Business Idioms 14: Progress III

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


This lesson will help you use these idioms describing progress. You will also get a chance to talk about your own experiences.

Warm Up: 

What's the most important thing to do when beginning a project? 


Please consider each expression and match them to the images. Your instructor has an example and a question regarding each one. 

  1. get something off the ground—begin something. 
  2. get the ball rolling—begin something.
  3. in full swing—in progress.
  4. start (get) off on the wrong/right foot—begin something badly/well.
  5. run (go) around in circles—make no progress.
A. B.
C. D.



A. Complete the anecdote

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

  1. The entrepreneur had a great business plan but not enough capital to put it into practice. When he found an investment firm willing to fund his start-up, he was able to…
  2. In this company, we have lots of meetings, but people don’t contribute ideas very much. Some meetings are not very productive because nobody really wants to be the first person to say anything. So, whenever we have a brainstorming session, I always prepare a couple of suggestions to…
  3. Bob thought the meeting was at 10, but it actually started at 9. So when he arrived, the meeting was…
  4. I wanted to make a good impression at the first meeting with a client, so I made sure I knew all the details of the proposal to impress them and establish a good foundation for working together. I always say that if you want to have a successful business relationship, it’s important to…
  5. We tried several solutions to the problem but none of them worked. When the boss suggested we go back and try the first solution again, that was when I realised we were…

B. Discussion

Use idioms to discuss the following topics.

  1. Have you ever had a problem with a project? 
  2. Have you ever made a good or a bad start with a colleague?
  3. What's the most exciting part of a project? 



Pixabay via Pexels
Nick Nguyen via Flickr
Maurício Mascaro via Pexels
Annielogue via Wikimedia Commons