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 356 – Financial English: Discussing Taxes 2

BEP 356 - Financial English: Discussing Taxes 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on financial English vocabulary for discussing taxes.

Spring is a busy time for accountants in the U.S. and many other countries. That’s because spring is when corporations and individuals have to file a tax return with the government. It’s our yearly reminder that we don’t get to keep everything we earn.

Of course, those busy accountants aren’t just calculating your revenue and costs. They’re looking for ways to reduce the amount you – or your business – have to pay in tax. And that’s why the chatter around offices and board rooms is all about ways to avoid handing over too much money to the tax man.

Listen to these conversations and you’ll notice many useful expressions. For example, I’ve already used the phrase “file a tax return.” That verb “file” always goes with “return” when we talk about our annual submission to the government. You can learn those words together, as one expression or “collocation.”

A collocation is just a natural combination of words that native English speakers learn as a chunk. With English collocations, we don’t have to go searching for every word in our brain. Instead, we pull out a string of words that matches our intended meaning. Learning these strings of words is more efficient, and will make you sound more natural. As you listen to today’s conversation, try to pick out some of these collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll continue with a conversation about the tax situation of a company called Brando Equipment. Christie has been giving an update to two senior managers: Glen and Ivana. Last time, Christie gave them an overall picture of the tax situation, and today she’s providing more detail.

Listening Questions

1. What does Christie say is one factor that increased their reported income?
2. What helped reduce the company’s reported income by about $50,000?
3. What important issue does Ivana want to discuss in more detail at the end of the dialog?”

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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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