Business English is a variant of the English language that is specifically used in the business world. By this I mean in the office, over email, in conferences, when talking to potential customers etc. (think formal – suit and tie!)

Business English is different from regular English as It’s more formal. By this I mean the vocabulary, pronunciation (contractions, glottal stop) and grammatical structure are different from everyday English.

Imagine you have to speak to the CEO of a top organisation in a Skype call. You don’t want to use slang or incorrectly pronounce words, do you? This wouldn’t make a very good impression to a potential client and they may end up opting to buy from one of your competitors.

What is a business expression?

So, you all know what business English is…and you all know that an idiom is a group of words that join together to make a well-known phrase. When we add the two together, we get:

A common phrase/expression that is acceptable to use in the business environment.

​Voilà! The business idiom is born. You’ve probably been taught that slang mustn’t be used in the workplace. Forget all that, this type of slang can.

business idioms in use

Have you ever missed the boat?
When was the last time you turned the tables on an opponent?
Do you work your socks off or are you a lazy person?
Are there lots of team players at your place of work?
Have you ever sold someone down the river?
Do you have a poker face?
Name someone who is on your wavelength.
Are you struggling to keep your head above water?
Have you ever been given hush money?

If you haven’t got the foggiest what I’m talking about, then these pages are for you.

If you’re an aspiring businessman/woman who wants to learn the business lingo, these pages are for you too.

If you just love learning English phrases and idioms, these pages are also for you.

A – Z list of business idioms

Click on the links below to see a full list of idioms and expressions that can be used in the business environment. I’ve given you some examples that should help you learn them.

business idioms and expressions

Udemy business english courses

If you really want to perfect your English in the workplace, Udemy have lots of business English courses available. Here are some of the best ones: