Lesson 1: Contracts
WORDS TO LEARN:
Abide by; agreement; assurance; cancellation; determine; engage; establish; obligate; party; provision; resolve; specific.
Study the following definitions and examples.
1. abide by v., to comply with; to conform
a. The two parties agreed to abide by the judge’s decision.
b. For years he has abided by a commitment to annual employee raises.
2. agreement n., a mutual arrangement, a contract
a. The landlord and tenant were in agreement that the rent should be prorated to the middle of the month.
b. According to the agreement, the caterer will also supply the flowers for the event.
3. assurance n., a guarantee; confidence
a. The sales associate gave his assurance that the missing keyboard would be replaced the next day.
b. Her self-assurance made it easy to see why she was in charge of the negotiations.
4. cancellation n., annulment; stopping
a. The cancellation of her flight caused her problems for the rest of the week.
b. The cancellation clause appears at the back of the contract,
5. determine v., to find out; to influence
a. After reading the contract, I was still unable to determine if our company was liable for back wages.
b. The skill of the union bargainers will determine whether the automotive plant will open next week.
6. engage v., participate; involve
a. Before engaging in a new business, it is important to do thorough research.
b. He engaged us in a fascinating discussion about current business law.
7. establish v., to institute permanently; to bring about
a. Through her many books and interviews, Dr. Wan established herself as an authority on conflict resolution.
b. The merger of the two companies established a powerful new Corporation.
8. obligate v., to bind legally or morally
a. The contractor was obligated by the contract to work 40 hours a week.
b. I felt obligated to finish the project even though I could have exercised my option to quit.
9. party n., a person or group participating in an action or plan; the persons or sides concerned in a legal matter
a. The parties agreed to a settlement in their contract dispute.
b. The party that prepares the contract has a distinct advantage.
10. provision n., a measure taken beforehand; a stipulation
a. The father made provisions for his children through his will.
b. The contract contains a provision to deal with how payments are made if John loses his job.
11. resolve v., to deal with successfully; to declare; n., conviction
a. The mediator was able to resolve the problem to everyone’s satisfaction.
b. The businessman resolved to clean out all the files by the end of the week.
12. specific adj., particular
a. The customer’s specific complaint was not addressed in his e-mail.
b. In a contract, one specific word can change the meaning dramatically.
WORDS IN CONTEXT
Read the following passage and write the words in the blanks below.
Contracts are an integral part of the workplace. In simple terms, contracts are an (1) ___________ between two or more (2) ___________ that (3) ___________ terms and (4) ___________ the parties to follow them. Contracts often include the amount that a Client will pay contractors and what services will be provided. For example, in your office, you may have a contract that provides (5) ___________ that your copier machine or phones will be repaired within a certain amount of time. This Service can either be done off-site or at your (6) ___________. A con-tract often states ways to (7) ___________ if quality of work delivered is acceptable. Well-written contracts usually (8) ___________ ways to (9) ___________ problems like these when they happen. Before (10) ___________ in a con-tract, both parties should think carefully, as they will have to (11) ___________ the conditions specified in it. A contract usually specifies how the two parties can (12) ___________it if either party fails to meet the terms.
|verb||agree||If both parties agree to the terms, we can finalize the contract.|
|noun||agreement||As soon as the labor agreement was signed, the factory resumed production of new cars and vans.|
|adjective||agreeable||The parties are agreeable to the terms.|
|verb||assure||I assure you that our drug-testing policy is applied fairly.|
|noun||assurance||What assurance is there that the company will still be in business?|
|adjective||assuredly||He spoke assuredly, but his follow-up memo showed less conviction.|
|verb||cancel||The man canceled his magazine subscription and got his money back.|
|noun||cancellation||Writers usually receive a cancellation fee even if their articles are not published.|
|adjective||canceled||The canceled concert ended up costing our agency millions.|
|verb||obligate||The terms of the contracts obligate us to work for at least one more month.|
|noun||obligation||The factory managers have a legal and moral obligation to provide a safe work site.|
|adjective||obligatory||He finished his obligatory military Service, and then joined his father on the orange farm.|
|verb||provide||Since the machine is very reliable, why don’t we cancel the Service contract they provided?|
|noun||provider||We must negotiate a new contract with our Internet Service provider.|
|adjective||provision||The provision for canceling the contract is in the last clause.|
|verb||specify||The contract specifies the percentage of raise the workers will see next year.|
|noun||specification||The work was done according to our specifications.|
|adjective||specific||We have not chosen a specific location for the reunion.|
Part 5 Incomplete Sentences
Choose the word that best completes the sentence.
10. The two sides were no closer to a final _________at midnight than they were at noon.
(A) agreement (C) agree
(B) agreeable (D) agreed
11. Our union representative_________ members that our rights would be defended.
(A) assured (C) assuredly
(B) assurance (D) assure
12. If you _________ your reservation 48 hours in advance, you will not be billed.
(A) will cancel (C) cancellation
(B) cancel (D) canceled
13. I don’t feel any _________ to give my boss more than two weeks notice when I leave.
(A) oblige (C) obliged
(B) obligatory (D) obligation
14. The ___________ for terminating the contract were not discussed.
(A) provide (C) provider
(B) provisions (D) specify
15. The contract calls for the union to_______ who their bargaining representative will be.
(A) specific (C) specifying
(B) specification (D) specify
Part 6 Text Completion
Choose the word or phrase that best completes the sentence.
Rental Property for Everyone
More and more people are investing in rental property these days. Whether you have a small apartment in your house to rent, or decide to invest in an apartment or office building, rental property can provide extra income for you and your family. What does every landlord need to know?
A lease is an (16. _____) between a landlord and a tenant. Standard leases are available at most office supply stores, and many property owners find them quite satisfactory. Read the Standard lease carefully to determine if it meets the needs of your situation. You may want to make some additional (17. _____) You may want to add a pet clause, for example, or make different specifications pertaining to the security deposit. lf you decide to make changes to the Standard lease, you should meet with a lawyer. The lease is the most important tool you have if you need to resolve a dispute with your tenant. When you have a lease written by a lawyer, you (18. _____) that you have the protection you need.
(B) will assure
(C) are assuring
(D) are assured
Part 7 Reading Comprehension
Questions 19-23 refer to the following letter and form.
Santos Office cleaners
112 Main St.
Mr. James Harrison
17 Hartland Road
Dear Mr. Harrison,
We are very sorry that you have decided to cancel your cleaning Service contract with us. In order to assure that we provide our customers with the best possible Service, we always try to determine the reasons for contract cancellations. Please take a few minutes to fill out the enclosed form. This is for our information only; completing the form does not obligate you to buy any product or enter into any new agreement with our company. We appreciate your cooperation. If at any time in the future you decide to renew your contract with us, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
19. What is the purpose of the letter?
(A) To find out why Mr. Harrison no longer wants this service.
(B) To ask Mr. Harrison to renew his contract.
(C) To advertise new services provided by the company.
(D) To offer the customer a better contract.
20. What is Ms. Santos’s business?
(A) Customer relations.
(B) Cleaning service.
(C) Contract review.
(D) Conflict resolution.
21. Why did this customer cancel the contact?
(A) The company damaged something in his office.
(B) The employees provided unsatisfactory
(C) He had a disagreement about his bill
(D) He doesn’t want this type of service anymore.
Santos Office cleaners
Date contract signed: March 23, 20—
Type of facility:
□√ single office
□ office building
□ private home
Frequency of Service:
Reason for contract cancellation (choose one):
□ no longer need service
□ signed contract with a different company
□√ payment dispute not satisfactorily resolved
□ specific complaint not resolved
Comments: I was always satisfied with the Service provided by your employees. However, I am frustrated by your inability to resolve the payment issues.
22. The word assure in letter one, line 2, is closest in meaning to
23. The word specific in form two, line 15, is closest in meaning to