BEP 390 – English Collocations: Online Marketing (2)

BEP 390 LESSON - English Collocations: Online Marketing 2

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

The world of ecommerce is extremely competitive. Millions and millions of people are shopping online every day, viewing millions of options. How can businesses stand out in this sea of competition? How can they ensure their potential customers can even find their website? They turn to online marketing. So it’s no wonder there’s so much time, energy, and money put into marketing and measuring performance.

If you’ve ever had a discussion with an online marketing expert, you’ll know there’s a whole new language built up around it. Think about an expression like “search engine optimization,” or SEO. That’s a good example of a type of expression that we call a “collocation.”

A collocation is just a group of words that go naturally together to form an expression. You’ve already heard me use a few English collocations. Consider “measuring performance,” as an example. The verb “measure” and the noun “performance” go together frequently and naturally. By looking at collocations you can learn words together, not in isolation.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Eduardo, Emma, and Neil, who work for a kitchenware retailer. Last time, they discussed content marketing. Today, we’ll hear them talking about search engine optimization and some ways of measuring success. During their conversation, they use many English collocations, which we’ll explain later in the debrief.

Listening Questions

1. At the start of the conversation, what does Eduardo hope has increased?
2. According to Emma, what have they invested a lot in?
3. What does Neil say about their English site that might not be true about the German version?

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BEP 389 – English Collocations: Online Marketing (1)

BEP 389 - Business English Collocations: Online Marketing 1

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

Every year, ecommerce accounts for an even bigger chunk of retail sales around the world. How big of a chunk? Almost 5 trillion dollars. And with so much selling happening online, it’s not surprising online marketing has become a hot topic.

With this increasing importance has come a ton of new words and expressions. If you find yourself confused, you’re not alone. And as you navigate this new lexicon, it can be very helpful to focus on a type of expression called “collocations.”

Collocations are simply natural combinations of words. For example, you may know that we use the word “traffic” to talk about how many people visit a website. Well, did you know we normally say “drive traffic” when we talk about techniques for bringing people to a website? We don’t say “make traffic” or “move traffic.” It’s not a grammatical rule. It has just become a natural combination of words.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Eduardo, Emma, and Neil, who all work for a retailer that specializes in cooking equipment. They’re discussing their company’s online marketing performance. During their conversation, they use lots of English collocations, which we’ll explain later in the debrief.

Listening Questions

1. What does Eduardo regularly do to understand their online marketing performance?
2. What does Neil say is becoming harder, especially with new privacy rules?
3. What does Emma say is not a good technique for reaching younger audiences?

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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 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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