Business English Idioms

BEP 405 – English Idioms about Animals (2)

BEP 405 LESSON - English Idioms about Animals (2)

Welcome back to Business English Pod the second part of our series on English idioms related to animals.

English can be a difficult language to learn. One reason, which you’ve likely discovered, is that there are so many different ways to say something. It’s not just a variety of individual words, but also the variety of idioms. Idioms can be tricky. You might hear someone say “it’s a dog eat dog world” and wonder: why are they talking about dogs?

In fact, a “dog eat dog world” is not about dogs at all. This is an idiom that describes a tough competitive environment. Just like the business world in which you’re trying to learn English so you can compete. English is full of expressions like this. And it turns out that we have dozens of idioms related to animals.

In this lesson, we’ll rejoin a conversation among three colleagues in a large corporation. Ruby, Dylan and Kyle have been discussing the Chief Investment Officer position in their company, as well as the world of investments. In their conversation they use many idioms related to animals. 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. How does Dylan describe his investment advisor’s work habits?
2. What does Ruby say to communicate to her colleagues that she doesn’t have special information to share?
3. What does Dylan believe the company needs to do to prove they’re serious about IT transformation?

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BEP 404 – English Idioms about Animals (1)

BEP 404 LESSON - English Idioms about Animals (1)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English idioms related to animals.

Like all our lessons, this one is focused on language that you can use at work and in business. When you work like a dog, you can’t waste your time learning expressions you’ll never use. And when it comes to idioms, you should focus on the ones that are commonly used and widely understood. Like the one I just used: “to work like a dog.”

In fact, there’s a ton of idioms in English that mention animals, especially dogs. That’s probably because so many of us keep them as pets. But we’ve got idioms about cats, horses, snakes, fish, cows, bears and countless other animals. And learning these idioms can add to your language toolbox and make you sound more natural. Besides, a well-placed idiom can add a lot of impact to a sentence.

In this lesson, we’ll listen to a conversation between Dylan, Ruby, and Kyle – three colleagues in a large corporation. They’re talking about the Chief Investment Officer position in their company. They discuss the former person in the role, people who applied for the job, and the person who got it. In their conversation they use many idioms related to animals. See if you can spot some of these, and we’ll explain them later in the debrief.

Listening Questions

1. How does Ruby describe Greg, the person in finance who applied for the Chief Investment Officer job?
2. How does Dylan describe Brett, the former Chief Investment Officer?
3. What expression does Ruby use to describe the current challenging market?

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BEP 394 – English Idioms about Body Parts (2)

BEP 394 - English Idioms about Body Parts (2)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on business English idioms based on the human body.

In your time studying English have you ever heard the expression “to learn something by heart?” Maybe you had to learn an English song by heart. Or maybe it was verb conjugations, or a list of vocabulary that your teacher made you learn “by heart.” And maybe you know that learning something by heart means memorizing it, which is kind of strange when you consider our memory is in our brain, not our heart!

But “to learn by heart” is an idiom. And English has thousands and thousands of idioms. It’s one thing that makes English really hard to learn. But you’ll find that English idioms tend to rely on certain themes or metaphors, like body parts. And today we’ll look at some idioms that refer to brains, ears, hearts, hands, lips, fingers, and even heels.

In this lesson, we’ll rejoin a conversation between Maria and Trevor. They are friends and former colleagues who are meeting for coffee to chat about their work situations. In their conversation they use many different idioms related to human body parts. See if you can spot some of these idioms as you listen, and I’ll explain them later in the debrief.

Listening Questions

1. How does Maria describe her CEO?
2. What does Trevor say when Maria tells him she has a secret?
3. What has Maria seen happen to other companies that makes her afraid of starting her own?

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BEP 393 – English Idioms about Body Parts (1)

BEP 393 - English Idioms about Body Parts (1)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English idioms related to different parts of the body.

Now you probably already know that when I said “head over to” the website, I meant you should go look at the website. Even if you didn’t know that particular expression, you could probably guess the meaning from my sentence. “Head over to” is a kind of idiom, and English has a lot of idioms, as you’ve probably noticed!

In fact, there are many common sources of idioms. And one interesting source is the human body. There are a few body parts in particular that have generated a lot of idioms. English has dozens of idioms just with the words “head” and “hands.” But there are idioms using all different parts of the body, and that’s what we’re going to learn about today.

In this lesson, we’ll listen to a conversation between two friends and former colleagues: Maria and Trevor. They’re meeting for coffee and are eager to catch up after not seeing each other for a while. Maria and Trevor talk about their different work situations. During their conversation, they use many English idioms related to the human body. 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. How does Trevor agree with Maria’s assessment of her old boss Roger?
2. How does Maria describe her ten years of working at Trevor’s company?
3. What does Maria say about the attitude of the people she works with?

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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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