Business Idioms: Idioms about Understanding

understandingCommunication is the cornerstone of any fruitful relationship and business is no exception. So in this installment of our business idioms series we will be discussing a variety of idioms about understanding.

to see eye to eye – to have the same perspective, opinion, or otherwise agree with someone

  • I’m glad we see eye to eye on the new customer service policy

to get someone’s drift – to understand in a general way what someone is trying to say

  • I had to leave early so missed the question and answer section but I got the drift from the power point presentation

Note: we “get” a lot of things in idioms! Here are a few other examples which refer to understanding alone: get the message (e.g., When my boss pointed at his watch I got the message – it was time to finish the meeting) and get the picture (e.g., I didn’t realize how bad the financial state of the company was but after reviewing the figures I get the picture.).

penny drops – when a person has difficulty understanding something and then they finally understand

  • He thought his job was incredibly secure but the penny dropped when he received a written warning.

Note: this idiom alludes to coin operated machines which will not function until the penny (a coin) literally drops or goes in. This makes it similar to the idea of the lightbulb of insight.

to be on the same page – to have the same amount of knowledge or understanding

  • After a few weeks of negotiation we’re on the same page.

Note: Another idiom with a similar meaning is to be on the same wavelength (which is to say that two people are receiving the same signal).

Please visit our homepage for further installments of the Business Idioms series as well as a whole host of useful and interesting resources.


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