Philip, CEO of IT company WebWare, can't believe what sales director Brian is telling him!


Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the transcript at any time.

Task 1

Choose the correct answers to the questions.  


Task 2

Business notes

In this episode WebWare’s CEO Philip Hart sacks his Sales Director for underperforming. Philip uses 2 expressions to do this. The first is I’m going to have to let you go which is quite a gentle way of expressing the fact. The second is You’re fired, which is a little more direct.

There are even more ways to express this in English. Dismiss and discharge are both quite formal:

He was dismissed for turning up late on a regular basis.

The director was discharged of his duties.

Other less formal, but more colourful ways of saying the same thing are:

give someone the axe

give someone their cards

give someone the boot




Good morning!
I'm Diana from Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam.
I understand almost all the English conversations I listen to, however when speaking I face so many problems with speaking confidently and I get confused. I forget the words, structure of sentences, pronunciations, ets...
How could I deal with this situation?
How could remember structure of sentences?
What advices you suggest me to develop my vocabulary?
Thank you in advance.
Have a good day!

Hello Diana,

It can be difficult to put our thoughts into words sometimes, even in our own native language. I would give you two general pieces of advice here.

FIrst, try not to become too stressed about speaking as this will only increase the difficulty you have. It is quite natural to forget things and to get mixed up. Speaking, even in our own language, is chaotic and usually unplanned. Don't expect perfection and don't get frustrated when you have problems. Concentrate on making yourself understood, even if the language is imperfect.

Second, remember that fluidity is not the same as fluency. Fluidity is the ability to speak quickly and smoothly, making the sounds without dificulty. Fluency also includes the ability to express particular ideas. You can develop fluidity with recorded texts. Try using the transcript that we provide with our recordings and reading aloud with the recording. This will get you used to producing sounds at speed and also get you used to the rhythm of natural speech. When I learn a language I speak to my pet dog all the time. He is very patient and understanding and he never corrects me, and I can develop confidence and speed so that when I speak to other people I can do so much more fluently.

I hope those suggestions are helpful. For more advice, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page, which has tips on various aspects of English, including speaking.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Good evening!
I understand almost all the English conversations I listen to, however when speaking I face so many problems with speaking confidently and I get confused. I forget the words, the words orders in the phrase, at the end I usually try only to find a way to get rid of the conversation.
How could I deal with this situation?
What advices you suggest me to develop my vocabulary?
Thank you in advance.

Hello Abdelkerimkhalid,

It sounds to me as if spending regular time listening to spoken English might be useful for you. Even if you can only afford to spend 15 minutes two or three days per week, you can still learn a lot from this.

Try to eliminate distractions and make notes on phrases, sentences or expressions that you think are useful or that you want to incorporate into your speaking. Then spend a minute or two repeating them to yourself until they become easier to say. As you go about your day, whenever you find yourself in a situation in which the expressions you've studied could be useful, use them. Even if you're not speaking with someone in English, say the words in English to yourself.

If you listened to some of our audio or video resources, you could print out the transcripts and simply underline the phrases or expressions that you want to work on (instead of writing them down). Take small steps -- even if you only remember one new phrase per session, over time you will improve your vocabulary greatly, which will help you in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

I hope this helps you.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello LearnEnglish team,
Sometimes I face with some sentences which are a little bit confusing and strange to me. For example in this video Philip says: 'I’m going to have to let you go'.
Why he doesn't simply say: 'I'm going to let you go' or 'I have to let you go' ?

Hello RezAref,

By saying 'have to', Philip suggests that he has no choice -- the situation requires him to let Brian go. By saying 'going to' he is a bit more indirect, which is a common way of being more polite in English. For example, we can say 'Can you help me?', but 'Could you help me?' ('could' being a past or conditional form of 'can') is more polite.

Brian doesn't quite believe it and so Philip has to say it directly in the end.

I hope this helps.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, why is used "a masters" ? Isn't it correct to say "a master"?
Thank you.

Hello Cinzia,

This is short for 'master's degree'. It is extremely commonly used. Saying 'master' means something else (something like an 'expert') and wouldn't be correct here.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

can we use,
I told you should to improve
instead of
I told you then it had to improve