At The Negotiating Table – Idioms 5


 “Negotiation is a basic means of getting what you want from others. It is a back-and-forth communication designed to reach an agreement when you and the other side have some interests that are shared and others that are opposed.”
Getting to Yes by Fisher, Ury & Patton, 1992

Understanding the jargon of business English is crucial when negotiating with native speakers. The language of negotiations is jam-packed with idiomatic expressions, many of which have become so common in the English language they are often used without the speaker necessarily being aware that the expression they are using is idiomatic. For example, red tape (excessive bureaucracy / unnecessary regulations) is regularly used in the news and in business journals. And no strings attached is standard in sales talk (whether it is true is another question!).

As per definition, the meaning of an idiom cannot be understood from the separate words it is made up of. Because of this idioms can be very confusing for learners of a second language and they need to be learnt as individual expressions. And the fact that there are estimated to be over 25,000 idiomatic expressions in the English language doesn’t help!

Naturally, as a non native speaker you can decide whether you prefer to use red tape or bureaucracy when talking to your business partners, but understanding some of the most common idioms is necessary if you want to twig what is being said.

jam-packed – full of
twig – understand

jam-packed – voll gepackt
twig – Verstehen

Negotiation Idioms #1
Negotiation Idioms #2
Negotiation Idioms – Sentences #1
Negotiation Idioms – Sentences #2




5 thoughts on “At The Negotiating Table – Idioms

  1. Reply Yana Jul 25,2013 %I:%M %p

    Very good worksheets!

  2. Reply Lorene A. Ward Jul 28,2013 %I:%M %p

    This is an excellent resource. Thank you.

  3. Reply Eric Roth Aug 2,2013 %I:%M %p

    Thank you for highlighting an important barrier for many of our international students as they prepare to negotiate – for jobs, cars, or sales. I especially like “more than meets the eye” and “stick to your guns” for Business English students.

    Well done!

  4. Reply George de van der Schueren Aug 8,2013 %I:%M %p

    One word: EXCELLENT, thank you so much.

  5. Reply Imran Aug 12,2013 %I:%M %p

    It’s very helpful my further studies. You work is fabulous and pedagogical.

Leave a Reply to Eric Roth Cancel Reply