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Business English Vocabulary Exercises

Entering a new career in business already has its own unique challenges and when you add on a language barrier, attempts to succeed might be so frustrating it seems futile. Struggling to communicate with your co-workers may have felt defeating in the past, but practicing with this exercise is one way to help overcome conversational obstacles at work.

The basic terms used here are used in almost every business and will help reinforce the education you are already getting, being a business student, and allow you to more openly express yourself in a business context with your English speaking peers. By viewing these terms in example sentences you will develop a deeper understanding of how they are appropriately used in an actual business setting.

  1. My name is Josh and I work in the Sales Department, where our goal is to make Profit from selling our products and services.
  2. By effectively using our Social Media platform, our Company can connect with people on a global scale at high speed.
  3. In order to use social media and other communication outlets effectively, our team has to come up with a strategy and execute the plan accordingly.
  4. Our team’s strategies have to be approved by Management, who are those in charge of running a Business.
  5. To create good sales and marketing techniques, a thorough understanding of the Market is needed.
  6. Although our team has great leaders who are committed to our company’s growth, we are in the process of Recruitment and are actively looking for new employees.
  7. Our company’s products stand out among the rest because of our distinct Branding.
  8. It is important to meet Deadlines so the business plans stay on track.

Knowing the terms IS important, but just using the words without an understanding of what they mean is like having a frame with no picture in it – a lack of real substance. This list is only the beginning of the vocabulary expressed in a business setting. For definitions and more, check out The Top 100 Most Important Words in Business or

Besides the general business lingo, there are a few catch phrases that have a tendency to diffuse from mouth to ear to mouth to ear – until everyone in the office has been hit by the wave of current socially acceptable expression. The following are a few examples of age-old office one liners:

  • A paradigm shift
  • Par for the course, Tee it up, or any other golf metaphor
  • Quotes from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
  • Run it up the flagpole

BEWARE: Although these phrases might sound like a unique, witty, and convenient way to convey a group thought or make you seem well-read, continuous overuse depletes the words of any actual meaning, which results in the loss of all the impact it was intended to have. Memorizing a list of terms may help to familiarize a foreign language, but it is more important to clearly express your own thoughts and ideas to be a valuable employee. Substance, relevance, and authentic thought relating to company goals have real value in the workplace.

Photo Credit: Paul Shanks
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