Grammar is more than just a set of abstract rules - it can be used to create appropriate relationships:
- Forms of address (sir, madam, mate, etc.)
- Formal vocabulary (e.g. we wish to advise you....)
- Hedging and vagueness (e.g. a bit hungry, hungry-ish)
- Indirectness (e.g. one shouldn't worry, it is hoped that....)
- Using tense, aspect and modality (e.g. I wondered..., I should be grateful...)
- Involvement strategies/use of pronouns - ways of making the person you're talking to feel more part of the topic of conversation
- Ellipsis (e.g. want some coffee? you ready?)
- Cambridge English Corpus - 2 billion words
- CANCODE Spoken Corpus - 5 million words (mostly informal speech)
- Cambridge Learner Corpus - 5 million words
- CANBEC Spoken Business English Corpus - 1 million words
- CLAS Spoken Professional/Academic Corpus - 1 million words taken from a hotel management context in Ireland
- Where's the key?
- I hope you've got the key.
- I was hoping you had the key.
- I wonder if you can help me?
- I'm wondering if you could help me?
- I was wondering if you could help me?
Some verbs are more polite and less direct when used in the continuous form (present or past). For example:
- Are you needing something?
- I was wondering if I could ask you a question?
- I was hoping you'd come to visit.
- We were thinking we should finish this by Friday.