BEP 236 – English Idioms of Luck and Opportunity (1)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English idioms related to luck and opportunity.

Some people have good luck, some people have bad luck, and some people have no luck at all. But what exactly is luck? And how important is it? Some successful business people will tell you that it’s very important. Donald Trump has said that “everything in life is luck.” But other people will tell you that luck is just what happens to people who work hard. In fact, there’s an old saying that luck is what happens when “preparation meets opportunity.”

And opportunity is another word and idea we hear about a lot in business. Opportunities are the good chances that come our way. We can “seize” opportunities, which means we accept them. Or we can let them go. What we do with opportunities is completely up to us.

But whatever you think about luck and opportunity in business, they are both common ideas and words. And not just on their own, but as parts of common English idioms. And it’s these idioms of luck and opportunity that we’ll look at in today’s lesson.

You will hear a conversation between Jim and Oscar, two colleagues who are taking the bus home from work together. Jim and Oscar are chatting about their day and some recent developments in their office. In their conversation, you will notice many idioms related to luck and opportunity.

Listening Questions

1. What does Oscar suggest about buses after 5:00pm?
2. Why does their colleague Ethan have “tough luck”?
3. At the end of the dialog, what does Oscar seem to suggest to Jim?

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