Business English Expressions
20 Useful Idioms from www.teacherjoe.us!
1. 800 pound gorilla - the biggest, most powerful group or company
"If we follow our plan to make this new software, we're going to have a lot of competition, including from the 800 pound gorilla, Microsoft."
2. (a rising tide that) lifts all boats - something that helps all people or all groups
"We're only number three, but the current economic growth will lift all boats, so we're sure to make a profit this year."
3. an old hand - a person who has long experience, especially in one place
"He can help us set up a new company. He's been working in this industry for many years
and knows the language of business - he's really an old hand at this."
4. at the 11th hour - very late, at the very last minute
"The negotiated until late at night and it seemed they would never agree. Finally, at
the 11th hour, they came to an agreement."
5. on a shoestring - with limited money
"They started their company on a shoestring and built it up to one of the largest companies in the world!"
6. bring to the table - whatever you can possibly offer
"I will meet with Teacher Joe's new company to show him what we can bring to the table."
7. carve out a niche - find a special market that you can control
"To succeed in this competitive world, you have to focus on part of it. Try to carve out a niche and be number one in that are."
8. deep pockets - have a lot of money
"If there is a price war, we won't win because we don't have deep enough pockets."
9. down time - when equipment of facilities are not available, so you cannot work
"There will probably be a lot of down time at the conference, so I'm bringing a lot of paperwork."
10. (draw) a line in the sand - make final conditions that cannot be changed
"We have to draw a line in the sand so they will see that this is really our final offer."
11. free ride - get benefit at no cost
"Of course we should make them pay for our travel expenses. WHy should we give them a free ride?"
12. from day one - from the beginning
"Teacher Joe has been providing the best English-learning web site from day one!"
13. get your foot in the door - have a small opportunity that can become a big opportunity in the future, if you do good work
"Right now, I just want to get my foot in the door, so they can see what I can do. Next year I hope to start moving up in the company."
14. I need it yesterday - an informal way to say it is needed immediately
"Can I send that report to you later this afternoon?"
"No! I need that report yesterday!"
15. a two-way street - both people or both groups can contribute or benefit from the situation
"We want to help you, but we need your help too. It should be a two-way street."
16. it will never fly - it won't be successful
"We don't have to worry about their idea competing with ours. It will never fly."
17. it's a jungle out there - it's a difficult market with many, tough competitors
"Do you think a new company can survise without a unique product? It's a real jungle out there!"
18. jump through hoops - trying very hard (like a dog doing tricks!)
"He's a tough boss. All of his subordinates have to jump through hoops to prove their loyalty to the company."
19. put your cards on the table - be completely honest
"I think it's time to put all of our cards on the table. Here's what we need..."
20. learning curve - how much time needed to learn something new
"This new software has a long learning curve, so we have to give our staff enough time to learn how to use it well."