Expressions of confusion at mix-up in police station

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 November, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 November, 2002, 12:00am

Listening to Songbirds is a good way to improve your English.

If you had listened to recent episodes you would have learned some useful expressions such as 'I've come about . . .'

This is a good expression to use when you want to make the reason for your visit clear. In the radio drama, Dr Lo uses this expression when he arrives at the police station on Nathan Road.

He learns that his students have been arrested during a police raid on a rave party. He goes to the police reception desk and makes it clear why he is there by saying: 'I've come about . . .'

Dr Lo: Good evening, officer. I'm Dr Lo. I've come about two of my students, Daisy Chiu and Ted Wu.

Police: Oh yes. The kids we picked up at the rave party.

Dr Lo: May I speak to them?

Police: Yes, you can. This way, please.

Notice how Dr Lo, as an educated man, uses the polite request, 'May I . . .'

At first the police officer thinks that Dr Lo has told his students to go to a rave party to get material for an article.

This is not the case, but the police officer does not know this and he politely offers Dr Lo advice. He tells him not to send students to rave parties. The police officer's advice starts off with him saying, 'If you don't mind me saying . . .' This softens the implied criticism.

Police: Well if you don't mind me saying Dr Lo, you should never have sent your students to The Black Box in Tsim Sha Tsui to write a story about a rave party. It's far too risky. That place is well-known for drugs and at the moment we're keeping a very close eye on those places. It was very risky sending your students there.

Dr Lo: But I didn't send them there, officer. I told them not to go to rave parties. I wanted them to interview people who did go and write their stories from what they said.

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Graphic: 2211P4GYO