Back to Business: More Business English Phrasal Verbs

We’re back with another fun dose of Business English with a focus on phrasal verbs. I cannot emphasize enough how important phrasal verbs are for English fluency. Phrasal verbs are needed for even basic listening comprehension. If you don’t understand them, you won’t fully understand the person speaking to you.

Also, English native speakers don’t understand why phrasal verbs are difficult for English learners; in fact, they often don’t even know what they are. They just assume you understand them. Adding as many phrasal verbs as possible to your English vocabulary is extremely important.

This is especially true for Business English learners. It can make a huge difference for your career if you have an extensive array of phrasal verbs at your disposal. You perform better in meetings and are perceived as more relatable by English native speakers. Speaking English helps you with basic communication, but speaking like the English speakers around you forms a psychological bond. You speak like us, therefore you are one of us.

Now let’s get down to business. Once again, we’ll work on perfecting phrasal verbs by studying them in context. I may sound like a broken record, but context really is key. As always, feel free to email me if you have any questions. 

Let’s imagine you are at work. You might encounter (come across) the following situation/s:

Peter: Hi Sarah, do you want to come along for (come with me to) the meeting?

Sarah: Sure, just hold on (wait) a sec. I need to finish up (finish) writing this email before I can leave...OK, I am ready now. Let’s leave!

Peter: Do you want to grab some coffee on the way there? I need a quick pick-me-up (energy boost).

Sarah: Great idea. We could drop by (quick visit on the way somewhere) that new cute coffee shop around the corner from here. I think we have time.

Peter: Great. Let’s do that. By the way, about the meeting yesterday. The other negotiation team came around (finally agreed) after we had come up with (produced) extremely convincing arguments. Still, the meeting dragged on (lasted/negative connotation) for several hours.

Sarah: Wow, I hate when that happens, but I am glad they finally came around. It’s been such a long and arduous process dealing with (working with) them.

Peter: I know. Tell me about it (expression: Oh man, I know!).

Sarah: On a different note, the final numbers from the marketing study finally came out (been made public), the numbers are looking up (looking much better) again.

Peter: That’s fantastic! I was getting worried. Still, I think in the long run (in the future) we might come up against (be confronted with) a number of issues while rolling out (launching) the new marketing campaign in Japan. I’m not sure if our culture department is really on it (has everything under control). They might overlook (miss) some key contextual factors important for putting together (creating) a campaign there. In the end, it will come down to (be all about) how well that department has analyzed the market there.

Sarah: True. We will have to wait and look at their suggestions first before coming to (making) a decision about whether we will roll out a first version of our campaign for test audiences. 

During the Meeting:

Peter whispers to Sarah: Let’s get this meeting over with (finish something you are not enjoying), or we will never get away (leave if you want to leave) before rush hour hits, and it will take ages to get home in evening traffic.

Sarah whispers back: So true. This has been dragging on for hours with nothing to show for it (no results). I need to get on with (continue) my work back at the office. I got behind on (behind schedule) on some of the reports I was supposed to send in (send) by Friday. By the way, look at Joe. He’s yawning. During a meeting! I really can’t get over (understand something that is strange/annoying, etc.) how he manages to get away with (survives without any repercussions) never doing any work including now. He has no shame!

Peter: What are you getting at (alluding to)? [laughs] You mean the dude is lazy! [still laughing] I mean it is true. He gets by on (survives) doing nothing.

Sarah: I guess he knows very well how to get around (finds a way to avoid/you can also get around a rule, for example) any kind of problem or confrontation especially with his bosses.

Peter: Oh, not to change the subject or anything, but have you gotten around to (have you had time to) finishing the report about the conference in Florida yet? I haven’t been able to check in our database because I have been so swamped (or slammed at work).

Sarah: Oh, yeah. I’ll send it over (send it) first thing tomorrow morning.

Peter: OK, cool. I’m looking forward to reading it. I gotta go now.

Sarah: OK, great. See you tomorrow then.

Peter: See ya!

Marike Korn