Whether it’s in meetings, telephone conversations or networking events, you’ll find specific vocabulary and buzzwords everywhere in the world of business! Knowing these words in English can help open career opportunities and help you communicate effectively with international clients and colleagues.

Not sure where to find these mystery words and phrases? Take a look at our list of business vocabulary resources. From magazines, to videos to podcasts, there’s something for everyone. Practise on your early morning commute or on your coffee break and excel in that next interview or work presentation.


1. Forbes Magazine

Forbes Magazine | 8 resources to build your business vocabulary | Oxford House Barcelona

Forbes magazine is excellent for studying business English in real-life contexts. Whether it’s their annual billionaires list or their 100 most powerful women you’ll be sure to pick up lots of business vocabulary. These lists make the information really easy to digest.


2. TED Talks

What’s great about TED Talks is that there are over 3,000 videos related to business, so you can learn lots of new useful words whilst listening to the experts in your field. Watch on YouTube or go to the TED website where you’ll find subtitles in over 100 different languages.

Here’s a look at world-famous business entrepreneur Richard Branson explaining his different Virgin enterprises. You’ll never guess how many he owns!


3. BBC Talking Business

Have you ever wanted to interrupt politely in a meeting but not known how to do it? What about making an appointment over the telephone?

Honestly, the best way to learn is by listening to dialogues from real contexts. Luckily BBC Talking Business offers just that! They’ve created short business conversations similar to those you might find in meetings, presentations, negotiations and phone conversations. As you listen you can follow the transcript and key phrases and there’s even a quiz at the end to test what you remember!

Try out this list of typical telephone phrases from one of their conversations. Can you use any of them at work?

BBC Talking Business | Oxford House Barcelona

4. The British Council Business English

If you’re looking for a new job in an international company, or you’re the one doing the hiring, you might have the added worry of interviewing in English. And then there are all the other things to remember, like how to describe your skills and why you’d be perfect for the role.

To help you out The British Council have created their own Business English page with lots of different resources for difficult work situations like this.

This particular episode from their series ‘You’re Hired’ includes typical job interview questions and words for describing your job. Once you’ve watched it, take a look at the transcripts and comprehension tasks. Then, write down the new vocabulary, practise in front of the mirror and get that dream job!


5. YouTube

When you’re already losing sleep about speaking English, the last thing you need is confusing phrasal verbs! This is where YouTube can help you out. There are plenty of YouTubers who carefully explain business phrasal verbs with easy-to understand examples.

Phrasal verbs like – cut back, hold up and take over. If you master this vocabulary, trust us, you’ll really sound like a professional at work – and you’ll be able to understand native speakers of English much more easily. Not sure what they mean? That’s okay! Watch this video to find out.


6. BBC at Work Podcast

Travelling to work in rush hour can be a nightmare but a good podcast can make everything better. We recommend BBC at Work because each episode is short and easy to understand, especially when you’re on the move.

Nervous about networking? No problem! In this episode they teach you excellent phrases for introducing yourself and socialising with colleagues so you definitely won’t be standing in silence at your next conference.

7. Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank TV Shows

Dragon’s Den is a British TV show where entrepreneurs get three minutes to pitch an idea to five multimillionaires. It’s great for learning business related words like revenue and profit, just make sure you make a note of any new phrases you hear. And if you’d prefer to perfect your American accent, try the US version – Shark Tank!


8. Quizlet

Quizlet is brilliant for learning and memorising new words, so what better way to build up your business vocabulary? It involves digital flashcards that have the word on one side and the definition on the other. You can even make your own cards if you’re feeling really clever!

Take a look at this list of The top most 100 words in Business English and test yourself in that five minutes between meetings!

Quizlet | 8 resources to build your business vocabulary | Oxford House Barcelona

Bonus Tips

Build a bank of business vocabulary relevant to you. Check out this list to get you started.

Record yourself speaking on the telephone, listen back and look up any vocabulary you were missing.

Read your own company’s website in English, especially the part about your department!

Follow your favourite businesses on social media. Twitter is great for discovering short texts in English.

Are you interested in more business English resources? Take a look at these articles:

How to Write the Perfect Business Email

How to Pass your First Job Interview in English

How to Write the Perfect CV

How to Deliver a Convincing Presentation

And last but not least… Don’t forget to sign up to our Business English Course!

Glossary for Language Learners


Find the following words in the article and then write down any new ones you didn’t know.

Buzzword (n): a word that is being used a lot in a particular subject or area.

Commute (n): your regular journey between work and home.

To digest (v): to take time to understand new information.

Field (n): your area of work or interest.

Entrepreneur (n): a person who starts their own business.

Politely (adv): to do something in a socially correct way .

Hiring (n): employing someone.

Lose sleep (exp): to worry about something .

Rush hour (n): the busiest times of day when people are travelling to and from work.

Networking (n): meeting new people.

To pitch (v): to present a business idea.


n = noun

v = verb

adv = adverb

exp = expression

Study English at Oxford House Barcelona

Interested in taking a Business English course at Oxford House Barcelona? Take a look at our Business course and contact us for more information.

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