It is surprising how much of everyday conversation consists of repetitive expressions such as 'thank you', 'sorry', would you mind?' and their many variants. However commonplace they may be, they do have important functions in communication. This thorough study draws upon original data from the London-Lund Corpus of Spoken English to provide a discoursal and pragmatic account of the more common expressions found in conversational routines, such as apologising, thanking, requesting and offering. The routines studied in this book range from conventionalized or idiomatized phrases to those which can be generated by grammar. Examples have been taken from face-to-face conversations, radio discussions and telephone conversations, and transcription has been based upon the prosodic system of Crystal (1989). An extensive introduction provides the theory and methodology for the book and discusses the criteria for fixedness, grammatical analysis, and pragmatic functions of conversational routines which are later applied to the phrases. Following chapters deal specifically with phrases for thanking, apologising, indirect requests, and discourse-organising markers for conversational routines, on the basis of empirical investigation of the data from the London-Lund Corpus of Spoken English.