Idioms en inglés para negocios

Los idioms representan un problema para muchos estudiantes de inglés ya que su significado no es literal, y al no reconocer el contexto de la frase puede suponer complicado traducirlo o interpretarlo.

Una de las áreas donde estos términos y frases pueden traer más confusión es en los negocios, ya que en el inglés suelen utilizarme muchas de estas expresiones de forma común.

Algunas de ellas son:

1. Sweeten the Deal

Significa hacer una oferta atractiva a la otra parte durante la negociacion. Esta oferta será muy buena, algo que la otra parte podría encontrar irresistible.


The negotiators sweetened the deal by adding a 10-year warranty on top of the 10% discount on the purchase.

2. Rock-Bottom Offer

Se trata del precio más bajo que la parte negociadora está dispuesto a dar por algo. Cuando una oferta está en su precio Rock-Bottom, entonces el precio no puede bajar más


The amount of $13.5 million is our rock-bottom offer for this mansion. Take it or leave it.

3. Put One’s Cards on the Table

Hace referencia a ser transpartente o claro en la negociación. Cuando una de las partes ha puesto its cards on the table, se asume que están siendo sinceros y no tienen nada que esconder.


We’re putting our cards on the table. We want to buy this company and put our own management team.

4. Play One’s Cards Close to One’s Chest

se trataría de lo opuesto a la frase anterior. Es algo secreto y bien guardado


Our executives played their cards close to their chest when they were speaking with the executives from a competing company.

5. Play One’s Ace

Se trataría de utilizar nuestro mejor recurso – habilidades, fondos, contactos,etc… – o todo. El as, considerada la carta más alta, se usa para ejemplificar los mejores recursos.


One of our competitors is playing its ace to stage a hostile takeover of our company.

6. Hold All the Aces/Cards/Trumps

Cuando una de las partes negocioadores está holding all the aces, significa que está en ventaja durante el proceso de negociación. Por lo tanto, puede negociar bien y ganar.Example:

Honestly, they hold all the aces. They have the needed money, a large market share, and a great growth potential.

7. Play Hardball (With Someone)

Cuando se actua de forma forzosa. Usualmente se entiende como una forma hostil.


We have to play hardball with the buyers and not immediately grab their offer.

8. Go For Broke

Se interpreta como arriesgarlo todo para conseguir algo.


The farmers went for broke during the trial. Fortunately, the law sided with them and granted them absolute rights to their lands.

9. Go Back to the Drawing Board / Go Back to Square One

Ambas frases significan volver al principio una vez más.


The board rejected our offer. We’re going back to the drawing board and improving on our last offer.

10. Close Ranks

Significa estar unidos o solidos, rehusando a comprometerse en la negociación.


Our management had a rough time speaking with the union members. The union closed ranks and refused to agree on any terms that it thought unacceptable.

Copyright © 2011 Kerlyn Bautista


Consejos para una entrevista telefónica en inglés

More and more companies are turning to telephone interviews to screen candidates, reduce costs and narrow the pool of applicants who’ll be invited for face-to-face interviews.

Muchas empresas están utilizando las entrevistas telefónicas para revisar los candidatos, ya que los ayuda a reducir costes y hacer una mejor selección de aplicantes para entrevistas presenciales.

Algunas personas no toman en serio las entrevistas telefónicas y pierden interés, con lo cual pierden posibilidades ante los candidatos mejor preparados. Pero una entrevista por teléfono es tán importante como una presencial.

Desde la impresión que das al inicio, como en la forma en que te presentas, tu ejecución determinará si eres o no exitoso.
Aquí hay varios consejos para llevar a cabo una entrevista telefónica exitosa en inglés:

Telephone interview do’s:


  1. Your research– Just like a face-to-face interview, try to find out as much as you can about the company and the job description. The best place to start is the employer’s website, which will provide you with the background information required.

    Find out about the size and structure of the company, its products and services and the markets it works in (including looking at competitor’s websites). Also, keep an eye out for news articles, which may mention plans for growth and expansion. This knowledge can help set you apart from other candidates.

  2. Take notes on any questions you want to ask – A phone interview is a really good opportunity to find out more about the role you’ve applied for, the organisation’s culture and opportunities for growth in the company. Make sure you have a pen and paper handy for note taking.
    Here’s our list of interview questions for employers, just in case you’re struggling for inspiration.
  3. Have your CV to hand– In all probability, the recruiter will have a copy of it too, so you may not be asked to describe your background in detail. However, they may open the interview by asking questions about your experience. This is a good way to ease into the call while allowing them to find out how communicative you are.
  4. Smile –This may seem like a bit of a cliché, but it’s one that always rings true. Although your interviewer can’t see you (because that would be weird), always try and remain smiling throughout the conversation. According to research, people
    can hear you smile. You have been warned.
  5. Listen– Undoubtedly the most important element to consider. You need to demonstrate your listening skills as much as your knowledge and confidence. Take note of anything that seems of particular importance, just in case they refer back to it later. If they don’t, you can bring it up when answering the inevitable ‘any other questions’ invitation at the end of the interview.


Como escribir una carta de recomendación o referencia en inglés

Las cartas de recomendación suelen ser un requisito casi obligatorio para el mundo laboral actual, y en el caso que nos estemos enfrentando a una oferta de trabajo en el exterior o para agentes internacionales es bueno contar con una o varias cartas de referencia en inglés bajo la manga.

Lo siguiente es una guía básica de como debería ser la estructura de una carta correcta, y a continuación podemos ver un par de ejemplos de como son tales cartas:

Your Contact Information
Your Name
Your Title
Company or School Name
State, Zip Code


If you are writing a personal letter of reference, include a salutation (Dear Mr. Johnson, Dear Dr. Jameson, etc.). If you are writing a general letter, say “To Whom it May Concern” or don’t include a salutation. If you don’t include a salutation start your letter with the first paragraph.

First Paragraph
The first paragraph of a recommendation letter explains your connection to the person you are recommending, including how you know them, and why you are qualified to recommend the person for employment or school.

Second Paragraph
The second paragraph of a recommendation letter contains information about the individual you are writing about, including why they are qualified, what they can contribute, and why you are recommending them. If necessary, use more than one paragraph to provide details.

Third Paragraph
When writing a letter recommending a candidate for a specific job opening, the recommendation letter should include information on how the person’s skills match the position they are applying for. Ask for a copy of the job posting and a copy of the person’s resume so you can target your letter accordingly.

This section of the recommendation later contains a brief summary of why are you are recommending the person. State that you “strongly recommend” the person or you “recommend without reservation” or “has my highest recommendation” or something similar.

The concluding paragraph of your recommendation letter contains an offer to provide more information. Include a phone number within the paragraph, include the phone number and email address in the return address section of your letter, or in your signature.


Recommender Name




Catherine Zaboda
DRES, Inc.
532 East 95th Street
Every City, State, Zip

Dear Catherine,

April Rango has been an employee here at TREX, Inc. For the past five years. She has been a pleasure to work with, bringing her attention to detail to every project. Her communication and people skills are excellent, and she has some very innovative ideas.

I can highly recommend her for the opportunity that you have available. It is a very similar position to the one she has here, and she is well suited to the challenges it provides. April is a talented young woman, and everyone here wishes her all the best with her move to Every City. If you need any additional information, please contact me.

Best Regards,

Denise Spaat………………………….

To Whom it May Concern:

I highly recommend Jane Doe as a candidate for employment. Jane was employed by Company Name as an Administrative Assistant from 2002 – 2005. Jane was responsible for office support including word processing, scheduling appointments and creating brochures, newsletters, and other office literature.

Jane has excellent communication skills. In addition, she is extremely organized, reliable and computer literate. Jane can work independently and is able to follow through to ensure that the job gets done. She is flexible and willing to work on any project that is assigned to her. Jane was quick to volunteer to assist in other areas of company operations, as well.

Jane would be a tremendous asset for your company and has my highest recommendation. If you have any further questions with regard to her background or qualifications, please do not hesitate to call me.


John Smith


Vocabulario para negocios en inglés II

Continuando con la serie de entradas en el blog sobre el vocabulario básico para hacer negocios en inglés, veremos ahora lo que sería la términología en la estructura de una empresa tradicional. Este vocabulario puede ser muy util al momento de referirse a los cargos correctamente o al explicar relaciones laborales.

Company Structure

1 Accounts Dept. n. department responsible for administering a company’s financial affairs
2 A.G.M.UK abbr. Annual General Meeting of a company’s shareholders
3 board of directors n. group of people chosen to establish policy for and control a company
4 chairmanUK n. person who heads a Board of Directors; head of a company; chairperson
5 director n. a member of the board of directors
6 executive officerUS n. person managing the affairs of a corporation – chief executive officer n.
7 headquarters n. a company’s principal or main office or centre of control
8 manager n. person responsible for day-to-day running of a dept.; executive officerUS
9 managing directorUK n. senior director after the chairman responsible for day-to-day direction
10 Marketing Dept. n. department that puts goods on market, inc. packaging, advertising etc
11 organisation chart n. a table or plan showing a company’s structure graphically
12 Personnel Dept. n. department responsible for recruitment and welfare of staff or employees
13 presidentUS n. the highest executive officer of a company; head of a company
14 Production Dept. n. department responsible for physical creation of product
15 Purchasing Dept. n. department responsible for finding and buying everything for a company
16 R & D Department n. department responsible for Research and Development of (new) products
17 reception n. the place where visitors and clients report on arrival at a company
18 Sales Department n. department responsible for finding customers and making sales
19 shareholder n. person who holds or owns shares in or a part of a company or corporation
20 vice presidentUS n. any of several executive officers, each responsible for a separate division

Como escribir una carta de presentación en inglés

Just like a CV, a good cover letter is essential when looking for work, especially as most employers spend approximately half a minute casting an eye over each job application.

With this in mind, you have to make sure that your cover letter makes enough of an impression in those 30 seconds to make the reader want to learn more about you. But what should it contain?

Building upon the information in your CV, a cover letter should state in no uncertain terms why this company should hire you. Everything it includes should encourage the recruiter to give your CV the attention it deserves.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you write a compelling cover letter.


We can’t stress this enough. Before you sit down to write your cover letter, do some research on the company and the job you’re applying for. Things to know include what the company does, their competitors and where they’re placed in the market.

Not only will carrying out this research give you the knowledge you require to tailor your cover letter and CV to the style of the company, it also demonstrates that you’ve a real interest in the role and the company itself.

Addressing your cover letter

It may sound obvious, but when writing a cover letter you should always try to address the letter to the person handling job applications. This is usually listed in the job advert. If you’re unsure of the right contact, don’t be afraid to call the company to ask for a name. After all, there’s no harm in showing initiative.

If you know the person, Dear Mr Smith / Dear Ms Jones, and if you don’t; Dear Sir / Madam will suffice.

What to include in your cover letter

Opening the letter
The opening paragraph should be short and to the point and explain why it is that you’re writing.

‘I would like to be considered for the position of ‘IT Manager’.

It is also useful to include where you found the ad i.e. as advertised on or, if someone referred you to the contact, mention their name in this section.

Second paragraph
Why are you suitable for the job? Briefly describe your professional and academic qualifications that are relevant to the role and ensure you refer to each of the skills listed in the job description.

Third paragraph
Here’s your opportunity to emphasise what you can do for the company. Outline your career goal (make it relevant to the position you’re applying for) and expand on pertinent points in your CV.

Fourth paragraph
Here’s where you reiterate your interest in the role and why you would be the right fit for the role. It’s also a good time to indicate you’d like to meet with the employer for an interview.

Closing the letter
Sign off your cover letter with ‘Yours sincerely’ and your name.

How to present your cover letter

Nothing’s more frustrating for recruiters than attempting to read an illegible document. A typed document in an easy-to-read font will ensure the recruiter can scan your cover letter easily. Also, keep it brief. One side of A4 should be sufficient.

Errores comunes en inglés

Who / Whom


This particular error has become so common that it is beginning to look like the word “whom” may vanish entirely from the English language. The reason for this is that so many people have no idea what the difference is. The difference is a simple one: who “does” the action, and whom has the action “done” to them. We use this difference in other words – “I” and “me” for example. “who” is the equivalent of “I”, and “whom” is the equivalent of “me”. The technical term for this difference is noun case – “who” is the nominative case, and “whom” is the accusative. Here is an example of correct usage:

Who is going to kill Bob? (I am going to kill Bob)
Bob is going to be killed by whom? (Bob is going to be killed by me)

English does not use cases as much as it used to. Many other language do use cases frequently, such as German, Latin, Greek, etc.





On the previous list of errors I included Irony as a bonus – it deserves its own place and a fully description so here it is. There are four types of irony (none of which resemble remotely anything in Alanis Morissette’s song:

I. Verbal irony

This is when the speaker says one thing but means another (often contrary) thing. The most well known type of verbal irony is sarcasm. For example: “He is as funny as cancer”.

II. Tragic irony

Tragic irony occurs only in fiction. It is when the words or actions of a character contradict the real situation with the full knowledge of the spectators. For example: In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo mistakenly believes that Juliet has killed herself, so he poisons himself. Juliet awakens to find Romeo dead so she kills herself with his knife.

III. Dramatic Irony

In drama, this type of irony is when the spectator is given a piece of information that one or more of the characters are unaware of. For example: in Pygmalion, we know that Eliza is a prostitute, but the Higgins family don’t.

IV. Situational Irony

Situational irony is when there is a difference between the expected result and the actual result. Take for example this account of the attempted assassination of Ronald Regan: “As aides rushed to push Reagan into his car, the bullet ricocheted off the [bullet-proof] car, then hit the President in the chest, grazed a rib and lodged in his lung, just inches from his heart.” The bullet proof car – intended to protect the president, nearly caused his death by deflecting the bullet.


Effect / Affect


These two words are commonly confused – probably due in part to the fact that both words have more than one meaning. I will explain clearly the main difference and just briefly mention the other (rare) meanings:

Affect (a-FECT): this is usually a verb (doing word) and the form most commonly confused with “effect”. It means “to influence” or “to cause a change”. For example: John’s protest affected great change in the farming industry (John’s protest caused change to happen).

Effect (e-FECT): this is usually a noun (thing) and it refers to the “end result” or the impact something has on someone or something. For example, “the cocaine had a numbing effect”, or “her smile had a strange effect on me”.

For those who are curious, affect (AFF-ect) means “emotion” but this meaning is used almost exclusively by psychiatrists. And just to further confuse the whole thing, “effect” can also mean “to create” – which is probably the reason that many people confuse it with affect (a-FECT). For example: “I am trying to effect a new council in the city”.

But wait, there’s more: something can “take effect“, but it cannot “take affect“.

Confused? No wonder. Here is a simple way to remember the basic rule:

If it’s something you’re going to do, use “affect.” If it’s something you’ve already done, use “effect.”


Lie / Lay

Picture 2-28

Lay: To put something or someone down: “lay your head on the pillow”. Lay needs a direct object to act upon – in the example here the object is “your head”.

Lie: To rest in a horizontal position or to be located somewhere: “If you are tired, lie down”, “New Zealand lies in the Pacific Ocean”. Lie does not need a direct object to act upon – therefore it would be wrong to say “if you are tired, lie yourself down”.


Would have


This is seen quite often these days and some people claim that it is acceptable English, but it is not. Do not do it. Here is an example of the offending phrase:

“I wish she would have kissed me”

To correct this grievous error, you need to say: “I wish she had kissed me”.

The reason this is wrong is that “wished” suggests something contrary to reality, and adding “would have” which is also a statement of contrariness, is excessive and unnecessary.

Of course, “would have” is perfectly acceptable in the following sentence: “I would have given a donation if I agreed with the party’s politics.”



Me / Myself / I

060609 Triplets Hlg 4P.Hlarge

The most common problem here is the use of “myself”. Take this sentence: “If you have any questions, ask Jane or myself”. This is wrong. To see how obviously wrong it is, just take Jane out: “If you have any questions, ask myself”. It seems that many people think that “myself” is like an intensified version of “me”. So how do we use “myself” correctly?

“Myself” is only used when “I” has already been used. For example: “I washed myself” or “I put half of the cake away for myself.” This is the only time it is ever used. The same rules apply for “herself” and “himself”.

The difference between “I” and “me” is the same as that shown in item 10 above. “I” is the “doer” and “me” is the “done to”. For example:

I paid the tax department.
The tax department paid me.

Things get a bit more confusing when you add a second person, but the rule is exactly the same:

Jim and I paid our taxes.
The tax department gave refunds to Jim and me.


Less / Fewer

Footprints-In-The-Sand 3383

The difference between less and fewer is that one is used in reference to “number” – things you can count, and the other in reference to “amount” – things measured in bulk. For example, you can’t count sand, so if we want to empty a hole filled with sand, we say “we need less sand in that hole” – but if we want to empty a hole filled with eggs, we say “we need fewer eggs in that hole”. There are other words that follow the same rule:

“A great quantity of sand” – “A great number of eggs”
“We should remove a little sand” – “We should remove a few eggs”
“There is too much sand” – “There are too many eggs”

If you eat too many ice-creams, people might think you have eaten too much dessert.

We commonly see this error crop up with regards to people: “We need less people on this team” – this should actually be “we need fewer people on this team”.

Measurements of time and money ignore this rule, therefore we say: “I have less than 5 dollars” and “It takes less than 2 hours to get to Paris”.


Different Than

This is wrong. It is a very common error and an appalling one at that! The correct form is “different from”. In British common use, many people say “different to” but that is still technically bad form and most UK style guides reject it. Let us look at each option:

Wrong: “Pink is different than blue” (common use in the US)
Wrong: “Pink is different to blue” (common use in the UK)
Questionable: “John is different than he was before his accident. (this can be phrased better – but because “different” is followed by a full clause, some accept it.)
Right: “Pink is different from blue”.


Anyway / Any Way / Anyways

Pledge Small

First of all, “anyways” is not an English word – in fact, I am not aware of it being a word in any language at all. You should never say “anyways”. The word most often crops up in sentences such as this: “John was an idiot anyways!” The correct word to use is “anyway”.

Secondly, anyway is different from any way – both are acceptable but have different uses:

“I didn’t like him anyway”, and: “is there any way to stop the marriage?”

There / They’re / Their

Normal Spelling Errors

I am sure no one will disagree with this entry being number 1 on the list – it is extremely common nowadays to see these words interchanged – sometimes with hilarious consequences but usually not. Let us look at each word separately:

They’re: The apostrophe is used here to replace a missing letter – the letter ‘a’. “They’re” means “they are” – it only mean “they are”, and can never mean anything else. So if you want to say that someone is happy, you say “they’re happy”. Remember, the apostrophe stands for a missing letter.

Their: This means “belongs to them” – it only means “belong to them” and nothing else. The confusion that has arisen over this word is no doubt related to the fact the an apostrophe is often used to denote possession – such as “John’s dog” – but when we are talking about “them” possessing something, we don’t use the apostrophe.

There: Everything else falls in to this category. “There is a happy man”, “Over there!”, “There aren’t many people at the party”.

Here is a little tip for remembering:

Their – “Their” has “heir” in it – an heir ultimately possesses items left to them in a will.
There – “There” has “here” in it – this can remind you that it refers to a place.


Fuente: Listverse

Slang Británico

En esta breve entrada, podremos revisar algunos de las palabras que se utilizan de forma informal en el vocabulario británico (puede variar de región en región y ciudad en ciudad).

Tosser – Idiot
Cock-up – Screw up
Bloody – Damn
Give You A Bell – Call you
Blimey! – My Goodness
Wanker – Idiot
Gutted – Devastated
Bespoke – Custom Made
Chuffed – Proud
Fancy – Like
Sod Off – Piss off
Lost the Plot – Gone Crazy
Kip – Sleep or nap
Bee’s Knees – Awesome
Know Your Onions – Knowledgeable
Dodgy – Suspicious
Wicked – Cool!
Whinge – Whine
Tad – Little bit
Tenner – £10
Fiver – £5
Toff – Upper Class Person
Loo – Toilet
Nicked – Stolen
Nutter – Crazy Person
Chap – Male or friend
Bugger – Jerk
Pants – Panties
One Off – One time only
Shambles – Mess
Made Redundant – Fired from a job
Easy Peasy – Easy
Arse – Ass
Shag – Screw
Fanny – Vagina
Don’t Get Your Knickers in a Twist – Don’t Get worked up
The Telly – Television
Bangers – Sausage
Chips – French Fries
Anorak – A person weirdly interested in something
Shambles – bad shape/plan gone wrong
Knob Head – Idiot/Dickhead
Ace – Cool!
Rubbish – Garbage or ‘That’s crap!’

Palabras que se escriben igual en inglés y español

Ya que aprender palabras nuevas todo el tiempo no es nada sencillo, parece razonable dar un “break” y concentrarnos un poco en aquellas palabras que se escriben (casi) igual en inglés y español:

actor (aktor) actor
admirable (admirebl) admirable
album (album) álbum
animal (enimal) animal
aroma (aroma) aroma
artificial (artifishal) artificial
canal (canal) canal
capital (capital) capital
chocolate (chocalat) chocolate
civil (sivl) civil
corridor (couridor) corredor
crisis (craisis) crisis
doctor (doctor) doctor
dollar (dolar) dólar
fatal (feital) fatal
favor (feivor) favor
film (film) film
final (fainal) final
funeral (fiuneral) funeral
general (lleneral) general
honor (oner) honor
horrible (jorobl) horrible
horror (jorror) horror
hospital (jospital) hospital
hotel (joutel) hotel
labor (leibor) labor
material (matirial) material
motel (moutel) motel
opinion (opinion) opinión
radio (reidio) radio
regular (regiular) regular
saliva (salaiva) saliva
sensual (senshual) sensual
terror (teror) terror
tornado (torneido) tornado
virus (vairus) virus

Como escribir un CV (resume) en inglés

El CV o Resume debe incluir ciertos apartados que suelen ser más o menos comunes con los encontrados en España. Al dar clases de inglés, encuentro entre los alumnos una dificultad en como calificar cada cosa. Este artículo enseña de forma genérica las partes que podemos incluir en nuestros resumes y como llamarlas.


A veces se incluye al principio del resume para describir cuál es el objetivo del candidato, la posición que desea obtener.

Personal profile

Éste es el resumen de las habilidades, cualidades y logros del candidato, aportando una visión general del mismo al inicio del resume.

qualifications or education

Esta sección describe la educación recibida: la universidad en que estudiaste, las materias y otros diplomas o certificados que hayas obtenido.

academic awards

En esta sección has de indicar cualquier academic honors o (prizes) que te hayan sido otorgados. También puedes incluir aquí las ayudas económicas que hayas recibidos, ya sean fellowships, scholarships o grants.

work experience or employment history

Esta parte del resume describe los empleos anteriores, incluyendo la posición, responsabilidades, fechas y logros.

certifications and publications

Un resume profesional puede incluir también tus certifications (calificaciones profesionales que hayas obtenido o licencias), publications (libros o artículos que hayas publicado) o affiliations (si perteneces a alguna asociación profesional).


Esta sección recoge los nombres de las personas que están dispuestas a recomendarte para el empleo que solicitas, pueden ser antiguos profesores o jefes que hayas tenido en empleos anteriores.

cover letter

Un resume ha de ir siempre acompañado de una carta en la que el candidato se presenta y expone los motivos por los cuales solicita el puesto.