Monday, 15 January 2018

Simple Phrases 2



In the following phrases, some have to be distinguished by adjusting the position of the phrase, and some by writing in the vowels. It is advisable to always vocalise “no” as quite often it will be necessary and you don’t have time to stop and consider. “Any” can have a final dot to help with reading back, although the short form has no vowel sign. Sometimes you have to insert a vowel when an outline becomes out of position because it is in the middle or end of the phrase. “Those” and “these” do not always need a vowel when phrased, but it is a good habit to put it in these two if there is time to do so, and in some phrases it is essential. To help differentiate between “may/might, can/could, know/note,” the halved outline should remain unphrased, and the diphthong inserted in “might” if there is time. The exception is “could not”, because the outline for “cannot” is entirely different. You cannot emphasise the difference between “know” and “note” with a vowel, so the latter should be left unphrased. It helps to make the halved “might” and “note” more cupped, rather than just being a half size version of the full stroke. The difference between full and half-length strokes can become unclear at speed, as does the exact position of the outlines.


Outlines where the vowel is essential within that phrase are underlined. I suggest you do extra practice on those ones, varying the sentences with your own vocabulary, as they can be traps for the unwary, leading to transcription*errors that can go unnoticed. For example, knowing* someone’s address and actually noting* it are very different things. "May" and "might" are often interchangeable, but there are times when their different nuances* are important, and in any case, it is up to the speaker to decide which word they want in the sentence, not the shorthand writer. When I visit the Queen I might possibly try on her crown, but unless I have been told I may (I have permission), I might end up in the Tower of London!

* "transcription" Note that "transcribe" and derivatives omit the second R, to distinguish from "describe" etc

* "knowing, noting" With the Ing present, you can distinguish by the vowel sign

* "nuances" Anglicised pronunciation, the dictionary gives a French pronunciation

Prisoners at the Tower of London getting their chilly daily exercise in December


I have worked in those offices but now I work in this department.

We have worked for many years in these premises and are happy to stay in this town.

I have spoken with those people who say they are quite pleased with this revised plan.

I shall be visiting with these people and taking photos* of them with this camera.

I am a friend of those ladies who are all members of this club.

I have made a list of these items and will make a note of this in my report.

* "photos" Insert a vowel, as it is similar to "videos" which would also make sense in most contexts


I do not have any news for those people but only a letter for this one person.

I will pay you for these items on Friday but I will pay for this now.

I am going to those departments tomorrow so that I can add more details to this report.

I will send the parcels to these families and hope that they will reply to this office.

In those days the people were living in small towns and villages.

In this day and age people prefer to live in the larger towns where they can find work.

It is clear that in these days there are greater work opportunities in the city than in the country.


I do not have any doubt about this person’s ability to do the job and their skill is not in doubt.

I wish to be informed if there is any doubt about their willingness to pay for this.

His character is not in doubt and there is no doubt that he is an honest person.

No doubt they will wish to visit the office and we will be left in no doubt as to their confidence in us.

I do not have any more time to do this assignment, and I have no more paper left to write on.

I wish to be told when there is any more money available in the account for this work.

I wish to be told when there is no more money in the bank to pay for this work.

There is no more that I can do for them at this time and I will not answer any more questions.

If there is any more trouble, I will be sending them no more financial help.

If there is no more trouble, I will feel more inclined to help them.

I am wondering if they are any more trouble than we first thought.

I am wondering if they are in more trouble than we first thought.


You may come to the office tomorrow and you might get to see the boss*.

I think you may have a problem with the work and you might wish you had never started it.

We think you may be in need of some extra supplies and you might wish to come and see us.

I think you might find it necessary to write to them and you may have to visit as well.

I think you might be interested in these products and you may wish to take advantage* of our sale.

They may have some things that we need and they might be open by the time we arrive.

She may have been successful in getting the tickets and she might even have enough for all of us.

He may have gone home another way but I think he might have become lost in the woods.

We may come by the office on Thursday and we might have the report finished by then.

* "boss" Vowel essential, so it is not misread as "boys"

* "take advantage" These can be phrased if on the line, but here it would descend too far


We can send you a copy of the notes but we cannot bring them in person.

We can find someone to do the work for you but we could not be responsible for the cost.

We can have a party at our house and there is a chance we could have a discoas well.

Can we have* some tea and cake after the meeting, as we could have some visitors staying late.

Could we have* some idea of when they will be coming and can we have their names in a list.

I can say with confidence that this person will go far in this new company.

I could say that Mr Smith is too old for this job, but you will have to decide when you see him.

I could not imagine that he would be unwilling, and I cannot see him turning down the offer.

We can see that there will be many more annoying problems with the new installation.

We could see a crowd of people in the yard and thought they could cause an obstruction.

We could have danced all night but we knew we could have difficulty rising early next day.

* "disco" Note that the dot remains with the D, as there is a circle S between it and the next stroke

"Can we have" "Could we have" These sentences are a polite way of giving an order, rather than asking a question, hence no question mark at the end


We know that you are doing well in your career and we note that you are now with Browns.

We know that you have been unwell  and we note with regret that you are leaving us.

I know this is a great opportunity and I know I will make a success of it.

I note that you have sent me a second report and I know this will have taken up more of your time.

I do not know of anyone who can do the job better and I do not know anyone who works harder.

There is no-one better qualified to do this task and no-one will do it better than you.

They will know what to do in these circumstances and I am sure they will note who has behaved the best.

We did not* note his name at the time and we do not know how to find out afterwards.

I note that you are studying shorthand and I know that you will get to your goal in the end.

You will know what is necessary to achieve that as you always note every new word and practise it. (1326 words)

* "We did not" Avoid phrasing this one. If phrased, it would be "we do not" and if phrased with a vowel also added, it would be "we didn't". So not phrasing fully  is the only way to write it clearly. You could also write "we did" phrased and the "not" separately.