To take a test Click here



Expressions and idioms in Business English


We all know that an idiom is nothing but a fixed expression or a phrase that either has a literal meaning or a figurative meaning. We use idioms especially when we are comfortable with the language that we are speaking in. It just becomes natural to the native speakers of the language. In fact, every language has its own set of idioms and expressions. The English language is a storehouse of idioms and when used in the right context adds a natural flavour to spoken as well as written English.

Well, idioms in the English language are fine, but have you heard of idioms in Business English? Yes! The world of business has its own inhabitants of various expressions too!

You may have secured a top score in your management degree, but what next? You may be a fluent speaker of the English language in general, but if you are not aware of business expressions it is easy to get lost in a conversation. Apart from your soft skills and your professional degree, there is no denying the fact that you definitely need to be a smart speaker. You need to sound confident and natural in the conversation. You definitely need to thrown in some jargons and expressions that belong to Business English to make that mark. Yes…you definitely need to show that you mean business!

You mean business...that itself is a business expression! When you use that expression, you are asserting yourself that you are there for a reason and you intend to make that happen.


Having said that, unnatural use of expressions may make matters worse for you! The very idea of using these business expressions is to sound confident and natural. So, don’t use them until you know them. Needless to say, it’s definitely worth the effort for you to get to know them!

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get the ball rolling. This expression indicates that it’s time to get started.

Ready for some more? Here goes…

To hand over to: To introduce another speaker

On the agenda: Something on the plan to be discussed

It’s a win-win situation: All parties benefit from the situation

To wrap our heads around it: Need to discuss it

Ahead of the curve: To be more advanced than the competition

At stake: At risk


Back to square one: Back to where it started

Back to drawing board: To go back to the planning stage

Ballpark number: A rough estimate

Big picture: Everything involved with a particular situation

Blue collar: Someone who works in the manufacturing, construction, etc., with his/her hands. The opposite of this is White collar to refer to someone who works in an office

To think outside the box: To be innovative

To have the bandwidth: Within the abilities/possibilities

To call it a day: To stop working for the day

To come up short: To try to achieve something, but fail to do so

To corner a market: To dominate the market

To cut corners: To find cheaper solutions

Cut-throat: Aggressive

In full swing: Progressing well

In the driver’s seat: To be in control

In the red: Operating at a loss

To learn the ropes: To learn the basics of something

To lose ground: To lose an advantage

To read between the lines: To understand something that’s not communicated clearly

State of the art: Technologically advanced

To think big: To have high goals and plans for the future

To throw in the towel: To quit

To touch base: To contact someone


Under the table: Secret dealings

Yes man: Someone who agrees with superiors all the time

There are plenty of such expressions. You may include some more in the comments section below. After all, that makes it a win-win for all!

No Comments