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Business English: the language of 'business meetings'

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'What time does the meeting commence?'

People take Business English courses because English is the language of the International business community.

Business people love meetings. As a business person you will attend (go to) many meetings. Here is some useful Business English you should know.

Business Meeting Verbs

to adjourn a meeting (formal) = to end a meeting for a short time. To take a break.

'Let’s adjourn this meeting. We'll arrange to meet again next week.'

to attend a meeting = to go to a meeting

'I'll be attending a meeting today between 2 and 3pm.'

to brainstorm = working in a group to think of some new fresh ideas.

'Take a few minutes to brainstorm some ideas on a new name for this product.'

to cancel meeting = to decide that a planned meeting will not happen. The date is not changed.

'The boss has decided to cancel the meeting as he is no longer interested in the project.'

to commence = to begin/start a meeting.

'The meeting commences at 9:30. Please don’t be late.'

to hold a meeting = to be in charge of the meeting. It's your meeting, you are the chairperson.

'I'm holding a meeting on the effects of the increase in shipping costs.'

to over-run = to take longer than expected or was scheduled for.

'Sorry I'm late. My meeting over-ran by 15 minutes.'

to postpone a meeting= to hold a meeting at a later time or date than was originally planned.

'Let’s postpone the meeting until the report has been finished.'

to reschedule a meeting = to change the time of a meeting for a reason. It can be before or after the originally planned time.

'Did you hear? There's no meeting today. It's been rescheduled to tomorrow at 12.'

to wrap up a meeting (phrasal verb/informal) = to end a meeting.

'Let's wrap up this meeting. We're out of time.'

Business Meeting Nouns

agenda = the topics to be covered in the meeting.

'Today's agenda covers our new policy on over-time pay.'

minutes = Notes taken about what is said and covered in a meeting.

'Mr. Khan. Can you take the minutes for today's meeting and then email them on to anyone who is not here?'

objectives = the goals of the meeting.

'The objective of this afternoons meeting is to agree on employees working hours.'

strategy = the business plan for success.

'Our strategy is to focus on our Asian market.'

  • Simon is away on a business trip, so let's ___ until he comes back.




  • Are you all here? Yes.Good. Let's ___ . Thanks for joining today's meeting...




  • My sales team have ___ a few ideas on how we can improve our sales figures.




  • I've asked my secretary to take the ___ for tomorrow's meeting.




  • Our main ___ is to double last year's exports




  • Last year's ___ was a failure. We need to re-think our business plan.




  • The meeting ___ will cover our marketing budget and no other topics.