7 Business English Expressions You Should Know for Today’s Workplace

Business English Expressions for Professional Communication

7 Business English Expressions You Should Know for Today's Workplace

English for BusinessThe English world of business contains all sorts of idioms, expressions and acronyms that many students find difficult to pick up without the help of business English courses.  This phraseology holds several different meanings that are beneficial to know as they allow a more professional conversation between coworkers. To learn this sort of English for business, you will need to either ask a native speaker, a business English teacher, or research them. Here are a few of the most popular expressions you’ll hear in the business world:

1. To stay on top of (something)

This phrase has become so common that it does not even seem like an expression anymore. It simply means that when you are given tasks, you continue to complete them on-time and in an efficient manner. You must be in control of the situation at all times.

For example, when you are sitting in your business English lesson and you are given a large amount of homework, you would need to stay on top of your homework to be sure to pass the class.


Business English Training2. To brainstorm

To brainstorm is a verb commonly used in corporate language. This technique is used in order to create new ideas or generate thoughts. Brainstorming often generates new ideas based on multiple suggestions from different people. It can also be used to problem solve with encouragement of seemingly random thoughts that are formulated into a greater plan of action.

For example, in your business English class, your professor tells you to get in to groups and talk about different ideas on how to solve a problem in the workplace. The act of doing this is brainstorming ideas on solving a problem.


3. To pull strings

This expression refers to using your influence over important people in order to get something done or to help someone. In order to do this, the person “pulling the strings” typically has more personal or close relationships with people in higher positions who have control in more ways than one.

For example, in your business English school, your teacher may pull some strings for you to get a job in the corporate office of a bank, because he/she knows people in that bank.


Downtime in the office4. Downtime

Also referred to as free time, ‘downtime’ concerns the short amount of time in which a worker is available or is unproductive.

For example, when you are at home with all your tasks completed, you have downtime so you choose study business English to expand your English language usage.



This is one of the most commonly used acronyms in the business English language. This abbreviation stands for ‘as soon as possible.’ In other words, when someone wants a task completed ASAP, they want you to finish the assignment to the fastest of your ability.

For example, your boss needs you to fill out a form ASAP as a part of your hiring process.


6. Game Plan

A game plan is the route you are taking to complete a task. Literally, this phrase means the route you take to win a sports game, but it was adapted by the business world in reference to getting projects done.

For example, when you decided to leave your country to travel to an English speaking country, you had to create a game plan which included finding a place to live, work and study business English.


Business English Communication7. A long shot

A long shot means that the chances of something happening are very slim, similar to the way it is difficult to make a shot the further away from your target you are.

For example, you research companies and find a new potential client for your bank. You inform your boss and he tells you it’s a long shot because those people already committed to a bank.

Learning the idioms and expressions of a language, in addition to studying business ESL, will advance you in the business world. Knowing these phrases will allow you to be perceived as more knowledgeable about business practices, and more willing to submerse yourself into the culture.


Perfect your English further with our Corporate Language Training solutions designed to train students how to use advanced English grammar, improve English pronunciation, business English for meetingsbusiness writing skills as well English public speaking skills, presentation skills and negotiation skills in English.

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