
Right, let’s get down to business.
Great work, Rowan. Let’s hear what you’ve got.
Rashers? Really? The fast-food joint? Let’s not go with them as a sponsor.
Rich, Rowan and Jack had to make some suggestions and decisions about the local football club they run in this week's podcast. This week’s task is to imagine that you are a director at a small, community club like Ludlow Badgers FC in your country or city. You need to make some suggestions for your club:
- Club name
- Kit design and colours
- Possible local sponsors
- A famous older player from your country or city that is now retired. Who could you get to come out of retirement to play for your team?
Try to use the words and phrases connected to making suggestions we introduced in the podcast. Write your answers below and don't forget to make a guess at this week's football phrase!