In this blog post, I will share with you some common expressions used in Business English. For years, I’ve always dreamed of becoming an ESL teacher. The idea of sharing your knowledge and motivating your students to keep on going excite me. After I graduated from college, I started to work in one of the biggest shopping centers here in the Philippines as a Customer Service Representative. I’m not a natural-born problem solver. In fact, I don’t like problems (Who does, right?) but I feel like dealing with people in a different way is a nice, exciting change of pace* for me. However, I only lasted four months in that job because I don’t feel challenged. Hundreds of job applications and four months later, I finally landed a job as an Administrative Assistant. Not only was I responsible for making sure that the telephone bills and internet bills are paid on time, but I was also responsible in event hosting as well as drawing illustrations for company events. But that’s not even the best part about my job. The best part is that I have a lot of Japanese co-workers who want to learn English. Since my boss is confident about my English skills, he gave me a responsibility to teach English to our Japanese co-workers. I found myself making more and more time to my English-teaching responsibility than to my official responsibilities.
And why not? I enjoy it. Plus, it has always been my dream to become an ESL teacher. During one of my lessons with a Japanese co-worker, he asked me if I could teach him some useful expressions used in Business English. He told me that he was struggling with his business presentations in English. He also asked me for tips on how he can speak English more fluently and confidently.
I felt challenged because I didn’t have any idea on how to teach him Business English, let alone teach him some common expressions in Business English. But since I’m the type of person who embraces challenge and treat her as a part of her life (I’m sorry, I just have this habit of personifying* everything), I decided to take short courses in Business English so that I can teach him these useful English expressions that he need. I’ve also asked my mentors on how I can organize his lessons plans that involve a lot of Business English activities. It was a tedious* process but it was all worth it.
And since I don’t want to limit myself to sharing my knowledge to only one person, I’m writing some of the common expressions used in Business English that I know. These expressions can also be used in Business English Presentations. Are you ready? Okay then, let’s get started!
HOW TO EXPRESS LACK OF UNDERSTANDING
-These English expressions are very useful if you cannot understand what someone is saying.
- I beg your pardon?
- Sorry, I didn’t quite hear what you said.
- I’m not quite sure I follow you.
- Sorry, I didn’t get your point.
- I beg your pardon? Could you say that again, please?
HOW TO ASK FOR CLARIFICATIONS
-These English expressions are useful if you want to clarify something in order to make a topic clearer.
- Could you clarify that, please?
- Would you elaborate on that, please?
- What do you mean by (something)?
- Could you give me an example, please?
ASKING HOW TO CONTACT SOMEONE
-If you are a businessperson, you know the importance of asking someone for his / her contact details, especially when that person is an important client or a colleague.
- Could I have your e-mail address / business card please?
- How can I reach you on weekends? I’m afraid I don’t have your contact details.
- Could I contact you in your office later on?
- How do I get in touch with you?
ASKING FOR A COMPANY’S INFORMATION
-These English expressions are useful if you want to ask for a company’s information.
- What does your company do?
- What are your products?
- What are the services that you offer?
- Which do you specialize in?
- Where are you located?
So, I hope that I was able to help you gain new expressions that are commonly used in Business English. My student was really happy with them, because it helped him to gain confidence whenever he speaks English. I want the same thing to happen to you, too. Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing more Business English-related posts in my future blogs so don’t forget to stay tuned, alright?
- Change of pace (idiom) – A change in normal routine / A variation in usual activities or pattern.
- Personification (noun) – A figure of speech in which you give objects or abstractions some human qualities.
- Tedious (adj.) – Tiresome by the reason of length, slowness, or dullness. In short, it’s boring.