Hello everyone!

Answers for previous exercise: 1-6, 2-8, 3-10, 4-3, 5-11, 6-1, 7-4, 8-9, 9-2, 10-5, 11- 7, 12-12

Last time we started talking about idioms you could use to improve your Business English. 1275249_study_tableI really hope you enjoyed them, because there is more. A rich vocabulary is what makes the difference between a good speaker and a proficient speaker, and proficiency is what we’re striving for. Therefore, I thought to continue the list of idioms about business with new and exciting phrases.

But let’s stop beating around the bush and get down to brass tacks! :)

This time I want to make things more challenging, so it’s up to you to match the idioms (1 – 13) with their definitions below (a – m).

1. work your fingers to the bone

He deserves his success; he worked his fingers to the bone when he started the business.

2. get a foothold

The contract got the firm a foothold in the local administration.

3. go belly up

The restaurant went belly up before the end of the first year.

4. household name/word

The product was so successful that its name became a household word in no time.

5. make hay while the sun shines

Successful athletes are advised to make hay while the sun shines.

6. monkey business

The results announced seem suspicious – I think there’s some monkey business going on. 

7. nuts and bolts

We need to discuss the nuts and bolts of the proposal before going any further.

8. pull your weight

It’s great working with Sandra. She always pulls her weight.

9. red tape

If there wasn’t so much red tape, the company would be up and running already.

10. learn the ropes

He’s a smart kid.  It won’t take him long to learn the ropes.

11. talk shop

I never go out with my colleagues because we inevitably end up talking shop.

12. tricks of the trade

He’s a tough negotiator;  he knows all the tricks of the trade.

13. nothing ventured, nothing gained

He’s going to ask his boss for a promotion even though he has little chance of obtaining satisfaction.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained!


a) A person who is extremely hardworking.

b) This expression is used to say that you secure a position for yourself in a business, profession or organization.

c) A business or project which is unsuccessful or goes bankrupt

d) The name of something becomes very familiar because it is so often used.

e) This expression is used as an encouragement to take advantage of a good situation which may not last

f) An activity which is organized in a deceitful or dishonest way.

g) The detailed facts and the practical aspects.

h) This means that a person do their fair share of the work.

i) The term e refers to official rules and bureaucratic paperwork that prevent things from being done quickly

j) You learn how to do a particular job correctly.

k) You talk about your work or business in a social situation with someone you work with, and make the conversation boring for the others present.

l) This term refers to a clever or expert way of doing things, especially in a job.

m) You cannot expect to achieve anything is you risk nothing.

Don’t miss my next post to see if you’ve got the matches right!


Laura Sîrbu este absolventă a Facultăţii de Litere din cadrul Universităţii Bucureşti, specializarea Română – Engleză. Tot în cadrul Universităţii, ea a absolvit masteratul „Studii Americane”, organizat la Facultatea de Limbi şi Literaturi Străine.

Laura deţine autorizaţie de traducător pentru limba engleză şi atestatul lingvistic „Cambridge Proficiency Certificate.”

Laura a participat la numeroase workshop-uri şi are cunoştinţe solide în ceea ce priveşte studiile culturale, antropologia şi multiculturalismul.

În cadrul Centrului de Limbi Străine A_BEST, Laura susţine cursuri de pregătire pentru examenele CAE (Cambridge Advanced English) şi IELTS, pe lângă cursurile de limba engleză şi limba română pentru străini din cadrul companiilor.