Useful Business Phrases for ESL Students

Are you desperate to expand into new markets or grow in the company where you are currently working? If that is the case I’m sure you would agree that English is not an option. It is a must. However, if English is your second language, simply attending classes at an ESL school ]and learning the right vocabulary to do business may not be enough. Using key phrases can give your English a more native sound. Here are popular phrases that can help you do business and sound like a pro.

To be a hitter - Someone powerful within the company. Someone successful.
Bill is incredible; he’s a really big hitter.

Core competencies - This is what you or your company does well.
We need to focus on our core competencies in order to maintain our position in the market.

Customer centric - Centered in the customer, customer driven.
We should be more customer centric from now on.

Cutting edge - The most recent version, often used with technology.
This is cutting edge technology we’re using.

E.T.A. - Short for “expected time of arrival”, in other words, how long it will take to get it finished.
What’s the E.T.A. on this report?

Going forward - In future.
Going forward, you should manage this project with a bit more focus.

High level - Similar to the big picture, an overall view rather than looking at details.
High level thinking is what we need right now.

Leading (market) - To be first, better than the competitors.
I want to develop a market leading proposition.

Low hanging fruit - This refers to things that can be done quickly and easily.
Let’s concentrate on the low hanging fruit first, before looking at the tougher problems.

Manage expectations - Make sure people expect realistic outcomes from a project.
It’s a good idea to manage expectations so that they don’t expect the impossible.

Out of the box - To be creative, original.
If you think out of the box you could generate some amazing ideas

Pro-active - To have initiative and drive. Get things done.
I think we need to be a bit pro-active here.

Quick win - Something that is fairly simple (in terms of time and/or cost) and beneficial.
Some quick wins would really be useful now.

Scalable - When something works for lots of people as well as just a few.
It might work for the local market, but is it scalable?

State of the art - The best, most modern solution.
This is a state of the art solution

To take something offline - Discuss the point further at another time.
That’s a delicate issue, so can you take it offline please?

To take ownership of something - To be responsible for something
You should really take ownership for this work.

To be a team player - Someone who works well with others.
Bill is a great guy; he’s a real team player.

To touch base with someone - To speak to someone about something.
I need to touch base with Fred on this one.

Win-win situation - A situation that is good for people on both sides.
Try and see if you can come up with a win-win situation.

Rachel Clarkson
Rachel Clarkson is an English teacher at LCI English.

Taking offline, this can be for internet mention also? Or just for the joking phrase during business?

It has internet meaning or only joking about internet? Sorry can’t understand it.

Win-Win its same in my culture translation haha! Great… thanks for this.

Good afternoon Rachel Clarkson,
Thank you for providing us with some business phrases.