Idioms are phrases whose meaning cannot be understood from the individual words they are made up of. They can cause much confusion for non native speakers of English (or any language), as it is not always apparent that the words constitute a phrase. For example, It’s not my cup of tea. If you don’t know that this phrase means that you don’t like, or aren’t interested in, something, you might end up confused, looking around trying to figure out which cup it is that is being referred to.
There are numerous idioms and they occur frequently in all levels of language. There are estimated to be at least 25,000 idiomatic expressions in the English language. Although idioms were mostly reserved for the spoken language, modern business English is alive with idiomatic language. Idioms create a relaxed atmosphere and often sound friendlier. And basically, idioms need to be learnt by heart.
I am going to be uploading some worksheets with the most common business idioms.
Examples taken from the EmailWriter app:
to be snowed under – to be overwhelmed with a large quantity of work
to be up to your neck in work – to be overwhelmed with work
to be rushed off your feet – to be extremely busy
to sound someone out – to ask someone about their opinion about something
to be in a bit of a mess – to be in a difficult situation
to keep someone in the loop – to keep someone up-to-date about something
to drop someone a line – to write to someone
to keep someone posted – to keep someone informed of the latest news
to touch base with someone – to make, or renew, contact with someone
to jog someone’s memory – to remind someone of something
How’s tricks in your neck of the woods? – How is everything where you are?