Category Archives: Ideas

15 Top Business English Idioms

15 Top Business English Idioms

15 Top Business English Idioms

Are you up to speed with the latest business English idioms? Here are some of the top English idioms that you could use in a business context. How many of them do you know?

Let’s get the ball rolling!


More English idioms – 15 Fantastically Fishy English Idioms!


1. To get something off the ground = To begin or launch something

To get something off the ground = To begin or launch something

  • I can’t wait to get this project off the ground!
  • I can’t wait to begin this project!

2. To get the ball rolling = To start, e.g. a meeting or debate

To get the ball rolling = To start, e.g. a meeting or debate

  • Let’s get the ball rolling.
  • Let’s start.

3. To think outside the box = To think in an original or left-field / lateral way

To think outside the box = To think in an original or left-field / lateral way

  • Try to think outside the box.
  • Try to think in an original or unique way.

4. In a nutshell = In short

In a nutshell = In short

  • In a nutshell, I just don’t feel that Martin is right for the position.
  • In short, I just don’t feel that Martin is right for the position.

5. ASAP = As soon as possible (acronym)

ASAP = As soon as possible (acronym)

  • I need that report ASAP!
  • I need that report as soon as possible.

6. To stand your ground = To have complete confidence in your position or idea

To stand your ground = To have complete confidence in your position or idea

  • If we stand our ground, they will sign the contract!
  • If we stick to our position, they will sign the contract!

7. The bottom line = The most important thing / the main priority

The bottom line = The most important thing / the main priority

  • ‘What’s the bottom line?’ ‘We must send the orders today!’
  • ‘What’s the most important thing?’ ‘We must send the orders today!’

8. The elephant in the room = The uncomfortable truth that nobody wants to acknowledge

The elephant in the room = The uncomfortable truth that nobody wants to acknowledge

  • The elephant in the room is that we know their sales forecasts!
  • The thing that nobody wants to mention is that we know their sales forecasts!

9. To corner the market = To become the leading seller of a product

To corner the market = To become the leading seller of a product

  • Since 2012 we have been able to corner the market in toothbrush holders.
  • Since 2012 we have been able to become the leading seller of toothbrush holders.

10. To climb the corporate ladder = To be focused on gaining promotion within a company

To climb the corporate ladder = To be focused on gaining promotion within a company

  • John only cares about climbing the corporate ladder.
  • John only cares about trying to get promoted.

11. To hit the glass ceiling = To reach an artificial  limit of promotion, usually due to race, or gender

To hit the glass ceiling = To reach an artificial limit of promotion, usually due to race, or gender

  • Alison feels she has hit the glass ceiling at work.
  • Alison feels she can’t be promoted at work any further, because she is a woman.

12. To be in the red = To be in debt / To be in the black = To be in profit or solvent

To be in the red = To be in debt / To be in the black = To be in profit or solvent

  • No, the company is still in the red, but it could be in the black next month.
  • No, the company is still in debt, but it could be in profit next month.

13. To get the sack = To lose your job

To get the sack = To lose your job

  • Billy got the sack yesterday.
  • Billy lost his job yesterday.

14. To throw in the towel = To quit

To throw in the towel = To quit

  • I’m just about ready to throw in the towel!
  • I’m just about ready to quit!

15. To go / get back to the drawing board = To start again

To go / get back to the drawing board = To start again

  • OK, let’s go back to the drawing board.
  • OK, let’s start again.

 

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How to Improve your Reading Skills

How to Improve your Reading Skills

How to Improve your Reading Skills

Follow these great tips from British Council Learn English and improve your reading skills today!

Including:

  • Read as often as possible
  • Read things you’re interested in
  • Practice scanning for specific information

Watch the video below to find out more!

The Ultimate Tardigrade Quiz! - printable PDF worksheet

The Ultimate Tardigrade Quiz! – printable PDF worksheet

Check out our online tardigrade quiz here, or get the printable PDF worksheet version below.

Work with a partner or small group. Print this page onto card, cut up the cards, then lay them face down on a table and mix them up.

Take turns to draw one, read it out loud, and say whether the statement is TRUE, FALSE, or OPINION.

If you get it right, keep your card. The one with the most cards at the end is the winner! Or work alone and sort the cards into the three groups, then check the answers.

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/the-ultimate-tardigrade-quiz.pdf

The Ultimate Tardigrade Quiz! – printable PDF worksheet
Idiom of the day - What am I like?

Idiom of the day – What am I like?

Idiom of the day – What am I like?

The English idiom ‘What am I like?’ is a rhetorical question (one we don’t need anybody to answer) that we ask ourselves out loud when we do something a little bit silly – usually in a public place. It has the same sort of meaning as when Homer says ‘Doh!’ in The Simpsons.

For example, at the supermarket you have paid and you’re walking away from the checkout, when the customer behind you calls you back and tells you that you’ve left a potato on the bagging area. You hurry back and collect your errant potato. To cover your embarrassment you say quickly, ‘Oh, thank you! Thanks. What am I like?’ The other customer smiles, but there is no need for them to reply. For example, we wouldn’t hear an exchange like this:

A – Hey! Excuse me! You’ve forgotten a potato.

B – What? Oh no! Thank you. Thanks so much. Oh, what am I like?

A – Well, it seems that you are rather forgetful, careless, and possibly living in a world of your own.

B – Er, thanks again.

We say ‘What am I like?’ in situations where we potentially look silly or odd in a public place. It puts a voice to our feeling of foolishness and awkwardness, and acknowledges publicly that we have done something ‘unusual’ and that we know about it – we are aware of it. To say nothing would be to create an unreal situation where there is an elephant in the room – an unacknowledged error or problem. This would be very uncomfortable for the typical English person, who tries to avoid awkward public situations. Making a joke about it – and making ourselves the butt of the joke – lightens the mood and takes the heat off – making it seem less awkward.

The typical English response to ‘What am I like?’ would be to smile and perhaps say ‘No problem’ or ‘Yes, I’m always doing that too!’ (showing empathy) if you are feeling more friendly. In any case, phatic (non-essential) communication – also called ‘small talk’ –  eases the awks!

Note: this is not an investigation into your true nature: ‘What am I like?’ It’s unlikely we would ever need to ask this question about ourselves, unless we had lost our memory, or we were particularly vain and wanted to hear people eulogising us! In our version, we put more stress on ‘like’ and the intonation is downward at the end, rather than up, as in a normal question.

Other times when you could say ‘What am I like?’:

  • You get to work and realise you haven’t brought your lunch box
  • The waiter gives you the bill and you realise that you’ve forgotten your wallet – oops
  • In the supermarket you try to get a bag of flour down from a high shelf but it lands on the floor, making a huge mess
  • You are rushing to prepare dinner and you drop your favourite blue dinner plate, smashing it on the floor
  • You get home and realise that you have left the TV on all day by mistake

See if you can use this idiom in your daily life today! Leave a comment to tell us how you used it!

Image: chuttersnap

12 English Idioms about Climate Change

Here are 12 English idioms about climate change for you to discuss with your class

12 English Idioms about Climate Change

  1. a life-and-death situation
  2. to not be able to get your head around sth (something)
  3. to be getting out of hand
  4. to see with your own eyes
  5. to be running out of time
  6. to be between a rock and a hard place
  7. to make sth up
  8. to be a drop in the ocean
  9. to be a lot of hot air (about nothing)
  10. to be a storm in a teacup
  11. to be not bothered about sth
  12. to be (a bit) over the top / OTT

Listen to Matt discuss these idioms in this free Facebook Live English class:

Image: Thomas Millot

A 5-Step Reading Strategy For Students - Infographic

A 5-Step Reading Strategy For Students – Infographic

A 5-Step Reading Strategy For Students – Infographic from elearninginfographics.com:


Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Ideas for a Fun Discussion Class - Video Class

Ideas for a Fun Discussion Class – FREE Worksheet

** Join Matt for a free Facebook Live class on this topic on 29th August at 8.15pm CET! **

Using an Object for Discussion Practice:

Work with a partner or small group. Both of you choose a different object that you would like to discuss.

Download and print the free worksheet below and get 20+ great ideas for using an object in a discussion class. Let’s get our students talking!

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/using-an-object-for-discussion-practice-1.pdf

Ideas for a Fun Discussion Class - FREE Worksheet (Update)

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