Business English

Business English: Idioms and Language for Constructive Criticism

May 26, 2017

As a manager or business owner, English speakers are expected to provide feedback and criticism to employees and co-workers. This can be exceptionally difficult for language learners because idioms are not just a common part of the English language, but an exceptionally important aspect of the business world.These Business English idioms and language for constructive criticism will help you provide the message you need to your employees or co-workers.

Business English: Idioms and Language for Constructive Criticism

Doesn’t make the cut

Definition: To be allowed to advance in competition or in business; to meet the requirements.

Example: I’m sorry, but your proposal didn’t make the cut. I’m sure that next time you’ll be successful though. Don’t give up!

Back to the drawing board

Definition: To start again after the current idea isn’t working and another one is needed.

Example: The Director did not approve our ideas, so it looks like we are back to the drawing board.

Business English: Idioms and Language for Constructive Criticism

 

Back to square one

Definition: To start again after the current idea isn’t working and another one is needed.

Example: We didn’t receive funding for our project, so we are back to square one.

Learning curve

Definition: The rate of a person’s progress in gaining experience or new skills.

Example: I know that it difficult to receive such critical feedback, but hang in there: the learning curve is steep for this job.

Business English: Idioms and Language for Constructive Criticism

Learn the ropes

Definition: To learn how to do a particular job or activity

Example: While you learn the ropes, it’s natural for you to make some mistakes. Please come to me if you have any questions or concerns.

Long shot

Definition: The small possibility of something happening.

Example: I know that going from Office Assistant to Office Manager in two years seems like a long shot, but you never know. Stranger things have happened. If you work hard, you might have a chance.

Business English: Idioms and Language for Constructive Criticism

Raise the bar

Definition: Provide a higher quality or level of service, product, etc..

Example: I expect each new employee to be more qualified than the last, hence raising the bar in this office.

Shoot something down

Definition: To definitely say no to an idea or proposal.

Example: The District Manager shot down your proposal, but he did provide some valuable feedback.

Business English: Idioms and Language for Constructive Criticism

Tough break

Definition: An unlucky situation.

Example: I really thought you would close the sale: I’m sorry to hear that they chose our competitor. What a tough break.

Up to snuff

Definition: Meeting the required standard.

Example: I’m not quite sure if your work has been up to snuff lately. Is everything alright?

CISL’s Premier English courses for business professionals and Business English courses are designed to give students the skills necessary to succeed in the English-speaking workplace. To learn more about our intensive programs with small class sizes (no more than 4 students per class) contact CISL.

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