Business English

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Business English Vocabulary Test

Business English Vocabulary Test 25 Questions on Business English Vocabulary

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1. A plan a company follows to achieve its goals and aims is called …..

2. What does IPO stand for?

3. A company ‘slogan’ is ………

4. What does ‘USP’ mean?

5. What does ‘to launch a product’ mean?

6. What is a new company created to address a supply or demand issue often called?

7. ……………….is the process of creating an image for a company so that customers can identify and differentiate it from the competitors.

8. In Business English, the verb ‘to pivot’ means….

9.Cold-calling’ means to……….

10. Which of the following is not an example of ‘a perk’?

11. A ‘deal’ is when you……..

12. What does it mean ‘to resign’?

13. The group of people who a product is aimed at is called….

14. ‘To go on strike’ means to……

15. ‘A quote’ is……………….

16. What is ‘supply’?

17. Money that is invested into businesses to help them grow is called …….?

18. A ‘tender process’ means to……….

19. What does HR stand for?

20. What is ‘demand’?

21. Why might a company ‘fire’ an employee?

22. What is ‘a wholesaler’?

23. Which of the following is the correct definition for ‘to forecast’?

24. Which of these is an example of ‘a joint-venture’?

25. Which of these people is a ‘shareholder’ in a company?



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using Business English in work

25 Essential Business English Vocabulary Words You Need to Know

English is the global language of business. Given that the world is so interconnected and multinational companies are growing in number, the importance of learning business English is higher than ever. By learning the type of English that is used in a business context you will be able to understand and communicate effectively with business people from other countries. Committing time and making an effort to learn business English can have an enormous impact on your career, salary, business opportunities and personal development. A good way to start is by learning some key business English vocabulary which are standard terms in most companies. using Business English in work

We have put together a list of 25 key business English vocabulary words for you to study to get you started…...

1. Forecast (verb): to forecast something means to predict what might happen in the future.  For example, an economist may forecast (predict) a decrease in interest rates or company might forecast sales for the coming year. *Forecast (noun): a document which outlines what is likely to happen in the future.  For example, the sales forecast for the company was promising. 2. USP (noun): This is an acronym for Unique Selling Point, which is a feature of a product that makes it different or unique from other products on the market.  For example, Toms Shoes’ USP is that they give a new pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair that you purchase. 3. Cold call (verb): To cold call someone is when you phone or visit a customer to sell them something that they haven’t asked for. For example, most Telesales (jobs where you sell something by phone) jobs descriptions will state that you must be prepared to cold call. 4. Startup (noun): A startup is a new company that has just started operating. The word startup is often used to refer to companies in the technology industry. Silicon Valley in the US has a lot of startups located there. 5Brand (noun): a combination of design, logos, signs, symbols, words, slogans, colors, or style that creates an image about a particular product and identifies or differentiates it. Basically, features of your brand are the things that identify your company.  For example, Branded clothes are always more expensive that non-branded clothes. 6. Pivot: Pivot can be used as a noun or a verb. It refers to a change in strategy that happens when a new company realizes that it needs to shift to a different direction to be successful. For example, Groupon was initially a fundraising site but they they pivoted their strategy and focused on applying the same idea to discounts with suppliers which was much more successful.   7. Strategy (noun): A strategy is a plan which is used to achieve a goal or an aim. For example, companies can use an acquisition strategy to acquire similar businesses in other areas to expand their operations.   8. Launch (verb): to launch something is to advertise it and make it available for customers to buy. For example, customers often camp outside Apple stores for a few nights before their newest product launches. 9. Slogan (noun): A slogan is a short phrase used by a company in advertising. A slogan is memorable and easily recognizable by customers. For example - Nike’s slogan is “Just do it”. - McDonald’s slogan is “I’m loving it”. 10. Target market (noun): The target market for a product is the group of people who the product is aimed at. The interests and characteristics of these people help the company selling the product to market it.  For example, the target market for Rolex watches is wealthy males above the the age of 35. Business English newspaper 11. Shareholders (noun): Shareholders are people who own shares or ‘piece’ of a company. For example, if you buy shares in a company, you are one of that company’s shareholders. 12. Perk (noun): A perk is an extra benefit that you get from working for a company aside from your salary. For example, Disney employees often get discounted or free entry to Disneyland as a perk. 13. Resign (verb):To resign means to you tell your employer that you want to leave your job.   Example: The man resigned last week after a disagreement with his boss. 14. Strike (verb/noun): 'To strike' means to stop working to protest working conditions. In English we often use the phrase ‘to go on strike’  For example, employees usually strike when they want more money or better working conditions. 15. IPO (noun): This is an acronym for an Initial Public Offering, which refers to when a company raises money by offering stock to the public for the first time. This means anyone can buy a piece or shares of a company.  For example, Facebook’s IPO was one of the biggest in history. 16. Venture capital (noun): This is financial support that is given to startup companies and small businesses that the investors believe have long-term potential for growth. For example, Sequoia Capital, which is a Venture Capital firm, invested $60mil in WhatsApp and received $3billion in return for the initial venture capital provided when WhatsApp was sold. 17. Deal (noun): A deal is when two parties agree to buy, sell or exchange a product. For example, one company might make a deal with another company to sells its products.  *A deal also refers to a purchase which was ‘good value’ or cheaper than expected. For example, if you buy a product on sale it is considered a good deal. 18. Quote (verb/noun): This business English vocabulary word can be used as a noun or a verb. It refers to a company telling a customer how much money they will need to pay for the company to do the work for them. For example, a builder might quote $220,000 as the cost of building a house for someone. The person receives a quote from the builder. 19. Tender (verb/noun): A tender is a process where a government or large organisation invites relevant companies to bid for a project. Companies send a tender document which outlines the company’s fees, goals and timelines, as well as their particular expertise.  For example, governments often use the tender process to hire private companies for work. 20. HR (noun): This is an acronym for Human Resources. It refers to both;
  • the people who work for a company – the resources of the company that are human
  • and the department which manages the people who work for the company.
For example, Human Resources is usually responsible for hiring and firing employees. English for business meetings 21. Joint-venture (noun): A business arrangement where two companies decided to work together to achieve a certain goal. For example, communication companies often work together in a joint venture to expand their coverage or to expand into a new region. In 2001, Sony and Ericsson agreed a joint-venture for the mobile phone market. 22. Demand (noun): An economic principle which balances a consumers desire to purchase a product with the amount that it costs. The higher the cost of a product, the lower the demand will be. The opposite is also true, the lower the price, the higher the demand will be.   23. Supply (noun, verb): An economic principle which balances the number of products being produced with the number of products the public wants. If the supply increases above the demand, the cost of the product will need to be lowered. If the supply is lower than the demand, the price can increase. 24. Wholesaler (noun): A wholesaler is a person or company which buys a large amount of goods, stores them in a warehouse and then sells them to different companies for resale. For example, normal convenience stores buy their products from a wholesaler and not directly from the person or company that makes the product. 25. Fire (verb): ‘To fire’ a worker means to tell someone they are no longer employed by the company - to terminate their job. It normally occurs when the employee has acted badly towards the company or another worker or if they have repeatedly failed to do their job. For example, a worker might be fired for arriving late to work every day. The business English vocabulary taught in this article are all frequently used in a business context around the world and are important for people who want to learn English for their work.

Learning the business vocabulary in this article is a good way to start your journey to becoming fluent in Business English. An ability to speak the 'global language of English' and to be able to communicate with businesspeople around the world will help you excel in your career. You simply must learn English if you wish to succeed in a global economy.

Business English newspaper

10 Common Business English Idioms you can start using today!

In this article you are going to learn 10 common business English idioms so that you can start sounding more like a native English speaker, impress your international colleagues or customers and better understand the type of English that is spoken in international offices around the world. Business English newspaper When you are learning English, you have to remember that what English speakers say isn’t always exactly what they mean. English is a very ‘non-literal’ language and when native speakers speak English they use a lot of idioms and idiomatic phrases.

*Idioms are phrases that don’t have a clear meaning or that cannot be translated literally.

There are lots of common English idioms that native speakers use everyday in conversation and there are also a lot of common business English idioms that people use in more formal ‘business English’. Nearly all global businesses in all industries use English as the common language of communication, so if you want to excel in your career it’s important to start learning these common non-literal phrases and idioms. Let’s look at some of the most important ones…..

1. Get down to business

‘To get down to business’ means to stop procrastinating and get started on the work that needs to be done. Example sentences
  • “We’ve had a very productive week planning the new sales targets, but now it’s time to get down to business.” said the boss.
  • It’s getting late. We better get down to business or we’ll never get to leave the office!

2. Back to the drawing board

If you go ‘back to the drawing board’, you start something again - from the beginning. Example sentences
  • My boss didn’t like my proposal so he rejected it and told me to go back to the drawing board!
  • This advertising campaign was totally unsuccessful. We need to go back to the drawing board for the next advertising campaign.

3. Rule of thumb

A ‘rule of thumb’ is a general practice or usual way of doing things. Example sentences
  • As a rule of thumb, you should hand in your timesheets before 9pm on Friday if you want to be paid on time.
  • The company doesn’t allow employees to take unpaid leave as a rule of thumb, but they make exceptions in some special situations.

4. Put something on the back burner

If you ‘put something on the back burner’, you (temporarily) stop working on it. You suspend work on it. You may or may not need to start working on it again in the future. Example sentences
  • Our boss doesn’t love this idea. Perhaps we should put it on the back burner for now and come up with something else. We can always come back to it later if he changes his mind.
  • I’ve had to put the marketing research on the back burner. An urgent request came in and it’s due tomorrow.

using Business English in work

5. By the book

To do something ‘by the book’  or to ‘go by the book’ means to follow the rules. Example sentences
  • This is a very tricky situation. We’d better go by the book on this one so that we don’t get into trouble.
  • The company didn’t do things by the book, so they ended up with legal problems.
  • Sometimes it’s better to think of new ways to do something instead of always going by the book.

6. Learn the ropes

To learn the ropes’ means to learn how to do basic tasks in a company. It is often used when a person starts a new job and needs to learn the ropes, like learn how to use a new computer system and new office processes. Example sentences
  • It might take me a week or two to learn the ropes, but I am sure I will fit in well here.
  • The new employee took too long to learn the ropes and was fired.
Note: a similar common business english idiom is ‘to show someone the ropes’ – which means to teach someone the basic things or the way things are done.

7. Touch base

‘To touch base’ means to communicate with someone to get an update on something. Example sentences
  • We should touch base in a week to talk about how the project is going.
  • My boss wants to touch base with me about the staff Christmas party.
  • Could you please touch base with the manufacturer to find out how long it will be until the products are ready?

8. Get the ball rolling

‘To get the ball rolling’ means to start something - to make the first step to start an activity. Note: people may also say “set the ball rolling” or “start the ball rolling” Example sentences
  • “Alright, it’s time to get the ball rolling on this project. Does anyone have any ideas?”
  • We should have started the ball rolling days ago!
  • My boss asked me to get ball rolling on creating a new company website.

9. In a nutshell

  • ‘In a nutshell’ means in a clear summary of something, in a brief few words.
  • To tell somebody about something “in a nutshell” means to give them a short, clear summary of the issue in a few words.
Example sentences
  • My boss asked me to tell him, it in a nutshell, how the client meeting went.
  • In a nutshell, the issue is that we need more time to complete the project.

10. at the eleventh hour

To do something ‘at the eleventh hour’ means to do it at the latest possible time. Example sentences
  • The company found finance for the purchase at the eleventh hour.
  • The bright, new employee realized that there was a solution to the problem at the eleventh hour.
  • The business deal was agreed at the eleventh hour, just days before the company filed for bankruptcy.
In a nutshell, these 10 common business English idioms are essential to know and will be very beneficial for you if you work in English or if you want to use English for your job in the future.  If you master these idioms, you’ll be on your way to understanding a lot more of the business English language that is used in offices and meeting rooms around the world.