Business English News 49 – Inflation and Interest Rates

Business English News 49 - Inflation and Interest Rates

In this Business English News lesson we look at business English vocabulary related to the economy, particularly the relationship between inflation and interest rates.

Government spending throughout 2021 was a boon to the business sector. Jobs returned, production rose, and many countries ended the year on a positive note. But growth – and years of low interest rates – has raised the specter of inflation, or rising prices. Now all eyes are on central banks, especially in the United Stated, to see how they’ll respond. As the NY Times reports:

Federal Reserve policymakers have moved into inflation-fighting mode saying they would cut back more quickly on their pandemic-era stimulus at a moment of rising prices and strong economic growth. This move will cap a challenging year with a policy shift that could usher in higher interest rates in 2022.

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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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Business English News 48 – Cryptocurrency

Business English News 48 - Cryptocurrency

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

You’ve probably heard stories of young investors lured by the promise of quick gains in the world of “crypto,” or cryptocurrency. And while it’s Bitcoin that gets the lion’s share of attention, there are over 10,000 digital currencies in use today. There’s the big names, like Ethereum, Binance, and Ripple. And then there’s currencies like Dogecoin and Loser Coin, which started as jokes. If you’re confused by the hype, you’re not alone. So just what is cryptocurrency? According to Investopedia:

A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. A defining feature of cryptocurrencies is that they are generally not issued by any central authority, rendering them theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

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Business English News 47 – Post-Pandemic Workplace

Business English News 47 - Post-Pandemic Workplace: The New Normal

In this Business English News lesson we look at English vocabulary related to how the pandemic will change the workplace.

Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred incredible changes in how we work. At the end of 2020, a whopping 42% of the American workforce continued to work remotely. This has meant rapid upskilling and massive investments in technology and infrastructure.

According to Candace Helton, operations director at Ringspo, “It’s worth noting that 70% of companies have been working on digital transformation before the pandemic hit.” But the pandemic tipped their hands, and the resulting change in work cultures around the globe will push even more businesses to accept remote options as the new normal.

In this new normal, relationships are different. There are no corner offices in the virtual workplace, no staff rooms, and no cubicles. There are fewer physical reinforcements of hierarchy. And it’s oddly humanizing to see the CEO deal with the same interruptions, like kids and barking dogs, that we all experience working from home.

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