Idioms

Game-changer

Have you ever worked on a project that completely changed the way your business operates? If that project was the outstanding achievement that your company needed to grow, it was a game-changer.

We call a person a game-changer if they can drastically affect the outcome of a situation. If you hire a new employee and they introduce visionary ideas and innovative strategies, they could be a game-changer.

Up in the air

If you’re working on resolving an issue but the outcome is still uncertain, you can say it’s up in the air. This means that there are still actions or decisions that need to be made before it is settled.

If you’re planning a meeting or business trip but the exact details are not confirmed, you can say it’s up in the air. This implies that you have a general idea of what you’re going to do, but the details still need to be decided.

That train has left the station.

Have you ever asked to add something to a project that's already finished? You might have heard, "I'm sorry, but that train has left the station." That means you can't change it now because it's been finalized.

Most of the time, this phrase is used in informal conversation.

Here are some examples:

A: She wants to change the date for the office party.
B: Are you kidding me? Everything's set for June 12! That train has left the station.

Draw up

Hands drawing up a contract

The words "draw" and "up" take on a new meaning when you put them together. The idiomatic phrase "draw up" is usually used to talk about plans or contracts. It means to prepare a written document with details of a plan or arrangement. 

Draw up can be used in any tense. Here are some examples of how to use it:

Across the board

Organization network analysis on a presentation board

If something applies to everyone or everything, it's across the board. It's most often used to talk about money. 

Here are some examples of how to use this phrase:

  • The new tax rates apply across the board.
  • Good news! Our profits were so good last quarter, we'll be giving bonuses across the board!

You can also use it as an adjective:

At a loss

Man looking confused and at a loss

Have you ever felt very confused about what to say or do? That's the perfect time to use the phrase "at a loss". To be at a loss means that you don't know what action to take or thing to say in a particular situation. 

It is often followed by "for" but can be used alone: