Business English Phrases

Master Business English: 30 Must-Know Expressions And Example Sentences

Learning business English can be particularly challenging, but mastering essential business English phrases is crucial if you want to communicate effectively in professional settings. Below, you’ll find 30 must-know business expressions, accompanied by definitions and example sentences to help you understand how to use these phrases in real-life situations. We’ve also included a free PDF and practice exercise to help you master business English vocabulary and phrases.

30 Essential Business English Phrases

Here are 30 must-know Business English expressions. Each of the phrases below is followed by the definition. To see these phrases used in an example sentence, see the next section.

  1. ASAP” (As Soon As Possible)
  2. Back to the drawing board” – to start again from the beginning after a plan has failed
  3. Ballpark figure” – a rough numerical estimate
  4. Bottom line” – the final outcome or result; the most important point
  5. Brainstorming” – a group discussion to generate ideas or solve problems
  6. By the book” – following established rules or procedures
  7. Cash cow” – a business, product, or investment that generates a large and consistent income
  8. Cutting-edge” – innovative or advanced
  9. Downsizing” – reducing the number of employees to cut costs
  10. Get down to business” – to focus on the matter at hand
  11. Go the extra mile” – to make an extra effort to achieve a goal
  12. In the black” – being profitable or financially stable
  13. In the red” – experiencing financial loss or debt
  14. Keep your eye on the ball” – to stay focused and attentive
  15. Leverage” – using something to maximize advantage, often in the context of resources or assets
  16. Out of the loop” – not informed or involved in a situation
  17. Put all your eggs in one basket” – to rely on a single opportunity or investment for success
  18. ROI” (Return On Investment) – the financial gain from an investment relative to its cost
  19. Seal the deal” – to finalize or secure an agreement
  20. Sink or swim” – to face a situation in which success or failure is determined by one’s own efforts
  21. Stay ahead of the curve” – to be at the forefront of a trend or development
  22. Synergy” – the combined effect of multiple factors working together to produce a greater outcome
  23. Take it to the next level” – to progress or improve beyond the current stage
  24. The big picture” – an overall or long-term perspective on a situation
  25. The bottom has fallen out of the market” – when the demand for a product or service suddenly decreases
  26. Think outside the box” – to approach a problem or situation with creativity and originality
  27. To corner the market” – to dominate a particular market segment or industry
  28. Touch base” – to make contact or check in with someone, often to update or discuss a matter
  29. Win-win situation” – a scenario in which all parties involved benefit
  30. Word of mouth” – information or recommendations spread through informal communication between people

Business English Example Sentences

Here are the same 30 phrases together with example sentences. This will help you to see how these business phrases are used in real-life.

  1. ASAP (As Soon As Possible) – “Please send me the revised report ASAP, so we can finalize the project.”
  2. Back to the drawing board“Our initial marketing plan didn’t yield the expected results, so it’s back to the drawing board.”
  3. Ballpark figure“Can you give me a ballpark figure for the cost of the new software?”
  4. Bottom line“The bottom line is that we need to increase sales by 15% to meet our annual target.”
  5. Brainstorming“Let’s schedule a brainstorming session to generate new ideas for our next product launch.”
  6. By the book“Our accounting department always operates by the book to ensure compliance with regulations.”
  7. Cash cow“Our flagship product has become a cash cow, consistently generating a significant portion of our revenue.”
  8. Cutting-edge“Our company is known for its cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions.”
  9. Downsizing“Due to the economic downturn, the company had to consider downsizing to reduce expenses.”
  10. Get down to business“Now that everyone is here, let’s get down to business and discuss our strategy.”
  11. Go the extra mile“Our customer service team always goes the extra mile to ensure client satisfaction.”
  12. In the black“After a difficult year, our company is finally back in the black.”
  13. In the red“If sales don’t improve soon, we’ll be in the red by the end of the quarter.”
  14. Keep your eye on the ball“It’s important to keep your eye on the ball and not lose sight of our long-term goals.”
  15. Leverage“We should leverage our existing network to secure new partnerships.”
  16. Out of the loop“I’ve been on vacation for two weeks, so I’m a bit out of the loop on the latest developments.”
  17. Put all your eggs in one basket“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; diversify your investment portfolio.”
  18. ROI (Return On Investment) – “The marketing campaign had a high ROI, making it a worthwhile investment.”
  19. Seal the deal“After months of negotiation, we finally managed to seal the deal.”
  20. Sink or swim“In this highly competitive industry, it’s sink or swim.”
  21. Stay ahead of the curve“By constantly innovating, our company manages to stay ahead of the curve.”
  22. Synergy“Our new partnership will create synergy and allow both companies to benefit.”
  23. Take it to the next level“With this new investment, we can take our business to the next level.”
  24. The big picture“It’s important to consider the big picture when making long-term strategic decisions.”
  25. The bottom has fallen out of the market“Unfortunately, the bottom has fallen out of the market for our products.”
  26. Think outside the box“To solve this problem, we need to think outside the box and consider unconventional solutions.”
  27. To corner the market“With our latest product release, we hope to corner the market in our industry.”
  28. Touch base“I’ll touch base with you next week to discuss the project’s progress.”
  29. Win-win situation“The partnership between our companies is a win-win situation for both parties.”
  30. Word of mouth“Our business has grown significantly through word of mouth from satisfied customers.”

Business English Exercise

Once you have learned the above business English phrases, then try this business English exercise. To complete the exercise, download and print the PDF below. There are 15 questions and answers. Each question asks you to read a sentence and choose the correct business English phrase to complete the sentence. If you would rather do this exercise online, then check out our free Business English Quiz.

Business English exercise PDF

Thanks for reading! By mastering these 30 expressions, you’ll be better equipped to communicate effectively in a wide range of business situations. Remember to practice using these phrases with the example sentences provided, download the PDF for easy reference, and test your knowledge with our practice exercise.