The most effective way to hammer a nail, is to hit the nail perfectly on its head!
The best way to hammer a nail, is to hammer it precisely on its head. But instead of being used by builders, the idiom to ‘hit the nail on the head’ is more commonly used to point out the precise cause of any situation or problem.

An idiom is a group of words that, together, have a figurative meaning. Idioms are used in the course of a conversation as an easy way of expressing a complicated idea. They also make a language more colourful and spice up conversations.

All languages in the world have idiomatic expressions. According to Wikipedia, it is estimated that there are at least 25,000 idioms in the English language. That’s quite a lot but the good news is, you only need to know a few to make you a better conversationalist. Below are 15 of the most commonly used idioms in business that you really should try to remember.

SEE ALSO: VIDEO: The World is Speaking English, are You?

IdiomWhat It Means
1ahead of the packTo be “ahead of the pack” means to be better or more successful than the competition.
2back to the drawing boardTo go “back to the drawing board” means to start something over again, and go back to the planning stage of something.
3corner a marketTo “corner a market” means to dominate a particular market.
4cut your lossesIf you stop doing something that is unproductive and won’t ever generate results, you “cut your losses.”
5diamond in the roughA “diamond in the rough” is something or someone that has a lot of potential but first requires a lot of work.
6game changerA “game changer” is a newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way.
7get something off the ground“Let’s get this off the ground” means to finally start a project or business.
8go the extra mileTo “go the extra mile” is to do more than what people expect of you.
9hit the nail on the headTo “hit the nail on the head” means to do or say something 100% correctly.
10learn the ropes“Learning the ropes” means to learn the basics of something.
11on a rollIf someone is “on a roll,” it means that he or she has had several successes in a row.
12on top of somethingTo be “on top of something” means to be in control of a situation and aware of changes.
13stand one’s groundIf you “stand your ground,” it means that you will not change your opinion or position on an issue.
14take the bull by the hornsTo “take the bull by the horns¨ is to directly confront a difficult situation.
15raise the barTo “raise the bar” means to set the standards or expectations higher, usually by achieving or creating something better than what had previously existed.

Swiss eLearning Institute English for Beginners VO BannerYou’ll learn more about idioms in section 4, Unit 8 of the Swiss eLearning Institute English for Beginners course about vocabulary. Perfecting your English language skills with us is a ‘walk in the park’, so enrol in English for Beginners by purchasing it from the Education section of the QNET eStore today.

SEE ALSO: INFOGRAPHIC: How Important is English?

Business English Resources
Merriam Webster