Learn English | A new lesson every week
Book your course now

Business English - Formal Idioms

Average: 3.2 (25 votes)

Read the following short story. Pay attention to the idioms:
Lesson by David, EC London English school

John thundered into the boardroom and slammed his folder down on the table with a crash, bringing the general chattering in the room to a sudden halt. “Now as a rule I don’t normally come to these low level meetings, but I'm going to make an exception today,” he shouted at his stunned employees. “For the most part we have had an outstanding year, but the figures for this last quarter are a joke.” Holding up a report containing the quarterly figures he bellowed, “in itself, this report is enough to send you all packing.”
All of a sudden Jasper, a low-level executive jumped up of his own accord, and ran from the room shaking his head and muttering to himself. “What the hell is his problem?” questioned John. “He gets anxiety attacks,” answered Tim. “It stems from his issues with his father, I reckon,” offered Barry.
“Look, forget about Jasper...I’m bringing in someone new to shake things up a bit. It might not be an ideal situation but it’s a means to an end.”


As a rule- Generally / more often than not
In itself- Considered alone / by itself
Of his own accord - By himself (without outside influence)
To stem from- To originate from
A means to an end - One way of achieving your goal (often not ideal)

Complete the sentences below with the correct idiom.

  • 1) ___ I don't eat seafood but as it is your birthday I will make an exception.

  • 2) Well I think the problem ___ the fact that he never had any sisters.

  • 3) I had to quit my job and move to England. It wasn't the best way to get what I wanted but ___.

  • 4) ___ it is pretty good but as part of a series, it just doesn't work.

  • 5) My father cleaned my bathroom ___. I didn't ask him to do it or even hint at it.