Business Idioms 10: Review

Young man in a crowd looking back over his shoulder
Take a look back

This lesson will look back on the previous four lessons. You will get a chance to remember and use idioms you have learned.


Recall the language you learned in previous lessons. What was your favourite idiom from each lesson? Have you had a chance to use it?

Your teacher will help you to remember at least two idioms from each unit.

  • Success
  • Failure
  • Progress 
  • Hard work

A. Real-world examples

For each short passage below, do the following: 

  • Read the passage and predict the idiom.
  • Listen to the audio, identify the idiom and compare it to your prediction.
  • Explain in your own words what it means.

Note: don't try to grasp the full context; just focus on the idiom being used.

  1. An author talks about a failed housing development in the South Bronx where he grew up. 
    "Originally, they were going to build larger housing facilities, affordable housing, but the money wasn't forthcoming. That went ___________."
  2. A presenter ends his presentation by talking about what's undecided.
    "Now, we're moving onto just a couple of final points then. The aspect of this conversation that's still most ___________ is privacy and ethics."
  3. The National Science Foundation introduces the job of astronomers at an Astronomy Observatory.
    "Star birth, star death, black holes, colliding galaxies, these and more are all ___________ at the VLA."
  4. A CEO talks about funding after her huge crowdsourcing success through Kickstarter.
    "We raised our first major round of capital right after the Kickstarter had kind of gone ___________.
  5. An attendee describing her concerns at the Women Techmakers Summit in 2015.
    "There's tonnes of data that says that people that work minorly reduced hours are actually just as productive, if not more productive, because you have good reasons to get your stuff done. Even better, so that you can have that extra time with, let's say, your child, or whatever reason you want reduced hours. The tech companies are super against that. And, I am fighting a terrible ___________."
  6. A Q&A at a seminar about the acceleration of technological change.
    "So my question is about the I.T. industry and what can you say about the ability of the industry in terms of meeting people's needs today and being ___________ and where it's going...?"
  7. A City Council representative describes the hard work it takes to serve the city.
    "It was basically ___________, getting to work, and it's been really a great opportunity to serve in this capacity."
  8. An actor describes a project that failed.
    "Well obviously it was a bummer, but you know as an actor, it's like really truly ___________. I mean these things they come together and they fall apart all the time."

B: Discussion 

Now, speak naturally about the following topics.

  1. It's commonly said that Eastern countries value consistent hard work, while Western countries value rest and efficiency. Talk about your country's view of hard work
    • How do you make the most progress while avoiding burnout?
    • How would you define "career failure"?
  2. Describe the greatest success story in your country that you can think of.
    • Was there a risk of failure
    • How much hard work went into the success?