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Dec 05 2016

Business English Expressions and Idioms – Talking about Business Success: English Lessons Houston

Business English Lessons Houston

Business Expressions and Idioms – Talking about Business Success

Hi Students,

Here are some examples of idioms and expressions that you will sometimes hear when people are talking about success in business.

  1. Recording breaking

    – to do better than one has done before

Examples:  Verizon Wireless had a record-breaking first quarter.  The sales were the highest in the company’s history.

Business Success 1

  1. Pan out – to have a good result

Example:  Wells Fargo encouraged its employees to open new accounts and it panned out.  Four hundred new accounts were opened last month!

 

 

 

  1. A pat on the back – words of gratitude or encouragement

Example:  The boss gave Rodrigo a pat on the back for his hard work last month.

Business Success 2

  1. Kudos

    – compliments for a job well done

Example:  Kudos to the employees of Bank of China for bringing in a lot of new customers.

 

  1. Through the roof

    – very high amounts

 

Example:   The number of sales of the new Apple IPhones are through the roof!  The number of phone bought is much higher than we expected.

 

  1. Share the credit

    – to mention that you had help from colleagues

Example:  Thank you for the pat on the back!  But I want to share the credit with my colleagues who worked with me on this project.

Business Success 4

  1. Make a killing

    – making a lot of money

 

Example:  I bought stock in AT&T when the price was low, and I made a killing.  The price is very high now.

 

  1. Break even

    – when expenses are equal to profits

Example:  We had a lot of expenses in our first year in business, so we just broke even.  Next year, we will make a profit.

Business Success 3

  1. To have the lion’s share

    – to have the largest share in the market

Example:  Chevron Corporation has the lion’s share of service contracts in the oil and gas industry.

  1. Hit pay dirt – make money

Example:  After breaking even for three years in a row, we finally hit pay dirt in 2016 and made very high profits.

 

 

Students, practice using these idioms and expressions so that you will become more fluent in American English.  Good luck!

 

If you’re interested in online or in-person classes, give us a call at Worldwide English (713) 953-6511 or visit us online at Worldwide English.   We are based in Houston, Texas teaching English worldwide.

Nov 28 2016

Business English Expressions and Idioms – Talking about Scheduling

Business English Lessons in Houston
Business Expressions and Idioms – Talking about Scheduling.

Hi Students,
Here are some examples of idioms and expressions that you will sometimes hear when your colleagues are talking about scheduling.

schedules-3
1. Ahead of schedule– doing something faster than expected
Example: The engineering department is ahead of schedule on the drawings for the new bridge. They will probably finish earlier than we expected.

2. Behind schedule – doing something slower than expected.
Example: FedEx is rarely behind schedule on its deliveries. They are almost always on time.
3. Crunch time – When there is not very much time left to get something done.
Example: It’s crunch time! The financial analysis for the project in the Permian Basin is due tomorrow. We should hurry!

 

4. Down to the wire – To complete work just before something is due
Example: In order to finish the model on time, we will need to work down to the wire. We will all work late tonight. The project is due tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.  schedules-2

5. Fast track – to try and finish something quickly

Example: The client wants this completed by next Friday. We will have to fast track the project to get it done on time.

6. Mess around – waste time
Example: We are behind schedule on the Janus project. We need to quit messing around and get back to work!

schedules-4

7. Get up to speed – to learn the latest information about something

Example: Mr. Chu, please bring us up to speed on the project for Berkshire-Hathaway.

8. Working against the clock – to try to do something in a short amount of time
Example: In order to fill these orders for Walmart by December 1st, we will be working against the clock to get it done.

9. 24/7 – to do something 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Example: In order to complete the project, everyone is working 24/7 to get it done on time.

schedules-1
10. Cutting it close– to complete something with not enough time
Example: Jerry has to deliver the contract to before 5:00 p.m. today. He will be cutting it close and I’m not sure he can do it.

 

Students, practice using these idioms and expressions so that you will become more fluent in American English. Good luck!

 

If you’re interested in online or in-person classes, give us a call at Worldwide English (713) 953-6511 or visit us online at http://www.englishlessons-houston.com. We are based in Houston, Texas teaching English worldwide.

Business English Lessons

Oct 09 2016

Private English Lessons in Houston – Business Idioms and Expressions for Financial Issues

 

Hi Students,

Here are some examples of idioms and expressions that you will sometimes hear when people are talking about financial issues.

  1. Ballpark figure – a guess about how much something will cost that could be more or less, but will be close.

Examples:  Anadarko Petroleum Company is asking its financial department for a ballpark figure of what it would cost to build a new refinery in Algeria.

A Ballpark Figure

A Ballpark Figure

  1. Crunch the numbers – to perform financial calculations

Example:  Devon Energy is planning to invest in new equipment for off-shore drilling.  The Vice-President has asked the Financial Department to crunch the numbers so that they can include the equipment in their 2017 budget.

 

 

 

 

  1. In the red – when expenses are higher than company revenues

Example:  For the past six months, our expenses have been higher than our income and now the company is in the red.

 

  1. In the black – when revenues are higher than expenses

 

Example:  Our first quarter sales were great!  We will be in the black for all of 2016.

In the Black

In the Black

 

  1. Break-even – when revenue equals expenses; a company doesn’t lose money and doesn’t make money.

 

Example:   When Ben and Jerry first began their ice cream company, they broke even for the first two years.

 

  1. A Pretty penny – a high price

Example:  The new warehouse purchased last year close to the ship channel cost the Hess Corporation a pretty penny.

Nickel and dime

Nickel and dime

  1. Nickel and dime someone – making a company pay for small expenses

 

Example:  I don’t think we should sign the contract to do business with our client.  They are nickel and diming us over every small detail.  We won’t make any money from this deal.

 

  1. Break one’s budget – to cost more than one can afford to pay

Example:  The cost of investing in Peru at this time will break our budget.  We will have to wait until 2018.

 

  1. To get more bang for the buck – more return on one’s money, more value for an investment

Example:  If we use the vendor from Norway, we will get more bang for our buck.

  1. Back -of-the-envelope calculations – approximate calculations done quickly
    Back of the envelope calculations

    Back of the envelope calculations

Example:  Based on back-of-the-envelope calculations, Royal Dutch Shell should be able to build four new off-shore drilling rigs in 2018.

 

Students, practice using these idioms and expressions so that you will become more fluent in American English.  Good luck!

 

If you’re interested in online or in-person classes, give us a call at Worldwide English (713) 953-6511 or visit us online at http://www.englishlessons-houston.com.    We are based in Houston, Texas teaching English worldwide.

Business English Lessons

Copyright©2012 by The Worldwide English Company.  All rights reserved.

Aug 24 2016

English Lessons Houston – Make and Do

English Lessons Houston- Do and Make

Hello Students!

In today’s lesson, we will learn about when to use “do” and when to use “make”.  Make and Do can be very confusing for students learning English.  In this lesson, we will go over the rules about Make and Do and when to use each one.

Make is for creating or building something new.

Make a date or appointment or date

John and I made a date to have lunch together.

“Make a plan” –   Make a trip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made plans to visit New York City this summer.


“Make noise” –

Turn down the music.  You are making too much noise!

 

 “Make a promise”-

I made a promise to finish the project by Friday at noon.

 

Make the bed” –

It’s a good habit to make the bed every day.

 

Make a phone call” –

Jing made a phone call to her mother in Beijing.

Make a decision” –

I made the decision to buy the Porsche.   Confused about the word By

 

 

 

 

 

Make an improvement” –

You’ve made a big improvement in your work!

Make a meal, food or drink”-

I made lunch for my wife today.  I made Italian food.

 

make food

 

Do is used when talking about a job or task.

Do business”

Last year, we did business with Petrobras.

“Do household tasks like cleaning, dishes, laundry” –

My wife did the dishes last night while I did the laundry.

Do laundry

 

 

 

“Do exercises” –

Nicole did exercises at the gym today for two hours.

 “Do your best”-

My children do their best to make good grades.

 

Do a job” –

Last month, our team did a job for NASA.

 

Do the wrong/right thing” –

My husband told me that I was doing the right thing.

 

Do homework” –

I like to do my homework on the weekends. 

 

TOEFL 1

Do for a greeting” –

How are you doing?  I’m doing fine.

 

That’s our lesson on DO vs. MAKE!  I hope you do well this week in your lessons!

If you are in Houston, Texas please call us for private English lessons.  For more information, visit http://www.englishlessons-houston.com or write to julie@englishlessons-houston.com    (713) 993-6511  We also offer SKYPE lessons.

Copyright©2016 by The Worldwide English Company.  All rights reserved.

Business English Lessons

Mar 27 2016

English Lessons Houston -American Idioms using Similes

American Idioms

Idioms using Similes – Lesson 5

 

Hello Students!

In today’s lesson, we will learn more about idioms. Americans use lots of idioms, especially in movies and at the office.  The more you use and understand them, the greater your English speaking skills will be.  You will “fit right in”!

Today, we are looking at American idioms that use similes.

What is a simile?  A simile compares two things that are not alike.

They contain the words, “as…….as a/an ……” or  “like”.

Most similes are idioms. They are used to emphasize something.  (very tired, very hungry, very busy, etc.)

Here are some examples of American idioms from similes.

simile 6as hungry as a bear”very hungry

After running three miles in the park, President Obama was as hungry as a bear.

 “eats like a horse” – eats a lot

For lunch, President Obama ate two plates of spaghetti, three pieces of bread and two bowls of ice cream.  He ate like a horse!

 

 


“as sick as a dog” – to be very sick Similes 5

After eating all that food, President Obama was as sick as a dog!

 “as fit as a fiddle”- to be fine, to be healthy

So he took a nap after lunch, and after that, he was as fit as a fiddle.

similes 4as busy as a bee” – very busy

In fact, he worked in the Oval Office until 7:00 p.m.  He was as busy as a bee.

 

 

as cool as a cucumber” – to be very calm, to think and speak calmly

The President made some very important decisions, but he was as cool as a cucumber.

as fresh as a daisy” – very rested, wide awake and alert  simile 7

After a good night’s sleep, the President woke up at 5:00 a.m. as fresh as a daisy.

 

 

as regular as clockwork” – to do something at the same time every day, or to be on the same schedule

He had breakfast at 7:00 a.m. and went to the Oval Office at 8:00 a.m., as regular as clockwork.

Here are a few others:

  • as big as house,
  • as stubborn as a mule
  • as weak as a kitten
  • as high as a kite
  • as free as a bird

 

Similes 1

That’s our lesson on Idioms from Similes!  I hope you don’t have to work like a dog this week!

If you are in Houston, Texas please call us for private English lessons.  For more information, visit http://www.englishlessons-houston.com or write to julie@englishlessons-houston.com

Copyright©2016 by The Worldwide English Company.  All rights reserved.

Business English Lessons

Mar 26 2016

English Lessons Houston – Passing the TOEFL Integrated Speaking Tasks

Passing the TOEFL Integrated Speaking Tasks

from Worldwide English in Houston, Texas

 

TOEFL int speakingAre you getting ready to take the TOEFL test?  As you know, there are four parts to the TOEFL test and one of those parts is a speaking test.  In this lesson, I will give you some hints to help you do very well in the Speaking test so that your score on this test will improve.

There are six tasks on the TOEFL Speaking test.

There are four integrated speaking tasks on the TOEFL test: two of the tasks have reading, listening and speaking.   For each task, you have 45 seconds to read, you have 30 seconds to prepare your answer and write notes, and 60 seconds to speak.  There is one speaking task that is about two students talking, or a counselor or professor talking to a student.  The other integrated speaking test is a university lecture.  You may not understand the content of the lecture, but there is enough information so that you will be able to answer the question.

In this lesson, we will look an an integrated speaking task that has reading, listening and speaking.  For these tasks you have 45 seconds to read, 30 seconds to prepare your answer and 60 seconds to speak. TOEFL int speaking 3

Here is an example of the reading, listening and speaking task:

  • The reading is an announcement about a work/study program for students. (45 seconds to read)
  • The listening part is about two students discussing the announcement. (you may take notes)
  • Here is the speaking assignment:

One student wants to be in the work/study program.  What are the requirements necessary and what are the advantages of the program?

Before you start, it’s good to know that:

  • The purpose of the reading is to give you a chance to read the vocabulary used before you listen to a conversation or lecture. It helps you to recognize the vocabulary when you hear it.
  • Usually, you need the information from both the reading and  listening parts in order to answer the question in the speaking part.
  • In this example, you are asked to talk about the requirements and the advantages of the work/study program. You have one minute to do this.

TOEFL int speaking 2Sample answer:

Introduction:

There are requirements and advantages for students in the work/study program.

Requirements

One requirement is that a student must be enrolled full-time in the university.  Also, students must be able to prove that they have a financial need and must fill out paperwork about their finances. Students can apply if they have a lot or just a little financial need.  Not all students qualify to participate in the work/study program because they do not need financial help.

Advantages:

One advantage of the work/study program is that students can earn up to $3,000 per year.  This will help students with their educational expenses. Also, the work/study program can give students valuable job experience in their major area of study.

Conclusion:

For these reasons, the work/study program can be very helpful for students who have financial needs.

Now, let’s put it all together:

There are requirements and advantages for students in the work/study program.    One requirement is that a student must be enrolled full-time in the university.  Also, students must be able to prove that they have a financial need and must fill out paperwork about their finances. Students can apply if they have a lot or just a little financial need.  Not all students qualify to participate in the work/study program because they do not need financial help.

One advantage of the work/study program is that students can earn up to $3,000 per year.  This will help students with their educational expenses. Also, the work/study program can give students valuable job experience in their major area of study.  For these reasons, the work/study program can be very helpful for students who have financial needs.

Time:  58 seconds

TOEFL int speaking 4

More helpful hints:

  • In these integrated speaking tasks, you have more time available to answer. So you can give more details.
  • Be sure to speak slowly so that the listener understands what you are saying.
  • Remember to include your introduction and conclusion. This shows the listener that you are organized.
  • Use transition words. This also shows the listener that you are able to organize your thoughts.
  • If you are listening to a lecture and you don’t understand the topic, don’t worry. Just take notes and look back to the reading to help you answer the question.  Some of the lectures are about topics that you’ve never seen before.  That’s okay because you can still answer the question if you take good notes and organize your answer.

If you are in Houston, Texas please call us for private English lessons.  For more information, visit Worldwide English or write to julie@englishlessons-houston.com

Copyright©2016 by The Worldwide English Company.  All rights reserved.

Business English Lessons

Mar 22 2016

Passing the TOEFL: Independent Speaking Tasks

English Lessons Houston  –  Passing the TOEFL: Independent Speaking Tasks
TEOFL speaking 1

Are you getting ready to take the TOEFL test?  As you know, there are four parts to the TOEFL test and one of those parts is a speaking test.  In this lesson, I will give you some hints to help you do very well on the “Independent Tasks”,  so that your score on this test will improve.

There are six tasks on the TOEFL Speaking test.

There are two independent speaking tasks on the TOEFL test.  For each task, you have 15 seconds to think about your answer and write notes and 45 seconds to speak your answer. The first one is a personal preference task, which means there is a question that allows you to choose from your experience.

Examples:

  • Name a skill you have learned and why it is important to you.
  • Describe a class you have taken and why that class was important for you.
  • Describe a teacher you had and how that teacher influenced you.

The second independent speaking task is a personal choice task, which means you are to choose between two things and talk about one of them.

Examples:

  • Some students like to work on group projects and other students prefer to work alone. Which kinds of projects produce more learning and why?
  • Some people work for a business and some people work in their own business. Which would you prefer to do and why?

If you feel very nervous when you are speaking into the microphone, it is good to follow a pattern that will help you to feel more calm.  Here is the pattern you should follow to give a successful answer.

TOEFL speaking 4
Sample speaking task:  Name a hobby you have and why it is important to you.

1) Give an introductory sentence.

My favorite hobby is cooking for my friends and family.

2)  Give detail #1.

I enjoy cooking because it helps me to learn about other cultures.  Cooking recipes for Indian, Mexican or Chinese food helps me to understand the diets of other people around the world.

3)  Give detail #2.

Also, cooking is a social activity because, when I cook for my friends or my family, we all get together and talk and laugh and enjoy good food.

4)  If you have time, give detail #3.

Furthermore, cooking is a creative process because it gives me a chance to try different techniques, spices and flavors.  I like to try different dishes from all over the world. 

5)  Give a concluding sentence that is similar to your introductory sentence.

For these reasons, cooking is a hobby that I really enjoy.

Okay, let’s put it all together:  TOEFL speaking 2

My favorite hobby is cooking for my friends and family.  I enjoy cooking because it helps me to learn about other cultures.  Cooking recipes for Indian, Mexican or Chinese food helps me to understand the diets of other people around the world.

Also, cooking is a social activity because, when I cook for my friends or my family, we all get together and talk and laugh and enjoy good food.

Furthermore, cooking is a creative process because it gives me a chance to try different techniques, spices and flavors.  Different flavors and spices give different results.

For these reasons, cooking is a hobby that I really enjoy.

Time:  44 seconds

  • It’s important to include an introductory sentence and a concluding sentence. This shows that you are able to organize your thinking.
  • Don’t speak more than two sentences for each detail you give. This is important!  If you say more than two sentences for each detail, you will not have enough time.
  • Keep it simple! Don’t try to say everything.  Just choose the main points.
  • Remember to take a breath when you begin, which will help you to be calm and you can think more clearly.

Let’s look now at the personal choice independent speaking task.

TOEFL speaking 3Sample task:  Some people work for a business and some people work in their own business.  Which would you prefer to do and why?

1) Give an introductory sentence.

I would prefer to work for a business rather than work in my own business. 

(Note:  It’s okay if your introductory sentence follows the same structure as the question.)

 

2)  Give detail #1.

Working for a company provides more security.   I can focus on my work while other employees take care of paying the company bills and marketing. 

3)  Give detail #2.

Also, working for a company can offer many benefits.  Employees receive paid vacations, sick days and health insurance.  These are important for families.

4)  If you have time, give detail #3.

Finally, there is less stress working for a business than working in your own business because a business owner must worry about all areas of the company and the company’s survival. 

5)  Give a concluding sentence that is similar to your introductory sentence.

For these reasons, I prefer working for a company.

Okay, let’s put it all together:sheep with headphones

I would prefer to work for a business rather than work in my own business.  Working for a company provides more security.  I can focus on my work while other employees take care of paying the company bills and marketing.

Also, working for a company can offer many benefits.  Employees receive paid vacations, sick days and health insurance.  These are important for families.

Finally, there is less stress working for a business than working in your own business because a business owner must worry about all areas of the company and the company’s survival.

For these reasons, I prefer working for a company.

Time:  42 seconds

This answer had three details but not too much information about each detail.  So I was able to say everything in 42 seconds.

Other helpful hints:

  • It’s fine to use transition words like first, second, moreover, in conclusion, etc. This shows the person who is listening that you are well-organized, and you will receive a higher score for this.
  • Talk at a steady pace, not too fast. And remember to breathe!  If you talk too fast, the listener may not understand what you are saying and this will hurt your score.  If you slow down, the listener will be more likely to understand what you are saying and you will get a better score.
  • Use words that you are familiar with. Don’t use words that you are not sure about.  Just keep it simple and this will help you to get a higher score.
  • The person who is scoring your test does not care how smart you are, so don’t try to sound like a genius. Organize your thoughts, speak plainly and simply, include an introduction and conclusion and two to three details and your score will be good.
  • Choose some independent speaking tasks from TOEFL books or practice tests. Prepare for 15 seconds and see if you can complete your answer in 45 seconds.  Try to talk for at least 40 seconds. Do this again and again!
  • The more you practice, the more relaxed you will feel when you take the real TOEFL test. Good luck.

Next time, we will look at the integrated speaking tasks of the TOEFL.

Worldwide English teaches private lessons to expats and their spouses in their home or office in the Houston, Texas area.  We can help you to prepare for the IELTS or TOEFL exams.

For more information, visit http://www.englishlessons-houston.com or write to julie@englishlessons-houston.com

Copyright©2016 by The Worldwide English Company.  All rights reserved.

Business English Lessons

Feb 18 2016

American Idioms from Weather Lesson 4

English Lessons Houston-American Idioms

Idioms from Weather – Lesson 4

Hello Students!

In today’s lesson, we will learn more about idioms. Americans use lots of idioms, especially in movies and at the office.  The more you use and understand them, the greater your English speaking skills will be.  You will “fit right in”!

 “snowed under” – to be very busy, to have many things to do

At Brown & Root, we have so many projects, we are snowed under!


“weather the storm” – to go through a difficult times; to wait until conditions improve

Our sales at Nordstrom were down last year, but we weathered the storm and sales are much better this year.

Weather idioms 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 “the calm before the storm” – the peaceful, calm time before you become very busy

All the visitors from Hong Kong are arriving on Friday.  This is the calm before the storm and we are trying to make sure everything is ready for them when they visit our office.

 

get wind of”to hear about something or learn about something

My boss got wind of the news that the company was going to be sold.

Weather idioms 5

 

a fair-weather friend”– someone who is your friend when you are doing well

John was always friendly to me until I was laid off from Atlas Oil.  Now he won’t return my calls.  I guess he was just a fair-weather friend.

 

to rain cats and dogs” – to experience very heavy rain  Weather idioms 2

The weather was terrible as I was driving to work in Chicago.  It was raining cats and dogs!

 

 

 

a breeze” – something that is very easy to do

I promised my team at Medallion Oil that this project would be a breeze because we have done this type of work many times before.

 

Weather idioms 4to feel under the weather” – to feel ill or sick

I was feeling under the weather this morning, so I decided to stay home in bed today.

 

 

 

 

 

throw caution to the wind” – to be careless, to not worry about the consequences  Weather idioms 6

My wife said that we did not have the money to buy a DeLorean, but I threw caution to the wind and bought the car anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

take a rain check”– to do something at a later time

My colleagues asked me to lunch today, but I was busy so I told them that I would take a raincheck and eat with them next week.

 

That’s our lesson on Idioms from Weather!  If you come to Houston, Texas in the USA and you need private English lessons, contact Worldwide English at http://englishlessons-houston.com  or call 713-993-6511.

We also give SKYPE lessons!

Business English Lessons

Feb 01 2016

American Idioms from Time – English Lessons Houston

English Lessons Houston-American Idioms

Idioms from Time – Lesson 3

 

Hello Students!

 

In today’s lesson, we will learn more about idioms. Using idioms is a vital way the English language is used, and the more you use and understand them, the greater you English speaking skills will be.

 

 “To kill time” – to wait for something to happen, to waste time    Time idioms 2

We arrived at the movie one hour early, so to kill time, we took a walk.


“take time out” – to rest or relax for a short time

Ricardo took time out from his studies to go see the new Star Wars movie.

 

 “to make time” – to do something that you did not plan to do

I am very busy today, but I will make time to go and visit my sister who is in the hospital.

 

time idioms  “time flies” – time goes by very quickly

Time flies when you’re having fun!”

 

in the nick of time”– when something happens before it’s too late

My boss arrived for the meeting in the nick of time, just 1 minute before it started.

 

 

beat the clock” and also “ahead of time” – to complete something early, before it is due

My report was due at 5:00 p.m., but I beat the clock and turned it in at 1:00 p.m.

My report was due at 5:00 p.m., but I finished ahead of time, at 1:00 p.m.

in no time” – very quickly

I promised my team that I would finish my project in no time.

Time idioms 3

to take one’s time” – to do something slowly and carefully

When I go shopping, I like to take my time to look around.

“it’s about time” – to say that something or someone is late

I finally got a promotion to Team leader.  It’s about time – I’ve been waiting for two years!

 

time’s up” – there is no time left for something

At the end of one hour, our director called “time’s up” and the meeting was over.

 

That’s our lesson on Idioms from Time!  If you come to Houston, Texas in the USA and you need private English lessons, contact Worldwide English at http://englishlessons-houston.com  or call 713-993-6511.

We also give SKYPE lessons!

Business English Lessons

Nov 01 2015

Idioms From Colors – English Lessons Houston

English Lessons Houston – Idioms from Colors

 

Hi Students! This is the 2nd lesson on American Idioms. These idioms have “colors”. Try to use as many as you can when you are practicing English.

 

Gray area – When something isn’t clearly right or wrong, no clear rules or guidelines

Example:   We are not sure if we can wear blue jeans to the office on Fridays. There is no rule, so it’s a gray area.

Blue collar– When someone works doing manual labor  Idioms from Colors 5

Example: My uncle is a blue collar worker. He works for a Brown & Root construction company.

 

 

Red flag– A sign that there is a problem

Example – When we didn’t receive our paycheck last week, it was a red flag that the company might be in financial trouble.

  Idioms from Colors 3To feel blue–   To feel sad

Example: I have been away from my family for two weeks working in New Orleans. When I think of them, I feel blue.

The green light – to receive permission to start something

Example: The manager at Odebrecht Houston gave us the green light to start the project.

In black and white – Something that is written and that is clear.

Example: At first I didn’t believe that the store was closing; then I saw it in black and white in a company e-mail to all the employees.

Out of the blue –   Something that happens as a surprise

Example: My manager said that I would be moving to Chicago to work for Conoco Phillips. This news came out of the blue!

A white lie – a small lie that doesn’t harm anyone  Idioms from Colors 2

My secretary asked if I liked her new haircut. I didn’t like it but I told a white lie and said I thought she looked very nice.

 Idioms from Colors 4Red tape– a lot of bureaucratic procedures; many steps to get something done.

Example:  When I went to the Chinese Embassy, we had to go through a lot of red tape to get our visa.

 

That’s our lesson on Idioms from Colors! If you come to Houston, Texas in the USA and you need private English lessons, contact Worldwide English at http://englishlessons-houston.com or call 713-993-6511.

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