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The Future of Your Career Is in Your Hands!

Get ready to elevate your game in the global tech scene! In this month's Boost recap, we're unpacking the art of expressing opinions, navigating the complexities of modal verb rules, and perfecting your email writing skills.

Remember, English proficiency isΒ no longer just an asset; it's necessary for Latin American professionals seeking to thrive in international tech careers.

What's the Importance of Modal Verbs?

Modal verbs such as "must," "have to," "may," and "might" help express obligations, possibilities, permissions, advice, and speculation. Mastering these verbs improves your ability to communicate rules, politely request, discuss hypothetical scenarios, and convey opinions.

β›” Modal verbs remain unchanged regardless of tense

Modal verbs effortlessly drop the "to" when paired with another verb, like "can swim," "must pay," or "would go." Let's focus on "must." Unlike other verbs, it stands alone without "to" when followed by another verb. For example:

❌ Incorrect: I must to go to the meeting.

βœ… Correct: I must go to the meeting.

πŸ‘‰ "Must" expresses a self-imposed obligation, like:

"I must complete my assignment before the deadline."

πŸ‘‰ "Have to" indicates an external obligation, as in:

"I have to attend the company meeting tomorrow."

😬 In the negative form, "mustn't" signifies something strictly prohibited, such as:

"You mustn't disclose confidential information to anyone."

πŸ‘‰ "Might" suggests less certainty, around 30%: "I might attend the meeting tomorrow, but I'm not sure yet."

πŸ‘‰ "May" indicates a good chance or likelihood, around 70% sure: "It may rain later today."

"May" also asks or gives permission or wishes.

πŸ‘‰ Seeking permission: "May I borrow your charger?"

πŸ‘‰ Granting permission: "You may leave now."

πŸ‘‰ Convey well-wishes or aspirations: "May you have a wonderful journey!"

βš–οΈΒ Elevating Your Communication Skills

"Shall" and "should" are two modal verbs fundamentally shaping English expressions.

Picture 'shall' as your future-telling friend (be careful not to confuse it with "must."). 'Shall' is picturing what could happen next, used in different scenarios.

  • Rule/Law: "Citizens shall pay taxes by the deadline."

  • Future tense: "Shall I bring my laptop to the meeting?"

  • Promises/Future: "I shall finish the report today."

"Should" signifies an obligation, duty, or correctness, often used to point out shortcomings or offer advice.

  • Advising someone straightforwardly: "Call our boss, you should."

  • Expressing disappointment or missed opportunity: "You should have tried it. It was amazing."

  • Seeking someone's opinion: "What should we do now?"

  • Conveying surprise, anger, or confusion: "Why should I know? I wasn't there!"

Are You Confident in Your Email Writing Abilities?

Learn critical elements such as subject lines, salutations, introductions, body organization, conclusions, closings, and tips for concise content.

To write a well-structured email, include these elements:

β†’Β Subject Line: Clearly state the purpose, e.g., "Meeting Request for Project Discussion."

β†’ Salutation: Start with a friendly greeting, like "Hi John,"

β†’ Introduction: Begin with a brief and friendly opening, e.g., "Hope you're doing great!"

β†’ Body Organization: Use short paragraphs to address specific topics or points.

β†’ Conclusion: Summarize the main points and specify any necessary action items, e.g., "Need your insights by Friday to move the project forward."

β†’Β Polite Closing: End with a polite closing, including your contact information, e.g., "Thank you," followed by your name, job title, and contact details.

Tips for effective email writing:

  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short.

  • Be concise and to the point.

  • Stay on topic and avoid unnecessary information.

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I hope you liked this week's issue! Got any questions or potential topics you'd like to discuss? I'm here to listen! Also, don't miss out on our Discord community, a hub for 1,710 LATAM professionals sharing career advancement and networking tips. We're here to guide your journey to success.

Stephanie Cerf - Head of Community at TECLA.