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Ten Business English Idioms: Practice Exercises and Worksheets

Updated: Apr 23

Business English, idioms, American English, phrases, quiz, practice exercises, worksheet
Business English Idioms

"Think outside the box," "read between the lines," "hit the ground running," what do all these expressions mean? Is it about someone sitting in a box, reading something, or running somewhere?

In this article, you'll learn ten essential American Business English idioms.

To check your answers, scroll down to the bottom of the page. For each part, there's a worksheet available for download.

Let's get started!


Step 1. Match the five idioms below with their definitions.

  1. stand the test of time

A. to start doing something new with energy and enthusiasm

2. double down on something

B. to remain good and effective for a long time

3. read between the lines

C. to think creatively

4. think outside the box (also think out of the box)

D. to put more effort into something

5. hit the ground running

E. to understand the hidden meaning

Step 2. Complete the sentences with one of the idioms from Step 1. Use verbs in the correct form.

  1. They've seen promising results so far, that's why they've decided to _____ on their efforts.

  2. He didn't explicitly say it in his email, but if you _____, it seems like he's not happy with the proposal.

  3. They've been friends and business partners for more than 20 years, so it's true to say that their friendship has _____.

  4. It seems to me that to solve this problem, we need to _____. Traditional solutions are not going to work here.

  5. We expect our new employees to get involved right away. They should _____ from day one.


WORKSHEET American Business English Idioms Part 1
Download PDF • 104KB


Step 1. Complete each idiom with the correct word from the box.

feet pipeline plug lengths corners

business English idioms, exercises, practice, Business English training
Business English Idioms. Part 2.

  1. Our company goes to great _____ to ensure customer satisfaction. For example, we offer discounts, have 24/7 customer support, resolve complaints promptly and train our employees to prioritize client needs.

  2. She deals with unexpected challenges with such ease. - Yes, she's used to thinking on her _____.

  3. In 2021, they started having financial issues. As a result, they decided to pull the _____ on the project.

  4. We can't afford to cut _____ if we want to keep our customers happy.

  5. More products are in the _____, so we can expect some exciting releases soon.

Step 2. Match each idiom with the correct definition.

  1. go to great lengths

A. to stop something from continuing, like a project or activity

2. think on your feet

B. to do everything possible to solve a problem or achieve something

3. pull the plug on something

C. it's being planned or worked on and will soon be available

4. cut corners

D. to do something quickly or cheaply, often resulting in a loss of quality of safety

5. in the pipeline

E. to be able to quickly make decisions


WORKSHEET American Business English Idioms Part 2
Download PDF • 112KB

Step 3. Quiz (idioms from Parts 1-2).



Part 1.

Step 1.






Step 2.

1.double down

2. read between the lines

3. stood the test of time

4. think outside the box (think out of the box)

5. hit the ground running

Part 2.

Step 1.


2. feet

3. plug

4. corners

5. pipeline

Step 2.






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