Keep Your Eye On The Bottom Line With Business Idioms

Businessman on chart 524055191What goes up what must come down and, accordingly, there are more than a few idioms related to exactly that – the bottom half of things:

The Bottom Falls Out Of (Something) – a sudden and dramatic fall in price or value

  • Even the most experienced investors were worried when the bottom fell out of the housing market; prices fell so fast that no one knew what to do.

Note: A variant of this idiom uses “drop” instead of “fall” but in either case this, the principal verb, must be modified to maintain grammatical structure.

Bottom Line – the final figure on a balance sheet or other financial document (typically this is the total)

  • “Don’t worry about going over the specifics, just give me the bottom line: are we are going to make a profit this quarter or not?”

Continue reading “Keep Your Eye On The Bottom Line With Business Idioms”


“B” More Confident With These Phrasal Verbs

Alphabet.B 476907785Although the most recent entries in our Phrasal Verbs Blog Series have focused on examples that share a common root verb (be it break, bring, or burn), not all verbs have so many phrasal variants. Here, for example, are a few verbs that stand alone:

Bawl … Out – to criticize or scold

  • The strict teacher was always bawling students out for not doing their homework assignments.

Note: Though uncommon in everyday English, the root verb (bawl) can stand alone. By itself it means “to cry loudly” – a definition which lends itself nicely to the meaning of its phrasal partner. Continue reading ““B” More Confident With These Phrasal Verbs”


How to Learn English While Watching TV and Movies

158340511Students spend 45 percent of their day listening and are expected to acquire 85 percent of their knowledge by listening, according to the International Listening Association. Because listening is so important, many students learning English have realized that watching television and movies have helped improve their language skills immensely. Watching these programs can also expose you more to the culture. Knowing the culture can lead to a better understanding of the English language, including idioms, humor, accents and phrases that may be unfamiliar to you.

What to Watch to Improve Your English

Choosing what to watch is different for everyone. It may be best to choose movies and television shows that include dialogue with colloquial English so you can train your ear to understand conversational English. It would also be helpful to choose a program that reflects aspects of the culture. The following examples of television shows and movies depict the American culture.

Most English learners and ESL teachers recommend The Wonder Years as a television program to watch. This program is an American classic, and follows a character through his teenage years. Along with helping you learn the language, The Wonder Years can also give you a glimpse into what life was like growing up in America during the 1960s and 70s, what was considered to be America’s “golden era.” Even with its cultural identity, the show will still relate to most teenagers. Seinfeld is another recommended television program, as it has basic English that is easy to understand, and if you listen carefully, a very funny script that has kept many ESL students laughing. Some teachers also recommend watching reality TV because you will be able to listen to real conversations with people. Continue reading “How to Learn English While Watching TV and Movies”


These Business Idioms Are Money In the Bank!

Broken piggy bank 520388233As we noted in our recent entry in the business idioms blog series, banks have just as big a role in the world of business idioms as they do in the business world itself. Here are some of the most famous; with these at your disposal success is almost assured!

To Break The Bank – to spend more money than you have

  • The small company almost broke the bank after it tried to meet the production demands of a major client placed that placed a huge order on credit.

Note: As the above example shows, this idiom can be used with both actual banks and regular business (in which case “bank” could be considered a stand-in for bank account).

To Take It To The Bank – to have something genuine that you can trust without question

  • Trust me, my stock tip is so good that you can take it the bank.

Continue reading “These Business Idioms Are Money In the Bank!”