Business Meetings

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Using English Language in Business Meetings

Meetings are a common occurrence in business, but the language you need to use and to understand in a meeting can different from the language used in other contexts. You might also meet some business jargon during a meeting, which can be confusing.

The unfamiliar vocabulary and phrases can make a business meeting a daunting prospect for non-native English speakers.

 

Below are some example English sentences and phrases you are likely to come across in business meetings.

English phrases for running a business meeting

Beginning and welcoming:

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to …

I’d like to welcome you all to today’s meeting.

Now, if we are all here, let’s get started.

Announcing the main purpose for the meeting

I’ve called this meeting today to discuss …

The main issue I’d like to discuss today is …

I’d like to begin by talking about …

 

Apologies for a person’s absence

I’m afraid John can’t be with us today because he …

John has sent his apologies for his absence today. He is …

I’m afraid John won’t be able to join us today because he is …

Current developments

John, could you tell us how project X is progressing?

Have you got any news on project X, John?

business meeting language

Introducing the first item

Let’s begin by looking at …

Let’s start by discussing …

Let’s kick off with …

Looking at the next item

Next we come to the issue of …

Now, I’d like to move on to look at …

Moving on …

 

Handing over control to another speaker

Now John is going to talk about …

I’d like to hand over to John, who will take us through …

Asking for contributions

Has anyone got anything to contribute?

Would you like to add anything, John?

Finishing up

If there are no other comments, I suggest we finish for today

Thanking participants

I’d like to thank you all for attending

Thank you all for your participation.

Closing the meeting

That’s the end of the today’s meeting. Thank you.

business meeting applause

English phrases for attending a business meeting

Interrupting

I’m sorry to interrupt, but I just need to say …

I beg your pardon, but I do need to interject

Sorry to interrupt, …

Can I just say something here, …

Disagreeing

I understand what you are saying, but I believe that …

I’m afraid I have to disagree with you

I respect your opinion, but …

I take your point, but …

I agree with you up to a point, but …

 

Agreeing

I completely agree with you

I have to agree with John

I understand exactly what you are saying and totally agree.

Making a suggestion

I propose that we …

Has anyone thought about ..

I suggest that …

Clarifying

I’d just like to repeat that …

Let me put that another way

Do you see what I mean?

English for asking question in meeting

Asking for repetition

I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that. Could you repeat that, please?

Could you run that by me again, please?

Asking for clarification

I don’t quite follow you. Could you tell us a bit more, please?

I don’t quite see what you are getting at. Could you clarify that, please?

Read more about using English for business situations and ensure you feel comfortable at work speaking to colleagues in English, striking deals and dealing with bosses.

Which English phrases do you find useful for business meetings?

Read our office jargon blog post for a humorous look at business language.

 

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