Where to start with Business English phrases

Have you ever been too anxious to say something at work, just in case you forgot a word in English or used the wrong Business English phrase? That kind of fear can easily keep you from asking questions, offering ideas, and getting recognition or a promotion.

But the last place you want to feel insecure about your English-speaking skills is at your job. You work too hard to worry about anything other than meetings, deadlines, and work-related problems.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean your fear of making a mistake simply disappears.

If your English-speaking anxieties have been holding you back from speaking up in meetings or even talking to coworkers, this list of 10 useful business phrases can help.

Attending business meetings in English

Let’s be honest. Meetings aren’t the most exciting part of the work day, but not being able to speak up during a meeting is even worse. It can make you feel left out and dissatisfied with your job.

Instead of staying silent, use one of these phrases to start politely pitching in.

One thing we could do is…

Have an idea on how to deal with a problem? Propose it with this phrase. For example, “One thing we could do is send out a survey.”

My main concern is…

Think someone else’s idea is bad? You don’t want to come across as rude. Use this phrase to point out a potential problem. “My main concern is that our customers will be confused.”

May I ask a question?

If you’re having trouble following along, use this polite phrasing to ask questions. 

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Talking with your coworkers in English

Sometimes, you need help from more experienced members of the team or you need to work with someone in another department to get a project done.

How do you think we should deal with this?

This phrase is a great approach to getting someone else’s opinion. Feel free to modify it as needed. For instance, “How do you think we should approach this?

Just to clarify, what you’re saying is…

Problems can be complicated. If you’d like to make sure you understand, use this phrase to repeat something in your own words. For example, “Just to clarify, what you’re saying is we need to send an email first.”

Could we schedule/re-schedule a meeting?

A meeting might be necessary, but it’s important to be both polite and mindful of someone’s time. In this case, use “could to ask about setting up a time to meet.

How to address your boss in Business English

Unless your boss is always cranky, there’s no reason to be afraid if you use the following phrases!b

I would like to discuss…

Once again, be sure to use the more polite “I would like” if you want to talk to your boss about anything. You can use this phrase to discuss your work on a project or try to negotiate for a raise.

Have you had a chance to review…?

Chances are your boss is busy. That means he or she is likely to forget to read your e-mail or respond to a request. Use this phrase to gently remind them. For example, “Have you had a chance to review my proposal?”

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Talking to clients or customers in English

Do you have a customer-facing role in the company? Customer-facing roles include everything from cashiers in a store to sales and support teams in an office.

Let me see what I can do.

This phrase is a great way to assure a customer that you intend to help, even when you’re not sure how. For instance, “It seems there’s been a mix up. Let me see what I can do to fix it.”

What is your budget/ price point?

Price is an important factor, but you can use this phrase to encourage a client or customer to share how much they are willing to spend on a product or service.

It only takes a few phrases and a bit of practise to start feeling more confident about your British English. Eventually, that also leads to more confidence at your job.

So, start speaking English with pride and see how much your mood improves while at work.

If you’d like to put these phrases into practise, then head over to the Lingoda website and start your language learning journey today. Our native speaking teachers are waiting to help you!