Business English word of the Week  Geschäftsenglisch

To brainstorm

This means to spend time thinking up lots of ideas on a topic or problem.

Eg: Let’s brainstorm new ideas for the advertising campaign and then choose the best ones to develop further.


Law English word of the Week Recht Englisch


The group of citizens in a criminal trial who decide whether a person is guilty or not guilty of the crime they’re accused of.

Several English-speaking countries have jury trials, but they can look significantly different in different countries. Some English-speaking countries, such as South Africa, have no jury trials.

Sample Sentence:

„The jury took only one hour to find the defendant guilty.“


Vocabulary for Contracts Verträge


Legally responsible for something.

Sample Sentence:

„Our company is liable if something goes wrong with the Palletising installation.“


Vocabulary for Negotiations Verhandlungen

„If we don’t get the …(delivery, the go-ahead, finances) soon, I’m worried it will set the whole project back.“

Word of the day:

recommend empfehlen

e.g. „We recommend that you use this …. when constructing your Palletising units.

Phrase of the day:

To muddy the waters means being muddy.

To make an issue or situation more confused or complicated. If someone or something muddies the waters, they cause a situation or issue to seem less clear and less easy to understand.

Example sentences:

Whenever I’m having an argument with my wife, she jumps in the conversation to muddy the waters. — Wait a while. If you release another statement now you’ll only muddy the waters. — Unfortunately, the results of this new survey really muddy the waters.

„The conflation of two distinct hypotheses has merely served to muddy the waters.“


Idiom of the day:

You’re on a hiding to nothing” means to be likely to fail; to be in a futile situation.

Sample Sentence:

„You’re on a hiding to nothing if you think you’re going to get a raise out of the boss.“


British English (B.E.) / American English (A.E.) Vocabulary:

British English =  Funnybone (Musikantenknochen)

American English = Crazy bone

Sample Sentence:

„Ow! I just hit my funny bone!“

Special Grammar tip of the week:

Sentence construction

Generally speaking, sentences in written English are not particularly long. This is good news for English learners because it means you don’t need to worry about writing long, complex sentences. A sentence usually has two, or possibly three, clauses (subject + verb + object), linked by a conjunction (see above).

A good way to make your sentences even clearer is to add commas. Commas help the reader understand where one phrase finishes and another begins. The most common occasions where it’s recommended to put a comma are:

  • between two clauses. For example, If the weather is nice tomorrow, we’re going to the park.

  • to separate items in a list. For example, Our kids like swimming, skiing, ice-skating and cycling.

  • after some conjunctions. For example, Our holiday was great and the hotel was wonderful. However, the weather was awful.

  • for extra information in the middle of a sentence (a non-defining clause). For example, My neighbour, who’s from Brazil, is really good at cooking.


Pronunciation tip:

1. Break down big words into syllables

Every word in the English language is made up of syllables. A syllable is a pronunciation unit with a vowel that may also have consonants. If you need a refresher, a vowel is A, E, I, O, or U. A consonant is any sound you make that is not a vowel sound.

A good example of a word with two syllables is “mascot.” You’d pronounce it like this: “mas-cot.” The word “attention” is three syllables: “at-tent-tion.”

Most English words are about two syllables, maybe three. These are everyday words that are easy to read and speak.

When you encounter bigger words you’re struggling with, remember that you can always simplify them by breaking them down into syllables.

Let’s say the word you’re having a hard time with is “incomprehensible.” This is a big word that means impossible to understand. It’s also six syllables: “in-com-pre-hen-si-ble.”

Rather than trying to pronounce the whole word all at once, try speaking the syllables first. “In,” is very easy to say, as is “com,” “pre,” and so on. Once you put all six syllables together, keep repeating the word. It will go from sounding choppy and unnatural as you speak it syllable by syllable to its own full-fledged word.

False Friends Tip of the Week:

German          =   Ambulanz

Translation    =    emergency room / accident department

False Friend (F.F.)    =  ambulance

Meaning of F.F         =  Krankenwagen


Slang word of the day:

lollygag /ˈlɒlɪɡaɡ/ verb

informalNorth American

lollygag means to spend time aimlessly; idle.

Sample Sentence:

They go to California every January to lollygag in the sun.

  • lollygag means to dawdle.

    Sample Sentence:

    They’re all just lollygagging along.


Colloquial / Colloquialisms:

A Quid (noun)

If you’ve ever been at the cashier of a British shop and heard the word ‘quid,’ then you know how confusing it can be. But, don’t worry, a ‚quid‚ is just a slang word for ‚pound.‘

Sample Sentence:

Can you lend me a quid for the parking machine?


Cockney rhyming slang:

Barnet = Barnet Fair = hair. Often we just say „your Barnet“ and stop there. Meaning your hair or head.


Quote of the week:

It’s not about what‘s taking place in this world today, but what‘s taking place within individual men’s hearts that matters”.

Mark Brislin 30th November 2018.

Delivering professional Business English teaching in Dresden, Chemnitz, Freiberg, and all over the state of Sachsen for over 20 years!

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