Basic Business English Lesson: Profit & Loss

Michael Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Today, let’s look at some key vocabulary and expressions used to talk about a company’s financial situation. You can refer to the financial report for ABC Company above. The definitions of the words in bold are below this paragraph Most companies operate on a fiscal year, which is divided into four quarters. In the chart above, we can see the First Quarter Results for ABC Company. Sales grew each month and the total revenue was $51,454. Expenses were the same each month this quarter. The bottom line was different each month, but the overall result was a profit of $5,704. In April, ABC made a loss of $5,000. In May, ABC broke even. Because of an increase in sales, ABC made a nice profit of $10,704 in June. Fiscal year (n) (or financial year) means a one-year period used for accounting or tax purposes. Quarter (n) means a three-month period. A fiscal year is often divided into a three-month period. Sales (or revenue) (n) is money that comes in to the company. It means the money the company makes from selling its goods or services. Expenses (n) is money that goes out from the company. It means the money the …

Basic Business English Lesson: Work and Jobs

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Today, lets have a look at some ways to use the words work and job. If you want to ask someone about work, you can ask, “What do you do?” like this: Bob: What do you do? Joe: I’m a teacher. As I mentioned in a previous post, the answer to “What do you do?” should be clear and is usually your job title or a description of your position. Here are some other phrases using work and job: Work is a verb, so you can say: I work in bank I work Monday to Friday I worked until 9 last night. Work and job are nouns, so here are some set phrases using work and job: job (one’s position in the company) I love my job! Being a firefighter is a difficult and dangerous job. work (the tasks one does in the company) I have a lot of work to do today. Jack said his work at the bank is very routine. go to work (travel to work) I went to work yesterday Joe goes to work by subway get to work (arrived at my office) I got to work at 8:30 this morning. I usually get to work …

English Lesson: Talking about your job & work

Michael Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Let’s talk about work today. Here is a conversation I have had quite often: Michael: Hi. I’m Michael. Nice to meet you. Thom: Hi Michael. I’m Thom. It’s nice to meet you too. Michael: So Thom, what do you do? Thom: I’m an office worker. Michael: I see, but what do you do? Thom: I’m a businessman. Michael: Right, but what do you do? Thom: I’m a company employee. Michael: ??????? When you are having an English conversation, and someone asks you about your job, you should tell them exactly what your job is. Usually, this is your job title: What do you do? → I’m an English teacher What do you do? → I’m a salesman What do you do? → I’m a secretary What do you do? → I’m an accountant. We do not give general answers, like Thom did in the opening conversation. So answers like these are strange in English because they don’t tell us about you. These answers are not unique: I’m a businessman → Lots of people are businessmen and businesswomen. I’m an office worker → Look around your city. Many people are office workers. I’m a company worker → Unless you own your …

English Vocabulary Lesson: Basic Business English

Michael Uncategorized Leave a Comment

ABC Company was launched in 1999. At the time, it was a small firm, serving just local clientele.  But business started booming, and ABC grew into an international powerhouse. ABC didn’t need to worry about the bottom line, because sales were strong and careful management kept overheads at a reasonable level. The results were amazing. Quarter after quarter, the profit grew and the company spent many years in the black. Here is the key vocabulary and the definition in Basic English as the words are used here. Some of these words may have slightly different meanings in other situations. to launch (verb) means to start doing business firm (noun) means company or business clientele (noun) means the customers of the business boom (verb) to increase strongly powerhouse (noun) means a powerful, well known company bottom line (noun) means the final line on the financial report of the company. The bottom line shows the amount of the profit or loss of the business overhead (noun) is an expense of the company such as rent or payroll profit (noun) is sales minus expenses. If the company receives more money that it pays out, it makes a profit. If the company receives less …

English Vocabulary Lesson: Job, Work, & Business

Michael Uncategorized 2 Comments

A friend of mine is looking for a job. He used to work for a bank, but he lost his job when a new company bought the bank and downsized the office. Working in the finance industry seems like interesting work, but I heard it is hard to find a secure job. There are a lot of entry level jobs in the banking business, but not many people seem to work for the same company for a very long time. I guess that’s how business is these days. These three words, job, work, and business are similar, but we use them differently. Do you know how to use them?  Have a look at the paragraph above and then check today’s lesson:   Job is a countable noun and there are a few ways you can use job: A job is a task that one does: You did a nice job on the ABC project. I have several important jobs to do this week in the office. A job is also paid position for doing regular work: Jack has a job in a bank. Tommy has an interesting job in international marketing. Here are some typical questions we ask using job: …

English Idiom “Rip-off” from Happy English NY

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Today we are going to look at the idiom rip-off, which can be used as a noun or a verb. This  expression means stealing or cheating. We often use rip-off when we feel we have been overcharged for something. In this case, we say that something is/was a rip-off:      -They charge $9 for a beer at the baseball stadium. What a rip-off!      -The tire center was such a rip off. I paid $100 for a new tire, and they charged me $85 for the labor. We also use rip-off when we are dissatisfied with value of something we bought or service we paid for.      -That camera was a rip-off. The batteries last less than an hour, and the picture quality is terrible.      -Cheap sunglasses are always a rip-off. They break easily, and the lenses are usually not so good. We can also use rip-off as a verb with the same meaning. For example,  if someone or some business has cheated you, or if someone has stolen from you. In this case, the structure is:             [someone] ripped [someone] off                                                   or                         [someone] ripped off [someone’s thing]       -The mechanic at the tire center ripped me off.      -Someone …

Idiom Lesson “Call it a day” From Happy English NY!

Michael Idioms 3 Comments

Sometimes you’ll work hard on a project, and even though it’s not finished, you are finished working on it for the day. You plan to continue working another time. In this case, you can “call it a day.” How do we use this idiom? First of all, please use all four words exactly like this: “call it a day.” The only exception is you can change the tense of the verb “call” like this: -We called it a day at 3:00pm -Shall we call it a day now? You can’t change the pronoun “it” – this idiom is a fixed expression. In general, we would make a statement about our work and then after that we will use “call it a day.” Here are some more examples: -We’ve repainted 3 rooms so far. Let’s call it a day and do the rest tomorrow. -The construction workers always call it a day around 4pm. -This was a long meeting. Let’s call it a day and go have lunch. What time will you call it a day today?

Idiom Lesson “Eager Beaver” From Happy English New York!

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When you see a beaver building a dam or a nest, they seem to be very enthusiastic about doing the task. When a person is very eager to work on something, or on the job, we say he or she is an eager beaver. -Frank is always the first person in the office in the morning and the last one out in the evening. He is such an eager beaver he will probably get a promotion. -Alice was an always an eager beaver in school. Her teachers loved her for her hard work and enthusiasm. Do you know someone who is an eager beaver? If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

Idiom Lesson “Give it a shot” From Happy English New York!

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When you are ready to try something new, you can say you will give it a shot. The thing you are trying always goes in the middle, so the structure is give + [something] + a shot: – I’ve never gone snowboarding, but I think I want to give it a shot – If you don’t want to wear glasses, why not give Lasik a shot? You can also use this idiom to talk about people when it comes to a person joining a company or a team. -I just interviewed 3 people for the job, and I think I will give Brad a shot. (This means that among the three, Brad is the person you will give the job to.) -Hey coach, why don’t you give me a shot? (When you want to join a sports team, you can ask the coach to let you play using this idiom) Be careful! The structure is always give + someone/something + a shot. I have heard some students say things like, “I gave a shot to snowboarding.” This is not the correct structure. We don’t give a shot to something, we  give something a shot! So, it has to be, “I …

Business English Idiom Lesson: Get the Ball Rolling

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When you say that you get the ball rolling, it means that you will start doing something. At home, it could mean that you are going to finally begin some project you have been planning: “You have been talking about fixing the roof for a week. It’s time to get the ball rolling!” In business, you can use this expression when you launch a new project” “Let’s get the ball rolling on this new marketing campaign.” If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!