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10 useful business idioms and phrasal verb
Speaking English as a second language well doesn’t only imply knowledge of grammar but also of style, idioms and phrasal verbs are incredibly helpful when it comes to communicating in a natural way. We have compiled a list of 10 useful business idioms and phrasal verbs in no particular order.
  • (Have a) crack at : To make an attempt at solving a problem.

Ex: “We’re going to have another crack at the Chinese market.”

  • Bite the bullet: to make a tough decision

Ex: “We’re going to have to bite the bullet and lay off a few people for the company to stay afloat.”

  • Belt tightening: reducing expenses

Ex: “The company’s going through a period of belt tightening, which means we have less to spend on marketing.”

  •  To bail out: to give money to someone or something to survive

Ex: “They will discuss how to bail the company out of this slump.”

  • Ball park figure/estimate: an approximate amount

Ex: “Can you give me a ballpark figure for the amount of tax we’ll have to pay this year?”

  • Cut corners: make savings on time, quality or cost.

Ex: “If we cut too many corners, we risk sacrificing quality.”

  • Dig (your) heels in: refuse to do something or being persuaded

Ex: “We won’t be able to solve this problem as long as they continue to dig their heels in.”

  • Dog-eat-dog: extremely competitive

Ex: “Sorry you didn’t get the promotion, but it’s a dog-eat-dog environment here.”

  • Foot the bill: pay for

Ex: “Who should foot the bill for housing the homeless.”

  • Get your wires crossed: misunderstand information

Ex: “I think we got our wires crossed. You’re talking about the Spanish market rather than the German one, aren’t you?”


Have you heard any of these idioms/phrasal verbs before? Please let us know in the comment section.