Business English Vocabulary - Learn Everything About Business Vocabulary

vocabulary Sep 24, 2021
business english vocabulary

Welcome to this week’s blog called Business English Vocabulary! In today’s blog, I’ve broken down 5 main sections:


First, I’m going to show you 7 ways on how you can learn more new words, and what tools you’ll need to grow your business English vocabulary. Second, I’m going to explain and show you some common buzzwords that are often used by native speakers both in and out of the office. Third, I’m going to show you some vocabulary on how you can be more persuasive and so you can get the result you want. Then, we’re going to look at some useful business English phrasal verbs that are often used in business meetings, conference calls, negotiations, and more. Finally, I’m going to show you some different ways you can agree and disagree with others in business English. 


With these new words in your vocabulary arsenal, you won’t be left scrambling around for that perfect word ever again. But first of all, let’s take a look at 7 proven ways you can increase and grow your vocabulary range, and some practical methods that you can use to learn more words much more quickly. 

7 Ways To Grow Your Business Vocabulary


Make Reading a Hardwired Habit

Vocabulary building is easiest when you encounter words in context. Seeing words appear in a novel or a newspaper article can be far more helpful than seeing them appear on vocabulary lists. Not only do you gain exposure to unfamiliar words; you also see how they’re used.


Use a Dictionary and Thesaurus

A dictionary and thesaurus should be your best friends. They’re essential books that support you on your language learning journey and your quest to learning new words. A thesaurus is particularly helpful for giving your words some life. 


Play Word Games

Games such as Boggle and Scrabble are perfect for vocabulary building. They turn something educational into something super entertaining and can be played everywhere and anywhere. They force you to be more creative with your words as well as teach you new ones. 


Use Flashcards

 A quick way to build a large vocabulary is to study a number of words via flashcards. You can use physical flashcards or digital ones. There are plenty of apps and websites out there that create and store flashcards for you. 


Subscribe to “ord of the day” Feeds

Some websites and even digital newspapers will supply you with a brand new word every day. They’ll also put it into context and explain what it means. This is a fun, unique way to build vocabulary.


Use and Practice Mnemonics

A mnemonic device is a form of word association that helps you remember words’ definitions and proper uses. For example, think of the word obsequious which means “attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery.” Break down that word into components: “obse” is the beginning of “obsessed,” “qui” sounds like the French word for “yes” (oui), and “us” is like the word “us.” So you can think of that big word obsequious as “obsessed with saying yes to us”—which is kind of what it means!


Practice Using New Words in Conversation

When you learn a new word, you first need to understand it. You also need a place to store and record all of the new words you learn. You can create your own personal dictionary where you store and practice all of the new words you learn or download one online. In our free seminar, we actually give and show you a system that you can start using immediately to learn and remember more new words much faster. We even give you our own specially designed template that you can use to practice and store all of the new vocabularies you learn. Check it out here - 

Business English Vocabulary

Now that we’ve looked at how to grow your vocabulary, let’s explore some words and phrases that we can learn.


I would recommend writing these words down either in a book or in your vocabulary builder. If you haven’t already got a vocabulary builder, you can download a free one at the bottom of this page here:


Buzzwords are sometimes referred to as ‘fashionable’ words. They are words that become increasingly popular during a particular period of time. Buzzwords are used everywhere: from our day-to-day conversations to our LinkedIn bios. 


Here are some of the most popular buzzwords today.

Proactive (adj)


I consider myself to be a proactive individual with a thirst for knowledge


Employees must take a proactive approach to equal pay


Proactive means to control a situation by taking action. If you are a proactive person, it means you don’t wait for things to happen - you make them happen. 

Results-orientated (adj)


One of my best qualities is how results-orientated I am. 


I love how results-orientated Zane is. He plans each step so carefully.


Results-orientated people are people who only focus on the end goal. They often plan their attack strategy carefully and are only focused on leading the team to success. 


Team player (adj)


We value staff who are team players. Without teamwork, the company would cease to exist. 


If you want this project to be a success, you need to be more of a team player and cooperate a bit more


A team player is essentially someone who can work well with others. You’re able to communicate, collaborate and bounce ideas off others, as well as being considerate and understanding differences. 

Ambitious (adj)


He’s a very ambitious young man. He was only 19 when he started his first company.


We’re looking for young, ambitious sales reps to join our exciting new team.


Ambitious means you are very hardworking. You have a strong desire and determination to succeed and you never set your goals too small. You dream big and do whatever it takes to reach your goals. 

Dynamic (adj)


What we’re really lacking is a dynamic young advertising executive

Asia’s dynamic economies continue to lead global growth


The adjective dynamic can be used to describe a person or a process. For a process or system, it means something is constantly moving, changing, and progressing. For a person, it means someone who is highly energetic and lively. 

Persuasive Words

Persuading someone in your native language is hard enough. Doing it in a foreign language is a whole other ball game. Luckily, we can use a select few very common persuasive words that everyone can understand but still achieve the desired outcome. 

In support of

In support against

Trustworthy (adj) - able to be relied on

damaging (adj) - causing damage

Strongly recommend (adv+v) - most likely good reasons why it is recommended

provoke (v) - to make someone angry

Emphasize (v) - give special importance or value to

Severe (adj) - very great; intense


Business Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are used every day by native speakers in all kinds of contexts. They’re particularly common in business meetings and negotiations though. Here are some common and useful business phrasal verbs that you can start using right away. 


Branch out


In the beginning, the business was highly specialized, but it has since branched out


To branch out means to begin to do more different kinds of activities or work. We can also use this phrasal verb in different tenses, for example, branched out, or branching out. 

Note down


If it’s okay with you, Jenny is just going to note down some of the most important points of today’s meeting. 


To note something down is just an informal way of saying to write it down. 

Take over


Employees are often concerned about losing their jobs when a bigger company takes over their firm.


To take something over means to get control over something. In business, we often use this phrasal verb to talk about and describe mergers and acquisitions. 


Fill out


To apply for the job, you’ll need to fill out a short application form. 


In business, we use the phrasal verb fill out when we want to complete something - usually a form of some sort. 


However, it also has another meaning outside of business. If we say someone has filled out, it means we think they’ve gotten fatter/put on weight. 


Carry on


Now that we’ve discussed Jack’s point, shall we carry on with the agenda?


To carry on means to continue with something. Plain and simple. 

Weigh up


We haven’t decided if we’ll go through with signing the new contract. Lucy is still weighing up our options. 


To weigh up something means to look at the advantages and disadvantages of something - to look at something in a critical way. 


Deal With

Judy, could you deal with that new dispute we received yesterday? 


To deal with means to handle a situation (or problem). It’s also what we call an inseparable phrasal verb - we can’t separate the words and place the noun in between them. 

Agreeing and Disagreeing

One of the most common requests I get as a business English teacher is how to agree and disagree - and how to do it both politely and professionally. 


Agreeing and disagreeing is a tricky one because the type of language you use really depends on the context and the audience. 


If you’re dealing with a more direct culture (US), it might be perfectly fine to use stronger language. On the flip side, if you’re dealing with a more indirect culture (Japan), you may want to use more indirect language. 


Either way, you’re going to need tools that you can use for both situations. Below is a shortlist of ways we can agree and disagree mildly, and strongly. 



Mild agreement

Mild disagreement

You may be right there ...

That’s not really how I see it

I suppose so

I’m afraid I disagree

That’s true, I suppose

Fair point, however (UK speakers)

Strong agreement

Strong disagreement

You’re absolutely right

I don’t agree at all


I think you’re wrong there


Sorry, but I couldn’t disagree anymore


If you want to learn more ways you can clearly and effectively agree and disagree in work and in English, then our online mini-course Business English Hacks teaches you essential and advanced vocabulary for expressing a range of opinions as well as how to professionally and effectively agree and disagree with others. 


The mini-course is broken down into 4 main sections, and each section focuses on a specific business area or function. Students can access the content 24/7 and can go through the program at their own pace. There are videos, worksheets and tests, free templates and printouts to help you put it all into practice and stay motivated. 


Sign up for Business English Hacks here.


In Short

I hope you’ve found this week’s blog useful and I look forward to hearing your feedback and examples in the comments section. And on that note, I have a favor to ask you - in the comments section, I’d like you to write what some of your biggest pain points are when it comes to using English at work. 


What are some functions you find particularly difficult and what do you need help with the most? This feedback is really important to us because our future content is based on what you want to learn about!

Finally, if you want to improve your business English speaking, and if you need to use English at work with your colleagues and clients, then I’d like to offer you the opportunity of joining the best online speaking program that exists anywhere in the world. We-Speak-Business Unlimited is an online speaking program where you can get live speaking practice with professional native-speaking teachers every day of the week. 


In our lessons, we discuss relevant and interesting business topics, as well as how to communicate and navigate as an English learner in the business world. Learn more here.


What is We Speak Business Program 

We Speak Business is an English course with live speaking lessons for English learners who want speaking practice with native speakers, professional teachers, and students from around the world


You have live speaking lessons where you can join and start speaking business English every day. There's a lesson every day and also, you can review all record lessons. There is a lot of conversation practice for each level of English (A2, B1-B2, C1). There is a calendar of scheduled lessons so you can see when lessons are and at what time you can join and start speaking.

In We Speak Business program, you have 24/7 support and also you have student chat where you can speak with other students from all around the world. Before you join our program and start speaking business English, we strongly recommend you sign up for our free seminar with Andrew Smith, where you can learn:


  • What goals you need to have to get better results 
  • How to master business English quickly
  • What are the strategies that will help you advance to a higher level
  • How you can speak business English more fluently and confidently
  • Free resources to help you learn business English
  • Exclusive resource to improve your speech

If you are looking to improve your speaking skills at work, then we have an exclusive free seminar where I teach you how to speak better business in 30 days. Sign up by clicking the button below!