Sunday, May 22, 2022

15 Useful Business Idioms You Need to Know

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?

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

You’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

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