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10 Business English Phrasal Verbs Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 in Intermediário

Hello, everybody!

This post is for my readers who want to take their English to a whole new level using phrasal verbs related to business activities.

Remember that phrasal verbs usually don’t mean what their separate parts mean (verb + particle) so it’s better to be careful, learn and practice them.

Ready to start? I know I am!

01. Bottom out = if a situation, price, recession etc bottoms out, it stops getting worse or lower, usually before improving again.

There are signs that the recession has bottomed out.
Property prices are still falling, and show no signs of bottoming out.
Death rates have not bottomed out by any means.

02. Carve out = to develop a career or position for yourself by working hard. You usually carve out a niche, a career, life etc.

It can be difficult to carve out a niche in the fashion industry.
She carved out a successful career in the film industry.
He moved to Boston to carve out a new life for himself.

03. Cash in on = to make a profit from a situation in a way that other people think is wrong or unfair

The record company was trying to cash in on her fame by releasing early teenage recordings.
They accused her of trying to cash in on her daughter’s fame.
This is a good year for drug stocks, and you can cash in on it if you’re smart.

04. Forge ahead = to suddenly make a lot of progress with something

Export sales continue to forge ahead.
The organizers are forging ahead with a programme of public events.
I’ve had setbacks before, but whenever I forge ahead and tackle the problems head on, I almost always find new ideas that show the way to their solution.

05. Hammer out = to reach a decision or agreement after discussing it or arguing about it for a long time

A new deal was hammered out between the two banks.
Leading oil producers tried to hammer out a deal.
Three years after the accident the lawyers finally managed to hammer out a settlement with the insurance company.

06. Hold out for = to not accept an offer because you want a better one

They’ve been holding out for an even higher price.
Transport workers are holding out for a 20% pay rise.
Mary offered thirty-five dollars; the clerk held out for forty-five.

07. Lay off = to end someone’s employment, especially temporarily, because there is not enough work for them

They’ve had to cut back production and lay off workers.
Because of falling orders, the company has been forced to lay off several hundred workers.
Millions of people have been laid off in the steel industry.

08. Ride out = to get to the end of a difficult or dangerous period or situation without any serious problems

The ship rode out the storm without any permanent damage.
 We hope to ride out this recession better than last time.
 Many companies did not manage to ride out the recession.

09. Step down/aside = to leave an official position or job, especially so that someone else can take your place

The chairman was forced to step down due to ill health.
 He is unwilling to step aside in favor of a younger person.
 He has decided to step down as captain of the team.

10. Zero in on = to start to give all your attention to a particular person or thing

The newspapers have zeroed in on his private life.
 We must decide on our target market, then zero in on it.
 Our agenda this morning is very full; so, with your approval, ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to zero in on a strategy to expand our market share.

Definitions and examples taken from the Cambridge Dictionary, Longman Dictionary and Macmillan Dicionary.

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About the Author: Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.