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  • Hello! I'm Emma from mmmEnglish.

  • English in the workplace.

  • At work, in the office.

  • Knowing the idioms, phrasal verbs

  • and unique vocabulary that's

  • used in these professional contexts is so important!

  • I'll admit that there is a lot to learn there.

  • But today I want to focus on some really common,

  • very useful expressions that you'll hear often at work

  • and in these professional contexts .

  • At the office. With your colleagues.

  • With your boss. With your clients, your customers.

  • In interviews, speaking exams, with your teacher

  • or your university professor.

  • If you haven't already noticed, you'll soon realise

  • that the office is where idioms and English expressions

  • go wild.

  • At times it feels like people only speak

  • using idioms and slang.

  • So whether you're flat out, getting off-track,

  • losing your train of thought or banking on an early finish,

  • these 10 essential business English expressions

  • will help you to sound more natural and confident

  • at work.

  • Learning these expressions is essential

  • and a fantastic way to hear them being used in context

  • is by listening to audiobooks.

  • I use Audible to listen to books all the time

  • and I've teamed up with them to offer you a free trial,

  • a free audiobook for 30 days,

  • so that you can try it out yourself!

  • I've been using Audible for years now

  • but while I don't often have time to sit and read a book,

  • I can listen while I'm driving

  • or while I'm going for a run or I'm waiting for the train.

  • So they offer a really fantastic solution

  • to keep practising your English and for this lesson,

  • I've listed some fantastic books relating to business

  • in the description box below.

  • So you can check out my recommendations for Audible

  • right there.

  • So let's start with "flat out".

  • If you're "flat out", you're incredibly busy,

  • you have lots to do,

  • so much that you can't stop to have a break.

  • I'll be flat out next week

  • because there's a new shipment arriving.

  • I've been flat out all week, I'm exhausted!

  • In Australia where I'm from, we might also use

  • "flat chat".

  • It's used in exactly the same way

  • to mean that someone is very busy.

  • Train of thought.

  • Have you ever been talking about something and then

  • completely forgotten what you're talking about

  • and why you're talking about it.

  • It happens to me more often than I'd like to admit

  • but this happens when your train of thought

  • gets distracted by something else.

  • The clear progression of your thoughts are stopped

  • by something.

  • So the expression that you'll most commonly hear is

  • "Oh! I've lost my train of thought!

  • What was I talking about?"

  • I've lost my train of thought.

  • My mum called and

  • completely disrupted my train of thought.

  • Can I ask you a question?

  • Just give me a minute,

  • I don't want to disrupt my train of thought.

  • Now if you lose your train of thought you'll need to

  • get back on track.

  • If something is on track, it's happening as it should be

  • there's no problem at all.

  • If something is not happening as you planned and

  • you want to change it, you want to get back on track.

  • We missed the deadline last week,

  • but we've just submitted the report now,

  • so we're getting back on track.

  • Are you on track to complete the report

  • by the end of the week?

  • So logically, if something is not on track it's not

  • happening as it should be, then you're off track.

  • Imagine this, you're busy, you're flat out,

  • and you have to attend a meeting about a project

  • that you're working on.

  • But the people at the meeting are not prepared

  • and the conversation is just going everywhere!

  • People are talking about their kids, what they had for

  • dinner last night, any other issue

  • except what you should be talking about.

  • So you decide to interrupt the conversation and say:

  • We're getting off track here guys.

  • We've only got ten more minutes left

  • and we need to confirm the marketing budget.

  • It's used to say that a person or a group of people

  • have become distracted from their main purpose.

  • They've lost their focus.

  • That's just like my aunt Mary actually,

  • she does it all the time!

  • She lives on her own which is probably why

  • but her house is beautiful and she's got

  • the dogs to keep her company.

  • Sorry, I'm getting off track!

  • Here are a few more examples.

  • It's difficult to stay on track with so many disruptions,

  • perhaps we should move to the conference room.

  • I don't want to get off track, but we can all agree that the

  • new marketing manager is difficult to get along with.

  • We should have completed the work by now,

  • but the team got off track with some technical issues.

  • This idiom also has a literal meaning.

  • To get lost or lose your direction.

  • To literally get off the track and here,

  • a track means a path or a road.

  • So if you're off the track, you're not on the road,

  • on the path that you need to be on.

  • To bank on.

  • To bank on something means to bet

  • that something will happen in a certain way.

  • To be really sure

  • or confident that something will happen

  • So for example.

  • I'm banking on Sarah to get a promotion,

  • so that I can apply for her position.

  • Since it's a public holiday on Monday,

  • we're banking on an early finish tonight.

  • It can also be used in a negative sentence,

  • often advising someone against something.

  • I wouldn't bank on it.

  • That means it's not a good idea

  • to assume that it will happen.

  • To brush up on.

  • This is a phrasal verb, but one that's idiomatic

  • and it means to update or to improve your skills

  • in some way.

  • It can be used in any context really, formal or informal,

  • but this expression is

  • so useful in a professional context

  • because sometimes it can be a little awkward or

  • embarrassing to say that you don't have fantastic skills

  • in one area.

  • Right?

  • But by saying that you need to brush up on those skills

  • is a much softer way of saying that you're

  • not that good at something but you are willing to

  • practise or study to improve those skills.

  • I'm brushing up on my Italian

  • because I've got a business trip in July.

  • I got the job at the publishing company!

  • But I really need to brush up on my editing skills.

  • I'm out of practice!

  • To bring something to the table.

  • So this idiom means to provide something

  • that will be of benefit. Something useful.

  • And it's often used in a professional context

  • to describe the skills or experience that someone

  • brings to a team or to a company.

  • The great thing about Sam is that she brings

  • years of management experience to the table.

  • See how the "something" in our structure is

  • a noun phrase here.

  • This is really common with this expression.

  • He brings excellent communication skills and

  • award-winning design experience to the table.

  • But during a meeting you might also hear

  • someone use this expression.

  • What have you brought to the table?

  • And that means what suggestions or ideas did you

  • bring to the meeting, can you offer to the people

  • in the meeting.

  • To bring up.

  • Now this is a very common phrasal verb.

  • You've probably heard it before.

  • It means to mention or introduce a topic.

  • Someone can bring something up during a meeting,

  • a call or a casual conversation.