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Business English Idioms

Average: 4.1 (16 votes)

Are any of you studying English for business purposes? Idioms are really common in the workplace and can be heard everywhere, in offices or on factory floors. Here are seven of the most common.

Business before pleasure - you should finish your work before starting to relax and enjoy yourself.

A done deal - a final decision or agreement.

Dog eat dog - people will do anything to be successful, even if what they do harms other people.

Above board - without dishonesty; legal.

Foot in the door - an introduction or way in to something; a first step in working toward a goal.

Pass the buck - pass responsibilty on to someone else, to make them responsible for a problem that you should deal with yourself.

Belly up - bankrupt; dead (like a dead fish that floats belly up).

In each sentence, which idiom fits the meaning?

  • 1. I'm at work 24/7 at the moment so it's ___ for now.

  • 2. Smith signed the papers this morning, it's ___.

  • 3. We have to make sure everything is ___ we can't afford another scandal.

  • 4. If you have an idea, keep it to yourself until the idea is fully formed. Otherwise, someone might steal it. It's a ___ world out there.

  • 5. Don't ___ I know it was you who messed up the shipment.

  • 6. I'm going to apply for an internship with Price Waterhouse Cooper, I need to ___.

  • 7. Unfortunately, our plans to bring out a new line by Christmas 2012 have gone ___.