There are different aspects of business English that are important to look into
. In this blog I will go over
the importance of phrasal verbs in business English. I will point out
the most commonly used phrasal verbs and come up with
solutions to help you integrate them into different work-related scenarios.
What are phrasal verbs?
Phrasal verbs are unique expressions made of two or more words – a main verb combined with a preposition or adverb. This combination creates a new meaning, often different from what you'd expect if you looked up each word separately.
Here are some examples:
This doesn't mean you're turning towards something named "on". It means to start or activate something
, like a light or a computer.
E.g. "Can you turn on
It doesn't always mean gazing at the sky. It can mean searching for information
, especially in a book or online.
E.g. "I'll look up
the recipe for cookies."
Why are phrasal verbs important for business English?
We have many phrasal verbs in the English language but some of them are used more commonly in a business setting for example:
- to give control or responsibility.
E.g. "He will hand over
the project to the new manager."
- to continue an action or check on something.
E.g."I will follow up
on that email next week."
Luckily, many phrasal verbs are used in both general and business English scenarios
which means you can pick them up easily but it’s useful to see them in context!
How do we use phrasal verbs in different business scenarios?
There are many different types of business scenarios, some of them more specific to different job roles. Here are some specific business scenarios with phrasal verbs that fit them.
: Introduce a topic for discussion.
"I'll bring up
the budget concerns in today's meeting."
Note or record something on paper.
"Please write down
the minutes of the meeting."
Review or examine.
"Let's go over
the points discussed in the last meeting."
To rehearse, review, or explain quickly.
"Can we run through
the presentation one more time?"
Hold out for:
Wait until a better offer or deal is available.
"We should hold out for
a better price."
Come up with:
Think of an idea or solution.
"We need to come up with
Resolve or settle differences/issues.
"We need to iron out
the details before finalising the contract."
3. Office Communication:
Check in on:
See how someone/something is progressing.
"I'll check in on
the team to see how they're doing."
Reach out to:
"I'll reach out to
the client for feedback."
Provide someone with necessary information.
"Can you fill
on what happened while I was away?"
Arrange or establish.
"Can you set up
a meeting for next week?"
Touch base with
: Briefly contact or check in with someone.
"I'd love to touch base
with you next week."
Update each other on recent events.
"Let's catch up
over coffee sometime."
Continue an action or check on something.
"I'll follow up
with an email detailing our discussion."
5. Sales and Marketing:
Introduce a new product or service.
"We plan to roll out
our new software next month."
Attract customers or audience.
"Our new marketing strategy will draw in
Register or subscribe.
"We got 100 people to sign up
for our webinar."
6. Project Management:
Start a project or event.
"We will kick off
the new campaign next Monday."
Finish or conclude.
"We need to wrap up
this project by the end of the month."
Present or explain in detail.
"She laid out
the roadmap for the upcoming phase."
Reduce in size or amount.
"Due to budget constraints, we might have to scale back
7. Human Resources:
Employ or hire.
"We are planning to take on
five new employees this quarter."
Dismiss employees from their jobs, usually due to company financial problems.
"The company had to lay off
a number of staff after a poor financial year."
Hire or welcome someone.
"We're excited to bring
as our new Sales Director."
Resign from a position.
"The CEO decided to step down
after ten years."
8. Customer Service:
Investigate or examine a problem.
"We will look into
the issue you reported."
Get back to:
Respond or reply to someone later.
"I don't have that information now, but I'll get back to
Organise, resolve, or clarify.
"Our team is working to sort out
the system glitch."
Connect someone by phone.
to the technical department."
9. Finances & Accounting:
Return money that was borrowed.
"The company plans to pay back
its debts by next year."
Provide detailed information.
"Can you break down
the expenses for this month?"
Reserve or save for a specific purpose.
"We need to set aside
funds for the upcoming product launch."
Accept that a debt won't be paid or consider something as a loss.
"The company had to write off
a significant amount due to bad debts."
10. Training & Development:
Brush up on:
Review or improve your skills or knowledge about a certain topic.
"I need to brush up on my presentation skills."
Distribute materials, like papers or resources.
"During the training, they handed out manuals to everyone."
Partner people together.
"Let's pair up the new employees with mentors."
Guide someone step-by-step.
"She walked me through the new software."
A lot of these phrasal verbs crossover into different areas of business so learning them will help you to feel more confident in many work-related situations.
Tips to master business English phrasal verbs
Now that we have a good set of business English phrasal verbs to put to use, here are some of my top tips to master them.
❈ Join Business English Classes:
There are platforms that offer specialised Business English courses and can provide structured learning, ensuring you cover all essential phrasal verbs. This is something we provide at Oxinity.
❈ Engage in Real-world Listening:
Listen to business podcasts, news, or interviews. This will expose you to naturally spoken Business English, which is rich in phrasal verbs.
❈ Practice Daily:
Like any other language skill, the key to mastering phrasal verbs is consistent practice. Engage in conversations, write emails, or even practice solo by creating sentences. Interactive online exercises and repetition will help you. Even a minimum of ten minutes per day will help, consistency is key!
To sum up, learning to use phrasal verbs is a great way to boost your confidence using English quickly by sounding like a native. Hopefully after reading this blog you can ‘map out’ a strategy to help you learn English, good luck!
More helpful resources: