Business English – 6 common idioms

Business English – 6 common idioms

Hi. My name is Rebecca. In this lesson, we’ll
focus on six business English idioms. Even though they are somewhat advanced, follow
along with me because they are used quite often. All right? Let’s get started. The first one:
“You need to face the facts about the drop in sales.”
So the idiom here is: “to face the facts”. So, “to face the facts” means to accept a
difficult situation. To effect… Accept the reality. Okay? Accept the truth, to deal with
the truth. That’s what it means to face the facts. You’re not going to say: “Face the
facts”, if you’re talking about something good. But here, you see there was a drop in
sales; sales went down, so you need to face the facts, means you have to accept the hard
truth or the hard reality. Next one:
“Mr. Brown heads our team in NY.” So, the idiom here is: “to head the team”.
You’ll see… Here we have “face”, here we have “head”, and in fact, all of these, you’ll
have some part of the body as part of the business idiom. It’s just the way I chose
them. All right, so, “to head the team” means to… What do you think it means? To lead
a group. All right? So, Mr. Brown is the manager, or he’s the leader, or the head of this team in New York.
“To head a team”, that’s the idiom. Next one:
“The marketing dept. is footing the bill.” “The marketing department is footing the bill.”
Again, part of the body, the foot. All right? “To foot a bill”, “to foot the bill” means
to take responsibility for payment. All right? I know it doesn’t always make sense, and that’s
why it’s an idiom. Okay? The individual words don’t reveal the meaning to you. You have
to understand the entire expression, and that whole expression is called an idiom. So, “to
foot the bill” means to take responsibility for paying for something. Next one:
“Our HR manager” – our human resources manager – “has an eye for selecting good people.”
The expression here: “to have an eye for”. I should say this. “To have an eye for something”
means to have a talent for something, to have the ability to notice something. All right?
So, our human resources manager has the ability to select good people. All right? Next one:
“Who shouldered the blame for this disaster?” “Who shouldered the blame?” Expression: “to
shoulder the blame”. “To shoulder the blame” means to take responsibility for something
that went wrong, for a bad situation, for a difficult situation. “To shoulder the blame.”
Again, you see a part of the body is mentioned in each of these idioms. All right? And the last one we have here is:
“Jane was in over her head at work.” “Jane was in over her head”. “To be in over
your head” means to have too much responsibility, to have… To have something which is too
difficult for you. Maybe you took a course in university and it was just way beyond your
ability in mathematics or something else, so you went in over your head; it was too
hard for you, too difficult for you. Okay? So: “Jane was in over her head at work.” All
right? So, one of the things you need to do is you
need to know what… How to complete these. Right? How we complete them. So, for example,
let’s look at them. Try not to look up here. So if I say: what’s the expression or what’s
the idiom? “To face the facts”, “To head the team”, “To
shoulder the blame”, “To foot the bill”, “To have an eye for” – all right, I already said
that – and: “To be in over your head”. All right? Let’s review what they mean. So which one means that you have an ability
to notice something? This one: “to have an eye for something”. Good. Which one means that you take responsibility
when something goes wrong or you took responsibility because something went wrong? What did you
do? You “shouldered the blame”. Good. Okay? Which one means to accept that something bad
has happened or accept the hard truth? This one: “to face the facts”. Very good. What does it mean when we say: “Someone is
in over their head”? It means that they’ve taken on something that’s too difficult for
them or they have too much of it. Okay? Next one: which one means that you are paying
for something? Here: “to foot the bill”. Okay? So play with them like that. Sometimes try
to guess how they finish, sometimes try to guess the meaning. And, best of all, try to
write your own sentences using these business idioms. All right? If you’d like to do a quiz on this, please
go to our website: All right? There you can also watch lots and lots of
other videos. We have more than 500 videos at the moment. So you can improve your English
in many ways. Actually, I’m wrong. It’s not 500. It’s more than 600 videos. Okay? You
could also subscribe to my YouTube channel to watch lots of other videos to help you
improve your English. All the best with your English. Bye for now.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Thanks, I'm trying to improve my English every time I can, watching these marvelous videos and actually I got a job  in big part because of engvid so thanks and I hope watching more videos like this one.

  2. Very useful sentences to learn with. What my most confused problem is that I can hear most of what you said, but can't say fluently by myself. How can I improve my speaking skill?

  3. Would it be correct to ask who footed the blame this disaster since the basically both means to take responsibility of something

  4. thanks for your more information. l want to speak someone via skype for impoving my speaking. can you help me? How can l do? what can l do?:-(

  5. Mam,I always felt the need of a teacher like you who could teach me and assist me in getting command over business English. Thanks a lot mam.You are doing a great job.

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