Idioms and Phrasal Verbs to talk about Work

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Hey guys!

Everybody knows the importance of learning some phrasal verbs, idioms and colloquial expressions, especially when you live in a foreign country. We always learn a lot of them by communicating with native speakers or watching movies and series. In this post, you learn some phrasal verbs, idioms and expressions to communicate in a more natural way when speaking English in a foreign country.

* get your foot in the door – to enter a business or organization at a low level, but with a chance of being more successful in the future.

Making contacts can help you get a foot in the door when it comes to getting a job.

* pin all your hopes on sb/sth– to hope very much that something or someone will help you to achieve what you want.

* go it alone – to do something without other people.

Don’t pin your hopes on others. It’s necessary to have courage to go it alone.

* put all your eggs in one basket – to depend for your success on a single person or plan of action.

I’m applying for several jobs because I don’t really want to put all my eggs in one basket.

* keep in with sb – to continue to try to be friendly with someone, especially because they can help you.

I like to keep in with my ex-employer, you never know when you might need a reference.

* keep your ear to the ground – to pay attention to everything that is happening around you and to what people are saying.

* on the grapevine – to hear news from someone who heard the news from someone else.

Keep your ear to the ground – you hear important things on the grapevine.

* make a name for yourself – to become famous or respected by a lot of people.

He’s made a name for himself as a talented journalist.

* keep your feet on the ground – to be very practical and see things as they really are.

Always keep your feet on the ground.

* sb’s face doesn’t fit – If someone’s face doesn’t fit, their appearance or personality is not suitable for a job or other activity.

She didn’t get the job because her face didn’t fit. She doesn’t have the right profile for it.

* the tricks of the trade – methods that help you to do a job better or faster.

Journalists have to learn the tricks of the trade quickly if they want to get the good stories.

 * pass sth on to sb – if a company passes higher or lower costs on to its customers, it raises or reduces prices.

The car industry is too competitive to pass higher costs along to customers.

* dead-end job – a job in which there is no chance of progressing to a better, more important job.

He quit because he didn’t see a future in the company. It was a dead-end job.

* take some doing – to be difficult to do, or involve a lot of effort and time.

This is a hard job and it will take some doing for you to gain some experience and feel confident in it.

* throw your weight around/about – to tell people what to do in a bossy way.

She throws her weight around and that’s why so many employees don’t like her.

* carry out – to perform work, to do a job.

The building work was carried out by a local contractor.

* take over – to accept; to take control of something; when one company is absorbed by another company.

Toshiba is taking over the smaller company.

* take on – to accept new employees; to hire.

We’re taking on new staff at the moment.

* lay off – to dismiss employees from their jobs; (US) to fire employees; (UK) to sack employees.

They had to lay off workers.

* knuckle down – to stop being distracted and to focus on work.

It’s time we knuckled down.

* hand in – to submit, to deliver work.

He’s already handed in his report.

* burn out– to become exhausted from work.

I’m burned out from work stress.

* knock off – to end the work day.

Let’s knock off early tonight.

* call off – to cancel an event.

She’s just called off the meeting.

* slack off – to work with less energy; to be lazy.

Workers usually slack off on Fridays.

I hope you learned some new phrasal verbs and idioms today, see you next time!

Source: Idioms and Phrasal Verbs – Advanced / Ruth Gairns and Stuart Redman – Oxford

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