Using idioms in business

A great lesson to learn some new Business Idioms and phrases.

Monument English

yes man

Topic -Business idioms

Level – Intermediate

Whether we like it or not, the English speaking workplace is overflowing with idioms. Are you trying to “climb the corporate ladder”? Is the “rat race” making you crazy? If your project is in trouble, who will “bail you out”? Will you “pass the buck” if your project fails?Confused? You’re not alone. Read on about the meanings and origins of some of the most common business idioms.

Meanings corporate ladder

Climb the corporate ladder – to move up in the hierarchy of a corporation.
Rat race – the fierce struggle for success in the world of business.
Bail someone out – to rescue someone from trouble or difficulty.
Pass the Buck – to blame someone or make them responsible for something you should deal with yourself.
Now let’s look at some more idioms that you can use in…

View original post 920 more words

Phrasal verbs-work work work

Many common English idioms, phrases, and proverbs include the word work. Read through some of my favorites and see if you can follow.BeforeWorkAfterWork

Work (one’s way) into something

Meaning # 1: To slowly get into a space that is small and tight.

The glue gradually worked its way into the crack in the table

Meaning # 2: To slowly get more deeply involved in something.

Soon, I’ll work my way into my confusing new position at my job. It’s a difficult job, but I’ll get it.

Work (one’s way) through something.the-graduate

Meaning # 1: To earn money to put yourself through some kind of advanced education.

Sue worked her way through law school as a bartender.

Meaning # 2: To figure out something complicated. Confused

I worked through the detailed application process slowly.

Meaning # 3: To struggle with some emotional or physical pain.

Andy had to work through his crippling depression after his wife died.

After I broke my ankle, I had to work through six months of grueling physical therapy.

All in a day’s work. Clock. 24/7 avaliable.

Meaning: This phrase is used when describing typical or normal tasks that are to be expected in a run-of-the-mill day.

When I became a mother I knew that doing laundry and washing dishes would be all in a day’s work.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Bored-office-worker

Meaning: This proverb makes it clear that it is not healthy or wise for a person to work all the time and never take the time to relax.

Wayne shouldn’t work too many overtime hours. He should remember that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Go/ run like clockwork. run-like-clockwork

Meaning: To happen exactly as planned; to progress dependably and consistently.

The subway system in Seoul, South Korea runs like clockwork.

Many hands make light work.HANDS

Meaning: This proverb tells us that if everyone helps with a large task, the project will be completed quicker and it will be easier for everyone in the long run.

Let’s all help to clean up Marsha’s house after the big party – many hands make light work, after all!

Throw a monkey wrench into the works. monkey_wrench

Meaning: To cause a problem in a plan.

When my application for a mortgage got declined, that really threw a monkey wrench into the works of my house hunting plans.

The devil finds work for idle hands. devil

Meaning: Inactive or lazy people are more likely to do things they should not.

If you’re bored, you should find something constructive to do, because the devil finds work for idle hands.

Vocabulary

Vocabulary Word

Definition

diligence persistent effort to complete a task.
gradually little by little; slowly
crippling causing injury; damaging
grueling exhausting; very tiring
dull uninteresting; causing boredom
wise wise decisions and actions are sensible and based on good judgment
dependable capable of being relied on
mortgage a loan of money to buy a home
idle not active; unemployed
constructive something that is useful
Note: I have adapted this  lesson from lesson plans I use with my students live online. Classes are 50 minutes long and can be done 1-1 or in small groups. For more information please visit my website www.monumentenglish.com

Register for a free demo

Wish vs Hope

wish a merry xmasHello friends,
Many ESL students find it difficult to decipher the differences between hope and wish. Although these words are similar, they are used in slightly different situations. Misuse of these words can leave the student sounding awkward and unnatural.
Today’s 10 minute lesson will look at different situations in which hope and wish could be used. Our goal is for you to understand the differences and be able to use these words correctly in the future.

Wish

Wish is most commonly used in hypothetical (or imagined) situations: make a wish

I wish that I had a dog. (I don’t have a dog, but I would like to have one.)
I wish (that) you were here. (Unfortunately, you’re not, and I miss you.)
What do you wish you could change about the world?

Sometimes wish is used in greeting and expressions of goodwill:

We wish you a “Merry Christmas.”
They wished him “Happy Birthday.”
Wish me luck!

We can also use wish to express something that we would like to change or that we would like to see changed.geanie 2

I wish that you would clean your room more.
I wish that you would work less.
I wish that she were friendlier.

Hope

Hope can also be used in expressions of goodwill, but the grammar is slightly different:

I hope (that) you have a Merry Christmas. (future)
I hope (that) you had a nice Birthday. (past)

Can you use hope in a sentence to express goodwill?

Hope can be used to specify a desired outcome. For future hopes, the possibilities remain open, but for past hopes, the outcome has usually been determined already. hope

I hope you can come to the party on Saturday. (future possibility)
I was hoping that you would come to the party. (but you didn’t make it)
I had hoped to see you at the party on Saturday. (but I didn’t see you)
I hope to get an A on the exam. (it is still possible)
I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow. (although it might)
He hopes to be elected President. (it’s possible that he will be elected)
She hoped you wouldn’t find her. (but you did)

Wish and hope are also used in certain types of requests and pleasantries. In such situations, wish carries a more definite and formal tone.

Wish is used for things we want in the present moment. Hope is used for things we want in the future.

I wish to see the doctor. (Right now)
I hope to see you again. (In the future)
I wish to speak to your manager (Here wish acts like a command)
I hope to speak to your manager. (This implies that you would like to speak to the manager, but you understand that it might not be possible).

Hope and wish can be used in similar ways but the meanings are different. cat lion

I wish I were thinner. (This means that I am not thin now, but I want to be thin now.)
I hope to be thinner. (This means that I am not as thin as I want to be, but I want to be thinner in the future.)
Notice the grammar in these sentences:
I wish I were …..
I hope to be …..
She wishes she were….
She hopes to be….

Time to practice

Fix the mistakes below. Some sentences might not need to be corrected:

I wish I speak good English.
I hope I am a manager.
I wish I am richer.
I hope to be more successful someday.
I wish you have a happy birthday!

Fill in the blank with the correct form of hope or wish.

Mary _____ she had a better job.
Jim ____ to be a professional athlete someday.
I _____ I were a better English student.
They ____ her a Merry Christmas.
We _____ that we would see her at the party.
I _____ it could have been different between us
The dog ________ that someone could play with him all day.
Bill _____to make it to the party this weekend.
Send your answers to me.

Note: I have adapted this grammar lesson from lesson plans I use with my students live online. Classes are 50 minutes long and can be done 1-1 or in small groups. For more information please visit my website www.monumentenglish.com

Register for a free demo

Idioms:Head and Hair

Head & Hair

In today’s 10 minute lesson, we are going to look at some new idioms we can use in our general conversation.

Do you know any English idioms connected with the body? In this lesson, you’re going to learn some idiomatic phrases using the head and hair.

It’s like banging your head against a brick wall.

In English, if you try to do something over and over and you never succeed, you can describe the experience as banging your head against a brick wall.

He has got his head in the clouds.

In English, if someone is always thinking about their hopes and dreams and not paying attention to the real world, we can say “he’s got his head in the clouds”.

She has her head screwed on right.

In English, if someone has very good judgment and is able to make good decisions, we say that they have their head screwed on right.

Read Sara’s story to see how the idioms are used.

Sara, Singapore

I am a journalist for a local newspaper. I’ve been working on one project recently that I’m having a hard time finishing.  Everyday I feel like I’m just banging my head against a brick wall! No matter how I write the story, I just don’t like how it sounds.  Perhaps I’m having trouble because my head has been in the clouds for the past week.  I keep imagining that I’ll be offered a promotion!  Of course, if my boss thinks that my head isn’t screwed on right, I’ll never get a promotion.  I’d better get to work!

Do you have any similar experiences to Sara’s?

I let my hair down.

In English, if you act more relaxed than you normally are and enjoy yourself, you can say that you let your hair down.

She’s always getting in my hair.

In English, if someone is bothering or annoying you, you can say that they are in your hair.

I’m tearing my hair out.

In English, if we are very anxious or upset about something we can say “I am tearing my hair out.”

Read Sean’s story to see how the idioms are used.

Last weekend, I decided to let my hair down with a couple of friends.  I was under a lot of pressure at work, and I just needed some time to relax.  Although I had fun, sometimes when I go out with my friends I just feel like tearing my hair out!  First of all, James couldn’t decide where to go, so we drove around the city for 3 hours!  Then, when we finally found a good place, Dave kept asking me for money because he had forgotten his wallet.  No matter where I went I couldn’t get him out of my hair.  In the end though, I was able to enjoy myself because, at the very least, it was better than being at work!

Try using the idioms in a sentence and send me your answers.

It’s like banging your head against a brick wall.
He has got his head in the clouds.
She has her head screwed on right.
I let my hair down.
She’s always getting in my hair.
I’m tearing my hair out.

Note: I have adapted my 10 minute lessons from lesson plans I use with my students live online. Classes are 50 minutes long and can be done 1-1 or in small groups. For more information please visit my website www.monumentenglish.com

Register for a free demo

Expressions with Look

Hello ESL friends!           

Welcome back! Thank you for all of your support and helpful comments, I am glad you are enjoying our 10 minute lessons.
In today’s 10 minute lesson we will continue to look at some more expressions and phrasal verbs using “look”.There are many ways to use look in phrases and expressions. So let’s get started!

What is a phrasal verb?

In the English language, a phrasal verb is a verb combined with a preposition or an adverb.

Look + up/ to/ for/ about/ into/
Verb       +         Preposition                      

What is the difference between…
Look up, Look up, to Look out? Do they mean the same thing?
If not, what do you think each of them means?

The following table illustrates some of the most common phrasal verbs formed with look.

Look up to
She has always looked up to her mother. [respect]
Look into
The police are looking into the case. [investigate]
Look for
Could you help me to look for my keys, please? [try to find]
Look back on
I look back on my childhood with nostalgia. [recall]
Look up
Look it up in the dictionary. [find information in a book]
Look forward to
I’m looking forward to starting work. [expect with pleasure]
Look out
Look out, there is a car. [take care/ be careful]

Here are some more useful phrasal verbs based on look.

They are illustrated below in a business context but they can also, of course, be based in other situations.
1.Please look through the proposal and let me know what you think. [examine]
2.I’ve looked over your memo. [examine quickly]
3.Business is looking up at last. [starting to improve]
4.When you’re in Tokyo, try to look us up. [find and visit]
5.We’re looking to Russia for an increase in our sales. [depending on]
6.The company is looking ahead to a bright future. [planning for the future]

Let’s practice.                              

What words do you need to complete the sentences below?
1. I look ____ ____ that winter with some regret.
2. She has great respect for her colleagues, she doesn’t really look ___ ___ her boss.
3. You’re going to Paris? Look ___ my sister while you’re there.
4. The CIA is looking _____ the cause of the plane crash.
5. I’m sorry to hear you lost your job. I hope things will look ____ for you soon.
6. People shouldn’t look ____ the government to solve all their problems.
7. Look ___! You almost hit that lady!

Useful expressions based on look.     

Try to look on the bright side of things. [be cheerful in spite of difficulties]
He’s beginning to look his age. [appear as old as he really is]
They’re always on the lookout for new students. [search for]
I don’t like the look of those black clouds. [What I see suggests trouble ahead]
I know she’s hiding something when she won’t look me in the eye. [look directly as someone without fear or guilt]

More useful expressions based on look.

She looks down on anyone who is not good at fashion. [regard as unimportant or socially inferior*]
It’s not much to look at but it’s comfortable. [not attractive in appearance]
The office has a new look. [a fresh and more up-to-date appearance]
Look before you leap**. [Think before you act boldly***]
————————————————————–
* – characteristic of low rank or importance
**- jump
***- fearless and daring

and more…

The authorities* sometimes look the other way when there’s corruption**. [ignore]
If you ask for a raise, you’re just looking for trouble. [try to create problems]
He must have been angry. He looked daggers*** at me. [look at someone angrily]
————————————————————————
* – government
** – lack of honesty or loyalty
***- a short knife with a pointed blade used for piercing or stabbing

Match the statements or questions on the left with the responses on the right.

Try to look on the bright side. You’d better look before you leap.
Why don’t you think she’s honest? Maybe. He’s always looking for trouble.
I’m on the lookout for a new job. It’s pretty hard under the circumstances.
You have a new look! Good luck! It’s not easy to find work.
She certainly doesn’t look her age. She never looks you in the eye.
I’m going to use my life savings to start a new company. You’d never think she’s a grandmother.
I think Rob painted graffiti on the walls Yes, I’ve changed my hair style.

Replace the underlined expressions with one of the phrasal verbs. 

1.The garden isn’t very attractive now, but it’s beautiful in the summer.
2.You’d better be careful, or someone might take advantage of you.
3.Try to remain optimistic if you possibly can.
4.Unfortunately, many people regard the homeless as inferior.
5.Have you had a chance to examine the job application?
6.She didn’t want to get involved, so she ignored the situation.

Well, maybe longer than 10 minutes, but a great way to build your vocabulary list.

See you again soon.

Scott

Note: I have adapted my 10 minute lessons from lesson plans I use with my students live online. Classes are 50 minutes long and can be done 1-1 or in small groups. For more information please visit my website www.monumentenglish.com

Register for a free demo

Expressions with Get

Welcome ESL friends! 

Today’s 10 minute lesson will focus on one of the most confusing words in the English dictionary.
There are so many ways to use get in phrases and expressions. Today we’ll look at a few of them.

Can you explain the meaning of underlined words?

I really don’t get him sometimes. His questions get me all the time. He always asks me to get him something or get him home after work. I guess it is because he is getting older. Don’t get me wrong. I like the man. You will too, once you get to know him. Oh, I think I can hear the phone ringing. I think I’d better get that.

Get is used frequently is spoken English. It has the following meanings:

 buy, receive, or obtain something, e.g. Please get me a cup of coffee.
 change one’s position- move or be moved,e.g. How are you going to get home?
 change one’s state- become or make, e.g. I feel like I am getting older.

Get also has many other specific meanings

She doesn’t get it. [understand]
His questions really get me sometimes. [annoy, irritate*]
I’ll get the phone.


You will like him, once you get to know him. [gradually begin to know]

More phrasal verbs with get

Phrasal verb Meaning Example
Get along with sb To have a good relationship with someone John gets a long with his boss very well.
Get at Reach, find I hope after talking to her, we will get at the truth.
Get away with Do something wrong without being caught Tom got away with all his mistakes by blaming someone else.
Get along manage How did we ever get along without a nanny.
Get behind Fail to produce something at the right time After being sick I got behind completing  my project.
Get by Manage financially Nowadays it’s so hard to get by on just one income
Get down Depressed I always get down on cold winter days.
Get down to Direct your attention to I think it’s time to get down to business.
Get out of Avoid responsibility Don’t try to get out of doing the dishes. It’s your turn.
Get over Recover from It took me 7 days to get over my flu.
Get through Come to a successful end Finally we are getting through all of these problems.
Get off Finish or leave What time will you get off work tonight?

You try

1.She got __________ all the interviews and was offered the job.
2.You’re still sneezing! Haven’t you gotten _______ that cold yet?
3.We get _______ only because we live very economically.
4.He doesn’t get _______ well with his coworkers. No one likes his attitude.
5.I need to work overtime. I don’t want to get ______ with the project.
6.What time are you getting ____ work tonight?

Here are some common expressions based on get 

He got out of bed on the wrong side today. [be in a bad mood]

The meeting got off to a good/ bad start. [start well/ badly]

We’re having a little get-together. I hope you all can come. [informal social meeting]

I really enjoy getting rid of useless stuff while cleaning. [throw away, destroy

I’m afraid she’s going to get back at me someday. [take revenge]

After all this discussion, we’ve gotten nowhere. [make no progress, waste time]

One more time

1.I would hate to get rid of ___________ .
2.The dinner got off to a bad start when ___________ .
3.I find it very hard to get down to __________ .
4.I wish I could get out of ____________ .
5.________ is really getting me down.

That’s all for today.

Enjoy your study.

Scott

Note: I have adapted my 10 minute lessons from lesson plans I use with my students live online. Classes are 50 minutes long and can be done 1-1 or in small groups. For more information please visit my website www.monumentenglish.com 

Register for a free demo

Confusing words – Bring and Take

Hi ESL learners! I hope you are all well.  Here’s something for the weekend!

In this 10 minute lesson we are going to look at some errors that are so common, they often go undetected in casual conversation. However, if you are one who takes pride in knowing and using the correct words, it would be worth taking a few minutes to understand the proper use of the following two cases. In this way, you can write those résumés and business letters with confidence. Let’s get started!

Bring and Take

Bring and take both describe the action of moving something from one place to another. However, the correct use of either one depends on knowing whether you want to emphasize action towards or away from a location. The location of the speaker can also influence which word you will use.
For example,
•If the item is being moved towards the speaker’s location, the correct verb would be “bring”.
•If the item is being moved away from the speaker’s location, the correct verb is now “take”.

Examples

Bring me my jacket, please.

This sentence makes it clear that the jacket is being brought towards the speaker’s location.

I’m going to take the dog to the veterinarian’s office.

This sentence tells us that the dog is being moved away from the speaker’s current location, towards a different location (the veterinarian’s office).

Affect and Effect

Except in very specific situations, affect and effect are different in that one is a verb and the other is a noun.
Affect (v.) describes how something modifies something else.
Example: How will his lack of studying affect his grades? His grades will be affected, or changed, because he did not study.
Effect (n.) describes the outcome or result of an action or event.
Example: Having the class brainstorm before writing a test had a very good effect on the students’ grades.

A Tip

If you can replace “affect” with “change”, it is correct.
If you can replace “effect” with “result”, it is also correct!
This is because each replacement word is the same part of speech as the word it substitutes. The sentence will still make sense!

Fill in the Blanks!

  1.  _______ your dog to my office next week for another checkup.
  2.  The rain will not ________ my horse’s performance in the race.
  3.  A lack of sleep will certainly have a bad ________ on your ability to focus.
  4. Students, can you please ________ a book to school tomorrow?
  5.  Please ______ out a sheet of paper to begin the test.
  6. You should ______ the compass from your desk when you go camping.
  7.  Should the friendliness of a waiter ________ the tip you leave him?
  8.  Can I ________ my friend over for supper tomorrow?
  9.  Remember to __________ a snack if you _________ your niece to the park.
  10.  Watching too much T.V. can have a negative ________ on children.

Send me your answers, I’m happy to correct them for you.

Have a great weekend!

Scott

Note: I have adapted my 10 minute lessons from lesson plans I use with my students live online. Classes are 50 minutes long and can be done 1-1 or in small groups. For more information please visit my website www.monumentenglish.com or if you would like a free demo please register here. http://www.monumentenglish.com/register