One of the most common topics or subjects that are talked about in business meetings is problems. Problems with a customer, problems with a project, problems with a department are all commonly discussed in meetings. There are lots of different phrasal verbs in English that are used when discussing problematic situations. In this online exercise on phrasal verbs in English, we will look at phrasal verbs that are used in business meetings when both explaining and trying to resolve problematic situations. Many of these phrasal verbs can also be used outside of meeting.
Read the following internal business meeting in a company that publishes books. They are discussing a problem with an order to one of their customers/clients. Focus on and think about the meaning of the phrasal verbs in BOLD.
Chair:'Ok, on to the next item on the agenda, the issue with the book order to Book Reader plc. Geoff, can you please fill us in on what happened. Tells us the main events.'
Geoff:'Well, Book Reader plc are saying that we only sent them half of the books that they ordered from us. They ordered 1000 books and have only received 500. I've looked at their original order form and it is an order for 1000 books. I also checked our system and it says that we sent them the full order, 1000 books last Tuesday. I also have a copy of the signed delivery form which says that they received 1000 books last Wednesday.'
Chair:'So, Geoff what's your opinion of what happened? Are Book Reader plc lying or is there a problem with our system? How should we deal with this?'
Simon:'Last year another of our customers complained about the same problem with one of their orders. I believe that the problem then was with our ordering system.'
Geoff:'I have been looking into the possibility of that over the last couple of days. And I believe it's more likely that we have screwed up than they are lying. I believe it's our fault.'
Chair:'So, you're saying that we messed up their order?'
Geoff:'Yes. What should we say to Book Reader plc?'
Chair:'We shouldn't try to cover it up. We have to be honest with them and tell them it's our fault. We need to apologise for the order. It's taken years to build up a good relationship with this company and I don't want to throw it away by trying to not accept the blame for our mistake with the order.'
Chair:'We also need to see how this problem came about. It seems that it's happened before. Was it a typing error, a mix up at the warehouse or a problem with the ordering system?'
Geoff:'As I said before, I think it's a problem with the ordering system.'
Chair:'So, can you follow that up with the IT department as soon as you can?'
Chair:'But first I want you to sort out the delivery for Book Reader plc. Make sure that the order for the missing 500 books is ready to leave for tomorrow morning at the latest. I'll speak to them personally and apologise.'
To improve your vocabulary/knowledge of English verbs, we recommend the following books:
Below is a definition or description of each of the phrasal verbs in bold from the above text. Now fill in the blanks with one of these phrasal verbs in bold. Only use one phrasal verb once and only write the words which are in bold in the above text. For example, the phrasal verb from the above text 'follow that up', should be written in one of the below answer boxs as 'follow up'. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.
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Now that you understand the use and meaning of these phrasal verbs, practice them by creating your own sentences in English.