Not Just English… Business English

Business English

What is Business English Exactly?

Most people have come across Business English in some form or another. If you have ever applied for a credit card, surely there was a stated Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Maybe you’ve heard someone saying that they’re worried about their car depreciating in value. We encounter terms like these almost every day, and in order to grow professionally it is important to understand the wide range of terms that are used in Business English.

Using Business English, of course, is not just simply discussing different businesses and concepts with which we are all familiar. For example, ‘companies should be returning to normal operations if Covid cases continue to decrease’, or ‘I read about Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, in the newspaper again’.

Business English is much more in depth than this. It is made up of all the terminology used in the business world. There are specific terms that help describe a corporate structure. We come across financial terms that articulately explain how to classify transactions and what a company’s money is ‘doing’. Simply speaking, it is a means of communication. This international language, or ‘lingua franca’, enables people to understand each other across different nations and achieve goals in a more efficient manner.


Why is the Terminology So Important?

The terminology is important because it is the foundation of this specific type of language. It also saves time. We could say:

‘Some investors are attracted to companies that are known for issuing payments based on their relative shares in that company.

Or we can simply say

‘Some investors are attracted to companies that are known for paying dividends.

Though these two statements are very similar, the second is more concise. We can save time by not having to explain in detail every action a company takes. This, of course, is why we use terminology in any given field. Have you ever listened to two auto mechanics discussing their trade? Finding yourself completely clueless as to what they were exactly talking about? This is because they are using the terminology of their industry, and they are able to communicate quickly and effectively based on their specific knowledge of the terminology. The commonly used adage ‘time is money’, though perhaps overly used, is true. The terminology helps to save time and get business done effectively.


Now, How Does One Achieve Fluency in Business English?

The short answer: dive in!

Begin by learning the basic functions of a company, how they are set up, and their different structures. Understand what it implies if a certain company is classified as an LLC, Partnership, S-Corp, etc. There are a variety of helpful resources outside of the classroom as well. You can start reading the Financial Times, or even just the business section of the newspaper in order to supplement your formal business study. Though it can seem intimidating at first, as you continue to study and practice it should become apparent that the same terms end up appearing repeatedly. It goes without saying that the more you practice the more it becomes less of a challenge and more of a pleasure. It should be rewarding to be able to apply your knowledge in the real world.



Knowledge of Business English is fundamental to one’s professional success, and it is imperative to be understood and to understand others. Luckily, the language of business is entirely based on concepts and a common understanding of ideas. Consequently, anyone can study Business English in the manner that they see fit: in the classroom, one-on-one tutoring, or online courses. In the end, though, the common result should be fluency and confidence within the business world.


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