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List of Business Idioms in English for ESL Students

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Joined: 01 Oct 2009
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject: List of Business Idioms in English for ESL Students Reply with quote

Words alone and out of context can mean a lot of things. Thatís why phrases and contexts are what give words a tangible meaning. Itís always useful to learn idioms, ways of expressing situations shortly and clearly. These are some of the idioms youíll probably come across in your ESL Classes

Across the board
Meaning: something that affects or includes everyone or everything
Example: The new law establishes a salary raise across the board.

Bail a company out
Meaning: helping or rescuing a company thatís going through financial problems
Example: Luckily, the government decided to bail our company out.

Calculated risk
Meaning: an action whose chances of going wrong is somehow foreseen
Example: He took a calculated risk when he decided to quit his job before getting hired by the other company.

Deliver the goods
Meaning: fulfilling what was expected
Example: We need someone suitable for this job, somebody capable of delivering the goods.

Face value
Meaning: the apparent value of something
Example: Heíll try to use his businessí face value to negotiate.

Gain ground
Meaning: to make progress
Example: Iíve been actually gaining ground in the last few months. I think Iíll get the raise.

Hard sell
Meaning: an aggressive technique of selling a product or service, by putting pressure on the clients
Example: Whenever a salesman tries a hard sale with me, I lose my appetite.

In black and white
Meaning: in written form
Example: The customer service area didnít pay attention to my complaints until I sent them in black and white.

Jack up
Meaning: to increase the price of something
Example: The price of steel was jacked up by local companies at the beginning of the year.

Keep books
Meaning: keeping records of income and outcome
Example: The new assistant to the sales manager has no experience keeping books and has made many mistakes.

Make a go of
Meaning: to succeed
Example: I know that if you keep up the hard work your business will make a go of it.

Meaning: an accountant, a person who works with numbers
Example: Although I donít take care of numbers anymore, the success of my business depended a lot on my being a good number-cruncher. I understood all about the finances of our company.

On hand
Meaning: ready, immediately available
Example: Since we didn't have any supplies on hand, we were unable to finish the job.

Pay off
Meaning: to result in benefits, to make a profit
Example: If we want to go on in this business, our efforts will have to start paying off. Otherwise, weíll end up out of business.

Red ink
Meaning: debt; indebtedness as shown in red ink on a financial statement
Example: If we, the investors, continue seeing red ink in our financial statements, theyíll leave us.

Saddled with debt
Meaning: burdened with debt
Example: The company is saddled with a great amount of debt. We have to start making some profit or sell the company as soon as possible.

Take a nosedive
Meaning: to collapse; to go into a rapid financial decline
Example: The stock market took a nosedive when the Armyís invasion plans went public.

Work out
Meaning: to plan; to find a solution to something
Example: Weíll spend whatever it takes to work out the budget estimates for next year.

Rachel Clarkson
Rachel Clarkson is an English teacher at LCI English and blogger at the ESL Blog.
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