Category Archives: Listening

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.

 

Meme maker: http://www.imagechef.com/meme-maker

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ESOL Discussion Questions about Cars

ESOL Discussion Questions about Cars

ESOL Discussion Questions about Cars

1. Do you drive? What kind of car do you drive? How often do you drive?

2. How did you learn to drive? How many lessons did you have? What was the name of your teacher? Describe them. Did anything funny, or dangerous, happen to you while you were learning to drive?

3. Have you ever suffered from road rage? Do any of your friends or family suffer from it? What do you / they do? How do you feel about it? How can we avoid road rage? What kind of road users do you dislike? Why?

4. How well do you know the Highway Code, or the rules of the road in your country? Tell me… a) three things that you must do whilst driving, b) three things that you mustn’t do whilst driving, c) describe three different road signs, and tell me what they mean.

5. Describe your car (or a friend’s car) inside and out. Tell me your history with it. Where did you get it from? Why did you buy it? How many miles/km have you done in it? What is the furthest you have travelled in it? Imagine that you wanted to sell it. How would you advertise it?

6. What other vehicles can you drive? What would you like to learn to drive?

7. Do you wear a seatbelt? Why? / Why not? Is it compulsory in your country?

8. What is the future for drivers? Will we all still be driving cars in 30 years’ time? Will we still be using petrol and gas? If not, how will we get around?

9. Extra time: label the parts of a car:

Label the parts of a car

ESOL Discussion Questions about Cars

ESOL Discussion Questions about Cars

Images: https://pixabay.com

FREE Discussion Worksheet: Proverbs – Advice for Life 1

FREE Discussion Worksheet: Proverbs – Advice for Life 1

Have you got a problem? Something weighing you down? Have you tried looking in the book of Proverbs in the Bible for an answer?

Read the different problems below and match each one to advice given in a verse from Proverbs. Check any new vocabulary. Write out each verse in your notebook, then discuss each situation with a partner or small group. What would you do in each situation? How helpful do you think the advice from Proverbs would be today?

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Q-proverbs-advice-for-life-1.pdf

FREE Discussion Worksheet: Proverbs – Advice for Life 1

Answers:

1. Proverbs 27:1
2. Proverbs 10:9
3. Proverbs 16:18
4. Proverbs 15:16
5. Proverbs 31:30
6. Proverbs 16:3
7. Proverbs 10:12
8. Proverbs 22:6
9. Proverbs 12:11
10. Proverbs 15:1

Image: Joseph Chan

20 English Phrasal Verbs with RUN (Infographic)

20 English Phrasal Verbs with RUN (Infographic)

Improve your English vocabulary by learning and using these 20 English phrasal verbs with RUN:

20 English Phrasal Verbs with RUN (Infographic)

20 English Phrasal Verbs with RUN (Infographic)

20 English Phrasal Verbs with RUN:

run about – run during play
run across – discover
run after – chase
run away – flee
run down – list
run somebody down – criticise
run into somebody – meet accidentally
run into something – encounter a problem
run off – print copies
run off with somebody – elope
run on – keep running
run on – be powered by
run out (of) – have none left
run out on – abandon
run over – hit with a vehicle
run something past somebody – check
run through something – preview
run to – reach a certain amount
run up (a bill) – spend a lot
run with something – accept and support

Image: https://pixabay.com

FREE Karaoke! Lost in Japan by Shawn Mendes, Zedd

FREE Karaoke! Lost in Japan by Shawn Mendes, Zedd

Lost in Japan by Shawn MendesZedd

Sung by Shawn Mendes  /  Written by Shawn Mendes, Scott Harris, Nate Mercereau, and Teddy Geiger

Sing along to the brand new music video with lyrics!

Here are the full lyrics:

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

FREE Class on Facebook Live + FREE Worksheets!

FREE Class on Facebook Live + FREE Worksheet Pack!

FREE Class on Facebook Live + FREE Worksheet Pack!

Wednesday 3rd October – 20:15 CEST

Facebook Live

Click below to sign up now!

ESOL Discussion Activities – 40 People from the Bible

We’ll be discussing the following material:

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/40-famous-people-from-the-bible-discussion-words-complete-pack.pdf

ESOL Discussion Activities – 40 People from the Bible