11 business phrases you are probably using incorrectly

English is creeping into the German language. Especially in the world of work: We go to the office, take part in meetings, make calls, have lunch and meet up with colleagues in the evening for an after-work drink.

While English words interspersed here and there are still easy to think of, English business jargon gets trickier when talking to international colleagues and customers. Not every English expression is familiar – or did you spontaneously know what? “To punch the puppy” is called?

“To avoid cultural misunderstandings, you should always ask if you don’t understand English expressions,” says Genevieve Sabin, linguist and head of business English courses at the language learning app Babbel. “You can then often laugh together about sometimes absurd terms.”

The language learning experts at Babbel have dedicated themselves to such English business expressions – and explained what is behind them. But be careful if you want to use them yourself: “It should always be ensured that statements have added value and are not just empty phrases,” warns Sabin. “Knowledge of business jargon must not be used to randomly line up terms – that is not professional and can backfire.”

Here are popular English business phrases and what they mean:

11 English business idioms you should know

This article was published by in August 2020. It has now been reviewed and updated.



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