Learn Business English For:

Business English skills

Build English Skills for Business .
Improve your ability to speak, write and understand English in professional settings.

Business English skills are essential for getting ahead at work. Improving your business English vocabulary and knowledge will help you work more effectively and open up new career opportunities.

What is Business English?

In general, Business English is a form of English specially suited to international trade, commerce and finance. As such, Business English is the kind of English typically used in, for example:

  • business meetings
  • sales presentations
  • negotiations
  • business correspondence
  • business reports
  • executive summaries

Business English is normally seen as a specialism within teaching and learning English, and forms part of English for Specific Purposes. It is studied by many non-native English speakers who wish to do business with English-speaking countries—or with non-English-speaking countries using English as a lingua franca (by some estimates, at least 75% of all business communication worldwide is between non-native English speakers).

In fact, there is no globally accepted definition of Business English, but it tends to fall into two main categories:

  • Vocabulary
    Clearly, many of the English words used in business are specialised and would not be understood even by many native English speakers. Part of studying Business English is to study the vocabulary of business, which may itself be further specialised by activity or industry (banking, investment, import-export, oil, motor industry etc).
  • Functional Language
    Another aspect is the study and practice of the language and language skills needed to conduct various typically business functions such as running a meeting, negotiating or making a presentation in English.

Note that Business English may also be taught to native English speakers.

Why You Need Business English

  • Communicating fluently and professionally is a huge plus for most careers:
    Some companies offer bonuses for your foreign language skills, and you might even get better promotional opportunities.

Business English Meetings

Whether you are holding a meeting or attending a meeting, it is imporant that you understand key English phrases and expressions related to meetings. A successful meeting has no surprises. With proper preparation and careful organization, a meeting can run smoothly. The most typical complaint about meetings is that they run too long. Meetings that run longer than necessary can be very costly to a company or business. As the famous business expression says: Time is money. Setting goals and time limits, keeping to the agenda, and knowing how to refocus, are key components of an effective meeting. This may sound simple in your own native language, but it is a little trickier when you or the participants do not speak fluent English. We will help you hold or attend a meeting with success. Review the vocabulary, read through the lessons, and then check your understanding.

Business English For Presentations

A presentation is a formal talk to one or more people that “presents” ideas or information in a clear, structured way. People are sometimes afraid of speaking in public, but if you follow a few simple rules, giving a presentation is actually very easy. FIFL guides you through each stage of giving a presentation in English, from the initial preparation to the conclusion and questions and answers.

Business English for Negotiation


What is Negotiation?

One of the most important skills anyone can hold in daily life is the ability to negotiate. In general terms, a negotiation is a resolution of conflict. We enter negotiations in order to start or continue a relationship and resolve an issue. Even before we accept our first jobs, or begin our careers, we all learn how to negotiate. For one person it begins with the negotiation of an allowance with a parent. For another it involves negotiating a television schedule with a sibling. Some people are naturally stronger negotiators, and are capable of getting their needs met more easily than others. Without the ability to negotiate, people break off relationships, quit jobs, or deliberately avoid conflict and uncomfortable situations.

In the world of business, negotiating skills are used for a variety of reasons, such as to negotiate a salary or a promotion, to secure a sale, or to form a new partnership. Here are a few examples of different types of negotiations in the business world:

  • Manager and clerk: negotiating a promotion
  • Employer and potential employee: negotiating job benefits
  • Business partners A and B: making decisions about investments
  • Company A and company B: negotiating a merger
  • Customer and client: making a Sale


The Art of Negotiating

Negotiating is often referred to as an “art”. While some people may be naturally more skillful as negotiators, everyone can learn to negotiate. And, as they often say in business, “everything is negotiable”. Some techniques and skills that help people in the negotiating process include:

  • Aiming high
  • Visualizing the end results
  • Treating one’s opponent with respect and honesty
  • Preparing ahead of time
  • Exhibiting confidence

Business English For Business Letter

What is a Business Letter?

Business letters are formal paper communications between, to or from businesses and usually sent through the Post Office or sometimes by courier. Business letters are sometimes jokingly called snailmail (in contrast to email which is faster).

Who writes Business Letters?

Most people who have an occupation have to write business letters. Some write many letters each day and others only write a few letters over the course of a career. Business people also read letters on a daily basis. Letters are written from a person/group, known as the sender to a person/group, known in business as the recipient. Here are some examples of senders and recipients:

  • Business ⇔ Business
  • Business ⇔ Consumer
  • Job applicant ⇔ Company.
  • Citizen ⇔ Government official
  • Employer ⇔ Employee
  • Staff member ⇔ Staff member

Why write Business Letters?

There are many reasons why you may need to write business letters or other correspondence:

  • To persuade ⇔ To express thanks
  • To inform ⇔ To request
  • To remind ⇔ To recommend
  • To apologize ⇔ To congratulate
  • To invite or welcome ⇔ To introduce a person or policy
  • To follow up ⇔ To formalize decisions