English Business Vocabulary

Last week, we discussed 5 Tips to Prepare for a Job Interview in English. If you read that post, you know the steps to impress the interviewer and get the job you want. 

Now, you might be wondering if there’s anything you need to know before you start a job.

There is!

At your new workplace, you might hear your co-workers using some unfamiliar expressions.

To stay in the loop, you should learn some English business vocabulary!

English Business Vocabulary

You already know that there are a lot of idioms in the English language—and that includes the business world. 

Keep scrolling to learn some of the expressions you might hear at your English-speaking workplace!

1. Crunch time

→ A period when you’re under a lot of pressure to do or finish something

We have to work all weekend so we can finish the project by Monday—it’s crunch time!

2. Game plan

→ A plan to achieve success or reach a goal

If you want to have a successful business, you need a game plan.

3. To go the extra mile

→ to do more than what is expected

I got a pay raise this week. My manager said it’s because I always go the extra mile!

4. In a nutshell 

→ Briefly; in few words (We use this expression when we want to explain something in a quick and general way.)

I don’t know all the details yet. In a nutshell, the company has lost all of its money and I don’t have a job anymore. 

5. To be in the loop

→ To be aware of a situation or to have all the information necessary

Hannah will be working on this project with you, so please keep her in the loop.

6. To be in the pipeline

→ Something that is being planned or has already begun

My company has three new products in the pipeline! They’ll be ready for sale next year.

7. To be on the same page

→ To be in agreement; to think in a similar way

My colleague and I don’t work well together; we’re never on the same page.

8. To be out of the loop 

→ Not having all the information; not being aware of a situation

Can you please explain this project to me? I’ve just returned from holidays, so I’m out of the loop.

9. To shoot (something) down

→ To reject an idea

I suggested our idea to the manager, but he shot it down. He said it was too expensive.

10. To talk (someone) into (something)

→ To convince someone to do something

I talked my manager into ordering pizza for all the employees once a month!

11. To talk (someone) out of (something)

→ To convince someone not to do something

My favourite co-worker, Sarah, wanted to quit, but I talked her out of it. Now, she’s going to stay!

12. To think outside the box

→ To think in a creative or unique way

If we want to get more customers, we can’t just think of the same old ideas—we have to think outside the box!

13. To touch base

→ To contact someone

Before I start the work, I want to touch base with my manager to make sure I understand everything.


Learning some common business idioms will help you understand your colleagues, get information, and share ideas. In a nutshell, you’ll be a better communicator overall!

Andrea is a Gabby Academy coach and education technolgy writer based in Vancouver, Canada.