Why Learn English business Idioms?
Idioms are commonly-used expressions by native speakers that have a figurative, not a literal, meaning. All languages have them. For example, a couple of Spanish idioms are “No me tomes el pelo” and “Tire la casa por la Ventana”
Idioms are essential for speaking a language like a native, and English is no exception.
There are hundreds of English idioms, but in this post, I have compiled some of the most useful business idioms that you are likely to come across while speaking English in a work meeting or meal
1.- GO THE EXTRA MILE (hacer un esfuerzo adicional)
To go above and beyond what is expected, to make bigger effort than is required, to exert special energy in order to accomplish something
- If you are willing to go the extra mile at work, you will grow professionally
- I was impressed with the way the shop attendant went the extra mile to resolve my problem.
2.- TO BEAT THE CLOCK (ganarle al relog. Ir a contrareloj)
To finish something very quickly especially before a particular time
- The company managed to beat the clock on delivering the new product
- Sometime I get up early to beat the clock
3.-PULL SOME STRINGS (tirar de cables, enchufar a alguien)
- To use the power or influence one has over others, especially people of importance, to get what one wants to help someone else
- The reason Jane got that job was because her father pulled some strings with the owner of the Company
4.- TO CORNER THE MARKET (copar el Mercado)
To dominate a particular market. If a company corners the market in a particular type of product, it is more successful than any other company
- Amazon corners the online retailing market
5.-TO HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD (Dar en el clavo)
It refers to doing or saying something that is precisely right
- Mary hit the nail on the head when she said that the malfunction of the machine was due to a manufacturing defect
- You’ve spotted the flaw! You hit the nail on the head
6.- OFF THE CUFF
Not prepared in advanced
Done without planning or preparation. If someone speaks off the cuff they say something without preparing or thinking about their words first
- My line manager asked me to give a presentation today. I didn’t have time to prepare, so I spoke off the cuff
7.- ALL OVER THE MAP (Disperso, no centrado, experto en nada..)
In a disorganized or confused state
A person with a wide range of skills or interests
- We can’t stay in business if our finances are going to be over the map like this.
- Your work experience is all over the map. What do you really want to do?
8.-TAKE THE PLANGE
- To commit oneself to a course of action about which one is nervous
- To decide to do something, especially after thinking about it for a long time
- In the end I decided to take the plunge and start my own business.
- She wondered whether to join that group and in the end she decided to take the plunge
9.-TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
To think unconventionally and creatively. From another perspective
- To solve this problem you will have to think outside the box
- I like my team thinking outside the box and coming up with interesting ideas
10.-BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
To face with two equally undesirable alternatives
- I have to choose between my career and my relationship. I am between a rock and a hard place.
- Trying to please both my workmate and my best friend put me between a rock and a hard place
And One More Thing for Your English Idiom…
If you like learning English idioms, then you’ll love FluentU. FluentU takes real-world videos like music videos, commercials, news, and inspiring talks and turns them into English learning experiences. In these videos, you’ll see your newly-acquired idioms in action.
In the real world, you may not pick up on new vocabulary and idioms straightaway. FluentU is designed for you to become familiarized with everyday , by combining all the benefits of total immersion and native level conversations with easy-to-read subtitles.
FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. Didn’t catch something? Go back and listen again. Missed a word? Hover your mouse over the subtitles to instantly view definitions.