When people visit the company that you are working at, it very normal to show them around the office. When you do this, it is polite to describe both what things are and where things are.

To do this, you need to know what the names are in English of the different parts of an office.

In this first of two online exercises on parts of an office, I'll show you the names of both different parts of an offices and objects which are commonly found in them.

After you have done this exercise, I would recommend that you do the second part of this exercise to learn more office vocabulary.


Exercise: Showing a visitor around an office

In the following conversation Jane is showing a visitor, Peter, around the the office where she works.

From the context, try to guess what the object or place of the words in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Jane:'You must be Simon?'

Simon:'Yes, that's right.'

Jane:'My name's Jane. Pleased to meet you.'

Simon:'Please to meet you too. '

Jane:'Did you find us ok?'

Simon:'No problem. I came by car. It was a bit of a problem parking the car on the street.'

Jane:'You should have parked your car in the office's car park. The entrance is at the back of the building.'

Simon:'I'll know next time.'

Jane:'Well, before the meeting starts I'll take you on a quick tour of the office.'

Simon:'Ok.'

Jane:'Well, this obviously is the reception which is at the entrance to the office.'

Simon:'How many floors are there in the office?'

Jane:'There are 6 floors in total. The meeting is going to take place on the fourth floor.

Are you hungry?'

Simon:'No, I'm not.'

Jane:'If you want to have lunch or get something to eat like a sandwich, you can use the staff canteen. It's in front of us through those doors.'

Simon:'Where is it?'

Jane:'You see the corridor, the long narrow passage in front of us?'

Simon:'Yes.'

Jane:'Well, walk down the corridor and at the end you'll find the canteen.'

Simon:'OK.'

Jane:'If you want a coffee, tea, can of coke or a bar of chocolate, you can buy them on every floor from a vending machine.

So, let me show where our department is in the building, it's on the third floor.'

Simon:'So there is more than one department of the company in this building?'

Jane:'There are about 8 different departments here; marketing, human resources, advertising, finance, customer services and some others I can't remember.

How do you want to go up to the third floor? Do you want to walk and take the stairs? Or would you prefer to take the lift or as you Americans call it the elevator and not walk up?'

Simon:'The lift will be fine.'


Click to see more general business English exercises


Quiz: English vocabulary for parts of an office part 1

Below is a photo/picture of each of the words in bold from the above text. Now choose the word from the question's selection box which you believe matches the photo/picture. Only use one word once. Click on the "Check answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question which you can press/click on. In the first icon, , you can find extra information about the word/phrase (e.g. when, where and how to use etc...) and a Spanish translation. In the second, , is where you can listen to the word/phrase and do a pronunciation test (to make sure you can say it correctly).


1. office exercise photo

This place is called a              

Corridor:
(noun) It is the part of a building which connects rooms together where there are two walls on either side of it. In offices and most buildings it is always called a 'corridor'.

In Spanish: "pasillo".

Close

Corridor:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

2. office exercise photo

This is called a              

Lift:
(noun) It is called a 'lift' in most English-speaking countries except in North America, where it is called an 'elevator'.

In Spanish: "ascensor".

Close

Lift:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

3. office exercise photo

This place is called the              

Reception:
(noun) Most offices have a 'reception' at the entrance of their office. The person who works in a reception is called a 'receptionist'.

In Spanish: "recepción".

Close

Reception:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

4. office exercise photo

Each of these is called a              

Department:
(adjective) The staff in most companies are separated into different sections. These sections are called 'departments'. Normally, 'departments' group staff together who do similar types of activities in their job. So, all the people whose job is to help or deal with customers would be in the 'customer services department', and all the people who are involved in selling would be in the 'sales department'.

Both the names and types of 'departments' within a company can differ greatly between companies. One company could call a department for people who are involved in selling, the 'sales department', while another could call it the 'customer acquisition department'. They both do actually the same thing, but have different names.

In Spanish: "departamento".

Close

Department:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

5. office exercise photo

This building has 5              

Floors:
(noun) A 'floor' in this context means the different vertical 'levels' or 'storeys' in a building. Some of the tallest buildings in the world have over 120 'floors'.

In British English, the 'floor' on the street or entrance level of the building is called the 'ground floor', then the next 'floor' up is called the 'first floor', then the next 'second floor', then 'third floor' etc... In American English, the 'ground floor' is called the 'first floor', then the next 'floor' is called the 'second floor' etc...

In both British and American English, the 'floor' that is underground is called the 'basement'.

In Spanish: "pisos".

Close

Floors:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

6. office exercise photo

These are called              

Stairs:
(noun) The 'stairs' in a building are the steps that people use to walk between the different vertical levels or floors in a building.

In English, if the steps are not used to connect different floors or levels (e.g. a higher part on the same floor/level), then they are called 'steps' instead of 'stairs'.

In Spanish: "escaleras".

Close

Stairs:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

7. office exercise photo

This is called a              

Vending machine:
(noun) This is a machine where people can buy drinks (coffee, teas, soft drinks etc...) or food (e.g. chocolate, crisps/chips, sandwiches etc...). If the 'vending machine' just sells coffee or tea, it is sometimes called a 'coffee machine' instead.

In Spanish: "máquina expendedora".

Close

Vending machine:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

8. office exercise photo

This place is called a              

Car park:
(noun) This is called a 'parking lot' in American English. It is an area where people can park their car. The name for the places in a 'car park' where people park their cars, are called 'spaces'.

If the 'car park' is under a building, it is called an 'underground car park / parking lot'.

In Spanish: "parking/estacionamiento/aparcamiento".

Close

Car park:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

9. office exercise photo

This place is called the              

Canteen:
(noun) Also called a 'staff canteen' or 'staff restaurant'. It's a place in an office or work building where the people who work there can both buy and eat food/meals.

In Spanish: "comedor".

Close

Canteen:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close




Click here to learn more office vocabulary in the second part of this exercise.



Practice

Now that you understand the new vocabulary, practise it by creating your own sentences with the new words/phrases.