Would you like to take your Business English fluency to the next level? Try using one of these 20 common business expressions at work:

  • Blue Collar Worker - someone who works with their hands or does manual labor. For example, construction workers, steel workers, plumbers, electricians, etc.

Ex. "Donald Trump won the election in 2016 because he managed to get the majority of blue-collar workers to vote for him."

  • Call it a day - to stop working for the day

Ex. "I've been working since 7 this morning. I think it's about time to call it a day"

  • Cut corners - to do something the cheapest or easiest way; to take a shortcut. Usually at the expense of quality.

Ex. "When construction companies cut corners it typically costs lives."

  • Diamond in the rough - something or someone that has a lot of potential but lacks a few final touches or qualities

Ex. "Juan is a real diamond in the rough. He's got a lot of talent with people but just needs to work a little on his work ethic."

  • Game plan - a plan or strategy for doing or achieving something

Ex. "The game plan for the week is to call every client personally to get their opinion"

  • Get the ball rolling - to start something or to start a project

Ex. "We need to get the ball rolling on this project asap. It's due in October and it's already August."

  • In the black - to be making a profit

Ex. "After three years of losses the company is finally in the black again."

  • In the red - to be losing money

Ex. "With all these unexpected health bills we're going to be in the red this month."

  • Loophole - an ambiguity or mistake in a law which allows one to evade or avoid the the law to an advantage

Ex. "After the tax codes changed some privy investors were able to save a lot of money by finding some loopholes in the system"

  • No brainer - a decision that is obvious or super easy to make

Ex. "Betting on the Chilean national soccer team versus the USA was a no brainer. Of course they were going to win."

  • On a roll - to have a successful or lucky period.

Ex. "We've been on a roll the last three months. The sales numbers are through the roof. "

  • On top of something - to be aware or in control of a situation

Ex. "Don't worry, Steve. I'm on top of the situation and I'll take care of it"

  • See eye to eye - to agree with each other

Ex. "I do not always see eye to eye with my partner but we always reach an agreement."

  • Small talk -  polite social conversation about unimportant matters

Ex. "On Monday mornings it's good to make small talk with your colleagues. Ask them about their weekends, the weather, etc."

  • State of the art - very modern, using the most recent methods or technology

Ex. "The new Tesla model was made using state of the art technology"

  • Touch base - to get in touch or contact someone

Ex. " I'll work on this half of the project and you on the other and we'll touch base in a few days."

  • Under the table - transacted in a secret or hidden manner

Ex. "They offered him money under the table to change his mind."

  • Uphill battle - very difficult - requiring a lot of effort to overcome obstacles. 

Ex. "It was an uphill battle to get the liquor license. We had to find someone with a contact in the municipality."

  • White Collar worker - someone who works in an office or other professional environment. 

Ex. "Universities typically prepare their students to become white-collar workers."

  • Word of mouth - when people tell other people about a product or service without any other marketing.

Ex. "60% of our students come to us based on word of mouth recommendation."

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