Tag Archives: expressions

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!


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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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15 Fantastically Fishy English Idioms!

15 Fantastically Fishy English Idioms!

Do you like fish? Do you like English idioms? Yes? Then you’re going to love this fun fishy feature, which focuses on fifteen fab English idioms about our fantastic fishy friends!

  1. He’s a big fish in a small pond. = He has power and influence, but only in a limited area.

He's a big fish in a small pond.

2. He’s a cold fish. = He’s an unemotional person.

He's a cold fish.

3. I think she was fishing for a compliment. = I think she was trying to get a compliment.

I think she was fishing for a compliment.

4. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. = It’s very easy.

It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

5. Hmm, something smells fishy. = Something seems suspicious.

Hmm, something smells fishy.

6. I’ve got bigger fish to fry. = I’ve got more important things to do.

I've got bigger fish to fry.

7. Her dad drinks like a fish. = Her dad drinks a lot [of alcohol].

Her dad drinks like a fish.

8. I felt a bit green around the gills. = I felt sick.

I felt a bit green around the gills.

9. They fell for that joke hook, line, and sinker! = They fell for that joke – completely.

They fell for that joke hook, line, and sinker!

10. That’s a different kettle of fish. = That’s a different matter.

That's a different kettle of fish.

11. There are plenty more fish in the sea. = You will find another person to love.

There are plenty more fish in the sea.

12. Your grandma is an odd fish, isn’t she? = Your grandma is strange, isn’t she?

Your grandma is an odd fish, isn't she?

13. What’s that got to do with the price of fish? = What’s that got to do with anything?

What's that got to do with the price of fish?

14. The train was so busy! We were packed in like sardines! = The train was so busy! The passengers had to stand very close together.

The train was so busy! We were packed in like sardines!

15. I felt like a fish out of water. = I felt uncomfortable and out of place.

I felt like a fish out of water.

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Idiom of the day – Better late than never

JESHOOTS / Pixabay

We use the English idiom ‘better late than never’ to show that we are relieved that somebody or something is coming, while at the same time expressing annoyance that they or it will be late.

[On the phone:]

Peter: Will you be able to bring my laptop back tonight? I really need it to finish my assignment.

Greta: Sure. I’ll be round at about ten. Will that be alright?

Peter: I’ll probably be asleep by then, Greta!

Greta: Sorry! I won’t be there till at least ten, because I’m working at the club till nine thirty.

Peter: OK. Don’t worry. Better late than never.