The Passive Voice in English: When Should You Use It?

In English you use the passive voice when you want to be vague, noncommittal, inexact, deceptive, pretentious and wordy. That is why lawyers tend to love this tense. That is not to say that lawyers are vague, noncommittal, inexact, deceptive, pretentious or wordy. It would be a bit unfair to say it is only lawyers […]

Formal v. Informal Emails: Using the appropriate tone and language

  The art of letter-writing is an ancient one. Modernity has ushered in the advent of change in the form of emails. Emails are quick, immediate and less costly than “snail mail.” It is not unrealistic to posit that in a few short decades emails will completely replace snail mail. That means that except for […]

Transitional Words in English: Make your spoken and written English pop with these linkers and connectors

ENGLISH TRANSITIONAL WORDS (with audio and quiz – free for members and monthly pass holders) Transitional words and phrases are plentiful in English. Some modern writing experts have advocated reducing the use of connectors and linkers. That is to say that the overuse or misuse of these words should be avoided. For English learners, these words serve […]

10 Keys to Good Writing: Tips for non-native English writers

1.KISS it.

This means “Keep. It. Short. And. Simple.” Have you ever heard the saying “brevity is the soul of wit”? It is true. The fewer words you use in your sentence to say what you want to say, the better. The key is to make sure you convey the message you want. It is about being short and effective at the same time. But a general rule of thumb is that shorter, simpler sentences are better than longer more complex sentences.

Ecrivez en Anglais: Write well in English

Ecriture en Anglais : Writing Well in English Ecriture, Redaction, oeuvres, message, contrat……..   Writing well in English is often one of the main goals and objectives for international lawyers and business professionals who are not native English speakers. I have worked with a lot of folks in my Cours d’Anglais juridique in Paris and it is often one of their […]

MEMO v. REPORT: IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?

A Memo or a report? That is the question…(audio also available for this post) LAWYERS, BUSINESS PEOPLE and UNIVERSITY STUDENTS SOMETIMES HAVE TO WRITE MEMOS AND REPORTS. As an English language learner you may be wondering whether there is a difference between memos and reports and if so what is that difference? There are several. […]

The ABCs of Writing Effective Business Emails in English

Emails are probably the most common way that business people communicate today.  Gone are the days when managers, managing attorneys, and executives spent significant chunks of time dictating letters to their secretaries. Many just send a quick text or email instead. The problem is that when English is not their “mother tongue” writing effective emails in […]

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