Office Supplies


How many things can you think of that you would typically find in an office?
Write down as many as possible in 3 minutes.
  • When you finish, click here.
officesuppliesatoh Give yourself a big pat on the back if you have any of these things on your list. (Link to 'pat on the back' opens on new page.)

Use a dictionary to look up the name of any of the things you don't know in English.

Vocabulary Listening

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General Listening

Now listen again, and decide if the sentences are
  • Very Formal (VF)
  • Formal (F)
  • Neutral (N)
  • Informal (I)
  • Very Informal (VI)
What do you think the relationship is between the person talking and who he’s talking to?
How does this affect the formality of the language used?
  • Answer
1. (N) or (F) – While ‘Can you’ is neutral, the sentence ends with ‘please’ which is polite and suggests the relationship between the two people is professional, possibly a boss talking to his secretary or a junior team member.

2. (I) – ‘Anybody’ to start the question, instead of ‘Has anybody’ is informal in style. As the question addresses more than one person, this is probably a member of a team talking to his colleagues.

3. (N) – There is neither formal nor informal language here.

4. (VF) – ‘Would you like’ is polite. ‘sir’ shows respect and an understood level of formality between the two people. The use of ‘will’ in ‘Will that be’ is also very formal here

5. (I) or (VI) – The first word ‘Right’ is very direct. ‘pinched’ means ‘taken without my permission’ / ‘stolen’ and is not considered polite.

6. (VI) – ‘Any chance’ is informal and ‘mate’ which means ‘friend’ shows there is an informal relationship between the two workmates. ‘bust’ means ‘broken’ and is again informal. The word ‘bloody’ is vulgar slang and not considered polite, so this is a very informal situation.

7. (N) or (I) – While ‘Could you’ seems polite, there is no ‘please’, and ‘weighs a tonne’ is somewhat informal.

8. (I) – ‘Don’t tell me’ is direct and shows emotion. The other person has upset her/his boss!

Listening for Specific Information

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Now do a crossoword which includes some of the vocabulary from this class here.
  • Full list of words for the crossword
  • highlighter pen
  • ink cartridge
  • stapler
  • hole punch
  • paper clip
  • adhesive tape
  • photocopier
  • drawing pin
  • pencil holder
  • filing cabinet
  • out tray
  • keyboard