Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you find it difficult to talk about your strengths at work?

If so, you are not alone!

This aversion may be cultural or personal.

Listen in today and learn vocabulary you can use to share what you can do in the business world.


Lindsay asks if Michelle is Microsoft Excel savvy.

Michelle says that she can’t say she is.

She knows the basics to do what she needs.

Lindsay admits that her knowledge of Excel is similar.

She didn’t take Accounting classes in college so she relies on family and friends to help her with spreadsheets.

In today’s episode, a listener asks about the word ‘savvy.’

Can you please explain the word savvy? I think knowing the right meaning of some terms can help us to fix and understand better the expressions. Thanks!

Joseph Soares Alcantara

This is often used in English, and you can check our episodes from the All Ears English podcast to learn more vocabulary like this.

You can check out episode AEE 2139: Take a Stab at These English Phrases.

Talking about strengths and weaknesses

‘Savvy’ is a great word to use in the workplace to talk about strengths or weaknesses.

According to Merriam Webster, the word ‘savvy’ is defined as having or showing perception, comprehension, or shrewdness especially in practical matters.

It’s basically being knowledgeable about something.

It can be used in many different ways and today we’ll share some examples.

#1: Adding ‘savvy’ to a noun

You can add ‘savvy’ to any noun; for example, ‘tech-savvy.’

This means someone is good with computers, phones, or any type of technology.

Lindsay shares she is not tech-savvy but has a general and average understanding of most technical stuff.

The term ‘savvy’ can be attached to another word to say the person is really good at a particular thing.

Here are some examples:

  • He’s very design-savvy.
  • She’s numbers-savvy.

#2: Savvy as an adjective

You can also use this word as an adjective to say someone is really good at something.

Here are some examples:

  • It’s important to be savvy about travel because otherwise our team will waste a lot of time on logistics.
  • She’s super savvy when it comes to directions, but she struggles making decisions on her own.
  • He’s such a savvy entrepreneur.

Savvy synonyms

There is another word you can use to interchange with ‘savvy.’

For example, you can say they are ‘sharp.’

It doesn’t mean someone is sharp like a blade that could hurt someone.

In this context, ‘sharp’ describes someone as very smart with expertise in a certain area.

Here is an example:

  • He’s so sharp when it comes to creating new recipes.


The following roleplay uses the vocabulary from today’s episode.

This is a good way for you to understand how to better use these words in an English conversation.

Lindsay is an interior designer and Michelle is her client.

Michelle: I am not savvy about design at all. I am so happy to have your help!
Lindsay: No problem! Well- we will just start with what you like- colors, patterns- send me pictures of your taste.
Michelle: Ok I can send my Pinterest.
Lindsay: You know what, can you email them? I’m not super tech-savvy and I like to have everything in one place.
Michelle: No problem. I’ll email them.
Lindsay: Thanks- I’m sharp when it comes to design, don’t you worry!


Know your strengths and always strive for excellence.

Being savvy at something is very beneficial.

Additionally, hiring experts to help you with a project or gain new skills can be very valuable.

It’s important to know the vocabulary to use to share your strengths and weaknesses.

This can help you articulate what type of expertise you’re looking for or share what you can do in the professional world.

In what ways are you savvy?

We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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