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 324 – English for Discussing Company Performance (2)

BEP 324 LESSON - Business English Collocations for Describing Company Performance 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s Business English vocabulary lesson on how to describe company performance.

Every company’s goal is to make a profit. But how they go about that is different. Different industries, different business models, different approaches – There’s no simple recipe for success. And there’s no simple, single way to measure whether a company is performing well.

Instead, we look at many different factors when we measure company performance. We’ve also got a lot of different expressions in English for discussing the topic. And many of these English expressions are what we call “collocations.”

What’s a collocation? Well, it’s just a natural combination of words. Ever heard the expressions “turn a profit” or “boost the bottom line?” We don’t say “grow a profit” or “up the bottom line.” Those simply aren’t natural collocations. And if you say something like that, you won’t sound natural.

So studying collocations is a great way to sound more natural with your vocabulary. You can learn combinations of words, rather than single words on their own. As you listen to the dialog today, try to pick out some of these collocations, and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll rejoin a meeting at a private equity firm. Three colleagues, Maria, Claudia, and Taylor, are talking about some of the companies they’ve invested in. They’ll use lots of great collocations as they discuss the performance of these companies.

Listening Questions

1. What does Claudia think about SmartMoney?
2. What does Taylor think they should do before selling off SmartMoney?
3. What has Claudia been focusing on with Byron Industries?

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BEP 323 – English for Discussing Company Performance (1)

BEP 323 - Business English Collocations for Discussing Company Performance

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for talking about company performance.

The economy is in a state of constant change. Companies grow, and companies shrink. New companies are born, and old ones disappear. And you don’t have to be an investor to get excited about the boom and bust of markets and the story of how company’s respond. But if you are an investor, your whole retirement might depend on whether companies make the right moves at the right time.

This makes company performance a popular topic around the business table, or at the pub. And when we talk about company performance, we often use special expressions called collocations. An English collocation is a combination of words that are commonly used together, such as “company performance” or “state of change.”

Native speakers use these collocations automatically. In fact, our brains store these groups of words together, as if they were one word. You can learn to remember and use these collocations too. Studying collocations is a great way to learn vocabulary and sound more natural. So, 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 Maria, Claudia, and Taylor, who work at a private equity firm. Basically, it’s their job to invest in the right companies for maximum profit. The three are discussing the performance of several companies they’ve chosen to invest in.

Listening Questions

1. Why does Claudia feel positive about Ranger Gold’s performance?
2. What is Taylor worried will happen if Ranger Gold builds a new mine?
3. What does Maria think Intuition Software needs to do to remain profitable?

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