How did you do? Here are the answers to our Big Business English Quiz:
1. If someone says How do you do? what is the correct response?
You should say How do you do? too.
You use How do you do? the first time you meet someone. It’s quite formal.
Read our article on Making new business contacts in English.
2. What’s an informal way of starting a meeting?
You can say:
OK, let’s start.
Let’s kick off.
Let’s get going.
You can also say: Let’s get the ball rolling.
3. What do you say when you answer the phone at work?
You can say: Hello! / Good morning / Good afternoon, etc.
You can also add the name of your company:
Good morning. Trueforth Shaw plc.
You might also say your name:
Hello. Baxter’s Ltd. Hardeep Chatterjee speaking.
You can also add How can I help you?
Find more expressions in our article on business telephoning.
4. Somebody phones your company and wants to speak to one of your colleagues, but she’s not available. What can you say to the caller?
Here are some expressions you could use:
I’m sorry, but she can’t come to the phone at the moment. Can I take a message?
You can also say:
She’s (a bit) tied up at the moment.
She’s away from her desk.
For more expressions like these, see our article on making excuses in English.
5. What are some typical filler expressions that you can use to give you more time to think when you’re speaking to someone?
Here are some suggestions:
Er, well, hmm, etc
You can also say:
Read our article on English filler expressions.
6. How can you disagree with someone in a diplomatic way?
You could say:
I’m sorry, but I disagree
I can’t really agree with you.
I can’t really go along with that.
Be careful when native British English speakers use expressions that sound like they’re agreeing, but in fact the speaker probably disagrees. They’re just being polite:
Hm, yes, I agree you with up to a point (but…)
Look at our post on how to disagree with people in English
7. Which of these is correct?
a. I bought a seventy pound jacket.
b. I bought a seventy pounds jacket.
The answer is a. I bought a seventy pound jacket.
Don’t use an -s with currencies such as pounds or dollars when the phrase functions more like an adjective.
Read our post on Expressions with time and money: should you add an “s” or not?
8. What is red tape?
Red tape is an informal expression meaning bureaucracy.
Read our article on red tape and other expressions for bureaucracy and administration.
9. What’s the difference between a shareholder and a stakeholder?
A shareholder is a person who owns part of a company (shares).
A stakeholder is someone with an interest in the operations of a company, but they don’t necessarily own part of it. Stakeholders can include employees, people who live near a business or factory, researchers and students, etc.
10. What do we call the main financial district or area of London?
It’s called the City of London, or just the City. This is the area around St Paul’s Cathedral and the Bank of England. In newspapers and on TV it’s offered referred to as the Square Mile.
How did you get on? Read all the articles on BigBusinessEnglish.com and use our practice material to improve your knowledge of Business English!