Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever attended a business conference in English before?

At those conferences have you heard certain phrases used that you don’t really understand?

Do you want to know what some of the common phrases are within Business English?

Do you want to be able to talk like natives and use phrases to address common business topics?

We’re going to look at some of our top pet peeves when it comes to the business world and business conferences. We’ll teach you the phrases and we’ll show you how to avoid these business mistakes.

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Common Phrases Used In Professional Settings

There are some serious pet peeves within the professional world and business English especially at conferences.

These are the phrases that you are likely to hear often in professional English conversations.

  • Phone It In: You are just taking up space. You’re not trying and you’re not working hard at all. You show up but you’re not contributing anything at all. This means that you are only going through the motions and not really doing your job as it should be done. Natives use this phrase often, and it is definitely a negative but very natural thing to say. You will notice that this is negative based upon the tone of voice when it’s said. This is different than “dialed in” which means that you are on top of things.
  • To Do Something “For The Sake Of It”: This is introducing what the purpose of something is. You might be working hard “for the sake of” the company. It can be used in a positive way like this–but it can also be used in a negative way as well. In a negative way, somebody may approach you and hand you their business card without even talking to you or getting to know you. This can be frustrating because it’s done just “for the sake of” handing out a business card. This is however a cultural thing and the way that business cards are handed out can vary significantly by area of the world–so be aware of the potential differences.
  • To Have A Dry Run: This basically means to rehearse, but it somehow makes it less boring and more pertinent. This means that you are practicing or preparing and it’s said and used often in a business setting. This helps you to get rid of any potential issues or bugs ahead of time so that you are well prepared and ready for your actual presentation. It’s like a trial to see how it works and to ensure that everything is ready to go and working properly.

All of these phrases have their place in business English–so know how to use them and practice them in your interactions.


You want to know what some of the most commonly used business pet peeves and phrases are.

These are the ones that natives use the most often, and so they fit in nicely in conversation.

Not only do you want to know how they are used, but you want to get practice in using them as well.

Understanding the ins and outs of business English can help you so much professionally–and can help you to make some great and lasting connections!

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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