Congratulations on your new job!
Starting a new job is exciting but stressful.
You’re ready to learn and do your best, but you’re also nervous.
How do you talk to your new coworkers? What do you talk about? How can you impress your boss?
Sometimes the most difficult questions have the simplest solutions!
If you’re nervous about speaking English in a new job, don’t try to memorize complicated things. Your coworkers won’t be testing you on your grammar knowledge, and they probably won’t care if you use an impressive vocabulary word.
All you need to do is remember some very simple English sentences, and you’ll do just fine!
Tips to Remember for Speaking English at a New Job
Before you step through that door for the first time, remember:
- Tell people you’re learning English. They will usually be understanding. You might be surprised at how patient people are when they know you’re still learning English.
- Ask people to repeat things you don’t understand. Don’t be embarrassed to admit you didn’t understand something.
- Ask people to correct you. Work is a perfect place to improve your English. Ask to be corrected and you will be learning all day.
- Speak up. Sometimes when people are not sure of what they’re saying, they mumble or speak quietly. This just makes them harder to understand!
- Don’t worry about being “right,” just “understood.” It doesn’t matter if your sentence didn’t use perfect grammar, as long as the person you were speaking to understood what you meant. And if you’ve asked them to correct your English, you can try to get it right next time.
- Be confident and be yourself. You’ll do fine!
Below are many simple English sentences you can use in different situations at work. Take a deep breath… and you’re ready for work!
35+ Simple English Sentences You Must Know for Your New Job
- “Hi [name], nice to meet you.” Say this to someone you just met for the first time. Repeating their name will help you remember it.
- “I’m still learning English, so please speak slowly.” This is a polite way to ask someone to slow down when they’re speaking English.
- “I just started working here. I’m the new [name of your job].” You can tell people you’re new with this sentence.
- “I’m working in the [name] department. What do you do here?” Many jobs have different departments, which are sections of the jobs that concentrate on one part of the job. For example, the IT (Information Technology) Department works with setting up and fixing the company’s computers. When you introduce yourself, tell the person which department you work for, and ask them for theirs.
- “Good morning/afternoon/night.” Say “good morning” until around noon. After noon, say “good afternoon.”
- “How’s everything?/How’s it going?” These are more common ways to say “How are you?”—which, by the way, is really not used that often! You can find more ways to say hello in this blog post.
- “How was your weekend?/How did your weekend go?” It’s nice to ask on a Monday if someone’s weekend was nice or interesting.
- “I’m doing fine, thanks./Not bad, thanks./Pretty good, thanks.” If someone asks you how you’re doing, you can respond this way. Remember that when people ask “how are you” as a hello, they usually don’t actually want a real answer. It’s just polite to ask!
- “See you later/tomorrow.” This is an informal but polite way of saying goodbye to someone.
- “Good night.” If you are leaving in the evening or late afternoon, you can say “good night” as a way of saying goodbye.
- “Have a nice weekend.” When you’re leaving on Friday, it’s polite to tell people to enjoy their days off.
Asking where things are
- “Where can I find the (bathroom/coffee maker /[anything])?” Until you learn where everything is, you can use this sentence to ask. An even simpler way to ask would be “Where is the [bathroom, etc]?”
- “Where are we meeting?” If you are not sure where a meeting will be held, you can use this question.
- “Where can I leave this?” This is how you ask when you don’t know where to put your coat, lunch, umbrella or something else you brought into work.
Making “small talk”
Small talk is light conversation. It can be about the weather, food, anything that isn’t too serious. If you’re in the same room as someone, in an elevator together or just standing near each other and you aren’t working, making small talk can open the conversation and form friendships and connections. It also saves you from uncomfortable silences!
- “I love your (shoes/necklace etc.). Where did you get it/them?” Complimenting someone (saying something nice about a person) makes them feel good, and asking a question afterwards starts a conversation.
- “I can’t believe how hot/cold it is today!” The weather is always a safe topic for small talk. You can use this line for almost any kind of weather. If it’s a beautiful day you can say “I can’t believe how nice it is today.”
- “So what do you do here?” If you haven’t met a person yet, you can ask them what their role at the office is.
- “How long have you been working here?” This is another good question you can ask to start a conversation.
Going to lunch together
- “Let’s get a coffee sometime.” This is a casual way to suggest meeting for a quick coffee and maybe having a nice conversation. It doesn’t have a specific time attached to it, it’s just a general idea for the future.
- “Let’s grab lunch.” You can use this phrase to suggest going out for a quick lunch.
- “I know a good place nearby.” Use this sentence if you want to suggest a nice place to eat lunch.
- “Want to order out?” If you don’t want to go out for lunch, this is how you ask if anyone wants to order delivery.
- “I’ll have the same/I’ll have what (s)he’s having.” When you’re out for lunch, you might not know what you want. Sometimes it’s easier to just ask for the same thing as one of your coworkers. Remember that you can only use this phrase after someone else has ordered!
Offering a ride
- “Need a lift?/Need a ride?” If you’re driving home from work and someone is going in your direction, it’s a nice gesture to offer them a ride.
- “Thanks, I appreciate it.” If someone offers you a ride, this is a polite way to accept it.
- “I’m good, but thanks for the offer.” On the other hand, if you’d rather decline (say no to) getting a ride, you can say it this way.
Submitting reports and ideas
- “If you have a moment, I would love your thoughts on this.” This is a polite way of asking your boss or coworker for input on something you wrote or did.
- “I have the report/information you asked for.” This is just a simple way of saying you finished the job you had.
- “Do you mind if I record this?” A good way to make sure you don’t miss anything important at a meeting is to record it so you can listen to it again later. Ask for permission first by using this sentence.
- “Excuse me, can you please speak up?” This is a polite way to ask someone to speak louder if you can’t hear them.
- “Do we still have that meeting after lunch?” Make sure you know when all the meetings are so you don’t miss them.
Asking for help/clarifications
- “I don’t understand this. Can you please explain it?” Don’t be afraid to ask this question. It’s better to understand everything completely than to think you understand, and then waste time doing something the wrong way.
- “Let me see if I understand this.” Say this sentence, then repeat what you just heard. This is a great way to show that you were paying attention, and to make sure you understood everything correctly.
- “I’m having trouble with [something]. Do you know who can help me?” Before you ask someone for help, find out if they’re the right person for the type of problem you’re having.
- “Do you have a minute?” Before you ask for help, make sure the person isn’t busy.
- “Can you please repeat that?” If you didn’t hear something, you can ask the person to say it again. If you still don’t understand, you can also ask “Can you please rephrase that?” This question asks the speaker to say something again, but using different words. It may help you understand what they’re saying better.
- “Are there any rules I should know about?” Every job has its own rules and ways of doing things. Find out what they are so that you can follow them.
See how easy these sentences are? Use these simple sentences so you don’t have to worry about how to speak, and you can save your energy for impressing your boss.
Oh, and One More Thing…
If you like learning real English, you should also check out the FluentU app. Like the website, the FluentU app lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:
The FluentU app makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word “brought,” you see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It recommends you examples and videos based on the words you’ve already learned. You have a truly personalized experience.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.