Advanced Business English Vocabulary, Learn 51 Words & Phrases to Improve your Vocab Skills

English Books with writing tools to help learn advanced business english vocabulary

Your English language skills as an advanced learner will equip you to build a vocabulary inventory of more than 8,000 words. Expanding your vocabulary enables you to communicate in a sophisticated manner —just like how native English speakers do.

Increasing your vocabulary to function in professional and vocational settings is essential for your general progress. Business English vocabulary helps you navigate business contexts by unlocking commonly used words in industries like law, finance, human resources, marketing, and the general business world.

In this blog, you will discover tips learners should use to strengthen their advanced business English vocabulary. Moreover, you will uncover 51 advanced business English words to add to your word bank.

5 Tips That Every Business English Advanced Learner Should Follow Develop Strong Business Vocabulary Comprehension

The depth and breadth of a learner’s vocabulary determine how well they comprehend when reading, listening and speaking in the business environment. Therefore, knowing valuable tips to achieve a robust word inventory helps you improve your comprehension.

1. Read complex materials or technical texts.

Developing your advanced business vocabulary entails understanding different types of text. For example, if you are reviewing a contract, you must understand the terms used within the context of the document.

Reading journals, business news and advanced business English books are one of the fastest ways to improve your vocabulary comprehension. To select what to read, consider what field of work or topic interests you. Browse resources for your chosen topic and start your study from there.

2. Speak spontaneously without a cheat sheet.

Cheat sheets give you a boost when preparing for a conversation. But as you enhance your proficiency, you must learn to be independent and formulate sentences and responses yourself.

You must know how to elicit words you learned and use them appropriately in your daily communication. Thinking on your feet while conversing with others will help you develop your advanced business English vocabulary by putting your retention into action.

3. Write to summarize information, explain, and express an opinion.

Your goal as an advanced learner is productive learning. It means that your accumulation of knowledge results in new material for your own consumption or the greater audience.

After reading or listening to a resource, grasps the gist of what you have learned and summarize the topic. Creating bullet points, knowledge maps, and information tables would be a great way to do this.

Reflect on the material you consumed by explaining concepts and expressing your opinion through writing. You solidify your comprehension as you write and put your vocabulary into use.

4. Self-monitor knowledge, word use, and personal experience.

Advanced learners are independent learners. After learning through guided advanced business English lessons, you can direct your learning by checking if you achieved your goals. Self-monitoring your understanding of a topic enables you to identify your knowledge gap and find ways to address it.

When communicating, examine if you utilized the words in the proper context and did not misunderstand your listener. Developing your vocabulary should result in expressing your thoughts clearly and effectively.

5. Take responsibility for what to learn and how to learn it.

To become proficient in business English, you must take ownership of your learning process. Identify your weaknesses and strengths and develop or select strategies to overcome them. Remember that as an advanced learner, you should maximize learning by doing.

Immerse yourself in the business setting to gain practical experience. Moreover, you can check your comprehension of business expressions and jargon through peer-to-peer interaction.

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51 Basic Business English Vocabulary Words for Advanced Learners:

1. Nitty-gritty

“Nitty-gritty” is an English idiom that means the essential parts or details of a document, activity, or situation. Although the term is informal, it is commonly used in spoken business English.

Example of “nitty gritty” in a sentence:

I need to get the nitty-gritty of the project before I proceed.

2. Collateral

In the banking industry, a lender usually requires collateral before approving a loan. Collateral is an asset that guarantees the repayment of debt. Real estate, vehicles, business equipment, and cash are examples of collateral.

Example of “collateral” in a sentence:

The bank required me to provide collateral to secure my loan.

3. Digital nomad

A digital nomad is someone who travels around the world without any fixed home base. Using their devices (e.g., laptops, mobile phones, tablets), they work remotely from different locations such as cafes, hotels, and coworking spaces.

Examples of “digital nomad” in a sentence:

After working a 9 to 5 job, I want to explore being a digital nomad for a change.

4. Counteroffer

Reaching an agreement during business negotiations does not always go quickly. The function of a counteroffer in negotiation is a rejection of an original proposal and tendering of a new offer that changes the term of the previous one.

Example of “counteroffer” in a sentence:

My counteroffer to accept the job is a 50% salary increase and a fully remote work arrangement.

5. Trademark

A trademark is a symbol protected by intellectual property rights that distinguishes a business’s product or services over other enterprises. It includes a brand name, logo, device, font, and color combination among others.

Example of “trademark” in a sentence:

You shouldn’t be complacent as a small business and think someone won’t steal your logo. You better trademark it for your protection.

6. Penalty

A penalty is the fine you have to pay or the punishment you face for breaking the law, contract, or rule.

Example of “penalty” in a sentence:

I missed my loan payment, so I have to pay the penalty on top of it.

7. Headquarters

Headquarters refer to the building where regulatory and administrative offices that support the company’s operations work.

Example of “headquarters” in a sentence:

I report to our company’s headquarters in the Bay area two days a week.

8. Dress code

A dress code is a set of rules specifying the type of clothing employees should wear while at work. Some companies require a formal dress code, while others use business casual.

Example of “dress code” in a sentence:

The company released our clothing allowance, that’s why I will go shopping today to buy clothes following our company’s dress code.

9. USP – Unique Selling Point

Competition is an inherent part of a business. Therefore, having a USP is a must. A Unique Selling Point (USP) is a marketing term that describes the distinguishing feature of a product or service that differentiates it from its competitors. 

Example of USP – “Unique Selling Point” in a sentence:

While crafting the business model, they discussed the USP of the company and the products they will sell.

10. To iterate

To iterate is commonly used in creating a product and developing services. To iterate a product means repeating the process of crafting it to improve the result. The starting point is usually the same, but the other steps are altered to test which process produces a better result.

Example of to “iterate” in a sentence:

They instructed me to iterate the prototype several times before it got approved by the quality assurance team.

11. Exit strategy

An exit strategy is part of the strategic planning of business owners or entrepreneurs intended to limit their losses or capitalize on their gains. It can include selling the business, liquidating assets, reducing debt, or filing bankruptcy.

Example of “exit strategy” in a sentence:

He has been managing his own business for ten years now, and he is looking for an exit strategy so he can retire.

12. Talent pool 

A talent pool is the data of job candidates whose skill set aligns with the company’s needs. Recruiters and HR managers collect the data of top candidates for future reference. When one is part of a company’s talent pool, they have the potential to be hired in the future.

Example of “talent pool” in a sentence:

The recruiter included him in the talent pool. He will be the first to be contacted once there is a vacancy.

13. Risk appetite

Risk appetite is a term used in investing. It refers to an investor’s level of risk that will guide them in choosing their investment options. When one has a low-risk appetite, investments like mutual funds would be less risky for them. On the other hand, investors with high risk might venture into cryptocurrencies.

Example of “risk appetite” in a sentence:

I’m still new to investing, and my risk appetite is low. For now, I’m placing my money on dividend-paying stocks.

14. Micromanaging

Micromanaging has a negative connotation in the business setting. It means that a team leader or head of a department gives excessive supervision to an employee. Micromanaging shows a lack of trust in an employee’s abilities.

Example of “micromanaging” in a sentence:

Three people quit their jobs today because their supervisor has been micromanaging them.

15. Expedite

When someone requests to expedite a task, they mean that it should be a priority and accomplished quickly.

Example of “expedite” in a sentence:

Please expedite the financial report and have it on my desk before this day ends. I have to review the document for tomorrow’s meeting.

16. Helicopter view

Seeing the helicopter view of a business is one of the abilities of a good project manager. The helicopter view refers to the whole aspect of the business, from its products to its customers and employees. When one sees the helicopter view, one can focus their effort accordingly and delegate tasks for a bigger purpose.

Example of “helicopter view” in a sentence:

Now that we have the details of this project, let’s look at the helicopter view of how we could best accomplish it.

17. Golden opportunity

A golden opportunity is a common business idiom that means a chance to achieve something or an opportunity for success.

Example of “golden opportunity” in a sentence:

This full graduate school scholarship is my golden opportunity to achieve my dreams.

18. Fruitful discussion

A fruitful discussion is an exchange of ideas that leads to new insights and understanding.

Example of “fruitful discussion” in a sentence:

They had a fruitful discussion during the business meeting.

19. Bona fide

Bona fide is a Latin term meaning in good faith, genuine, or authentic. An action described as bona fide is performed without ill intent or deception.

Example of “bona fide” in a sentence:

After a background check, the recruiters verified that she was a bona fide employee of a petroleum company.

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20. Analytical skill

Analytical skill is a soft skill that allows a person to analyze information to make intelligent decisions on what actions to take. Research, problem-solving, and data mining are examples of analytical skills.

Example of “analytical skill” in a sentence:

As a data engineer, I need to have strong analytical skills.

21. Risk management

Risk management is the practice of identifying, evaluating, controlling, and monitoring risks to reduce their likelihood and impact on an organization’s ability to achieve its objectives.

Example of “risk management” in a sentence:

Banks should include in their risk management the eradication of scams and fraudulent transactions.

22. Viable option

A viable option is a workable solution to a situation. For example, if you are trying to make a product affordable without sacrificing its quality, offering it in different sizes is a viable option.

Example of “viable option” in a sentence:

Working from home is a viable option to cut back on transportation expenses.

23. Moot Point

In the context of law, a moot point is an issue that is impractical to pursue and won’t contribute to a resolution of a case or argument. In general, a  moot point is an argument, topic, or situation that can be discussed or debated but won’t have a clear solution.

Example of “moot point” in a sentence:

Your proposal that we should prioritize profit over customers is a moot point, for both are of equal importance.

24. Stopgap measure

A stopgap measure is a business jargon that means a temporary fix or short-term solution to a problem. It is used when no permanent solution is available when a problem arises.

Example of a “stopgap measure” in a sentence:

They implemented a stopgap measure to halt the data breach while the tech team created an intensive security measure.

25. Stumbling block

A stumbling block refers to an obstacle to progress or success. Lack of clarity on ongoing projects, cash flow problems, and weak customer service are examples of business stumbling blocks.

Example of “stumbling block” in a sentence:

The business owner hired a consultant to help the managers address the stumbling blocks they are facing.

26. On the drawing board

When a project is on the drawing board, it means it is in the planning stage and not yet ready for implementation.

Example of on the “drawing board” in a sentence:

The media company’s segment on economic journalism is still on the drawing board.

27. Pecking order

In an organizational hierarchy, there is a pecking order among employees, where some people have the privilege of getting promotions or bonuses before others. For example, between two clerks, the person who served a business longer and has better performance is first in the pecking order of promotion.

Example of on “pecking order” in a sentence:

The new hires are at the bottom of the pecking order in the company until they have proven themselves competent.

28. Opposite number

An opposite number refers to someone with the same job or rank as one employee in a company.

Example of “opposite number” in a sentence:

We had a casual conversation where she introduced me to her opposite number, whom I can contact when she’s on leave.

29. Pro rata

Pro rata means “in proportion” in Latin. It describes the computation of salary, dividends, bonuses, or profits. For example, an employee’s 13th-month pay can be computed from the day they started working in a company.

Example of “pro rata” in a sentence:

Employees with longer tenure receive higher bonuses because it is computed pro rata.

30. Part with money

To convince someone to part with their money means encouraging them to spend on your business or buy your product or services. Salespersons offer a detailed explanation of an item to a customer, so they part with their money and buy the product.

Example of “part with money” in a sentence:

I don’t want to part with my money, but his advanced level of sales talk convinced me to buy a unit of hand-held vacuum.

31. Quorum

Quorum is the minimum number of voting members required to attend a business meeting for it to push through. A quorum is needed to make decisions or approve contracts.

Example of “quorum” in a sentence:

We waited for six board members to arrive to complete the quorum, but they didn’t attend —the meeting will have to be rescheduled for next week.

32. Content Marketing

Content Marketing is an approach that involves creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract and retain customers. Various ways to do content marketing include social media, email, search engine optimization (SEO), and blogging.

Example of “content marketing” in a sentence:

The publisher used positive business book reviews for their social media content marketing.

33. SWOT Analysis

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis is an assessment tool for strategic planning. It evaluates the internal and external factors affecting a business and its present and future potential.

Example of “SWOT analysis” in a sentence:

A thorough SWOT analysis of the partnership is a must before we sign the contract.

34. Operating Expense

Operating expense is the cost of doing business. These include salaries, rent, utilities, insurance, marketing costs, maintenance, and repairs.

Example of “operating expense” in a sentence:

Our operating expenses went above the allocated budget this month due to the repair of a malfunctioning machine.

35. Competitive advantage

A competitive advantage is a factor or feature that gives a business an edge over its competitors. Having a competitive advantage makes your business more desirable than others.

Example of “competitive advantage” in a sentence:

The durability and security of the mobile phones we make are our competitive advantage over other brands.

36. Black swan

Seeing a black swan is a rare event hence in the business context, a black swan is used to describe an unusual and unpredictable problem that can be catastrophic.

Example of “black swan” in a sentence:

The sudden fluctuation of the company’s stock is a black swan event that happened to them.

37. Global village

The global village is a term coined by Marshall McLuhan to describe an emerging world community connected through electronic media.

Example of “global village” in a sentence:

Since English is the most common language used in the global village, we should learn how to use it to communicate like a native speaker.

38. Liquidity

Liquidity refers to the ease with which an asset can be converted into cash. 

Example of “liquidity” in a sentence:

Don’t put your emergency fund in the stock market. Instead, bank it in a savings account for better liquidity.

39. Gantt Chart

A Gantt Chart is a type of project management tool that shows how tasks will be completed on a timeline.

Example of “Gantt chart” in a sentence:

Plot the new project in a Gantt chart using a two-month timeline.

Copyright protects the legal right of a creator or owner of their intellectual property. Someone violates your ownership rights when they use your copyrighted content without your consent. Therefore, copyright prevents unauthorized reproduction of the owner’s creation.

I applied for a copyright for my artwork before it went viral online.

41. Benchmarking

Benchmarking is the process of comparing your goods, services, and operations to those of businesses that are industry leaders in one or more areas. The goal of benchmarking is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your product for improvement.

Example of “benchmarking” in a sentence:

As someone new to the start-up business, benchmarking helped me learn the best practices I could apply to my business.

42. Executive Summary – business plan

An executive summary is an overview of a business plan. It provides a concise description of the business idea and outlines the highlights of the business plan.

Example of “executive summary” in a sentence:

The investors will read the executive summary first, so make sure to write it to catch their attention.

43. Merchandise

Merchandise refers to goods produced for sale in physical stores or online. It includes clothing, books, grocery items, furniture, and toys.

Example of “merchandise” in a sentence:

I arrange the merchandise in the store every morning before 10 am.

44. R&D – Research and Development

Research and Development (R&D) is a department in a business that focuses on developing products, processes, and technologies. One of the goals of R&D is to evaluate and improve products or procedures before their release in the marketplace.

Example of “R&D – Research and Development” in a sentence:

We have invested heavily in our R&D because we believe that innovation is key to our success.

45. ROI – Return on Investing

ROI (Return On Investment) is an economic term that refers to the ratio between profit and investment. In other words, how much money you make for every dollar spent.

Example of “ROI – Return on Investing” in a sentence:

I have to check on my ROI before committing to your business venture.

46. Funding requirement 

Funding requirement is a part of a business proposal that states the amount of money required to complete an activity. It includes budgets, project plans, and cost estimates.

Example of “funding requirement” in a sentence:

Lilly rejected the project proposal because the funding requirement is 50% above the baseline of what she is willing to spend.

47. Lucrative

Lucrative describes something that gives someone financial gain. A lucrative job has a great job title, income, and benefits. Additionally, a lucrative business venture means that it is profitable or has high potential returns.

Example of “lucrative” in a sentence:

Photography is her lucrative hobby. She sells her output to famous publications and magazines.

48. Market segmentation

Market segmentation is the practice of dividing your target market into groups. The subsets are grouped based on similar needs, behaviors, and demographics. Performing market segmentation allows you to focus your marketing efforts on the right audience.

Example of “market segmentation” in a sentence:

We have a wide variety of customers, that’s why we had market segmentation to create products according to their needs.

49. Fiscal year

In accounting, a fiscal year is the 12 months used in creating budgets and financial reports. Not all fiscal years coincide with the calendar year. For example, a business can have its fiscal year from July 1 to June 30 next year.

Example of “fiscal year” in a sentence:

The auditing of the company expenses this fiscal year will be bloody due to tax disputes.

50. Angel investor

Angel investors are usually wealthy individuals who invest in early-stage companies. Their one-time investment helps the business grow, and in return, they earn equity from the company.

Example of “angel investor” in a sentence:

I found an angel investor for my business at the business expo.

51. Depreciation

Depreciation is an accounting method used to compute the decrease in value of an asset over time due to wear and tear. For example, a heavy-duty printer a business buys this year won’t be of the same price or value next year.

Example of “depreciation” in a sentence:

The depreciation of cars made him stop investing in automobiles and switch to real estate.

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Business English vocabulary comprehension is a crucial part of your professional life. Accordingly, studying terms and phrases in line with your English level expands and enhances your vocabulary. Doing so improves your listening skills and makes you an advanced speaker who can communicate in various situations.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to improve confidence when using business English?

Developing your confidence in business English starts with learning activities in the real business world, like writing business letters, negotiating, and networking. You can begin by yourself through self-talk, speech recording, and listening to authentic English resources. Eventually, you can talk to a native English speaker and practice having professional conversations with them.

How can I improve my business English vocabulary?

You can improve your business English vocabulary by reading books, watching movies, and listening to podcasts. Make sure you are an active learner when developing your vocabulary comprehension, and do not rely on mere memorization. Use the words and phrases you learn in real-life business situations to understand their context better.

What is Advanced Business English?

Advanced Business English is a branch of general English that focuses on business communication. Its goal is to develop English language learners to participate holistically in their professional lives by teaching them reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

In advanced business English, learners are expected to use more complex structures and expressions compared to basic business English. They also learn terminologies in various industries like law, finance, marketing, and management.

How can I improve my business English, both written and spoken?

Writing and speaking is the productive function of language learning. To improve your writing, study English grammar, edit and proofread your first draft, and review it with your peers. You can also explore writing in various formats like blogs, ads, academic papers, business proposals, and emails.

To improve your speaking skills, record yourself discussing topics related to your field of interest. Try sharing what your read and listened to by summarizing its content, expressing your opinion, or appreciating its style. Lastly, speak English daily to exercise your fluency and quickly adapt to the language.

Which is the best business English book to improve one’s business English?

The best book to improve your business English is the book that is appropriate for your level of proficiency and in line with your learning goals. You can explore the following blogs to find the books that best fit your needs:

1. 7 Business Books to Read for English Learners
2. 35 Best Books to Improve Vocabulary
3. 30 Best English Stories to Improve Your English
4. 120 Best Books and Novels to Improve English Grammar, Vocabulary, Pronunciation & Speaking
5. The 48 Best Business English Books for Professional English Learners.

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Valentina Gagliardi

Valentina Gagliardi

Valentina has always been a teacher at heart. After spending eight years teaching college-level English, she realised that her true passion was helping people learn and grow – especially when it came to learning English. She firmly believes that in order for language learning to be successful, it’s important to create a comfortable and welcoming environment where students feel safe to experiment and take risks. When she’s not writing for the Lillypad community, Valentina loves travelling, reading and going for long walks with her dog Freddy.

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