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  • Writer's picturegorkemcaglarsayan

Business Vocabulary: Speak Like a Native with 20 Phrasal Verbs for Business Communication

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Business people joyfully walking and conversing in fluent business vocabulary.

Effective communication is crucial in the workplace, and mastering phrasal verbs is an essential part of building a strong vocabulary. In this article, we'll explore 20 phrasal verbs commonly used in the business world, providing definitions and example sentences to help you use them with confidence. Whether you're writing emails, giving presentations, or conversing with colleagues, these phrasal verbs will help you sound more fluent and professional in your English communication. Let's dive in and take your business vocabulary to the next level!

1. break down

to separate or analyze into smaller parts


- I need to break down this data to see if there are any patterns.

- We need to break down this complex project into smaller tasks in order to better manage my team's workload.

2. brush up on

to review or refresh one’s knowledge or skills


- I need to brush up on my Excel skills before the new project starts.

- I need to brush up on my presentation skills before the conference next week.

3. call off

to cancel or abandon a planned event or activity


- The company decided to call off the meeting due to unexpected circumstances.

- We decided to call off the advertising campaign because it wasn't getting the expected results.

4. cut back

to reduce or decrease something


- We must cut back on our expenses to stay within budget this quarter.

- I will try to cut back on my social media usage during work hours to increase productivity.

5. draw up

to prepare or create a plan or document


Our legal team will draw up a contract to finalize the details of the partnership agreement.

Before presenting the new marketing campaign to the CEO, the team will draw up a proposal outlining the key strategies and tactics.

6. follow up

to take additional action after a previous communication or task


- I’ll follow up with the team next week to see if there’s been any progress.

- I'm going to follow up with the client to ensure they received our proposal and answer any questions they may have.

7. lay off

to terminate employment or reduce staff


- Unfortunately, the company had to lay off some employees due to financial difficulties.

- The CEO announced that the company will lay off workers in the manufacturing division as part of the restructuring plan.

8. look into

to investigate or examine


- I'll look into that issue and get back to you as soon as possible.

- We need to look into the cause of the software malfunction to prevent it from happening again.

9. move forward

to make progress or advance


- We need to move forward on this project as soon as possible.

- After reviewing the options, we have decided to move forward with the plan to expand into international markets.

10. pass on

to transfer or relay information


- Can you pass on the information to the rest of the team?

- I'm going to pass on your contact information to the hiring manager so they can schedule an interview with you.

11. put aside

to save or reserve something for later use


- We should put aside some money for unexpected expenses.

- Make sure to put aside enough funds to cover the cost of the new equipment we will need for the upcoming project.

12. run through

to practice or review


- Let’s run through the presentation one more time before the meeting.

- I like to run through my schedule for the day in the morning to make sure I don't forget any important meetings or deadlines.

13. set up

to establish or arrange


- I need to set up a meeting with the boss to discuss the proposal.

- We need to set up a meeting with the client to discuss their feedback on the new product design.

14. sort out

to organize or resolve


- I’ll sort out the details of the project and get back to you.

- I need to sort out these invoices and expenses before submitting them to accounting.

15. take on

to accept or undertake a responsibility


- I’ll take on the responsibility of coordinating the team.

- Our team is looking to take on some new projects this quarter to expand our portfolio.

16. tie up

to secure or complete


- We need to tie up all the loose ends before we present the project to the client.

- I need to tie up some administrative tasks before I can leave the office today.

17. touch base

to communicate or check-in


- Let's touch base next week to see how the project is going.

- I'll be out of the office for the next few days, but let's touch base when I get back to discuss the project further.

18. turn in

to submit or deliver work for evaluation


- Don't forget to turn in your report by the end of the day.

- I need to turn in this proposal by the end of the day, so I'll be working late tonight.

19. work out

to exercise or resolve a problem


- We need to work out a solution to the scheduling conflict.

- Our team has been struggling with this issue for weeks, but I think we finally worked out a solution that everyone is happy with.

20. wrap up

to finish or complete


- Let’s wrap up the meeting so we can get back to work.

- I have a meeting at 3:00, so I need to wrap up this project and send out the final report before then.

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