Business English News 51 – Energy Costs

Business English News 51 - Energy Costs

In this Business English News lesson we look at business English vocabulary related to energy costs.

Consumers around the world are feeling the pinch as inflation bites. And it’s not just at the grocery store. Prices are going up across the board. A key factor driving this rampant inflation is the cost of energy, which impacts all industries and translates into even higher prices for the average consumer.

A global surge in wholesale power and gas prices means households across Europe face higher energy bills this year and beyond. In the worst-case scenario, many of the region’s most vulnerable are facing fuel poverty according to consumer groups. Prices started to rise above historical levels last September and have soared further this year.

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Business English News 50 – Streaming TV Services

Business English News 50 - Streaming TV Services

In this Business English News lesson we look at business English vocabulary related to streaming TV services.

The pandemic battered many industries, including entertainment. But when theaters, concert venues, and museums shut down, the streaming wars ramped up. Besides Netflix, Disney, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV signed up thousands of new subscribers a day. In the dying days of the pandemic, however, the question has become whether they can keep them. For Netflix, the king of streaming, the news in 2022 hasn’t been good, as Gizmodo explains:

The most popular streaming service in the world reported on its Q1 earnings call that it had lost 200,000 subscribers where it originally expected to gain 2.5 million. It forecast doom and gloom for next quarter as well, with a predicted loss of two million more. The company has started laying off employees and shutting down productions in order to stave off further declines.

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BEP 382 – Collocations for Discussing a Partnership (2)

BEP 382 – English Collocations for Discussing a Partnership (2)

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on business English collocations for discussing a business partnership.

The expression “two heads are better than one” tells us that it’s easier to solve a problem with someone else rather than alone. This isn’t just true on an individual level. It’s also true on an organizational level. Two companies, if well matched, can accomplish more together than they can alone.

But successful partnerships aren’t developed overnight. There’s a lot that goes into building a relationship, exploring possibilities, and coming to terms on an agreement. And in today’s lesson, we’ll hear a conversation about a new partnership that has taken a lot of time and discussion to develop. In the conversation, you’ll hear many useful expressions that we call “collocations.”

Collocations are simply words that go together naturally. A second ago I talked about “building a relationship.” That’s a collocation. The verb “build” goes together with “relationship” very naturally. Native English speakers learn these combinations over time, by hearing them over and over again. As a language learner, it’s useful to study English collocations so you can sound more natural.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Carlos and Miranda talking with a business consultant named Rolland. Carlos and Miranda’s company, Pineview Wines, is about to enter into a new partnership with Visser Hotels. In their conversation they use many English collocations for talking about partnerships.

Listening Questions

1. What does Rolland call the partnership at the start of the conversation?
2. What has a lawyer helped Pineview Wines do?
3. While benefiting from close collaboration, what do Carlos and Miranda want to maintain?

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BEP 381 – Collocations for Discussing a Partnership (1)

BEP 381 – English Collocations for Discussing a Partnership (1)

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

The world of business is highly competitive. But does this mean companies never cooperate? Of course not! In fact, partnering with other companies can be a great way to achieve your business goals. That might mean cooperating with a company in the same industry or in a completely different industry.

But good partnerships take a lot of work. And before you get to the actual partnership stage, there’s a lot of discussion. In this lesson, we’ll hear a discussion about a potential partnership between two companies. And during this conversation, the speakers use a lot of useful expressions related to partnerships. The type of expression you’ll hear is called a “collocation.”

A collocation is just a natural combination of words. For example, we talk about “cultivating” or “nurturing a relationship.” But we don’t say “make” or “create a relationship.” It’s not a rule of grammar. It’s just a common and natural pattern for native speakers. And if you want to sound more natural, you should learn these collocations.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Carlos and Miranda, who work for a wine producer called Pineview Wines. They’re talking with a consultant named Rolland about a possible partnership with a hotel chain called Visser. During their conversation, they use lots of English collocations we can use to talk about partnerships.

Listening Questions

1. What have Carlos and Miranda asked Rolland to sign before their discussion?
2. According to Miranda, fostering collaboration with hotels is a good way for their winery to achieve what goal?
3. What does Rolland emphasize two companies must share in order to work together?

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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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