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Part 2 Grammar Skills Review

The Way We Communicate

This section is about learning to shift our written expression in English to what is “standard,” or commonly used in the workplace in the United States. While there may be workplaces where more informal language is used, the standard or formal use still is expected by most employers. To ignore this may cost someone a job or promotion.

For example, often we communicate to one another verbally in fragmented forms. Here fragmented means in incomplete ideas or parts of sentences. Consider this phone conversation:

Sue: “Hey, how are you doing?”

Cheryl: “Fine. You?”

In this conversation, Cheryl responds to Sue’s question in fragments, meaning it isn’t in complete sentences. This is fine in oral communication (when speaking to one another), but in our papers or written communication in the workplace, it can be disastrous. The main reason is because fragmented ideas in written communication for another person to read later can cause confusion. Since we don’t often have a chance to dialogue with the reader about unclear ideas that have been written, the reader may misunderstand and then draw wrong conclusions. For example, your boss may misinterpret an incident report and discipline the wrong person. Or a teacher may believe you aren’t informed about the topic and consequently give you a bad grade.


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To the extent possible under law, Cheryl McCormick, Sue Hank, and Ninna Roth have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to The Way We Communicate, except where otherwise noted.

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