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When we are feeling uncomfortable with a situation and want to change the subject we can use a number of phrases that divert the focus of the conversation from an awkward dialogue to an easier choice of conversation.

Read the dialogue below and notice the changes in subject.

Manager: Good afternoon everyone, I hope you’ve had a good day. We need to talk about the new programs installed on the computers in the offices…

Employee #1: I can’t understand how to work the new computer system, it’s too difficult and there are too many things to remember, I…

Manager: Anyway, as I was saying, the new computer programs have been installed and there will be a workshop for all of those who need some help with understanding how the system works.

Employee #2: When will the workshop be held? Can we do it tomorrow, I can’t waste a full day like I did today. Oh, that reminds me the coffee machine isn’t working either.

Manager: OK, we will try and hold the meeting tomorrow to get you acquainted with the new system. As for the coffee machine, we’ll get someone to look at that. Talking of coffee, what about going out for a coffee after work today.

Employee #1: As long as it’s on you! By the way, I think that the coffee machine needs new filters and it should work.

Manager: No problem with that, we will get it sorted out. That reminds me, we’ll be having our annual Halloween party next month so start thinking of your costumes.

Complete the dialogues with changing the subject expressions from the text above.

A: I’m just going out to meet up with Ken.
B: (a) __________, can you give this book to him? I’ve been meaning to return it for ages.
A: Then we went dancing at the Mirano. A great evening.
B: (b) ___________ the Mirano, did you know that Ann’s booked it for her birthday party?

A: OK, see you at ten, then.
B: Yeah, fine. Oh, (c)_____________, did I tell you your mother called?
A: And another thing, it’s not urgent, but I think there’s something wrong with the car.
B: It’s probably time for a service.
A: Yes, but (d)____________, there’s no rush.

A: Did you get the tickets for the concert?
B: Yeah, but they were pretty expensive. Hey, (e)______________, Frank hasn’t paid me back for the last time. It was a really boring evening. And, (f) __________ the music, it was awful!