Episode 9: Phrasal Verbs for Business IV

phrasal verbs for business

Here’s the fourth part of the phrasal verbs series.  I hope you find it useful and please let me know if you have any questions.

Here is the full transcript:

Phrasal verbs for business, part four. Hi there. I’m Paul Urwin, and welcome to the Business English Community Podcast, where the world of business meets the English language. We discuss culture, strategies, techniques, vocabulary, grammar, and much, much more. Find out more at businessenglishcommunity.com.

Hi there. Paul here, and welcome to episode nine of the Business English Community Podcast. In this episode, we are going to be continuing with the series on phrasal verbs. First of all, if you haven’t signed up for your free training, completely free, I recommend that you visit the Business English Community website, that’s businessenglishcommunity.com, and go and get your free training.

There’s also something else that’s pretty important that I wanted to share with you, and that is the fact that you can read exactly what I am saying in this podcast at the same time as you are listening. That is known as a transcript, an audio transcript, the text that goes along with this audio. It’s completely free, and you can find it on the website. Just go to the podcast section at the top, find the podcast that you are listening to. If you’re listening to it on the website already, you will see the text there, but if you are listening on iTunes, or Stitcher, or somewhere else, just go to the website and find the text, and you can follow through exactly what I am saying at the same time as I’m saying it, so very, very useful for many students, and again, completely free. So, worth checking that out.

Right, well let’s get started with this week’s 10 phrasal verbs. Number one is to screw up, to screw up. Well, this is definitely an informal phrasal verb, and to screw up means to make a bad mistake or a significant mistake, to mismanage something, or to mishandle something, to put it simply, to do something wrong or to make a pretty bad mistake. So let me give you an example. I gave you one simple job to do and you just screwed it up completely. I gave you one simple job to do and you just screwed it up completely. So that’s number one, to screw up.

Number two, to zero in on, to zero in on. Well, if you are zeroing in on something, well, you are focusing on something. You are really highlighting, or directing your efforts, towards a particular topic or a particular issue. The authorities have really zeroed in on unethical selling practices. The authorities have really zeroed in on unethical selling practices. They have focused on those unethical selling practices. They’ve zeroed in on them. So that’s number two, to zero in on.

Number three, to run into. Well, this is another one of those polysemous phrasal verbs. It can have several different meanings, and the first one is to meet someone or to come across something by chance. So, I ran into Jackie from HR the other day. I ran into Jackie from HR the other day. It doesn’t mean that you’re actually physically running. It means that you were perhaps out and about somewhere, and that you encountered her, or you met her, by chance. I ran into Jackie from HR the other day, Jackie from human resources.

It can also mean to reach a particular amount, to run into. The level of debt is incredible. It could run into millions. The level of debt is incredible. It could run into millions. So that’s to reach a particular amount, to run into.

And it can also mean to start to have difficulties or problems. The project started well, but it has run into lots of issues this year. The project started well, but it has run into lots of issues this year. That’s number three, to run into. It can mean to meet someone or something by chance, to reach a particular amount, or to start to have difficulties or problems.

Number four, slightly different, to run by. So I’ve changed into to by, to run by, to run by. Well, this means to check with someone in order to get their approval. If I’m going to run something by someone, I’m going to ask them, or I’m going to get them to give their okay, or their approval on the particular matter. I’m fine with it, but please run it by Jessica before going ahead. I’m fine with it, but please run it by Jessica before going ahead. That’s number four, to run by.

Number five, to hand in. Well, to hand in something is to deliver something, for example a project. You can hand in a project, or you can also hand in your notice. If you hand in your notice, that is when you are leaving a particular company, so you can physically deliver something, or you can hand in a letter that states that you are resigning from the company. Let me give you an example of that one. He won’t be here much longer. He’s handed in his notice. He won’t be here much longer. He’s handed in his notice. That’s number five, to hand in.

Number six, to cut back on, to cut back on. Well, that means to reduce costs, or to reduce expenditure, to reduce the amount of money that is being paid out. We are going to have to cut back on advertising. We are going to have to cut back on advertising. That’s number six, to cut back on.

Number seven, to count on. Well, if you are counting on someone, you’re really relying on them, or you are depending on them, to help you in some way. You’re really going to count on someone to support you, or count on someone to help you. I’m really counting on you to make this sale. I am really counting on you to make this sale. That’s number seven, to count on.

Number eight is to hang on, to hang on. Well, that can mean to hold on, to hold onto something, or to hold on tightly, or to cling to something, and it can be used in a physical sense, so you could be hanging onto the edge of a cliff, for example. Let’s hope not, but you could be hanging onto the edge of a cliff. You can imagine a movie where someone … If you’re watching a movie and someone is about to fall off the edge of a cliff, then I’m sure they’ll be desperately trying to hang on. So it does have that physical sense to it.

But it also can be used in a more business context, and it can mean still to hold onto something, or to be clinging onto something, but instead of clinging onto a cliff, perhaps you’re going to be clinging onto your job, so let me give you an example of that one. He’s hanging on for now, but I think he’s going to be fired soon. He’s hanging on for now, but I think he’s going to be fired soon. He’s just about managing to hang onto his job for the time being.

It can also mean to wait for a short time, just hang on a second. Hang on a minute, I’ll be there shortly. Hang on a minute, and I’ll be right with you. Hang on a minute, and I’ll be right with you. So that’s number eight, to hold onto something, or to wait for a short time.

Number nine, to pitch in. Well, to pitch in is to share an idea, or to share something, as part of a group, perhaps to share responsibility. If you are pitching in, you’re definitely not doing something on your own. You might be giving your individual contribution, but it definitely has this idea of being part of a group, so to pitch in, to share an idea or to do something as part of a group. Let me give you an example of that one. We all pitched in to make sure it was finished by close of business on Friday. We all pitched in to make sure it was finished by close of business on Friday. So that’s number nine, to pitch in.

And number 10, to get ahead. Well, if you are going to get ahead, that means you are going to become successful. You’re going to rise to the top, perhaps in the corporate environment. So, if you want to get ahead in this business, you’ll have to learn how to deal with difficult clients. If you want to get ahead in this business, you’ll have to learn how to deal with difficult clients. So that means to succeed, to become successful, to get to the top, or to rise to the top in a particular business. That’s number 10, to get ahead.

Time for a quick summary. Number one, to screw up. That’s an informal one that means to make a significant mistake. Number two, to zero in on, to focus on something. Number three, to run into. That can mean to meet someone or something by chance, to reach a particular amount, or to start to have difficulties or problems. Number four, to run by, to check with someone to get their approval. Number five, to hand in, to deliver something such as a project or notice to leave the company.

Number six, to cut back on, to reduce costs or expenditure. Number seven, to count on, to rely or depend on. Number eight, to hang on, to hold onto or to wait for a short time. Number nine, to pitch in, to share an idea or to do something as part of a group. And number 10, to get ahead, to become successful.

Well, that’s the end, or that brings us to the end of this session on phrasal verbs. Thank you so much for listening as always, and don’t forget to sign up for that free training on the website. That’s www.businessenglishcommunity.com. If you’ve got any questions for me at all, you can also go through the website. There is a contact form on the website. I’d really love to hear from you wherever you are in the world. Please let me know how you’re getting on with this series on phrasal verbs. Share your concerns. Let me know your questions and I can help you achieve your business English goals.

Finally, if you enjoyed today’s episode, I invite you to check out our online learning platform and community at businessenglishcommunity.com. The Business English Community is the essential resource for intermediate and advanced learners who want to take their business English to the next level. We offer extensive audio and video libraries, live webinars, and ask me anything calls, and very importantly, an active community where you can get answers to all of your business English questions. If you really want to take action to improve your level quickly, then sign up at businessenglishcommunity.com.

That’s it from me. Thanks for listening. All the best, and until next time.

 

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