Monday, April 4, 2011

Business Collocations

Let's see how good you are with Business Idioms and collocations: take the following Online Business Idioms Quiz and check your score. Then, write down all the new idioms you found in the quiz and discuss them in class. Good luck! 1) Collocations with the word "Money" 2) Dictionary of collocations: Search the words: "earn", "profit" and "target" 3) Business English collocations 4) Useful Business Vocabulary 5) Business Idioms 6) American English Business Idioms 7) Fun Business Idioms Hometask: take the following Idiom QUIZ: Business and post on the blog the new idioms you lerned - no less than 8. Enjoy!


  1. 10 Useful Business Vocabulary:

    1. break off negotiations: to stop negotiations abruptly.
    "They decided to break off negotiations once they realized the products were not what they expected."

    2. cease trading: to stop trading.
    "Due to severe production problems, the company had to cease trading."

    3. chair a meeting: to preside over as chairperson.
    "John was called to chair the meeting that would change the company’s destiny."

    4. close a deal: to formally conclude bargaining; to bring negotiating to an end by reaching an agreement.
    "We negotiated the terms of the agreement, and this afternoon we will close the deal."

    5. close a/the sale: to complete the sale of something; to seal a bargain in the sale of something.
    "The salesman closed the sale and the customer drove off in a brand new car."

    6. dismiss an offer: to not accept an offer.
    "After much consideration, the offer was dismissed."

    7. lay off staff: to put an end to someone’s employment at something.
    "The automobile factory laid five hundred people off from work. The opposite is take on staff."

    8. go bankrupt: having been legally declared financially insolvent.
    "After months of struggling, the company finally went bankrupt."

    9. make a profit: to make a return on a business undertaking after all operating expenses have been met.
    "The new marketing strategies were effective in helping the company make a profit. The opposite is make a loss."

    10. annual turnover: for a company, the amount of business it conducts during a year, usually measured through income or sales.
    "Our annual turnover exceeded the board’s expectations."

  2. Business Vocabulary:
    1. Bear in mind
    Definition- To hold in one's mind; remember;
    EX- Bear in mind that bridges freeze before roads.
    2. Chair a meeting
    Definiton- If you chair a meeting or a committee, you are the person in charge of it; To preside over as chairperson;
    EX- He was about to chair a meeting in Venice of EU foreign ministers.
    3. Cease trading
    Definiton- to go out of business;
    EX- Where financial statements are prepared for an entity that will cease or has ceased trading, the financial statements should include an appropriate note about the basis of preparation.
    4. Come to the point
    Definition- be direct; say the most important thing in a discussion;
    EX- I wish he would come to the point so I could go home!
    4. To draw a conclusion
    Definition- is to come to a reasoned judgement. It is to come to an opinion based upon reasoning and evidence; It means to come to a determination of what is true about one thing, based upon knowledge, opinions, observations and facts about something different but related.
    EX- First, It is obvious, that in reasonings of this kind, it is not the object presented to us, which, considered in itself, affords us any reason to draw a conclusion concerning any other object or event.
    5. Market forces
    Definition- the interaction of supply and demand that shapes a market economy
    EX- Social is rapidly becoming a market force and Facebook and Twitter are leading the charge.
    6. Sales figures
    Definition- the total sales, or sales broken down by category;
    EX- The sales figures reported on an income statement are net sales.
    7. Lay off staff
    Definition- the temporary or permanent removal of a worker from his or her job, usually because of cutbacks in production or corporate organization.
    EX-Laying off staff can be a painful experience for both the laid off worker and the employer who issues the pink slip.
    8. To close a meeting
    Definition- to end a meeting
    EX- Close the meeting with a review of what decisions you reached and what the next action will be.
    9. Fat cat
    Definition- a wealthy and highly privileged person
    EX- We have to work hard for our money while the fat cat in the City make money doing very little.
    10. Draw your attention to
    Definition- to focus attention on something;
    EX- Contrast in design can draw attention to the right content.

  3. Business Vocabulary:

    bargain price - reduced price

    bedrock price - lowest possible price

    counter-offer - offer made in response to an offer by the other party

    work out - calculate (e.g. the price of something); find a solution

    viral marketing - the Internet version of word-of-mouth marketing - email messages that
    customers pass on to friends

    longevity - the amount of time an employee has worked at a job

    (to) jump ship - to quit a job

    (to) stay put - to remain at a job; to not leave a job
    "In this bad economy, many people have been afraid to go out and look for new jobs and have instead decided to stay put."

    (to) weather - to survive a difficult period (a recession, a downturn, etc)

    (to) turn around - to improve things (especially when they are going poorly)

    (to) open doors - to create new possibilities or opportunities

    buck the trend - to go against the direction things were moving; to be an exception to the rule

    to cope with - to deal with something bad

    cut-throat - very competitive
    "In the PC industry has led to lower prices OR Joe faced cut-throat competition to gain admission to Harvard Business School."

    to ripple through - to travel through, as in a wave; to move through

    to squeeze profit margins - to make profit margins go lower.

    to fly off the shelves - to be very popular; to sell very well.

    makeshift - something made up to meet an urgent need; something put together quickly because it's needed

    in a pinch - in a difficult situation, when no other options are available

    (to) sketch out - to discuss plans; to describe something in a general way

    a string of - a bunch of; one after the other

    (to) trigger - to cause; to set something off

    (to) put one's problems behind one - a nice way of saying one is getting rid of one's problems

    pressing issues - biggest problems (these need to be "resolved" or figured out).

    low-key approach - a style one uses when one does not want to attract a lot of attention; a calm, rationale way of going about something

  4. bite the bullet - to make a difficult or painful decision;

    The lazy man decided to bite the bullet and start exercising, so he joined a gym.

    bitter pill to swallow - bad news;

    When Mike’s mother told him he could not use the car, it was a bitter pill to swallow, because he had a date that night.

    blockbuster - a big success;

    Titanic is one of the most successful blockbusters that has ever been made.

    cash in on - to make money on;

    I want to cash in on the high price of gas by buying a gas station!

    face the music - to admit that there's a problem;

    After she drink the alcohol all night, the next morning she had to face the music.

    jump the gun - to start doing something too soon or ahead of everybody else;

    The nervous young student jumped the gun when he went to his exam 5 hours early.

    pull the plug - to put a stop to a project or initiative, usually because it's not going well; to stop something from moving forward; to discontinue

    The government pulled the plug on the plan to build a nuclear power plant.

  5. 10 fun business idioms
    1.bail a company out or bail out a company
    - to rescue a company that has financial problems
    The government bailed out the bank to maintain stability in the economy.
    2. big cheese/gun/wheel
    - an important person, a leader
    The new director was a big wheel in his previous company.
    3. buy a stake in (something)
    - to buy part ownership of a company or other enterprise
    The large bank is planning to buy a stake in the small stock trading company.
    4. corner the market
    - to dominate a particular market with your product
    The large company has cornered the market for cell phones in our city.
    5. go belly up
    - to go out of business because of financial problems
    The small computer company went belly up several months ago.
    6. hang out one's shingle
    - to open one's own business (usually as a professional in some field)
    My friend decided to hang out his shingle as a dentist soon after he finished school.
    7. have one's finger in the pie
    - to be involved in something, to receive money for something
    The new manager has his finger in the pie of many small businesses.
    8. in black and white
    - in writing
    The company refused to deal with the customer's complaints until they were in black and white.
    9. in the loop
    - part of a group of people that is kept up-to-date with information about something
    I began to work in the evenings and I was no longer in the loop at our company.
    10. put one's nose to the grindstone
    - to work diligently or hard
    I put my nose to the grindstone and finished the job before the weekend.

  6. 1. Mean business- to be serious
    “Our boss means business when he tells everyone to work harder. “

    2. take a nosedive- to collapse, to decrease in value
    “The stock market took a nosedive when the earnings of the oil company decreased.”

    3. heads will roll- someone will be punished
    “Heads will roll when our boss learns about the money that we have lost.”

    4. write off (a debt/loan)- to remove a debt/loan from a business record, to cancel a debt
    “It was impossible for the bank to collect the money so they were forced to write off the loan.”

    5. strike while the iron is hot- to take advantage of an opportunity
    I plan to strike while the iron is hot and apply for the job quickly.

    6. ball park figure/estimate- a rough estimate or figure
    “The contractor gave us a ball park figure for the cost of repairing the new building. “

    7. sweetheart deal- a deal made between friends or businesses so that both may receive a benefit
    “We made a sweetheart deal with our landlord to have our rent reduced.” the loop- part of a group of people that is kept up-to-date with information about something
    “I began to work in the evenings and I was no longer in the loop at our company”.

  7. ADJECTIVES + "Money"
    easy – 1. money made with little effort, sometimes dishonestly; 2. (Economics, Accounting & Finance / Banking & Finance) Commerce money that can be borrowed at a low interest rate. Ex. He thinks working in marketing is easy money. I think he'll find it's quite a different story.
    bonus, extra – secondary income, side income, supplementary income. Ex. If you complete the project before next Tuesday, there'll be some bonus money.
    hard-earned – earned or achieved after a lot of effort. Ex. The best way to feel good about any purchase is if it's been made with hard-earned money.
    government, public, taxpayers' – government money available for expenditure. Ex. It's not right to waste taxpayers' money on projects that benefit those who are already wealthy.
    pocket, spending – money for day-to-day spending, incidental expenses, etc. Ex. Would you like a little extra pocket money this weekend?
    gas, lunch, petrol, rent, etc. – money spent for gas, lunch, petrol, rent, etc. Ex. Could you lend me some lunch money today?
    prize, grant, scholarship – any money offered, paid, or received as a prize. Ex. They won a lot of grant money for their research into DNA.
    stolen, dirty – goods or money obtained illegally. Ex. I don't want your dirty money!
    bribe money – money offered or given to a person in a position of trust to corrupt his judgment.
    ransom money – money demanded for the return of a captured person.
    hush – a bribe paid to keep something secret.
    protection – money demanded by gangsters for freedom from molestation. Ex. That gang is demanding protection money from every store on the street. It's scandalous!
    pension, retirement – a sum of money paid regularly as a retirement benefit or by way of patronage. Ex. We plan to move to Hawaii with our retirement money.
    counterfeit, fake – money made in imitation of what is genuine with the intent to defraud. Ex. The police discovered more than $2 million in fake money.
    danger - extra money paid to employees in dangerous jobs. Ex. The workforce has stopped work and asked for danger money. • He decided to go to work on an oil rig because of the danger money offered as an incentive.
    dead – 1. money which is not invested to make a profit; 2. money removed from circulation.

    "Money" + NOUN
    management, manager – the act or practice of an investment advisory firm making investment decisions on behalf of a client. Money management often opens up more potential investment vehicles up to the client. Another advantage is that, theoretically, money managers have more knowledge and experience in making appropriate investment decisions than the client. This is also called investment management. Ex. I think you should hire a money manager for your savings.
    supply – the total amount of money in a country's economy at a given time. Ex. The money supply is very tight at the moment.
    order – an order for the payment of a specified amount of money, usually issued and payable at a bank or post office. Ex. You can pay by money order.

  8. Business Vocabulary:

    1)Wheeling and dealing - Someone accused of wheeling and dealing is thought to be
    involved in complicated, if not dishonest, deals in business or politics.

    EX: Since the beginning of the election campaign, there's been a lot of
    wheeling and dealing going on.

    2) Top dog - To say that a person, group or country is top dog means that
    they are better or more powerful than others.

    EX: She's top dog in cosmetics today.

    3)Things are looking up - To say that things are looking up means that the situation is
    improving and you feel more positive about the future.

    EX: Bob has got two job interviews next week so things are looking up.

    4) Strictly business - An appointment or event that is entirely devoted to business,
    with no leisure or relaxation, is called strictly business.

    EX: Yes we had lunch together but it was strictly business.

    5) Sweat of your brow - If you earn or achieve something by the sweat of your brow, you do it
    through hard work and without help from anyone.

    EX: I got a comfortable lifestyle by the sweat of my brow. I owe it to nobody
    but myself.

    6) In smooth waters - A business or operation which is in smooth waters is making regular and
    easy progress.

    EX: The company seems to be in smooth waters these days.

    7) Sleeping /silent partner - This term refers to a person who invests money in a business without
    taking an active part in its management, and whose association with
    the enterprise is not public knowledge.

    EX: He works alone, but his business is partly financed by a
    sleeping partner.

    8) Pull your weight - If you say that someone pulls their weight, you mean that
    they do their fair share of the work.

    EX: It's great working with Sandra. She always pulls her weight.

    9) Pass the buck - If you say that someone is passing the buck, you are accusing them
    of not taking responsibility for a problem and letting others deal with it

    EX: Whenever a customer comes to complain, she always finds a way of
    looking busy. Talk about passing the buck!

    10) Monkey business - An activity which is organized in a deceitful or dishonest way is
    called monkey business.

    EX: The results announced seem suspicious - I think there's some
    monkey business going on!