Business English Idioms T-W
Look at the list of idiomatic phrases below then do the quiz to check your understanding. Finally, select which phrases you would like to be able to use and see if you can build them into your English.
Take the bull by the horns
To directly confront a difficult situation.
We must take the bull by the horns and actively look for a solution.
Talk someone into something
To persuade someone to do something
You are not going to be able to talk me into working at the weekend.
Talk someone out of something
To persuade someone not to do something.
You are not going to be able to talk me out of making an official complaint.
The elephant in the room
A topic which everyone is aware of but nobody wants to talk about.
We need to address the elephant in the room. Who is going to tell the boss that his ideas won’t work?
Think outside the box
To think creatively and find unusual solutions.
We need to think outside the box to come up with a solution here.
To contact someone / to stay in touch with someone.
I’ll call you next week to touch base.
Your experience / how you have done things in the past.
I think we should give the task to Kathy. She’s got a really good track record in dealing with difficult customers.
Up in the air
A situation which is uncertain.
The whole budget is up in the air at the moment and it will be until we know if we’ve won that big contract.
A difficult way forward.
We face an uphill battle to win the contract.
Water under the bridge
A bad situation which is finished.
Paul’s dispute with Carol is now water under the bridge. They have moved on.
Word of mouth
Passing on information by talking to people.
We get most of our business through word of mouth.