English Language Reference- Business English: Part 1

What do we mean when we say Business English?

What makes Business English any different from any other English?

Who uses Business English?

In this blog post we will explore all these questions and more. We will look at the vocabulary that is unique and specific to Business English, the phrases and expressions used by professional/business people and the different situations where knowledge of Business English is an essential component of effective communication.

Some situations:

* Giving presentations

* Negotiations

* Meetings

* Conference calls

* Client/Customer relations

* Emails and Telephone calls


OK let’s take a look at some language, expressions and vocabulary related to giving a presentation.

Business English Vocabulary:

accordance noun

accountancy n

acquisition n

adjustment n

administrative adjective

agenda n    

allocate verb

asset n

assumption n

audit n, verb

authorise v

These are just a few that begin with ‘a’ more to follow in Part 2.

When we give a presentation we also often use adverbs, such as : about, around, roughly, or the phrase in the region of to show that a figure is approximate:

There were roughly 200 people at the conference.

It will cost in the region of a billion euros.

We use or so after a figure or the suffix -ish to indicate that a number is only approximate:

Only twenty or so people attended.

We’ll meet back here at 4-ish.

We use the adverbs nearly, almost, or the phrases just under, just short of, or the best part of to refer to a figure that is slightly less than the one stated:

He bought almost 1,000.

We’ll be working on this project for the best part of two years.

The phrases upwards of, just over, a little over, and something over refer to a figure that is more than the one stated:

It will cost upwards of 10,ooo per month.

Some colloquial noun phrases can indicate that a figure is approximate:

I can only give you are a ball park figure.

Please bear in my mind that this total  is just a guesstimate,

The verbs reckon, project, and estimate can be used to introduce a guess or an approximation:

John reckons there will be about 150 people.

We project that this offer will attract 10,000 or more customers.

I have no idea how many we need- but I would estimate 2,000.


To conclude this blog post- a quick glance at health, medical and fitness vocabulary that  is often used to describe business situations and conditions metaphorically:

It’s only in Ireland and Wales that the picture is healthier.

I think the marketing department is in good shape.

There are no fewer than three ot four ailing firms in this sector.

We weren’t too worried when our main competitors caught a cold.


Good luck with your English language learning and Business English development.


Ok English









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