Business English Idioms

English Idioms lessons by Business English Pod. Learn common business English idioms and improve your understanding of English idioms. We have over 40 Business English lessons on all types of English idioms. Learn business idioms related sports, war, gambling, time, color, food and a host of other topics.

All business English idioms. Lessons are listed by release date, with the most recent lesson at the top.

BEP 386 – English Idioms about Spending Money (2)

BEP 386 - English Idioms about Spending Money 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for another look at English idioms related to spending money.

Think of the people close to you, particularly your family members, and consider how they spend money. Does everyone have the same approach? Or do they all handle things differently? Chances are, you can easily think of differences in peoples’ approaches to money management. And it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that money is one of the top sources of conflict in a relationship.

This is true in business just as it is in families. How a company uses its financial resources is a huge strategic concern. Does the company risk some to get some? Or does the company favor saving and safety? And does the short-term strategy differ from the long-term strategy? These are all important questions, and it’s no wonder that English has so many idioms to talk about how people spend money.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Shelly, Martin, and Vince, three managers at a tech company. They are talking about how their company should spend money on staffing. And as we’ll hear, they don’t really agree on the best approach. During their conversation, they use many business English idioms related to spending money. See if you can spot some of these as we go through the dialog, and we’ll explain them later in the debrief.

Listening Questions

1. What does Martin say about companies that already work in the sector they are considering?
2. How does Martin describe office space on the south side of the city?
3. How does Vince describe the company’s possible future situation of having lots more money to spend?

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BEP 385 – English Idioms about Spending Money (1)

BEP 385 - English Idioms about Spending Money 1

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on business English idioms related to spending money.

As a wise person once said: it takes money to make money. In other words, you need to invest money and spend it in order to make more. On the other hand, spending money unwisely can eat into your profits. So, from both perspectives, figuring out how to spend money is one of the keys to business success.

And it should come as no surprise that spending money is a common topic of conversation in any business. It’s not just the folks in the purchasing department who think about it. Everyone has an opinion about how their company should and shouldn’t commit its resources. And for this reason, English has many idioms we use to describe the different approaches to spending money.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a conversation between three managers at a tech company: Shelly, Martin, and Vince. The company has just landed a big new project, and so they anticipate having more money to spend soon. But the three aren’t all in agreement about how they should spend that money and they use many different idioms to express their opinions. Try to pick out some of these business English idioms as you listen, and we’ll explain them later in the debrief.

Listening Questions

1. According to Martin, what approach to spending is now in the past?
2. What does Vince believe about competing in a new and different sector of the market?
3. How does Martin describe the salaries of the two positions they previously discussed hiring?

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BEP 377 – English Idioms for Describing Challenges (2)

English Idioms for Describing Challenges (2)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English idioms for describing challenges.

If you listen in on conversations in the break room at work or at a popular restaurant, what will you hear? Chances are good you’ll hear people talking about problems and challenges. And it’s not just that people are naturally negative. It’s that talking about difficult experiences can help us feel better. And it can also help us find solutions.

Beyond feeling better and finding solutions, talking about past challenges can help us learn from them. And if you’ve shared a difficult experience with someone, then your relationship will develop and grow. For all these reasons, talking about challenges has inspired lots of English idioms.

In today’s dialog, we’ll continue with a conversation between two former business partners. Simon and Allie are meeting for coffee and their conversation has focused on their old graphic design business. They’ve been talking about several different challenges, including challenges with staff. In their conversation, they use many idioms for describing challenges, which we’ll talk about later in the debrief.

Listening Questions

1. What does Allie call the situation where you do some work you like and some to just help pay the bills?
2. How does Simon describe many of the projects they worked on?
3. How does Allie react when Simon says he feels he wasn’t helping her enough?

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BEP 376 – English Idioms for Describing Challenges (1)

Business English Idioms for Describing Challenges (1)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English idioms for describing challenges.

According to an old expression, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. The idea is that life’s challenges and difficulties are good for us. They help us grow. They force us to learn. And shared challenges have a way of strengthening the bonds between people.

In your work life, you can probably think of many challenges that have tested you. There’s a good chance that you’ve talked about these challenges, with your colleagues or at the dinner table with your family. You’ve also probably listened to other people describe their challenges. Yes, difficulties at work are a rich topic of conversation. And for that reason, there are many useful English idioms we can use to describe challenges.

In the dialog, we’ll hear a conversation between two friends and former business partners. Simon and Allie ran a graphic design business together some years ago. Now they’re chatting over coffee and recalling some of the challenges they experienced. In their conversation, they use many idioms to describe these challenges. Try to pick out these idioms as you listen, and we’ll talk about them later in the debrief.

Listening Questions

1. What did Allie think about the idea of keeping their office?
2. What does Simon now think about their idea to rent a big office?
3. How does Allie describe the situation in which they had a team of people they didn’t know how to manage?

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BEP 363 – English Idioms for Strengths and Weaknesses (2)

BEP 363 - Business English Idioms for Strengths and Weaknesses 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on business English idioms related to strengths and weaknesses.

Job interviews, performance reviews, hiring decisions, promotions, pay raises… what do all of these important aspects of work and business revolve around? Well, one major theme is people’s strengths and weaknesses. If you can’t assess strengths and weaknesses very well – either your own or other people’s – you’re bound to make some bad decisions.

So it’s no wonder you hear so many business conversations about what people can and can’t do, or what they’re good at and what they’re not good at. And in these conversations, you’re bound to hear lots of idioms. English has tons of expressions for talking about strengths and weaknesses. And in today’s lesson, we’ll take a look at some of these business English idioms.

In the lesson, we’ll rejoin a conversation about hiring a new communications director at a mining company. Three managers are talking about the strengths the new director will need, as well as the weaknesses of the previous director, which they want to avoid. They use many useful English idioms during their discussion.

Listening Questions

1. What type of attitude does Annette say the new communications director needs?
2. What type of person does Drew think they need to deal with controversy?
3. At the end of the dialog, what kind of person does Annette say they should avoid?

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