BEP 355 – Financial English: Discussing Taxes 1

BEP 355 - Financial English: Discussing Taxes 1

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English collocations related to taxes.

There’s an old saying in English that “nothing is certain except death and taxes.” But, although taxes are certain, the exact amount you have to pay isn’t. Just ask any accountant. For both companies and individuals, there are all sorts of ways to lower your tax bill. And a lower tax bill means more money in our pockets, or in our shareholders pockets. For this reason, tax is a popular topic of discussion, especially in the spring when most taxes are due.

In this financial English lesson, we’ll listen to three managers at Brando Equipment discuss their tax situation. During the conversation, the managers use a lot of common expressions related to taxes. We call these expressions “collocations.” A collocation is just a group of words that go together naturally.

Some English collocations, such as “take a chance,” are widely used. But many collocations are particular to a certain field of work or topic. And to work in that field or discuss that topic, you need to know these special expressions. When it comes to taxes, for example, you need to know that we use the verb “file” with “taxes” to talk about our yearly report to the government. Learning collocations like this in different fields will develop your vocabulary and help you sound more natural.

In the dialog, we’ll hear Christie, Glen, and Ivana discuss the tax situation at Brando Equipment, a subsidiary their company has recently purchased. Glen and Ivana are corporate managers, while Christie is an accountant. The three colleagues use many English collocations and vocabulary specific to taxes as they talk about how much tax Brando Equipment owes.

Listening Questions

1. What does Ivana hope that they finish by the 30th of the month?
2. Near the start of the conversation, what does Christie say is higher than they anticipated?
3. What key piece of information does Glen want to know?

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BEP 347 – English Sales Collocations (Part 2)

BEP 347 - Business English Collocations for Sales 2)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English collocations for talking about sales.

Sales has never been tougher. In the digital age, competition for people’s attention is fierce. And customers are armed with more knowledge than ever before. For these reasons, companies can’t get lazy about their approach to sales. They need to be strategic; they have to find new ways to manage customer relationships, and they need effective ways to track how they’re doing.

In this lesson, we’ll listen to a pharmaceutical sales team discuss new strategies to improve and track their performance. In their discussion, you’ll hear a lot of what we call “collocations.” Collocations are just groups of words that combine naturally. For example, if you want to say that someone finishes making a sale, you can say that he “closes a sale.” Everyone uses that verb “close.” Nobody says “shut a sale” or “do a sale.” The correct collocation is “close a sale.”

Native speakers learn and use these collocations naturally. And if you want to improve your vocabulary and sound more fluent, you can learn to use them too. As you listen to the dialog, try to pick out some of these collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll listen to a discussion between Fran, Gus, and Nick. In our last lesson, the team discussed the need to improve their company’s sales. Now they’re talking about ways to do that. During their discussion, they use many English collocations related to sales.

Listening Questions

1. What does Nick think his colleague Dennis is doing wrong?
2. What does Nick believe is an outdated way of measuring their success?
3. What does Nick believe will happen if they improve their performance metrics?

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BEP 346 – English Sales Collocations (Part 1)

BEP 346 LESSON - Business English Sales Collocations (Part 1)

Hello and welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English collocations related to sales.

Sales is at the heart of any business. Without the hard work of salespeople who move prospects down the funnel, turning interest into sales, no business would even exist. But the game of sales is constantly changing. Good salespeople, and good companies, learn to adapt to changes in the marketplace, in consumer preferences, and in the competition.

In this lesson, we’ll listen in on a sales team meeting in a pharmaceutical company. The team is discussing past performance and future strategy. During their discussion, they use many expressions that we call “collocations.” A collocation is just a natural combination of words that native speakers learn as one expression. For example, the first collocation you’ll hear is “sales volume,” which refers to the number of units sold in a given period of time.

Native English speakers use collocations like this automatically. And people in a certain field of work share an understanding of these special expressions specific to their area. By studying these collocations in different fields, you’ll improve your vocabulary and sound more fluent. As you listen to the dialog, try to pick out some of these English collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll hear Fran, Gus, and Nick. Fran is the sales manager, and she’s just finished talking about the past year’s sales results. Now she wants to talk about reasons for their disappointing results and strategies for improving them. The three colleagues use many sales English collocations and vocabulary specific to the pharmaceutical industry.

Listening Questions

1. What is the group hoping to increase or improve by discussing sales performance and strategy?
2. What does Fran believe is the reason for a reasonably good third quarter?
3. What have better sales analytics helped the company understand?

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BEP 336 – English for Discussing Change Management (2)

BEP 336 - Business English Collocations for Discussing Change Management (2)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English collocations used to discuss change management.

In the 21st century the pace of change is very fast. And businesses have to fight to keep up, to adapt to changes in both the world and the economy. In meeting rooms around the world, people are debating issues of change. How do we attract and retain millennials? How do we make good use of emerging media? How do we become more efficient? How can we outsource? The list of questions goes on and on.

In today’s lesson, we’ll listen to a meeting in a company that has experienced a lot of growth. But with success comes growing pains. They’re talking about restructuring their company, and trying to figure out exactly how to go about it.

During their discussion, you’ll hear many English expressions that we call “collocations.” A collocation is a natural combination of words. For example, you’ll hear people talking about making a “smooth transition.” We don’t say “soft” transition or “clean” transition. Native English speakers always say “smooth transition” because that’s what they grew up hearing, so now it’s a natural “collocation.”

Even if you didn’t grow up with English, you can learn these natural expressions. By studying business English collocations, you’ll improve your vocabulary and sound more fluent. As you listen to the dialog, try to pick out some of these collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll hear Lauren, Finn, and Jake. They’re trying to determine how to take the company they founded to the next level. In particular, they’re talking about how to involve company employees in their discussions about change.

Listening Questions

1. According to Finn, what do they need to show employees rather than just telling them?
2. Besides talking to employees, what does Lauren think they will need to assess?
3. What does Jake say they will do during the “discussion phase” of the process?

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BEP 335 – English for Discussing Change Management (1)

BEP 335 - English Collocations for Discussing Change Management (1)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English collocations for discussing change management.

Change is a constant. Nowhere is this more true than in business. Just look at the list of Fortune 500 companies from 50 years ago. You might be surprised by how many of those well-known companies are now gone. So what’s the difference between a company that survives and one that dies? A lot of it is about how they manage change.

In this lesson, we’ll listen to a meeting featuring three colleagues who are trying to figure out how to restructure their company. During the discussion, you’ll hear lots of useful expressions that we call “collocations.” And what is a collocation? Well, it’s just a group of words that go together naturally. You heard me use the expression “restructure a company.” That’s a collocation. The words go together as one expression.

Native speakers learn collocations naturally. They simply repeat expressions that they’ve heard hundreds of times. If English is your second language, however, it might not come so automatically. But, by studying collocations, you can improve your vocabulary and sound more fluent at the same time. As you listen to today’s conversation, try to pick out some of these business English collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll hear Jake, Finn, and Lauren. The company they founded has grown, and now they need to carefully manage the transition to a larger company.

Listening Questions

1. What does Finn think is required to manage change in their company?
2. What does Lauren say is the first step in change management?
3. What does Jake believe is driving change in the company?

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