8 Useful Words and Phrases for Business Negotiations in English

General Words and Phrases Having to Do with Negotiations in English

When trying to get the most out of a negotiations in English, you may want to walk through the essentials of the negotiation process in English language. Measurement tools make it easy to track your team’s progress.

If you are willing to learn more tips about effective negotiations in English language, you may come across some words and phrases you need to know in order to fully understand your material. Here are some of the most important words that you may find useful. Look at the definitions and read the examples to fully understand them.

1. To bargain

Explanation: To discuss the conditions of an agreement, to negotiate. You can also use this as a noun (something can be a bargain) to refer to products being sold for a really good price.


“You can’t bargain with him, he’s very inflexible.”

“This laptop was such a bargain! I paid half as much as you paid for yours and mine is much faster.”

2. Bottom line

Explanation: The most important factor.


“The bottom line is that we cannot raise both salaries and bonuses.”

3. Alternative

Explanation: A choice that could be better than the present situation.


“Let’s consider the alternatives before deciding on the best candidate for this position.”

4. To reach consensus

Explanation: To agree on a matter that initially (at first) you disagreed upon.


“After a really long debate, they managed to reach consensus on the issue of sick leave.”

5. Counter proposal

Explanation: An alternative solution you offer when you disagree with the one already presented.


“We came with a counter proposal, but they weren’t open to negotiation.”

6. Deadlock

Explanation: A point in a discussion which takes you nowhere because people cannot reach agreement.


“We reached deadlock quite early in the discussion, because they weren’t willing to listen to our arguments and they didn’t make any counter proposals.”

7. Highball / Lowball

Explanation: To highball means to ask for a lot more than you think your partner will agree to offer you. On the contrary, when you lowball, you offer much less than you think is acceptable.


“They started the negotiation by highballing their expectations, but we saw right through it.”

“I thought my boss was going to lowball by giving me a really small raise, but he was reasonable.”

8. Leverage

Explanation: Something that gives you power in a negotiation.


“The supermarket chain really wanted that land, but the owner didn’t give in easily. He had a lot of leverage because the position was ideal.”


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Yana Fisher

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