Business Idioms 11: Competition

This lesson will focus on using a variety of expressions related to competition.


This lesson will help you use these idioms describing competition. You will also have the chance to talk about your own experiences and share your opinions.

Warm Up: 

What is your company's main competitive advantage? 


Please match each image to an expression below. Your instructor has an example and a question regarding each expression.

  1. cut-throat—competing in a fierce and intense way.
  2. to play hardball—to behave in an unpleasant, threatening way so that you get what you want.
  3. two can play at that game—when someone does harm to you, you can do the same to them.
  4. the survival of the fittest—only the strongest people continue to exist or be successful.
  5. the law of the jungle—people who care only about themselves will be most likely to succeed.





    A. Complete the anecdote

    Read each section and choose an appropriate idiom from the list above.

    1. Business markets need tight regulations; otherwise, companies will do whatever they want and it will be…
    2. In this industry, companies are constantly trying to find ways to beat each other. The competition is…
    3. We will always take urgent action if one of our competitors tries to take some of our market share. If they make a move, well,…
    4. In a hostile takeover, the acquiring business will sometimes behave quite unpleasantly. It’s quite common for them…
    5. In any competitive industry, some companies will succeed and others will fail. It’s…

    B. Discussion

    Use idioms to discuss the following topics.

    1. How competitive is the industry in which you work?
    2. Are your main competitors expanding?
    3. How does your company react to changes made by its competitors?



    Henry Hustava via Unsplash
    Daiji Umemoto via Unsplash
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    Amin Hasani via Unsplash
    David Clode via Unsplash