For many of us, a lot of our time is spent in meetings, some useful and some, unfortunately, less so. A large part of these meetings is communication between different parties, expressing new ideas, helping to understand each other, and updating on new events and reports. This is another part of Business English that is full of phrasal verbs; those beautiful combinations of a common verb and a preposition that change the meaning of the original verb, sometimes slightly and sometimes completely.
Let’s take a look at some of these phrasal verbs that are connected to meetings, both holding and partaking in them:
“I don’t think I can make that meeting tomorrow as I have a dentist appointment, can you bring it forward to today?”
Bringing a date or an event forward means reorganising it closer to you in your current situation, essentially doing it sooner or earlier than originally considered.
2. Put something back
“If we put the customer meeting back to tomorrow, we will have enough time to finish the project today.”
The polar opposite to bring forward, pushing, or putting a date back means postponing it. Again we use the visual position on a calendar, moving the date closer and in this case further away from you.
3. Call off something
“There’s been a problem at the factory, we need to call off all the meetings organised today to manage this problem”
When you call off an event or an appointment, you wish to cancel the event. This can also be extended to use for relationships and other organised activities.
4. Raise and Deal with something
“I would like to raise a point regarding our colleague’s behaviour so the appropriate manager can deal with it”
Raising a point is an alternative way of introducing a new subject or making people aware of something. This point or matter should then be dealt with or managed appropriately.
5. Weigh up something
“Before we make this decision, we should weigh up all our options carefully”
This expression means to carefully consider everything, balancing all the “pros and cons” before making a big decision.
6. Look into something
“These results are different from what we expected, can you look into them?”
This expression is used as an alternative to investigating the subject. This may require research or a more detailed process of understanding.
7. Step in
“I don’t think we are making any progress, do you mind if I step in and take control?”
Stepping in can mean interrupting a speaker to share your thoughts, however, it can also mean someone trying to make their presence known and try to control the situation. This is taken from the very literal phrase of walking into the room.
8. Drag on and Press on
“This meeting is really dragging on, we will never finish”, “Well if we just press on maybe we can cover the final topics for discussion before the end of the day”.
When something drags on, it continues for much longer than was expected, or at least it feels that way to many of the participants. One appropriate course of action is to press on, this means pushing through the barrier of tiredness or boredom to get to your objective.
As we have seen before, these small phrase combinations can unlock a whole new language and way of understanding people who depend on them. There will be alternatives that might be more accessible to a native Italian speaker, however, these are the terms that are used every day by millions of people all around the globe in their Business English meetings. Don’t forget to get in touch if there is something in particular you would like us to explore in a future article. Enjoy using these phrases in the mean time.