6 NEW English IDIOMS 💼 Business English Vocabulary


Hey there I’m Emma from mmmEnglish! In this lesson, we’re going to get down to business, knowing some of the idioms used in a professional context is going to help you to sound more relaxed and natural in the workplace. And of course, help you to understand what the heck everyone else is talking about! So today, I’ve got five useful idioms for you that are commonly used in a professional context – a business context. And that means they’re perfect and fantastic to use in an interview as well, so stay tuned! Now I always tell my students one of the best ways to learn and remember English idioms is to link them to a memory or an experience in your life. That way, when you think about the idiom or you hear it somewhere you connect it with the personal moment in your life and experience. And when you think about the experience, it helps you to think about the idiom as well. Now you don’t have to learn and remember every idiom in English, but you should learn some common ones that you can actually use to talk about your life. I’m going to tell you a story. My first job out of university was with a huge corporate company. I was an intern. I thought it was going to be photocopying and stapling and getting cups of tea for my boss. But at the time that I started, my department was really understaffed. They just didn’t have enough people to manage the workload. So I really got thrown in the deep end. Within weeks of starting, I was writing reports and I was making presentations to the management team which was kind of cool but a bit scary. So in this idiom, the ‘deep end’ is referring to the deepest part of a swimming pool where often your feet can’t touch the ground. So if someone throws you or pushes you into the pool, that’s a bit of a shock, isn’t it? You can’t feel the ground. So you’re thrown in the deep end when you’re put into a new or a difficult situation without any preparation. And this often happens in the workplace, doesn’t it? Sarah’s been so stressed lately. She started a new job last month, but they’ve really thrown her in the deep end. I’m not afraid of being thrown in the deep end. I think it’s the best way to learn! Now I don’t want to throw you in the deep end on your first day, but do you think you could make a presentation to the CEO by the end of the week? A similar idiom is to be ‘out of one’s depth’ and it has a similar meaning because it’s an uncomfortable place. Again, thinking about the deep end of your swimming pool, your feet can’t touch the ground and you have to swim to keep yourself alive, right? My brother loves the company that he works for but he feels a little out of his depth in the finance team. Now when you start a new job, maybe a new role or a position in your company or you start working for a new company, it usually takes some time to learn the ropes. So this means to learn the basic tasks that allow you to do your job well and efficiently. You know, like how to use the photocopier, how to use the company’s email system, who to call if your computer won’t start, who you report to and which meetings you need to attend – all of the simple things take a week or two to get used to when you start a new job. How’s the new job? It’s going well! I’m still learning the ropes, but my colleagues are really great. You’ll also hear people say “I’ll show you the ropes” which means that they’ll show you how things are done, the standard, normal way that things are done. So note that if a person has been working at their job for over a month, this idiom isn’t really relevant anymore because they’ve already learnt the basic tasks they need to do their job. Now, once you’ve had your job for a while, it might be time to focus on climbing the corporate ladder. So this idiom talks about the progression of roles through a career, starting with an entry-level job, an internship or a position straight out of university. But over the years, you get promotions, you switch companies, you become known in your industry, you work your way up to better and better opportunities. You get paid more, you have more responsibilities, you’ll be a manager and then one day maybe even the CEO! So this progression is called ‘climbing the corporate ladder’ Tim climbed the corporate ladder quickly. He became a partner at the company by the time he was 26. But James has never been interested in climbing the corporate ladder. I feel inspired by women who climb the corporate ladder and raise a family at the same time. Amazing! People who think outside the box are usually pretty valuable employees because they think creatively and they solve problems in non-standard ways. So they think outside or beyond the normal or standard way of thinking which often leads to really interesting, creative solutions to problems. We need to think outside the box and find a different solution. Steve’s probably the most creative guy on the team – he’s always thinking outside the box. Now in Australia, you’ll often hear this expression as ‘thinking outside the square’ It’s the same thing. Are you the type of person who thinks outside the square? Last one, a ‘steep learning curve’. Now this is a brilliant idiom to use during a job interview – so was the last one actually – but this one is a brilliant idiom to use during an interview or a speaking exam. So use it when you’re reflecting or thinking about some of the challenges that you’ve overcome in the past. So it could be relating to work or even life experiences. So it’s used when someone has to learn something really quickly, usually just by giving it a shot, by doing their best and then learning from their mistakes. So using this idiom to describe an experience that you’ve had helps to show that you’re not afraid of hard work or challenges and that you’re willing to build new skills and overcome problems. So it’s a really handy one to have! For many international students, studying in an English-speaking country can be a steep learning curve. Going from employee to business owner was a really steep learning curve for me! It’s still steep actually, I’m only about here! So that’s it! Six new business idioms for you. I’m sure that you can think of some others as well that relate to jobs and business. So if you can, pop them in the comments below and share them with everyone. And of course, I always, always love to see you actually using the English that I teach you. So take a moment right now to write a sentence using one of the idioms that you’ve learned today and add it to the comments. I’ll check it for you but you’ll also get to see how the idioms are being used in lots of different examples from all of your peers. Once you do that, then come over here, keep practising with me. Try out this lesson here or maybe even that one. Make sure you subscribe if you haven’t already subscribed, you’ll get a new lesson every single week. Bye for now!

100 Replies to “6 NEW English IDIOMS 💼 Business English Vocabulary

  1. Hello Emma, thank you very much for your videos. I really admire you because you do things with a lot of love and this is reflected in the final product of your lessons. Thank you very much for dedicating your time and knowledge. With love, Luis

  2. Hi Emma, You are just superb. İ loved your teaching methods. Also, you looks so friendly and this is the main reason that i admire you and your positivity😍 thanks for all

  3. Hi Emma thank you very much for your videos. I'm trying to improve my English language scale, it's really useful for me.

  4. firstly thank you teacher, your videos are very useful
    i want to practice speaking, so i need friends. you can write to me to practice together.
    my instagram acc is @r__f.mli and mail is [email protected]

  5. Hello teacher Emma I love u so much and i`ll ask u to help me please I`ll learn speaking englisch but the problem is that I don`t know how will I will learn speaking englisch can u help me please and thank u !
    I will say for u that I am 12years old and I study good englisch at school and at school we study britisch englisch but maby I can`t speak because I am worry when I speak and then I have mistakes help me please and thank`s for your beautiful videos
    Houda from Algeria

  6. When she had to change herself the new job it was really steep learning curve for her , she had the time to learn the ropes. Sometimes she felt she was thrown to the deep end. ..from that experience she got to know that thinking outside the box was the excellent solution to solve the problems , She climed the coperrate ladder , she could be a manager in her new company by the time she was 27… (thank you sooooo much! It's such a value lesson for everyone! I love you! ❤)

  7. I got a new job. But the boss want me to work really fast. Really fast… I often reckon it's out of my depth these days. So I'm thinking about quitting that job.

  8. Man ,I want to present tense all present simple n present perfect n present perfect progressive n sample thing past tense ,past simple n past prefect n past prefect progressive n same future tense n so on

  9. My example: I'm going to become self-employed soon which is going to be a steep leaning curve for sure. Thanks for an interesting video!!

  10. Hi Emma, I'm from saudi, middle east. I haven't seen an amazing teacher as you. I really improved my english from your channel. Could you please make a video about those words " give up, wake up…etc" I hate the word UP , it gives my mind confused. by the way you have an attractive smile 🙂

  11. Thanks a million. I always always recommend your fantastic channel to my friends and my students. ^^ I am teaching English language in a Language center in my hometown in Libya. I always get a lot of amazing methods and information from your lessons. Thank you so much.

  12. It was so helpful business English, Thank you so much!!
    Oh, congratulations on million subscribers!! Your commemorative
    shield of youtube is brilliant!! Let me celebrate here as I am not making my SNS account yet!! (^^)

  13. Hi Emma, thanks again. My boyfriend just joined a new company, he is a software engineer. He recently switched his company and he is learning the ropes now. 🙂

  14. Hello, noe is Sunday, august, 4, 10h04min. In this moment I am watching your lesson. You are really good Teacher. Im am in São Paulo, Brasil

  15. Hi Emma!!
    I’m a Japanese, living in Australia with working holiday visa. I’ve studied English with your videos, and it’s been really helpful so thanks a lot!!
    I made a sentence with an idiom that you shared in this video, so I’d like to share with everyone!!
    “When once I get a job that I want, I want to climb the corporate ladder as quickly as I can”
    I wonder if it could be a natural sentence haha

  16. Will Earth ever be a grammatically correct paradise? There must be, one language, one currency, all receiving an equal income. With one language, speaking and writing grammatically correct will mean everyone must learn the (grammatical) ropes. 10-years I've studied grammar and I still can't grasp it all. I must still be in that friggin box. Regards. U.K.

  17. I just start my new in Sydney, so I need to learn the ropes.
    I have climbed the corporate ladder with a lot of engagement.
    Nowadays it is necessary to think outside the box.
    In some moments in my career I needed a steep learning curve.
    I am so tired, I am in a thrown in the deep end.

  18. I think I'm addicted to watch your videos. There are many things I haven't learnt before. I always find out something new in your lessons even though I learnt that in books. Thank you so much.

  19. I studied English literature in the college of arts , Baghdad , I feel you are nearest person to my ears , American teachers have no ability to pronounce like you , thanks for your efforts .

  20. I'm taking a Proficency course And in this term we are talking about business languague And your video came in the right moment! Thank you!

  21. After my graduation, I started to work at a big company and learnt the ropes at the very beginning. Chances were that I was thrown in the deep end at first, while I wasn’t scared at all and felt it a steep learning curve. I work very hard and always think outside the box. Hope I can get promoted quickly and climb the corporate ladder.

  22. When some good offers come us all by herself , we should not give it up thrown in the deep end of doubt and fear GOD savees us!
    but we have to think about it for a long time .
    So let us learn by our life, by its days! eh.
    but look look! ? Behold! I say poetry.(this is a new joke)
    don't worry i'm still student and you'll surely rejoice O teacher ? that i learn even from my mistakes! isn't good?

  23. Being scientist at a university it can be pretty tough to climb the corporate ladder as there aren´t many professorship.

  24. Hello Emma. Are you the Gemma of British Council learn English teens? Maybe that's why You look so familiar to me…I like the presentation of both……..

  25. Thrown in the deep end=out of someone 's debth
    Overwhelmed,unsure your ability to do something.

  26. Learn the ropes=learning the basics that maje you do your work well and efficiently.
    I will show you the ropes

  27. Clinb the corporate ladder=the progression throughout the career
    Tim climbed the corporate quickly ,he being a partner at the company by the time 26.

  28. Hello! From Japan.
    You remind me of Australia where I had lived & spent my time(English school, University) for six years. Accidentally I was checking something related to English a month ago on YouTube, and found you! It's been years away from English but you motivated me to study English again! Thanks! Also I miss Australia, especially Canberra!

  29. Please Emma i want to know what is the meaning of this idiom (snack eyes) i hear it on movie and idiom (a piece of cake ) (broken leg ) thanks Emma

  30. When i was new at work, it was a big steep learning curve to being executive in the sector and i was thrown in the deep end at the first day of my carreer. There was huge corporate ladder to climb begins with learning the ropes among with trying to think out of the box. But finally i feel like now i have reached to a high level at the end of 5 years of climbing over and over :))

  31. When I got my first job, I was thrown in the deep end. I am out of my depth in finance staff. New graduates have to learn the ropes before they start working in the company. Usually successful people tend to climb the corporate ladder. To reach success, one should think outside the box/square. Becoming fluent in English is a steep learning curve.

  32. Hi Mm
    I think Videos like this really important to your followers! so most of non English speakers have learned about 67% from people like you, Lucy and Emma From Canada.

    In my opinion both of you did really really great about vocabulary, grammar mistakes, interviews, travel vocabulary and some new Idioms and I think your followers will appreciate that

    But if you could do so more about business vocabulary especially in some places we hear a new words ever and I think there are many people may struggle too

    Thank you all

  33. Thanks so much, Emma! This video helped me to jog my memory, and I started to remember some of them, which you had taught them already.

  34. You are one of the best, most skilled and thoughtful English language teachers out there – thank you Emma for all the effort and time you put in to make those great videos available for non -native English speaker! Keep up the good work !

  35. I'm currently learning swimming, it's indeed a steep learning curve, and I'm "literally" being thrown to the deep end! <– True story! 🙂 Thanks for the great lesson, Amma.

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