General English vs Business English


“The real test is not whether you avoid this failure because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” – Barack Obama.

You’ve likely heard the term “Business English” several times, and each time you’ve probably wondered, what makes Business English so different from general, regular English?

There are two main aspects to Business English, vocabulary and tone. It typically includes the kind of vocabulary vital for trade, negotiations, and commerce. It helps individuals pick up the vocabulary they need for business meetings, correspondence, executive summaries, sales presentations, and more.

Individuals with a solid understanding of Business English can confidently participate in business meetings, write business letters, draft executive summaries, give sales presentations, and more.

Whatever your reason for improving your learning, implement these tips for just 15 minutes every day, and you’ll notice improvements to your business English fast.

1- Read English language newspapers and business websites

Read English language newspapers and business websites

Look at sites like the BBC Business News and Business Week to keep you up to speed with the latest stories, as well as a business language. As well as helping you improve your business English, reading English language newspapers also motivates you, as you get an insight into what’s going on in the rest of the world and it can be an entertaining and exciting way to learn. You don’t need to stick to the business section; you can also find out what’s going on in the world of art, fashion and politics.

If you don’t understand any words or phrases, take notes, research them yourself, or ask your teacher.

2- Watch English language movies and TV shows

TV shows and movies are a great way to learn conversational English and informal slang terms, but they can also help with business English when you choose the right shows and films. Stick to movies that have a business, financial or political theme, and you’ll soon pick up some genuinely helpful business language.

If you immerse yourself in the English language and get used to hearing it and listening to it daily, you’re sure to improve. Tuning in to English language TV shows isn’t just entertaining; it’s a challenging way to stimulate your language skills, introducing you to lots of new words and phrases that you can add to your vocabulary and familiarising yourself with a range of accents.

3- Set specific goals

Try setting yourself an easy target, like learning five words a day. It may sound small, but after a month, that’s more than 100 new words in your vocabulary.

Setting yourself goals that are achievable will not only help you to learn more quickly, but it’ll also help you to stay motivated.

Learn words in ‘families.’ If you learn the verb suggest, learn its related noun suggestion simultaneously. This process is easier and faster.

4- Learn aloud

When you’re doing exercises alone at home, always speak English aloud. You might feel a little self-conscious at first, but don’t let this put you off, as this step really will help you learn more quickly. By connecting the muscles of your face to the information in your head, your brain learns to speak the correct words without thinking, improving your fluency and pronunciation. You need to practice the act of speaking as well as understanding the grammar rules, so don’t be afraid – speak out loud as often as you can.

If you have any English-speaking friends, encourage them to chat with you in English at least once a week. Practice whenever you have the chance, don’t be scared of making mistakes, and don’t worry too much about getting it perfect the first time. We learn much more from doing than from reading and listening.

You can also join a supportive learning community, where teachers help students overcome barriers that inevitably arise along the way, and classmates provide a friendly push to practice your English.



Fluently: with an ability to express oneself easily and articulately.

Global business: a corporate or economic activity that takes place across different countries.

Perspective: a particular way of thinking about something, especially one that is influenced by your beliefs or experiences.

Familiarise: give (someone) knowledge or understanding of something.

Inaction: failure to do anything that might provide a solution to a problem.



– To get ahead

Meaning: to be successful in your career or life; to make more progress than others.

Sentence example: “You need to make lots of connections to get ahead in this industry.”

– Zero in on

Meaning: to direct all of one’s attention to someone or something.

Sentence example: “We’ve tried a lot of strategies, but we need to zero in on what’s actually working.”



Corner the market: to dominate a particular market.

Take the bull by the horns: to directly confront a difficult situation in a brave and determined way.


WEEKLY DISCUSSION in our FREE Speaking Club:

1- What is your English level? Are you comfortable with it?

2- Is there any funny story of you, or people around you, caused by a language misunderstanding?

3- If you were an expert at imitating English accents, which one would you choose for an international presentation, American, British, Australian, Canadian, etc.?

4- Have you used social media to learn English? Tell me about your experience.

5- What do you think is the advantage and disadvantage of using English in a global business?

6- Based on your own experience learning English, what is your advice for someone starting an e-learning business for English lessons?

7- In your mind, is it possible to be a part of a culture without knowing the language?

8- Except for English, which language is the most useful professionally? Why?

9- Are you on the list of people who can read and write English but can’t speak fluently?

10- In your experience, what do non-native English speakers find challenging to learn about business English?


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