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Business English Phrasal Verbs for Inspiring Employees

November 16, 2017

Business English Phrasal Verbs for Inspiring Employees

Sometimes managing people in the office means more than just supervising: bosses are often required to inspire their employees, especially when times are difficult. This can be difficult for managers whose native language is not English. These Business English phrasal verbs for inspiring employees will help executives keep their employee morale high.

Business English Phrasal Verbs for Inspiring Employees

Cheer up

Definition: To be less unhappy.

Example: Cheer up: I know our sales are down this quarter, but we will work hard to improve!

Give up

Definition: To stop doing something; to stop putting effort into something.

Example: Don’t give up on this client: I think they will make a decision to buy our product soon.

(In this case, we use the negative “don’t give up.”)

Keep on

Definition: To continue.

Example: Keep on trying to contact the client: I’ll try her boss as well.

Business English Phrasal Verbs for Inspiring Employees

Hang in (there)

Definition: To persevere, to maintain a level of effort.

Example: I know that these hours are difficult, but hang in there: our busy season is almost over.

Hang on

Definition: To wait.

Example: We are going to create a new position for you. In the meantime, hang on.

Work on

Definition: To improve or develop.

Example: We will work on the computer system so that it is more efficient for our employees.  

Business English Phrasal Verbs for Inspiring Employees

Converse International School of Languages offers Premier English courses for executives in San Diego and San Francisco. Contact CISL to learn more about its programs, including the Global Success English Program in San Francisco and its Executive English Program in San Diego. All courses are incredibly small (no more than 4 students) and are taught by professional, qualified instructors.


Business English Career English CISL San Diego Featured

Meet our CISL Career English Host Company, Martinez + Cutri Corporation!

October 24, 2017

Career English CISL San Diego

With CISL’s Career English program, students attend English classes at CISL and improve their language skills. Students then interview with an American company and are placed in a host company where they practice their English skills in a business setting (and learn many things about an industry).

We interviewed Anthony G. Cutri who is the Principal/Partner Architect of his firm Martinez + Cutri Corporation. Over the last few years, Martinez + Cutri Corporation has hosted numerous CISL interns (so far, they’ve taken students from Germany, Switzerland, and Russia). Let’s learn a little about this wonderful company and how they work with CISL students!

Career English CISL San Diego

Could you please provide a brief description of your company?

We are a full service architecture/urban design firm, we make buildings – from low/midrise to high rise building. We design schools, hotels, high density mixed use housing amongst other building types.

 How long have you been taking interns with CISL?

About 18 months

 What are some of the qualifications or qualities you look for in an intern?

A good portfolio and resume along with an in person interview.

Career English CISL San Diego

 What are the typical duties for a CISL student who is “working” at your company?

We try to have them get experience in most of the tasks in the office from drafting and design to job site visits and everything in between.

 What are the advantages of having an international student in the workplace?

It is very helpful for us at M+C to know how the practice of architecture works in other countries.

Career English CISL San Diego

Thank you to the Martinez + Cutri Corporation for providing such a wonderful environment for our students!

To learn more about CISL’s Career English program, contact CISL

All photos are from Martinez + Cutri. 

Business English Career English CISL San Diego Featured

CISL Student Florian Learns Project Planning, Social Media, and Corporate Design at Casas Advisors!

September 28, 2017

Have you dreamed of improving your English skills for a future job? CISL’s Career English program provides students with the English skills necessary to succeed in the work environment AND offers international students a chance to spend time at an American company!

Our German student, Florian, recently learned English at CISL and then spent time at Casas Advisors, a real estate company. Florian shared some of his experience with us.

CISL Student Florian Learns Project Planning, Social Media, and Corporate Design at Casas Advisors!

Objectives and expectations

Florian’s goals before the Career English program were clear. “My main objective and intention to enroll for the Career English Program at CISL was to improve my business English and to gain some work experience abroad to improve my CV.”

Why did Florian choose CISL? He admits that it’s not easy for international students to find such an experience at an American company without the help of programs such as CISL’s Career English. Florian recalls that “A major issue for finding a company for me was that most companies require to pay their interns and therefore they need to have a working visa.” Thankfully, with the help of CISL’s Career English Coordinator, Florian was able to find a placement at Casas Advisors, a real estate company in San Diego.

Florian’s tasks and responsibilities

Florian spent two months at Casas Advisors, where the “team was very dedicated to integrate me into the team and to always find challenging tasks for me.”  His responsibilities were varied and challenging. “To summarize my activities I created the following list for a quick overview:

  • Creation of social media analysis and planning tool; definition and implementation of recommendations
  • Development of corporate design
  • Creation of buyers & listing presentation
  • Calculation of ROIs of planned real estate investments for creation of investors pitches
  • Increased transparency of projects through Gantt-Project management planning
  • Administrative activities (reply to enquiries, ordering etc.)
  • Revised marketing material

Improving English through a host company

Florian says he saw great improvements to his English skills after spending time with his host company. “Reviewing my time as an intern at Casas Advisors I can say that those two months were great . . . [I was] able to improve my business English in this environment. Mostly this improvement was caused by making phone calls or attending meetings and holding presentations.” Another reason Florian’s English improved is because of his interactions with employees of the company. “Working together with my co-workers made my work more fun, interesting and flexible at the same time. I worked closely with Linda Paz, the Broker’s assistant, and Santiago Orvananos, the Owner and Broker of Casas Advisors.”

Was it worth it?

Florian says yes. “I was very pleased with my working experience in San Diego. Through the aforementioned activities I was able to improve my skillset according to Excel & PowerPoint . . . it was an awesome experience which I highly recommend. I can only speak highly of Casas Advisors.

Congratulations to Florian for a successful experience with a host company, and many thanks to Casas Advisors for providing such a welcoming environment for Florian to improve his English!


CISL’s Career English Program offers students the opportunity to improve their English skills in the classroom and at an American company. Students first spend time in the CISL classroom, which has small class sizes (no more than 8 students!) that allow English learners to quickly improve. Students then work closely with the Career English Coordinator to create an American resume (which is different than a CV) and interview with American companies. Students spend at least two months improving their English in a work environment, either while still taking classes at CISL or after completing their CISL English courses. Contact CISL for more information.


Business English CISL Premier CISL Premier English Featured Idioms and expressions

15 Marketing Idioms in English

August 24, 2017

15 Marketing Idioms in EnglishMarketing is an important part of many businesses and is a large part of many conversations during meetings. Are you learning English for the workplace? If so, these 15 marketing idioms in English will be useful.

15 Marketing Idioms in English

Across the board

Definition: Applying to all.

Example: We will be making changes to the company across the board: our mission, our employee structure, and even our logo.

Bank on

Definition: Rely on (confidently).

Example: We are banking on a final investor to help get this project running.

Birds of a feather (flock together)

Definition: People with the same interests will often be found together.

Example: These investors are birds of a feather: they all went to Harvard, work on Wall Street, and golf together.

Bring something to the table

Definition: To provide a useful or helpful addition.

Example: We need each of the employees to bring something to the table during next week’s meeting: everyone needs to have a marketing plan for the next year and three suggested changes to our business model.

Fish where the fish are

Definition: Use resources, such as time, where the highest results will be.

Example: We have to fish where the fish are. I don’t think this marketing campaign is useful because it targets people outside of our age demographic.

15 Marketing Idioms in English

Gain followers/subscribers

Definition: To get more followers on social media.

Example: In order to gain more followers, we’ve identified effective hashtags.

Go viral

Definition: To quickly become popular on the internet.

Example: After her post went viral, she received many advertising opportunities.

In the long run

Definition: Over a long period of time; eventually.

Example: We are putting a lot of time and money into this project, but in the long run it will be worth it.

In the works

Definition: In the planning stages.

Example: We have an exciting new project in the works.

Land (an account)

Definition: To sign a new client.

Example: He landed two new accounts last week.

15 Marketing Idioms in English


Definition: The return on an investment or on a bet.

Example: The pay-off for this risk was huge!

Put (something) on the map

Definition: To make a product famous.

Example: This new marketing campaign will help put our product on the map.

Sold on

Definition: Convinced of.

Example: He’s not sold on the idea: I think we should prepare some examples for him of why it will be a good idea.

Selling point

Definition: Something that will convince someone to purchase something or say yes to an idea.

Example: For me, the selling point was the budget you created. It was well-written and showed that you’re financially responsible.

Word-of-mouth marketing

Definition: A type of marketing that relies on advertising through conversation. The company creates the initial “conversation” about the product and attempts to make this conversation spread.

Example: They used word-of-mouth marketing to create some buzz about their product. After that, it went viral!

15 Marketing Idioms in English

CISL San Diego and San Francisco offer Business English and Premier English programs to help students improve their professional English skills in a small classroom setting. With CISL’s Premier English programs, (Executive English in San Diego and Global Success in San Francisco) students are in a class of no more than 4 students and receive individualized training and curriculum based on their professional goals and needs. Contact CISL to learn more.


Business English

Business Idioms about Working Hard

July 27, 2017

Do you know how to describe your work environment? The following business idioms, phrasal verbs, and vocabulary words about working hard can describe your work situation, responsibilities, job challenges, and successes.

Business Idioms about Working HardBusiness Idioms about Working Hard

Be on a roll

  • Definition: To experience a time of success or good luck.

  • Example: You made three sales this week and you’re also the Employee of the Month. You’re on a roll!

Buckle down

  • Definition: To have strong determination and work hard towards a goal.

  • Example: We have to buckle down and finish this assignment by tonight.

Business Idioms about Working Hard

Burning a candle at both ends

  • Definition: To work extremely hard; to work too hard and not have good health or peace of mind.​

  • Example: He’s working two jobs and going to school: I’m sure he feels like he’s burning a candle at both ends.

Give it 110%

  • Definition: To make the maximum possible effort.

  • Example: I gave it 100% at my last job. I will do the same with your company.

Business Idioms about Working HardGo the extra mile

  • Definition: To make a special effort to achieve something.

  • Example: Tom went the extra mile and added graphics and more data to his report. ​


  • Definition: To deal with more than one task at the same time.

  • Example: We need to hire someone who can multi-task: answer phones, speak with customers, and help with office management.

Business Idioms about Working HardPull one’s own weight

  • Definition: To do your fair share of work that a group of people is doing together.

  • Example: It’s important that we all pull our own weight on this project.

Raise the bar

  • Definition: To raise the standard of quality for something.

  • Example: We created a new online platform for customers. It’s really raising the bar for customer service.

Business Idioms about Working HardStay ahead of the game

  • Definition: Gaining or maintaining an advantage in a situation (often by completing a task before its given deadline or knowing the latest about an industry’s trends).

  • Example: I try to read reports about the latest in my industry’s news. I like to stay ahead of the game.