Posts tagged Business English
ABC Company was launched in 1999. At the time, it was a small firm, serving just local clientele. But business started booming, and ABC grew into an international powerhouse. ABC didn’t need to worry about the bottom line, because sales were strong and careful management kept overheads at a reasonable level. The results were amazing. Quarter after quarter, the profit grew and the company spent many years in the black.
Here is the key vocabulary and the definition in Basic English as the words are used here. Some of these words may have slightly different meanings in other situations.
- to launch (verb) means to start doing business
- firm (noun) means company or business
- clientele (noun) means the customers of the business
- boom (verb) to increase strongly
- powerhouse (noun) means a powerful, well known company
- bottom line (noun) means the final line on the financial report of the company. The bottom line shows the amount of the profit or loss of the business
- overhead (noun) is an expense of the company such as rent or payroll
- profit (noun) is sales minus expenses. If the company receives more money that it pays out, it makes a profit. If the company receives less money that it pays out, it makes a loss.
- in the black (noun) means the company has made a profit. If the company has made a loss, we say it is “in the red”
Thanks for studying today. I hope you find this vocabulary useful!
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A friend of mine is looking for a job. He used to work for a bank, but he lost his job when a new company bought the bank and downsized the office. Working in the finance industry seems like interesting work, but I heard it is hard to find a secure job. There are a lot of entry level jobs in the banking business, but not many people seem to work for the same company for a very long time. I guess that’s how business is these days.
These three words, job, work, and business are similar, but we use them differently. Do you know how to use them? Have a look at the paragraph above and then check today’s lesson:
Job is a countable noun and there are a few ways you can use job:
- A job is a task that one does:
- You did a nice job on the ABC project.
- I have several important jobs to do this week in the office.
- A job is also paid position for doing regular work:
- Jack has a job in a bank.
- Tommy has an interesting job in international marketing.
- Here are some typical questions we ask using job:
- How’s your new job?
- Do you think Tom did a good job on his presentation?
If you want to know someone’s job, you can ask, “What do you do?”
Work is a verb, but it is also a non-countable noun. Here are a few ways you can use work:
- Work is an activity requiring mental or physical activity
- You did nice work on the ABC project.
- I have a lot of work to do this week in the office.
· Work is also the place or industry where one is employed
- I have to go to work early tomorrow.
- International marketing is interesting work that involves a lot of travel.
- Here are some typical questions we ask using work:
- What kind of work do you do?
- You put a lot of work into that presentation, didn’t you?
Business is a noun and can have a countable or non-countable use:
- As a countable noun, business means the industry where one is employed
- Ted has worked in the insurance business all his life.
- The real estate business took a nosedive a few years ago.
- When we talk about the commerce in general, business is a non-countable collective noun:
- Business is not so good these days because of the economy.
- This new marketing campaign should help us drum up business
- Typical questions using business
- What line of business are you in?
- Do you think Tom enjoys the education business?
- How’s business?
So what do you do? Do you like your job? Is it hard work? Is it an interesting business to be in?
Today we are going to look at the idiom rip-off, which can be used as a noun or a verb. This expression means stealing or cheating. We often use rip-off when we feel we have been overcharged for something. In this case, we say that something is/was a rip-off:
-They charge $9 for a beer at the baseball stadium. What a rip-off!
-The tire center was such a rip off. I paid $100 for a new tire, and they charged me $85 for the labor.
We also use rip-off when we are dissatisfied with value of something we bought or service we paid for.
-That camera was a rip-off. The batteries last less than an hour, and the picture quality is terrible.
-Cheap sunglasses are always a rip-off. They break easily, and the lenses are usually not so good.
We can also use rip-off as a verb with the same meaning. For example, if someone or some business has cheated you, or if someone has stolen from you. In this case, the structure is:
[someone] ripped [someone] off
[someone] ripped off [someone’s thing]
-The mechanic at the tire center ripped me off.
-Someone ripped off my wallet while I was in the pool.
Have you ever had something ripped off? Have you ever been ripped off? Let us know.