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TOEIC Business Idioms phù hợp với các bạn đang luyện thi TOEIC có trình độ trung cấp trở lên sử dụng tiếng Anh như một ngôn ngữ thứ hai. Mỗi bài học trong sách luyện thi TOEIC này sẽ giúp bạn nắm vững đuợc các thành ngữ về 3 phương diện:
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UNIT 1. NEGOTIATIONS
We met with representatives from the other company for over 4 hours yesterday. Jerry didn’t waste any time. He took the bull by the horns and gave them our list of concerns right away.
Then he asked for a list of their concerns and put both lists on the white board, so he could be sure we were all on the same page. He told the group that we were going to have to think out of the box and suggest creative solutions.
We talked for over an hour. Jerry likes to shoot from the hip, which makes some people uncomfortable because he’s very direct. Because we have such different corporate cultures.
I didn’t think the two groups would ever see eye to eye on the goals. However, during the second hour, Jerry said he was willing to bend over backwards and work very hard to address their concerns.
I think that impressed them. He talked about the advantages of the deal, and then he really laid it on the line and left the next move up to them. At one point, I thought the other company might back out and leave the table, but Jerry kept the discussion going. There was a lot of give and take; they finally met us halfway, and we cut the deal over dinner that night.
I was surprised that our relationship as competitors didn’t get in the way. Jerry was able to convince them to look at those old conflicts as water under the bridge. He got them to focus on the future, and the result was clearly a win-win situation for both companies.
1. Take the bull by the horns: directly confront a problem or challenge. He decided to take the bull by the horns and talk to the president about the problem. She took the bull by the horns and asked her boss for a raise.
2. Be on the same page: have the same understanding about the situation or information.
3. Nothing we’ve tried so far has worked. We need to ask Gordon for his ideas because he thinks out of the box. Let’s brainstorm some ideas hers. Concentrate on some new and different solutions. We need to think out of the box.
4. Shoot from the hip: be very
direct; express ideas without planning. She likes to shoot from the hip, but
honestly makes people angry sometimes. You usually know what he is thinking
because he shoots from the hip.
5. See eye to eye: to agree about
or have the same perspective on [something] I’d like her to be on my team. We
see eye to eye most of the time. We haven’t been able to agree. We don’t see
eye to eye on this.
6. Bend over backwards: try very
hard to please someone or to do something. She bent over backwards to try and
make him happy, but he was never satisfied.
I want you to bend over backwards
for this customer. It’s a very important account.
7. Lay it on the line: be very
direct or frank I laid it on the line. I told him I didn’t love him anymore.
We’re tired of all the careful
words. Just lay it on the line for us.
8. Back out: change or cancel an
agreement or an arrangement
The investors backed out of the contract at the last minute, so we couldn’t go ahead with the building. I don’t trust her. She often backs out at the last minute.
9. Give and take: cooperation or
compromise It took a lot of give and take, but I think we finally reached an
agreement that satisfied everyone.
He was used to working alone. In
his new job, he had to learn to participate in the give and take.
10. Meet someone halfway:
compromise If you can meet me halfway, I think we can reach an agreement. They
met us halfway, so that we could make a deal that worked for all of us.
11. Cut the/a deal: reach an
agreement. They cut the deal over lunch.We hope to cut a deal by Friday.
12. Water under the bridge: a
part issue or problem that is no longer a concern
13. A win-win situation: a
situation where everyone involved benefits or wins.
UNIT 2. MEETING WORK DEALINES
We have a lot on our plate. For example, we’ve gotten three new projects just this week, and I don’t know if we have the bandwidth to finish the work on time. There’s only one experienced engineer who really knows the ropes. We have two new employees who catch on quickly, but this is a very heavy schedule.
We need to do a dry run with the prototype before we release the software to the customer. It’s critical that we have enough time to troubleshoot problems in this program and then get the bugs out before the release. The marketing department is already advertising this software as plug and play, so it has to be trouble free an very easy to install.
We can probably finish the first job by next Friday, but I think the next one will be down to the wire because we only have three days after that to finish it. I gave Don a heads up and told him to be ready to put in some overtime for the next several days. We’ll need a few days off after it’s over so no one gets burned out.
1. On one’s plate: [something
that is] waiting to be done.
We have enough on our plate right now. We shouldn’t take on more projects right now. She has too much on her plate. She needs to assign some of the work to another person.
2. Have the bandwidth: have the
ability or capacity to handle the work
Tech support is too busy. They don’t have the bandwidth to handle the calls. The company is growing too fast. I’m not sure they have the bandwidth to manage the changes.
3. Know the ropes: be familiar
with job processes, procedures, or people
4. Catch on: quickly and easily
learn or understand something
Let’s put him in charge of the new process because he catches on quickly. They promoted her after only three months because she had caught on so quickly.
5. A dry run: a rehearsal or
We should test this prototype first. We need a dry run before we go into production. I’d like to do a dry run with this speech before I present it to the whole company.
6. Troubleshoot something:
identify the problems in a program or process
We hired her to troubleshoot the
problems in the process. She’ll identify them, and then the team will correct
them. We have to troubleshoot the problems before we find solutions.
7. Get the bugs out: fix any
problems in software programs
We have to get the bugs out of
this new program before the release date. This new software engineer can get
the bugs out faster than anyone on the team.
8. Plug and play: easy to install
and easy to use
9. Down to the wire: close to the
10. Heads up: a warning that a change
or new procedure is coming Our boss gave us a heads up about the change in the
procedure. I’d like a heads up on any design changes so I can make adjustments.
11. Be burned out: to feel very
tired and not want to continue an activity
She was burned out. She had worked with children for many years and had lost her enthusiasm for the work. She decided to take a vacation because she was burned out from working seven days a week.
UNIT 3. CHALLENGES/DIFFICULTIES
I’m feeling very frustrated. I have so much work to do, and I’m still waiting for tech support to upgrade my system to improve the processing speed. I feel like I’m doing thejob of three people. I tried multi-tasking, but even when I talk on the phone and read and answer my e-mail at the same time, I can’t get everything done.
I’m also having problems with my staff. I have one person who always makes waves and causes arguments with the rest of the staff. Whenever there’s a bottleneck and work builds up so that we fall behind schedule, she’s usually responsible. Our budget has been cut, so
I have to find ways to save money; this means I have to cut corners on hiring, so I can’t bring on any new people. I just have to make do with the current team. I was talking with Joe, the other supervisor, during a break. He’s in the same boat. He says his job has become a pain in the neck. His boss is always in his face about something.
We both feel like we’re between a rock and a hard place. My wife is going to have a baby, so I need to have a steady income. Joe is about 25 years older than I am. He was planning to retire next year, but he put all his eggs in one basket and invested in a high-tech stock that was supposed to make him a million dollars.
Then the market went south and now he’s really up a creek. He doesn’t want to tell his wife about his bad investment, sonow he has to keep working for a lot longer than he expected.
1. Upgrade: improve, update, or
change for the better He needs to upgrade his job skills so he’ll be more
employable. I upgraded my computer system so I could work better.
2. Multi-tasking: doing more than
one thing at the same time. I can’t keep up with my work. I need to try multi-tasking
so I can get everything done.
He got a ticket for multi-tasking
while he was driving. He was talking on the car phone and looking up another
phone number while he was at the wheel.
3. Make waves: to cause troubles
I don’t want him on my team because he always makes waves and upsets the others. She made waves wherever she went, so she didn’t usually stay long in one company.
4. A bottleneck: a person or
place that stops or slows the easy flow of ideas or
5. Cut corners: save money or time by substituting inferior materials or not carrying out all the required steps. The company cut corners on the new product by using a less expensive part in the design.
We have to find a way to cut
corners on this project because we’ve already gone over our budget.
6. Make do: complete a task using
only the available supplies or people. We don’t have enough yellow paper, so
we’ll have to make do with white.
She ran out of butter, so she
made do with oil for the recipes.
7. Be in the same boat: be in the
same situation as someone else
8. A pain in the neck: a
difficult problem or person. This project has had problems from the beginning.
It’s a pain in the neck. I left that job because it was a pain in the neck.
9. Be in someone’s face: make
someone uncomfortable, be confrontational That salesman was really in my face.
I didn’t like him. He stood very close and was very persistent.
She’s a difficult person to work
with because she is always in your face. She likes to argue.
10. Be between a rock and a hard
place: be a difficult position, unable to escape. She’s caught between a rock
and a hard place. She needs to invest in research and development to be
competitive, but she has to spend all the money just to keep the company going.
He’s between a rock and a hard
place. If he does what his mother wants, his wife will be angry. If he does
what his wife wants, his mother will be angry.
11. Put all one’s eggs in one
basket: put all one’s money or energy in one place Don’t put all your eggs in
one basket. It’s less risky to have more than one investment.
She put all her eggs in one
basket, so when the price of gold dropped, she lost everything.
12. The market goes south: the
value goes down/declines We were doing well with our investments for retirement
until the market went south. Now, we’re all worried.
That country was exporting coffee for a good price,
but then the marker went south, and their economy is really hurting now.
13. Be up a creek (without a
paddle): be in a difficult situation
UNIT 4. SALES AND MARKETING
1. Be plugged in/be dialed in: be
connected or be knowledgeable about in a situation.
2. Blow someone away: greatly
impress someone; exceed expectations.
3. Jumpstart: so something to get
an activity or institution working better or faster.
4. A long shot: a very difficult
goal or a goal that one does not expect to achieve
Getting into that university is a
long shot for him because he doesn’t have great grades. Reaching our sales
goals in this quarter is a long shot because of the economy.
5. Be user-friendly: be easy to
6. A game plan: a strategy or an
organized approach to achieve a goal
7. Interface with
someone/something: communicate or interact with someone or
something. Her new job requires
her to interface with the customers every day. The network here no longer
interfaces well with the one overseas.
8. Go for broke: attempt to reach
a very high goal; gamble everything
He risked everything on the new
venture. He went for broke. If we go for broke on this one, and it doesn’t work,
we’ll be back to square one.
9. Strike out: fail or make a big
He struck out with the big
account. They decided not to purchase the product. I don’t want to strike out
on this project. I want it to be a success.
10. Go down swinging: keep trying
until the end; never give it up
He didn’t win the account, but he
went down swinging. I like that guy. I’d rather go down swinging than not try
11. Hit a home run: to be very
That company really hit a home
run with their new technology. Everyone is using it now. She has started three
companies, and they’ve all been very successful. She always hits home run.
12. Ahead of the game: prepared
for what’s coming; ahead of schedule
Next month is the end of the
quarter. I have to get my work finished early so I can get ahead of the game. Our
new product should help our company get ahead of the game.
13. Add up: make sense; result in
It doesn’t add up. He’s losing
money, but he’s still hiring new people. It all adds up to trouble. Changing
the design and rushing the products to market will create more problems.
UNIT 5. COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS
1. Get the ball rolling: start
He asked the first question in
the meeting to get the ball rolling. She got the ball rolling with the new team
by asking the staff members to introduce themselves.
2. Step up to the plate: take
We hope the power company will
step up to the plate and explain the power outrage. If the mistake is his, I
hope he will step up to the plate and take care of it.
3. Go hand in hand: be associated
with; go together
Quality and efficiency go hand in
hand. One usually accompanies the other. This material goes hand in hand with
the software to guide the user.
4. Step on someone’s toes: get in
someone’s way; interfere with someone’s job or responsibilities
I don’t want to step on your toes,
so let me know if this is OK. She was unpopular because she stepped on many
5. Be on the right track: be
going in the correct direction
We don’t have the problem solved
yet, but I think we are on the right track. If he says it’s a software problem,
I think he is on the right track.
6. Out of bounds: not acceptable
7. Give someone the runaround: not answer a question or request; send a person somewhere else for an answer She always gives me the runaround when I ask her out. Do you think she’s not interested?
I could tell she didn’t want to
answer the question. She just gave me the runaround.
8. Be in the loop/be out of the loop: be included in the communication/not be included in the communication Please send her copies of the e-mail about this so she is in the loop about this new project.
9. I haven’t received any information on this project. I am out of the loop on this.
10. Screw up: make a big error or
She screwed up the order, and we
had to start over again. I usually screw up when I’m really tired and I keep
11. Draw the line: establish
limits or boundaries
We have to draw the line with
this customer. They are demanding too much. Tell them we won’t make any more
design changes. He drew the line with his teenage son and told him if he got
another ticket, he couldn’t continue driving.
12. Knock it off: stop doing
13. Take something off-line: talk
about something privately/keep confidential
Let’s take this discussion
off-line to deal with the confidential items. We need to take this conversation
off-line because it’s about the new technology for our company, and that isn’t
public knowledge yet.
14. Walk the talk: do what you
say you’re going to do
UNIT 6. THE NEW ACCOUNTANTS
1. Be on the ball: be smart; be
intelligent; be a good worker
She’s really on the ball. She’s
quick, efficient, and does good work. I’m really glad you hired him because
he’s on the ball.
2. Shoot the breeze: make
I like to shoot the breeze with
my friends. Sometimes we just sit and talk. We shot the breeze for a few
minutes before we got down to business.
3. Pull strings: take advantage
of connection to achieve a goal
He pulled strings to get the job.
His father-in-law talked to the company president about him. She can pull
strings whenever she wants something because her brother is the CEO of the
4. Kickback: money or favors
given in exchange for influence.
That company was fined for giving a kickback to the politicians in exchange for contracts. The U.S. government frowns on kickbacks for business.
5. Go by the book: closely follow
procedures or rules
6. On one’s toes: prepared to
quickly move or react
7. Eyeball it: estimate or guess
based on a quick glance.
I don’t have a measuring tape, so
I’ll just have to eyeball it. I don’t have time to look at your proposal very
carefully. Is it okay if I just eyeball it?
8. In the red/ in the black: in
debt/ not in debt
UNIT 7. THE START-UP
1. Go for the gold: try for a
Let’s go for the gold. I want to
set high goals this year. She went for the gold when she put down her quarter
2. Go for it: make an extra
effort to meet a goal
If we’re going to make this
quarter’s quota, we’ll have to really go for it. I told him he would succeed if
her really went for it.
3. Dot.com/ dot.commer: an Internet-based business/ an employee of an Internet-based business. I don’t think I’m ready to go to a dot.com and work 12 hours a day. He left that big corporation and became a dot.commer because he hopes to make a million dollars when the business goes public.
4. Miss the boat: miss the
5. A trade-off: an exchange; the
act of giving up one thing to get another
If you cut back your hours to have more free time, you’ll make less money. It’s a trade-off. She gave up her dream car to buy a house. It was a trade-off.
6. Burn rate: the rate at which a
new company spends money
7. Bricks and mortar: a business with a physical building where goods are bought and sold, as opposed to an Internet-based business, which sells products over the World Wide Web.
8. Land on one’s feet: recover
from a problem or difficult challenge
His company outsourced his job,
but he landed on his feet because he found a new position in another
department. She managed to land on her feet when she made a career change; in
fact, her salary is still rising.
9. Twist someone’s arm: convince
or persuade someone to do something
10. Burn one’s bridges: do
something that will hurt or destroy a relationship
11. Fall through: fail or not
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