Business Phrases in English

Venture English Business students have listed these 15 phrases as being some of the most important to know in the Business environment.  Hoping this could be useful for you!

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1. A rule of thumb: a personal principle, a gold rule
A good rule of thumb is not to spend more than you have

2. To put it in a nutshell: to summarize the main facts clearly
Let me put the problem in a nutshell

3. To hear it on the grapevine: to hear news because the information has been passed from one person to another
I heard on the grapevine that she was pregnant, but I’m not sure about it

4. A show of hands: means that people raise their hands and vote if they agree with a measure to be taken
Can I have a show of hands for the new plans?

5. Red tape: excessive bureaucracy
Cameron pledges to cut red tape for small business

6. To get the wrong end of the stick: to misunderstand
Her friend saw us arrive together and got the wrong end of the stick

7. Wrap this up: you’ll say a few more things and then the meeting will end
I’m going to wrap this up by saying that I’m very grateful for your assistance

8. To be on the same/a similar wavelength: to think in a similar way
I didn’t need to discuss things in detail because we found we were on the same wavelength

9. Slack off: work lazily
She doesn’t like her new position, and so she has been slacking off recently

10. Be in hot water: be in trouble
He found himself in hot water over his speech about human rights

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11. Can’t make head or tail: to fail to understand anything
We couldn’t make head or tail of the French film, it was impossible to understand

12. To beat around the bush: to avoid coming to the point
Don’t beat around the bush, just tell me how much it´s going to cost.

13. Get the sack: be fired
She got the sack when her mistake was discovered

14. Call it a day: to stop working
I’m tired, let’s call it a day

15. To keep someone in the loop: to keep someone informed
Thanks for the update.  Please keep me in the loop about what happens in the next few days

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