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Business English Uncategorized

Business English Phrases To Avoid

August 21, 2018


Some English expressions are just old and outdated . . . or they’ve lost their meaning from overuse. Avoid using the following English Business idioms and instead use the expressions or phrases we have provided as alternatives.

Business English Phrases To Avoid


What it means: A joking term for the internet.

Why to avoid it: It sounds as if you are unfamiliar with the internet: people might question your abilities regarding technology.

Instead: Use technical words to describe what you are referencing: the internet, the search engine, the web host, etc.

Business English Phrases To Avoid

It is what it is

What it means: This expression suggests that you can’t change something.

Why to avoid it: People want to work with those who can make change, not accept things without trying to make them better.

Instead: Use words or phrases such as “at the moment/currently/right now” to show that these are temporary situations that can change. Then use expressions or words that show your ability to make change, like “Let’s brainstorm ways to improve” or “Let’s collaborate on . . . “

Business English Phrases To Avoid

Thank you in advance for . . .

What it means: You are thanking someone for something they haven’t done yet.

Why to avoid it: This expression is presumptive. It assumes that the person will do what you have requested.

Instead: Use expressions to show that you are there to help, like “If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me” and expressions to show you will speak with them soon, such as “I look forward to your reply.”

Business English Phrases To Avoid

Think outside of the box

What it means: To think originally and uniquely.

Why to avoid it: This expression is so overused that it’s neither original or unique!

Instead: Encourage people to share their opinions, but do not use this phrase.

Business English Phrases To Avoid

To be honest

What it means: This expression begins a sentence where you will speak your mind . . . whatever comes after “to be honest” is never positive.

Why to avoid it: It’s meaningless and can seem rude. (It also makes the listener wonder if everything the speaker said before this phrase was dishonest.)

Instead: State your opinion, without this phrase.

Business English Phrases To Avoid

Yours truly

What it means: This is the way to close a letter or email.

Why to avoid it: It is outdated.

Instead: Find other ways to close an email, such as “Thank you,” “Best regards,” or “Best.”



CISL San Diego IELTS Uncategorized

How to Pass the IELTS Exam

September 11, 2017

How to Pass the IELTS Exam

Are you planning to take the IELTS exam? Don’t stress: we have all of the tips you need to pass the test. Follow these recommendations and learn how to pass the IELTS exam.

How to Pass the IELTS Exam

Know the test format

This may sound obvious, but it’s very important. The IELTS test is long: it lasts many hours and has many parts and questions types. Know what is expected of you before you take the test. This will improve your confidence, your efficiency, and your score.

How to do this:

  • Take an IELTS preparation course.
  • Complete many practice tests.
  • Read the IELTS website for information about the test.

Have some strategies ready

Of course, you still can practice English that is specific to the test. For example, in the writing section, learn how to write a good thesis with predictors, how to begin your essay with an effective hook, and how to use a colon and semicolon. You can also study some useful idioms, slang, phrasal verbs, and vocabulary words to speak about yourself, your family, your education, and your future goals: these are common topics for the IELTS Speaking Part 1.

How to do this:

How to Pass the IELTS Exam

Practice the speaking exam

Don’t just practice speaking: practice the exact speaking exam. At CISL, students have mock (pretend) speaking tests that prepare them for this portion of IELTS. You will be surprised at how nervous you are, even when you are taking a practice test! After several practice exams, student confidence and scores improve greatly thanks to practice and teacher feedback. Don’t miss this important step.

How to do this:

How to Pass the IELTS Exam

Manage your time wisely

The IELTS test is long, but with so many questions and sections, students always find themselves pressed for time. Know how long each part of the test is and approximately how long each section will take you and you will manage your time better: this will allow you to spend more time on the sections that need more attention.

How to do this:

  • Practice makes perfect! The only way to know this information is to take several practice tests.

Learn English, not IELTS

Remember, the idea of preparing for IELTS is to improve your English (not just pass the exam)! Learn to love English, put some passion into learning the language, and enjoy. This will improve your relationship with the language . . . and your score will most definitely improve.

How to do this:

  • Consider studying for the IELTS exam in an English-speaking country.
  • Make friends who speak English.
  • Immerse yourself in English: change your phone to English, watch movies in English, and listen to some podcasts in English.
  • Read every day in English: make it a habit!

How to Pass the IELTS Exam

CISL San Diego offers intensive IELTS preparation classes for students of intermediate and advanced levels. The CISL small-class policy (never more than 8 students per class) allows students to improve their English and IELTS skills quickly, with more attention from the teacher and excellent feedback from qualified instructors. Contact CISL for information on IELTS classes in San Diego, California.