S2E3: Phrasal Verbs (or Business Slang)

S2E3: Phrasal Verbs (or Business Slang)

Now, let’s look at the second type of business slang you can use in your emails. I will read a list of phrasal verbs that are appropriate to use in your business emails. I will start by reading the phrasal verb then I will mention the meaning and then I will give an example sentence.

Phrasal verbMeaningExample sentence
Crack onTo begin or to start.‘Let’s crack on.’
To actionTo do something/complete a task.‘I need you to action this immediately.’
Circle backTo return to.‘Let’s circle back to the first point.’
Pull outTo leave an activity, event or situation‘Patricia pulled out at the last minute.’
Clock offTo record the time you leave work‘Danny already clocked off for the night.’  
Clock outTo leave work‘I’m going to clock out.
Pitch in (help out)To help somebody‘I was hoping you could pitch in.’
Go overTo check something carefully‘Do you have time to go over the latest figures with me?’
Do overTo do something again‘Can I just have a do over?’ / ‘Do this over.’
Call offTo cancel something.‘Why don’t we just call the meeting off?’
Drop offTo leave something somewhere‘I’ll drop the reports off at your office tomorrow morning.’
Back upTo support‘This conference is very difficult to organise, I need some back up.’
Figure outTo understand something‘I’ve finally figured out the problem with the buttons.’
Cut inTo interrupt‘May I cut in? I have some thoughts.’
Keep upTo continue doing something‘You did great work today. Keep it up.’
Hand overTo give something to someone‘I need you to hand over the materials from last week.’
Think overTo consider‘I need to think this over.’
Sort outTo organise something‘Ian is going to finally sort out the storage cupboard.’

Bonus

Here’s a phrase (or you could call it a noise) that is used a lot in spoken English. Admittedly you’re not going to send this phrase to your colleagues via email but you may say it out loud. The phrase is: ‘uming and ahing’. If someone is ‘uming and ahing’ then they’re still considering/thinking about something. It means that they haven’t made their decision yet. In the next episode I will discuss Extremely Formal English. Stay tuned.