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Business

IDIOMS
Glenn Darragh

1,000 EVERYDAY
I D I O M S IN B U S I N E S S

E D I T O R I A L
S T A N L E Y
1 ,000 EVERYDAY
IDIOMS IN BUSINESS

WRITTEN BY
GLENN DARRAGH

PUBLISHED BY
EDITORIAL STANLEY

LAYOUT
ANGELA GOMEZ MARTIN

FRONT PAGE DESIGN


DISENO IRUNES

© EDITORIAL STANLEY
APDO. 207 - 20302 IRUN - SPAIN
TELF. (943) 64 04 12 - FAX. (943) 64 38 63

ISBN: 84-7873-345-0
DEP. LEG. BI-524-00

FIRST EDITION 2000

PRINTERS
IMPRENTA BEREKINTZA
1,OOO Everyday idioms in business
1.OOO IModismos empresariales de use diario

Contents - Contenido

Introduction • Introduction

1. Fundamentals • Fundamentos 1 22. Mistakes • Los errores 85


Exercise 4 Exercise 88
2. Time • El tiempo 5 23. Criticism • La crftica 89
Exercise 8 Exercise 92
3. Money • El dinero 9 24. Reactions • Las reacciones 93
Exercise 12 Exercise 96
4. Information • La informaci6n 13 25. Opportunities • Las oportunidades . 97
Exercise 16 Exercise 100
5. Experience • La experiencia 17 26. Risk • El riesgo 101
Exercise 20 Exercise 104
6. Work • El trabajo 21 27. Competition • La competencia . . . . 105
Exercise 24 Exercise 108
7. Routine • La rutina 25 28. Teamwork • El trabajo en equipo . . 109
Exercise 28 Exercise 112
8. Trading • Las transacciones 29 29. Quality • La calidad 113
Exercise 32 Exercise 116
9. Thinking • El pensamiento 33 30. Negotiations • Las negociaciones . 1 1 7
Exercise 36 Exercise 120
10. Understanding • La comprensi6n ... 37 31. Results • Los resultados 121
Exercise 40 Exercise 124
11. Discussions • Los debates 41 32. Responsibility • La responsabilidad 125
Exercise 44 Exercise 128
12. Meetings • Las reuniones 45 33. Ethics • La etica 129
Exercise 48 Exercise 132
13. Speaking • La conversaci6n 49 34. Psychology • La psicologia 133
Exercise 52 Exercise 136
14. Decisions • Las decisiones 53 35. Colleagues • Los companeros . . . . 137
Exercise 56 Exercise 140
15. Priorities • Las prioridades 57 36. Politics • La politica 141
Exercise 60 Exercise 144
16. Planning • La planificaci6n 61 37. Careers • Las carreras 145
Exercise 64 Exercise 148
17. Problems • Los problemas 65 38. Contacts • Los contactos 149
Exercise 68 Exercise 152
18. Emergencies • Las emergencies . . . . 69 39. Socialising • Las relaciones sociales 1 53
Exercise 72 Exercise 156
19. Action • La acci6n 73 40. Miscellaneous • Varies 157
Exercise 76 Exercise 160
20. Success • El exito 77
Exercise 80
21. Failure • El fracaso 81 Answers 161
Exercise 84 Index 185
Introduction

This book has been designed for interme- Within the unit, each idiom is presented
diate and advanced learners of English in a specific situation, the majority of the
who want to increase their understand- illustrative sentences having been
ing of everyday spoken English, especially adapted from authentic sources like the
as it is used in a business context. The "Financial Times", "Fortune", "Business
book will help you learn 1,000 common Week", and "Forbes". (Although the exam-
idiomatic expressions, all of which are cur- ples are drawn from sources worldwide,
rent, and all of which are known and British spelling is used throughout the
used by native English speakers every- book for the sake of consistency.)
where. It is suitable for both self-study The second part of each unit consists of
and classroom work with a teacher. exercises, which not only test your com-
Many people in business think that a prehension and assimilation of this mate-
knowledge of idiomatic English is a kind rial but also add to your understanding
of linguistic optional extra, adding colour by providing literal definitions of each
to the language but otherwise not strictly idiom in English, as well as further short
essential. This view, needless to say, is er- examples of how to use them. For the
roneous, for many idioms are as fre- benefit of students working on their own,
quently used and as necessary as the an answer key to the exercises can be
most basic words. Indeed idioms are of- found at the end of the book. An index of
ten composed of the most basic words, keywords is also provided to enable you
although these are grouped in a meta- to find any particular idiom quickly.
phorical shorthand for more complex The English language contains many,
ideas: "You're pulling my leg", "He's cook- many thousands of idioms, and many of
ing the books", "It's gone to the dogs", these exist in variant forms. Such abun-
"There's more to this than meets the eye", dance is daunting, so in studying idioms
and so on. Taken separately, each word is it is important to have realistic goals. Ini-
easily understood, but unless you under- tially you should aim for a passive knowl-
stand the expression as a whole, you can- edge, being able to recognise and under-
not hope to follow what is happening in stand a limited number of the most com-
meetings with your American and British mon expressions in context. Try reading
counterparts, or in negotiations, or even the examples in this book with the Span-
at the dinner table. In circumstances like ish translations hidden. When you can do
these, native English speakers will use idi- that with full understanding, you are
omatic expressions as naturally and as of- ready to start inventing examples of your
ten as you would use comparable idioms own. This is the best way (and also the
in Spanish. only way) to incorporate them in your ac-
Few English idioms can be translated tive vocabulary. You will find that your lis-
word for word into Spanish, but some tening comprehension and oral English
can, and others have near equivalents. improve dramatically as a result. Little by
Most, however, express cultural concepts little you will find yourself using these idi-
that can only be paraphrased or approxi- oms in conversation.
mated, and so must be learned by heart At that point, you will start wondering
and in some sort of context. The purpose how you ever managed to communicate
of this book is to provide you with appro- without them.
priate contexts. The expressions are
loosely grouped in short manageable
units, each dealing with a particular
theme and consisting of 25 idioms.
Introduction

Este libro ha sido disenado para personas estudiante contextos apropiados. Las expre-
con un nivel medio y avanzado de ingles, siones estan agrupadas informalmente en
con objeto de aumentar su comprension pequenos capitulos manejables, que tra-
del idioma, en particular, el que se usa en tan cada uno de un tema en particular,
el mundo de los negocios. El libro te ayu- con un total de 25 modismos. Dentro de
dara a aprender 1.000 expresiones cada capitulo, cada modismo esta presen-
idiomaticas de uso corriente, empleadas tado en una situacion especifica y la ma-
por gente de habla inglesa en todo el yoria de las frases ilustrativas proceden de
mundo. Es apropiado tanto para autenticas fuentes como el "Financial
autodidactas como para su utilizacion en Times", "Fortune", "Business Week" y
clase con apoyo del profesorado. "Forbes". (Aunque los ejemplos vienen de
Mucha gente en el mundo empresarial fuentes de todo el mundo, la ortografia bri-
piensa que el conocimiento del ingles tanica se utiliza en todo el libro por cues-
idiomatico es un tipo de opcion linguistica tion de coherencia).
adicional, que aporta riqueza al idioma La segunda parte de cada capitulo contie-
pero que no es estrictamente esencial. Sin ne ejercicios, los cuales no solo ponen a
lugar a dudas, este punto de vista esta prueba la comprension y asimilacion del
equivocado, ya que se usan muchos material, sino que tambien ayudan a la
modismos con la misma frecuencia y son comprension al facilitar definiciones litera-
tan necesarios como las palabras mas basi- les de cada modismo en ingles, al igual
cas. De hecho, los modismos estan com- que otros ejemplos mas breves sobre
puestos con frecuencia por las palabras mas como utilizarlos. Para beneficio de las per-
basicas, aunque esten agrupadas y reduci- sonas autodidactas, se puede encontrar
das metaforicamente para formar ideas mas las respuestas a los ejercicios al final del
complejas: "You're pulling my leg" (Me estas libro. Tambien se ha incluido un indice de
tomando el pelo.), "He's cooking the books" palabras clave para ayudar a encontrar
(Esta amanando las cuentas.), "It's gone to rapidamente cualquier modismo.
the dogs", (Se ha arruinado), "There's more
El idioma ingles contiene miles de
to this than meets the eye". (Es mas compli-
modismos, que revisten a menudo varias
cado de lo que parece.), etc. Tomada por
formas. Tal abundancia intimida; por ello al
separado, cada palabra se entiende facil- estudiar los modismos es importante fijarse
mente, pero salvo que se entienda la expre- metas razonables. Inicialmente se deberfa
sion en su totalidad, no podra entender lo intentar adquirir un conocimiento pasivo y
que esta ocurriendo en una reunion entre ser capaz de reconocer y comprender un
americanos y britanicos, o en negociacio- numero limitado de las expresiones mas
nes, o incluso en la mesa. En circunstancias comunes dentro de un contexto. El estu-
como estas, los natives de habla inglesa uti- diante deberfa leer los ejemplos con las tra-
lizaran modismos con la misma naturalidad
ducciones al espanol ocultas. Cuando
y frecuencia que uno usaria giros similares pueda hacerlos con una comprension total,
en castellano. estara listo para inventar sus propios ejem-
Hay pocos modismos en ingles que se pue- plos. Esta es la mejor forma (y tambien la
den traducir literalmente al castellano, salvo unica) de introducirle en un vocabulario
unos pocos, y otros son muy parecidos. La active. Se vera que la comprension auditiva
mayoria, sin embargo, expresan conceptos y el ingles oral mejoran drasticamente.
culturales que solo pueden ser Poco a poco ira utilizando estos modismos
parafraseados aproximados, y por lo tanto en las conversaciones.
han de ser aprendidos de memoria y den- A esas alturas, comenzara a preguntarse
tro de un contexto determinado. El proposi- como conseguia comunicarse sin ellos.
to de este libro es proporcionar al
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1,OOO everyday
idioms in business
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1. Fundamentals 1 , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

the ground rules las reglas basicas


There are a lot of similarities between rearing Hay muchas similitudes entre formar una familia
a family and starting a new business; in both y crear un negocio: en ambos casos es esencial
cases it is essential to establish the ground establecer rapidamente las reglas basicas.
rules early.
time is money el tiempo es oro
Opinion polls show that more people com- Segun las encuestas, hay gente que se queja
plain about lack of time than about lack of mas por falta de tiempo que por falta de dine-
money. It is often said that time is money, ro. Con frecuencia se dice que el tiempo es
but in fact it is much more: time is life itself. oro, pero de hecho, es mucho mas: el tiempo
es la vida misma.
a fool and his money are soon a los tontos no les dura
parted el dinero
A fool and his money are nowhere more En ningun lugar les dura a los tontos tan
quickly parted than on the stock exchange. poco tiempo el dinero como en la bolsa.
a bird in the hand is worth two mas vale pajaro en mano que
in the bush ciento volando
I know their offer isn't as good as others we Ya se que su oferta no es tan buena como
might receive in the future, but I think we otras que podamos recibir en el future, pero
should accept it nevertheless. After all, a bird creo que aun asi deberiamos aceptarlo. Des-
in the hand is worth two in the bush. pues de todo, mas vale pajaro en mano que
ciento volando.
half a loaf is better than none a falta de pan, buenas son tortas
I applied for two weeks' holiday, but we're so He solicitado unas vacaciones de dos sema-
short-handed at the moment that they al- nas, pero en este momento andamos tan cor-
lowed me only a week. Ah well, half a loaf's tos de personal que solo me han concedido
better than none una semana. En fin, a falta de pan, buenas
son tortas.
he who pays the piper calls the el que paga tiene derecho a
tune escoger
It seems to me that we have every right to Opino que tenemos todo el derecho del mundo
stipulate the contents of the course. We're a elegir el contenido del curso. El que paga tie-
paying the piper, aren't we? ne derecho a escoger, ^no es asi?
what you lose on the swings you lo que se pierde en una cosa se
gain on the roundabouts gana en otra
It's a swings-and-roundabouts situation Es una situaci6n de "lo que se pierde aca, se
An investment in new equipment will cost us gana alia". Invertir en equipo nuevo nos cos-
a lot now, but it will also enable us to increase tara mucho ahora, pero tambien nos permitira
our output significantly over the next few incrementar de forma significativa nuestro ni-
years. vel de produccion en los proximos anos.
easy come, easy go lo que facil viene, facil se va
Our Asian investments had practically doubled Nuestras inversiones asiaticas practicarnente
overnight. Hence, when the crash came, we se habian duplicado de la noche a la manana.
could hardly complain. It was easy come, Por lo tanto, cuando Ileg6 la caida, realmente
easy go no nos podiamos quejar. Lo que f^cil viene,
facil se va.

Stanley 1
Fundamentals 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

forewarned is forearmed hombre prevenido vale por dos


You must plan for trouble. No business is im- Hay que tener un plan para hacer frente a los
mune to negative word-of-mouth, and fore- problemas. Ningun negocio es inmune a un
warned is forearmed. boca-a-boca negative, y hombre prevenido
vale por dos.
take the rough with the smooth estar a las duras y a las maduras
You'll get the opportunity in this job to travel Con este empleo tendras la oportunidad de
all over the world. Of course, that means viajar por todo el mundo. Por supuesto, eso
you'll often be separated from your family — significa que con frecuencia estaras separado
but you have to take the rough with the de tu familia, pero hay que estar a las duras y
smooth. a las maduras.
ups and downs los pros y los contras
Consulting has its ups and downs. Can you El trabajo de consultoria tiene sus pros y sus
function without knowing where your next contras. ^Puedes vivir sin saber de donde van
cheque is coming from? Are your comfortable a salir tus pr6ximos ingresos? <i.No te preocupa
relying on your ingenuity? These are ques- el depender s6lo de tu ingenio? Estas son las
tions you need to ask yourself. preguntas que te has de hacer.
waste not, want not no malgastes y no te faltara
Waste not, want not. Especially don't No malgastes y no te faltara. Sobre todo, no
waste your own resources and your custom- malgastes ni tus propios recursos ni el tiempo
er's time by providing extras they don't need de tus clientes dandoles cosas extras que ni
or care about. necesitan ni les importa.
that's the way the cookie crumbles asi es la vida
When the weather is bad, the tourist industry suf- Cuando hace mal tiempo, la industria turistica
fers. That's the way the cookie crumbles and se resiente. Asi es la vida y no sirve de nada
there's no point complaining about it. quejarse.
the exception proves the rule la exception confirma la regla
During the summer, Fridays are usually quiet Durante el verano, los viernes suelen ser tran-
in the office, really quiet. I guess today was quilos en la oficina, muy tranquilos. Supongo
the exception which proves the rule que hoy ha sido la excepcion que confirma la
regla.
the grass is always greener on la hierba siempre parece mas
the other side of the hill verde en el jardin del vecino
I would advise you to think very carefully be- Te aconsejaria que reflexionaras antes de
fore resigning your post with us to take up dejar tu puesto en nuestra empresa para
similar work in another company. The grass aceptar un trabajo similar en otra. La hierba
always looks greener on the other side siempre parece mas verde en el jardin del
of the hill vecino.
let sleeping dogs lie mas vale no tocarlo
With morale so low throughout the company, Con la moral tan baja en toda la empresa,
we feel this is not the right moment to intro- pensamos que no es el momento de introdu-
duce a new Personnel Appraisal procedure. cir un nuevo procedimiento de evaluaci6n del
For the time being, we prefer to let sleeping personal. De momento, pensamos que mas
dogs lie vale no tocar el tema.
if at first you don't succeed, try
and try again el que la sigue la consigue
Salesmanship is 90% perseverance. The only Las ventas son perseverancia en un 90%. La
basic rule is: if at first you don't succeed, try unica regla basica es que el que la sigue, la
and try again consigue.

2 Stanley
Fundamentals ,000 everyday idioms in business

never put off till tomorrow what nunca dejes para manana lo que
you can do today puedas hacer hoy
You know you're going to have to write that Sabes que vas a tener que escribir ese informe
report sooner or later. Why continue to put tarde o temprano. <i.Por qu£ dejar para mana-
off till tomorrow what you can do to- na lo que puedas hacer hoy?
day?
one good turn deserves another favor con favor se paga
You helped me when I was in trouble, so it's Me ayudaste cuando tenia problemas, y por
only natural that I should help you now. One ello es natural que yo te ayude ahora. Favor
good turn deserves another, and all that. con favor se paga.
it never rains but it pours las desgracias nunca vienen solas
My secretary's off sick, the computer has bro- Mi secretaria est3 de baja, el ordenador se ha
ken down and now I've lost my agenda and averiado y ademas, he perdido mi agenda y
don't know what I'm supposed to be doing no s£ qu£ es lo que se supone que deberia
today. It never rains but it pours. hacer hoy. Las desgracias nunca vienen solas.
no hay que buscar excusas para
a bad workman blames his tools un trabajo mal hecho
He admitted that his presentation was dread- Admiti6 que su presentaci6n fue malisima
ful but said it was because he had never used pero se excus6 diciendo que era porque nun-
that kind of overhead projector before. Of ca habfa usado un proyector de ese tipo. Esta
course, that was just the bad workman claro que buscaba excusas para un trabajo
blaming his tools. mal hecho.
it's an ill wind that blows nobody no hay mal que por bien no
any good venga
Lawyers are generally the first to admit that it's Los abogados suelen ser los primeros en ad-
an ill wind that blows nobody any mitir que no hay mal que por bien no
good. venga.
where there's a will there's a way querer es poder
Certainly there are obstacles in our path, it Es cierto que hay obstaculos en nuestro cami-
can't be denied. But where there's a will, no, no se puede negar. Pero querer es poder,
there's a way, and I don't doubt we'll suc- y no dudo que al final triunfaremos.
ceed in the end.
keep one's head above water mantenerse a flote
Our aim is to keep our heads above wa- Nuestra meta es mantenernos a flote duran-
ter for the first year. If we can manage to te el primer ario. Si podemos conseguirlo,
do that, we should start showing a profit in deberiamos empezar a ver beneficios de in-
the second. mediato.
take care of the pennies and the
pounds will take care of them-
selves muchos pocos hacen un mucho
Never forget that a profit is a profit and that No hay que olvidar que el beneficio es el be-
there's no such thing as a small profit. If you neficio y que no existe el pequeho beneficio.
take care of the pennies, the pounds Muchos pocos hacen un mucho.
will take care of themselves.

Stanley 3
1. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 (saying) A person who produces bad work 14 (saying) Disadvantages and setbacks in
will blame the material he is using rather one area are compensated by advan-
than admit his own responsibility. tages and progress in other areas.
2 (saying) When you know about a future 15 (saying) It is preferable to take a small
danger, you can prepare for it, and so but certain advantage immediately,
deal with it more effectively. rather than to hope for a greater ad-
3 To survive by avoiding debt and other vantage later.
difficulties: We had serious cash flow 16 (saying) The person who pays for
problems last year, but fortunately we something has the right to decide
managed to until the situation what it should be like, how it should
improved. be used, etc.
4 (saying) One should be grateful for what 17 (saying, often used to express uncon-
one gets, even if it is very little, since it cern at losing something, e.g. money)
is still better than nothing at all. What one gains or earns too easily is
5 (saying) If a necessary task can be per- just as easily lost.
formed immediately, it should be. Oth- 18 (saying) Life always appears to be bet-
erwise there is the risk it may never be ter somewhere else.
done at all. 19 (saying) If you really want to do some-
6 The basic principles or rules of behaviour thing, no matter how difficult it ap-
in a given situation: A estas alturas ya no pears, you will find a way to do it.
se pueden cambiar las reglas basicas. 20 Periods of success and happiness alter-
7 (saying) It is better to work and earn nating with periods of unhappiness and
money than to waste your time: El failure: Su negocio ha tenido sus
tiempo es oro. altibajos.
8 (saying) No matter how many failures 21 To avoid looking for trouble, or to avoid
you have encountered, keep trying and any action which is likely to cause dis-
eventually you will be successful. order.
9 (saying) An unfortunate event is gener- 22 (saying) If you help me in some way,
ally accompanied by other unfortunate it is only right that I help you when
events. you need it.
10 To accept the difficult or disagreeable 23 (saying, usually employed when the
part of something as well as the pleas- speaker claims something that another
ant part: Hay que estar a las duras y a person has discarded) If you make
las maduras. proper and careful use of the things you
11 (saying) A foolish person cannot keep have, you will never be in need.
money long, because it is easy to take it 24 (saying) Although this example is not in
away from him. accordance with the rule, it shows that
12 (saying) In every misfortune, there is the rule is still useful in most cases.
something of benefit to someone. 25 (used when something unfortunate has
13 (saying) One should not waste small just happened) This is the situation and
amounts of money since many small we have no choice but to accept it: Asi
amounts quickly add up to a large es la vida.
amount.

4 Stanley
2. Time ,000 everyday idioms in business

at the best of times con todo a favor


It's difficult to sell to the Japanese at the Es dificil hacer negocios con los japoneses inclu-
best of times, but now, with the dollar at an so con todo a favor, pero ahora, con el dolar co-
all-time high against the yen, I think it would tizando mas alto que nunca con respecto al
be quite impossible. yen, creo que seria casi imposible.
against the clock contrarreloj
Their oil reserves may last only another 20 Puede que sus reservas de petroleo solo les
years. Consequently, they must work against duren 20 anos mas. For lo tanto, han de tra-
the clock to diversify their economy before bajar contrarreloj para diversificar su econo-
the oil revenues run out. mia antes de que se acaben sus ingresos del
petroleo.
round the clock dia y noche, las 24 horas
This is one of the largest orders we have Este es uno de los mayores pedidos que he-
ever received. We will need three shifts mos recibido nunca. Necesitaremos tres tur-
working round the clock if we are to nos que trabajen dia y noche si hemos de
meet the deadline. cumplir el plazo de entrega.
till the cows come home hasta el dla del juicio final
We can sit around analysing our production Podemos quedarnos a analizar nuestros meto-
methods till the cows come home; but dos de produccion hasta el dia del juicio final,
analysis in itself is not going to increase pro- pero el analisis en si no va a incrementar la
ductivity. productividad.
keep up to date with sth mantenerse al corriente de algo
An important part of my job is to keep up to Una parte importante de mi trabajo es mante-
date with the latest developments in the nerme al corriente de los ultimos avances de
pharmaceutical industry. la industria farmaceutica.
be out of date ser anticuado, obsoleto
This report is utterly worthless. It analyses cur- Este informe no sirve para nada. Analiza los
rent economic problems using concepts that actuales problemas economicos utilizando
are at least thirty years out of date conceptos que quedaron obsoletos hace al
menos 30 anos.
to date hasta la fecha, hasta ahora
To date, more than £100m has been in- Hasta la fecha, se han invertido m3s de
vested in about 950 companies under the ElOOm en unas 950 empresas al amparo del
terms of the Enterprise Investment Scheme. Plan de Inversion Empresarial.
call it a day dar algo por concluido
After disappointing ventures abroad, Israel's Tras realizar inversiones poco lucrativas en el
largest food retailer has decided to call it extranjero, la mayor empresa Israeli de alimen-
a day. They are returning home and con- tacion ha decidido dar por concluidas sus in-
centrating on what they do best: selling versiones en el extranjero. Regresan a casa y
food to Israelis. se concentraran en lo que se les da mejor:
vender productos alimenticios a los israelies.
tomarse su tiempo, hacer algo
take one's time con caima
There's no need to rush. Just take your time No hay prisa. Tomate tu tiempo y cuentame
and tell me clearly what happened. con claridad lo ocurrido.

Stanley 5
Time 1,000 everyday idioms in business

for donkey's years desde hace siglos


We've been doing business with them for Llevamos siglos trabajando con ellos y
donkey's years and have always found them siempre nan sido puntuales en sus compro-
completely reliable. mises.
on the dot en punto
The meeting will begin at 3:30 on the dot La reunion comenzara a las 3:30 en punto y
and I would appreciate it if you could all make me gustaria que todos hicierais un esfuerzo
a special effort to be on time. especial por ser puntuales.
at the eleventh hour a ultima hora
A strike was averted at the eleventh Se evit6 una huelga a ultima hora cuando la
hour when management announced they directiva anunci6 que retirarian los planes
would withdraw plans to close the para cerrar la fabrica de Longbridge.
Longbridge factory.
hacer algo cuando a uno le venga
do sth at one's leisure bien
I'd like your opinion on this safety report, but Me gustaria tu opinion sobre este informe de
there's no great rush. Why don't you take it seguridad,,pero no corre prisa. £Por qu£ no te
home with you and read it at your leisure? lo llevas a casa y le echas un vistazo cuando
te venga bien?
time flies el tiempo pasa volando
My goodness, I had no idea it was so late. Cielos, no tenia ni idea de que fuera tan tar-
Time simply flies when you're enjoying de. El tiempo pasa volando cuando uno se lo
yourself. esta pasando bien.
once and for all de una vez por todas
The tobacco companies decided to pay once Las empresas tabaqueras decidieron pagar de
and for all, offering the government a sum una vez por todas, ofreciendo al gobierno
in excess of $250 billion rather than face an una cantidad superior a $250.000 millones en
endless series of lawsuits. lugar de enfrentarse a una serie interminable
de pleitos.
in the long run a la larga
The single currency may — in the long run La moneda unica puede ser a la larga una bue-
— be a good idea. However, monetary union na idea. Sin embargo, la uni6n monetaria impo-
imposes one level of interest rates on every- ne un solo nivel de tipos de interes para todos y
one and so threatens to make the jobless por lo tanto amenaza con empeorar a corto pla-
problem even worse in the short term. zo el problema del paro.
for the time being de memento, por ahora
Clearly the Americans, who have no desire to Est3 claro que los americanos, quienes no tie-
offend such an important trading partner as nen ningun interes en enemistarse con un so-
China, are satisfied for the time being to let cio comercial como China, estan satisfechos
the status quo continue. de momento con la continuacibn del statu
quo.
it's high time that... es hora de que...
With the right exchange rate and lower taxes, Con el tipo de cambio apropiado e impuestos
Britain could be an important offshore manu- mas bajos, Inglaterra podria ser un importante
facturing centre. It is high time the govern- centre industrial. Ya va siendo hora de que el
ment understood this reality. gobierno comprenda esta realidad.

6 Stanley
Time 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

a thing of the past ser cosa del pasado


In recent years, the Japanese have had to ac- En los ultimos anos, los japoneses han tenido
cept that guaranteed employment for life is a que aceptar que un empleo garantizado de
thing of the past por vida es cosa del pasado.
for old time's sake por los viejos tiempos
As we had been at school together, it was Como fuimos al colegio juntos, era natural
natural he should think I would view his offer que pensara que veria su oferta con mejores
more favourably than the others, for old ojos que los demas, por los viejos tiempos.
time's sake
the sooner the better cuanto antes mejor
Our association with Maxwell has cost us and Nuestra asociacion con Maxwell nos ha cos-
is still costing us a great deal of money. The tado y nos sigue costando mucho dinero.
sooner we end that association, the better Cuanto antes cortemos con la asociacion,
mejor.
be ahead of one's time adelantarse a su epoca
Rockefeller, who really created the modern oil Rockefeller, que fue quien creo la industria pe-
industry, was years ahead of his time. He trolifera moderna, se adelanto a su epoca.
standardised the product, so that when you lit Normaliz6 el producto para que al encender
your oil lamp, it didn't explode; you had a la l^mpara de petrbleo no explotara; se trata-
high-quality product. ba de un producto de alta calidad.
move with the times ir con los tiempos
In an attempt to move with the times and En un esfuerzo por ir con los tiempos y
to reinvent itself as a modern high technology reconvertirse en una empresa moderna de alta
company, the defence and engineering group tecnologia, el grupo de defensa e ingenieria
General Electric Company is to cut 1,500 jobs General Electric Company recortar^ 1.500
through a voluntary redundancy scheme. puestos de trabajo mediante un plan de jubi-
laciones voluntaries.
it was about time ya era hora
They've been discussing that project for the Han estado discutiendo ese proyecto durante
past two years. It was about time they took los dos ultimos anos. Ya era hora de que to-
a decision. maran una decisi6n.
in the nick of time en el ultimo momento
I arrived at the airport in the nick of time: Llegue al aeropuerto en el ultimo momento:
another five minutes and I'd have missed my cinco minutos mas tarde y hubiese perdido el
flight. avi6n.

Stanley 7
2. Exercise 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capftulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espafiol, traducela al ingles.

1 Ultimately, not immediately but after a 14 To do something without hurrying,


relatively long period of time: This item when one has plenty of time: Lealo
is selling badly now, but we ex- cuando le venga bien.
pect to break even and perhaps even 15 To stay abreast of current trends, to stay
make a small profit. up-to-date: Any company that hasn't
2 Until the present situation changes, for the got a web site isn't .
present: Dejalo ahl por el momento. 16 To stay aware of the present situation,
3 For an infinitely long period of time, for- to be modern in one's thinking and
ever: You can talk to that man , practice: No matter how many maga-
but it won't do any good: he simply zines you read, it's impossible to
refuses to admit he's wrong. with what's happening in the compu-
4 (used to indicate that an action or deci- ter industry.
sion must be taken immediately) It is 17 (used to refer to something which one
necessary now...: Ya va siendo hora de feels should have been done much
que alguien haga algo. sooner) Finally, at last: they re-
5 Exactly at the specified time: El tren salio placed those old 286 RC.s.
a las dos y media en punto. 18 For a very long time: Hace siglos que
6 Because of happy times in the past, or as no la veo.
a reminder of such times: Asi no lo haras, 19 When conditions are most favourable:
ni siquiera por los viejos tiempos. This is hard work but it is par-
7 (saying, usually expressing surprise that ticularly difficult in these poor condi-
so much time has passed while one was tions.
working, talking, etc.) Time passes very 20 Just in time, before it would have been
quickly: jQue rapido pasa el tiempo! too late: Llegue al aeropuerto justo a
8 It is preferable to take action as quickly tiempo.
as possible: this decision is imple-
21 To be old-fashioned, not recent: These
mented, .
customer files are worthless, they're all
9 To stop doing something, especially to
stop working: Obviamente no estaba
22 At the last possible moment: A strike
logrando nada, asi que abandone y
was narrowly avoided when manage-
me fui.
ment produced a better offer .
10 Finished, no longer appropriate: Los
tranvias han pasado a la historia. 23 To do something slowly and carefully:
Tomate todo el tiempo que necesites.
11 To have ideas which are so advanced
or original that one's contemporaries 24 Twenty-four hours a day, without stop:
can't understand them: Se adelant6 a We have three shifts working
su epoca. every day of the year.
12 Up to the present time, until today: 25 For the very last time: I'm warning you
We've sold 5,000 units . I won't tolerate this kind of be-
haviour.
13 Within a limited period of time: We will
be working to meet this deadine;
we can't afford to waste a single minute.

8 Stanley
3. Money ,000 everyday idioms in business

money talks poderoso caballero es don dinero


When it comes to keeping high-performance Cuando se trata de retener a los empleados al-
employees, money talks; the best way to re- tamente rentables, poderoso caballero es don
ward them is with bonuses. dinero; la mejor forma de recompensarles es
con un plus.
make a bomb ganar una fortuna
Speculators made a bomb as the price of Los especuladores ganaron una fortuna cuan-
rubber increased by more than 200%. do el precio del caucho subio mas del 200%.
cost a bomb costar un ojo de la cara
An advertising campaign like that is out of the Una campana de publicidad como esa est3
question for a small firm like ours. For one fuera del alcance de una empresa pequena
thing, it would cost a bomb. como la nuestra. Para empezar, costaria un
ojo de la cara.
be in the black ser solvente
Although it has made heavy losses in the past Aunque ha sufrido grandes perdidas en los
two years, Mr Bernhard said that the company dos ultimos anos, el Sr. Bernhard ha dicho
was already back in the black after a restruc- que la empresa es ya solvente tras el progra-
turing programme. ma de restructuracion.
estar al descubierto
be in the red o en numeros rojos
All five of the country's biggest steel compa- Todas y cada una de las cinco grandes empre-
nies are in the red. Bankruptcies are at sas del acero esta"n en numeros rojos. Hay un
record levels, and the outlook is grim. numero record de quiebras y el pronostico no
es favorable.
foot the bill Pagar
No one wants spending on product research Nadie quiere que se deje de invertir totalmen-
to be cut completely. On the other hand, we te en la investigacion de productos. Por otra
are not prepared to foot the bill of ever- parte, no estamos preparados para pagar la
higher R & D costs. cuenta cada vez m3s elevada de los gastos de
investigacion y desarrollo.
throw good money after bad echar la soga tras el caldero
We have already lost huge sums on this prod- Ya hemos perdido sumas enormes en este pro-
uct. In my opinion, to attempt to develop it ducto. En mi opinion, intentar desarrollarlo
any further will simply be throwing good significaria echar la soga tras el caldero.
money after bad.
pay cash on the nail pagar al contado
We generally allow a 15% discount to custom- Generalmente concedemos un descuento del
ers who pay cash on the nail. 1 5% a los clientes que pagan al contado.
money is no object no importan los gastos
Our management attaches great importance to Nuestros directives dan mucha importancia a
this project. Money is no object whatsoever. este proyecto. No importan los gastos.
be penny wise and pound foolish hacer economias de chicha y nabo
Insisting that employees should not make pri- Insistir en que los empleados no realicen lla-
vate telephone calls from the office is not re- madas privadas desde la oficina no va a redu-
ally going to reduce the firm's losses, but it cir las perdidas de la empresa, pero afectara a
will affect morale: it's being penny wise la moral: es hacer economias de chicha y
and pound foolish. nabo.

Stanley 9
Money ,000 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

at any price a cualquier precio, a ningun precio


In a 1997 survey, 47% of consumers said En una encuesta de 1997, el 47% de los con-
they'd be much more likely to buy from a sumidores dijeron que estarian mucho mas
"good' company if quality, service and price dispuestos a comprar a una "buena" empresa
were equal, and 70% said they would not buy si la calidad, el servicio y el precio fueran
- at any price - from a company that wasn't iguales, y el 70% dijo que no compraria- a
socially responsible. ningun precio- a una empresa que no fuera
socialmente responsable.
the sixty-four thousand dollar
question la pregunta del milldn
We've discussed the salary and conditions. Hemos comentado el sueldo y las condicio-
That only leaves the sixty-four thousand nes. Ahora s6lo queda la pregunta del millon:
dollar question: would you be willing to ^estaria dispuesto a trabajar para nosotros en
work for us on those terms? esas condiciones?
be rolling in it nadar en oro
Well, I wouldn't say we're exactly rolling in Pues dirfa que no estamos exactamente na-
it, but we don't have to worry about cash dando en oro, pero tampoco tenemos que
flow problems either. preocuparnos por problemas de liquidez.
go through the roof subir por las nubes
If the drought in Assam and West Bengal con- Si la sequia en Assam y Bengala Occidental
tinues for some time, Indian tea production continua durante algun tiempo, la producci6n
will be badly hit and prices will go through india de te se vera seriamente afectada y los
the roof. precios subiran por las nubes.
do sth on a shoestring hacer algo con poquisimo dinero
Marketing, even on a shoestring, is essen- El marketing es esencial, incluso con poquisi-
tial. Use ingenuity and persistence to make up mo dinero. Utiliza el ingenio y la perseveran-
for what you lack in cash. cia para compensar lo que te falte en efectivo.
money doesn't grow on trees el dinero no nace en las macetas
We have to make employees aware that un- Tenemos que conseguir que los empleados se
necessary photocopying costs us an incredible den cuenta de que las fotocopias innecesarias
amount annually - and that money doesn't nos cuestan una cantidad increible al ano y que
grow on trees. el dinero no nace en las macetas.
to the tune of ... por un importe de ...
They are not at all financially sound. Rumour Su situaci6n financiera deja mucho que de-
has it that they are in debt to the tune of sear. Se rumorea que estan endeudados por
$500,000. un importe de $500.000.
for a song regalado
He bought the company for a song just over Compr6 la empresa casi regalada hace poco
ten years ago. Now it has an annual turnover mas de diez anos. Ahora factura mas de
of more than $5,000,000. $5.000.000 anuales.
be deep in debt estar endeudado
A merger of the two companies was not La fusion de las dos empresas no fue vista
seen as the ideal solution. Neither had a como una solucion ideal. Ninguna de las dos
good "product pipeline" and both were tenia una buena linea de productos y ambas
deep in debt. estaban muy endeudadas.

10 Stanley
Money ,000 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

pay over the odds pagar mas de la cuenta


Our regular supplier has not been able to Durante semanas, nuestro proveedor habitual
furnish us with these items for weeks. We no nos ha podido suministrar estos articulos.
therefore feel it's worth paying a bit over For lo tanto, creemos que merece la pena pa-
the odds to stock up. gar un poco m3s para incrementar los stocks.
be hard up estar en una situation limite
More than half Britain's workers face being Mas de la mitad de los trabajadores britanicos
hard-up in retirement, according to a new se enfrentan a una situacion limite al jubilarse,
study published today. Some 13m people are segun un nuevo estudio publicado hoy. Se dice
due to retire on £106 a week or less. que unos 13 millones de personas sejubilaran
con £106 a la semana o incluso menos.
not have a penny to one's name no tener donde caerse muerto
I doubt if he'll be able to raise a loan. It's well Dudo que pueda conseguir un prestamo. En
known in business circles that he doesn't los circulos empresariales se sabe que no tiene
have a penny to his name. d6nde caerse muerto.
see the colour off sb's money adelantar el dinero
If your credit is good, no one asks to see the Si tu credito es bueno, nadie te pedira que
colour of your money. adelantes el dinero.
you can bet
your bottom dollar that ... puedes apostar que ...
You can bet your bottom dollar that their new Puedes apostar que ese nuevo hotel en el
hotel on Lake Tahoe, with its combination of lago Tahoe, que combina el casino y el centra
gambling and ski resort, is destined to be a de esqui, est3 destinado a ser un exito.
success.
a drop in the ocean una gota de agua en el mar
Lavery said he'd be prepared to invest Lavery dijo que estaria preparado a invertir
£10,000. Unfortunately that's only a drop £10.000. Desgraciadamente eso es s6lo una
in the ocean. We need a quarter of a mil- gota de agua en el mar. Necesitamos al me-
lion at least. nos un cuarto de millon.

Stanley 11
3. Exercise 1,000 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espafiol, traducela al ingles.

1 The question on which everything else 14 Under any conditions at all: Quieren el
depends: And now, let me ask you contrato cueste lo que cueste.
, do you want to buy it or not?
15 To have no money at all: He can't pos-
2 To be extremely rich: Estaban podridos sibly be a sleeping partner, he doesn't
de dinero.
3 To earn a large amount of money: Hizo 16 To have money in the bank, not to be in
una fortuna con ese negocio. debt: Su cuenta tiene un saldo positivo.
4 (prices) To increase very rapidly: El precio 17To be in debt, having spent more
de la gasolina se puso por las nubes. money than one has in the bank:
Siempre estoy en numeros rojos.
5 Very cheaply, on a very low budget:
Operan con poquisimo dinero. 18 (used when one is doubtful that some-
body has money to pay for something)
6 To pay at once, on the spot: We
To see somebody's money: I wasn't go-
to get the 10% discount.
ing to give him the goods until I had
7 (saying) Money is not easy to obtain:
These days, more than ever, you have
19 Very cheaply: Compraron la empresa
to keep reminding young people that
casi regalada.
20To cost a large amount of money: Eso
8 To be the person who pays, usually for
te debe de haber costado un ojo de
something involving a number of peo-
la cara.
ple: La empresa correra con los gastos.
21 To be careful with small sums of money
9 To the sum of a stated amount of
but careless or wasteful with large
money: Tiene una deuda de cinco mil
sums: He tends to , spending
libras.
hours choosing the cheapest office sta-
10 To pay more than one would usually tionery, then impulsively buying the
expect: We're willing to for this latest electronic gadget to come on the
equipment, provided you can guaran- market.
tee immediate delivery.
22 To owe a great deal of money: Estan
11 (saying) Wealth can influence events to agobiados de deudas.
the advantage of its owner: Poderoso
23 It doesn't matter how much it costs:
caballero es don dinero.
Dijo que el dinero no era un problema.
12 To have very little money: Estabamos
24 Be completely certain: You can
mal de dinero.
that he'll accept the post: it's what he's
13 To spend more money in an attempt to wanted for years.
regain money that has already been
25 A very small amount, especially when
lost: Many people feel that by giving
compared with a larger amount: Es un
more millions to Russia, the IMF is sim-
grano de arena en el desierto.
p'y •

12 Stanley
4. Information 1,000 everyday idioms in business

put sb in the picture poner a alguien al corriente


The first thing I want you to do is to put me Lo primero que quiero es que me pongas al
in the picture about what's been happening corriente sobre lo que ha estado ocurriendo
while I've been away. mientras he estado fuera.
let the cat out of the bag descubrir el pastel
Only a very limited number of people must Solo un numero muy limitado de personas
know about this plan. It will spoil everything if debe conocer este plan. Se echaria todo a per-
someone lets the cat out of the bag be- der si se descubriese el pastel antes de que es-
fore we're ready to act. tuvieramos listos para actuar.
spill the beans revelar sin querer el secreto
Why did you have to go and spill the beans iPor que tuviste que irte de la lengua sobre la
about the proposed pay increase? It was propuesta de incremento de sueldo? Se supo-
meant to be a surprise. nia que era una sorpresa.
hear sth straight
from the horse's mouth saber algo de buena tinta
I'm sure that Hendly has handed in his resigna- Estoy seguro de que Hendley ha entregado su
tion because I heard it straight from the renuncia. Lo se de buena tinta. Me lo dijo esta
horse's mouth. He told me this morning. mariana.
keep sth under one's hat guardar un secreto
We've decided to freeze salaries for the next Hemos decidido congelar los salaries durante
two years, but keep it under your hat for los dos proximos ahos, pero de momento
the time being. There's no point in provoking guarda el secreto. No conviene provocar a los
the unions before we have to. sindicatos antes de tiempo.
come to light salir a luz
The affair came to light in September 1998 El asunto sali6 a la luz en septiembre de 1 998
after the discovery of serious irregularities in tras descubrir serias irregularidades en la ge-
the management of the company. rencia de la empresa.
it's news to me ahora me entero
Did you say that they intend to close their dicho que tienen intencion de cerrar
Manchester branch? Well, that's news to su sucursal de Manchester? Bueno, debo
me, I must say. I had no idea they were in admitir que ahora me entero. No tenia ni
such difficulty. idea de que estuvieran pasando por seme-
jantes dificultades.
la falta de noticias
no news is good news significa buenas noticias
Small business entrepreneurs noted that the Los pequenos empresarios se dieron cuenta
chancellor did not mention capital gains tax in de que el canciller no menciono el impues-
his speech. The general view is that in this to sobre las plusvalias del capital. En este
case no news is good news. caso la falta de noticias significa buenas no-
ticias.
keep one's ear to the ground mantenerse atento
There are rumours that our main competitors Hay rumores de que nuestros principals com-
are thinking of moving into the home elec- petidores est^n pensando en adentrarse en el
tronics market. Keep your ear to the mercado de la electronica domestica.
ground and let me know if you hear any- Mantente atento y h^zme saber si oyes algo
thing definite. definitive.

Stanley 13
Information 1,000 everyday idioms in business

sell sb a bum steer dar information falsa a alguien


I'm afraid someone has sold you a bum Me temo que alguien te ha dado informaci6n
steer. We're not remotely interested in hiring falsa. No estamos en absolute interesados en
a public relations officer. contratar un empleado de relaciones piiblicas.
take sth with a pinch of salt aceptar algo con muchas reservas
Their own assessment of the value of the com- Su propia tasaci6n del valor de la empresa, 13
pany, $ 13 million, needs to be taken with a millones de dblares, debe ser aceptada con mu-
pinch of salt, for they have known debts of chas reservas, ya que sus deudas conocidas as-
at least $7 million. cienden al menos a 7 millones de dolares.
keep sb posted mantener a alguien al corriente
Keep me posted daily. If there are any new Mantenme al corriente a diario. Si hay algo
developments, I expect to be the first to hear nuevo, cuento con ser el primero en cono-
about them. cerlo.
there's no smoke without fire cuando el rio suena, agua lleva
It would be wiser to treat these rumours as if Seria mejor tratar estos rumores como si fue-
they were at least partly true. There's no ran ciertos al menos en parte. Ya sabes que
smoke without fire, you know. cuando el rio suena, agua lleva.
spread like wildfire correr como la polvora
The news that management had decided to La noticia de que los directives habian decidi-
cut 200 jobs in the coming year spread like do recortar 200 puestos de trabajo el ario si-
wildfire throughout the company. guiente corri6 como la polvora por toda la
empresa.
keep sth under wraps mantener algo en secreto
Somehow the team of lawyers and advisors De alguna manera el equipo de abogados y
managed to keep everything under asesores consigui6 mantenerlo en secreto has-
wraps until last week, when the motor indus- ta la pasada semana, cuando la industria del
try was stunned by news of the deal. automovil se qued6 estupefacta ante la noti-
cia del contrato.
shed light on sth aclarar algo - arrojar luz sobre algo
The chairman thanked him for his report, El presidente le dio las gracias por su informe,
which, he said, shed a great deal of light el cual, dijo, aclaraba mucho los complejos
on the complex environmental problems fac- problemas medioambientales a los que se en-
ing the industry. frenta la industria.
a little bird told me me lo ha dicho un pajarito
- How did you find out they were going to -<iC6mo te enteraste de que iban a cancelar el
cancel that project? proyecto?
- Let's just say a little bird told me. -Digamos que me lo ha dicho un pajarito.
put sb out of his misery sacar de su angustia
The three mechanics stood nervously in the Los tres mecanicos esperaban nerviosos en la
boss's office, having no idea why they had oficina del jefe, sin tener idea de por que les
been summoned there. Finally, he put them habian llamado. Finalmente, les sac6 de su
out of their misery by declaring how angustia, declarando lo muy complacido que
pleased he was with their work. estaba con su trabajo.
put sth down in black and white poner algo negro sobre bianco
Listen, vague promises are not enough. Not Escucha, no basta con promesas ambiguas.
only do we want you to state your position No solo queremos que expreses claramente tu
clearly on this matter, we want you to put it posici6n en este asunto, sino que lo pongas
down in black and white. negro sobre bianco.

14 Stanley
Information , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

be none of sb's business no ser de su incumbencia


During the interview, they asked him a Durante la entrevista, le hicieron una serie de
number of deliberately "stressful' questions preguntas deliberadamente "estresantes" so-
about his sexual preferences. He told them bre sus preferencias sexuales. Les dijo sincera-
frankly that his sexual life was none of their mente que su vida sexual no era de su
business. incumbencia.
have sth at one's fingertips saberse algo al dedillo
If you want to know about the legal aspects, Si quieres saber algo sobre los aspectos legales,
ask Lewis in the Accounting Department. He pregunta a Lewis en el departamento de conta-
has all the facts at his fingertips. bilidad. Se sabe todos los detalles al dedillo.
cannot believe one's ears no poder creer lo que uno oye
We've always been extremely busy in the run- Siempre hemos tenido mucho trabajo en el
up to Christmas, so when he said that he ex- periodo pre-navideho, asi que cuando dijo
pected sales to fall during the Christmas pe- que temia que las ventas cayeran durante
riod, I simply couldn't believe my ears. las navidades, no podia creer lo que estaba
oyendo.
play one's cards close to one's
chest no revelar las intenciones de uno
Negotiating with the Japanese is never an Negociar con Japon nunca es un asunto facil.
easy matter. They tend to play their cards very Tienden a no revelar sus intenciones, asi que
close to their chest, so most of the time la mayor parte del tiempo no tienes ni idea de
you have little idea of what they really want. lo que quieren en realidad.
keep sth dark mantener algo en secreto
They told me that I was going to get the pro- Me dijeron que me iban a conceder el ascen-
motion but they asked me to keep it dark so pero me pidieron que lo mantuviera de mo-
for the time being, so as not to cause any un- mento en secreto, para no causar una tension
necessary bad feeling in the office. innecesaria en la oficina.
un pretexto para desviar la
a red herring atencion
Every time we mentioned the poor quality of Cada vez que mencionabamos la poca calidad
the goods he had supplied, he tried to shift de los articulos que nos suministraba, se salia
our attention to the dockers' strike and to the por la tangente hablando sobre la huelga de
exchange rate of the dollar and other red los estibadores, el cambio del dolar y cual-
herrings. quier otra cosa para desviar nuestra atencion.

Stanley 15
4. Exercise 1,000 everyday idioms in business

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 To keep something secret: Guardo en 13 To reveal something that is being kept
secreto su ascenso durante tres meses. secret, especially at the wrong time:
2 To keep someone informed about one's iQuien se ha ido de la lengua?
progress, etc: We hold regular interde- 14 To be no concern of someone's: Lo que
partmental meetings to each yo haga no es asunto tuyo.
other on what's happening 15To put something in written form:
throughout the company. Quiero ver su oferta por escrito.
3 (saying] If something is being widely 16 To learn something directly from the
talked about, there is a good reason for person most concerned: Lo se de buena
it : the rumours are probably true. tinta.
4 (news, etc.) To spread very quickly from 1 7 To be very secretive, hiding one's inten-
one person to another: La noticia de tions: All through the negotiations he
que habia dimitido se extendio como , so we never knew how far he
un reguero de polvora. was prepared to go.
5 An expression used to avoid revealing 18 To give someone the facts about a situ-
the source of ones information, usually ation: Llego tarde, pero pronto le
in answer to a question. ^Como lo pusimos al corriente.
sabias? — Me lo dijo un pajarito.
19 To be alert to what is happening or is
6 (plans, ideas, etc.) To keep something about to happen: Estate al tanto.
hidden or secret: Details of exactly how
small investors will be affected are be- 20 Not to tell anyone about something, to
ing . keep something secret: This information
is highly sensitive, so I'd appreciate it if
7 To give someone a piece of false infor- you could for the time being.
mation or bad advice: Me han dado un
pesimo dato. 21 To be unable to accept what one has
just heard as true: I when he said
8 To doubt that a statement is completely we were bankrupt.
true or reliable: No me fiaria mucho de
nada de lo que el diga. 22 To reveal a piece of information, usu-
ally involuntarily: ^Me prometes que no
9 (secret information) To become widely te iras de la lengua?
known: If these figures ever we'll
be in deep trouble. 23 To give new information about some-
thing or make a situation clearer: A ver
lOTo relieve someone's anxiety by telling si puedes aclararnos un poco este
him something he wants to know: No asunto.
me tengas mas tiempo en ascuas y
cuentame lo que paso. 24 A piece of information introduced to
divert attention from what is really im-
11 To be very familiar with a subject: You portant: Resulto ser otro truco para
can ask him anything about the new despistarnos.
measures, he all the facts .
25 (saying) If we hear nothing, it probably
12 It's a piece of information I didn't know means that nothing bad has happened.
and it surprises me: Me pillb de nuevas.

16 Stanley
5. Experience 1,000 everyday idioms in business

once bitten, twice shy gato escaldado del agua frfa huye
We lost a lot of money last year but this Perdimos mucho dinero el ario pasado, pero
time we are being very careful to deal esta vez estamos teniendo mucho cuidado de
through the approved and recognised chan- comercializar solo a traves de canales autoriza-
nels. Once bitten, twice shy. dos y reconocidos. Gato escaldado del agua
fria huye.
find out the hard way aprender de la forma mas dificil
Why learn the hard way? Mentors have al- iPor que aprender de la forma mas dificil? Los
ready overcome the obstacles you're now fac- consejeros ya nan superado los obstaculos a
ing. They understand what you're going los que ahora te enfrentas. Saben de sobra lo
through and can offer invaluable insights and que estas pasando y te pueden ofrecer su
advice. ayuda y sus inestimables consejos.
a lot of water ha corrido
has flowed under the bridge mucha agua bajo el puente
There was a time when I intensely disliked do- Hubo un tiempo en el que me disgustaba inten-
ing business with them, but a lot of water samente hacer negocios con ellos, pero ha corri-
has gone under the bridge since then. do mucha agua bajo el puente desde entonces.
Maybe I'm more tolerant now. Quizas sea mas tolerante ahora.
trial and error la experiencia
Adding staff during the growth phase of the Incrementar el personal durante la fase de cre-
company wasn't easy, but through trial and cimiento de la empresa no fue facil, pero la
error, we learned to make good hiring deci- experiencia nos enseno a tomar buenas deci-
sions. siones a la hora de contratar.
be wise after the event hablar a toro pasado
It's easy to be wise after the event and say Es facil hablar a toro pasado y decir que no
he was obviously unsuitable for the job, but it era adecuado para el puesto, pero hubiera
would have been much more helpful to have sido mucho mejor haberlo dicho antes de
said so before we hired him. contratarlo.
you can't teach
an old dog new tricks loro viejo no aprende a hablar
Most franchising companies don't require in- La mayoria de empresas de franquicias no exi-
dustry experience, largely because they find it gen experiencia industrial, en gran parte por-
hard to teach an old dog new tricks. In- que el loro viejo no aprende a hablar. En su
stead they look for young people with the lugar, buscan a gente joven con la personali-
right personality. dad adecuada.
be wet behind the ears estar verde
The other members of the team paid little at- Los otros miembros del equipo prestaron poca
tention to my suggestions. They probably atenci6n a mis sugerencias. Probablemente
thought that, as a new employee, I was still pensaron que, al ser un empleado nuevo, aun
wet behind the ears. estaba verde.
get one's fingers burnt pillarse los dedos
It is feared that the large American banks, Se teme que los grandes bancos americanos,
who got their fingers burnt with bad in- que se pillaron los dedos con malas inversiones
vestments in Russia and Asia, might now slow en Rusia y Asia, quiza reduzcan ahora
their lending dramatically. drasticamente el ritmo de sus prestamos.
have sth under one's belt tener algo en su haber
With 23 years as a banker under his belt, Con 23 anos como banquero en su haber,
Dawson knows what bankers look for when Dawson sabe lo que buscan los banqueros al
making a loan. realizar un prestamo.

Stanley 17
Experience 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

be an old hand ser perro viejo


Look, I'm an old hand at this business. This Soy un perro viejo en este negocio. Este no
isn't my first setback and God knows it won't be es mi primer contratiempo y Dios sabe que
my last. So relax. We can deal with it. no sera el ultimo. Asi que relajate. Nos arre-
glaremos.
learn one's lesson aprender de sus errores
We observed him closely over the next six Le observamos de cerca durante los seis me-
months. We wanted to be sure that he had ses siguientes. Queriamos estar seguros de
learned his lesson and could be de- que habia aprendido de sus errores y que se
pended on. podia contar con el.
be in one's line of country ser de su especialidad
I don't really know what kind of testing proce- En realidad no s£ cual es su proceso de con-
dure they have. Quality control is more in trol. El control de calidad es mas tu especiali-
your line of country than mine. dad que la mia.
live and learn vivir para ver
I had no idea that it was so easy to set up a No tenia ni idea de que fuera tan facil montar
network. Well, well, live and learn. una red. jVaya! vivir para ver.
go through the mill pasarlas moradas
We didn't just suddenly decide to open an on- No tomamos de repente la decisi6n de montar
line store. Most of us had already been una empresa a travel de la red. La mayoria de
through the mill at traditional mail order nosotros ya las habiamos pasado moradas en
companies. las empresas tradicionales de ventas por correo.
an object lesson una perfecta demostracion
The Coca-Cola Company received an object La compania Coca-Cola recibi6 una perfecta de-
lesson in the magic of the formula in 1985, mostracion de la magia de la formula en 1985,
when management announced that it was cuando los directives anunciaron que iban a
changing the product's original formula. The cambiar la formula original del producto. El re-
result was a storm of protest. sultado fue una tormenta de protestas.
saber uno
know one's onions lo que se trae entre manos
When it comes to taxation, Jackson certainly En lo que a los impuestos se refiere, Jackson,
knows his onions. He saves the company sabe, sin duda, lo que se trae entre manos. Le
thousands every year. ahorra cada aho miles de libras a la empresa.
learn the ropes ponerse al tanto
Obviously everything must seem very con- Obviamente todo debe de parecer muy con-
fusing at first. But once you've learned fuso al principio. Pero una vez que te pon-
the ropes, you'll see that it's not such a gas al tanto, veras que no es un trabajo tan
difficult job. dificil.
know the score estar al tanto de todo
Before he joined the company, I told him pre- Antes de que se integrara en la empresa, le
cisely what our financial position was; so he dije exactamente cual era nuestra posici6n fi-
can't say he didn't know the score. nanciera; asi que no puede decir que no esta-
ba al tanto de todo.
seeing is believing vivir para creer
Can money be made out of farming organi- iEs posible ganar dinero con la agricultura sin
cally? Most market observers are sceptical. usar productos quimicos? La mayoria de los
Their attitude is summed up in three words: observadores del mercado tienen sus dudas.
seeing is believing. Su postura se resume en tres palabras: vivir
para creer.
18 Stanley
Experience ,000 everyday idioms in business

give sb a rough ride hacer pasar un mal rato


Independent ISPs face a rough ride over the Los proveedores independientes de Servicios
next few years as competition intensifies in de Internet van a pasarlo mal los pr6ximos
the rapidly expanding worldwide market for anos al intensificarse la competencia en el
internet services. mercado global de servicios de Internet, que
va expandiendose rapidamente.
through thick and thin a las duras y a las maduras
Nobody knows more about the history of this Nadie sabe mas que John sobre la historia de
company than John does. He joined us in esta empresa. Se nos unio en 1 963 y desde
1 963 and has been with us through thick entonces ha estado con nosotros a las duras y
and thin ever since. a las maduras.
have another string to one's bow tener dos cuerdas en su arco
Several of our engineering staff are following Varies miembros de nuestro equipo de ingenie-
part-time MBA courses. With record unemploy- ros se han inscrito en unos cursos de Master de
ment, it's vital nowadays to have an extra Administraci6n de Empresas a Jornada parcial.
string to your bow. Con un nivel de paro mas alto que nunca, estos
dias es vital tener dos cuerdas en el arco.
it's just one of those things son cosas que pasan
We did everything possible to win the Hicimos todo lo posible por ganar el contrato
Sacramento contract, but in the end it was de Sacramento, pero al final fue adjudicado a
awarded to our competitors. It's just one of nuestros competidores. Son cosas que pasan.
those things.
to be second nature to sb acostumbrarse
You'll find our office procedures a bit unusual Al principio encontraras que nuestra forma de
at first, but in a month or two they'll have be- trabajar en la oficina es un poco extrafia, pero
come second nature to you. dentro de un mes o dos te habras acostum-
brado.
take a leaf out of sb's book seguir el ejemplo de alguien
McFetridge is our best and most experienced McFetridge es nuestro mejor y m3s experi-
salesman. If you want to do well here, you mentado vendedor. Si quieres labrarte un por-
should take a leaf out of his book and venir, deberias seguir su ejemplo y visitar a tus
visit your prospects regularly. clientes con regularidad.

Stanley 19
5. Exercise 1,000 everyday idioms in business

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To recognize the difficulties of a situa- 12 In one's experience: Tienen una serie de


tion and how to deal with them after logros a sus espaldas.
the situation has happened: Es muy f^cil 13 (saying) You can only believe what you
criticar a posteriori. actually see: Ver para creer.
2 An expression of surprise when one 14 A long time has passed and many things
learns something new. Todos los dias have happened: Ha llovido mucho desde
se aprende algo nuevo. entonces.
3 To go through a period of hardship or 1 5 To be something that one does particu-
difficult training in which one gains valu- larly well, or enjoys doing: Eso no es de
able experience: It was one of those com- mi especialidad.
mando-style leadership courses, where
16 To have a bad experience or be treated
you really to get your diploma.
badly: Las cosas no han marchado muy
4 A method of solving a problem by mak- bien para la empresa ultimamente.
ing repeated attempts and learning from
1 7 (saying) Older people find it impossible
one's mistakes as one goes: Lo resolvimos
to adapt to new ideas, methods, proce-
a fuerza de probar y descartar
dures, etc: Loro viejo no aprende a
soluciones. hablar.
5 A very clear example of how to do some-
18 Through good times and bad times, re-
thing: Fue la perfecta demostraci6n de
gardless of what happens: Puedes contar
lo que no se debe hacer. con el tanto a las duras como a las
6 To suffer as a result of something one maduras.
has done, especially because one failed
19 To have another ability or plan that one
to consider the possible consequences:
can use if one's first choice is not success-
Bad debt rose to record levels as busi-
ful: Tambien es electricista, asi que tiene
ness after business went bankrupt, and otra manera de ganarse la vida.
many lenders badly.
20 (A skill or practised ability) To come very
7 To have a thorough knowledge of all the easily to someone: No te preocupes,
facts related to one's work: You can't pronto te parecer^ una cosa muy natural.
hope to get to the top in this profession
unless you really . 21 To learn something, usually unpleasant,
through one's own experience (and not
8 To learn something useful or necessary,
from the advice of others): Aprendi6 a
especially as the result of a mistake: Well, las malas.
we've certainly : we won't use
those suppliers again. 22 To follow somebody's good example:
Deberfas seguir el ejemplo de Manolo.
9 To learn the rules, procedures and or-
ganization of a company: Necesitar^ 2 3 To be a person with long experience in
tiempo para familiarizarse con todo. a certain field or activity: Tiene mucha
experiencia en alpinismo.
10 (saying) After an unpleasant experience
one is cautious in similar situations. 24 It's something which has to be accepted,
no matter how unpleasant or difficult to
11 To know about the bad aspects of some-
understand: Son cosas que pasan.
thing (e.g. a situation, or life in general):
Le hable de mi pasado, asi que esta al 25 To be lacking in experience: El nuevo
tanto de la situaci6n. director esta aun un poco verde.

20 Stanley
6. Work , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

not do a hand's turn no dar golpe


He's one of the laziest people I've ever met. Es una de las personas mas vagas que he co-
He never does a hand's turn. What on nocido jamas. No da ni golpe. iPara que dia-
earth do they keep him for? blos siguen con el?
be snowed under with sth estar hasta el cuello de algo
I'd love to play golf this afternoon, but I'm Me encantaria jugar al golf esta tarde pero me
afraid it's out of the question. We have three temo que no sera posible. Tenemos a tres per-
people off sick and we're snowed under sonas de baja y estamos hasta el cuello de pa-
with paperwork. peleo.
swing the lead poner excusas para no trabajar
When I saw how little work had been done Cuando vi el poco trabajo que habia hecho
while I was away, I realised that he was mientras estuve fuera, me di cuenta de que
swinging the lead. All that interested him estaba poniendo excusas para no trabajar.
was collecting his salary. Lo unico que le interesaba era cobrar su
sueldo.
keep one's nose to the grindstone trabajar sin levantar cabeza
The length of an individual's To Do' list should La longitud de la lista de "cosas que hacer" de
be inversely proportional to his position in the una persona deberia ser inversamente propor-
company. When you're keeping your nose to cional a su puesto en la empresa. Cuando se
the grindstone, you can't possibly see the trabaja sin levantar cabeza, no es posible ver
big picture. el conjunto.
do the spadework hacer el trabajo prelintinar
If Monsanto had done their spadework Si Monsanto hubiese hecho su trabajo prelimi-
properly, the public relations fiasco over intro- nar como Dios manda, se podria haber evita-
ducing transgenic foods into Europe could do el desastre de relaciones publicas que
have been avoided. causo el hecho de introducir alimentos
transgenicos en Europa.
at full stretch a tope, al ntaximo
Time is extremely limited. We're going to have El tiempo es sumamente limitado. Vamos a te-
to work at full stretch if we want to meet ner que trabajar al maximo si queremos cum-
this deadline. plir con los plazos.
put one's shoulder to the wheel arrimar el hombro
If we all put our shoulders to the wheel, Si todos arrimamos el hombro, podremos ter-
we can get the job finished before close of minar el trabajo hoy antes de salir.
business today.
get one's teeth into sth hincarle el diente a algo
At first you'll only have relatively unimportant Al principio solo tendras trabajos relativamen-
work to do. But don't worry - once you've learnt te sencillos. Pero no te preocupes, una vez
the ropes, we'll give you something serious to que hayas aprendido lo basico, te daremos
get your teeth into. algo mas serio para hincarle el diente.
down tools hacer huelga de brazos caidos
Twenty thousand Mercedes-Benz workers Veinte mil trabajadores de Mercedes-Benz hi-
downed tools today in support of the Ger- cieron huelga de brazos caidos para apoyar la
man unions' fight against cuts in sick pay enti- lucha de los sindicatos alemanes en contra de
tlement. los recortes en las prestaciones por bajas de
enfermedad.

Stanley 21
Work 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

burn the midnight oil pasar la noche en vela


Burning the midnight oil on occasion is Pasar la noche en vela de vez en cuando esta
fine, but if you consistently skimp on sleep, bien, pero si recortas el suerio a menudo, ten
beware. You're racing on the fast track to cuidado. Al final tu cuerpo se resentira.
burnout.
no dejar a alguien a sol ni a
breathe down sb's neck sombra
I can't work properly with you breathing No puedo trabajar a gusto si no me dejas ni a
down my neck all the time. Leave me alone sol ni a sombra. Dejame en paz y te avisar£
and I'll tell you when I've finished. cuando haya terminado.
keep tabs on sb vigilar a alguien
Like the Koreans, Russians, Japanese and oth- Lo mismo que hacen los coreanos, los rusos,
ers, we need to keep tabs on what our com- los japoneses y otros, necesitamos vigilar lo
petitors are doing, scouring the world for the que hacen nuestros competidores, recorriendo
latest and best technology. el mundo en busca de la tecnologia mas
avanzada.
keep a tight rein on sth llevar un estricto control de algo
Wage growth has stabilised since last spring. La subida de los sueldos se ha estabilizado
The government has played its part by keep- desde la primavera pasada. El gobierno ha
ing a tight rein on public sector spending desempenado su papel al llevar un estricto
and pay. control sobre los gastos y sueldos del sector
publico.
do the dirty work hacer el trabajo sucio
Moffatt would never tell anybody they're fired. Moffatt nunca le diria a nadie que esta despe-
It's his partner who does all the dirty dido. Es su socio el que hace todo el trabajo
work. sucio.
do the donkey work hacer el trabajo pesado
In most companies, the young, less experi- En la mayoria de las empresas, les toca a los
enced employees are left to do the donkey empleados mas j6venes y con menos expe-
work while those with more experience do riencia hacer el trabajo pesado mientras que
more interesting things. aquellos con mas experiencia hacen cosas
mas interesantes.
have one's work cut out for one tener que trabajar mucho
The two young men launched the company Los dos j6venes crearon la empresa en 1998.
in 1998. In those critical first six months in Durante los seis primeros meses, que fueron
business, they had their work cut out criticos para la empresa, tuvieron que trabajar
for them mucho.
make short work of sth despachar algo rapidamente
He made short work of the pile of paper that Despacho rapidamente el monton de papeles
had accumulated in his in-tray, mainly by que se habia acumulado en su mesa, yendo a
transferring most of it to the waste paper parar la mayor parte a la papelera.
basket
put one's back into sth poner empeno en algo
If you put your back into it, you should be Si pones empeno en ello, deberias poder ter-
able to finish it by tonight. minarlo para esta noche.

22 Stanley
Work 1,000 everyday i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

burn the candle at both ends hacer de la noche dia


As we get older we sleep less and less, and Segun envejecemos, dormimos cada vez me-
eventually turn into harassed, bad-tempered nos y terminamos convirtiendonos en adultos
adults who burn the candle at both ends. agobiados, malhumorados, que hacen de la
noche dia.
sit on one's hands cruzarse de brazos
The government has not taken any action but El gobierno no ha tornado medidas sino que
has been sitting on its hands waiting for se ha cruzado de brazos esperando a que se
the unions' anger to subside. calme el enfado de los sindicatos.
be dead beat estar hecho polvo
It was one of the toughest negotiations I ever Ha sido una de las negociaciones mas duras
took part in. At the end of every day I was en las que he participado. Al final del dia esta-
dead beat. All I wanted to do was to crawl ba hecho polvo. Todo lo que queria hacer era
into bed for a week. quedarme una semana en la cama.
be a piece of cake ser pan comido
Business is simple. Take capital, invest it so Iniciar un negocio es sencillo. Consigue un ca-
that you make more money than the capital pital, inviertelo para ganar mas dinero de lo
costs, and return the difference to your stock- que cuesta el capital y devuelve la diferencia a
holders. It's a piece of cake. The hard part tus accionistas. Es pan comido. La parte mas
is choosing where to invest. dificil es escoger d6nde invertir.
wear and tear desgaste de
Yoga builds strength and endurance without a El yoga proporciona fuerza y resistencia sin
lot of hard work or wear and tear on the hacer un trabajo duro ni desgastar el cuerpo.
body. Its promise of serenity appeals to execu- Su promesa de serenidad atrae tanto a los eje-
tives and sports enthusiasts alike. cutivos como a los deportistas.
be on the dole estar en el paro
The problem is that nobody wants to hire a El problema es que nadie quiere contratar a
person who has been on the dole for more una persona que ha estado en el paro duran-
than a year. So, the longer you're unem- te mas de un ario. For lo tanto, cuanto mas
ployed, the more unemployable you become. tiempo estes en paro, menos posibilidades tie-
nes de que te contraten.
a blue-collar job un trabajo manual
He's been with us for 25 years, most of that Lleva con nosotros 25 anos, la mayor parte de
time in various blue-collar positions. Last ese tiempo en varies puestos de taller. El ano
year, however, when he started having health pasado, sin embargo, cuando comenzb a te-
problems, we transferred him to an office job. ner problemas de salud, le dimos un puesto
de administrative.

Stanley 23
6. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 Using all one's strength and energy: La 14 Something that can be done very easily:
f^brica est3 trabajando al m^ximo. Convencerlos para que vinieran fue pan
comido.
2 To do the difficult or unpleasant part of a
job or business: Estoy harto de hacerle el 15 To keep working hard, without resting: Voy
trabajo sucio. a tener que hincar los codos hasta que
terminen los ex^menes.
3 To keep a careful watch or gather informa-
tion on somebody or something: Tenemos 16 Deterioration through frequent use: Tres
que vigilar quien entra y sale del edificio. anos de uso continue hicieron necesaria
una revisibn a fondo.
4 To deal with something quickly: She's very
efficient, she'll of typing those reports. 17 To be faced with a lot of difficult work one
has to do: Le va a costar terminar el trabajo
5 To exert great effort to do something: He
a tiempo.
seems to into everything he under-
takes. 18 To have more work than one can cope
with: En este momento estoy agobiada
6 To do no work, to give no help at all: All he
de trabajo.
thinks about are his holidays; I can't get him
19 To be receiving unemployment benefit from
the state: Lleva dos anos cobrando el paro.
7 To work with eagerness and great applica-
tion: If you , you can meet the dead- 20 To work very late, especially intellectually:
line easily. Se est3 acostando a las tantas de la
madrugada para acabar el trabajo.
8 To work hard during the day and lead a busy
social life at night, with bad results: Quiere 21 To stop work suddenly, especially as a group
hacer tantas cosas que estci agotado. and because of discontent: The announce-
ment that 500 jobs would be sacrificed
9 To do the hard, necessary work at the begin-
caused workers to in protest.
ning of something: A lot of executives think,
wrongly, that they can learn English without 22 A job performed by a manual or factory
of learning the basic grammatical struc- worker, i.e. not by an office or white-collar
tures, the irregular verbs, etc. worker: We'll be reducing the number of
employees working in administration, but
10 To do nothing, to be inactive: We need their
won't be affected.
decision urgently but they seem to be .
23 To watch someone too closely while he's
11 To keep a tight control over something, al-
working: Tuve al jefe detr^s de mi todo
lowing it little freedom: El gobierno
el dia.
mantiene un estricto control de los gastos.
24 To be physically and mentally exhausted
12 To avoid doing one's work, especially by us-
after hard work: Tienes cara de estar
ing deceitful excuses: If that fellow puts as
agotado.
much energy into doing his job as he does
into , he'd win prizes for productivity. 25 To become eagerly concerned with some-
thing, or to do something with vigour:
13 The hard, usually physical, part of a job: Yo
Ahora tienes otra tarea a la que hincar el
me lleve la peor parte del trabajo y el toda
diente.
la gloria.

24 Stanley
7. Routine 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

it's all in a day's work todo forma parte del trabajo diario
For emergency hotline operators, dealing with Para los operadores de las lineas de emergen-
complaints from angry or panic-stricken cus- cia, atender llamadas de clientes enfadados o
tomers is all in a day's work. asustados, forma parte del trabajo diario.
the order of the day a la orden del dia
At the centre of the scandal was the Direct In- En el centre del escandalo estaba el Grupo de
vestment Group. Limousines, wild parties, and Inversion Directa. Las limusinas, las fiestas lo-
expensive overseas junkets became the or- cas y los viajes caros al extranjero estaban a la
der of the day, paid for out of clients' in- orden del dia, y se pagaban con los d6lares
vestment dollars. de las inversiones de los clientes.
hacer algo automaticamente,
do sth as a matter of course por rutina
You don't have to do anything special about in- No tienes que hacer nada especial con el se-
surance. We insure every shipment against dam- guro. Cada envfo esta automaticamente ase-
age or loss as a matter of course. gurado contra dahos o perdidas.
in the normal course of events en circunstancias normales
I expect that, in the normal course of Cuento con que, en circunstancias normales,
events, my estate will be subject to inherit- mi propiedad este gravada con el impuesto de
ance tax. On the other hand, any bequests I sucesiones. Por otra parte, cualquier donative
make to charity will be exempt from tax. que haga a una organizacion benefica estara
exento de impuestos.
coger el ritmo de algo, coger el
get into the swing of sth tranquillo
It's a rather complicated procedure but once Es un proceso bastante complicado pero una
you get into the swing of it, you'll have vez que le cojas el tranquillo, no tendras nin-
no problems at all. gun problema.
take sth in one's stride hacerlo sin pestanear
Sir Peter takes even the harshest criticism in Sir Peter acepta la critica mas despiadada sin
his stride and seems to thrive on adversity. pestanear y parece crecerse ante la adversidad.
be plain sailing ser coser y cantar
The hard part of this job is learning to use our La parte dura de este trabajo es aprender a
CAD software. But once you've mastered that, utilizar nuestro software CAD. Pero una vez
you'll find the rest is plain sailing. que lo hayas superado, encontrar^s que lo
dem^s es coser y cantar.
backwards and forwards de aca para alia
In the end I decided to change my job because Al final he decidido cambiar de trabajo simple-
travelling backwards and forwards every mente porque el viajar de ac3 para al!3 todos
day was simply costing me too much money. los dias me estaba costando muy caro.
day in, day out dia tras dia
When I started this business, I had no cre- Cuando inicie este negocio, no tenia ni cre-
dentials, no reputation, no credibility and denciales, ni reputacion, ni credibilidad, ni
no experience. So I had to call a lot of peo- experiencia. Asi que tuve que llamar a mu-
ple. I called over a hundred people a day, chas personas. Llamaba a mas de 100 per-
day in and day out, simply to ask for an sonas al dia, dia tras dia, tan solo para
appointment. pedir una cita.
true to form como era de esperar
At the age of 43, Steve Jobs, interim C.E.O. of A la edad de 43 ahos, Steve Jobs, director provi-
Apple Computers, professes to feel no differ- sional de Apple Computers, asegura no sentir-
ent from when he was a 17-year-old. True to se distinto a cuando tenia 17 anos. Como era

Stanley 25
Routine 1,000 everyday i d i o m s in business

form, he contradicts himself a little later, con- de esperar, se contradice un poco mas tarde,
fessing to be "an old man now." confesando ser ahora "un hombre viejo".
on an even keel en equilibrio, equilibrado
That was by no means a normal day for the No fue en absolute un dia normal para el equi-
emergency team but things stayed on an po de urgencias, pero todo se mantuvo bajo
even keel because everyone knew his job control porque todo el mundo conocfa su traba-
and continued to perform efficiently. jo y siguio desempefiandolo con eficiacia.
acatar la disciplina, entrar en
toe the line vereda
The government is insisting that lenders toe El gobierno est3 tratando de conseguir que
the line. Henceforward they must ensure los prestamistas entren en vereda. De ahora
that would-be borrowers get good-quality ad- en adelante, deben asegurarse de que quie-
vice and have access to a decent complaints nes vayan a recibir prestamos esten bien
system. aconsejados y tengan acceso a un sistema de
reclamaciones aceptable.
middle-of-the-road moderado
Everybody is involved in brainstorming ses- Todo el mundo esta involucrado en las sesio-
sions, from the bookkeeper to the office man- nes de creatividad, desde el contable hasta el
ager, because they see things completely dif- gerente de la oficina porque ellos ven las co-
ferently from us. And we need that middle- sas de una forma completamente distinta a
of-the-road thinking. nosotros. Y necesitamos conocer esas formas
de pensar mas moderadas.
hacer algo como es debido pero
go through the motions sin conviccion.
Who are the happiest people at work? Could ^Quienes son las personas mas felices en su tra-
it be you? Not if you are middle-aged, have a bajo? iPodrias ser tu? No, si eres de mediana
university degree, work for a big company edad, tienes una licenciatura, trabajas para una
and are going through the motions in a gran empresa y has estado haciendo tu trabajo
job you have been doing for years, according durante anos como es debido pero sin convic-
to a new study of workers in the UK. cion, segun un reciente estudio de trabajadores
del Reino Unido.
be par for the course ser lo normal
Only 7 employees out of nearly 800 were S6lo 7 de casi 800 empleados fueron clasifica-
rated as outstanding in this year's Perform- dos como excelentes en el ejercicio anual de
ance Appraisal exercise. That may seem like a Evaluacion de Rendimiento. Puede parecer un
very small number but it's about par for the numero muy pequeho, pero es mas o menos
course. lo normal.
in practice en la practica
In theory any employee can walk into the En teoria cualquier empleado puede entrar en
General Manager's office at any time and tell la oficina del Director General en cualquier
him what wrong with the company. In prac- momento y decirle lo que no funciona bien en
tice, of course, that simply never happens. la empresa. En la practica, claro esta, esto no
suele ocurrir nunca.
as a rule por lo general
As a rule, lower-priced products in any cat- Por lo general, los productos de precio infe-
egory have lower-quality packaging, while rior en cualquier categoria tienen embalajes
high-priced products have high-quality pack- de inferior calidad, mientras que los produc-
aging. Buyers use packaging as one criterion tos de precio superior tienen embalajes de
in selecting which products they buy. alta calidad. Los compradores utilizan los em-
balajes como criterio para seleccionar el pro-
ducto que van a comprar.

26 Stanley
Routine 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

as a rule of thumb por regla general


To keep your store fresh and interesting, Para que tu tienda siga teniendo un aspecto
change your window displays often. As a atractivo e interesante, cambia los escaparates
rule of thumb, change them every 5 to 8 con frecuencia. Por regla general, c^mbialos
weeks if people drive by your store; every 2 to cada 5 a 8 semanas si la gente pasa por tu
4 weeks if you're on a street with plenty of pe- tienda en coche, y cada 2 a 4 semanas si es-
destrian traffic. tas en una calle con mucho trafico peatonal.
be in a rut ser esclavo de la rutina
I've been doing the same job for the past Llevo haciendo el mismo trabajo durante los
seven years, so I really feel I'm in a rut. I siete ultimos anos, asi que realmente me sien-
need something more challenging, or at least to esclavo de la rutina. Necesito un desafio
something different. mayor, o al menos algo diferente.
practice makes perfect la practica hace al maestro
Many executives fail to realise that the only Muchos ejecutivos no terminan de darse
way to perfect their English is to practise it. cuenta de que la unica forma de perfeccionar
Only regular and disciplined practice makes su ingles es practicandolo. Solo la practica dis-
perfect. ciplinada hace al maestro.
kill time pasar el rato
Even in a slack period, there's always some- Incluso en periodos de poco trabajo, siempre
thing useful you can do. And personally, I find hay algo util que hacer. En lo que a mi respec-
it's much easier to work than to kill the time ta, encuentro que es mucho m3s facil trabajar
drinking endless cups of coffee and watching que pasar el rato bebiendo un sin fin de tazas
the clock. de cafe y mirando el reloj.
red tape papeleo burocratico
The situation was desperate and the stakes La situaci6n era desesperada y habia mucho
were high. I asked for the total support of the en juego. Pedi el apoyo incondicional de la
board. Once I got it, I could cut through the junta. Una vez que lo recibi, pude saltarme el
red tape, abolish committees, and act deci- papeleo burocratico, eliminar los comites y ac-
sively. tuar con decisibn.
run-of-the-mill corriente
Special packaging, using embossed labels or Los embalajes especiales en los que se utili-
special shapes and decorations, will differenti- za etiquetas grabadas en relieve o figuras y
ate quality products from run-of-the-mill decoraciones especiales, diferencian los pro-
brands. ductos de calidad de las marcas corrientes.
from day to day de dia en dia - diario
You will need a certain amount of cash on Necesitaras cierta cantidad de dinero en efec-
hand to operate your business from day to tivo para los gastos diarios de la empresa. Es-
day. This can be calculated from your tos se pueden calcular segun tus gastos
monthly expenditures or from surveying simi- mensuales o estudiando casos similares.
lar businesses.
out of the ordinary fuera de lo comun, excepcional
He told his secretary she could contact him at Le dijo a su secretaria que podia ponerse en
the golf club, but only if something really out contacto con el en el club de golf, pero s6lo si
of the ordinary came up. surgfa algo fuera de lo corriente.

Stanley 27
7. Exercise 1,000 everyday idioms in business

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 Steady and calm, with no sudden 14 Usually, generally: Por lo general es muy
changes: La economia se ha estabilizado. trabajadora.
2 To obey orders, to conform to a policy: 15 To become accustomed to an activity or
Lo estan obligando a seguir la Ifnea del task and begin to do it well: Pronto le
partido. cogeras el tranquillo.
3 Moderate, unlikely to cause offence: He's 16 As an approximate guide to use for quick
a dull sort of fellow with views on
calculations: Yo diria que el viaje lleva
practically everything.
aproximadamente tres horas.
4 (repeated or continuous actions) For
many consecutive days, one day after 17 To do things to prevent oneself from be-
another: Escucho las mismas quejas todo ing bored, especially when one is forced
el santo dia. to wait: Mice el crucigrama para matar
el tiempo.
5 To do what one is expected to do but
without enthusiasm or care: Lo 18 The usual or popular thing to do or have:
entrevistaron por pura formalidad. El pelo corto estaba a la orden del dia.
6 (used to indicate that problems can be 19 Bureaucratic papers, rules and formali-
dealt with easily/ No worse than usual: ties: You have to cut your way through
This kind of pressure may seem exces- tons of if you want to start a com-
sive to someone who's not used to it, but pany in France.
to us it's .
20 From one place to the other repeatedly:
7 To be as expected, to be typical: Estar Me he pasado el dia yendo y viniendo
de mal humor es su estado natural. entre la casa y el despacho.
8 (usually expressing disapproval] In ac-
21 Average, ordinary, banal: Their new soft-
cordance with a person's usual behav-
ware is in no way exceptional; person-
iour: Como era de esperar, Ileg6 tarde.
ally I find it very indeed.
9 According to what really happens: En
teoria tendriamos que contestar a todas 22 As each day comes, routinely: This form
las cartas, pero en la practica es imposible. is for filling in your expenses .

10 To deal with a problem calmly, without 23 A continuous, easy situation without dif-
needing to make a special effort: Se lo ficulties: De ahora en adelante todo ser2
toma todo con calma. coser y cantar.
11 In a dull, unexciting way of life that is 24 Unusual, strange, odd: ^Notaste algo
difficult to change: Tienes que salir de fuera de lo comun?
esa rutina sofocante.
25 Normally, in normal circumstances:
12 To do something automatically, without I would never buy at these prices,
having to be asked: Tenemos por norma but as we need the goods urgently, I'm
conservar una copia. making an exception.
13 (saying) Only by repeatedly practising an
action or activity can you learn to perform
it perfectly: La practica hace al maestro.

28 Stanley
8. Trading 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

wheel and deal trapichear


After Renault's deal with Nissan, who will be Tras la uni6n de Renault y Nissan, ^a quien le
next? There are increasing signs that the tocara? Hay cada vez mas senates de que los
wheeling and dealing in Japan's automo- trapicheos en la industria japonesa del auto-
tive industry has only just begun. mdvil solo acaban de empezar.
drive a hard bargain poner las cosas diffciles
The truth is that we need their business a La verdad es que necesitamos de ellos mucho
great deal more than they need ours. In other mas de lo que ellos necesitan de nosotros. En
words, we can expect them to drive a very otras palabras, nos van a poner las cosas muy
hard bargain indeed. dificiles.
pay through the nose pagar un dineral
Watch your costs. If you are selling a fragile Vigila tus gastos. Si estas vendiendo una jarra
vase by mail, you may have to pay through fragil por correo, puede que tengas que pa-
the nose to see that it arrives intact. Forget gar un dineral para asegurarte de que llegue
such additional costs and you can end up los- intacta. Si te olvidas de ese tipo de gastos adi-
ing money on a hot product. cionales puedes terminar perdiendo dinero
con un excelente producto.
cost an arm and a leg costar una fortuna
In Salzburg the best seats for operas cost an En Salzburgo las mejores entradas para la
arm and a leg, which is to say about £270. opera cuestan una fortuna, es decir unas
270 libras.
break even cubrir gastos
Circulation of the new magazine inched up La circulaci6n de la nueva revista a duras penas
only 15%, to 175,000 last year — far short of se incremento en un 15%, hasta alcanzar los •
the 300,000 needed to break even. 175.000 ejemplares el ano pasado, lejos de los
300.000 que se necesitaban para cubrir gastos.
sell like hot cakes venderse como rosquillas
Customers raved about the new product. We Los clientes estan como locos con el nuevo
knew it would sell like hot cakes if only we producto. Sabiamos que se venderia como
could reach a larger audience. rosquillas si tan s6lo pudiesemos llegar a un
publico mas amplio.
get one's foot in the door abrirse una brecha
Suppliers can easily become subcontractors, Los suministradores pueden facilmente con-
and vice versa. What makes both relationships vertirse en subcontratistas y al reves. Lo que
so valuable is that they allow you to get hace que estas relaciones sean tan valiosas es
your foot in the door with not only that cor- que te permiten abrir una brecha no s6lo con
poration but also other large companies it esa empresa en concrete sino en las grandes
does business with. empresas con quienes negocian.
change hands cambiar de dueno
Its stock is nearly always on the NYSE most ac- Sus acciones estan casi siempre en la lista de
tive list — in fact, only Telefonos de Mexico, las mas activas de la Bolsa de Nueva York; de
Ford, and Compaq have had more shares hecho, s6lo las acciones de Telefonos de
change hands this year than Micron. Mexico, Ford y Compaq han cambiado mas
veces de dueno que las de Micron este ano.
be in the market for sth interesarse en comprar algo
When people buy a house, they're often also Cuando la gente se compra una casa, tam-
in the market for a refrigerator, painting bien esta interesada en comprar un frigorifi-
services, homeowner's insurance, and the like. co,contratar los servicios de un pintor, p6lizas
de seguro y cosas semejantes.

Stanley 29
Trading 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

perder clientes
price oneself out of the market por poner precios muy altos
It can be argued that for years Apple, whose Se puede argumentar que durante anos
machines cost about twice as much as PCs of Apple, cuyos ordenadores costaban el doble
comparable power and performance, simply que los PCs, con una potencia y rendimiento
priced themselves out of the market. comparables, ha perdido clientes por mante-
ner los precios tan altos.
at a price a un precio caro
The company will still handle special requests, La empresa aim aceptara pedidos especiales,
but at a price. If you want us to do some- pero costar^n m3s. Si quiere que hagamos
thing special, we will, but you'll have to pay algo especial, lo haremos, pero tendr3 que
for it. pagarlo.
be worth sb's while valer la pena, merecer la pena
Most magazine articles are written to provide La mayoria de los articulos de las revistas es-
readers with practical information they can ta"n escritos para facilitar a los lectores infor-
use, and writers like to illustrate the points macion que puedan poner en pr^ctica, y a los
with real-life examples. It's worth your escritores les gusta respaldar sus declaracio-
while to get your company cited as such an nes con ejemplos de la vida misma. Merece la
example. pena conseguir que citen a tu empresa como
ejemplo.
run short of sth andar escaso de algo
Fundamentally Korean companies have many Las empresas, coreanas principalmente, tienen
strengths, but they are over-reliant on bank mucho a su favor, pero dependen demasiado
borrowing, which means heavy interest de los prestamos bancarios, lo cual significa
charges. The problem is that now everyone's elevados gastos en concepto de intereses. El
running short of money. problema es que ahora todos andan escasos
de dinero.
salida al mercado,
put sth on the market sacar algo a la venta
.Last year's export slowdown coincided with a La desaceleracion de las exportaciones el ano
period when large amounts of unwanted pasado coincidi6 con un periodo de salida al
property were being put on the market. mercado de un gran numero de inmuebles.
This caused strains in the banking system of Esto provoco cierta tensi6n en el sistema banca-
several countries, especially Thailand. rio de varios paises, en especial en Tailandia.
corner the market in sth acaparar el mercado de algo
Nevada had cornered the market in ca- Nevada habia acaparado el mercado del jue-
sino gambling until 1976, when New Jersey go hasta 1976, cuando Nueva Jersey aprobo
approved casinos to be built in Atlantic City. la creacibn de casinos en Atlantic City.
flood the market with sth saturar el mercado con algo
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, the king- La Agencia Monetaria de Arabia Saudi, el
dom's equivalent of a central bank, flooded equivalente al banco central en dicho reino,
the market with dollars, spending close to satur6 el mercado de d6lares, gastandose casi
$ 1 bn to support the riyal. 1.000 millones de dolares para apoyar el rial.
it's six of the one and half a
dozen of the other viene a ser lo mismo
It's true that you can buy computers much Es verdad que se pueden comprar ordena-
cheaper in the US than in Europe, but then dores mucho m3s baratos en los Estados
you have to pay shipping costs and import Unidos que en Europa, pero, por otro lado.

30 Stanley
Trading , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

duties and so on, so you don't really gain hay que pagar los costes de envio, los aran-
anything. It's six of the one and half a celes y dem^s, asi que realmente no se
dozen of the other. gana nada. Viene a ser lo mismo.
the going rate lo que se suele pagar
Every industry has a going rate for people Cada industria tiene unos sueldos standard
at all levels, and you usually have to pay it para cada nivel, y hay que pagar bien si se
to have somebody good. quiere tener a alguien bueno.
go public salir a bolsa
Analysts have recently been speculating Los analistas han estado especulando re-
that Ikea might go public, but Ingvar cientemente con la posibilidad de que Ikea
Kamprad, founder and chairman of the saiga a cotizar en bolsa, pero Ingvar
world's largest furniture retailer, yesterday Kamprad, el fundador y director de la ma-
ruled out that possibility. yor empresa de muebles del mundo, descar-
to ayer esa posibilidad.
give sb first refusal darle a alguien la primera option
Logan told me they might decide to sell Logan me dijo que quizes decidan vender
their premises in Linenhall Street. If they do, sus locales de la calle Linenhall. Si lo hacen,
he's promised to give us first refusal. ha prometido darnos la primera opci6n.
go window-shopping tantear
We may be interested in engaging a con- Puede que nos interese contratar un
sultant at some future date, but for the mo- analista en el future, pero de momento solo
ment we're still only window-shopping. estamos tanteando.
sell oneself short no hacerse valer
I have two basic rules: when it comes to Tengo dos reglas basicas: cuando se trata
performance, do a good job, and when it del rendimiento, haz un buen trabajo, y
comes to pricing, don't sell yourself cuando se trate del precio, hazte valer.
short.
chicken feed una miseria, una calderilla
Commenting on the budget, Mr Harris said, Comentando el presupuesto, Mr. Harris dijo:
"The extra £500m for the health service is "los 500 millones de libras adicionales para
chicken feed. It needs much, much more.' la sanidad son una miseria. Se necesita mas,
mucho mas."
like getting blood from a stone como sacar agua de las piedras
Getting those people to pay on time is like Conseguir que esas personas paguen pun-
getting blood from a stone. If this situa- tualmente es como sacar agua de las pie-
tion continues, we shall have to stop sup- dras. Si esta situaci6n continua, tendremos
plying them. que dejar de suministrarles.
be in short supply escasear
The emerging markets, home to 80% of the Los mercados emergentes, donde habita el
world's population, have extraordinary po- 80% de la poblacion mundial, tienen un po-
tential for export sales. Yet, while Britain tencial extraordinario para nuestras exporta-
has an important economic interest in their ciones. Aun asi, aunque Gran Bretana tenga
development, business managers with the un importante interns econbmico en su de-
insight and experience to exploit it are in sarrollo, escasean los directives con la perspi-
short supply cacia y experiencia suficientes para explotarlo.

Stanley 31
8. Exercise ,000 everyday idioms in business

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To have one's expenses and losses ex- 14To undervalue oneself: Tienes que
actly balanced by one's gains: It's obvi- hacerte valer.
ous now that we aren't going to make
15To gain an introduction or entrance
a profit; let's hope we can at least _
to an organization, especially when
2 (time, money, coffee, etc.) Not to have this is difficult: Es una manera de
enough of something: Se nos est3 introducirte en la empresa.
acabando el dinero.
16A very small amount of money (espe-
3 To put something up for sale: Pusimos cially in comparison with larger
la casa por venta por £150,000. amounts): Pagan una miseria a sus
4 To pay a very high price for something: empleados.
Nos cost6 un rinon. 17To want to buy a particular thing:
5 To cost a large amount of money: Ese Estan buscando semiconductores.
coche me cost6 un ojo de la cara.
18 (goods, etc.I To put a very large
6 To gain a monopoly of something: number on sale at the same time:
Han acaparado el mercado de libros They're with cheap Taiwanese
electr6nicos. imitations.
7 (money, goods, property, etc.) To be 19 (used when trying to get something
sold or given to another person: La from someone who does not want to
empresa ha cambiado de dueno. give it] Extremely difficult or impos-
8 The usual price to pay for particular sible: Sacarle dinero a ese es como
goods or services at a given moment: pedirle peras al olmo.
Eso es lo que se suele pagar. 20To be hard and strong-willed in mak-
9 To give somebody the chance to buy ing business deals: Sabe como
something before offering it to others: conseguir lo que quiere.
da la primera opci6n?
21 To be scarce: Habla escasez de cobre.
1 0To act cleverly but often unscrupulously
to get what one wants: He eats, drinks, 22At a high price: I'm willing to help
sleeps, _ ; making money is the only you, but of course.
thing that interests him. 23Be profitable to someone (to do
1 1 To examine goods on sale but with no something): Te convendrfa hacerte
intention to purchase immediately: Ayer amigo suyo.
estuvimos mirando escaparates. 24^? company) To issue shares on the
1 2 To ask so much money for a product or Stock Exchange: At our present rate
service that no one wants to buy: Han of expansion, we'll probably be in a
subido tanto los precios que se han position to within 3 or 4 years.
quedado sin compradores. 25 (goods) To be bought very quickly be-
13 The same in one case as in the other: cause of being popular: Sus libros se
iLo hacemos hoy o manana? — Da est^n vendiendo como rosquillas.
lo mismo.
32 Stanley
9. Thinking 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

rack one's brains devanarse los sesos


I've been racking my brains trying to find a He estado devanandome los sesos intentando
solution to this problem but I just can't do it. encontrar una soluci6n a este problema pero
We're going to have to take it to an expert. no he podido. Vamos a tener que someterlo
al criterio de un experto.
not have a clue no tener la menor idea
- Do you know how much they paid for it? - iSabes cuanto han pagado por ello?
- No, sorry, I don't have a clue. - No, lo siento, no tengo ni idea.
have sth in mind estar pensando en algo
When a customer says, "Your price is too Cuando un cliente dice, "Su precio es dema-
high," what should I say? Well, you might try siado alto," ique deberia decir? Pues, podrias
asking, "Why do you say that?," or "What intentar preguntar, "^Por que dice usted eso?"
price did you have in mind?" o "iEn qu£ precio estaba usted pensando?"
jump to conclusions sacar conclusiones precipitadas
Was your banker really being mean when he ^Realmente tu banquero te resulto desagrada-
rejected your loan application? Don't jump ble al decir que rechazaba tu solicitud de
to conclusions. Perhaps you simply misinter- prestamo? No saques conclusiones precipita-
preted his frankness. das. Quizas simplemente interpretaste mal su
franqueza.
food for thought algo en que pensar
This has been a very useful discussion. Con- Esta ha sido una conversaci6n muy util. La cri-
structive criticism is always valuable and yours tica constructiva es siempre valiosa y la tuya,
has certainly given me food for thought. sin duda, me ha dado algo en que pensar.
have no idea no tener ni idea
Many entrepreneurs admit they had no idea Muchos empresarios admiten que no tenian ni
what they were getting into, no matter how idea de d6nde se estaban metiendo, a pesar
much pre-launch research they carried out. de toda la investigacion que llevaron a cabo
antes de lanzarse.
grey matter materia gris
To make sure that managers' grey matter Para asegurarse de que la materia gris de los
stays focused on company goals. Ford has in- directives se mantiene centrada en las metas
stituted a distinctive change in the way it pays de la empresa. Ford ha establecido un cambio
top executives. en la forma de pagar a sus altos ejecutivos.
have sth at the back of ones mind tener algo en cuenta
As foremen and supervisors, you will be re- Como capataces y supervisores, tendreis que
quired to make many hard, on-the-spot deci- tomar sobre la marcha muchas decisiones difi-
sions. However, the risk of causing a serious ciles. Sin embargo, siempre deberiais tener en
labour dispute should always be at the back cuenta el riesgo de provocar un serio conflicto
of your mind. laboral.
bear sth in mind tener algo presente
Bear in mind that recruiters tend to be spe- Ten presente que las empresas que contratan
cialists, often working exclusively in one nar- personal tienden a ser especialistas y que traba-
row niche such as financial services, manufac- jan muchas veces exclusivamente en un campo
turing, or high tech. muy restringido, como son los servicios financie-
ros, la fabricacibn o la alta tecnologia.
cross one's mind ocurrirsele a uno
It suddenly crossed my mind that he was De repente se me ocurri6 que no nos estaba
not telling us everything he knew about the contando todo lo que sabia sobre la situacidn
company's financial status. financiera de la empresa.

Stanley 33
Thinking 1,000 everyday idioms in business

great minds think alike los sabios siempre piensan igual


If I understand you correctly, you think we Si te he entendido bien, piensas que deberia-
should increase our prices. Well, great mos incrementar nuestros precios. Bueno, los
minds think alike, because that's my con- sabios siempre pensamos igual, ya que esa es
clusion also. tambien mi conclusion.
dead from the neck up inutil, bobo
It's pointless asking Austin anything, he's No tiene sentido pedirle nada a Austin, es un
dead from the neck up. That plant in the inutil. Esa planta del rincon sabe m^s sobre fi-
corner knows more about finance than he nanzas que el.
does.
see reason entrar en razon
He insists on sending the letter, even though Insiste en enviar la carta, aunque s6lo causar3
it will only cause greater problems. I've ar- problemas. Llevo horas discutiendo con el,
gued with him for hours but I can't make him pero no puedo hacerle entrar en razon.
see reason.
pensar algo dos veces antes de
think twice about doing sth hacerlo
We had intended to build a new plant there Habiamos pensado construir alii una nueva
but the outbreak of political troubles made planta pero los disturbios politicos nos han
us think twice. hecho pensarlo dos veces antes de hacerlo.
be on the right track ir por buen camino
The odds are that Korea will once again be- Lo mas seguro es que Corea sea una vez mas
come an economic force. Kim's reforms, if car- una fuerza econ6mica. Las reformas de Kim, si
ried out fully and vigorously, should eventu- se llevan a cabo por completo y con teson,
ally get the country back on the right deberian a la larga volver a llevar al pais por
track. el buen camino.
put two and two together atar cabos
When a substantial number of employees Cuando un numero elevado de empleados lla-
called in to say they were sick on the day of maron por telefono para decir que estaban
the World Cup final, we put two and two enfermos el dia en que se jugaba la final del
together and concluded these events were mundial de futbol, atamos cabos y llegamos a
not unrelated. la conclusi6n de que ambas cosas estaban re-
lacionadas.
the whys and wherefores el como y el por que
For the moment, you don't need to worry De momento, no necesitas preocuparte del
about the whys and wherefores of this como y del por que de este cambio en politica.
change in policy. All will become clear in due Todo quedara claro a su debido tiempo.
course.
no guardar
bear no relation to sth ninguna relacion con algo
One problem is that this report was written in El problema es que este informe fue escrito en
the 1950s. Its conclusions probably bear no los anos 50. Sus conclusiones no guardan
relation at all to present-day conditions. probablemente ninguna relacion con las con-
diciones actuales.
have a mind of one's own tener sus propias opiniones
Don't waste your time asking McGrath for his No pierdas el tiempo pidiendole a McGrath su
opinion. He doesn't have a mind of his opinion. No tiene opiniones propias. Es un ro-
own. He's an apparatchik, he just does what bot, solo hace lo que le mandan.
he's told.

34 Stanley
Thinking 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

wishful thinking hacerse ilusiones


It's wishful thinking to expect all your cus- El esperar que todos tus clientes paguen en
tomers to pay cash on the nail and all your efectivo y que todos tus proveedores te den
suppliers to give you six months' credit. It sim- credito durante seis meses es hacerse ilusio-
ply isn't going to happen. nes. Eso sencillamente no va a ocurrir.
in one's heart of hearts en lo mas Intimo de su corazon
The more he told me that all our troubles Cuanto mas me contaba que nuestros proble-
would soon be over, the more I wanted to be- mas pronto se acabarian, mas inclinado esta-
lieve him. But, of course, in my heart of ba a creerle. Pero, claro, en el fondo sabia
hearts I knew he was lying. que estaba mintiendo.
take sth at face value creer algo a pies juntillas
An insecure secretary will say that the compu- Una secretaria mediocre se excusaria diciendo
ter is no good, difficult to learn, etc. But it que el ordenador no es bueno, que es dificil
would be a mistake to take this response at de manejar, etc. Pero seria un error creerse
face value and deal with it by trying to im- esta respuesta a pies juntillas y tratar de mejo-
prove the computer system. The ostensible is- rar el sistema del ordenador. El tema aparente
sue is masking the real problem. esta ocultando el autentico problema.
toy with an idea barajar una idea
He was toying with the idea of selling the Estaba barajando la idea de vender la empre-
company; the problem was he had no idea sa; el problema era que no tenfa ni idea de
who might want to buy it. quien querria comprarla.
have a brainwave tener una idea iuminosa
It was a technical problem we'd been trying in Era un problema tecnico que habiamos estado
vain to solve for weeks. Then, one morning, intentando solucionar en vano durante sema-
as I was stepping out of the shower, I had a nas. Entonces, una mafiana, al salir de la du-
brainwave. It was simple! cha, tuve una idea Iuminosa. jEra sencillo!
come to think of it ... ahora que lo pienso...
- 1 wonder where McCabe is these days. I - Me pregunto d6nde se ha metido McCabe
haven't seen him for ages. estos dias. No le he visto desde hace siglos.
- Come to think of it, neither have I. -Ahora que lo pienso, yo tampoco.

Stanley 35
9. Exercise ,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 Something that causes one to think 14 To consider something or keep it in


carefully: Las palabras de su jefe le one's mind: Ten en cuenta que tienes
hicieron reflexionar. que volver antes de las cinco.
2 Not to know something at all: No tengo 15 Believing something to be true or
ni la mas minima idea de lo que estas possible because one would like it to
hablando. be so: ^Mas dinero? No te hagas
ilusiones.
3 (saying, used humourously to praise
oneself on finding that someone's else 16 To be in a hurry to form a judgement
thinks exactly the same thing) All very or opinion, usually a wrong one: jNo
clever people have the same opinions, te precipites en sacar conclusiones!
judgements, etc. 17 In the deepest part of one's mind or
4 To be stupid: No tiene dos dedos de feelings: En su fuero interno sabia que
f rente. no habfa esperanza.

5 To have no idea about something: No 18 To have nothing to do with something:


tengo la menor idea de cuanto cuesta. Su respuesta no guarda ninguna
relaci6n con la pregunta.
6 To accept advice, admit the truth of an
argument, etc: No quiere atender a 19 (ideas, worries, intentions) To have in
razones. one's thoughts: He tenido presente lo
de la entrevista durante todo el dia.
7 To think carefully before doing some-
thing: Lo va a pensar dos veces antes 20 To accept something as it appears to
de volver a faltarme al respeto. be on the surface: Yo me crei lo que
dijo: ipor que iba a mentir?
8 Brains, reasoning abilities: jUtiliza la
materia gris! 21 Think about an action with only a
vague intention of actually doing it: Le
9 Thinking correctly, moving in the he estado dando vueltas a la idea de
right direction to get the desired re- comprarme un barco.
sult: Me parece que asi vamos por el
22 (used when the speaker wants to add
buen camino.
to a previous statement something he
1OTo consider or intend something: Lo has just thought of) When one consid-
tenia en mente para ese puesto. ers the facts: Lo podria haber hecho
ayer, ahora que lo pienso.
11 To make a correct guess based on what
one already knows: Muy pronto at6 23 Suddenly to have a good idea: Tuve
cabos. una idea genial (se me encendib la luz).
12 To think very hard trying to find the 24 The purpose or reasons behind some-
answer to a difficult problem: Se thing: Siempre quiere saber todas las
devan6 los sesos buscando una excusa. razones.
13 To have an independent character: 25 To come into one's mind fleetingly: Ni
Sabe muy bien lo que quiere. se le pas6 por la cabeza.

36 Stanley
1O. Understanding 1,000 everyday idioms in business

there's more to es mas complicado


this than meets the eye de lo que parece
The quality of a knife depends on much more La calidad de un cuchillo es algo mas compli-
than meets the eye, but mostly on the cado de lo que parece, pero depende princi-
blade and on the amount of carbon used in palmente de la hoja y de la cantidad de
the steel. carbono utilizado en el acero.
cannot make head or tail of sth no tener ni pies ni cabeza
I've been studying these diagrams all morning He estado estudiando estos diagramas toda la
but I can't make head or tail of them. manana pero no les encuentro ni pies ni cabe-
Can you explain them to me? za. {.Me los puedes explicar?
it's all Greek to me me suena a chino
He gave me a brief explanation of how the new Me dio una explicaci6n breve sobre c6mo fun-
computer system worked but, to tell you the cionaba el nuevo sistema informatico pero, a
truth, it was all Greek to me. decir verdad, me son6 todo a chino.
read between the lines leer entre lineas
How did Michael Bloomberg become the head £C6mo es que Michael Bloomberg se convirtio
of a billion-dollar empire? Well, you may have to en el presidente de un imperio de mil millones
read between the lines, but some hints de dolares? Bueno, puede que tengas que
await the careful reader of Bloomberg's recently leer entre lineas, pero se dan algunas pistas a
published memoirs. los atentos lectores de las memorias de
Bloomberg, recientemente publicadas.
get the hang of sth cogerle el tranquillo a algo
lacocca says, "I'm still in demand as a public Segun lacocca, "Sigo estando solicitado como
speaker because I'm good at it. When you've orador publico porque se me da bien. Cuando
talked for 45 years, you get the hang of it. has hablado durante 45 anos, le coges el
And I have 616 speeches to draw from on tranquillo. Ademas tengo 616 discursos de te-
various subjects". mas variados de donde sacar material."
get the picture entender, enterarse
My idea was to deliver an oil change the way Mi idea era ofrecer un cambio de aceite asi
other companies deliver pizzas, to people's como otras empresas entregan pizzas a domi-
homes. But the banks couldn't understand the cilio. Pero los bancos no terminaban de enten-
concept. Finally bank number 12 got the der el concepto. Al final, el banco num.12
picture and lent me the capital. comprendio la idea y me prest6 el capital.
make allowances for sth tener paciencia con algo
Successful teamwork depends mainly on its El exito del trabajo en equipo depende princi-
members' willingness to work together and palmente de la buena voluntad de los socios
make allowances for each other's faults and para trabajar juntos y tener paciencia con los fa-
weaknesses. llos y debilidades de los demas.
no saber nada
not know the first thing about sth en absolute sobre algo
There are a great many entrepreneurs that Hay una gran cantidad de empresarios que
have great ideas and a lot of talent, but don't tienen grandes ideas y mucho talento, pero
know the first thing about running a no saben nada en absolute sobre como llevar
business. una empresa.
be out of one's depth perderse, no entender nada
Many European companies still do not realise Muchas empresas europeas aun no se dan
how important e-mail has become. This may cuenta de la importancia del correo electr6-
be because, when it comes to information nico. Esto puede ser porque, en lo que a
technology, the average European company tecnologia de la informaci6n se refiere, el tipico

Stanley 37
Understanding 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

director is completely out of his depth. director de empresa europea est3 totalmente
perdido.
go right over one's head ser demasiado contplicado para uno
You know what lawyers are like, full of jargon Ya sabes c6mo son los abogados: recurren a
and technical terms and references to obscure su jerga, a terminos tecnicos y se refieren a
precedents. Most of what they were saying confuses antecedentes. Casi todo lo que de-
went straight over my head. cian era demasiado complicado para mi.
have a good head for sth tener facilidad para algo
We always knew he would be an accountant Siempre supimos que seria banquero, conta-
or a banker or something like that. Even as a ble o algo parecido. Incluso de nino, tenia fa-
child, he had a good head for figures. cilidad para los numeros.
the mind boggles alucinar
The mind boggles at the array of products Uno alucina al ver el conjunto impresionante
executives are buying in order to de-stress: de productos que compran los ejecutivos para
"relaxation pillows', aromatherapy oils, herbal eliminar el estres: almohadas de relajacion,
teas, goggles that emit relaxing light waves. aceites de aromaterapia, tes de hierbas, gafas
que emiten ondas de luz relajante...
the penny dropped caer en la cuenta
We had been trying to tell him politely that Habiamos estado intentando decirle con indi-
we were not going to renew his employment rectas que no ibamos a renovar su contrato
contract, but he hadn't understood. Then de trabajo, pero no habia entendido. Enton-
someone asked him if he had any plans for ces alguieri le pregunt6 si tenia planes para el
the future and the penny dropped. futuro y cayo en la cuenta.
fall into place encajar, cuadrar
You mustn't overprepare. If you really want to No deberias excederte en tu preparacion. Si
do something, you can't wait until every little realmente quieres hacer algo, no puedes es-
detail is ready. Just start and you'll find that perar a que cada pequeno detalle est£ listo.
most things will fall into place later. No tienes m3s que empezar y encontraras que
la mayoria de las cosas encajaran m^s tarde.
get hold of
the wrong end of the stick coger el rabano por las hojas
Wait a minute, Frank, you seem to have got Espera un minuto, Frank, parece que has cogido
hold of the wrong end of the stick here. el r^hano por las hojas. Mi postura es exactamen-
My position is exactly the opposite of what te lo contrario de lo que crees.
you think it is.
know one's stuff saber de lo que uno esta hablando
She answered all my questions about export Ella contest6 a todas mis preguntas sobre las
conditions without even pausing for thought. condiciones de exportacion sin ni siquiera pa-
I must say, she certainly seems to know her rarse a pensar. Debo decir que sabe de lo que
stuff. est3 hablando.
get one's wires crossed tener los cables cruzados
Thanks to cellular phones and laptop comput- Gracias a los telefonos m6viles y a los ordena-
ers, the main office can communicate at any dores portables, la oficina principal puede co-
time with sales representatives on the road. municarse a cualquier hora con los
We can get things done quickly and effi- comerciales que estan de viaje. Podemos ha-
ciently, without getting our wires crossed. cer las cosas r^pida y eficazmente sin que se
nos crucen los cables.

38 Stanley
Understanding , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

no entender
not see the point of doing sth la necesidad de hacer algo
I really don't see the point of equipping No entiendo por que es necesario equipar a
our secretaries with the most powerful, most nuestras secretarias con los ordenadores mas
sophisticated computers on the market if they potentes y sofisticados del mercado si solo van a
are only going to perform simple tasks like llevar a cabo tareas sencillas como escribir notas
typing memos and letters. y cartas.
lose the thread perder el hilo
I wonder if you'd mind going over those last Me pregunto si te importaria repasar esos
few points again, please. I think I lost the ultimos puntos una vez mas, por favor. Creo
thread somewhere in the middle of your ar- que he perdido el hilo en medio de tus ex-
gument. plicaciones.
you can't see' los arboles
the wood for the trees no dejan ver el bosque
When people are deeply involved in this kind Cuando la gente est3 profundamente inmersa
of research, they often lose sight of the main en este tipo de investigaci6n, suele perder la
objective. They become so obsessed with de- nocion del objetivo principal. Se obsesionan
tails that they can't see the wood for the de tal forma con los detalles que los arboles
trees. no les dejan ver el bosque.
give sb to understand that ... dar a entender que ...
At my interview with the Personnel Manager, En mi entrevista con el Director de Personal,
I was given to understand that the salary me dio a entender que el sueldo se pagaria
would be paid on the basis of 13 months per sobre una base anual de 1 3 meses, no de 1 2.
year, not 12.
the ins and outs of sth los pormenores de algo
Topfer was completely familiar with the ins Topfer estaba completamente familiarizado
and outs of purchasing and manufacturing, con los pormenores de las compras y de la fa-
so he was exactly the right man to handle bricaci6n, asi que era exactamente el hombre
day-to-day operations. indicado para llevar a cabo las operaciones
diarias.
let me get this straight a ver si me aclaro
Let me get this straight: you're saying that A ver si me aclaro: iest^s diciendo que el exito
success can be disastrous if the company isn't puede ser desastroso si la empresa no est3
prepared for it. Is that right? preparada para ello? ^Es asi?
get to the bottom of a matter llegar al fondo de un asunto
We've had four complaints this week from cus- Hemos tenido esta semana cuatro quejas de
tomers who say they've received goods they clientes diciendo que han recibido materiales
didn't order. I want you to get to the bot- que no han pedido. Quiero que llegues al
tom of this matter and put it right. fondo de este asunto y lo arregles.
get the message coger la onda, captar el mensaje
From now on, I want safety regulations to be De ahora en adelante, quiero que se cumplan
strictly observed. If a worker refuses to wear estrictamente las medidas de seguridad. Si un
hearing protection when he should be wear- obrero se niega a ponerse proteccion de oidos
ing it, dismiss him. The others will soon get cuando deberia hacerlo, despidele. Los demas
the message. pronto cogeran la onda.

Stanley 39
1O. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 To understand the situation: Leete esto, 14 To fail to follow the course of an argu-
enseguida te haras una idea. ment or conversation: Perdf el hilo de
su razonamiento.
2 To be in a situation one cannot under-
stand because of lack of knowledge, 15 To fail to have a clear understanding
experience, etc: Trate de leer a Marx of something because of a large
pero pronto me perdf. number of unimportant and distracting
details: Los aYboles no les dejan ver el
3 (an expression of incomprehension or
bosque.
disbelief) My mind cannot accept that!:
Se qued6 boquiabierto pensando en 16 To understand more than is actually
esa cantidad de dinero. written or spoken: Leyendo entre
llneas, yo dirfa que tienen problemas
4 To be unable to make any sense of
econbmicos.
something: No le veo ni pies ni cabeza
a este diagrama. 17 To cause someone to believe some-
thing: Me ha dado a entender que se
5 To know a great deal about one's job
marcha.
or a particular subject: Parece saber de
lo que esta hablando. 18 To be clever at doing something, e.g.
6 To be beyond somebody's ability to mathematics, figures: Tiene cabeza para
los negocios.
understand: No entendi nada de su
conferencia. 19The intricate details of something:
7 To understand, to realise: Aqui no eres Cuesta entender todos los detalles del
bienvenido. £Me explico? funcionamiento de la ley.

8 To misunderstand what another person 20 (facts, events, etc.) To be seen in its


means or wants: Me parece que no correct place, so that the whole thing
hablamos de lo mismo. can be fully understood: Las cosas
empiezan a cuadrar.
9 The meaning of something, e.g. a re-
mark or a joke, is finally understood: Al 21 To understand how to do something:
final se dio cuenta. Nunca le cogi el tranquillo al golf.

10 (idea, process, person, etc.) This is more 22 Let me understand this correctly: A ver
complicated than it seems: Ese software si nos entendemos, <j.nos faltan mil
es mas dificil de lo que parece. libras para alcanzar nuestro objetivo?

11 To misunderstand something com- 23 To take mitigating circumstances into


pletely: Como de costumbre, tomb el account: Tienes que ser indulgente con
rabano por las hojas. el, es muyjoven.

12 Not to understand the purpose or use 24 Find out the reason for something:
of something: No entiendo por que es Estaba dispuesta a llegar al fondo del
necesario hacerlo. asunto.

13 Not to know anything at all about a sub- 25 To be incomprehensible to someone:


ject: No sabes nada en absolute de esto. Me suena a chino.

40 Stanley
11. Discussions 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

face to face cara a cara


A sales pitch delivered over the telephone is Una presentacion comercial por telefono es
definitely different from one given face to completamente distinta a una presentada cara a
face. But it is not necessarily less effective. cara. Pero no por ello es menos eficaz.
pick sb's brains hacer una consulta a alguien
To identify areas of opportunity. Business Para identificar areas de oportunidad, Busi-
Week picked the brains of leading market ness Week consulto a los principals
strategists. estrategas de mercados.
beg to differ lamentar no estar de acuerdo
Most analysts said they believed the Budget to La mayoria de los analistas dijeron que creian
be neutral for the stock market. Investors in que el presupuesto era neutral para la bolsa.
tobacco stocks might beg to differ however, Sin embargo los inversores en acciones de ta-
following the chancellors decision to increase baco podrian no estar de acuerdo, tras la de-
cigarette duty. cision del canciller de incrementar el impuesto
sobre el tabaco.
agree to differ estar de acuerdo en discrepar
We spent two hours trying to reach an agree- Pasamos dos horas intentando llegar a un
ment on the best strategy to employ, but our acuerdo sobre la mejor estrategia a emplear,
positions were simply irreconcilable. In the pero nuestras posturas eran sencillamente irre-
end, we agreed to differ and moved on to conciliables. Al final, nos pusimos de acuerdo
the next subject. en discrepar, y pasamos al siguiente tema.
split hairs rizar el rizo
Instead of addressing the first item on the En vez de tratar el primer punto del temario,
agenda, they wasted nearly half an hour perdieron casi media hora rizando el rizo so-
splitting hairs about the wording of the bre la redaccion del resumen de la reunion an-
minutes of the previous meeting. terior.
be all ears ser todo oidos
-1 think I may have found a way to increase - Creo haber encontrado una forma de incre-
our profits substantially. rnentar sustancialmente nuestros beneficios.
- Tell me more, I'm all ears. - Cuentamelo, soy todo oidos.
talk at cross-purposes hablar de cosas distintas
Wait a minute. Bill, I think we're talking at Espera un minuto. Bill, creo que estamos ha-
cross-purposes here. I wasn't referring to blando de cosas distintas. No me referia a las
last year's production figures but to this year's. cifras de produccion del ano pasado, sino a
las de este ano.
talk through one's hat decir tonterias
You're talking through your hat. It's obvious Estas diciendo tonterias. Es obvio que no sa-
that you don't know the first thing about bes ni lo mas minimo sobre los metodos de
modern production methods. produccion modernos.
not to mention ... ademas de...
According to Intel, the computer will emerge De acuerdo con Intel, el ordenador consti-
as the central processing unit for every enter- tuira la unidad central de proceso para cada
tainment and information apparatus in the uno de los aparatos domesticos de informa-
house — not to mention the lights and cion y ocio, ademas de la iluminacion y del
thermostat. termostato.
set the record straight aclarar un malentendido
Just to set the record straight, it was I Solo para aclarar un malentendido, fui yo
who wrote the report you quoted from earlier, quien escribio el informe que citaste antes, y
and not Mr Auger as you seem to think. no Mr. Auger, como crees.
Stanley 41
Discussions 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

for the sake of argument pongamos por caso.


I think you're probably right and that we will Creo que seguramente tienes raz6n y que sa-
make a substantial profit next year. But let's caremos un beneficio sustancial el ano que
say, for the sake of argument, that we viene. Pero pongamos por caso que obtenga-
make a small profit or only break even. What mos un beneficio pequefio o que s6lo salimos
happens then? a la par. ^Que pasara entonces?
poner palabras
put words into sb's mouth en boca de alguien
Now don't start putting words into my No pongas en mi boca cosas que no he di-
mouth. I didn't say that we're going to close cho. No dije que ibamos a cerrar la planta de
down the Croydon plant. I said we're going to Croydon. Dije que vamos a tener que encon-
have to find a way to stop losing money trar una forma de dejar de perder dinero alii.
there. That's a different matter Es algo completamente distinto.
entirely.
get a word in edgeways meter baza
Discussions with Goldman tend to be rather Las conversaciones con Goldman tienden a
one-sided. Once he starts talking, you can't ser poco equilibradas. Una vez que empieza a
get a word in edgeways. hablar, no es posible meter baza.
scratch the surface tratar algo muy por encima
Without detailed figures we can't hope to do Sin cifras detalladas, no podemos esperar ha-
more than scratch the surface of this prob- cer nada mas que tratar este problema muy
lem. I suggest we have a proper discussion as por encima. Sugiero que tengamos una con-
soon as the figures are available. versacion como Dios manda en cuanto esas
cifras esten disponibles.
on the one hand ...
on the other hand ... por una parte ... por otra ...
Since the 1950s, British policy has been Desde los anos 50, la politica britanica ha es-
marked by lack of enthusiasm for the Euro- tado marcada por una falta de entusiasmo ha-
pean project on the one hand, and fear of cia el proyecto europeo por una parte, y por
exclusion on the other. el miedo a ser excluidos por otra.
for one thing en primer lugar; entre otras cosas
What does the employee get out of a profit- consigue el empleado con un acuerdo
sharing arrangement? For one thing, de beneficios compartidos? Para empezar, di-
money. For another, a sense of pride and be- nero. Ademas, un sentimiento de orgullo y de
longing. pertenencia.
compare notes cambiar impresiones
I'd like to have your opinion of the proposed Me gustaria conocer tu opinion sobre la pro-
advertising campaign. Why don't we get to- puesta para la campana publicitaria. ^Por que
gether and compare notes? no nos reunimos y cambiamos impresiones?
put oneself in sb else's shoes ponerse en el lugar de alguien
Put yourself in the customer's shoes. If Ponte en el lugar del cliente. Si te estas pre-
you're worrying about how to make things ocupando por hacer las cosas bien, mira la si-
right, take a look at the situation from his per- tuaci6n desde su punto de vista.
spective.
off the record confidencialmente
Most of our information was obtained by vari- La mayor parte de nuestra informaci6n ha
ous unofficial means: rumours, off-the- sido obtenida de forma extraoficial: rumores,
record briefings, leaks, indiscretions, etc. informacion confidencial, filtraciones, indiscre-
Hence, it may not be entirely reliable. ciones, etc. Por lo tanto, puede que no sea
del todo fiable.

42 Stanley
Discussions 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

it stands to reason that ... es logico que


In a world where the skills you have deter- En un mundo donde las habilidades que uno
mine how successful you are, it stands to tiene determinan el exito que se va a conse-
reason that the more skills you have, the bet- guir, es logico que cuantas mas habilidades se
ter your chances for success. tengan, mas posibilidades existen de alcanzar
el exito.
be beside the point no venir al caso
The real issue is whether we need this equip- Lo que estamos debatiendo es si necesitamos
ment or not. The fact that it's being offered at este equipo o no. El hecho de que lo ofrezcan
a particularly low price is quite beside the a un precio muy bajo no viene al caso.
point.
be neither here nor there no venir al caso
If he's the best man for the job, he'll get the Si es la persona mas indicada para el puesto,
job - and that's all there is to it. The fact that conseguira el puesto- y no hay mas que decir.
he's the GM's son is neither here nor El hecho de que sea el hjjo del director gene-
there. ral no viene al caso.
at issue en cuestion, a debatir
The point at issue is not how much we are El tema en cuestion no es cuanto vamos a in-
going to invest in your company, but if we are vertir en tu empresa, sino si vamos a invertir
going to invest in your company. en ella.
that rings a bell esto me suena
- Do you remember Bill Johnson? - iTe acuerdas de Bill Johnson?
- Well, the name rings a bell, but I can't - Pues, creo que me suena el nombre, pero no
quite think who he is. caigo en quien es.
play devil's advocate hacer de abogado del diablo
It's possible, and even probable, that our en- Es posible, e incluso probable, que nuestro
thusiasm for this project has blinded us to its entusiasmo hacia este proyecto no nos haya
weaknesses. That's why I want you to play dejado ver sus puntos debiles. Por eso quiero
devil's advocate. The more objections you que hagas de abogado del diablo. Cuantas
can raise, the better. mas pegas puedas sugerir, mejor.

Stanley 43
11. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espahol, traducela al ingles.

1 To argue over small or unimportant details: 14 To agree not to argue any more because
Quejarse de la fecha seria hilar muy fino. neither side will change its opinion:
2 To question somebody to find out his Dejemoslo, ni tu me vas a convencer a
knowledge and ideas about a subject: He mi ni yo a ti.
obviously invited me to lunch so he could 15 Being discussed or being decided on:
_ about the Locksley Hall project; he May I remind you that the point is
talked about nothing else. not where we are going to install the
3 To correct erroneous information or be- new machines, but if we really need to
liefs: Before we go any further, I want to buy them.
_ on a few important points which 16 To state that someone said something
you seem to have misunderstood. he didn't say, or to suggest that he is
4 In the first place, to start with, one reason about to say something which, in fact,
is... : En primer lugar, se est2 haciendo muy he has no intention of saying: Don't
tarde y estoy cansado. into my mouth, that's not what I
was going to say at all.
5 To be extremely attentive to what someone is
17 To say things that are incorrect or fool-
about to say: Soy todo oidos.
ish: Esta diciendo tonterias, como de
6 To exchange opinions with another per- costumbre.
son: You know what's happening in Ku-
18 To be unimportant or irrelevant: Sus
wait, I know what's happening in Saudi
objeciones no vienen al caso.
Arabia, so why don't we get together and
19 To misunderstand each other's point of
view, intentions, etc: Estaban hablando
7 To imagine oneself in somebody else's de dos cosas distintas.
position: The skilled negotiator knows how
to _ of his adversary. 20 To disagree with somebody politely but
firmly: Si me permite, en ese punto no
8 In the actual presence of some other per- estoy de acuerdo.
son: They had often spoken on the tel-
21 To remind someone vaguely of some-
ephone but they did not meet _ until
thing: Arthur Ferguson? Yes, the name
a few months ago.
, but I can't put a face to it.
9 (used when the speaker does not want his
22 To deal with a subject superficially: Este
words to be reported publicly) Unofficially:
articulo no profundiza en el problema.
El ministro hablaba extraoficialmente.
23 To argue against an idea although one
1 0 (used to introduce another important ele- may agree with it to test its validity: O.K.,
ment which hasn't been referred to so far] John, I want you to and to raise as
As well as, and also: Esta el problema del many objections as you can to my plan.
tiempo y no digamos ya el costo.
24 (used to emphasize the difference be-
1 1 It follows logically that..., it is obvious tween two statements or positions) In
that... : Es evidente que no querra^ volver one case ... in the other case: it's
a comprarlo. vital that we implement these measures,
12 In order to consider the possibility: we can't possibly afford to imple-
Pongamos por caso que fuera culpable. ment them.
13 To be irrelevant: Your observations are 25 To be unable to participate in a conver-
interesting, but I'm afraid they're quite sation because someone else is talking
a great deal: No me dejaron meter baza.

44 Stanley
12. Meetings 1 , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

get down to business entrar en materia


In Arab countries, before getting down to En los paises arabes, antes de entrar en mate-
business, you are generally expected to ria, se espera que pases media hora hablando
spend about half an hour making small talk de cosas intranscendentes, creando una rela-
and building a relationship. cion personal.
ir al grano,
start the ball rolling poner las cosas en marcha
After a few general remarks, the director Tras unos comentarios generales, el director
started the ball rolling by saying that an- fue al grano anunciando que los beneficios
nual profits were down by nearly 20% and anuales habian bajado casi un 20% y que las
that he would welcome suggestions on how sugerencias de como invertir esta tendencia
to reverse this trend. serian bien recibidas.
take sth as read dar algo por sentado
Minutes of the last meeting have been circu- El resumen de la ultima reunion ha sido reparti-
lated to you, so, if you all agree, I think we do a todos vosotros, asi que, si estais de acuer-
can take them as read and move on to the do, creo que podemos darlo por sentado y
first item on the agenda. continuar con el primer punto del temario.
beat about the bush andarse por las ramas
Listen, why don't you stop beating about Escucha, ipor que no dejas de andarte por las
the bush and simply tell us how much all ramas y terminas por decirnos cuanto nos va
this is going to cost? a costar todo esto?
get to the point ir al grano
Excuse me for interrupting you, Graham. Disculpame por interrumpirte, Graham. Lo
What you're saying is most interesting but I'm que dices es de lo mas interesante pero me
afraid our time is limited. Can you please get temo que nos quedamos sin tiempo. Podrias
to the point? ir al grano, ipor favor?
get one nowhere no conducir a nada
He's a very clever man, but year after year he's Es un hombre muy listo, pero ano tras ano han
been passed over for promotion. His abilities pasado por encima suyo, negandole el ascenso.
have got him nowhere. Sus habilidades no le han conducido a nada.
go over old ground repetir la mis ma cancion
We have a very heavy agenda, Jones, so don't Tenemos un temario muy apretado, Jones, asi
waste time going over old ground. Just que no pierdas el tiempo repitiendo la misma
bring us up to date on recent developments. canci6n. Limitate a informarnos de los ultimos
acontecimientos.
put out heads together tratar los dos de resolverlo
Your plans are interesting but much too ex- Tus planes son interesantes pero muy caros.
pensive. Why don't we put our heads to- i?or qu6 no nos reunimos la semana que vie-
gether some day next week and see if we ne y tratamos de encontrar alguna forma de
can't find some way to reduce the costs? reducir los costes?
speak to the purpose hablar muy a proposito
Listen, we don't have much time. If you can't Escucha, no tenemos mucho tiempo. Si no
say anything that's to the purpose, it would puedes concentrarte en el tema seria mejor
be better if you said nothing at all. que no dijeras nada.
cover a lot of ground tocar muchos puntos
The early Coca-Cola advertisement, stressing El anuncio antiguo de Coca-Cola, que ase-
that the drink was delicious, delightful, guraba que la bebida era deliciosa, agrada-
healthy, and indispensable for the relief of ble, sana e indispensable para aliviar el

Stanley 45
Meetings 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

mental and physical exhaustion, covered a agotamiento mental y fisico, tocaba muchos
great deal of ground. puntos.
cut sth short cortar algo
We got an emergency call saying there had Recibimos una llamada de emergencia dicien-
been an explosion at one of the plants, so do que se habia producido una explosion en
naturally we cut the meeting short. una de las plantas, asi que naturalmente cor-
tamos la reunibn.
for the record que conste ...
I wish to state for the record that I am com- Deseo que conste que estoy totalmente en
pletely opposed to this decision. contra de esta decisibn.
when all is said and done al final, al fin y al cabo
When all is said and done, Microsoft will Al final, Microsoft ganara seguramente una
probably make a great deal of money on its gran cantidad de dinero con su inversi6n de
$ 150 million investment in Apple. 1 50 millones de d6lares en Apple.
have one's say dar su opinion
You can defuse angry customer encounters Se puede tranquilizar a los clientes airados
by remaining positive, by letting people siendo positive, dejando que den su opinion,
have their say, and then trying to reason y luego intentar razonar con ellos.
things out.
a show of hands una votacion a mano alzada
It was clear that the management team was Estaba claro que el equipo directive estaba di-
divided on the question. To save time, the vidido sobre este tema. Para ahorrar tiempo,
chairman suggested the matter be resolved by el presidente sugirio que se resolviese el asun-
a show of hands. to con una votaci6n a mano alzada.
lose sight of sth perder algo de vista
Hayes reminds his sales team that when they Hayes recuerda a su equipo comercial que si
feel discouraged, it's probably because se sienten desanimados, es probablemente
they've lost sight of their goals. porque han perdido de vista sus metas.
I stand corrected reconozco mi error
I was quite unaware of the situation you have No estaba en absolute al tanto de la situaci6n
just described. I realise now that I judged you que acabas de describir. Ahora me doy cuenta
unfairly and stand corrected. Please accept de que te habia juzgado mal y reconozco mi
my apologies. error. Por favor, acepta mis disculpas.
go off at a tangent salirse por la tangente
The problem with Parker is that if anyone El problema con Parker es que si alguien le in-
interrupts him with a question, he'll go off terrumpe con una pregunta, se sale por la
at a tangent and waste hours of every- tangente y hace perder el tiempo a todo el
body's time. mundo.
hold forth hablar largo y tendido
Soames is such a windbag! At the beginning jSoames es un charlatan! Al principio de la re-
of the meeting he held forth for nearly half uni6n hablo largo y tendido durante casi media
an hour on the need to keep our arguments hora sobre la necesidad de precisar nuestros ar-
precise and to the point. gumentos y de ir al grano.
lay it on the line dejar algo bien claro
Let me lay it on the line for you, gentle- Voy a dejarles algo bien claro, caballeros. Si
men. If there are any more accidents because hay algun accidente mas porque no se han
basic safety measures are being ignored, I will respetado las medidas de seguridad, les har£
hold you directly responsible. directamente responsables de ello.

46 Stanley
Meetings 1,000 everyday idioms in business

go round and round in circles dar vueltas sin llegar a nada


The G7 seems to spend much of its time go- El G7 parece pasar la mayor parte del tiempo
ing round and round in circles. Once dando vueltas sin llegar a una conclusion.
again, everyone was agreed that more should Una vez mas, todos estaban de acuerdo en
be done to stimulate global growth. And once que habia que hacer algo mas para estimular
again, opinions differed as to where the re- el crecimiento global. Una vez mas, las opinio-
sponsibility should lie. nes diferian sobre quien deberia asumir la res-
ponsabilidad.
play it by ear improvisar
Of course it's always better to prepare for Claro que siempre es mejor prepararse ade-
meetings properly, but often you simply don't cuadamente para una reuni6n, pero muchas
have time. And if you're unprepared, all you veces no se tiene tiempo. Y si no se esta pre-
can do is play it by ear. parado, lo unico que se puede hacer es im-
provisar.
tie up loose ends atar los cabos sueltos
We've covered everything on the agenda. Hemos cubierto todo el temario. Sin embargo,
However, before I bring the meeting to a antes de concluir la reunion, me gustaria atar
close, I'd like to tie up a few loose ends. los cabos sueltos.
short and sweet breve
I realise you're all very busy men, so, although Me doy cuenta de que estais todos muy ocupa-
this is a highly complicated matter, I'll keep my dos, asi que aunque se trate de un tema muy
remarks short and sweet. complicado, sere breve.
in a nutshell en pocas palabras
We are losing customers because we are un- Estamos perdiendo clientes porque no les po-
able to supply them quickly enough — that's demos abastecer lo suficientemente rapido;
the problem in a nutshell. The next question en pocas palabras, ese es el problema. La si- •
is: what are we going to do about it? guiente pregunta es: iQu£ vamos a hacer al
respecto?

Stanley 47
12. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To fail to help or be of no use to some- 14 To say something directly and forcefully:


one: Esto no conduce a nada. Te lo voy a decir claramente, tu trabajo
2 When everything has been considered: no esta a la altura de lo que se requiere.
Al fin y al cabo, es ella la que va a sufrir. 15 To delay talking about the most impor-
3 To say something which is highly relevant tant subject or point: No te andes con
to the present situation, to the matter rodeos y dime que paso.
being discussed, etc: He has a clear, inci- 16 To keep going over the same ideas with-
sive mind. When he speaks, he out reaching a satisfactory decision or
with no waste of time. outcome: Las negociaciones est^n
4 To express one's opinion, usually with estancadas.
determination: Ahora deja que de su 17 (meetings, training courses, etc.) To deal
opinion. with many different subjects or very thor-
5 To come to the most important thing that oughly with a single subject: Tratamos
one wants to say: We don't have very muchos puntos en nuestras conver-
much time, so I'd appreciate it if you saciones.
could skip the introduction and . 18 To act according to the situation and
6 A vote in which each person shows his without a definite plan, to improvise: No
position by raising his hand: El presidente se como van a reaccionar, tendre que ver
pidio una votaci6n a mano alzada. que hago sobre la marcha.
7 To speak for a long time, pompously, in 19 (meetings, discussions, etc.) To start
front of others: Hablo largo y tendido something, to get it moving: £Quien va
sobre la necesidad de actuar con a comenzar?
moderacion. 20 To complete small jobs or take care of
8 To deal with subjects that are already fa- details that are still undecided: Todavia
miliar to one's listeners: Estamos quedan algunos cabos sueltos por atar.
volviendo sobre lo mismo. 21 To end something prematurely: Tuvo que
9 I admit that I was wrong: Reconozco mi acortar sus vacaciones.
error. 22 (speech, announcement, etc.) Without
10 (a purpose, a target, etc.) To forget some- unnecessary detail or without waste of
thing, to fail to keep it in view: Han time: La reunion fue corta y provechosa.
perdido de vista lo mas importante. 23 In order to make one's position clear and
11 To begin talking about serious matters: public: Que conste que no estoy de
Vayamos directamente al grano. acuerdo.
12 To leave the subject of a discussion and 24 To assume that everyone knows some-
start talking about something completely thing even though it hasn't been directly
different: Se fue por las ramas y no stated, or to take something for granted:
termin6 de dar su explicacibn. Dimos por sentado que ya tenla un
pasaporte v^lido.
13 To have discussions together in order to
solve a problem: Nos pusimos a pensar 25 Concisely, reduced to the essential facts:
juntos y surgio la idea. En dos palabras, esa es la situacidn.

48 Stanley
13. Speaking 1 , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

not mince one's words no tener pelos en la lengua


He didn't mince his words. He said that ei- No tuvo pelos en la lengua. Dijo que o bien
ther we must increase our output or our aumentabamos la productividad o nuestro
budget would be drastically reduced. presupuesto se veria drasticamente recortado.
speak one's mind hablar sin rodeos
Hiroshi Okuda is six feet tall, sings karaoke, Hiroshi Okuda mide 1,80 m, canta en karaoke
speaks his mind — frequently in English — y habla sin rodeos - con frecuencia en ingles -
and prefers young, creative managers to es- y prefiere a los j6venes directives creativos
tablished old guys. He's begun a revolution at que a los tipicos empresarios. Ha iniciado una
Toyota. revoluci6n en Toyota.
call a spade a spade llamar al pan, pan y al vino, vino
He's the sort of chap who always calls a Es el tipo de hombre que le llama al pan, pan
spade a spade. If he thinks you're being stu- y al vino, vino. Si cree que estas portandote
pid, he'll tell you so. como un tonto te lo dira.
a slip of the tongue un lapsus (linguae)
You referred to their Mr Brown as "Mr Brawn". Te dirigiste a su Mr. Brown como "Mr. Brawn".
It was obviously a slip of the tongue. You Eso fue un lapsus. Seguramente ni te diste
probably didn't even notice it yourself. cuenta.
it goes without saying that ... no hace falta ni decirlo ...
George Soros, it goes without saying, is a No hace falta decir que George Soros es un
very smart guy. You don't become a billionaire tipo muy listo. Uno no se convierte en corre-
stock trader by being stupid. dor de bolsa multimillonario siendo tonto.
off the cuff improvisando, de improviso
They showed us round the factory, then in- Nos ensenaron la fabrica y luego nos invitaron
vited us to have lunch in their canteen. Jones a comer en su comedor. Jones improviso un
made a short speech off the cuff, thanking discurso, d^ndoles las gracias por su hospitali-
them for their hospitality and looking forward dad y augurando una relacion fructifera entre
to a fruitful relationship between our two nuestras dos empresas.
companies.
not in so many words no exactamente, no directamente
- Did he say he was going to cancel the order? que iba a cancelar su pedido?
- Well, not in so many words. But he - Pues, no exactamente. Pero dio a entender
hinted that he might. que quizas lo haria.
to cut a long story short en resumidas cuentas
I asked him if he could remind me of the date Le pregunte si podria recordarme la fecha de
of the meeting and, to my astonishment, he la reunion y, para mi sorpresa, empezo a gri-
started screaming that I was always making tar que le estaba pidiendo lo imposible. Bue-
unreasonable demands. Well, to cut a long no, en resumidas cuentas, salio de la oficina
story short, he stormed out of the office and hecho una furia y no ha vuelto.
hasn't returned.
off the top of one's head sin pensarselo
- Can you tell me how many units we can sup- puedes decir cuantas unidades de nues-
ply from stock? tras existencias podemos suministrar?
- Well, not off the top of my head. Let me - Pues, no de buenas a primeras. Dejame ha-
speak to the warehouse foreman and I'll call blar con el capataz del almacen y te llamare.
you back.
tongue in cheek en broma, ironicamente
Two young guys were doing the calculations, Dos chicos jovenes estaban haciendo unos
which were taking forever. Tongue in calculos, lo cual les estaba llevando una
eternidad. En broma, pregunte, "iQue tipo
Stanley 49
Speaking 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

cheek, I asked, "What kind of computer are de ordenador estais usando?" Me dijeron,
you using?" I was told, seriously, that they muy en serio, que estaban usando un 286.
were using a 286.
say sth until
one is blue in the face cansarse de repetir algo
I can tell you what your faults are until I'm Te puedo decir donde fallas una y otra vez,
blue in the face, but it won't make the least pero no significar^ nada. Lo importante es
difference if you can't see them for yourself. que seas tu quien descubra los fallos.
The first step must be for you to discover
them.
speak for itself ser evidente, hablar por si solo
Some question whether Dell's direct-sales Algunos se preguntan si el modelo de venta
model can be adapted to overseas markets. "I directa de Dell puede adaptarse a los merca-
think our numbers speak for themselves," dos extranjeros. "Creo que las cifras son evi-
responds Topfer. "In Europe we're No. 3, and dentes," respondio Topfer. "En Europa somos
growing 32 times faster than the market." el num.3, y estamos creciendo 32 veces mas
deprisa que el mercado."
pay lip service to sth hablar largo y tendido
Everybody in our industry always paid lip Todos en nuestra industria han hablado siem-
service to safety, but nobody ever did much pre largo y tendido sobre la seguridad, pero
about it. We all assumed we had no control nadie ha hecho nada al respecto. Todos daba-
over whether accidents happened or not. mos por sentado que no controlabamos el he-
cho de que se produjeran accidentes.
tie oneself up in knots liarse, quedar mal
If you don't know the answer to an unex- Si no sabes la respuesta a una pregunta ines-
pected question, request time to think about perada, solicita tiempo para pensarlo. Esto es
it. This is much safer than bluffing, as you mucho mas seguro que farolear, ya que evitas
avoid the risk of tying yourself up in el riesgo de quedar mal en publico.
knots in public.
waste one's breath gastar saliva en balde
I spent more than an hour trying to persuade Me pas£ mas de una hora intentando persua-
him that our policy was self-defeating, but I dirle de que nuestra politica era contraprodu-
was simply wasting my breath. His mind cente, pero estaba gastando saliva en balde.
was already made up. Ya se habia decidido.
hit the nail on the head dar en el clavo
I think you hit the nail on the head when Creo que has dado en el clavo al comentar
you remarked earlier that profit is essentially a antes que los beneficios son, en esencia, una
measure of growth or of contraction. medida de crecimiento o de contraccion.
pile it on thick exagerar
He was a good accountant, certainly, but I felt Era sin duda un buen contable pero pense
that the GM was piling it on a bit thick que el director general estaba exagerando
when he called him "a financial wizard and an cuando le llamo "un mago de las finanzas y
unparalleled genius with figures". un genio sin igual con las cifras".
straight from the shoulder sin rodeos
I told him straight from the shoulder that I Le dije sin rodeos que pensaba que su com-
thought his behaviour was not only destructive, portamiento no solamente era negative sino
but also childish, silly and selfish. tambien infantil, tonto y egoista.

50 Stanley
Speaking 1 , 0 0 0 everyday i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

take the words quitarle a uno


out of one's mouth la palabra de la boca
- A budget is not a forecast, it's a commitment. - Un presupuesto no es un pronostico, es un
- You took the words right out of my compromiso.
mouth. That's exactly what I was going - Me has quitado las palabras de la boca. Eso
to say. es exactamente lo que iba a decir.
take sb's word for it aceptar lo que alguien dice
-1 have the feeling he's really keen to sign. -Tengo la sensaci6n de que est£ deseando
- Well, I'll take your word for it. Let's hope firmar.
he's just as keen when we meet next week. -Bueno, aceptare lo que me dices. Esperemos
que tenga las mismas ganas cuando nos re-
unamos con el la semana que viene.
have the gift of the gab tener mucha labia
It's all very well to be naturally charming and Esta muy bien tener encanto natural, labia y
to have the gift of the gab, and so on, but dem^s, pero lo que realmente marca la diferen-
what really separates the good salesman from cia entre un buen comercial y otro mediocre es
the mediocre one is stamina and persever- el aguante y la perseverancia.
ance.
una declaration
a sweeping statement demasiado general, generalizar
- Everybody in administration is lazy, incompe- - Todos en la administracion son vagos, incom-
tent and uncooperative. petentes y no tienen ganas de cooperar.
- That's a rather sweeping statement, - Eso es generalizar, ^no crees?
isn't it?
learn sth by heart aprender algo de memoria
Nerves can cause your mind to go suddenly Los nervios pueden hacer que te quedes de
blank, so if you are making an important pres- repente en bianco, asi que, si llevas a cabo
entation for the first time, it is often useful to una presentacion importante por vez prime-
learn your opening remarks by heart. ra es util aprenderse las primeras lineas de
memoria.
have sth on tener algo en
the tip of one's tongue la punta de la lengua
What on earth is their Manager called? Give iC6mo diablos se llama su director de forma-
me a second, I have her name on the tip ci6n? Dame un segundo, jtengo su nombre
of my tongue! en la punta de la lengua!
not to put too fine a point on it hablando sin rodeos
Not to put too fine a point on it, I think Hablando sin rodeos, creo que tu informe es
your report is one of the most carelessly writ- uno de los mas descuidados que se han escri-
ten and one of the most inaccurate and use- to y uno de los documentos mas inexactos e
less documents I have ever had the misfortune inutiles que he tenido la desgracia de leer
to read. nunca.

Stanley 51
13. Exercise ,000 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To say something repeatedly but with- 12 To be on the point of remembering


out results: Me canso de repetirselo, no something but still unable to do so:
cambia nada. Tengo su nombre en la punta de la
lengua.
2 To express agreement with an idea or
policy insincerely and without taking 13 To speak plainly and directly, avoiding
action in support of it: Ralph to eupheumisms: Instead of talking about "re-
his firm's efforts to change but failed to structuring", "rationalising", "downsizing",
alter his own behavior or to encourage "re-engineering" and so on, why not
employees in his department to change. and simply admit you're going to make a
lot of people jobless.
3 Guessing, without proper preparation:
14 Ironically, jokingly: Hizo varies comen-
Me iba sugiriendo cosas tal y como le
tarios irbnicos.
iban viniendo a la cabeza.
15 (used when someone says exactly what
4 To become more and more confused as one was going to say oneself) To say
one speaks: Instead of simply admitting what one was about to say: Me quitaste
that he didn't know the answer, he la palabra de la boca.
started a long, complicated explanation
16 (making a speech) Without preparation:
and quickly .
Habl6 improvisando.
5 To speak honestly and forcefully without 1 7 To believe somebody when there is no
trying to be kind: No tiene pelos en la proof that what he says is true: Tendras
lengua. que creerme.
6 To speak without effect while trying to 18 To be a naturally fluent and persuasive
persuade someone of something: speaker: Tiene un pico de oro.
Pierdes el tiempo intentando con- 19To say what one thinks clearly and
vencerlo. openly: Siempre digo lo que pienso.
7 (facts, figures, etc.) To need no additional 20An excessively general statement: £No
details or explanation: Creo que los estas generalizando demasiado?
hechos hablan por si mismos. 21 (used to indicate that one is skipping
8 To say something that exactly describes many details to go directly to the most
a situation: Has dado en el clavo. important part of a story) Well, ,
9 To be understood and agreed without after screaming insults for half an hour,
needing to be mentioned or proved: he said he would never do business with
us again and hung up.
Huelga decir que los gastos te los
pagamos nosotros. 22 To learn something so that one can re-
member it exactly: His technique was to
10 To greatly exaggerate matters, making the first sentence of every para-
them seem much better or worse than graph .
they really are: When you said morale
23 Something said by mistake: Lo siento, ha
was so low that half of us were actively
sido un lapsus desafortunado.
looking for another job, you were ,
weren't you? 24 Speaking openly and bluntly: Hablando
en plata, es tonto.
11 Not so clearly or explicitly: No lo dijo con
esas palabras, pero eso es lo que quiso 25 With complete honesty: Dlselo sin ro-
decir. deos.

52 Stanley
14. Decisions 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

make up one's mind decidirse


My employer offered me a huge incentive Mi jefe me ofrecio una gran cantidad de in-
package to stay, but I turned it down. My centives para que me quedase pero los recha-
mind was made up. ce. Estaba decidido.
the pros and cons los pros y los contras
Leasing seems an easy, trouble-free way to al- El leasing parece ser una forma f^cil y sin
ways have a brand-new vehicle. However, complicaciones para tener siempre un vehicu-
there are pros and cons to every decision, lo nuevo. Sin embargo, estan los pros y los
and lease contracts vary from dealer to dealer. contras de cada decision, y los contratos de
leasing varian de un concesionario a otro.
take the plunge dar el paso decisive
People who have started their own company Las personas que han creado su propio negocio
are unanimous on one point: they all wish estan de acuerdo en un punto: todos desearian
they had taken the plunge sooner. haber dado antes el paso decisive.
be in a quandary estar en un dilema
Shoe buyers are in a quandary. They can Los compradores de zapatos estan en un di-
purchase mass-produced, brand-name shoes lema. Pueden comprar zapatos de marca
that aren't exactly tailored to the individual producidos en serie que no est^n exacta-
when it comes to style and fit. Or they can mente hechos a la medida del individuo en
pay remarkably high prices for custom-made cuanto a estilo o tamano. O bien deben pa-
shoes. gar precios desorbitantes por zapatos he-
chos a medida.
be in two minds about sth estar indeciso respecto a algo
I was in two minds about whether to tell Estaba indeciso respecto a si decirtelo o no.
you or not. I didn't want to spoil your holi- No queria estropear tus vacaciones, pero, por
days; on the other hand, I felt you ought to otra parte, pense que deberias estar avisado
have a much advance warning as possible. lo antes posible.
toss a coin echar a cara o cruz
If you are unable to decide between two Si no puedes decidir entre dos lineas de ac-
equally attractive or two equally disagreeable cion igual de atractivas o desagradables y si el
courses of action, and if the issue is not criti- asunto no es crucial, ahorra tiempo echando-
cal, save time by tossing a coin. Heads you lo a cara y cruz. Cara, optas por la una, cruz,
do one, tails you do the other. por la otra.
take sth into account tener en cuenta algo
We use an elaborate formula that takes into Usamos una formula elaborada que tiene en
account market conditions, capacity con- cuenta las condiciones del mercado, la capaci-
straints, and how long it's likely to be before dad limite y el tiempo que puede transcurrir
any investment pays off. antes de que la inversion sea rentable.
strike a balance buscar un termino medio
The difficulty of striking a balance between La dificultad de buscar un termino medio en-
stopping criminals and safeguarding privacy is tre poner coto a la criminalidad y salvaguar-
not a new one. dar la intimidad no es nada nueva.
conceder a alguien el beneficio
give sb the benefit of the doubt de la duda
Operate on the premise that the customer is Debes actuar con la idea de que el cliente
always right. Never argue; instead, give the siempre tiene razon. Jamas discutas; en lu-
customer the benefit of the doubt. You'll gar de ello, concede al cliente el beneficio
have a devoted customer for life. de la duda. Tendras un cliente seguro para
toda la vida.

Stanley 53
Decisions 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

inclinar la balanza
tip the scales in sb's favour a favor de alguien
Both applicants were well qualified for the Ambos aspirantes estaban bien cualificados
post, but one of them spoke fluent Russian. para el puesto, pero uno de ellos hablaba
Since we expect to do a lot of business in ruso correctamente. Como esperamos hacer
eastern Europe, that tipped the scales in muchos negocios con Europa del Este, eso in-
his favour. clino la balanza a su favor.
take the bull by the horns coger el toro por los cuernos
When the boss asked her what was on her Cuando el jefe le pregunto lo que tenia en
mind, she took the bull by the horns: as mente, ella cogio el toro por los cuernos:
she had been responsible for improved pro- como era la responsable de haber mejorado la
ductivity and increased sales, she felt she was productividad y del incremento en las ventas,
entitled to a higher salary. creia que se merecia un aumento de sueldo.
sit on the fence no querer mojarse, estar indeciso
Continually update and add to your prospect Ponte al dia constantemente y ariade nombres
list. Send information to prospects sitting on a tu lista de posibles clientes. Envia informa-
the fence that will help them jump off in ci6n a clientes indecisos para que decidan a
your direction. tu favor.
stick to one's guns mantenerse en sus trece
Everybody said no one would buy vodka that Todos dijeron que nadie compraria vodka que
was 50% more expensive than competing fuera 50% mas caro que las otras marcas.
brands. But Roux stuck to his guns. The Pero Roux se mantuvo en sus trece. El resulta-
payoff: Absolut Vodka is among the top 10 do: Absolut Vodka esta entre las I 0 primeras
liquor brands, selling more than 3 million marcas de licor, con unas ventas de mas de 3
cases a year. millones de cajas al afio.
on the spur of the moment impulsivamente, sin reflexionar
Before you decide anything important, study Antes de tomar una decisi6n importante, estu-
all the available facts. A decision made on dia toda la informacion disponible. Una deci-
the spur of the moment will probably be si6n tomada impulsivamente puede dar lugar a
the wrong decision. una decisi6n equivocada.
on the strength of sth basandose en algo
We chose their company on the strength Escogimos su empresa bas^ndonos en el tra-
of the work they had done for 3M and for bajo que habian hecho para 3M y para
Hewlett-Packard, among others. Hewlett-Packard, entre otros.
think better of doing sth pensarse algo mejor
Initially we intended to send Ogilby to repre- Inicialmente pensabamos enviar a Ogilby para
sent us in Munich but when we saw how un- representarnos en Munich pero cuando vimos
enthusiastic he was, we thought better of el poco entusiasmo que mostr6, nos lo pensa-
it and sent Laffin instead. mos mejor y enviamos a Laffin en su lugar.
have second thoughts cambiar de opinion
Today the biggest concern faced by multina- La mayor preocupaci6n a la que se enfrentan
tional chiefs is cost. If rents keep on climbing, hoy las multinacionales es el coste. Si los al-
a lot of people will have second thoughts quileres siguen subiendo mucha gente se lo
about setting up their next operation in Hong pensara dos veces antes de llevar a cabo sus
Kong. pr6ximas operaciones en Hong Kong.
keep one's options open no comprometerse
We can buy, we can sell, or we can hold our Podemos comprar, podemos vender o pode-
position and consolidate. We are keeping all mos mantener nuestra posici6n y consolidar-
our options open. nos. No nos vamos a comprometer a nada.

54 Stanley
Decisions ,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

change one's tune cambiar de parecer


Fredricks was a strong advocate of modernis- Fredricks era un fuerte defensor de moderni-
ing production methods, but he soon zar los medios de produccion, pero rapida-
changed his tune when he found out how mente cambi6 de parecer cuando se entero
much it would cost. de lo que costaria.
argue the toss andar en dimes y diretes
Look, it's pointless to stand here arguing the Mira, no tiene sentido andarse en dimes y
toss. You'll just have to accept that the job diretes. Tendras que aceptar que le han dado
has been given to someone else. el puesto a otro.
strike a happy medium lograr un termino medio
Although Danone's worldwide brand image Aunque la imagen global de la marca Danone
tends to give more weight to health than to tiende a dar m3s peso a la salud que al placer,
pleasure, it must not become an exclusively no debe convertirse en una marca exclusiva-
"healthy" brand: it also has to taste good. In mente "sana": tambien tiene que saber bien.
the U.S., the company strikes a happy me- En los Estados Unidos, la empresa logra un
dium between health and pleasure. termino medio entre salud y placer.
the small print la letra menuda
One advantage of leasing is a clause guaran- Una de las ventajas del leasing es una clausu-
teeing that the dealer will supply a replace- la que garantiza que el concesionario suminis-
ment vehicle should the leased car or truck trara un vehiculo de repuesto si el coche o el
break down. Check the small print on the camion arrendado se averia. Fijate en la letra
lease to ensure this clause is included. menuda del leasing para asegurarte de que
esta clausula este incluida.
be at a crossroads encontrarse en una encrucijada
Like many 50-year-old executives, I found I Como muchos ejecutivos de 50 anos, descu-
was at a crossroads in my career: should I bri que mi carrera estaba en una encrucijada:
hold on to my secure, well-paid position, or ideberia aferrarme a mi puesto seguro y bien
should I do what I had always dreamed of do- pagado, o deberia hacer lo que siempre he
ing and launch my own company? soriado y crear mi propia empresa?
be up in the air estar en el aire
Babel.com is really just another superstore En realidad Babel.com es solo otro gran alma-
that sells books. Maybe, eventually, we'll sell cen que vende libros. Quizas terminaremos
other things too, like music and movies, but tambien por vender otras cosas, como musica
that's still very much up in the air. y peliculas, pero eso aun esta en el aire.
tener
have mixed feelings sentimientos contradictorios
I have mixed feelings about expanding the Tengo sentimientos contradictorios sobre la
company just now. On the one hand, we expansion de la empresa en este momento.
have more business than we can cope with. Por una parte, tenemos m3s negocio del que
On the other hand, there's always the risk that podemos atender. Por otra, siempre existe el
our market will suddenly contract. riesgo de que nuestro mercado se reduzca re-
pentinamente.

Stanley 55
14. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 To accept that someone is probably 15 To argue with a decision that has al-
right if he cannot be proved wrong: Te ready been taken and cannot be
concederemos el beneficio de la duda. changed: No vale la pena seguir
2 To refuse to change one's opinions, es- discutiendo, estoy decidido.
pecially under pressure: Se mantuvo en 16 To take the middle course between two
sus trece. extremes: Logran un termino medio
3 To influence the result of a decision in entre la formalidad y la excesiva
a particular direction, when several di- confianza.
rections are possible: Su dominio del 17 To find a satisfactory arrangement
ruso inclinb la balanza a su favor. which lies between two choices or
4 To make the decision to do something courses of action: Hay que conseguir
risky or dangerous: No tuve valor para un equilibrio entre calidad y precio.
dar el paso decisive. 18 The parts of a legal document which
5 Suddenly, without thinking: Decidimos are difficult to read because of the small
ir a Vigo de improvise. type, and which often contain impor-
6 Because of the favourable impression tant exceptions, etc: Lee la letra
made by something: Elegi esta marca pequena antes de firmar el contrato.
bas^ndome en tu recomendaci6n. 19 To be at a turning point where a deci-
7 To be unable to decide about some- sion must be made: Habfa llegado a
thing, to be doubtful or uncertain: No una encrucijada en su carrera.
sabia si declrselo o no. 20 The arguments for and against some-
8 To think about something when mak- thing: Discutian los pros y los contras
ing a decision: Deberias haberlo tenido de comprar un ordenador.
en cuenta.
21 To be still undecided or not definite: No
9 To decide not to do something: Estuvo hay nada resuelto, todo est3 todavla en
a punto de solicitar el puesto, pero se el aire.
lo pensb mejor.
22 To deal with something difficult boldly
10 To avoid or postpone making a deci-
and without delay: Tenemos que
sion about something: Dejamos todas
agarrar al toro por los cuernos y tomar
las puertas abiertas.
medidas inmediatamente.
11 To be in a position where it is difficult
23 To see both the positive and negative
to decide whether to do something or
not: Estaba en el dilema de si ir o no. sides of something: Tengo sentimientos
contradictories sobre el asunto.
12 After reflexion, to change one's mind
about something: He cambiado de 24 To decide between two possibilities by
idea, no quiero vender la empresa. throwing a coin in the air: Decidieron
echarlo a cara o cruz.
13 To change one's opinion and then act
or talk in a different way: jPues si que 25 To refuse to take sides between two
has cambiado de parecer! opposing groups, ideas, etc: Acusaron
14 To decide, to come to a decision: Dile al ministro de no querer mojarse.
que se decida.
56 Stanley
15. Priorities 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

first things first lo primero es lo primero


Certainly we can relate salary increases to im- Sin duda podemos relacionar los aumentos de
proved productivity, but first things first: sueldo con el incremento de la productividad,
the simple fact is that we have to increase out- pero lo primero es lo primero: el hecho es que
put before we can afford to increase salaries. necesitamos incrementar la productividad an-
tes de que nos podamos permitir aumentar
los sueldos.
in the first place en primer lugar, en principio
The next time you buy a feature-laden gadget, La proxima vez que compres un aparato con
bear in mind that when a complicated ma- gran cantidad de funciones, ten en cuenta
chine breaks down, the culprit is usually a que cuando una maquina complicada se ave-
function you never wanted in the first ria, el culpable suele ser una funcion que en
place. principio no deseabas.
first and foremost ante todo
Don't choose a consultant simply because you No escojas a un consultor simplemente por-
like his personality. Check his background. Ask que te guste su personalidad. Investiga sus
for references. Consider his work first and antecedentes. Pide referencias. Ten en cuenta
foremost. ante todo su trabajo.
put the cart before the horse empezar la casa por el tejado
Introducing the euro before establishing politi- Introducir el euro antes de establecer la union
cal union is putting the cart before the politica es como empezar la casa por el teja-
horse. How can you have a common cur- do. tComo se puede tener una moneda uni-
rency without a common state? ca sin un estado unico?
above all sobre todo
Above all, remember that the interview is Sobre todo, recuerda que la entrevista es para
about finding out about the candidate, not averiguar cosas sobre el aspirante, no para
publicising your business. So, let the candi- hacer publicidad de tu negocio. Asi que deja
date do the talking. que el aspirante hable.
the be-all and end-all lo unico que importa
Our supervisors and managers are evaluated Nuestros supervisores y directives son evalua-
on how they do in four areas. Safety — for- dos en cuanto a su rendimiento en cuatro
merly an afterthought, with no impact on areas. La seguridad —antiguamente algo se-
paycheques — is now one of the four and cundario, que no afectaba a los sueldos— es
carries the same weight as that old be-all ahora una de las cuatro y tiene el mismo peso
and end-all, production. que lo unico que importaba antes, que era la
fabricacibn.
tener cosas
have other fish to fry mas importantes que hacer
After work on Friday evenings, he usually Despues del trabajo los viernes por la tarde,
goes to the pub with his colleagues for an suele irse al pub con sus colegas durante una
hour or two, but last Friday he had other hora o dos, pero el viernes pasado tenia cosas
fish to fry: a leading firm of headhunters mas importantes que hacer: una empresa es-
had invited him to dinner. pecializada en la contratacion de ejecutivos le
habia invitado a cenar.
en ultimo lugar, pero
last but not least no por eso menos importante
And last but not least, I would like to thank Y en ultimo lugar, pero no por eso menos im-
our departmental secretary, Molly, who did portante, me gustaria dar las gracias a Molly,
such a splendid job co-ordinating the many la secretaria de nuestro departamento, que ha
and varied aspects of the project. hecho un trabajo esplendido coordinando los
multiples y variados aspectos del proyecto.

Stanley 57
Priorities 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

better late than never mas vale tarde que nunca


Microsoft failed to realise the enormous poten- Microsoft ha cometido un error al no darse
tial of Internet until relatively late in the game, cuenta del tremendo potencial de Internet
but better late than never. Once they en- hasta hace relativamente poco, pero mas vale
tered the market, they worked vigorously to tarde que nunca. Una vez que han entrado
make up for lost time. en el mercado, han trabajado a tope para re-
cuperar el tiempo perdido.
put a premium on sth darle mucha importancia a algo
Vision, leadership, innovation, and quality re- La visi6n, el liderazgo y la calidad siguen siendo
main vital in creating a successful business, vitales para crear una empresa con exito, inclu-
even in the most turbulent environments. The so en los ambientes mas agitados. El ritmo fre-
bewildering pace of the Internet may even put netico de Internet puede que incluso
a premium on these old-fashioned virtues. recompense estas anticuadas virtudes.
have pride of place ocupar el lugar de honor
Among the EU countries contributing to the Entre los paises de la UE que contribuyen a
economies of Bulgaria and Romania, Italy has las economias de Bulgaria y Rumania, Italia
pride of place. ocupa el lugar de honor.
first thing lo primero
First thing tomorrow, I want you to call Lo primero que haras manana es llamar a
Henderson at the bank and get me an ap- Henderson al banco y conseguirme una cita.
pointment. Tell him it's urgent. Dile que es urgente.
first come, first served por riguroso orden de llegada
As we are currently updating computers Como actualmente estamos modernizando
throughout the company, a certain number of los ordenadores de toda la empresa, cierto
older PCs are being offered for sale to employ- numero de PCs viejos van a ser ofrecidos a
ees on a first come, first served basis. la venta a los empleados por riguroso orden
de solicitud.
prevention is better than cure mas vale prevenir que lamentar
Regarding accidents in the workplace, there is En cuanto a los accidentes laborales, hay una
one simple rule: no matter how much it costs, regla sencilla: no importa cuanto cuesta, mas
prevention is always better than cure. vale prevenir que lamentar.
better safe than sorry! ;la prudencia ante todo!
When I have a meeting with really important Cuando tengo una reunion con clientes
clients, I prepare for it thoroughly. Indeed per- muy importantes, me prepare con minucio-
haps I over-prepare, but I work on the princi- sidad. Quizas incluso me prepare en exce-
ple that its better to be safe than sorry. so, pero trabajo bajo el lema de jla
prudencia ante todo!
don't count your no hay que vender
chickens before they're hatched la piel de oso antes de cazarlo
I think we'll probably be awarded the con- Creo que nos adjudicaran el contrato, pero no
tract, but let's not count our chickens be- hay que vender la piel del oso antes de cazar-
fore they're hatched. Let's wait until the lo. Esperemos hasta que la junta haya anun-
tender board has announced its decision. ciado su decisi6n.
we'll cross that nos ocuparemos
bridge when we come to it del problema cuando surja
- If we give in to the blue-collar workers' de- - Si cedemos ante las demandas de los obreros,
mands, we're going to have similar trouble tendremos un problema similar con los trabaja-
with the office workers. dores de oficina.
- We'll cross that bridge when we come to - Nos ocuparemos de ese problema cuando surja.
it. The main thing is not to disrupt production. Lo importante es no interrumpir la producci6n.

58 Stanley
Priorities
1 , 0 0 0 everyday i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

throw the baby tirar las frutas frescas


out with the bath water con las podridas
The danger with downsizing any company is El peligro de disminuir el tamario de la empre-
that you may cancel a whole department sa es que quizas haya que suprimir un depar-
when, in fact, some parts of that department tamento entero cuando, de hecho, algunas
are performing very well. In which case, you partes de ese departamento est^n funcionan-
risk throwing the baby out with the do muy bien. En tal caso, se arriesga uno a ti-
bath water. rar las frutas frescas con las podridas.
have a sense of proportion tener el sentido de la medida
If you have a sense of humour, you don't let Si tienes sentido del humor, no dejes que el
stress lead to distress. You have a sense of estres te lleve a la ansiedad. Tienes el sentido
proportion, you don't exaggerate the impor- de la medida, no exageres la importancia de
tance of trivial incidents. incidentes triviales.
make a big thing out of sth armar un escandalo por algo
Listen, Debbie, I don't want to make a big Escucha, Debbie, no quiero armar un escan-
thing out of this but, when I'm in a meet- dalo por esto, pero cuando estoy reunido con
ing with clients, I think it would be better if clientes, creo que seria mejor que me llamaras
you addressed me as "Mr Kernan" rather than "Mr. Kernan" en lugar de "Jimbo".
as "Jimbo".
the thin end of the wedge solo el principio
To date we've received 9 complaints from cus- Hasta la fecha hemos recibido 9 quejas de
tomers about the TRX-2 malfunctioning seri- clientes sobre el mal funcionamiento del TRX-
ously. I have a terrible feeling that this is only 2. Tengo la terrible sensaci6n de que esto es
the thin end of the wedge. Let's hope I'm solo el principio. Esperemos que me equivo-
wrong. que.
make a hacer una montana
mountain out of a molehill de un grano de arena
I agree that he was a bit tactless, but I'm sure Estoy de acuerdo en que tuvo muy poco tac-
he wasn't deliberately trying to insult you. to, pero estoy seguro de que no intentaba in-
There's no need to make a mountain out sultarte a propdsito. No hay que hacer una
of a molehill. montana de un grano de arena.
if the worst comes to the worst si pasa lo peor
We're in the middle of a cash flow crisis at the Estamos en este momento en medio de una
moment. If I can convince one of our main crisis de liquidez. Si puedo convencer a uno
customers to pay up, we'll survive. But if the de nuestros principales clientes de que pague,
worst comes to the worst, I'll have to go sobreviviremos. Pero si ocurre lo peor, tendre
to the bank and ask for another loan. que ir al banco y pedir otro prestamo.
the lesser of two evils el menor de dos males
I don't like making these men redundant any Al igual que a ti, no me gusta tener que en-
more than you do, but I consider it the viar a estos hombres al paro, pero lo conside-
lesser of two evils. If we don't do it, there's ro el menor de dos males. Si no lo hacemos,
a real possibility we'll go bankrupt. existe la posibilidad real de que tengamos que
declararnos en quiebra.
there's only one thing for it no hay mas remedio que ...
Over the past few years, our raw materials Durante los ultimos afios, nuestra materia pri-
have become steadily more expensive. Now, ma se ha encarecido. Ahora, me temo que no
I'm afraid, there's only one thing for it: hay mas remedio que incrementar nuestros
we're going to have to increase our prices by precios de al menos un 10%.
at least 10%.

Stanley 59
15. Exercise , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To have something more important to 13 Before everything else: Coventry era


do: No puedo ir, tengo cosas mas ante todo una ciudad industrial.
importantes que hacer. 14 (saying) It is better to be careful than
2 (saying/ It is better that something to risk danger or loss: (La prudencia
should happen late than not happen ante todo!
at all: Mas vale tarde que nunca.
15 Early in the morning, as soon as one
3 We'll not worry about that problem now, starts working: Lo har£ a primera hora
but deal with it when it arises: Nos de la mariana.
ocuparemos del problema cuando surja.
16 Whoever comes first has priority : Lo
4 To say or do things in the wrong order, hicieron por riguroso orden de llegada.
e.g. by putting the last thing first: No
empieces la casa por el tejado. !7To become upset or excited about
something trivial: Siempre hace una
5 To lose the most important part of
montana de un grano de arena.
something while trying to get rid of the
bad part of it: Estas tirando las frutas 18 Most important of all, especially: Our
frescas con las podridas. new policy is to target the youth mar-
6 (saying) Action taken to prevent a prob- ket, children between the ages
lem is preferable to action that must be of 11 and 15.
taken to correct its consequences later: 19 If the most unfavourable thing that can
Mas vale prevenir que curar. happen actually does happen: En el
7 Something more important must be peor de los casos, podriamos ponernos
done first, discussed first, etc: Primero en contacto con £1 en su casa.
lo mas importante, £qu6 tal te va con 20To start with: En primer lugar, tu no
la traduccibn? deberias haber estado alii.
8 To see things in their correct relation to 21 Of two possibilities, the one which does
each other: Tienes que guardar el least damage or harm: Me parecia ser
sentido de la medida. el mal menor.
9 fused to introduce the last person or 22 To be in first place or have a leading
thing in a list) At the end, but not less position: El ultimo galard6n ocupa el
important than those that have pre- lugar de honor de su colecci6n.
ceded: Y en ultimo lugar, pero no por
ello menos importante, mi hijita. 23 Only one course of action is possible:
No hay mas remedio que ir a pie.
10To give great importance to something:
Su campana hizo mucho hincapi£ en 24An aim or purpose so important that it
la bajada de los impuestos. excludes all others: Hay otras cosas en
11 To make a fuss about something: iPor la vida que tener posesiones.
que tiene que armar tanto escandalo? 25 (saying) Don't count on success until it
I2A small event which is thought to be has actually happened: It's still too early
the first stage of something much more to open the champagne because they
important: Esta decisibn no es mas que haven't actually signed the contract yet.
el principio de lo que esta por venir. And we don't want to , do we?

60 Stanley
16. Planning 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

be in the pipeline estar proyectado


Windows' market dominance is already as- El dominio del merdaco por parte de Windows
sured for the next year or two by existing ya esta asegurado durante el proximo ano o los
products as well as new ones in the pipe- 2 anos siguientes gracias a los productos ya en
line, such as Windows 2000 for business existencia y a los nuevos que estan proyecta-
users. dos, como Windows 2000 para lo usuarios de
empresas.
look forward to doing sth esperar (con ilusion]
It's been a pleasure talking to you, Mr Beretta. Ha sido un placer hablar con usted, Mr.
I look forward to seeing you again when Beretta. Espero tener el agrado de volverle a
you get back from Miami. ver cuando regrese de Miami.
do one's homework prepararse, documentarse
Lots of places say that they'll refund the differ- En muchos sitios te dicen que te devolveran la
ence between their price and someone else's, diferencia entre su precio y el de la competen-
but only if you, the customer, will do the cia, pero s6lo si el cliente se documenta: exa-
homework: pore over everybody's ads, com- minar los anuncios de todos, comparar
pare the prices, go to the store, deal with a precios, ir a la tienda, tratar con un depen-
surly salesclerk.... Right. diente malhumorado... Si, seguro que te de-
vuelven el dinero...
be on the cards estar previsto
At a press conference, Schrempp gave an un- Durante la rueda de prensa, Schrempp dio a
dertaking to his employees that big job cuts entender a sus empleados que un recorte en
aren't on the cards. el numero de los puestos de trabajo no estaba
previsto.
hedge one's bets cubrir las apuestas
By choosing this kind of course, students can Al escoger este tipo de curso, los estudiantes
put off committing to a specific industry. They pueden aplazar su compromiso con una in-
can hedge their bets while gaining con- dustria especifica. Pueden cubrir sus apuestas
tacts and experience. mientras consiguen contactos y experiencia.
build castles in the air construir castillos en el aire
Most of his great moneymaking schemes are La mayoria de sus grandes proyectos para ga-
just castles in the air. You have to give him nar dinero s6lo son castillos en el aire. Aunque
credit for imagination, though. tienes que reconocer su imaginacion.
go through sth
with a fine-tooth comb mirar algo con lupa
The next step is to go through the Train- El siguiente paso es revisar con lupa el analisis
ing Needs Analysis with a fine-tooth de necesidades de formacion, para ver cuales
comb, to see which courses are really neces- son los cursos que son realmente necesarios.
sary. On that basis, we can start preparing the En base a ello, podemos empezar a preparar
Training Plan itself. el plan de formaci6n en si.
considerar todos
count the cost of sth los posibles riesgos de algo
The offer of the job in Brazil came so unex- La oferta del puesto en Brasil Ileg6 tan inespe-
pectedly that I had no time to count the radamente que no tuve tiempo de considerar
cost. It was only after I'd been there for a todos los posibles riesgos. S6lo fue tras haber
month that I realised what a mistake I'd made. estado alii un mes que rne di cuenta del error
que habia cometido.

Stanley 61
Planning 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

guardar algo
save sth for a rainy day para los tiempos dificiles
Obtaining quick access to your funds is espe- El conseguir un acceso rapido a tus fondos es
cially important with money-market funds especialmente importante con los fondos del
since they're most often used as liquid assets mercado monetario ya que suelen ser utiliza-
or put aside for a rainy day. All money- dos como active liquido o guardados para los
fund accounts should be set up with tel- tiempos dificiles. Todas las cuentas de fondos
ephone redemption privileges. monetarios deberian abrirse con la condici6n
de poder ser liquidadas por telefono.
in any event en cualquier caso
If you can't deal with the insecurity of being Si no puedes aguantar la inseguridad de estar
unemployed, you probably can't deal with the sin empleo, no podras tampoco aguantar la in-
insecurity of starting a business. In any seguridad de poner en marcha un negocio. En
event, you should look hard at the financial cualquier caso, deberias considerar atentamente
risks involved. los riesgos financieros que implica.
put out feelers tantear el terreno
Adgers isn't very popular with his colleagues, Adgers no es muy popular entre sus compane-
you know. So before you go organising his ros, sabes. Asi que, antes de que te pongas a
farewell party, maybe you should put out organizar su fiesta de despedida, quizas debe-
feelers to see how many people will want to rias tantear el terreno para ver cuanta gente
come. podria acudir.
cannot see beyond
the end of one's nose no ver mas alia de sus narices
Most twenty-year-olds have no idea where La mayoria de los jovenes de 20 anos no tie-
their careers will be ten years from now. They nen ni idea de donde estaran dentro de diez
live for immediate gratification. They can't anos. Viven al dia. No pueden ver m3s al(3 de
see beyond the end of their noses. sus narices.
the nuts and bolts lo basico
What will each of you be doing in the partner- iQue es lo que hareis cada uno de vosotros
ship? Who will handle bookkeeping? Who's in en la sociedad? ^Quien Ilevar3 la contabili-
charge of customer service? Will one of you dad? iQuien se encargar^ de la atenci6n al
do long-term planning while the other takes cliente? ^Hara uno de vosotros la planificaci6n
care of the nuts and bolts? a largo plazo mientras el otro se hace cargo
del dia a dia?
as a last resort como ultimo recurso
"As a last resort, the government could "Como ultimo recurso, el gobierno podria con-
consider devaluation," said a senior official, siderar una devaluacion," dijo un alto funcio-
"but only as a last resort." nario, "pero s6lo como ultimo recurso."
to be on the safe side para mayor seguridad,
You must make at least two backup copies of Tienes que hacer al menos dos copias de se-
essential files, and preferably three. And to guridad de los ficheros esenciales, y a ser po-
be on the safe side, store them in different sible tres. Y para mayor seguridad, guardalos
locations. en distintos lugares.
set the stage for sth crear el marco para algo.
The monthly employment report, which was El informe mensual de empleo, que era mucho
much better than expected, set the stage mejor de lo esperado, cre6 el marco para una
for a rally in bonds and stocks. recuperacion de los bonos y de las acciones.

62 Stanley
Planning ,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

step by step paso a paso


Analysis should always support action. It Los analisis deberian apoyar siempre la ac-
should lead you step by step to a decision cion. Deberian llevarte paso a paso a tomar
and to action. una decisi6n y a emprender una accion.
take sth for granted dar algo por sentado
The 1990s will go down in history as the dec- Los anos 90 pasaran a la historia como la de-
ade in which the Internet started to be cada en la cual Internet comenzo a darse por
taken for granted. sentado.
have sth in view tener pensado algo
- Do you have anything in view for next - iTienes algo pensado para la semana que
week? viene?
- Yes, I have to start preparing the departmen- - Si, tengo que empezar a preparar el presu-
tal budget. puesto del departamento.
take the long view of sth planear algo a largo plazo
Few people in investing take the long Pocas personas dedicadas a la inversion hacen
view. Much of Wall Street concentrates on planes a largo plazo. La mayoria de la bolsa de
short-term, quarterly performance. We don't. Wall Street se concentra en el rendimiento tri-
mestral, a corto plazo. Nosotros no.
go a long way towards doing sth contribuir en gran medida a algo
If these machines are as successful as our mar- Si estas maquinas tienen tanto exito como nos
ket research says they will be, they should go lo indica nuestro estudio de mercado, debe-
a long way towards establishing us as the rian contribuir en gran medida a asentarnos
leading manufacturer in our field. como el principal fabricante de nuestro sector.
tienes que optar
you can't have it both ways por lo uno o lo otro
You want to cut the R&D budget, but at the Quereis recortar el presupuesto de I+D, pero a
same time you're asking us to find more inno- la vez nos estais pidiendo que encontremos
vative solutions. You can't have it both soluciones mas innovadoras. Teneis que optar
ways, you know. por lo uno o por lo otro.
ha cambiado
it's a whole new ball game totalmente el panorama
If we can get the DX-01 into the shops Si conseguimos introducir el DX-01 en las tien-
quickly, we can expect sales of £ 100,000 by das rapidamente, podemos esperar ventas de
the end of the year. But if the competition 100.000 libras para final de ano. Pero si la
gets their model on to the market first, it's a competencia saca antes su modelo al merca-
whole new ball game. do, cambiaria totalmente el panorama.
not hold water no tenerse en pie, no ser logico
I've rarely seen such an implausible sales plan. Rara vez he visto un plan de ventas tan poco
It's full of inconsistencies and unlikely assump- plausible. Est3 lleno de contradicciones y de
tions. I'm sorry, but it just doesn't hold water. suposiciones poco probables. Lo siento, pero
no es I6gico.
take shape tomar forma
We decided not to focus on revenues but on Hemos decidido no centrarnos en los ingre-
purpose, mission, and values. We had a busi- sos, sino en los objetivos, en las tareas y en
ness plan, of course, but things really began los valores. Teniamos un plan de empresa, cla-
to take shape when we agreed that this ro, pero las cosas empezaron a tomar forma
company would exist to build great things. cuando nos pusimos de acuerdo en que esta
empresa estaba destinada a llevar a cabo
grandes cosas.

Stanley 63
16. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 The basic practical details of a plan, 14 To try to protect oneself against loss by
system, etc: El folleto explica los investing in several ventures simultane-
elementos b^sicos de contabilidad. ously: Va a ir a las dos entrevistas para
2 To keep something in reserve, especially cubrirse las espaldas.
money, for a time of misfortune: Est^n 15 To wait eagerly for some future action
ahorrando por si llega la epoca de las or experience: We to seeing you
vacas flacas. in person when you next visit London.
3 To be possible, to be likely to happen: 16 You can't have the advantages of two
Se vela venir que iba a pasar algo asf. opposing things at the same time:
4 Having no other hope of help or suc- Tienes que optar por lo uno o por lo
cess: Como ultimo recurso pusimos un otro.
anuncio en el peri6dico. 17 To be unable to withstand critical in-
5 Gradually, bit by bit: Compro un libro vestigation: Esa teorfa hace agua por
para aprender ingles paso a paso. todos lados.
6 In preparation, being developed: We 18 To find out what other people think of
have several important new products something by making discreet enquir-
ies: Dice que va a tantear el terreno
para ver lo que puede hacer.
7 To assume that something is true with-
out checking: Da por sentado que le 19 It's a completely different situation: Esto
apoyar^n es otra historia distinta.
8 To consider the risks of something be- 20 (an idea, a plan, etc.) To materialize, to
fore doing it: Hay que considerar todos become real: Mi informe esta comen-
los posibles riesgos antes de lanzar este zando a cobrar forma.
producto en este momento. 21 Whatever happens, whatever hap-
9 To have a plan for the future or to in- pened: En cualquier caso hazmelo
tend to do something: Veamos que saber.
tenemos en perspectiva para la semana 22 In order to be completely sure of doing
que viene. something: Mejor salgamos a las dos
10 Dreams and desires that can never be- por si acaso.
come reality: Siempre esta construyendo 23 To make conditions right for a more
castillos en el aire. important development: I believe this
11 To think of possible results in the dis- agreement for even closer ties
tant future when considering some- between our two companies.
thing: El jefe adopta una perspectiva 24 To learn the details of a subject before
mas amplia. talking to someone about it: Se notaba
12 To examine something meticulously: que no se habia documentado bien.
Convinced that there had been fraud, 25 To be too unintelligent to foresee the
the tax inspectors the books consequences of one's actions: A sales-
man who lies to a customer to make a
13 To be a great help in doing something: sale is one who because at best
Esto contribuira en gran medida a re- he will never sell to that customer
solver el problema. again.

64 Stanley
17. Problems 1,000 everyday idioms in business

ser un dia de aquellos,


be one of those days un dia para olvidar
I arrived early this morning for my first inter- Llegue temprano esta manana para mi prime-
view with a new client, only to discover that ra entrevista con un cliente nuevo, hasta que
my appointment was yesterday. On the way me di cuenta de que mi cita era ayer. De re-
back, my car broke down, so I took a taxi. And greso, mi coche se averio y tuve que coger un
left my briefcase in it. All things considered, it's taxi. Para colmo, me deje el maletin dentro.
been one of those days. Teniendo todo esto en cuenta, fue un dia
para olvidar.
be out of order no funcionar
You'll have to use the photocopier on the sec- Tendras que usar la fotocopiadora del segun-
ond floor, this one's out of order. do piso, esta no funciona.
go on the blink descomponerse, estropearse
Your fax machine seems to have gone on the Tu fax parece haberse estropeado otra vez. He
blink again. I've been trying to send you my estado intentando enviarte mi informe men-
monthly report all morning. sual toda la manana.
be up the creek estar en un apuro
We were awarded the contract because we Nos adjudicaron el contrato porque dijimos
said we could do the work quickly. Please note que podriamos hacer el trabajo rapidamente.
that there are penalty clauses. If we are de- Toma nota de que hay clausulas penales. Si
layed for any reason at all, we'll be up the nos retrasamos por cualquier motivo, estare-
creek. mos en un apuro.
be heavy going ser pesado
The laptop itself is very nice, but frankly the in- El ordenador portatil en si esta muy bien pero
struction manual is very heavy going. I only francamente el manual de instrucciones es
understand one word in five. muy pesado. Solo entiendo una de cada cinco
palabras.
go haywire estropearse
Suddenly the printer went haywire. I only De repente, la impresora se estroped. Solo
wanted three copies but it started turning out queria tres copias pero empezo a imprimir
hundreds of them, and I didn't know how to cientos, y no sabia como pararla.
stop it.
the tip of the iceberg la punta del iceberg
Many companies have created web sites to pro- Muchas empresas nan creado paginas web
mote their products but promotion is only the para promocionar sus productos pero la pro-
tip of the iceberg. The web is about cus- mocion es s6lo la punta del iceberg. La web
tomer service, selling products directly, estab- es para la atencion al cliente, la venta directa
lishing a dialogue with consumers, and ex- de productos, la expansion del territorio de
panding the geographic base of a business. una empresa y para establecer un dialogo con
los consumidores.
have sth on one's mind estar preocupado por algo
- Jim, could I have a word with you in private? - Jim, ipodria hablar contigo en privado?
- Of course, what's on your mind? - Claro, ique te preocupa?
be a tough nut to crack ser un hueso duro de roer
Technically it was a very tough nut to crack, Tecnicamente, va a ser un hueso duro de roer,
but with hard work and persistence we man- pero trabajando duro y machacando al final
aged in the end. nos las apanaremos.
not be out of the woods no estar fuera de peligro
Although IBM has clearly been turned around, Aunque IBM ha dado ya un giro de 180 gra-
the company is not completely out of the dos, la empresa aun no esta completamente

Stanley 65
Problems 1,000 everyday idioms in business

woods. Sales of mainframes depend upon fuera de peligro. La venta de ordenadores de-
the business cycle in the economically devel- pende del cicio empresarial en el mundo desa-
oped world, and economic growth is slowing. rrollado y el crecimiento economico se esta
ralentizando.
tener por delante una barrera
come up against a brick wall infranqueable
In Brazil, the governments economic recovery En Brasil, el plan gubernamental de recupera-
plan has come up against a brick wall cion econ6mica tiene por delante una barrera
with its parliament rejecting key measures in infranqueable al rechazar su parlamento medi-
the austerity budget. das clave del presupuesto de austeridad.
go through a bad patch pasar por una mala racha
Apart from the giants like Schlumberger, there Aparte de gigantes como Schlumberger, hay
are many small companies that provide spe- muchas empresas pequefias que ofrecen servi-
cialised services to the oil industry. However, cios especializados a la industria del petr6leo.
with oil projects drying up, these smaller firms Sin embargo, con la escasez de proyectos pe-
have been going through a bad patch. troliferos, estas pequenas empresas han esta-
do pasando una mala racha.
go from bad to worse ir de mal en peor
The Stock Exchange lost 10% of its value in La bolsa perdio el 1 0% de su valor en los tres
the first three months of the year. Then, in primeros meses del ano. Luego, en abril, la si-
April, the situation suddenly went from bad tuacion fue de mal en peor con una perdida
to worse with the loss of a further 7%. adicional del 7%.
be hard hit verse muy afectado
Burberry has been hard hit by the Asian re- Burberry se ha visto muy afectado por la rece-
cession. With 75% of sales in the Far East, sion asiatica. Con el 75% de sus ventas en
profits at Burberry tumbled to £2m from Asia, los beneficios de Burberry cayeron el
£19.9m last year. ano pasado de 19,9 millones de libras a 2 mi-
llones de libras.
be hard pressed to do sth resultar diffcil a uno hacer algo
All companies involved in mergers should be Todas las empresas involucradas en fusiones
anticipating where clashes may arise and deberian prever donde surgiran conflictos y
training employees. But they're not. We'd be preparar a sus empleados para ello. Pero no lo
hard pressed to name more than a handful hacen. Resultaria dificil encontrar mas de un
of companies that are tackling these issues. punado de empresas que esten preparandose
para esta eventualidad.
make ends meet (poder) llegar a fin de mes
In many Chinese cities, the government is En muchas ciudades chinas, el gobierno esta
now encouraging the swelling ranks of the animando a la creciente masa de parados a
unemployed to make ends meet by run- montar puestos callejeros, fibres de impuestos,
ning street stalls, free of taxes. para poder llegar a fin de mes.
no hay mas remedio, que le
it can't be helped vamos a hacer
The Japanese have a phrase by which they Los japoneses tienen una expresi6n gracias a
learned long ago to live with their disappoint- la cual aprendieron a vivir hace mucho con
ments: "Shiyo ga nai,' they say, it can't be sus desilusiones: "Shiyo ga nai," dicen, jque le
helped. It expresses one of their most basic vamos a hacer! Expresa una de sus emociones
emotions: desire without hope. mcis basicas: el deseo sin esperanza.
be the last straw ser la gota que colma el vaso
It was bad enough that he was unpunctual, Bastante malo era que no fuese puntual ni efi-
insolent and no good at his job, but when he ciente en su trabajo, adem^s de insolente, pero
started returning from lunch half drunk, that cuando comenzo a llegar a la oficina medio

66 Stanley
Problems 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

was the last straw: he had to go! borracho despues de comer, fue la gota de
agua que colmo el vaso: jhabia que despedirlo!
a vicious circle circulo vicioso
Service providers in particular often get Los proveedores de servicios se suelen ver tan
caught up in their work and neglect to mar- involucrados en su trabajo que se olvidan del
ket. It's a vicious circle: because they don't mercado. Es un circulo vicioso: como no reali-
market systematically, they get erratic results, zan una comercializaci6n sistem^tica, obtienen
so they don't market systematically. resultados irregulares, por lo que no realizan
una comercializaci6n sistematica.
be behind schedule llevar retraso, ir atrasado
Be sure you accurately estimate how much Asegurate de calcular con precision el tiempo
time a task will take. If meetings which are que tardaras en llevar a cabo una tarea. Si las
supposed to last an hour end up taking the reuniones que deberian durar una hora termi-
whole afternoon, you'll constantly feel frus- nan durando toda la tarde, te sentiras cons-
trated and behind schedule. tantemente frustrado y con la sensacion de ir
retrasado.
jump out of the salir del fuego
frying pan into the fire y meterse en las brasas
He left his last job because the pressure of work Dejo su ultimo empleo porque tenia demasia-
was too much for him, but it seems his new da presi6n, pero ahora parece que su nuevo
job's even more hectic. It's a case of jumping out puesto es incluso m^s ajetreado. Es un caso
of the frying pan into the fire. de salirse del fuego y meterse en las brasas.
poner el grito en
be up in arms about sth el cielo a causa de algo
Poland's conservative parliament has passed a El parlamento conservador de Polonia ha
law banning all television and radio adverts aprobado una ley que prohibe todos los anun-
aimed specifically at under-eighteens and the cios de radio y television especificamente crea-
country's advertisers are up in arms, accus- dos para los menores de 18 anos. Los
ing the parliament of limiting consumer anunciantes del pais han puesto el grito en el
choice. cielo, acusando al parlamento de limitar las
opciones del consumidor.
one's Achilles' heel el talon de Aquiles
The economy was booming but there was an La economia estaba en auge pero habia un ta-
Achilles' Heel. If the stock market ever fell I6n de Aquiles. Si la bolsa bajaba, o incluso
— or even stopped rising — the boom would dejaba de subir, el auge finalizaria. Las empre-
end. Japan's companies would be forced to re- sas japonesas estarian obligadas a reembolsar
pay all their loans in real money, not paper sus prestamos en efectivo, no con acciones.
shares. They would be burdened with a Estarian agobiados con una inmensa deuda.
mountain of debt.
by the skin of one's teeth por los pelos, por un pelo
We worked feverishly to get our tender pre- Trabajamos febrilmente para preparar nuestra
pared and I delivered it to their head office oferta y la entregue personalmente en su ofi-
personally. We made it by the skin of our cina principal. Llegamos por los pelos, s6lo
teeth, just half an hour before the deadline media hora antes de la hora limite para la en-
for submissions. trega de las ofertas.
take the easy way out optar por la solucion mas facil
I was accused of taking the easy way out Fui acusado de optar por la solucidn mas facil
by declaring bankruptcy. But let's be clear al declararme en quiebra. Pero aclaremos este
about this point: there isn't anything remotely punto: no hay nada tan dificil como declarar-
easy about bankruptcy. se en quiebra.

Stanley 67
17. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 In trouble, in a difficult situation: If he 14 To have a period of difficulty and un-


doesn't pay us before the end of the happiness: El equipo pasa por una mala
month, we'll really be . racha.
2 To have great difficulty doing some- 15 To escape from a bad situation into one
thing: Nos va a costar mucho that is even worse: Salio de Guatemala
reemplazarlo. para meterse en Guatepeor.
3 To be not yet out of difficulties, trouble 16 (of a machine) Not operating correctly:
or danger: Todavia no estamos a salvo. La fotocopiadora esta averiada.
4 It's unfortunate but nobody can change 17 A fatal weakness in a person, organiza-
it: No tiene arreglo, tendremos que tion, system, etc: What we must do is
comprar uno nuevo. find our competitors' , and attack
5 (of a machine) Networking: El telefono them there.
no funciona. 18 Only just, by a very narrow margin,
6 To be the ultimate provocation or one with little time to spare: No perdi'6 el
additional problem which makes the avion por los pelos.
situation intolerable: Que dijera que el 19 (book, report, etc.) To be dense and
precio habia subido fue la gota que difficult to assimilate: Su presentacion
colmo el vaso. de las cifras de ventas fue pesada.
7 To manage to survive with what one 20 (used disapprovingly) To choose the
earns: No podia llegar a fin de mes. easiest solution to a problem because
8 To go out of control, to malfunction se- of laziness, cowardice, etc: He didn't
riously: De repente el ordenador se have the guts to tell me to my face, so
volvi6 loco. he and left a note on my desk.

9 A situation in which the effects of a 21 To have something worrying in one's


problem lead back to and increase the thoughts: No puedo relajarme con
causes of the problem: Era un clrculo todos estos problemas dandome
vicioso. vueltas en la cabeza.

lOTo meet an insuperable obstacle: 22To protest angrily about something:


They intended to sell their technol- Estaban furiosos por el retraso.
ogy to the Chinese but they 23 To be severely affected by something
when the government refused to bad: La empresa sufrid mucho debido
grant them permission. a la recesidn.
11 To deteriorate still further: Su situacion 24 A small part of a much larger question:
econ6mica fue de mal en peor. Estos casos representan tan s6lo una
12 To be a day when everything goes pequena parte del problema.
wrong: Ha sido un dia para olvidar. 25 A difficult problem: All our best people
13 To do something later than the time have worked on this problem but we
planned or agreed: Nos estamos haven't found a solution yet. It's an ex-
atrasando con respecto al programa. tremely .

68 Stanley
18. Emergencies , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

come to a head alcanzar un punto algido


The conflict at Micron came to a head in El conflicto de Micron Ileg6 a su punto algi-
September 1994, a week before the company do en septiembre de 1994, una semana an-
was set to release yearly results. tes de que la empresa publicara sus
resultados anuales.
come to the boil estallar
A bitter row between the miners' union and Una disputa estallb ayer entre el sindicato de
the government over their latest pay offer los mineros y el gobierno sobre su ultima ofer-
came to the boil yesterday. ta de salaries.
have one's back to the wall estar entre la espada y la pared
He explained to the demoralised Chrysler Explic6 a los empleados desmoralizados de
workforce that now they had their backs Chrysler que estaban entre la espada y la pa-
to the wall. If the company was to sur- red. Si la empresa queria sobrevivir, seria nece-
vive, drastic measures were necessary; sario aplicar medidas drasticas, entre otras,
among others, widespread layoffs and pay despidos generalizados y recortes salariales a
cuts at all levels. todos los niveles.
tighten one's belt apretarse el cinturon
Belgium's finance minister is not loved at El ministro belga de economia no es aprecia-
home. For years Belgians have been forced to do en su pals. Durante anos los belgas se han
tighten their belts to get public finances visto obligados a apretarse el cinturon para
into shape. poner al dia sus finanzas publicas.
get out of hand descontrolarse, desmadrarse
The notion that people need to communicate La idea de que la gente necesita comunicarse
more is widely accepted, but Farson argues mas es un concepto arnpliamente aceptado,
that it has got out of hand — meetings, pero Farson insiste en que se ha
conferences, memos. E-mail and phone calls descontrolado - reuniones, conferencias, no-
overwhelm us with too much information. tas, correo electronico y llamadas telefonicas
nos abruman con demasiada informacion.
keep one's head no perder la cabeza
Krongard has several high-energy hobbies, Krongard tiene varias aficiones en las que gasta
such as parachuting out of airplanes: "These mucha energia, como por ejemplo lanzarse en
activities give me stamina and endurance, and paracaidas desde aviones: "Estas actividades me
help me keep my head when things start proporcionan aguante y resistencia, y me ayu-
going badly wrong'. dan a no perder la cabeza cuando las cosas em-
piezan a ir mal".
see the light at
the end of the tunnel ver la luz al final del tunel
After a meeting of foreign ministers, Mr Tras una reunion con los ministros de asuntos
Fischer said there was finally "light at the exteriores, Mr Fischer dijo que finalmente vela
end of the tunnel" in negotiations on farm "una luz al final del tunel" en las negociacio-
prices and regional aid. nes sobre los precios de la agricultura y las
ayudas regionales.
feel the pinch pasar apuros, pasar estrecheces
Consumer confidence it at a low ebb. Even La confianza de los consumidores esta en un
Marks and Spencer has been feeling the momento bajo. Incluso Marks and Spencer ha
pinch. The UK's largest retailer announced a estado pasando apuros. El principal minorista
23% first half profits slump. del Reino Unido ha anunciado una caida del
23% en sus beneficios.
when the chips are down en horas bajas
The great strength of American industry has La gran fuerza de la industria americana ha
always been its resilience. Americans feel that sido siempre su poder de recuperacion. Los

Stanley 69
Emergencies ,000 everyday idioms in business

when the chips are really down, there's americanos creen que en horas bajas, no hay
nothing they can't do. nada que no puedan hacer.
tocar la flauta
fiddle while Rome burns (mientras algo grave sucede)
The Bank of Japan continued to fiddle Ayer, el Banco de Japon sigui6 tocando la
while the economy burned yesterday. Al- flauta mientras la economia ardia. Aunque los
though data showed the Japanese economy datos demostraron que la economia japonesa
shrank by 0.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of se habia reducido un 0,8% en el ultimo tri-
1998 — the fifth successive quarter of falling mestre de 1998 - el quinto trimestre sucesivo
growth — the BoJ left monetary policy un- de retroceso- el Banco de Jap6n no altero su
changed. politica monetaria.
weather the storm capear el temporal
Management has made it clear that the firm Los directives dejaron claro que la empresa no
cannot hope to weather this storm unless puede esperar capear el temporal sin despedir
at least 50 employees are laid off. al menos a 50 empleados.
the calm before the storm la calma antes de la tormenta
Inflation in Russia now seems to be under La inflacion en Rusia parece estar ahora bajo
control. Many economists believe, however, control. Sin embargo, muchos economistas
that this is only the calm before the storm creen que esto es solo la calma antes de la
and that new inflationary pressures are una- tormenta y que no se podran evitar nuevas
voidable. presiones inflacionistas.
all hell breaks loose se arma la gorda
Some managers do just fine as long as the Algunos gerentes van muy bien mientras la
growth curve's heading up, but when all hell curva de crecimiento va hacia arriba, pero
breaks loose, you see their personality cuando se arma la gorda, se ve c6mo cam-
change. They panic and lose control. bian sus personalidades. Cunde el panico y
pierden el control.
entrarle ganas
be taken short a alguien de ir al lavabo
I was taken short right in the middle of Me entraron ganas de ir al lavabo justo en
my sales presentation, it was terribly embar- medio de mi presentacion comercial, fue ho-
rassing. rriblemente embarazoso.
be on one's last legs estar en las ultimas
King Hussein of Jordan was rare among Arab El rey Hussein de Jordania fue el unico lider ara-
leaders in admitting his health problem. In be en admitir sus problemas de salud. De he-
fact, a whole generation of ageing and ailing cho, una generacion entera de lideres arabes
Arab leaders is on its last legs. ancianos y enfermos est3 en las ultimas.
at short notice con poca antelacion
Patterson used to walk into his departments Patterson solia entrar en sus departamentos y
and order the managers to take two-week ordenar a sus directives que se fueran de
vacations. His motive: to see whether a vacaciones durante dos semanas. Su moti-
team member had been adequately trained vo: comprobar si un miembro del equipo
to take over the supervisor's job at such habia sido adecuadamente formado para
short notice. cubrir el puesto del supervisor con tan poca
antelacibn.
thick and fast uno detras de otro, en cantidad
It started this morning at 9 o'clock when the Todo empezo esta manana a las 9, cuando el
main computer crashed. Since then, problems ordenador central se averio. Desde entonces,
have been flooding in thick and fast. los problemas nos han estado inundando uno
detras de otro.

70 Stanley
Emergencies 1,000 everyday idioms in business

be up to one's ears in sth estar hasta el cuello de algo


Believe me, I'd really like to help you. But Creeme, me gustaria realmente ayudarte. Pero
we're short-staffed at the moment and up to nos falta personal en este momento y estamos
our ears in work. hasta el cuello de trabajo.
pull the rug
out from under sb's feet fastidiarle los planes a alguien
The major problem with using celebrities to Cuando se recurre a personas famosas para
advertise your product is that they are people, promocionar un producto el problema princi-
and people are unpredictable. Any scandal, pal es que son personas, y las personas son
for example, immediately pulls the rug out imprevisibles. Cualquier escandalo, por ejem-
from under your feet. plo, podria dar al traste con los planes.
estar en una
be in dire straits situacion desesperada
Reed calculated that if the recession deep- Reed calcu!6 que si la recesion empeoraba hasta
ened to a negative 3% growth. Citibank alcanzar un 3% de crecimiento negative,
would be in dire straits. If that happened, Citibank estaria en una situacion desesperada. Si
he would be forced to consider selling his eso ocurriese, se veria obligado a considerar la
crown jewels — the credit-card business. posibilidad de vender su empresa estrella: el ne-
gocio de las tarjetas de credito.
be at one's wits' end no saber que hacer
The airport's closed because of fog, the roads El aeropuerto esta cerrado por la niebla, las
are blocked because of the truck-drivers' carreteras estan bloqueadas por la huelga de
strike, there are only two trains a week — I'm transportistas, solo hay dos trenes por sema-
at my wits' end trying to find a way to get na: no s6 que hacer para llegar a Bonn a
to Bonn in time for the conference. tiempo para la conferencia.
on the brink of sth al borde de algo
Rumours were rampant: reengineering was Los rumores se habian disparado: la restruc-
merely a euphemism for massive layoffs; the turaci6n era sblo un eufemismo para los des-
company was on the brink of bank- pidos masivos; la empresa estaba al borde de
ruptcy; workloads would be dramatically in- la quiebra; la carga de trabajo se veria radical-
creased. mente incrementada.
hang by a thread pender de un hilo
Clothes manufacturers love female consumers A los fabricantes de ropa les encantan las con-
for their willingness to update their wardrobes sumidoras por su predisposicion a renovar su
so regularly, but the market is so competitive vestuario con regularidad, pero el mercado es
that profit margins hang by a thread. tan competitivo que los beneficios penden de
un hilo.
have one's hands full estar desbordado de trabajo
Following the passage of Hurricane Andrew in Tras el paso del huracan Andres en agosto de
August 1992, the nation's insurance compa- 1 992, las companias de seguros del pais se
nies had their hands full. It proved to be vieron desbordadas. Resulto ser el desastre
the costliest disaster in American history. mas caro en la historia de los Estados Unidos.
when it comes to the crunch a la hora de la verdad
Sooner or later every ambitious man has to Tarde o temprano todo hombre ambicioso tie-
choose between his family and his career. And ne que escoger entre su familia y su carrera. Y
when it comes to the crunch, most choose a la hora de la verdad, la mayoria escoge su
their career. carrera.

Stanley 71
18. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espahol, traducela al ingles.

1 To remain calm, to not panic: Remem- 13 In large numbers and quickly: Llovian las
ber that the important thing in any crisis respuestas.
14 (events, etc.) To reach a crisis: La
2 A period of peacefulness preceding situacibn ya pasa de castano oscuro.
one of turmoil and crisis: I wouldn't be
too optimistic if I were you, this may 15 To be in very serious trouble, usually
only be . because of lack of money: La compania
esta en series apuros y va camino de la
3 To see the possibility of emerging from ruina.
a long period of hardship or unhappi-
ness: Vislumbramos el fin de nuestros 16 To consume less, especially during a pe-
problemas. riod of hardship or scarcity: Tuvo que
apretarse el cinturbn cuando perdib el
4 Suddenly a major crisis occurs and there trabajo.
is confusion on every side: Cuando se
supo la noticia, se arm6 un gran revuelo. 17 To be so exhausted by problems that one
5 To suffer because of lack of money: doesn't know what to do next: Estaba
Cuando sus ahorros se acabaron, desesperado, no sabia que hacer.
empez6 a pasar estrecheces. 18 To do nothing, or to do trivial things,
6 (eupheumism) Suddenly to feel the need while something important is being de-
to go to the toilet when this is most in- stroyed: The company is losing millions
convenient: Unfortunately, right in the of dollars but these press releases prove
middle of the interview, I and had that its management is still .
to ask the recruiting panel to excuse me 19 To embarrass someone by unexpectedly
for a few minutes. withdrawing one's support: We had
7 When a situation has reached the stage hoped to show that the board was
where vital decisions or action must be united but Murphy's sudden resignation
taken: A la hora de la verdad, lo que
cuenta son los contactos. 20 To reach the point of greatest violence:
8 If the most difficult situation arises, and With the publication of the latest unem-
especially if a vital decision must be ployment figures, relations between the
taken: I wouldn't give them the satisfac- two sides have again .
tion of firing me. If I'll resign. 21 About to experience something, usually
9 (person) To be extremely tired or ill or bad: Est^bamos al borde del desastre.
about to die, (organisation) to be close
to ruin: A las siete, estaba que no me 22 (work, problems, etc.) To be completely
tenla. immersed in or overwhelmed by some-
thing: Estoy de trabajo hasta el cuello.
10 To be obliged to defend oneself or to
fight for survival: No habia otro remedio, 2 3 To be extremely busy; to have more to
estaba entre la espada y la pared. Tuve do than one can properly cope with:
que hacerlo. Ahora mismo esta ocupadfsima.
11 With little warning: Es imposible hacerlo 24 To become uncontrollable: La situaci6n
a tan corto plazo. se nos va de las manos
12 To endure a difficult situation and to es- 25 To be in a very delicate position, unlikely
cape unharmed: We have built up im- to survive or succeed: Su ascenso pende
portant cash reserves, and hopefully de un hilo.
these will enable us .
72 Stanley
19. Action 1,000 everyday idioms in business

actions speak louder than words dicho sin hecho no trae provecho
It's not enough to promise to deliver top-qual- No es suficiente con prometer un servicio de
ity service. When it comes to customer serv- primera calidad. En lo referente a la atencion
ice, actions speak louder than words. al cliente, dicho sin hecho no trae provecho.
get the show on the road ponerse manos a la obra
We've been discussing these plans for Hemos estado discutiendo estos planes du-
nearly two years - if we don't get the rante casi dos anos - si no los ponemos
show on the road soon, they'll be out of pronto en practica, se desfasaran y no val-
date and worthless. dran para nada.
no sooner said than done dicho y hecho
- Can you let me have your monthly expense podrias pasar tu hoja de gastos mensua-
sheet as soon as possible? les lo antes posible?
- No sooner said than done. I have it here. - Dicho y hecho. La tengo aqui.
a step in the right direction un paso hacia adelante
In a large company good communications are En una gran empresa una buena comunica-
vital. Every measure that promotes cheap and cion resulta vital. Toda medida que fomente
universal connection (e-mail, for example) is a una conexion barata y universal (correo
step in the right direction. electr6nico, por ejemplo] es un paso hacia
adelante.
un remiendo a
a stitch in time (saves nine) tiempo ahorra ciento
The chancellor portrayed this week's decision El canciller present6 esta semana su decision
to raise interest rates as an economic stitch de subir los tipos de interes: un remiendo eco-
in time: it was, he said, clear evidence of his nomico a tiempo ahorra ciento. Era evidencia
determination to resist inflation. clara, dijo, de su determinacion a resistirse a
la inflacidn.
pull out all the stops tocar todos los registros
The Chinese government has warned that a El gobierno chino ha advertido que les espera
hard battle lies ahead to meet this year's 7% una batalla dificil para llegar a la meta que se
growth target and that state enterprises must han fijado este aho de crecer un 7% y que las
pull out all the stops to boost efficiency. empresas estatales han de tocar todas las te-
clas para incrementar la productividad.
no dejes para manana
there's no time like the present lo que puedas hacer hoy
-1 ought to start answering all these enquiries. - Deberia empezar a contestar a todas estas
- Yes, you should. And there's no time like solicitudes de informacion.
the present. - Si, claro. No dejes para manana lo que pue-
das hacer hoy.
a means to an end un medio para conseguir un fin
In high-technology industries, IBM's experi- En las industrias de alta tecnologia, la expe-
ence demonstrates that technology comes riencia de IBM demuestra que la tecnologia
third, behind marketing and motivation. In esta en tercera posicion, despues de la
business, technology is only a means to an comercializacion y la motivacion. En los nego-
end - not the end itself. cios, la tecnologia es unicamente un medio
de conseguir un fin, no el fin en si.
follow suit seguir su ejemplo
In 1987, Nike boosted its image with a highly En 1987, Nike impulse su imagen con una
successful TV ad campaign using the Beatles' campana de publicidad televisiva de mucho
song "Revolution/ Reebok and Adidas immedi- exito utilizando la cancion de los Beatles

Stanley 73
Action 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

ately followed suit with their own TV "Revolution". Reebok y Adidas siguieron inme-
campaigns. diatamente su ejemplo con otras campanas en
televisi6n.
cut corners reducir gastos como sea
Insurance isn't a good place to cut corners: Un seguro no es algo en lo que se deba redu-
doing without it could cost you a lot more in cir gastos: hacerlo podria salirte a la larga
the long run. muy caro.
make a point of doing sth insistir en hacer algo
In Hong Kong we are more aggressive in giv- En Hong Kong somos mas agresivos que los
ing people incentives than even the Ameri- americanos cuando se trata de dar incentives
cans. We make a point of saying we want a la gente. Insistimos en que queremos atraer
to attract people whose alternative would be a personas cuya alternativa sea la de montar
to run their own business. su propio negocio.
take steps tomar medidas
This strike has been long and disruptive. How- Esta huelga ha sido larga y perjudicial. Sin
ever, we intend to take all the necessary embargo, tenemos la intencion de tomar to-
steps to get back to full production as soon das las medidas necesarias para volver cuanto
as possible. antes a la plena produccion.
take the bit between one's teeth desbocarse, liarse
Bernard often stays late at the office when Bernard se suele quedar hasta muy tarde en la
there's a lot of work to be done. Once he oficina cuando hay mucho trabajo que hacer.
takes the bit between his teeth, not even Una vez que se lia, ni siquiera su esposa le
his wife can persuade him to come home. puede convencer de que vuelva a casa.
nip sth in the bud cortar algo de raiz
Low morale disrupts production and costs La moral baja perturba la produccion y cuesta
money. You should therefore stay alert to po- dinero. Por lo tanto, deberias mantenerte al
tential problems and take steps to nip them tanto de los problemas potenciales y tomar
in the bud. medidas para cortarlos de raiz.
throw caution to the winds abandonar la prudencia
Throwing caution to the winds, he hired Haciendo caso omiso de la prudencia, la con-
her on the spot — without even checking her trat6 alii mismo sin comprobar siquiera sus re-
references. ferencias.
meet a deadline cumplir con un plazo
Production workers who worked the Fourth Los obreros que trabajaron el fin de semana
of July weekend to meet a Monday deliv- del 4 de Julio para cumplir con una entrega
ery deadline for an important customer de un cliente importante para el lunes, reci-
got a neat reward: a weekend cruise to the bieron una fantastica recompensa: un crucero
Bahamas. de fin de semana a las Bahamas.
get to first base superar el primer reto
Why do people fall short of their goals? Most l?or que la gente no alcanza sus objetivos? La
people stop before they ever get to first mayoria se detiene antes de haber superado
base — they never commit themselves fully. el primer reto; nunca se comprometen por
completo.
out of action fuera de servicio
Iraq resumed pumping crude oil to Turkey Irak reanudo su envio de petr6leo crudo a Tur-
three days after the pipeline from north Iraq quia tres dias despues de que el oleoducto del
was put out of action by US warplanes. norte de Irak se quedara fuera de servicio por
la intervenci6n de los aviones estadouniden-
ses.

74 Stanley
Action 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

it's easier said than done mas facil es decirlo que hacerlo
Indonesia needs to let unhealthy companies Indonesia debe dejar que las empresas poco
go bankrupt, reduce capacity, and cancel big saneadas se declaren en quiebra, reduzcan su
projects that are unnecessary. That, however, capacidad y cancelen los grandes proyectos
is easier said than done. que son innecesarios. Sin embargo, es mas fa-
cil decirlo que hacerlo.
in fits and starts a trompicones
In most plants, workers try to overproduce be- En la mayoria de las plantas, los obreros inten-
cause once they fill their quotas, they can tan producir de m3s porque una vez que nan
take it easy. As a result, the flow of work pro- cumplido con su cuota, se lo pueden tomar
ceeds in fits and starts. con calma. Como resultado, el ritmo de traba-
jo avanza a trompicones.
come to grips with sth abordar algo, atacar algo
A key problem that the Japanese face - and Un problema clave con el que se enfrentan los
which I don't think they've come to grips japoneses - y que segun creo aun no nan
with yet - is that, in order to clean up their abordado - es que, para solucionar sus proble-
problems, a lot of their very large banking or- mas, muchas de sus principales entidades
ganisations have to disappear. bancarias tienen que desaparecer.
not do things by halves no hacer las cosas a medias
Barcelona has never done things by Barcelona nunca ha hecho las cosas a medias
halves in the past and the Sagrera-Sant y el proyecto del tren de alta velocidad
Andreu plan for the high-speed train is no ex- Sagrera-Sant Andreu no es una excepcion.
ception.
in the heat of the moment en el calor del momento
There was havoc in Wall Street trading rooms Reinaba el caos en el parquet de Wall Street
as fund managers began to unload anything cuando los gestores de fondos empezaron a
that smelled of technology. It didn't matter quitarse de encima cualquier cosa que oliera a
anymore whether the stock was Cascade or tecnologia. Ya no importaba si la accibn era
Microsoft — all such distinctions were lost in Cascade o Microsoft - todas las diferencias se
the heat of the moment. evaporaron en el calor del momento.
practise what one preaches predicar con el ejemplo
Managers must practise what they Los directives han de predicar con el ejemplo,
preach, for if employees see that the com- ya que si los empleados ven que la empresa
pany deals with customers and suppliers trata de forma poco etica a los clientes y a los
unethically or is concerned only with short- proveedores, o si solo les preocupa el benefi-
term profitability, they too will adopt that atti- cio a corto plazo, ellos tambien adoptar^n esa
tude. actitud.
start from scratch empezar de cero
Going into business for yourself doesn't neces- Poner en marcha tu propio negocio no requie-
sarily require building a company from re necesariamente crear una empresa desde
scratch. You can take the plunge a different cero. Puedes lanzarte al ruedo de otra forma:
way: buy an existing business. comprando una empresa ya existente.

Stanley 75
19. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To act as one advises others to act: No 14 To be so keen or determined to do


hace lo que predica. something that one cannot be re-
2 An action which helps to accomplish strained: Esta que no la para nadie.
the desired objective: Fue un paso 15 Something you do only because it ena-
hacia adelante. bles you to reach an objective, not be-
cause you are interested in doing the
3 To do a particular job by or before a
thing itself: Su aparente generosidad
specified time: Trabajamos contra reloj
era un recurso para conseguir su
para cumplir con el plazo fijado.
objetivo.
4 (saying) Repairing a fault as soon as it 16 (used in answer to someone who is giv-
is noticed will save time, money and ing advice) It is easier to say how to do
energy: Un remiendo a tiempo ahorra something than to actually do it: Del
ciento. dicho al hecho hay mucho trecho.
5 (saying) A person is better judged by 17 (used to express willingness to comply
what he does than by what he says he with a request) What you want to be
will do: Dicho sin hecho no trae done will be done as soon as you ask:
provecho. Dicho y hecho.
6 To start from the beginning, usually 18 To do the same thing that someone else
with nothing: Tuvimos que volver a has just done: Vendib todas sus
empezar desde cero. acciones y los dem^s siguieron su
7 To do something thoroughly, with enthu- ejemplo.
siasm: Nunca hace las cosas a medias. 19 To put a stop to an action or situation
8 To use all one's energy or to do every- before it has properly started: Hay que
cortar de raiz ese tipo de compor-
thing possible to achieve one's aim: No
tamiento.
escatimamos esfuerzos para que la fi-
esta fuera un £xito. 20 To begin to deal seriously with a prob-
lem: Tenemos que afrontar el problema.
9 To take action: El gobierno esta
tomando medidas para poner fin al 21 To do something the easiest or quick-
conflicto. est way, often disregarding rules, safety,
etc: Siempre hace las cosas deprisa y
10 (plan, idea, task, etc.) To put something corriendo.
into operation: jManos a la obra!
22 Temporarily unable to work because of
11 While influenced by the excitement of damage or illness: I called the technician
the event or by one's emotions: I real- because the computer is again.
ize that you said it but it was 23 To make sure one does something be-
inexcusable nevertheless. cause one thinks it is important:
12 To reach the first important stage of a Siempre se preocupaba por conversar
process: They're talking about setting con todo el mundo.
up an on-line store but they're so inef- 24 To act thoughtlessly, without taking
ficient they'll probably not even . basic precautions: Ech6 la precaucibn
13 (saying) If something must be done, it por la borda.
is better to do it now rather than later: 25 Stopping and starting, not continu-
No dejes para manana lo que puedas ously: Esta m^quina solo funciona a
hacer hoy. trompicones.
76 Stanley
2O. Success 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

nothing succeeds like success el exito llama al exito


Confidence in oneself generates success, and La confianza en uno mismo genera exito, y el
success increases confidence in oneself. exito genera la confianza en uno mismo. De
Hence the saying: nothing succeeds like ahi el dicho: el exito llama al exito.
success.
come out on top salir ganando
That's Rupert Murdoch for you: breaking the Asi es Rupert Murdoch: rompe las normas, de-
rules, defying convention, waging war by any safi'a los convencionalismos, lucha con cual-
means necessary — and usually coming out quier medio y normalmente sale ganando.
on top.
do the trick funcionar, ser la solucion
Korean officials tried to downplay their needs, Los delegados coreanos intentaron quitar im-
saying they thought that only 20 billion from portancia a sus necesidades, diciendo que
the IMF would do the trick. creian que con s6lo 20 mil millones del FMI se
solucionarian sus problemas.
make a go of sth tener exito en algo
Worth believed in his concept and was com- Worth creia en su idea y estaba decidido a te-
mitted to making a go of it. He did count- ner exito. Concedio infinidad de entrevistas,
less interviews, appeared on talk shows and aparecio en programas de debate y ataco sin
wasn't shy about attacking the food industry piedad a la industria de la alimentaci6n por su
for its lack of creativity. falta de creatividad.
rise from the ashes renacer de las cenizas
In 1997, Apple lost $ 1 billion and no one be- En 1997, Apple perdio mil millones de dblares
lieved it could survive. In its first fiscal year y nadie creyo que podria sobrevivir. En el pri-
since Steve Jobs took over as interim C.E.O., mer ejercicio fiscal desde que Steve Jobs se
the company rose from the ashes, making hizo con la presidencia temporal, la empresa
a profit of $309 million. renaci6 de sus cenizas, consiguiendo un bene-'
ficio de 309 millones de d6lares.
get on top of sth poder con algo
When you're faced with some large, intimidat- Cuando te enfrentas a un trabajo importante
ing job, you have to learn to break it into que te asusta, tienes que aprender a dividirlo
small, specific tasks. If you don't get on top en tareas pequenas y especificas. Si no puedes
of it, you'll get buried underneath. con el, te aplastara.
that's half the battle ya hay medio camino andado
Finding out where your problems are is half Al descubrir donde estan tus problemas, ya has
the battle. Once you know that, you can recorrido medio camino. Una vez que sabes
start to deal with them. esto, puedes empezar a enfrentarte a ellos.
un triunfo fugaz,
a flash in the pan un exito pasajero
At first it seemed the craze for health foods Al principle, parecia que la locura por la comi-
would be just another flash in the pan. But da sana seria tan s6lo un exito pasajero. Pero,
apparently not. Sales of natural products are por lo visto, no es asi. La venta de productos
climbing steadily, say industry experts. naturales se est3 incrementando de forma re-
gular, segun los expertos.
hit the jackpot tocarle a alguien el gordo
It is difficult to understand how this Korean Es dificil entender c6mo esta empresa coreana,
company, producing a wide range of authen- que ofrece una gran variedad de autenticos
tic oriental dishes, managed to hit the platos orientates, consigui6 que le tocara el
jackpot in the U.S., for Americans are notori- gordo en los Estados Unidos, ya que los ameri-
ously wary when it comes to foreign food. canos tienen fama de ser desconfiados en lo
que se refiere a la comida extranjera.

Stanley 77
Success 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

make a killing ganar una fortuna


Until Bill Gates and his fellow shareholders Hasta que Bill Gates y sus socios accionistas
made a killing at Microsoft, increasing re- ganaron una fortuna con Microsoft, se pensa-
turns were thought to exist only in textbooks. ba que los rendimientos crecientes solo exis-
Now their existence in high-tech markets (like tian en los libros academicos. Ahora su
software and multimedia) is widely acknowl- existencia en los mercados de alta tecnologia
edged. (como los de software y multimedia) est3 am-
pliamente reconocida.
go from strength to strength ir cobrando fuerzas
While new media companies such as America Mientras que las nuevas empresas de comunica-
Online go from strength to strength, the ci6n, como America Online, van cobrando fuer-
old ones look on enviously. za, las antiguas las contemplan con envidia.
by leaps and bounds a pasos agigantados
The market for our products is growing by El mercado para nuestros productos est3 cre-
leaps and bounds in Europe. Revenues are ciendo a pasos agigantados en Europa. Se es-
expected to rise from $4 million last year to pera que los ingresos se incrementen de los 4
$18 million by 2004. millones de dolares del ano pasado a los 18
millones de d6lares en el ano 2004.
significar la consagracion
make or break sb o la ruina de alguien
Knowing what's happening in your industry Saber lo que esta ocurriendo en tu industria y
and what's likely to happen tomorrow, what lo que puede ocurrir mafiana, lo que quieren
consumers want and what they need — these los consumidores y lo que necesitan, estas
things can make or break your business. son cosas que pueden marcar la diferencia en-
tre la consagraci6n o la ruina de tu negocio.
have it made tener el exito asegurado
Don Simpson, co-producer of hit movies like Don Simpson, el co-productor de peliculas de
Flashdance, Beverly Hills Cop. and Top Gun, exito como Flashdance, Beverly Hills Cop y
had it made — by everyone's standards ex- Top Gun, tenia el exito asegurado, de acuerdo
cept his own. Simpson died of a drug over- con el criterio de todo el mundo menos el
dose a few months ago. suyo. Simpson murio hace unos meses de una
sobredosis de drogas.
get off to a flying start empezar con buen pie
We have advance orders of approximately Tenemos pedidos anticipados de unas 10.000
10,000 units, so we're sure of getting off to unidades, asi que estamos seguros de empe-
a flying start when the machine is officially zar con buen pie cuando la maquina saiga ofi-
put on the market. cialmente al mercado.
make a splash causar sensation
Donatella Versace made a splash with her Donatella Versace caus6 sensacibn con su co-
fourth collection since the death of her leccion presentada ayer en Milan, la cuarta
brother Gianni, shown yesterday in Milan. desde la muerte de su hermano Gianni.
make one's mark dejar su huella en algo
A simple and memorable electronic address is Una direcci6n electr6nica sencilla y facil de re-
essential for any company or organisation try- cordar es esencial para una empresa u organi-
ing to make its mark on the Internet. zacibn que quiera dejar su huella en Internet.
all's well that ends well bien esta lo que bien acaba
An unusually sunny October has more than Un octubre mas soleado de lo normal ha com-
compensated for the dismal weather at the pensado de sobra el mal tiempo del inicio de
start of the season. The hotels and restaurants la temporada. A los hoteles y a los restauran-
are doing great business, so all's well that tes les va muy bien, asi que bien esta lo que
ends well, I suppose. bien acaba.

78 Stanley
Success 1 , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

un metodo facil,
a short cut una formula magica
Banking is not a glamorous profession and La banca no es una profesion elegante y hay
there are few short cuts to success, just hon- pocos atajos para alcanzar el exito, unicamen-
esty, attention to detail, hard work and perse- te la honradez, el cuidado por los detalles, el
verance. trabajo duro y la perseverancia.
one thing leads to another una cosa lleva a otra
Word-of-mouth, direct mailings and aggressive Gracias al boca a boca, a los envios por correo y
networking brought us our first customers. Af- a la creacion agresiva de una red de contactos
ter that one thing led to another. Now conseguimos nuestros primeros clientes. Des-
we're one of the largest stationery retailers in pues de eso, una cosa Ilev6 a la otra. Ahora so-
the country. mos uno de los mas importantes minoristas de
papeleria del pais.
a sure-fire method un metodo de exito seguro
I have no illusions about myself as a coach. I No me hago muchas ilusiones como entrena-
learned long ago that coaches can be suc- dor. Aprendi hace mucho que los entrenado-
cessful using many different philosophies res pueden tener exito utilizando filosoffas
and that there is no sure-fire method to diferentes y que no hay un metodo de exito
succeed. seguro.
be home and dry llegar a buen puerto
I've been informed unofficially that we've He sido informado de forma extraoficial de
been awarded the contract. The meeting to- que nos han concedido el contrato. La proxi-
morrow is merely a formality, so you can all ma reunion es una mera formalidad, asi que
relax. We're already home and dry. os podeis relajar. Ya hemos llegado a buen
puerto.
get sth off the ground hacer funcionar algo
I started the company entirely on my own, but Inicie el negocio completamente solo, pero
it was tiny for the first couple of years. I could era muy poca cosa durante los primeros arios.
never have got it off the ground without Nunca hubiese podido hacerlo funcionar sin
a good sales manager. un buen director de ventas.
land on one's feet salir adelante, tener suerte
When he unexpectedly lost his first job, he Cuando inesperadamente perdi6 su primer
didn't just land on his feet: he found an- empleo, no solo sali6 adelante, sino que en-
other position with a salary which was 25% contro otro puesto con un sueldo 25% mas
higher. elevado que el anterior.
un hombre que ha triunfado
por su propio esfuerzo,
a self-made man hecho a si mismo
Sir Clive Sinclair is a self-made multimillion- Sir Clive Sinclair es un multimillonario que ha
aire inventor and businessman. Among his triunfado por su propio esfuerzo como inventor
better know inventions are a personal compu- y empresario. Entre sus inventos mas conocidos
ter, a flat screen television and an electric car. estan el ordenador personal, una pantalla de te-
Ievisi6n plana y un coche electrico.

Stanley 79
2O. Exercise 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 That's a large part of doing something 15 One small event started a sequence of
difficult: Si has convencido al jefe, ya events: I accepted his offer to join the
tienes medio camino andado. company as a trainee and and
2 To have a great success, especially to now I'm the General Manager.
win or earn a lot of money: Le toco la 16 To develop out of ruin into new life and
loteria. importance: Quebro tres veces y tres
3 To have the desired effect: Gracias por veces renacio de sus cenizas.
las pastillas, me fueron muy bien. 1 7 To succeed or achieve recognition: Dejo
4 To make a large profit: Gano una su impronta en el mundo de los
fortuna. negocios.
5 A success that lasts only a very short 18 (saying) When something difficult or
time and is unlikely to happen again: unpleasant ends satisfactorily, there is
Es muy probable que sea s6lo un ixito
no point in complaining about any trou-
pasajero.
ble it may have caused: Bien esta lo
6 To increase one's success by rapid que bien acaba.
stages: Nuestra campana marcha viento
en popa. 19 To make a success of something, e.g. a
job, a company, etc: Est2 sacando
7 (saying} Success in one area invariably adelante el negocio.
leads to success in other areas: El exito
llama al exito. 20A method which is absolutely reliable:
8 Very quickly: Est3 progresando a pasos Apparently they're working on a
agigantados. to transfer data on the Internet ten
times more quickly than at present.
9 To be no longer in danger of failing,
but sure of success: Una vez que hayan 21 To have succeeded or to be totally cer-
aceptado las condiciones, el trato es tain of success: Si vas a cursar estudios
practicamente un hecho. en Harvard Business School, tienes el
10To cause a sensation by showing ones future asegurado.
abilities or qualities: The new range of 22To be successful or victorious:
multicoloured Macs at the San Terminamos ganando nosotros.
Francisco Apple Expo. 23 A person who has succeeded without
11 fa project, a company, etc.] To make any help or advantages, entirely by his
something start successfully: Pasara own skill and efforts: He came from a
algun tiempo hasta que el sistema este working-class background and left
en funcionamiento. school when he was 12. Nevertheless,
12 To be able to deal with something, e.g. he's now a multimillionaire and a
work or difficulties, successfully: Al fi- in every respect.
nal consiguieron controlar la situacion.
24 A quicker way of going somewhere or
13 To get out of a difficult or unpleasant doing something: Tome un atajo por
situation because of luck: Siempre le el parque.
sale todo redondo.
25 To make a fast and successful beginning
14 To cause either success or ruin: We've to something: Empez6 con muy buen
invested a great deal just to get this con-
pie en su nuevo trabajo.
tract, and it can us or us.
80 Stanley
21. Failure ,000 everyday idioms in business

no se puede pretender
you can't win them all ganarlas todas
The difficult part of salesmanship is handling La parte dificil de un comercial es acostum-
so much rejection, so you must simply accept brarse a los rechazos, asi que debes aceptar
from the outset that you can't win them desde el principio que no se puede pretender
all. It's enough to win the big ones. ganarlas todas. Basta con ganar las mas im-
portantes.
go back to the drawing board volver a empezar
In one year, 30% of our revenues were used En un ano, el 30% de nuestros ingresos fue-
to pay back lock owners whose bikes had ron destinados a pagar a los duerios de los
been stolen. So, we went back to the candados cuyas bicis habian sido robadas. Asi
drawing board to find ways to improve que volvimos al principio para encontrar un
the lock. sistema para mejorar el candado.
go back to square one volver al punto de partida
The deal was almost finalised when the cus- El trato estaba casi finalizado cuando el clien-
tomer announced that he wanted to make te anunci6 que queria llevar a cabo algunos
some important structural changes. We had cambios estructurales importantes. No tuvi-
no choice but to go back to square one mos mas remedio que volver al punto de par-
and start all over again. tida y empezar de nuevo.
hit rock bottom tocar fondo
After years of contraction, zero growth counts Despues de anos de recesion, el crecimiento
as an achievement for Russian officials, who are cero se considera como una hazaria para los
hoping that the economy has hit rock bottom rusos, quienes esperan que la economia haya
and will now begin to climb upwards. tocado fondo y que inicie ahora su ascenso.
go bust quebrar
Aiwa, half-owned by Sony, almost went bust Aiwa, que pertenece en un 50% a Sony, casi
in the late 1980s when the yen rose sharply quebro a finales de los anos 80 cuando el yen
following the Plaza Accord of 1 985. subio repentinamente tras el Convenio Plaza
de 1985.
go to the wall arruinarse, quebrar
When Philip Morris knocked 40c off a packet Cuando Philip Morris bajo el precio del paque-
of Marlboro, $47 billion was instantly wiped te de Marlboro de 40 centavos, 47 mil millo-
off the market value of Americas top twenty nes de dolares fueron borrados al instante del
cigarette manufacturers. Lesser brands went valor comercial de los 20 principales fabrican-
to the wall. tes de cigarrillos americanos. Las pequefias
marcas se arruinaron.
come a cropper fracasar
In the next 1 5 years we are bound to have a En los 1 5 proximos anos vamos a experimen-
radical change in automotive technology, tar un cambio radical en la tecnologia del au-
most likely in the engine. When that happens, tom6vil, probablemente en el motor. Cuando
most of the worlds automakers will come a esto ocurra, la mayoria de los fabricantes de
cropper. coches del mundo se arruinaran.
make a dent in sth hacer estragos en algo
In the business of hooking people up to the En el negocio de enganchar a la gente a
internet, Microsoft is already trailing badly - Internet, Microsoft ya esta perdiendo terreno,
unable to make a dent in the progress of incapaz de detener el avance de America
America Online. Online.
go to the dogs ir a la ruina, hundirse
It used to be one of the most efficient firms in Era una de las empresas mas eficientes de
the city, but since Old Weston died and his la ciudad, pero desde que el viejo Weston

Stanley 81
Failure 1 , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

son took over, it's gone to the dogs. Now murio y su hijo se hizo cargo del negocio,
half the time they don't even answer the se ha hundido. Ahora ni siquiera contestan
phone. el telefono.
go downhill empeorar
After peaking at $87 last December — the Tras llegar a un m^ximo de 87 dolares el pasa-
week Microsoft declared war — Netscape's do diciembre - la semana que Microsoft decla-
shares have gone steadily downhill, re- r6 la guerra - las acciones de Netscape nan
cently trading in the mid-30s. ido empeorando, cotizandose ultimamente en
treinta y tantos dblares.
go down the drain irse al garete, venirse abajo
You owe it to yourself and your family to pro- For ti mismo y por tu familia, debes asegurar el
vide for the future of your business. Don't let future de tu empresa. No dejes que se vaya al
all your hard work and investment go down garete todo el trabajo y la inversion que has rea-
the drain for lack of insurance. lizado por no haber contratado una p6liza de
seguro.
reach a dead end llegar a un punto muerto
We spent years trying to develop a proto- Nos pasamos anos intentando desarrollar un
type but simply couldn't resolve the techni- prototipo pero no pudimos resolver los proble-
cal problems. Finally we realised we had mas tecnicos. Al final nos dimos cuenta de
reached a dead end and abandoned the que habiamos llegado a un punto muerto y
project en tirely. abandonamos totalmente el proyecto.
fracasar,
fall flat (on one's face) no tener el exito deseado
Intuit fell flat on its face in early 1995 when Intuit no tuvo el exito deseado a principios de
hundreds of customers called to tell stories 1995 cuando cientos de clientes llamaron
about how bugs in its TurboTax product were para contarles que los fallos en su producto
making a mess of their income tax returns. TurboTax estaban ocasionando un desastre en
sus declaraciones de la renta.
shoot sth down in flames rebatir algo, echar abajo algo
I had developed an elaborate plan to reorgan- Habia desarrollado un plan minucioso para re-
ise the department's workload, but the man- organizar las tareas del departamento pero los
agement shot it down in flames. They said it directives lo echaron abajo. Dijeron que era
was too elaborate to be feasible. demasiado complicado para ser factible.
give sth up as a bad job dejar algo por imposible
The fact is, I'm not very good at languages. I El hecho es que no se me dan bien los idio-
tried to learn Norwegian once but after a few mas. Intente aprender noruego una vez pero
months I gave it up as a bad job. I wasn't despues de unos meses lo deje por imposible.
making any progress at all. No estaba progresando en absolute.
come to nothing llegar a nada, quedar en nada
In the five years since filing the patents, En los cinco anos transcurridos desde que so-
Michaels has been turned down by more than licito las patentes, Michaels ha sido rechazado
100 companies. Negotiations with Nasa, the por mas de 100 empresas. Las negociaciones
US space agency, also came to nothing. con la Nasa, la agencia espacial de los EE UU,
tambien quedaron en nada.
a damp squib un fiasco
Tesco's rivals were dismissive of its recent price Los rivales de Tesco restaban importancia a
cuts. "It is a damp squib," Asda said. "They sus ultimos recortes de precios. "Es un fiasco,"
are only playing catch-up and we are still dijo Asda. "S6lo estan intentando alcanzarnos
cheaper even after the new prices." y somos incluso mas baratos a pesar de estos
ultimos recortes."

82 Stanley
Failure ,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

throw in the towel arrojar la toalla


Morale in the company had hit rock bottom, La moral en la empresa toc6 fondo, asi que mis
so my first six months were very bleak. At primeros seis meses fueron muy poco promete-
times I got close to throwing in the towel. dores. Hubo veces en las que estuve a punto de
arrojar la toalla.
see the writing on the wall ver los malos presagios
Perhaps Iranian traditionalists have seen the Quiza los tradicionalistas iranies han visto ma-
writing on the wall. They know that if they los presagios. Saben que si continuan blo-
continue to block reformist legislation, they queando la Iegislaci6n reformista, se arriesgan
risk being thrown out by voters in next year's a ser rechazados por los votantes en las elec-
general elections. ciones generales del ario que viene.
serve no purpose no servir para nada
There are a few common sense rules about us- Hay algunas reglas basicas de sentido comun
ing visual aids in a presentation. And most are sobre el uso de las ayudas visuales en una
commonly ignored. The most important is presentaci6n. Y la mayoria no suelen ser res-
this: if a visual aid serves no clear purpose, petadas. La m^s importante es esta: si una
it should be removed. ayuda visual no tiene un prop6sito claro, debe
ser eliminada.
lose one's touch perder la habilidad
He used to be our best salesman but I think Antes era nuestro mejor comercial pero creo
he must be losing his touch; in the past six que esta perdiendo facultades; en los seis ulti-
months his results have been merely average. mos meses sus resultados han sido muy me-
diocres.
come away empty-handed volver con las manos vacias
We lowered our prices and improved on the Bajamos nuestros precios y mejoramos las fe-
delivery dates we had proposed initially. We chas de entrega que habiamos propuesto ini-
also offered a training package. Even so, the cialmente. Tambien ofrecimos un paquete de
negotiations were unsuccessful and we came formaci6n. Aim asi las negociaciones no tuvie-
away empty-handed. ron exito y nos volvimos con las manos vacias.
fight a losing battle luchar por una causa perdida
In the 1950s the mighty British Motor Corpo- En los anos 50 la poderosa British Motor
ration commanded 50% of the UK market - al- Corporation controlaba el 50% del mercado
though even then it was fighting a losing del Reino Unido, aunque ya entonces, estaba
battle against imported cars. luchando por una causa perdida en contra de
las importaciones de coches.
una persona acabada,
a has-been una vieja gloria
Meetings are disliked because they are usu- No gustan las reuniones porque normalmente
ally futile, boring, time-wasting, dull, and son inutiles, aburridas, lentas y molestas y
inconvenient with nothing for most people constituyen una perdida de tiempo; en ellas la
to do except doodle while some opinion- gente se entretiene haciendo garabatos mien-
ated has-been goes on and on about his tras alguna vieja gloria habla sin parar sobre
last great idea. su ultima gran idea.
the beginning of the end el principle del fin
Sometimes I think my most important job as a A veces creo que el trabajo mas importante
chief executive is to listen for bad news. If you que tengo como presidente, es escuchar las
don't act on it, your people will eventually malas noticias. Si no actuas de inmediato, tu
stop bringing bad news to your attention. gente dejara de traerte malas noticias. Y eso
And that's the beginning of the end. es el principle del fin.

Stanley 83
21. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capftulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To be no longer of good quality, to be 13 To go bankrupt, to be forced to stop


in decline or near ruin: El pais se va al operating: La empresa quebro el ano
garete. pasado.
2 (opinions, suggestions, etc.) To reject 14 To be superfluous: No sirve para nada
something, usually criticizing it severly: en especial, es simplemente decorative.
Clearly they had no intention of com- 5 S (an attempt, a joke) To fail dismally: Sus
promising. Every time I made a sugges- chistes de secretarias no hicieron gracia.
tion, they .
16 (an amount of money) To reduce, (a
3 To stop trying to do something because person's reputation, etc.) to hurt or to
one's efforts so far have been unproduc- lessen: Se ha comido una buena parte
tive: Lo dej6 porque era un caso perdido. de nuestros ahorros.
4 To go back to the starting point after a
17 To struggle against something with no
failed attempt at something: Ya estamos
chance of success: Llevabamos todas las
otra vez como al principio.
de perder en la lucha contra la
5 (plans, targets, ideas, etc.) To fail to hap- inflacibn.
pen: He ended his life an impoverished
and bitter old man. All his great ambi- 18To fall to the lowest possible level:
tions had . Nuestra moral habia tocado fondo.
6 To become less successful or of lower 19A person whose achievements are in
quality: No cabe duda de que ese the past and who is no longer re-
restaurante se ha venido abajo. spected: Fifteen years after his retire-
ment, he had lost touch with all his
7 To suffer a sudden misfortune or failure:
important contacts; the only people he
His luck was good for the first couple of
knew now were other old like
years, but sooner or later he had to
himself.
, and it happened when he in-
vested heavily in Russia. 20 (money, effort, etc.) To be wasted or
lost: Es como tirar el dinero a la basura.
8 An attempt to do something which falls
far short of the desired effect: Their com- 21 The initial stage of some undesirable
petitors denounced the supposedly revo- event: Looking back, we can now see
lutionary new device as a , slow, that Fradin's resignation was as
expensive and technologically out of date. far as innovation was concerned.
9 (said by or to a person who has failed 22 (used when a plan has not worked) To
in something) You can't be successful start all over again from the beginning:
all the time: No se puede pretender jVuelta a empezar!
ganarlas todas. 23 To leave with nothing, without getting
10To abandon all hope in a competition the result one had hoped for: La
or fight and to give up: Al final, tuvieron delegaci6n volvio con las manos vacias.
que tirar la toalla. 24 (companies, entrepreneurs, etc.) To be
11 To come to a point where no further ruined, to be pushed aside as worth-
progress can be made: Las conversaciones less: Cada vez mas negocios se
entraron en un callejdn sin salida. declaraban en quiebra.
12 To see clear signs of impending danger 25 To no longer be as skillful as was: jDebo
or misfortune: Los inversores se la vieron estar perdiendo facultades!
venir y vendieron las acciones.

84 Stanley
22. Mistakes 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

put one's foot in it meter la pata


I've never met anyone so tactless. Every time Jamas he conocido a alguien con menos tac-
he says something, he puts his foot in it. to. Cada vez que dice algo, mete la pata.
make a hash of sth estropear algo
He dropped his papers, got his slides mixed Se le cayeron los papeles, desordeno sus
up, forgot what he wanted to say — in short, diapositivas, olvido lo que queria decir, en re-
he made a real hash of the presentation. sumen, la presentacion fue un desastre.
bite off more than one can chew abarcar demasiado
I told the GM I'd be able to finalise details of Le dije al director general que podria finalizar
the Oakland project before the end of the los detalles del proyecto de Oakland antes de
month, but now I realise I've bitten off fin de mes, pero ahora me doy cuenta de que
more than I can chew. It'll be impossible he abarcado demasiado. Sera imposible sin
unless someone helps me. que alguien me ayude.
put all one's eggs in one basket jugarselo todo a una carta
Depending on one or two big clients for all El depender de uno o dos clientes importan-
your revenues is like putting all your eggs tes para todos tus ingresos es como jugarselo
in one basket. Much wiser is to diversify todo a una carta. Es mucho mas sensato di-
and develop a broad client base. versificar y desarrollar una base amplia de
clientes.
it's the blind leading the blind estan tan ciegos uno como otro
When management forgets or becomes un- Cuando la direccion se olvida de su mision o no
sure of its mission, then a sense of indirection est3 segura de ella, una sensacion de mala ges-
soon pervades the whole company. You have ti6n se apodera pronto de toda la empresa, que
the worst possible scenario: the blind lead- se encuentra en la peor situacion posible: estan
ing the blind. tan ciegos los unos como los otros.
get off on the wrong foot empezar con mal pie
Listen, you and I seem to have got off on Escucha, parece que tu y yo hemos empezado
the wrong foot. It's silly because we're both con mal pie. Es una tonteria porque ambos
on the same team. Let's have a quiet drink estamos en el mismo equipo. Vamos a tomar
and settle our differences. una copa tranquilamente y aclaremos nuestras
diferencias.
get sb wrong malinterpretar a alguien
If you don't have the cash to motivate your Si no tienes dinero en efectivo para motivar al
staff, try some nonfinancial incentives. Don't personal, intenta usar algunos incentives no fi-
get me wrong: money, when used properly, nancieros. No me malinterpretes: el dinero,
is a great motivator. But it's not the only one. cuando se usa debidamente, es un excelente in-
centive. Pero no es el unico.
go too far ir demasiado lejos
Did privatisation of the alcohol industry in iLa privatizaci6n de la industria rusa del alco-
Russia go too far, too fast? After all, the state hol ha ido demasiado lejos, demasiado rapi-
monopoly on vodka production used to ac- do? Despues de todo, el monopolio estatal
count for 23% of government revenues. sobre la produccion de vodka representaba
anteriormente el 23% de los ingresos del
gobierno.
go wrong equivocarse, fallar, fracasar
It's vital to learn from mistakes. The key to fu- Es esencial aprender de los errores. La clave
ture success is an honest assessment of what de futures exitos es evaluar sinceramente lo
went wrong and a plan to make it right. que ha fallado y establecer un plan para re-
mediarlo.

Stanley 85
Mistakes 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

dig one's own grave cavarse su propia tumba


Finlay is notoriously dishonest. Anybody who Finlay tiene fama de no ser honrado. Cual-
goes into business with him as a partner is quiera que se embarque en un negocio con el
simply digging his own grave. como socio esta cavando su propia tumba.
cut one's own throat tirar piedras al tejado
I know you don't like Roberts but we can't Ya s6 que no te cae bien Roberts pero no hay
possibly get rid of him: he's handling the ac- forma de deshacerse de el: lleva la mitad de
counts of half of our most important clients, nuestros clientes mas importantes, y a ellos les
and they like him. If we fire him, we'll be cut- cae bien. Si le despedimos, estariamos tirando
ting our own throats. piedras a nuestro propio tejado.
back the wrong horse hacer una mala election
He was sure Mitchell would become the new Estaba convencido de que Mitchell seria el
head of department, so he spent several nuevo jefe del departamento, asi que paso va-
months trying to impress him. But as it hap- rios meses intentando impresionarle. Pero re-
pened, he had backed the wrong horse. It sult6 que habia elegido mal. No nombraron a
wasn't Mitchell who was appointed, but Mitchell, sino a otra persona.
someone else.
estar equivocado,
be wide of the mark no dar en el bianco
One third of Singapore's stock exchange is Un tercio de la bolsa de Singapur est3 contro-
controlled by the government. Those who lada por el gobierno. For lo tanto, aquellos
claim that it is freer than Hong Kong's stock que aseguran que es mas libre que la bolsa de
exchange are therefore wide of the mark. Hong Kong estan muy equivocados.
vivir por encima
live beyond one's means de sus posibilidades
We are in a state of permanent crisis because Nos encontramos en un estado de crisis per-
we are living beyond our means. The solu- manente porque estamos viviendo por encima
tion is simple: we must cut spending. de nuestras posibilidades. La soluci6n es sen-
cilia: debemos recortar gastos.
go off the rails irse al garete, descarriarse
If it hadn't been for Lewis, this company would Si no habria sido por Lewis, esta empresa se
have gone off the rails years ago. He forced hubiese ido al garete hace anos. El nos oblige
us to remain focused and disciplined. a mantenernos concentrados y disciplinados.
bark up the wrong tree tomar el rabano por las hojas
If you think I'm the one who gave the compe- Si crees que soy yo el que facilitd estas ci-
tition those figures, you're barking up the fras a la competencia, estas tomando el
wrong tree. I don't even have access to that rabano por las hojas. Ni siquiera tengo
information. acceso a esa informacion.
bury one's head in the sand meter la cabeza debajo del ala
We can't go on burying our heads in the No podemos meter la cabeza debajo del ala y
sand and pretending the problem doesn't ex- hacer como si el problema no existiera. Tarde
ist. Sooner or later we have to do something o temprano tendremos que hacer algo al res-
about it. pecto.
tread on sb's toes ofender a alguien
When I said that accountants were the dullest Cuando dije que los contables eran las perso-
people on earth, I hope I didn't tread on nas mas insipidas de la tierra, espero que no
anyone's toes. I was only joking. ofendiera a nadie. Solo estaba bromeando.

86 Stanley
Mistakes 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

una busqueda inutil,


a wild goose chase una empresa descabellada
He thought he had left the plans in the fore- Creia que habia dejado los pianos en la ofici-
man's office on the building site, so he sent na del capataz de la obra, asi que envio a su
his secretary off to look for them there. But it secretaria a buscarlos alii. Pero fue una bus-
was a wild goose chase, as they were in queda inutil, ya que estaban en la parte de
the back of his car all the time. atr^s de su coche.
ser un fracaso
blow up in sb's face lamentable, estrellarse
Goizueta changed the sacred formula of Coca- Goizueta cambio la f6rmula sagrada de Coca-
Cola, a move that would have been previously Cola, una maniobra que antes hubiera sido im-
unthinkable; New Coke blew up in his face pensable: la Coca-Cola nueva fue un fracaso
and became the biggest consumer product lamentable y se convirtio en el mayor desastre
disaster of the -80s. But he quickly reversed de los ahos 80 en un producto de consume.
his decision. Pero rapidamente revoc6 su decision.
be on the wrong track estar mal encaminado
Management gurus often claim we should Los gurus de la direccidn suelen afirmar que
change a persons performance by building debemos cambiar el rendimiento de una per-
his motivation. But I say that if somebody's on sona incrementando su motivacion. Pero yo
the wrong track, and then he gets moti- digo que si alguien est3 mal encaminado y se
vated, he's just going to get to disaster le motiva, solo va a llegar antes al desastre.
quicker.
be out of tune with sth no estar en sintonia con algo
Management is completely out of tune Los directives no est^n en absolute en
with feelings on the shop floor. This strike is sintonia con lo que sienten los obreros. Esta
not only about higher wages, it's about issues huelga no s6lo tiene que ver con un aumento
which go much further than that. de sueldo sino que trata de temas mucho mas
profundos.
a half-baked idea una idea mal concebida
Brainstorming is about liberating creative en- Las sesiones de creatividad tratan de liberar
ergy, so I want you to say whatever comes la energia creativa, asi que quiero que di-
into your mind. In this first stage, it doesn't g^is lo primero que se os ocurra. En esta
matter how half-baked you think your ideas etapa, no importa que creaks que vuestras
may be. ideas son malas.
rub sb the wrong way sacar a uno de quicio
At a dinner with top executives and their En una cena con los altos ejecutivos y sus es-
spouses, the newly appointed C.E.O. rubbed posas, el presidente recientemente nombrado
some people the wrong way by making saco a algunas personas de quicio al hacer va-
several joking references to "the long period rios chistes que hacfan referenda al "largo pe-
of managerial incompetence" which had pre- riodo de incompetencia directiva" que habia
ceded his arrival. precedido su llegada.
shoot one's mouth off irse de la lengua
This matter is highly confidential and the trou- Este tema es altamente confidencial y el pro-
ble with Yates is that once he's had a drink or blema con Yates es que en cuanto se ha torna-
two, he starts shooting his mouth off. I do una o dos copas, empieza a irse de la
think it's better if we don't inform him for the lengua. Creo que serd mejor si de momento
time being. no le informamos.

Stanley 87
22. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 To harm oneself by the way one acts, 13 To spend more than one earns: Vivia
usually because of pride or anger: Irte por encima de sus posibilidades.
ahora seria suicida. 14 To start doing something that is much
2 To make a bad start with someone or too difficult: Ha querido abarcar
something: He by arriving an demasiado.
hour and a half late for his first day at 15 (scheme, arrangement, etc.) To fail dis-
work. astrously because of an unexpected
3 To support the wrong person i.e. the event, so causing embarrassment to the
eventual loser in a competition: Don't person responsible: Their plans to flood
get involved in office politics. If you the market with cheaper models
, you'll pay for it later. when the machines proved to have
4 To make a wrong assumption or blame major defects.
the wrong person: If you think I'm the 16 (business, etc.) To become disorgan-
one who told the boss what you did, ised, confused, (person) to become
you're . mad: Empez6 a actuar de forma extrana
5 To risk everything one has in a single cuando se quedd sin trabajo.
venture or business: No te lo juegues 17 To make a mistake, to take the wrong
todo a una carta. direction: Siga las instrucciones y no se
6 To refuse to admit that something is a equivocal.
problem in the hope that it will get 18 To be going in the wrong direction: Me
better by itself: When are you going to parece que asl vamos por mal camino.
stop and recognise that this is a
19 To not be in agreement or harmony
major problem, and that it's not just
with something: El edificio no esta en
going to go away?
armonia con su entorno.
7 To do or say something that goes be-
20 To spoil a job or a piece of work: Hizo
yond accepted limits: Esta situacibn ha
una verdadera chapuza al escribir el
ido demasiado lejos.
informe.
8 To offend someone by doing or saying
something that is against his interests 21 An idea which has not been fully
or beliefs: Cuando hicimos aquellos thought out, and so is foolish or im-
cambios, tuvimos cuidado de no practical: I wish you would stop wast-
ofender a nadie. ing our time with your .
9 (figures, calculations, guesses, etc.) To 22 To cause one's own misfortunes: Est^s
be incorrect, far from the truth or cor- cavando tu propia tumba.
rect amount: Err6 por mucho en su 23 To talk carelessly about confidential
c^lculo. matters, to boast or exaggerate:
I OTo say something unintentionally which Siempre esta presumiendo de lo que
offends or upsets another person: Meti6 hizo en el ejercito.
la pata. 24A situation in which a leader knows as
I1 To misunderstand somebody: No me little as someone else who is being led:
interpretes mal, no estamos en contra Est^n tan ciegos uno como otro.
del plan. 25 To make somebody angry or hostile by
12 A search for something that has no hope behaving in a way that annoys them: I
of success: No pienso ir otra vez al don't know why he dislikes me so
aeropuerto a perder el tiempo para nada. much, I suppose I just .

88 Stanley
23. Criticism ,000 everyday idioms in business

tear sth to pieces poner por los suelos


I made one or two suggestions at the begin- Mice una sugerencia o dos al principio de la
ning of the meeting but the others tore reunion pero los demas las rechazaron, asi
them to pieces, so I didn't contribute much que no pude hacer muchas aportaciones des-
after that. pues de eso.
a bone of contention la manzana de la discordia
The ownership of Gibraltar has long been a La posesi6n de Gibraltar es desde hace mucho
bone of contention between Britain and la manzana de la discordia entre Inglaterra y
Spain. Espana.
tener que
have a bone to pick with sb ajustarle las cuentas a alguien
I have a bone to pick with Clive. The fig- Tengo que ajustarle las cuentas a Clive. Las ci-
ures he gave me were completely false. Be- fras que me dio eran completamente falsas.
cause of him, I made a fool of myself in front Por su culpa, quede como un idiota delante
of the client. del cliente.
drive a coach
and horses through sth tener agujeros, arrasar con algo
I want to emphasise that the plan is still in a Quiero dejar claro que el plan aun esta en
very early stage. I'm perfectly aware that at una fase inicial. Me doy perfectamente cuenta
the moment you could drive a coach and de que en este momento tiene mas agujeros
horses through it. The only reason I'm pre- que un colador. La unica razon por la cual lo
senting it today is to give you an idea of estoy presentando hoy es para que tengais
where we're heading. una idea de la direccion en la que vamos.
put a damper on sth amargar algo
The bank's refusal to lend us the money put a El rechazo del banco para prestarnos dinero
damper on our plans to expand. ha amargado nuestros planes de expansion.
lay the blame for sth on sb echar la culpa de algo a alguien
Sooner or later someone is going to lay the Tarde o temprano alguien echara la culpa del
blame for the company's continued poor per- bajo rendimiento de la empresa a los actuales
formance on the current management. directives.
pick holes in sth encontrar defectos en algo
You've been sitting there picking holes in Has estado encontrando defectos en nuestro
our plan all morning. But do you have any- plan durante toda la manana. <n~ienes algo
thing better to propose? mejor que proponernos?
tell sb a few home truths decirle a alguien cuatro verdades
We recruit them directly from university, so Les reclutamos directamente de la universi-
they sometimes arrive here thinking they're dad, asi que a veces llegan aqui pensando
pretty smart. In that case, you have to take que son bastante listos. En ese caso, les tienes
them aside and tell them a few home que llamar la atencion y decirles cuatro verda-
truths, in particular that they don't know as des, sobre todo si no saben tanto como creen.
much as they think they do.
put one's own house in order cuidarse de sus asuntos propios
The Americans are accusing us of dumping Los americanos nos estan acusando de inun-
cheap steel on the Asian market. Let them dar el mercado asiatico con acero barato. Que
put their own house in order before they arreglen sus asuntos antes de criticarnos.
start criticising us.

Stanley 89
Criticism 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

to add insult to injury por si fuera poco


The much-heralded measures to boost corpo- Las medidas tan pregonadas para aumentar la
rate investment turn out to be relatively unim- inversi6n corporativa nan resultado ser de
portant. To add insult to injury, they are poca importancia. Por si fuera poco, solo son
only temporary. temporales.
lay oneself wide open to sth exponerse a algo
Taking established customers for granted is an Considerar a antiguos clientes como seguros
easy way to lose business. Why? Because you es una forma f^cil de perder contratos. iPor
lay yourself wide open to competitors who que? Porque estas expuesto a la competencia
are looking at the customer the way you did que busca clientes del mismo modo que los
when you were starting out. buscabas tu cuando empezaste.
be in the firing line estar en la linea de fuego
I enjoy the excitement of working in a crisis Disfruto con la emocion de trabajar en un am-
atmosphere. In this job, you have nothing but biente de crisis. En este trabajo, no tienes m^s
problems. You're always in the firing line. que problemas. Siempre est^s en la linea de
You're juggling a dozen balls, and you can't fuego. Est3s haciendo juegos malabares con
afford to let any of them drop. Everybody is varias pelotas y no te puedes permitir el lujo
counting on you. de que se caiga ninguna. Todo el mundo
cuenta contigo.
it's no use crying over spilt milk a lo hecho, pecho
We missed the deadline because you didn't No conseguimos cumplir los plazos porque no
start preparing our proposal early enough. empezaste a preparar nuestra propuesta a
Well, there's no point crying over spilt tiempo. Bueno, a lo hecho, pecho, pero deja
milk, but let me make it clear: I won't tolerate que aclare una cosa: no tolerare este tipo de
this kind of slackness in future. negligencia en el futuro.
echar un jarro de agua fria,
pour cold water over sth poner trabas a algo
Mr Greenspan poured cold water on Euro- Mr Greenspan ech6 un jarro de agua fria a
pean proposals to harmonise the exchange las propuestas europeas para fijar los tipos
rates of the world's main currencies. de cambio entre las principales divisas del
mundo.
a slap in the face un desaire, una bofetada
The union for white-collar employees rejected El sindicato de trabajadores de oficina rechazo
an employers' offer, under which their mem- la oferta de una empresa segun la cual sus
bers would have received a one-off payment miembros hubiesen recibido una bonificaci6n
of £300 each, describing it as "a slap in the de 300 libras cada uno, describiendola como
face for the bank workers." "una bofetada para los empleados de la banca".
give sth short shrift desestimar de piano algo
They give short shrift to our recent efforts Desestimaron de piano nuestros ultimos es-
to reduce costs and improve efficiency, men- fuerzos por reducir costes y mejorar la efica-
tioning them only in the final paragraph of cia, mencionandolos s6lo en el ultimo pa>rafo
their report. de su informe.
clear the air aclarar las cosas
The last thing I need is undue conversation Lo ultimo que necesito es que se hable sin ton
concerning my health. I just want to clear ni son sobre mi salud. Solo quiero aclarar las
the air and not let there be a lot of untrue cosas y no dejar que circulen un monton de
rumours floating around. falsos rumores.

90 Stanley
Criticism 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

tell sb where to get off cantarle las cuarenta a alguien


These files are strictly confidential. The next Estos ficheros son estrictamente confidencia-
time Wainwright starts poking through them, les. La proxima vez que Wainwright se ponga
come and tell me immediately. I'll tell him a fisgar en ellos, ven y dimelo de inmediato.
where to get off. Ya le cantare yo las cuarenta.
make amends for sth compensar por algo
Wall Street rallied, with strong gains among La bolsa se animo, con fuertes ganancias en
telecommunication and bank stocks more las acciones de telecomunicaciones y bancos,
than making amends for yesterday's losses. compensando de sobra las perdidas de ayer.
have no hard feelings no guardar rencor
Frazer had some hard things to say about our Frazer hizo unos comentarios muy duros sobre
working methods, but I have no hard feel- nuestros metodos de trabajo, pero no le guardo
ings. In fact, after the meeting, I thanked him rencor. De hecho, despues de la reuni6n, le di
for being so frank and direct. las gracias por ser tan franco y directo.
let bygones be bygones olvidar el pasado
We've often disagreed on professional mat- Con frecuencia hemos estado en desacuerdo
ters, but I have nothing against you person- sobre temas profesionales pero personalmente
ally. Now we're working together, I suggest no tengo nada contra ti. Ahora que estamos
we concentrate on the present and let by- trabajando juntos, sugiero que nos concentre-
gones be bygones. mos en el presente y olvidemos el pasado.
be in sb's bad books estar en la lista negra de alguien
The blonde you kept contradicting at lunch is La rubia a la que estabas llevando la contra-
Sandra, the boss's personal assistant. This is ria durante el almuerzo es Sandra, la ayu-
your first day here, so let me give you some dante personal del jefe. Este es tu primer
advice: you don't want to be in her bad dia aqui, asi que deja que te de un consejo:
books if you can help it. trata de no estar en su lista negra si lo pue-
des evitar.
make no bones about sth no vacilar en hacer algo
I'll make no bones about it, Malone — I Te lo dire muy claro, Malone: no tengo ningu-
have no intention of recommending you for na intencibn de recomendarte para un ascen-
promotion. Because quite frankly I don't think so. Porque, francamente, no creo que te lo
you deserve it. merezcas.
take sth to heart tomarse algo a pecho
Okuda had heard that in the tiny Suzuki Mo- Okuda habia oido decir que en la pequena
tor Corporation it took just five minutes to Suzuki Motor Corporation solo se tardaba cin-
convey a top executive's decision to the whole co minutos en transmitir una decisi6n de los
company, while it took weeks for Toyota. Tak- altos ejecutivos a toda la empresa, mientras
ing this complaint to heart, he started que en Toyota se tardaba semanas. Tomando-
making changes. se esta queja a pecho, comenzo a realizar
cambios.
expresar su opinion
vote with one's feet abandonando la organizacion
There's only one way we'll convince the man- Solo hay una manera de convencer a los di-
agement of this company that salaries are too rectives de esta empresa de que los sueldos
low, and that's by voting with our feet. son demasiado bajos: marcharnos de la em-
When enough of us start leaving, they'll start presa. Cuando bastantes de nosotros comen-
listening. cemos a irnos, deberan escucharnos.

Stanley 91
23. Exercise 1,000 everyday idioms in business

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 In a position where one is likely to be 13 To ensure, before accusing others, that
attacked: Nuestro departamento va a ser one is not guilty of the same faults: Be-
el que va a recibir todas las criticas. fore he starts criticizing us, let him .
2 To tell someone things about himself 14 To do or say something without restraint
which are unpleasant but true, often or deception: No oculta sus preferencias.
with the intention of helping him: Le dije ISA subject that causes disagreement
cuatro verdades. whenever it is discussed: Es la manzana
3 (saying) What is done is done and it is de la discordia entre ellos.
pointless complaining about it: A lo 16 To be out of favour with somebody: En
hecho, pecho. este momento, esta de malas con
4 To claim that a person or organisation is nosotros.
responsible for something bad: Le echo 17 To forget past quarrels: Lo pasado,
la culpa de todo a su socio. pasado esta\
5 (a plan, an idea, etc.) To discourage 18 To find faults or mistakes in something:
something by raising objections: We No cesaban de encontrar defectos a mi
suggested that a number of changes argumento.
be made, but the division heads 19 To have no feelings of bitterness after
over our proposals. being beaten in a fight or argument: No
6 An insult or rebuff: Union representatives les guardo ningun rencor por como me
said they considered management's of- trataron.
fer to be a for mine workers 20 To expose oneself to attack, blame, etc:
throughout the country. Esto nos expondria a las criticas.
7 To have something to complain about 21 (an argument, a plan, a case, etc) To
or reason for displeasure with someone: destroy something completely by high-
Dile a Marcus que tengo cuentas que lighting its weak points: I've rarely seen
ajustar con el. such a poorly conceived advertising cam-
8 To treat something quickly and unsympa- paign. My God, you could .
thetically: La idea fue rechazada de piano. 22 To compensate for some injury or insult:
9 To cause offence to someone after al- Deberia compensarnos por su negligencia.
ready having harmed him in some other 23 To tell someone that his behaviour is no
way: Y por si fuera poco tuve que pagarle longer tolerable: He may be the boss if
la comida. he tries any sexual harassment with me,
10 (criticism, disappointment, etc.) To be I'll soon .
greatly upset or influenced by something: 24 To criticize every detail of something se-
Se tomaron las crfticas muy a pecho. verely: He had not expected them to
11 To depress, discourage or prevent some- accept his project unreservedly, but nei-
thing: La mala noticia estropeo las fiestas. ther had he expected them to .
12 To show that you do not support a com- 25 To dispel tensions or worries, especially
pany's policies by leaving the company: by discussing them: A furious argument
Knowing it was pointless to protest of that kind is always disagreeable, but
against the pay cut, he decided to . at least it for a while.

92 Stanley
24. Reactions 1 , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in business

not bat an eyelid no pestanear, no inmutarse


He listened to the chairman's criticism without Escuch6 la critica del presidente sin
batting an eyelid. pestanear.
take a dim view of sth ver algo con malos ojos
While the parents and kids took a dim view Mientras que los padres y los hijos no veian
of liberal arts, business leaders called the hu- con buenos ojos las humanidades, los lideres
manities essential to developing critical think- empresariales insistian en que eran esenciales
ing and problem-solving skills. para desarrollar la capacidad critica para resol-
ver los problemas.
take sth lying down aceptar algo sin rechistar
P&G's market share fell from 31.6% to 25.3%. La cuota de mercado de P&G cayo del 31,6%
Nobody expects P&G to take this lying al 25,3%. Nadie espera que P&G acepte esto
down, but the company has not yet com- sin rechistar, pero la empresa aun no ha co-
mented on how it will respond. mentado nada sobre las soluciones que va a
adoptar.
not lose any sleep over sth no perder el sueno por algo
I'm not losing any sleep over one bad period No pierdo el sueno por pasar por un periodo
of earnings. I'm losing sleep over meeting de pocos ingresos. Pero si que lo pierdo por
our future challenges. cumplir con nuestros futures compromises.
be thankful for small mercies dar las gracias por ir tirando
It is true that our profits have fallen sharply, Es verdad que nuestros beneficios han caido
but in a period of recession, when many small mucho, pero en un periodo de recesion,
companies like ours are being driven into cuando muchas empresas pequenas como la
bankruptcy, we must be thankful for nuestra est^n quebrando, debemos dar las
small mercies. gracias por ir tirando.
look on the bright side mirar el lado positive de las cosas
Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi opened parlia- El primer ministro Keizo Obuchi abrio el mar-
ment on Tuesday pleading for people to snap tes el parlamento pidiendo que la gente deja-
out of their recession-fuelled gloom and look ra de ver a traves de la bruma de la recesion y
on the bright side. mirara el lado positive de las cosas.
stretch a point hacer una excepcion
According to company policy, you aren't enti- De acuerdo con la politica de la empresa, no
tled to follow a training course of this kind puedes seguir un curso de formacion de
until you've been employed with us for at este tipo hasta que hayas estado con noso-
least a year. But in your case, for operational tros al menos un ano. Pero en tu caso, por
reasons, we've decided to stretch a point. motives operatives, hemos decidido hacer
una excepci6n.
be sick and tired of sth estar harto de algo
We are sick and tired of the very high level Estamos hartos del alto nivel impositivo que
of taxation on German companies. If we are grava las empresas alemanas. Si hemos de ser
to be competitive, the government must cut competitivos, el gobierno debe recortar los im-
taxes. puestos.
take sides with sb ponerse de parte de alguien
There are not many issues on which I would No hay muchos temas sobre los cuales puedo
take sides with Walker rather than with ponerme de parte de Walker en lugar de
Clark, but this is one of them. My figures sup- Clark, pero este es uno de ellos. Mis cifras res-
port everything Walker said. paldan todo lo que dijo Walker.

Stanley 93
Reactions 1,000 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

cut one's losses reducir las perdidas


Hiring people is an art, not a science. When Contratar a la gente es un arte, no una cien-
you realise you've made a mistake, you need cia. Cuando te das cuenta de que has cometi-
to cut your losses and start over again. do un error, tienes que reducir las perdidas y
volver a empezar.
clutch at straws aferrarse a una esperanza vana
There's absolutely no chance that the GM will No hay la minima posibilidad de que el direc-
reverse his decision, and Fulton knows it. It's tor general cambie de parecer, y Fulton lo
true he's asked for a meeting to re-examine sabe. Es verdad que ha pedido una reunion
the matter, but he's clutching at straws. It's para volver a examinar el asunto, pero se est3
been decided, and that's that. aferrando a una esperanza vana. La decisi6n
ha sido ya tomada y no hay vuelta de hoja.
put a brave face on sth poner al mal tiempo buena cara
Mr Marcus puts a brave face on the past Mr Marcus pone al mal tiempo buena cara so-
few years of falling profits. "The company bre los cada vez mas reducidos beneficios de
has not lost any of its big customers, nor has los ultimos arios. "La empresa no ha perdido
it seen staff turnover accelerate,' he says. ninguno de sus grandes clientes, ni ha visto
en ningun momento incrementarse la renova-
cion de la plantilla", dijo.
it's sour grapes las uvas estan verdes
When they took away his company car, he Cuando le quitaron su automovil de empresa,
said he had never liked driving a Mercedes dijo que nunca le habia gustado conducir un
anyway - but of course, that was just sour Mercedes - pero claro, es que las uvas estaban
grapes. verdes.
get a grip on oneself controlarse
When they rejected our revised proposals af- Cuando rechazaron nuestras propuestas tras
ter only a few seconds' deliberation, I thought algunos segundos de deliberacidn, pens£ que
John was going to lose his temper. But he im- John iba a explotar. Pero enseguida Iogr6 con-
mediately got a grip on himself and even trolarse e incluso consigui6 darles las gracias
managed to thank them for their time and at- por su tiempo y atencion.
tention.
ser tozudo,
dig one's heels in mantenerse en sus trece
The problem with Angela is that the more you El problema con Angela es que cuanto mas se
try to convince her she's wrong, the more intenta convencerla de que esta equivocada,
she digs her heels in and refuses to listen. mas se mantiene en sus trece, y se niega a es-
cuchar.
hacer que uno tome
whet sb's appetite for sth el gusto por algo
With the privatisation of Deutsche Telekom, Con la privatizaci6n de Deutsche Telekom, mi-
millions of individual investors have been llones de inversores individuales se han visto
brought into German stocks for the first time. atraidos por primera vez por las acciones ale-
DT's success should only whet the average manas. El exito de DT deberia hacer que el
German's appetite for equities. alem^n medio tome gusto por los valores del
capital.
estar contento de haberse
be glad to see the back of sb quitado a alguien de encima.
The financial markets were in no doubt Los mercados financieros no dudaron de c6mo
about how to react to the resignation of the reaccionar ante la renuncia del controvertido

94 Stanley
Reactions 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

controversial German finance minister — they ministro de finanzas aleman; se alegraron de


were glad to see the back of him. haberselo quitado de encima.
adoptar una postura
take a hard line on sth firme con respecto a algo
The Clinton administration had taken a Hasta este ano la administraci6n Clinton habia
hard line on Chinas membership of the WTO adoptado una postura firme con respecto a la
until this year. It now argues that disputes inclusion de China en la OMC. Ahora insisten
over trade with Beijing can be settled more en que las disputas comerciales con Beijing se
easily in a multilateral framework. pueden resolver mas facilmente con una es-
tructura multilateral.
grin and bear it aguantarse
There has not been any sustained period of Desde que la Union Sovietica se hundio en
economic growth since the Soviet Union col- 1991, no ha conocido ningun periodo de cre-
lapsed in 1 991. And the only thing the gov- cimiento econdmico. Y lo Qnico que el gobierno
ernment can tell the people is to grin and puede decir a la gente es que aguante, que el
bear it, growth is just around the corner. crecimiento est3 a la vuelta de la esquina.
at the drop of a hat en cualquier momento
If finding an attractive and appropriate loca- Si resulta importante encontrar una ubicaci6n
tion is important, many agencies can pro- atractiva y apropiada, muchas agencias pue-
vide a short-list of suitable sites at the den proporcionar en cualquier momento una
drop of a hat. lista reducida de lugares adecuados.
to make a virtue of necessity hacer de la necesidad virtud
More than one middle-aged corporate em- Al perder su empleo, mas de un empleado
ployee, on losing his job, has learned to corporative de mediana edad ha aprendido a
make a virtue of necessity and recycled hacer de la necesidad virtud y se ha reciclado
himself as a consultant. como consultor.
pick up the pieces volver a empezar, rehacer su vida
Why do many so-called failures find success ^Por que tantos supuestos fracasados tienen
the second time around? How are so many exito la segunda vez que lo intentan? iComo
entrepreneurs able to pick up the pieces es que tantos empresarios son capaces de vol-
and start all over again? You might say that ver a empezar? Se podria decir que han fraca-
they fail to succeed. sado para tener exito.
lose heart descorazonarse, desanimarse
He's already shown his invention to dozens of Ya ha mostrado su invento a docenas de em-
companies, but they've all turned it down. Af- presas, pero todas lo han rechazado. Tras tan-
ter so many rejections, he's beginning to lose tos rechazos, esta empezando a desanimarse.
heart.
turn a blind eye hacer la vista gorda
I consider myself a reasonably tolerant and Me considero una persona razonablemente to-
broad-minded person, but I cannot turn a lerante y de mente abierta, pero no puedo ha-
blind eye to an office romance which is dis- cer la vista gorda a un romance de oficina
rupting the day-to-day operation of this de- que esta perturbando la rutina del departa-
partment. mento.
turn a deaf ear hacer oidos sordos
Turning a deaf ear to government advice, Haciendo oldos sordos a los consejos del go-
rice farmers in Thailand have increased their bierno, los cultivadores de arroz de Tailandia
cultivation areas by 45% above the state-rec- han incrementado sus zonas de cultivo de un
ommended limit. 45% por encima del limite recomendado por
el estado.

Stanley 95
24. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To limit one's losses by putting an end issue, Mrs Thatcher prided herself on
to their cause: Deberiamos cortar por her ability .
lo sano y abandonar el negocio. 13 To accept something done to harm one
2 (used when a person fails to get what without opposition: Cuando se lo digas,
he wants and then claims that he didn't no se va a quedar de brazos cruzados.
want it anyway} It's because of envy or 14To make an exception: I'm prepared to
bitterness: Dijo que en cualquier caso from time to time, if it's neces-
el trabajo habria resultado aburrido, sary, but I have no intention of making
pero era s6lo por envidia. a habit of it.
3 To refuse to do something, e.g. change 15 To manage with something although
one's opinions, especially when one is it may not be what one wanted:
under pressure to do so: Se mantuvo Tendremos que arregl^rnoslas con lo
en sus trece y no hubo quien la que tenemos.
convenciera. 16 To not worry excessively or be anxious
4 To be willing to try anything to escape about something: No voy a perder el
from a difficult or dangerous situation: sueno por ello.
Se ha aferrado a una esperanza vana. 17 To restore order to something after a
5 To make someone eager to obtain fight or other unexpected event: Esta
(learn, hear, see, etc.) more of some- tratando de rehacer su vida.
thing: La experiencia habia hecho que 18 Not to show any signs of emotion:
le tomara el gusto a viajar por el Cuando el anuncio su dimision, ella ni
extranjero. se inmuto.
6 To take firm control of oneself: Este tipo 19To become discouraged: Han perdido
de comportamiento no conduce a la ilusi6n por el proyecto.
nada. jContrblate! 20 To concentrate on the advantages rather
7 To try to appear happy or unworried in than the disadvantages of a situation:
spite of difficulty or misfortune: Estaba Siempre le ve el lado bueno a todo.
muy desilusionada pero puso buena cara. 21 To disapprove of something: Ven este tipo
8 To pretend not to notice something: La de comportamiento con muy malos ojos.
compania hace la vista gorda a las 22At any moment, without warning:
llamadas telefbnicas particulares. Podrfan despedirnos a todos sin mas ni
9 To refuse to listen to something, e.g. a m^s.
request: Hicieron oldos sordos a 23 To support one person in an argument
nuestras advertencias. rather than another: Me niego a tomar
10 To be happy to get rid of somebody: partido por nadie cuando empiezan a
Me alegr£ mucho cuando se fueron. discutir.
11 (in a bad situation} To be grateful that 24 To suffer pain or disappointment with-
some things are not as bad as the rest: out complaining: No tendr^s m^s
Bueno, debemos dar las gracias por los remedio que poner al mal tiempo
pequenos favores. buena cara.
12 To be uncompromising, to not give in: 25To be very annoyed at something:
Whatever the situation, whatever the Estamos hartos de tus quejas.

96 Stanley
25. Opportunities 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

take advantage of sth aprovechar algo


No European country has been more aggres- Ningun pals europeo ha sido tan agresivo
sive than Germany about taking advantage como Alemania a la hora de aprovechar las
of new opportunities in Eastern Europe and nuevas oportunidades en Europa del Este y
the former Soviet Union. en la antigua Unibn Sovietica.
make the most of sth aprovechar algo al maximo
Because the cost of travel can also be meas- Como el coste de los viajes tambien se puede
ured in lost work time, it's important to make medir en tiempo de trabajo perdido, es impor-
sure you make the most of your travel time, tante asegurarse de que aprovechas al maxi-
by using modern devices like cellular phones, mo tu tiempo durante el viaje, usando
pagers and laptop computers. aparatos modernos como el m6vil, el busca y
el ordenador port^til.
kill two birds with one stone matar dos pajaros de un ti
Go ahead and take your cellular phone and Animate y llevate el m6vil y el modem a la pla-
modem to the beach. On a working vacation ya. Durante unas vacaciones de trabajo, pue-
you kill two birds with one stone: you des matar dos pajaros de un tiro: cambias un
get a relaxing change of scene and you get poco de ambiente y haces algo de trabajo.
some work done.
no hay mal
it's a blessing in disguise que por bien no veng
Last year's crises in the emerging markets Como no hay mal que por bien no venga,
were a blessing in disguise for the US, as para los Estados Unidos la crisis del ano pasa-
the economy benefited from cheaper imports do en los mercados emergentes resulto benefi-
and lower commodity prices. ciosa, ya que la economia se beneficio de
importaciones mas baratas y mercancias a pre-
cios mas bajos.
have the best of both worlds tener todas las ventajas
The guidelines which the IRS uses to decide a Las pautas que usa Hacienda para determinar
worker's status, i.e. whether he's an employee la situacion de un trabajador, es decir, si es
or an independent contractor, say essentially empleado o aut6nomo, establecen que uno
that he can't have the best of both no puede tenerlo todo. Es una cosa u otra.
worlds. He's either one or the other.
play one's cards right jugar bien las cartas
If he plays his cards right, he'll be run- Si juega bien sus cartas, estara al mando de
ning this company when old Pierrie retires. esta empresa cuando el viejo Pierrie se retire.
have a crack at sth intentar algo
Household goods, furniture, consumer elec- Los articulos para el hogar, los muebles, la
tronics, drugs, toys, home mortgages, auto- electronica, las medicinas, losjuguetes, las hi-
mobiles, insurance, health care: all are areas potecas, los autom6viles, los seguros, los ser-
in which one or more companies are having vicios sanitarios:estas son las areas en las
a crack at being the next Amazon.com. cuales una o mas empresas estan intentando
convertirse en el pr6ximoAmazon.com.
let sth slip through one's fingers dejar escapar una oportunidad
Through a mixture of ignorance and compla- Por una mezcla de ignorancia y autocompla-
cency, they let the chance of a major contract cencia, dejaron que se les escapara la oportu-
slip through their fingers. nidad de conseguir un contrato importante.
while the going is good mientras podamos
Business is rather slack at the moment. Why El negocio esta algo flojo de momento ¿Por.
don't you take a couple of weeks' holiday que no te tomas unas vacaciones de un par
while the goings good? Who can say de semanas mientras puedas? ^Quien sabe
when you'll get the chance again? cuando volveras a tener esta oportunidad?

Stanley 97
Opportunities 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

break new ground abrir nuevos caminos


When the Hubco project was negotiated in Cuando se negocio el proyecto Hubco a me-
the mid-1980s, it broke new ground diados de los anos 80, abrio nuevos caminos
through the innovative use of World Bank con el uso innovador de las garantias del Ban-
guarantees and rapidly became a model for co Mundial y se convirtib rapidamente en el
such projects. modelo a seguir en proyectos de este tipo.
make hay while the sun shines a la ocasion la pintan calva
Low interest rates, a bull market for stocks, Bajos tipos de interes, un mercado bursatil en
massive profits - in short, this is as good as it auge, beneficios masivos - en resumen, la me-
gets on Wall Street. Smart investors are mak- jor situacibn posible en la bolsa. Los
ing hay while the sun shines. inversores inteligentes estan al tanto, ya que a
la ocasi6n la pintan calva.
strike while the irons hot aprovechar la ocasion
The boss is in a really good mood this morn- El jefe esta de muy buen humor esta manana
ing because of all the new orders we've re- por todos los nuevos pedidos que hemos reci-
ceived. If you still want to ask for a raise, I bido. Si aun quieres un aumento de sueldo,
suggest you strike while the iron is hot. sugiero que no desaproveches la ocasi6n.
not look a gift horse a caballo regalado
in the mouth no le mires el diente
Seeing that I had so much work to do, he of- Al ver que tenia tanto trabajo que hacer, se
fered to help me. Well, I wasn't going to look ofrecio para ayudarme. Bueno, a caballo rega-
a gift horse in the mouth, was I? I ac- lado no le mires el diente, £no? Asi que acep-
cepted immediately. t£ de inmediato.
hand sth to sb on a plate poner algo a alguien en bandeja
You have to make a lot of calls, you have to Hay que hacer muchas llamadas, hay que via-
do a lot of travelling. It's damned hard work. jar mucho. El trabajo es muy dificil. Pero, por
But then you don't expect people to hand otra parte, uno no espera que la gente le
you their business on a plate, do you? ponga sus contratos en bandeja, ^verdad?
out of the blue como llovido del cielo
Even in today's world of giant mergers, yester- Incluso en el mundo actual de las grandes fu-
day's takeover of Rothmans International by siones, la adquisici6n de Rothmans
British American Tobacco came out of the International por British American Tobacco
blue: a nice surprise or a nasty shock, de- vino como llovida del cielo: una sorpresa
pending on your viewpoint. agradable o un disgusto horroroso, depende
de c6mo se mire.
miss the boat perder el tren
As any budding entrepreneur knows, growth Como lo sabe cualquier empresario novato, el cre-
is a tricky thing. Grow too slowly, and you cimiento es una cosa complicada. Si se crece de-
miss the boat; expand too quickly, and you masiado despacio, se pierde el tren; si se crece
may harm the business. demasiado rapido se puede perjudicar el negocio.
estar a la altura
rise to the occasion de las circunstancias
During the three months the department head Durante los tres meses en los que el jefe del
was in hospital, Henry had to run everything departamento estuvo en el hospital, Henry
by himself. It can't have been easy for him, tuvo que llevarlo todo solo. No debi6 ser facil,
but he rose to the occasion splendidly. pero estuvo a la altura de las circunstancias.
few and far between poqufsimos, muy escasos
During the 1950s, a sort of golden age for Durante los anos 50, una especie de epoca
the construction industry, builders and clients dorada para la industria de la construcci6n,
got along pretty well. Construction firms oper- los constructores y los clientes se llevaban bas-
ated on margins of about 10%, and lawsuits tante bien. Las empresas de construccion ope-
were few and far between. raban con un margen de beneficio del 10% y
las demandas judiciales eran muy escasas.

98 Stanley
Opportunities ,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

gain a foothold lograr establecerse


P&G saw the need for a pleasant-smelling de- P&G vio la necesidad que tenia Europa del
tergent in Eastern Europe (local detergents Este de un detergente de olor agradable (los
smelted of chemicals), so it introduced a low- detergentes locales olian a quimica), asi que
priced version of its well-known European introdujeron una versi6n barata de Ariel, su
brand, Ariel. Its aim was to gain a foothold conocida marca europea. Su meta era lograr
in the market. establecerse en el mercado.
meterse en algo
get in on the ground floor of sth desde el principio
"We hired Jeff in 1981,' says Gates, "because "Contratamos a Jeff en 1981," dice Gates,
he was a very energetic, sharp guy who "porque era un tipo listo con mucha energia
wanted to get in on the ground floor of que queria introducirse desde el principio en
the software industry.' la industria del software."
be up for grabs estar iibre, estar disponible
As you all know, Dick Wallace will be retiring Como todos sabeis, Dick Wallace se jubilara a
at the end of the year. That means, of course, finales de afio. Eso significa naturalmente que
that his job will be up for grabs. Any of su puesto quedar^ vacante. Todos aquellos
you who are interested can get a standard ap- que esteis interesados, podeis conseguir la so-
plication form from administration. licitud standard en administracidn.
puedes darle un consejo a
you can lead a horse to water but alguien, pero no puedes obligarlo
you can't make it drink a que lo siga
It's always sad when an apprentice refuses to Siempre es triste cuando un aprendiz se niega
make the most of the opportunities we offer a sacarle el maximo provecho a las oportuni-
him here. But there you are: you can lead a dades que le ofrecemos. Pero, asi es la vida:
horse to water but you can't make it se le puede dar un consejo a alguien, pero no
drink. se le puede obligar a que lo siga.
no hay mal
every cloud has a silver lining que por bien no venga
Sometimes dismissal provides the push you A veces un despido le ofrece a uno el empuje
need to break out of a rut. Don't be afraid to que necesita para salir de su rutina. No hay
look for work in a new industry or consider a que tener miedo de buscar trabajo en una in-
new type of job. Look for the silver lining. dustria nueva o de tener en mente un nuevo
tipo de trabajo. Hay que ser optimista.
have a finger in every pie estar metido en todo
As well as being a member of the town coun- Ademas de ser miembro del consejo munici-
cil, he's on the board of four different compa- pal, est3 en la junta de cuatro empresas distin-
nies, and he belongs to at least half a dozen tas y pertenece al menos a media docena de
clubs and societies. He has a finger in clubs y sociedades. Esta metido en todo.
every pie.
the sky's the limit todo es posible, no hay limite
In the past we sold exclusively to smaller busi- En el pasado vendiamos exclusivamente a
nesses. The trend for the future will be to at- empresas pequenas. La tendencia en el fu-
tract larger companies, including huge corpo- turo es la de atraer como clientes a empre-
rations, as clients. In terms of potential sales, sas mas grandes, incluyendo las
the sky's the limit. multinacionales. En terminos de ventas po-
tenciales, todo es posible.

Stanley 99
25. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 everyday i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To allow someone to obtain something 14 To have the advantages of two differ-


easily, without having to work for it: If ent situations: Tienes todas las ventajas.
we want to increase our market share, 15 To pioneer something, to make a dis-
we're going to have to take business covery: Estan haciendo trabajo de
from our competitors; they aren't go- pioneros en el tratamiento de esta
ing to . enfermedad.
2 Completely unexpectedly: La carta Ileg6 16 While conditions are favourable: Yo que
cuando menos me lo esperaba. tu lo compraria ahora, aprovechando
3 To fulfil two purposes with one ac- el buen momento.
tion: Asi podriamos matar dos pajaros 17 (saying) No matter how bad a situation
de un tiro. is, something good will always come
4 Very infrequent, rare or uncommon: Los from it: No hay mal que por bien no
buenos profesores son contadlsimos venga.
5 To handle an unexpected situation well: 18 To be obtainable by anybody: El puesto
Estuvieron a la altura de las circuns- esta vacante.
tancias. 19 To profit from something while one has
6 To act correctly or intelligently to gain the chance, especially to have a good
an advantage in a particular situation: time while one can: A la ocasion la
If you he may appoint you as pintan calva.
his successor. 20 Something that is disagreeable at first
7 To be involved in many activities, often but later proves to be an advantage:
for personal gain: Esta metido en todo. No te preocupes, puede que todo sea
para bien.
8 To not find fault with a gift or offer of
21 There are no limits, e.g. to the amount
help: A caballo regalado no le mires el
of money that can be earned: China's
dentado.
an inconceivably large market. If we
9 To be too late to profit from an oppor- can sell there, .
tunity: Se me pas6 el plazo de solicitud.
22 To make an attempt at something diffi-
lOTo make good use of something: cult: Dejame probar a ver si puedo
Aprovech6 al maximo la oportunidad. arreglarlo.
11 To get a good position from which fur- 23 (saying) You can advise and help a per-
ther progress can be made: Es difkil son, but you cannot make him do some-
introducirse en el mercado japon£s. thing he does not want to do: Puedes
12 (opportunities, money, etc.) To lose some- darle un consejo a alguien, pero no
thing, usually through negligence or in- puedes obligarlo a que lo siga.
activity: Dej6 escapar la oportunidad. 24To act now, when one is ready and
13 To participate in the early stages of likely to succeed: Mejor que se lo digas
something, with the promise of future ahora, en caliente.
rewards: He said the business would 25 To put something to the best possible
make thousands and offered me the use: Tenemos que aprovechar al
chance . maximo este buen tiempo.

100 Stanley
26. Risk 1 , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

keep one's fingers crossed esperar que todo saiga bien


Our main competitor is in a better position Nuestro principal competidor esta en mejor
than us to win this contract. But until they an- posicion para ganar este contrato. Pero hasta
nounce the result officially, we're keeping que anuncien el resultado oficial, esperemos
our fingers crossed. que todo saiga bien.
be touch and go no estar nada seguro
In the end we managed to get an agreement, Al final conseguimos llegar a un acuerdo,
but it was touch and go all the way. The pero, por un instante todo estuvo en el aire.
negotiations could have broken down at any Las negociaciones se podian haber roto en
moment. cualquier momento.
a shot in the dark un palo de ciego
They asked me how much I thought the com- Me preguntaron cuanto pensaba que valia la
pany was worth and, without thinking, I empresa y sin pensarmelo, les di una cifra.
named a figure. It was a complete shot in Fue un palo de ciego, pero resulto estar bas-
the dark, but it turned out to be pretty close tante cerca de la verdad.
to the truth.
a long shot una posibilidad remota
We just called the magazine and asked them if Llamamos a la revista y les preguntamos si es-
they'd be interested in doing an article about tarian interesados en publicar un articulo so-
our service. It was a long shot, of course, bre nuestro servicio. Era una posibilidad
but it worked. They sent down a reporter and remota, claro esta, pero funcion6. Enviaron
we got lots of free publicity. un reportero y conseguimos mucha publici-
dad gratuita.
on the off-chance por si acaso
I don't really know why I keep such detailed No se por que mantengo unos ficheros tan
files on all my customers. I suppose I do it detallados de todos mis clientes. Supongo
on the off-chance they'll come in useful que lo hago por si acaso algun dia me resul-
some day. tan utiles.
no tener
not have a dog's chance ni la mas remota posibilidad
At the beginning of the year they were pre- A principios de ano pensaban conseguir ingre-
dicting revenues of $ 100 million. However, sos de 100 millones de ddlares. Sin embargo,
unless something remarkable happens in the a no ser que ocurra algo extraordinario, no
last quarter, they don't stand a dog's tienen ni la mas remota posibilidad de alcan-
chance of reaching their target. zar su meta.
play with fire jugar con fuego
Charlene Barshefsky, US trade representative, Charlene Barshefsky, la representante comer-
yesterday pledged to stand firm against do- cial de los EE UU, prometi6 ayer mantenerse
mestic pressures to erect trade barriers. "It firme contra las presiones nacionales para le-
would be playing with fire," she said, "for vantar las barreras comerciales. "Seria jugar
Americans to limit imports artificially." con fuego," dijo, "que los americanos limita-
ran artificialmente las importaciones."
it's anybody's guess vete tu a saber
A new world of telecommunications is just Se esta abriendo un nuevo mundo en el am-
opening up, and what will happen in the next bito de las telecomunicaciones, y vete tu a
five years is anybody's guess. saber lo que ocurrira en los cinco pr6ximos
anos.

Stanley 101
Risk 1,000 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

skate on thin ice pisar un terreno resbaladizo


I realise you wanted to make the sale, but you Me doy cuenta de que querias hacer la venta,
were skating on very thin ice when you pero estabas pisando un terreno resbaladizo
said we could deliver the order in full by Sep- cuando dijiste que podriamos entregar todo el
tember. We have no idea what the production pedido para septiembre. No tenemos ni idea
schedule at the plant is going to be. de cual va a ser el plan de produccion de la
planta.
push one's luck tentar la suerte
They agreed to waive the penalty clauses Estuvieron de acuerdo en renunciar a las clau-
when our last consignment was delivered sulas de penalizacion cuando nuestro ultimo
late, but we'd be pushing our luck to ex- envio fue entregado fuera de plazo, pero esta-
pect them to do it again. riamos tentando la suerte al esperar que lo
vuelvan a hacer.
be at the mercy of sth estar a merced de algo
Once companies could go quietly about their Hubo un tiempo en que las empresas podian
business of manufacturing quality products, llevar a cabo tranquilamente sus negocios fa-
innovating, and making a profit without wor- bricando productos de calidad, innovando y
rying much about the external world. No consiguiendo beneficios sin preocuparse mu-
longer. Today's firms are at the mercy of a cho por el mundo exterior. Ya no. Las empre-
global economy. sas de hoy en dia estan a merced de la
economia global.
stick one's neck out arriesgarse, aventurarse
He'd never risk making a suggestion like that Nunca se arriesgaria a hacer una sugerencia
himself. He prefers to let somebody else stick semejante por su cuenta. Prefiere dejar que
their neck out while he waits to see what otro se arriesgue mientras el espera a ver cual
the reaction is. es la reacci6n.
put one's money obrar de acuerdo
where one's mouth is con lo que uno dice
He talked so much about starting his own Hablo tanto sobre poner en marcha su propio
business, he had little choice but to put his negocio que no tuvo mas remedio que obrar
money where his mouth was. "There were de acuerdo con lo que habia dicho. "Habia
people I'd promised jobs to; vendors were prometido puestos de trabajo a la gente; los
coming to me," he said. "I was so far into it, I vendedores acudian a mi", dijo. "Me habia
really couldn't turn back." metido hasta tal punto, que ya no podia vol-
verme atras."
against the odds contra todo pronostico
Launching a product without first carefully de- Lanzar un producto sin haber definido antes
fining your target market is like shooting with con precision tus objetivos de mercado es
your eyes closed: you may score a hit if you're como disparar con los ojos cerrados: puede
lucky, but it'll be against all the odds. que des en el bianco si tienes suerte, pero iria
contra todo pron6stico.
leave sb to sink or swim abandonar a alguien a su suerte
In many large corporations, new employees En muchas empresas grandes, a los nuevos
are given a copy of the company handbook empleados se les entrega una copia del ma-
and more or less left to sink or swim. It's a nual de la empresa y se les abandona a su
terrible waste, and one which could so easily suerte. Es una pena y es algo que se podria
be avoided. evitar facilmente.
have a close shave salvarse por los pelos
My God, that was a close shave! I almost jDios mio, nos salvamos por los pelos!. Casi se
spilled my coffee all over the keyboard. me cae el cafe encima del teclado.

102 Stanley
Risk 1,000 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

time will tell el tiempo lo dira


We've set ourselves an ambitious target. Nos hemos fijado una meta ambiciosa. Si la
Whether we'll be able to meet it or not, only podemos alcanzar o no, solo el tiempo lo dira.
time will tell.
cut it fine dejar poco margen
Are you sure you'll have enough time to at- <<.Estas seguro de que tendras tiempo suficien-
tend the meeting at 1 1 and then get out to te para llegar a la reuni6n a las M y despues
Heathrow for check-in at 12:30? That's cut- ir hasta Heathrow para coger el vuelo de las
ting it rather fine, isn't it? 12:30? Es dejar poco margen, ^no crees?
play it safe ir a lo seguro
Grubco's offer is tempting, but they're a new La oferta de Grubco es tentadora, pero es una
company, and we don't know much about empresa nueva y no sabemos mucho acerca
them. I prefer to play it safe and give this de ellos. Prefiero ir a lo seguro y dar este con-
contract to a well-established firm, someone trato a una empresa bien establecida, alguien
we've already had dealings with. con quien ya hayamos tratado.
carry out a spot check hacer una inspeccion al azar
If a storekeeper complains a product' s not Si el dueno de una tienda se queja de que un
selling, it may be because it is badly dis- producto no se est3 vendiendo, puede que
played. Hence, the best sales reps carry out sea porque est3 mal presentado. Por lo tanto,
spot checks to see exactly where and how los buenos comerciales llevan a cabo inspec-
their products are shelved in the store. ciones rutinarias para ver exactamente d6nde
y como estan expuestos sus productos en la
tienda.
an unknown quantity una incognita
We know how six of the members of the com- Sabemos c6mo votaran seis de los miembros
mittee will vote, but Hedley, Forsythe and del comite, pero Hendley, Forsythe y
Patterson are unknown quantities. They Patterson son una incognita. Podrian votar a
could vote either way. favor de cualquiera.
hit and miss deja mucho al azar
Their delivery service is very hit and miss; Su servicio de entrega deja mucho al azar;
sometimes you get the goods within 24 hours unas veces se recibe la mercancia en 24 horas
and sometimes you have to wait for weeks. y otras hay que esperar semanas.
at random al azar
The survey involved 500 small and medium- La encuesta involucraba a 500 pequehas y
sized companies selected by the computer at medianas empresas seleccionadas al azar por
random . ordenador.
hang in the balance estar en juego
The sunflower seed crop is still hanging in La cosecha de semillas de girasol aun esta en
the balance. Argentina's bees, which polli- el aire. Las abejas argentinas, que polinizan
nate the flowers, have been busy, but in some las flores, han estado muy ocupadas, pero en
areas the crop has been hit by rain and fungal algunas zonas la cosecha se ha visto afectada
infection. por la lluvia y por una infeccion de hongos.
be out on a limb estar en situacion peligrosa
You can't achieve anything without good No se puede conseguir nada sin un buen res-
backup. It may be an economic crisis which paldo. Puede que una crisis econ6mica te haga
causes you to fail, because you find you're out fracasar, porque te encuentras en una situacion
on a limb and can't do everything yourself. peligrosa y no puedes hacerlo todo tu solo. Tie-
You have to have good people behind you. nes que tener a gente buena detras tuyo.

Stanley 103
26. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To perform a random test: We can't check 14 To take no risks: It would have been
every article that leaves the workshop, cheaper to use a small agency, but we
but we do to ensure that the high- decided and use one of the big
est level of quality is maintained. ones, where quality was guaranteed.
2 In the hope (that something will hap- 1 5 To leave someone to succeed or to fail
pen): No pensaba encontrarlo en la by his own efforts: After a three-day ori-
oficina, pero fui por si acaso. entation course, new recruits are .
3 A factor which cannot be calculated or Whether they survive depends entirely
predicted: Todavla esta por ver c6mo es on them.
el nuevo director de ventas. f 6 To be engaged in a risky activity: Estan
4 To rely too much on continuing good luck: pisando un terreno resbaladizo.
Ten cuidado, estas tentando la suerte. 17 To put one's declared intentions or prom-
5 Inexact, random, sometimes good and ises into action: jA ver si obras en
sometimes bad: Todo es un poco a la consecuencia con lo que dices!
buena de Dios. 18 To leave oneself with very little time to
6 To be defenceless against something: do something: <»Aun no se ha ido? jTiene
The world's stock markets are largely in muy poco margen de tiempo!
the hands of people under 25 years of
19A random guess which is unlikely to be
age, and, whether we like it or not, we
right: I had no idea where the goods had
are of their hunches and impulses.
come from but I made a wild guess any-
7 To wish for good luck by crossing two way. It was , but it proved to be
fingers of the same hand: -iVendra correct.
manana? -Toca madera.
20 (a danger, an injury, a failure, etc.) Some-
8 Without a deliberate intention or accord- thing that was only just avoided, at the
ing to any specific criteria: Fueron last moment: Al final ganamos, pero por
seleccionados al azar.
los pelos.
9 (an event, a person's future, etc.) To be
21 (an event, a result, etc.) It's extremely
undecided and at a critical point: Su
uncertain: Vete tu a saber que va a pasar.
carrera estaba en juego.
22 In spite of the difficulties that would
10 To not have even a very small chance of
success: No tenlamos la mas minima normally make something impossible:
posibilidad de ganar. Obtuvieron el contrato contra todo
pronostico.
11 To take a personal risk, e.g. by doing or
saying something that might get one 23 To take foolish and unnecessary risks:
into trouble: Me arriesgu£ y le ofreci el If you're borrowing money from the
trabajo. company account to cover your per-
sonal overdraft, all I can say is that
12 To be alone in a risky position: Se quedo
you're .
solo defendiendo el proyecto de
investigacibn. 24 (saying) Only the future can provide the
13 To be a highly uncertain situation, close answer: El tiempo lo dira.
to both success and failure: Durante 25A remote possibility: No es seguro ni
algun tiempo no estuvo nada seguro de mucho menos pero en una de £sas
que fuera a estar listo a tiempo. funciona.
104 Stanley
27. Competition 1,000 everyday idioms in business

give sb an edge dar a alguien una clara ventaja


At one stage it was thought that the American En una epoca se penso que la industria ameri-
car industry was doomed to disappear. New cana del automovil estaba condenada a des-
computer technologies, however, have once aparecer. Sin embargo, las nuevas tecnologias
again given it an edge over the Japanese. por ordenador le han dado de nuevo una cla-
ra ventaja sobre los japoneses.
gain ground ganar terreno
Many of the expensive assets large retailers Muchos de los productos caros que los gran-
have built up may become obsolete — espe- des minoristas han ido almacenando pueden
cially as cheaper distribution channels, such hacerse obsoletos, especialmente si los cana-
as the Internet, gain ground. les de distribucion mas baratos como el de
Internet ganan terreno.
play into sb's hands hacerle el juego a alguien
Why are they treating you so badly? It's be- iPor que te tratan tan mal? Es porque no te
cause they can't dismiss you, so they want pueden despedir, asi que quieren que te har-
you to be so fed-up you'll leave by yourself. If tes hasta que te marches. Si renuncias, estaras
you resign, you'll be playing right into haciendoles el juego.
their hands.
stay one jump ahead of sb ir un paso por delante de alguien
Microsoft believes in staying at least one Microsoft espera ir al menos un paso por de-
jump ahead of everybody. When you join lante de los demas. Cuando te unes a la divi-
the company's product planning division, you sion de planificacion de la empresa, te dan
get a card saying: "Your job is to make our una tarjeta que pone: "Tu trabajo es conse-
own products obsolete.' guir que nuestros productos se queden pron-
to obsoletos."
meet one's match encontrar la horma de su zapato
Bill Bradley is one of the toughest negotiators Bill Bradley es uno de los negociadores mas
I've ever known, but I have to admit that he duros que he conocido jamas, pero tengo que
met his match today. They forced him to admitir que hoy ha encontrado la horma de
make concessions on practically every issue. su zapato. Le obligaron a hacer concesiones
en casi todos los puntos.
a nail in sb's coffin un clavo en el ataud de alguien
Marks & Spencer, announcing that it intends Al anunciar que piensa comprar mas mercan-
to buy more goods from abroad, may be ham- cia en el extranjero, Marks & Spencer puede
mering the final nail into the coffin of que este metiendo el ultimo clavo en el ataud
large parts of the UK clothing industry, al- de gran parte de la industria textil del Reino
ready weakened by the strong pound and a Unido, ya debilitada por una libra fuerte y
slowdown in demand. una desaceleracion de la demanda.
be neck and neck ir parejos
Some studies suggest Chinese consumers Algunos estudios sugieren que los consumido-
would be willing to spend a year's salary on a res chinos estarian dispuestos a gastarse el suel-
PC, says Daniel Wong, China manager for AST, do de un ano en un PC, segun Daniel Wong, el
which is running neck and neck with gerente chino de AST, que va emparejada con
Compaq for market leadership. Compaq en el liderazgo del mercado.
beat sb to the punch llegar antes que uno
Waiting until your product is absolutely per- Esperar a que tu producto sea absolutamente
fect is risky, since someone else could beat perfecto es un riesgo, ya que otro podria lle-
you to the punch by patenting a similar gar antes que tu a patentar un producto simi-
product while you're still working on it. lar mientras estas trabajando aim en ello.

Stanley 105
Competition 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

keep pace with sb llevar el mismo ritmo que alguien


As regards productivity, we must either keep En cuanto a la productividad, debemos man-
pace with our main competitors or accept tener el ritmo de nuestros principales competi-
that we are going to lose our present market dores o bien aceptar que perdamos nuestra
share. cuota actual de mercado.
hold one's own defenderse, saber defenderse
With a new line of digital copiers, and a new Con una linea novedosa de copiadoras
focus on the bottom line, Xerox is showing digitales y un nuevo enfoque con respecto al
that it can hold its own against the likes of precio, Xerox esta mostrando que puede de-
Hewlett-Packard and Kodak. fenderse contra los productos similares de
Hewlett-Packard y Kodak.
empezar con gran ventaja con
have a head start over sb respecto a alguien
Even if Compaq, Gateway and the others Incluso si Compaq, Gateway y demas se lan-
move into direct selling, Dell has a huge zan a la venta directa. Dell ya tiene una gran
head start. ventaja con respecto a ellos.
give sb a run for his money hacer sudar alguien
As a large international firm, they're favourites Al ser una gran empresa internacional, ellos
to win this contract. On the other hand, as a son los favorites para conseguir este contrato.
local firm we're certainly in a position to give Por otra parte, al ser una empresa local, nos
them a run for their money. encontramos sin duda en una buena posicion
para hacerles sudar.
be in the running tener posibilidades de ganar
Disney is now in the running to build Ahora Disney tiene la posibilidad de ganar los
theme parks in Hong Kong and possibly contratos para la creaci6n de parques temati-
China. cos en Hong Kong y posiblemente en China.
the rat race la competitividad despiadada
When I retired I felt like a burden had been Cuando me jubile, sent! como si me hubiesen
taken off my shoulders. I never slept better in quitado un gran peso de encima. Nunca ha-
my life. I was out of the rat race. bia dormido mejor en mi vida. Me habia libra-
do de la competitividad despiadada.
jump on the bandwagon subirse al tren
Thanks to Honda, Sony, Seiko, Toyota and Gracias a Honda, Sony, Seiko, Toyota y
Nissan, Japanese industry is well known all Nissan, la industria japonesa es muy conocida
over the world. All other brands subsequently en todo el mundo. Todas las demas marcas se
jumped on the bandwagon. Aiwa and han subido al tren. Aiwa y Sanyo, por ejem-
Sanyo, for example, managed to take advan- plo, consiguieron aprovecharse de la imagen
tage of the image created by the leaders. creada por los lideres.
get in on the act subirse al carro
This will almost certainly be the last time that Esta sera,sin duda, la ultima vez que 60 de los
60 out of the World Cup's 64 games are 64 partidos del Mundial scan transmitidos por
broadcast live on terrestrial television. By television terrestre. Para el 2002, los canales
2002, subscription channels will have got in de pago se habran subido al carro.
on the act.
be streets ahead of sb estar muy por encima de alguien
From an engineering point of view, the Desde el punto de vista de la ingenieria, los
Japanese are designing car engines which japoneses estan disenando motores de coches
are streets ahead of ours in terms of que estan muy por encima de los nuestros en
performance and fuel consumption. All we cuanto a rendimiento y consumo. Lo unico que
can hope to do is offer something cheaper. podemos hacer es ofrecer algo mas barato.

106 Stanley
Competition 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

knock spots off sb veneer facilmente a alguien


Fujitsu is still predicting profits. On this score Fujitsu sigue pronosticando beneficios. Aun-
alone, it knocks spots off its rivals among que solo sea por eso, vencera facilmente a sus
Japan's big-five electronics groups, all of rivales, que estan entre los cinco grandes gru-
whom are predicting substantial losses. pos electr6nicos de Jap6n, quienes preven
grandes perdidas.
come off second best salir derrotado
She's one of the most aggressive and competi- Ella es una de las personas mas agresivas y
tive people I've ever met. She hates coming competitivas que conozco. Le sabe muy mal
off second best — in business, in sports, in que le derroten en los negocios, en los depor-
arguments, in anything. tes, en las discusiones, en todo.
be out of the running no tener posibilidades de ganar
Of the 15 candidates we interviewed, 11 had De los 15 aspirantes que entrevistamos, 11 no
no experience of Computer Aided Design at tenian experiencia alguna con el Diseho Asisti-
all, so they were automatically out of the do por Ordenador (CAD), asi que no tenian
running. That left us with a shortlist of 4. ninguna posibilidad de ganar. Eso nos dejo
con una corta lista de 4.
set the pace marcar la pauta
Today, hundreds of new bioengineering firms Actualmente, cientos de nuevas empresas de
are setting the pace for the biotechnical bio-ingenieria estan marcando la pauta de la
revolution. These pioneers are blazing a trail revoluci6n bio-tecnica. Estos pioneros estan
for what many regard as the second great abriendo el camino hacia lo que muchos con-
technological revolution in world history. sideran la segunda gran revolucion tecnologi-
ca de la historia mundial.
stand the pace soportar el ritmo
Actually working in the Stock Exchange, buy- Trabajar en la bolsa comprando y vendiendo
ing and selling, is one of the most stressful es uno de los trabajos mas estresantes que
jobs you can imagine. Only young people can puede uno imaginarse. S6lo lo pueden hacer
do it because once you reach a certain age, los jovenes porque una vez que se llega a
you just can't stand the pace any more. cierta edad, ya no se puede soportar el ritmo.
in the teeth of sth a pesar de algo
It is a highly prestigious contract and we can Es un contrato muy prestigioso y podemos fe-
congratulate ourselves on having won it in licitarnos por haberlo conseguido a pesar de
the teeth of fierce competition. la competencia feroz.
no holds barred sin restriction, sin cuartel
In the modern era of tough customers, no- En esta era moderna de los clientes duros, de
holds-barred competition, and relentless la competencia sin cuartel y de los cambios in-
change, it is vital that every single employee cesantes, es vital que cada uno de los emplea-
understands the economic structure and strat- dos entienda la estructura economica y la
egy of the company. estrategia de la empresa.
be on the cutting edge of sth estar en la vanguardia de algo
Separated from the centre of information and Alejadas del centra de informacion y de los in-
creative exchanges, film companies outside tercambios creativos, las productoras cinema-
Hollywood generally have more trouble re- tograficas establecidas fuera de Hollywood
maining on the cutting edge of business suelen tener mas problemas para mantenerse
practices and technical virtuosity. en la vanguardia de las tendencias empresa-
riales y de la tecnologia.

Stanley 107
27.Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 To have an advantage over others, es- 14 In spite of something, especially oppo-
pecially at the beginning of a race: Nos sition or competition: Los cambios se
llevan ventaja, asi que es probable que llevaron a cabo a pesar de la fuerte
ganen. oposicion.
2 To be far better than someone: La 15 To anticipate someone's next action and
compafiia est3 muy por encima de la be prepared for it: Nos lleva siempre la
competencia. delantera.
3 To defeat someone very easily: Accord-
16 To continue to defend oneself in a dif-
ing to Apple, their latest machines
all comparable PCs. ficult situation: Se defiende bien con los
socios principales.
4 To do exactly what somebody, e.g. an
opponent, wants one to do, usually in- 17 To progress at the same speed as some-
voluntarily: No le hagas el juego, dile one else: No le puedo seguir el ritmo.
que no. 18 To begin to do something that others
5 To be beaten in a fight or competition: are doing because it seems to be prof-
No tengo intenci6n de quedar en un itable or advantageous: Se nos acuso
segundo puesto. de subirnos al carro.
6 To establish the speed or rate which 19 To do something started by others, in
others will try to follow: Europa ha order to enjoy the same success: Trat6
marcado la pauta para la reforma. de meterse en el asunto.
7 To provide someone with strong com-
20 To do or obtain something before some-
petition: No importa, le hicimos sudar.
one else has time to: Alguien se le habla
8 To be able to work or perform at the adelantado.
same level of achievement as others:
Las cosas se desarrollan demasiado 21 To be even in a race or other competi-
r^pido para el. tion: Los dos corredores van parejos.
9 To have a chance of winning: Todavia 22 To come up against an opponent who
tenemos posibilidades de conseguir el is likely to beat one: Dennis Bartley es
contrato. la horma de su zapato.
10 To no longer have a chance of winning: 23 Another contribution to someone's fail-
Han quedado eliminados. ure or destruction: este es otro paso
11 No longer following any rules in one's hacia su destruccibn.
efforts to win: Tiene que ser una 24 To make progress, to become more im-
discusi6n franca, sin ningun tipo de portant: El movimiento de proteccibn
restricciones.
del medio ambiente esta ganando
12 To give someone an advantage: Nos terreno.
colocaria en una posici6n de ventaja
con respecto a nuestros competidores. 25 The pitiless struggle for success in busi-
ness: Estaba decidido a escapar de la
13 To be in the forefront of something,
excesiva competitividad de la vida
especially to be in advance of one's
moderna.
competitors: Estamos en la vanguardia
del desarrollo tecnolbgico.
108 Stanley
28. Teamwork 1,000 everyday idioms in business

two heads are better than one cuatro ojos yen mas que dos
I enjoy working with John on this kind of Disfruto trabajando con John en este tipo
project, not only because two heads are de proyecto, no s6lo porque cuatro ojos
better than one, but also because we have ven mas que dos, sino tambien porque te-
different and complementary ways of looking nemos formas distintas y complementarias
at things. de ver las cosas.
muchas manos en un plato hacen
too many cooks spoil the broth mucho garabato
Each team member is free to express his opin- Cada miembro del equipo es libre de expresar
ion, but once the team leader has made a de- su opinion, pero una vez que el lider ha torna-
cision, everybody has to accept it. That's the do una decision, todos deben aceptarla. Es la
only way to prevent too many cooks from unica forma de evitar que el uno por el otro la
spoiling the broth. casa se quede sin barren
pull ones weight poner de su parte
If one person's not pulling his weight in a Si una persona no esta poniendo todo de su
small company, it can affect the productivity parte en una empresa pequena, ello puede
and morale of everybody else. People think, afectar a la productividad y a la moral de los
"Why am I doing this person's work?' demas. La gente piensa, "iPor que estoy ha-
ciendo el trabajo de esta persona?"
be on the same wavelength estar en la misma onda
A code of ethics gives you a structure within Un codigo etico proporciona un marco dentro
which to make decisions. That code will help del cual se toman las decisiones. Ese codigo
ensure everyone in your company is on the ayudara a que todos en la empresa esten en
same wavelength. la misma onda.
intervenir en algo,
have a hand in sth participar en algo
Fundamentally, this is Weill's company. There Fundamentalmente, esta es la empresa de •
is nothing of significance that goes on here Weill. No ocurre nada importante aqui sin que
that he doesn't personally have a hand in. el intervenga personalmente. Est3 involucrado
He's involved in every detail of the business. en cada detalle de la empresa.
play ball with sb cooperar con alguien
We tried to persuade him to forget about offi- Intentamos persuadirle de que olvidara la politi-
cial company policy and treat the matter as an ca oficial de la empresa y tratara el tema como
exceptional case, but he refused to play un caso excepcional, pero se nego a cooperar.
ball. For him, company policy is a sacred text. Para el, la politica de la empresa es sagrada.
be in the same boat estar en el mismo barco
Juggling career and family obligations, these Al compatibilizar las obligaciones laborales
women tend to empathise with employees con las familiares, estas mujeres tienden a
who are in the same boat. Thus, firms identificarse con las empleadas que estan en
owned by women are more likely to offer flex- el mismo barco. Por lo tanto, las empresas
ible schedules that make life a bit easier for que pertenecen a mujeres tienden a ofrecer
working mothers. horarios mas flexibles que facilitan la vida de
las madres que trabajan fuera de casa.
be in good company no ser el unico
The corporation was founded in 1925 by La empresa fue fundada en 1925 por Walter R
Walter P. Chrysler, a mechanic working for Chrysler, un mecanico que trabajaba para la
General Motors. He rose to division head, but General Motors. Llego a ser jefe de divisi6n,
couldn't get along with GM founder William pero no se llevaba bien con el fundador de
Durant. In that, he was in good company, GM, William Durant. En ese sentido, no era el
for Durant was a notoriously difficult man. unico, ya que Durant tenia fama de ser un
hombre dificil.

Stanley 109
Teamwork 1 , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

see eye to eye with sb estar de acuerdo con alguien


Vietnam and Japan haven't always seen eye Vietnam y Jap6n no siempre han estado de
to eye. But Japanese prime minister Keizo acuerdo. Pero el primer ministro japones Keizo
Obuchi, on an official visit to Vietnam, believes Obuchi, en visita oficial a Vietnam, cree que
the two countries have much in common. ambos paises tienen mucho en comun.
the driving force la fuerza motriz
When everyone else was tired and discour- Cuando todos los demas estaban cansados y
aged, Jim would always come up with new desanimados, a Jim siempre se le ocurrian
ideas and find new ways to tackle the prob- ideas nuevas y nuevas formas de enfocar el
lem. He was the driving force behind the problema. Era la fuerza motriz que estaba de-
whole project. tr3s del proyecto.
give sb a hand echarle una mano a alguien
If you have any problems writing the final sec- Si tienes algun problema al escribir la seccion
tion of the report, come and see me and I'll final del informe, ven a verme y te echar£ una
give you a hand with it. mano.
go hand in hand estar estrechamente relacionados
Global co-operation now goes hand in La cooperacion global esta ahora estrecha-
hand with global competition. mente relacionada con la competencia global.
ser una y carne,
be hand in glove ponerse de acuerdo
Iraq kept up its defiant rhetoric, accusing Irak mantuvo su retorica desafiante, acusando
France of working hand in glove with its a Francia de estar trabajando una y carne con
British and US enemies and demanding an im- sus enemigos britanicos y americanos, e insis-
mediate lifting of UN sanctions. tiendo en que levantaran de inmediato las
sanciones de la ONU.
do sb a good turn hacerle un favor a alguien
If it doesn't cost you anything to do some- Si no te cuesta nada hacerle un favor a al-
body a good turn, of course you should do guien, claro que deberias hacerlo. Nunca
it. You never know whose help you might sabes a quien tendras que pedir ayuda al-
need someday. gOn dia.
jobs for the boys amiguismo, enchufismo
The split in the EU is not just about money La divisi6n en la UE no s6lo tiene que ver con
and goods. It is also about attitudes to the dinero y mercancia. Tiene que ver tambien
way the EU is run, about jobs for the boys con la manera de gestionar la UE y con los
(and girls). enchufes.
fallar a alguien,
let the side down hacer quedar mal a alguien
After showing our Saudi visitors — all strict Tras mostrar la f^brica a nuestros visitantes
Moslems — around the works, we took them Saudis, todos estrictos musulmanes, les lleva-
to lunch. There, I regret to say, Simpson let mos a comer. Siento tener que informar que
the side down by ordering wine with the Simpson nos hizo quedar mal al pedir vino en
meal and insisting that everybody try it. la comida e insistir en que todos bebieran.
mantenerse al margen,
sit on the sidelines no intervenir
In the late 1980s, IBM sat on the side- A finales de los afios 80, IBM se mantuvo al
lines as Toshiba and others created the margen mientras que Toshiba y otros crearon
laptop computer business and even today, el negocio de los ordenadores portables; aun
Toshiba is still the leader in the laptop hoy, Toshiba sigue siendo el lider en el nego-
business. cio de los ordenadores portables.

110 Stanley
Teamwork , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

no cuadrar (donde se esta),


be a square peg in a round hole no encajar
I don't know what Glover is doing on the sales No se qu£ esta haciendo Glover en el equipo
team, because it's evident to everyone, espe- de ventas, porque es evidente para todos, es-
cially clients, that he just doesn't enjoy selling. pecialmente para los clientes, que no le gusta
He's really a square peg in a round hole. la venta. En realidad no encaja ahi.
en igualdad de condiciones,
on equal terms en un pie de igualdad
Everyone agrees that women should be al- Todos estan de acuerdo en que las mujeres
lowed to compete with men on equal deberian competir con los hombres en igual-
terms. In theory, at least. dad de condiciones. Al menos en teoria.
close ranks cerrar filas, estrechar filas
As the pollution scandal deepened, the direc- Segiin fue empeorando el escandalo de la
tors of Sludgeco closed ranks, refusing to contaminaci6n, los directores de Sludgeco ce-
communicate with the press individually and rraron filas, negandose a dar ruedas de pren-
issuing only carefully-worded joint statements. sa a nivel individual y emitiendo unicamente
declaraciones conjuntas cuidadosamente ela-
boradas.
be as thick as thieves estar a partir un pinon
Those two have been as thick as thieves Estos dos han estado a partir un pinon duran-
for years, so it's not surprising that when one te arios, asi que no es raro que cuando uno
of them hears something interesting, the se entera de algo interesante, el otro tambien
other knows about it as well. lo sabe.
el trabajo compartido
many hands make light work es mas llevadero
This is an enormous project and we have very Este es un proyecto enorme y tenemos muy
little time to complete it. However, I believe poco tiempo para terminarlo. Sin embargo,
that if we all make a special effort, it can be creo que si todos hacemos un esfuerzo, se po-
done. After all, many hands make light dra llevar a cabo. Despues de todo, el trabajo
work. compartido es mas llevadero.
the rank and file las bases, la masa
Branson was vacationing on his private Carib- Branson estaba de vacaciones en su isia priva-
bean island with 20 employees from various da del Caribe con 20 empleados de varias em-
Virgin companies: not senior executives, but presas de Virgin: no eran ejecutivos de alto
the rank and file — a switchboard operator, rango, sino las bases - una operadora de cen-
a reservations clerk, a housekeeper — invited tralita, un oficinista encargado de las reservas
because of excellent performance. de hoteles, una ama de (laves - todos ellos in-
vitados por su excelente rendimiento.
be in cahoots with sb estar confabulado con alguien
You can have a situation where employers Puedes encontrarte con una situaci6n en la
who are in cahoots with each other are que los empresarios estan confabulados entre
able to hold down wages artificially. It some- si para impedir que suban artificialmente los
times happens in remote locations, but it's not sueldos. Esto suele ocurrir en lugares remotos,
the way business is generally done in pero en general las negociaciones no se lie-
America. van a cabo de este modo en America.
hacer algo
do sth in tandem with sb conjuntamente con alguien
In the first half of the Nineties, Grove and En la primera mitad de los anos 90, Grove y
Gates worked in tandem to create increas- Gates trabajaron conjuntamente para crear
ingly powerful Intel microprocessor chips and chips de microprocesadores Intel y software
Windows software, fortifying their position as de Windows cada vez mas potentes, fortale-
leaders of the computer industry. ciendo su posicibn como lideres de la indus-
tria de la informatica.
Stanley 1 11
28. Exercise ,000 everyday idioms in business

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 To work in close association or partner- 14 To co-operate with someone: Intentamos
ship: Se dice que se han puesto de convencerlo, pero no quiso saber nada.
acuerdo con la competencia para fijar 15 To do something by working together
los precios. with another person: Tomamos las
2 (saying) It is easier to solve a problem decisiones en tandem con su
with the help and advice of another per- departamento.
son than by oneself alone: Cuatro ojos
ven mas que dos. 16 The person who provides most of the
energy behind an activity: Es la
3 To help someone in some way: Me has impulsora del proyecto.
hecho un gran favor.
17 To work in close co-operation with some-
4 To be in exactly the same situation as
body, especially with the intention to
someone else: Todos estamos en el
mismo barco. harm somebody else: No puedes confiar
en el, esta confabulado con Neyrolles.
5 To be connected or closely related: Estos
asuntos estan estrechamente rela- 18 (an organisation, a trade union, etc.) The
cionados. ordinary or less important members, i.e.
as opposed to the leaders: Union lead-
6 A system by which jobs are given on the
ers are in favour of accepting the offer
basis of friendships or personal connec-
tions, rather than on the basis of merit: but it is still not certain that the
It's sickening to see how political parties will follow their recommendations.
actually work; At every level it's nothing 19 (saying) The more people there are in-
but . volved in a project, the more likely it is
7 To have similar tastes or opinions to an- to fail: Muchas manos en un plato hacen
other person: No estaba en la misma mucho garabato.
onda que los dem^s. 20 To have a very close relationship: El ano
8 To disappoint one's team by doing some- pasado no podian verse; ahora son una
thing that causes the team not to win: y carne.
Siempre nos hace quedar mal. 21 (in a group) To support each other so as
9 To be able to console oneself with the to oppose any attack: Cierran filas
knowledge that others are in the same cuando se les critica.
bad situation as oneself: No eres el 22 To agree with someone: Esos dos nunca
unico, nos han despedido a todos.
han sido de la misma opini6n.
10To watch events without taking any ac-
23 Not having any advantage, not being
tive part: Hacia anos que se mantenia al
margen de la vida publica. regarded as superior in any way: Las dos
companias no competian en igualdad de
11 To do one's fair share of the work: Cada condiciones.
uno tendra que poner de su parte para
sacar el trabajo adelante. 24 To give help to someone: Nos echaron
una mano.
12 To be someone or something that can-
not fit into a particular situation: Estaba 25 (a plan, an activity, etc.) To play a part in
totalmente fuera de su ambiente. something: I'm quite pleased with the
13 (saying) A job is easier if many people new policy handbook, not least because
share the work: El trabajo compartido I in its creation.
es mas llevadero.

112 Stanley
29. Quality 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

no llegar a alguien
not hold a candle to sb a la suela del zapato
I don't know how you can mention the new No se c6mo puedes comparar a la nueva jefa
office manager and her predecessor in the de oficina con su antecesor. La nueva no le
same breath. The new one doesn't hold a llega a Ms. Lerest ni a la suela del zapato.
candle to Ms. Lerest.
be in a class of one's own ser unico
If you use your PC for occasional desktop pub- Si utilizas tu PC para publicar algo de vez en
lishing, such as preparing promotional litera- cuando, por ejemplo preparar textos publicita-
ture or an in-house newspaper, then this is rios o un periodico de circulacion interna, este
the software for you. Inexpensive and easy to es el software que necesitas. Es unico: no es
learn and use, it's in a class of its own. caro y es facil de utilizar.
not be all it's cracked up to be no ser tan bueno como se dice
"Fame," says Michael Dell, "isn't everything it's "La fama," dice Michael Dell, "no es tan buena
cracked up to be." He should know. But como se dice." El deberia saberlo. Pero Dell
Dell also knows this: the alternative is worse. sabe tambien que lo contrario es peor.
make the grade alcanzar el nivel necesario
A person who is not among the very best will Una persona que no esta entre las mejores
never be able to make the grade at jamas podr3 alcanzar el nivel necesario para
Microsoft — and this disturbs people who Microsoft, y esto molesta a la gente que
think that success is merely a matter of will- cree que el exito es s6lo cuestion de fuerza
power. de voluntad.
get ones moneys worth sacarle jugo al dinero
I'm surprised that there isn't better measurement Me sorprende que no haya un metodo mejor
of the effectiveness of advertising on-line. After para medir la eficacia de la publicidad en la
all, companies usually want to know that they're red. Despues de todo, las empresas quieren
getting their money's worth. saber si le estan sacando jugo al dinero.
not be up to much no valer gran cosa
An exhibition of British oilfield products had Una exhibici6n de productos petroliferos brita-
been organised by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of nicos habia sido organizada por la camara de
Commerce, but it wasn't up to much. comercio de Abu Dhabi, pero no valia gran
There were only a handful of exhibits and cosa. Solo hubo unos pocos expositores y
very little documentation. muy poca documentacion.
be two a penny del monton, baratas
It's obvious that these two-a-penny Taiwan- Es obvio que estas imitaciones taiwanesas ba-
ese imitations of our products are vastly infe- ratas de nuestros productos son realmente in-
rior to the originals. But that doesn't mean feriores a los originales. Pero eso no significa
they aren't going to eat into our market. que no vayan a apoderarse de parte de nues-
tro mercado.
be up to scratch dar la talla
This is the third time I've had to speak to you Esta es la tercera vez que tengq que echarte
about the quality of your work. If it isn't up en cara la calidad de tu trabajo. Si no das la
to scratch before the end of the year, you talla para finales de ano, puedes empezar a
can begin looking for employment elsewhere. buscar trabajo en otro lugar.
be second to none no tener igual
Merrills CEO decided to make the firm's re- El presidente de Merrill decidi6 que el de-
search department second to none. He partamento de investigaci6n de la empresa
went to all the best analysts on Wall Street no tuviera igual. Se fue a ver a los mejores
and offered them jobs at Merrill Lynch — at analistas de Wall Street y les ofrecio un puesto
double or triple their salaries. en Merrill Lynch, duplicando o triplicando sus
salaries.

Stanley 113
Quality ,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

be no great shakes no ser nada del otro mundo


David Bangs is himself no great shakes as a David Bangs no es nada del otro mundo
businessman. But as an observer and com- como empresario. Pero como observador y co-
mentator on the business scene, there is much mentarista del ambito empresarial tiene mu-
in his favour — perhaps because he has made cho a su favor, quizas porque el mismo ha
so many mistakes himself. cometido muchos errores.
put sb to shame hacer pasar verguenza a alguien
Sadaaki Numata is so articulate and precise in Sadaaki Numata es tan claro y precise en su
his use of English that he puts most British uso del ingles que hace pasar verguenza a la
and Americans to shame. mayoria de los britanicos y americanos.
praise sth to the skies poner algo por las nubes
It was one of the most obsequious speeches I Fue uno de los discursos mas chaqueteros
ever heard. He mentioned everything the que habia escuchado nunca. Mencion6 todo
chairman had done over the past three years lo que el presidente habia hecho durante los
and praised every act to the skies. tres ultimos arios y lo puso por las nubes.
scrape the bottom of the barrel rebanar las ultimas migas
I know it's difficult to recruit good program- S£ que hoy en dia es dificil reclutar buenos pro-
mers these days, but even so, I don't intend gramadores, pero aun asi, no pienso rebanar las
to scrape the bottom of the barrel. If we migas. Si no podemos encontrar al hombre indi-
can't find the right man, we'll subcontract. cado, subcontrataremos el servicio.
fly-by-night que no inspira confianza
Cheap but improperly tested medicaments, En varios paises de Sudamerica han aparecido
manufactured by fly-by-night pharmaceu- medicamentos baratos fabricados por empre-
tical companies based in Brazil, have al- sas farmaceuticas de poca confianza con base
ready turned up in several South American en Brasil, que no han sido sometidos a las
countries. pruebas adecuadas.
second-rate de segunda categoria, inferior
They wanted us to be their sole distributors in Querian que fueramos su unico distribuidor
this country, but I turned them down. I felt en este pais, pero les dije que no. Pense que
their products were of inferior quality and sus productos eran de mala calidad y no que-
didn't want our name to be associated with ria que nuestro nombre se viera asociado a
second-rate or third-rate products. productos de segunda o tercera categoria.
beggar description superar toda descripcion
In our laboratories we're testing machines En nuestros laboratories estamos probando
running on the next generation of H6 proces- maquinas que funcionan con la proxima ge-
sors. The performances are not comparable to neracion de procesadores H6. El rendimiento
anything we've seen so far, they simply beg- no es comparable a nada que hayamos visto
gar description. hasta ahora, ya que supera toda descripcion.
los buenos siempre salen
you can't keep a good man down adelante
Three times he was a multimillionaire and Tres veces fue multimillonario y tres veces lo
three times he lost it all. Now he is well on his perdi'6 todo. Ahora va camino de enriquecerse
way to becoming fabulously rich for the fabulosamente por cuarta vez, una prueba fe-
fourth time, living proof that you can't keep haciente de que los que valen siempre salen
a good man down. adelante.
go out of one's way to do sth desvivirse por hacer algo
When buying supplies from local vendors, Al adquirir suministros en las tiendas locales,
O'Brien went out of his way to strike the O'Brien se desvivio por conseguir las mejores
best deals. No savings was too small to merit ofertas. Cualquier ahorro, por pequeno que
attention. fuera, merecia su atenci6n.

1 14 Stanley
Quality 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

be out of this world ser estupendo


Ty Inc., the Chicago company that produces Ty Inc, la empresa de Chicago que fabrica
the plush animal toys, does no advertising. animales de peluche, no hace publicidad.
All the same, from 1996 to 1997, Ty's sales Aun asi, entre 1996 -1997, las ventas de Ty
were out of this world, growing more fueron extraordinarias, creciendo ma's del
than 2,000%. And they've climbed even 2.000%, y se han incrementado aun mas
higher since. desde entonces.
steal the show ser protagonista
We have seen the future and it is pocket-sized, Hemos visto el future y es de tamano de bolsi-
battery-operated, slim and seductive. We saw llo, funciona con pilas, es fino y tentador. Lo
it at the annual IT fair in Hanover, where the vimos en la feria anual IT de Hanover, donde
giant consumer electronics groups stole the los grandes grupos de electr6nica domestica
show. fueron los protagonistas.
be the pick of the bunch ser el mejor de todos
We had more than 200 applications for this Tuvimos m3s de 200 solicitudes para este
post. We interviewed 23 candidates and puesto. Entrevistamos a 23 aspirantes y
short-listed 7. We've now narrowed the field preseleccionamos a 7. Ahora hemos reducido
down to 2 candidates, and believe me, they're las opciones a 2 aspirantes y creeme, son los
the pick of the bunch. mejores.
make a clean sweep of sth acaparar algo , llevarse todo
Softwire Pro has made a clean sweep of PC Softwire Pro ha acaparado los premios PC
Universe's best new product awards, winning Universe a los mejores productos innovadores,
in all five categories for which it was eligible. ganando en las cinco categorias a las que
optaban.
separate the men from the boys separar los que valen de los que no
Each applicant is interviewed at least three Cada solicitante es entrevistado al menos tres
times by our team of recruiters. It's an expen- veces por nuestro equipo de recursos huma-
sive and time-consuming process, but it does nos. Es un proceso caro que lleva mucho
separate the men from the boys. tiempo, pero sirve para separar a los que va-
len y a los que no.
que se precie de tal,
worth one's salt digno de ese nombre
I could never understand why any manager Nunca he podido entender por que un geren-
worth his salt would want to bring in a te que se precie quiera traer un consultor
consultant to set business policy. For me, para determinar la politica de empresa. Para
that's an admission of personal failure. mi, es reconocer su propio fracaso.
be nothing to write home about no ser nada del otro mundo
Business books are hot. Between 1 991 and Los libros empresariales est^n de moda. Entre
1999 sales shot up 36%, to $617 million. Of 1991 y 1 999 las ventas subieron de un 36%,
course, most business how-to books are ascendiendo a 617 millones de d6lares. Claro
nothing to write home about. But there que la mayoria de los libros empresariales
are exceptions. para autodidactas no son nada del otro mun-
do. Pero hay excepciones.

Stanley 1 15
29. Exercise 1,000 everyday idioms in business

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To be better than all others: Nuestro 14 Of inferior quality: Who is going to pay
servicio es insuperable. this kind of money for an essentially
2 To be not very impressive: La comida product?
no era nada del otro mundo. 15 To be the best of a certain number: Este
3 To cause something to be considered hotel es el mejor de todos.
of inferior quality (or someone of infe- 16 To be not as good as people say: No es
rior ability) by being much better: Habla tan maravilloso como dicen.
tan bien ingles que me hace pasar
17 To be cheap and easily obtained, to be
verguenza.
very common: Academias de idiomas
4 To succeed or to reach the desired hay a montones.
standard: Nunca alcanzara el nivel
18 To make a special effort to do some-
requerido.
thing, especially when it's inconvenient:
5 To be impossible to describe: Supera Se desvivio para que me sintiera como
toda descripci6n. en casa.
6 To have to use people or things of the 19 (a business, a person) Unreliable be-
poorest quality because nothing else cause only interested in making money
remains: Is that the best excuse you can quickly and probably illegally: I thought
find? You're really , aren't you? from the start that they were a
7 To separate those who have great abil- operation, and so wasn't at all happy
ity from those who have less: El about having to do business with them.
entrenamiento inicial separa a los que 20 To get most of the attention or admira-
valen de los que no. tion in an exhibition or other event: We
8 To be not very good, of low standard: expect the NTXX-4 to at the an-
Su trabajo no valia gran cosa. nual trade fair.
9 To be of strong character or to be wor- 21 To be extremely good or impressive:
thy of the name (of something): Any Their after-sales service is fantastic, ab-
engineer would have seen the solutely !
weaknesses in this plan immediately. 22 To be far better than other people or
10 To be inferior in quality to something things of the same type: No tiene igual.
or someone else: No le llegas a la suela
23 (saying) Nothing can discourage a man
del zapato. who is determined to succeed: Los
11 To be up to the required standard: buenos siempre salen adelante.
Simplemente no da la talla.
24 To be not at all special: No es nada del
12 (prizes, etc.) To win everything that can otro mundo.
be won: Nuestro equipo se Ilev6 todos
25 To express great admiration for some-
los premios.
one or something: Their new colour
13 To get good value from something one laser printer has been for its de-
has paid money for: Le he sacado sign, its performance and its amazingly
mucho jugo a este coche. low price.
1 16 Stanley
3O. Negotiations 1,000 everyday idioms in business

llegar a un acuerdo mutuo,


meet sb halfway hacer concesiones
You've been supplying us for many years and Llevais muchos arios suministrandonos y quere-
we want to maintain that relationship — but mos mantener esa relaci6n, pero tendremos que
you'll have to meet us halfway on pricing. llegar a un acuerdo mutuo sobre los precios.
give and take toma y daca
On the surface, it looks like a joint venture, En apariencia, tiene aspecto de ser un nego-
but when you get down to the details, you're cio llevado conjuntamente, pero cuando miras
doing all the work. There's no real give and los detalles, tu haces todo el trabajo. No es
take. un toma y daca.
common ground puntos en comun
I constantly try to think, "If I were the client, Constantemente intento pensar, "Si fuera el
how would I feel about this?" That's step cliente, ique opinaria de esto?" Ese es el Pri-
Number One if you're going to find common mer Paso si quieres encontrar puntos en
ground. comun.
have an ace up one's sleeve guardarse un as en la manga
Financiers will stress the problems in the gov- Los financieros senalan los problemas que tie-
ernment's plans to privatise the London Un- ne el gobierno para privatizar el metro de
derground. But the government has an ace Londres. Pero el gobierno se guarda un as en
up its sleeve: past privatisations have deliv- la manga: las anteriores privatizaciones han
ered bonanzas to investors. sido un buen negocio para los inversores.
the ball is in your court ahora te toca a ti hacer algo
We've made our initial offer, now the ball is Hemos hecho nuestra oferta inicial, ahora les
in their court. All we can do is wait and see toca a ellos. Todo lo que podemos hacer es
if they accept it or not. esperar y ver si la aceptan o no.
poner a alguien
have sb over a barrel entre la espada y la pared
Since you are the sole distributor of these Como eres el unico distribuidor de estas mer-
goods, you have us over a barrel. We cancias, nos pones entre la espada y la pared.
have no choice but to accept your prices. No nos queda otra alternativa que aceptar
vuestros precios.
a quien se da no escoge,
beggars can't be choosers no estar en situacion de exigir
They desperately need our business, so they Necesitan de nosotros desesperadamente, asi
will not be dictating terms to us. On the con- que no nos dictaran sus condiciones. Todo lo
trary, they will take whatever we decide to contrario, tomaran cualquier cosa que les
give them. Beggars can't be choosers. ofrezcamos. No estan en situacion de exigir.
a stumbling block un escollo, un tropiezo
Spain has suggested that an EU programme Espana ha sugerido crear un programa euro-
worth about E3bn a year be set up for mem- peo por valor de 3 mil millones de euros
ber states that face pressure of immigration anuales para los paises miembros que se en-
from eastern and central Europe. The funds frentan a la presi6n de la inmigracion del este
would mainly help Germany, which wants to y del centra de Europa. Los fondos ayudarian
reduce its E11 bn net contribution to the EU, principalmente a Alemania, que quiere reducir
and would remove one of the main stum- su contribuci6n neta de 1 1 mil millones de
bling blocks in the Agenda 2000 negotia- euros a la UE, y que eliminaria uno de los
tions on reform of the EU's budget. principales escollos en las negociaciones de la
Agenda 2000 para reformar el presupuesto.
call sb's bluff aceptar el envite, el farol
Nothing quite gets your boss's attention like No hay nada como mostrarle a tu jefe otra
dangling another job offer in front of him and oferta de empleo que has recibido y decirle

Stanley 1 17
Negotiations 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

telling him you plan to accept it if he doesn't que piensas aceptarlo si no te paga mas. Pero
pay you more. But be careful what you ask ten cuidado con lo que pides, porque es posi-
for, because he may just call your bluff. ble que acepte el envite.
lay one's cards on the table poner las cartas boca arriba
It is important always to hold something in re- Es importante mantener siempre algo en reser-
serve. If you lay all your cards on the ta- va. Si pones todas tus cartas boca arriba al
ble at the beginning of the negotiation, and principio de la negociacion y la otra parte
the other side says no, you cannot regain con- dice que no, no puedes volver a hacerte con
trol of the situation. el control de la situacion.
jugar al gato
play cat and mouse with sb y al raton con alguien
I have the feeling they're playing cat and Tengo la sensaci6n de que estan jugando al
mouse with us. At bottom, they want to gato y al raton con nosotros. En el fondo, quie-
reach an agreement as much as we do, but ren llegar a un acuerdo tanto como nosotros,
every time an agreement is within reach, they pero cada vez que estamos cerca de conseguir
raise a new objection. un acuerdo, presentan una nueva objeci6n.
repartirse la diferencia
split the difference (a partes iguales)
Let's settle the question of cost. We're asking Vamos a zanjar el asunto del coste. Nosotros
$500 per unit, and you're offering $400. To estamos pidiendo 500 dolares por unidad, y
save time, I suggest we split the difference vosotros nos est^is ofreciendo 400 d6lares.
— $450 per unit. Para ahorrar tiempo, sugiero que nos reparta-
mos la diferencia a partes iguales: 450 d6lares
por unidad.
lose face desprestigiarse, quedar mal
You should always ensure that your opponent Debes siempre asegurarte de que tu adversa-
does not lose face, for this causes bitterness rio nunca quede mal, ya que eso causa amar-
and resentment. gura y resentimiento.
stand one's ground mantenerse firme
Luc Guyau, the chairman of the national farm- Luc Guyau, el presidente del sindicato nacio-
ers' union, praised the government for stand- nal de agricultores, alabo al gobierno por
ing its ground against "co-financing' - a Ger- mantenerse firme en su postura en contra de
man move to shift agricultural support from la "co-financiacion", una maniobra alemana
the EU budget on to national government para trasladar las ayudas agricolas del presu-
budgets. puesto de la UE a los presupuestos de los go-
biernos nacionales.
estancarse,
grind to a halt llegar a un punto muerto
With neither side willing to compromise even Como ninguno de los dos lados estaba dis-
on relatively minor issues, the talks inevitably puesto a hacer concesiones, incluso en temas
ground to a halt. de relativamente poca importancia, las conver-
saciones llegaron inevitablemente a un punto
muerto.
have the upper hand llevar ventaja
At Netscape's urging, the U.S. Department of A peticion de Netscape, el Departamento de
Justice began investigating whether Microsoft Justicia de los EE UU comenzb a investigar si
was using its near monopoly in PC operating Microsoft estaba utilizando su casi monopolio
systems to gain the upper hand in what en los sistemas operatives de los PC para con-
has come to be known as "the browser wars." seguir ventajas en lo que se ha llegado a co-
nocer como "la guerra de los buscadores".

118 Stanley
Negotiations ,000 everyday idioms in business

draw the line at sth decir basta a algo


If you buy a minimum of 500 units, we're will- Si comprais un minimo de 500 unidades, esta-
ing to offer you a reduction of 20%, but that's mos dispuestos a ofreceros un descuento del
our best and final offer. We have to draw 20%, pero esa es nuestra mejor y ultima oferta.
the line somewhere. En algun momento tenemos que decir basta.
take sb's point aceptar lo que dice alguien
- How can we possibly guarantee delivery vamos a poder garantizar las fechas de
dates in the middle of a rail strike? entrega en medio de una huelga de trenes?
- Yes, I take your point, but we must have - Si, eso lo entiendo, pero debemos tener al-
some assurance that the goods will reach us gun tipo de garantia de que la mercancia nos
before Christmas. liege antes de Navidad.
estar a anos luz,
be poles apart ser polos opuestos
I'm afraid there's no sign of an agreement yet. Me temo que aun no hay ninguna serial de
The two sides are still poles apart. acuerdo. Las dos partes estan a anos luz.
behind the scenes entre bastidores
Coaches offer a one-on-one relationship with Los formadores ofrecen una relacibn indivi-
executives that is far more personal than in dual que es mucho mas personal que otros
other consulting arrangements. They work acuerdos con consultores. Trabajan entre bas-
behind the scenes. Their primary mission is tidores. Su mision principal es apoyar y ayudar
to support and develop their client. a su cliente.
get down to brass tacks ir al grano _
I think we're all in agreement on the general Creo que estamos todos de acuerdo en cuan-
framework of the deal. Now let's get down to a la estructura general del trato. Ahora va-
to brass tacks: how much is it going to cost yamos al grano: ^Cuanto nos va a costar y
us and how soon will we see a return on our cuando podremos ver los beneficios de nues-
investment? tra inversi6n?
take it or leave it lo tomas o lo dejas
For a long time IBM refused to give discounts Durante mucho tiempo IBM se nego a conce-
on its machines. Its attitude to the customer der descuentos en sus aparatos. Su actitud
was: take it or leave it. Today there is more hacia el cliente era: lo tomas o lo dejas. Hoy
flexibility. hay mucha mas flexibilidad.
not budge an inch no ceder un apice
There is an absolutely predictable point in all Hay un punto absolutamente predecible en
negotiations when it seems neither side will toda negociacion cuando parece que ninguna
budge an inch. When this moment comes, de las partes va a ceder un apice. Cuando lle-
don't be surprised, and don't get frustrated. gue este momento, no te sorprendas y no te
sientas frustrada.
strengthen one's hand fortalecer su posicion
A deal may not be coming quite so soon as in- Puede que un acuerdo no llegue tan pronto
vestors are hoping, but the waiting period como esperan los inversores, pero el periodo
certainly strengthens Cable & Wireless' de espera, fortalece sin duda la posicion de
hand if the share price continues to rise be- Cable & Wireless si el precio de la accion con-
cause of speculation. tinua subiendo debido a la especulacion.
turn the tables on sb volver las tornas a alguien
If the other side refuses to improve its offer, re- Si la otra parte se niega a mejorar su oferta,
member that the single most important tool recuerda que la herramienta mas importante
for winning a negotiation is the ability to walk para ganar en una negociacion es la capaci-
away without a deal. If you do that and they dad de marcharse sin lograr un acuerdo. Si
call you back, you'll have turned the tables puedes hacer eso y vuelven a llamarte, les ha-
on them and be in a much stronger position. bras vuelto las tornas y estaras en una posi-
cion mucho mas fuerte.
Stanley 1 19
30. Exercise 1,000 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 It is your turn to take action: Te 14 To confuse someone intentionally: Creo


corresponde a ti dar el proximo paso. que juegan al gato y al raton con
2 (in a discussion, etc.I To accept what nosotros.
someone is saying: Acepto lo que dices 15 To improve one's position or increase
pero nuestras tarifas no son one's power: The chancellor's recent an-
negociables. nouncements have considerably .
3 To lose speed and eventually stop: Las In fact we are in a much better position
negociaciones nan llegado a un punto now than at the beginning of the talks.
muerto. 16 Opinions, experiences, etc. that are
4 To be widely divided, e.g. in opinions or shared by two or more people: The dis-
cussions lasted long into the night, with
characteristics: Su hermano y el son
each side struggling to find with
polos opuestos.
the other.
5 To have someone in a position where he
17 To reverse the situation so that one's
is obliged to do what one wants: We
opponent loses his advantage and finds
him and he knows it, now
himself in the weaker position: Lograron
he has to sign. volverles las tornas a sus adversaries.
6 Out of the public eye: Lo ha estado 18 To refuse to go beyond certain limits in
organizando todo entre bastidores. the way one behaves or permits others
7 To agree with another person on a fig- to behave: En algun momento hay que
ure halfway between two figures: He decir basta.
told me how much he wanted, I told him 19An impediment or obstacle: We have
what I was willing to pay, and we . overcome the most important and
8 Willingness to compromise in order to are now very close to an agreement.
obtain a satisfactory agreement: Tiene 20 To have an advantage over an oppo-
que haber un toma y daca. nent: He thinks he , but I have a
9 To stop generalizing and start discuss- few surprises in store for him.
ing essential matters: Let's , how 21 To compromise with someone: Si no ac-
much will it cost and when can you de- cede a esto, tendremos que llegar a un
liver? compromiso.
10 To reveal all one's plans or intentions: I'm 22 To be firm, to not yield under pressure:
prepared to and tell you exactly Se mantuvo firme.
what I want, provided, of course, that 23 To make someone prove that what he
you will do the same. claims to be true is indeed true: Anda,
11 (said by someone stating a price to show ponlo en un aprieto, que demuestre que
that he does not intend to change it) You lo que dice es cierto.
can accept this price or refuse it: Lo 24 To be humiliated publicly: Always try to
tomas o lo dejas. arrange matters so that your adversary
12 To have an advantage or piece of infor- does not .
mation which one keeps secret in order 25 (saying) People who really need some-
to use it at the best moment: Tenia un thing can't afford to be concerned about
triunfo guardado en la manga. quality but must accept what they are
13 To refuse to make the least concession: given: A caballo regalado no le mires el
No cedio ni lo mas minimo. diente.
120 Stanley
31. Results 1,000 everyday idioms in business

the acid test la prueba decisiva


This is a valuable Budget for enterprise and Este es un Presupuesto valioso para las empre-
employment. It is both prudent and positive. sas y para el empleo. Es a la vez prudente y
However, the acid test will be its impact on positive. Sin embargo, la prueba decisiva sera
inflation, interest rates and the strength of su impacto en la inflacion, en los tipos de in-
sterling. teres y en la fuerza de la libra esterlina.
a mixed bag un batiburrillo, una mezcolanza
The European Central Bank report is a bit of a El informe del Banco Central Europeo es un
mixed bag, with something for everybody. batiburrillo, con algo para todos.
not by a long chalk ni mucho menos, ni de lejos
- We've never had such good sales figures - Nunca hemos conseguido unas cifras de
before. ventas tan buenas.
- No, indeed. Not by a long chalk. - No, desde luego. Ni de lejos.
be a far cry from sth ser muy distinto de algo
A trip abroad in 1962 opened his eyes to the Un viaje al extranjero realizado en 1 .962 le
way fine wines were produced in Europe. It abrio los ojos sobre la forma en que se elabo-
was a far cry from the California mass-pro- raban los vinos finos en Europa. Era muy dis-
duction practices of the time. tinta a la practica californiana de produccion
en serie de aquel entonces.
at the end of the day al fin y al cabo, al final
Most of us want our lives to amount to some- La mayoria de nosotros queremos que nues-
thing. It's easy to be cynical, but at the end tras vidas signifiquen algo. Es facil ser cinico,
of the day, you'd like to say "I did good pero al final, te gustaria decir, "Hice un buen
work." trabajo."
come full circle volver al punto de partida
The International Olympic Committee has cho- El Comite Olimpico Internacional ha seleccio-
sen Athens to be the venue for the games of nado Atenas para ser la sede de los Juegos
2004. Thus, the event will come full circle, del 2004. Por lo tanto, el evento volvera a su
back to Greece, home of the original Olympic punto de partida, a Grecia, sede de los prime-
games. ros juegos Olimpicos.
fall short of sth no alcanzar algo
Lyubov Vonyagina, 54, a veteran seam- Lyubov Vonyagina, de 54 anos, una experta
stress, is part of a team that must produce costurera, forma parte del equipo que debe
2,000 T-shirts a day. When they fall short, fabricar 2.000 camisetas al dia. Cuando no al-
they stay late. canzan esta cifra, se quedan trabajando hasta
muy tarde.
so far, so good hasta aqui bien
His assignment has been to help a work force Su tarea ha sido la de ayudar a un grupo de
of about 300,000, mostly sales clerks and unos 300.000 trabajadores, en su mayoria de-
blue-collar workers, learn to focus on custom- pendientes y trabajadores manuales, a apren-
ers. So far, so good: total return to share- der a enfocar su trabajo en los clientes. Hasta
holders has averaged over 30% for five years. aqui, bien: los beneficios de los accionistas en
los cinco ultimos anos se nan incrementado
de un 30%.
bear fruit dar fruto, dar resultados
What stimulates success? The most important es lo que estimula el exito? Lo mas im-
single thing is having an idea and putting it portante de todo es tener una idea, ponerla
into practice and seeing it bear fruit. en practica y ver sus resultados.

Stanley 121
Results
1,000 everyday idioms in business

make headway avanzar, progresar


The two best known management tools of the Las dos herramientas de gestion mas conoci-
1980s were total quality management (TQM) das de los anos 80 fueron la Gestion de Cali-
and reengineering. Applying these tech- dad Total (GCT) y la re-ingenieria. Aplicando
niques, American businesses made enormous estas tecnicas, las empresas americanas consi-
headway in overcoming their process prob- guieron progresar muchisimo en la solucion
lems. de sus problemas de fabricacion.
flog a dead horse perder el tiempo
This is the seventh or eighth time we've vis- Esta es la septima u octava vez que les visita-
ited them and they've never given us even a mos y nunca nos han hecho el mimino pedi-
small order. I think we're flogging a dead do. Creo que estamos perdiendo el tiempo:
horse: they're never going to buy from us. nunca van a comprarnos nada.
be a household name ser muy conocido
In the 1960s David Bailey became a house- En los ahos 60, David Bailey se hizo famoso
hold name overnight and revolutionised the de la noche a la mahana y revolucion6 la in-
fashion industry by creating the miniskirt. dustria de la moda al crear la minifalda.
the icing on the cake la guinda encima del pastel
The package they were offering was extremely El paquete que ofrecian era sumamente atrac-
attractive: high tax-free salary, 10 weeks' an- tivo: un buen sueldo fibre de impuestos, 10
nual vacation, free medical cover, free accom- semanas de vacaciones al ano, seguro medico
modation, etc. The end-of-year bonus was just gratuito, alojamiento gratuito, etc. El bonus
the icing on the cake. I would have signed de fin de ano era s6lo la guinda del pastel.
up anyway. Hubiese firmado igualmente.
make inroads into sth hacer avances en algo
Foreign competitors like Toyota, Honda, and Los competidores extranjeros como Toyota,
now Volkswagen are continuing to make in- Honda y ahora Volkswagen siguen avanzando
roads into the U.S. market. en el mercado de los EE UU.
one swallow doesnt make a summer una golondrina no hace verano
It's the first time in four years that we've Es la primera vez en cuatro anos que hemos
shown a profit and, of course, that's a good visto un beneficio y, claro esta\ es una buena
sign. But one swallow doesn't make a serial. Pero una golondrina no hace verano,
summer, so let's not get too optimistic too asi que no seamos demasiado optimistas antes
soon. de tiempo.
serve sb right tenerlo bien merecido
You shouldn't leave your laptop lying around No deberias dejar tu ordenador port^til por
like that when you're out of the office. It'll ahi tirade cuando sales de la oficina. Si al-
serve you right if somebody steals it. guien te lo robara lo tendrias bien merecido.
not have a leg to stand on no tener en que basarse
If recent sales figures had been good, you Si las ultimas cifras de ventas hubiesen sido
could have used them to justify your policies. buenas, podrias haberlas utilizado para justifi-
But they're as disastrous as the previous ones. car tu politica. Pero son tan desastrosas como
So, I'm afraid you don't have a leg to las anteriores. Por lo tanto, me temo que no
stand on. tienes en qu£ basarte.
afectar algo negativamente,
take its toll on sth infligir perdidas
The flooding in Central America has taken a Las inundaciones en Centroamerica han afec-
very heavy toll on coffee production, so we tado muy negativamente a la produccibn de
can certainly expect prices to rise in the near cafe, asi que podemos esperar que suban los
future. precios en un futuro proximo.

122 Stanley
Results 1,000 everyday idioms in business

have made one's bed quien mala cama hace


and have to lie in it en ella yace
I warned you against hiring such a well- Te avise de que no contrataras a un militan-
known union militant, but you wouldn't lis- te sindicalista tan conocido, pero no quisis-
ten. And now he's threatening to call a strike. te escuchar. Y ahora amenaza con convocar
Well, you've made your bed and you una huelga. Pues quien mala cama hace en
must lie in it. ella yace.
come up with the goods cumplir lo prometido
The French will give you their business much Los franceses haran negocios contigo mucho
more readily than the Germans. But they will antes que los alemanes. Pero se retiraran igual
withdraw it just as fast if you fail to come up de rapido si no cumples lo prometido.
with the goods.
the bottom line lo esencial, lo primordial
The shortcut always fails, whether it's the El atajo siempre falla, bien sea la forma facil
easy way to lose weight or the instant way de perder peso o la manera instantanea de
to get rich. The bottom line is this: noth- hacerse rico. Lo esencial es esto: nada que
ing meaningful or lasting comes without sea importante o que dure se consigue sin
working hard at it. trabajar.
a can of worms un problema complicado
The investigation into the causes of the acci- La investigaci6n sobre las causas del acci-
dent opened up a real can of worms. In- dente dio paso a un sinfin de problemas.
deed it soon became evident that we were De hecho, pronto fue evidente que tendria-
going to have to rewrite our safety proce- mos que revisar por completo nuestros sis-
dures completely. temas de seguridad.
it makes no odds da lo mismo, es igual
You can achieve dramatically better results. Se pueden conseguir resultados muchisimo
Whether it's at your job or in the classroom, mejores. Bien sea en el trabajo o en el aula,
whether it's a sport or other activity you're in- bien sea en un deporte o en otra actividad en
volved in, it makes no odds. The tech- la que se este involucrado, da lo mismo. Las
niques are the same. tecnicas son iguales.
a foregone conclusion un resultado inevitable
It's hard to believe now, but the acceptance of Es dificil de creer ahora, pero la aceptacion
Microsoft's DOS as the operating system for del DOS de Microsoft como sistema operative
the IBM PC wasn't a foregone conclusion del PC IBM no era de prever cuando el apara-
when the machine was introduced in 1981. to fue presentado en 1981. IBM tambien ofre-
IBM also offered a version of the CP/M operat- cio una versibn del sistema operative CP/M.
ing system.
pave the way for sth allanar el terreno para algo
Monitoring 5,000 families for 20 years, Jencks Al estudiar los habitos de 5.000 familias du-
studied all sorts of variables that might pave rante 20 arios, Jenkins tuvo en cuenta todo
the way to wealth and power, including pa- tipo de factores que podian allanar el terreno
rental income, the neighbourhood a person hacia la riqueza y el poder, entre ellos los in-
grows up in, education, and occupation. gresos de los padres, el vecindario en el que
se cria uno, la educacion y la profesi6n.

Stanley 123
31. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

EEncuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 A person or thing whose name is 13 When everything has happened or
known by everybody: En poco tiempo been settled: A fin de cuentas, la
se hizo famosisima. responsabilidad es suya.
2 Not by any means: Can we reach such 14To have good results or effects: Su
unrealistic targets? . esmerada planificacibn dio sus frutos.
3 An extremely complicated problem or 15 To do what one has promised to do:
series of interrelated problems: La No pudieron cumplir lo acordado.
revisibn salarial destapb una serie de
16A long way from something: Esto no
problemas.
es ni con mucho lo que yo esperaba.
4 To begin to have an effect on some-
thing by reducing it or using it up: 17 To have chosen a particular course of
Entrenar me quita mucho tiempo libre. action and so be forced to accept the
results of it: We all told him he wouldn't
5 To make progress: For fin hemos be happy if he transferred to Finance
conseguido hacer progresos. but he did it anyway. Well, he .
6 To lead to something, to make every- 18 To return to the situation from which
thing ready for something: Este one started: El curso de los
proyecto de ley preparb el terreno para acontecimientos ha vuelto al punto de
una Europa unida. partida.
7 To waste time by continuing to try to 19 To cause much harm and damage: Anos
do something futile: Hablarles de de duro trabajo habian afectado su
reducir gastos es como machacar en salud.
hierro frio.
20 Up until now there have been no prob-
8An entirely predictable result: El lems: Hasta ahora bien.
resultado era de prever.
21 To have no possible justification for
9 A test which gives irrefutable proof that one's actions or opinions: No puede
something has or does not have value: justificarse.
La prueba definitiva es si le gusta al
publico o no. 22 A varied mixture: En esta compafiia hay
de todo.
10 It makes no difference, it doesn't mat-
ter: We already have a large majority 23 To be a just punishment for somebody:
in our favour, so whether you Lo tienes bien merecido.
vote or not. 24 (saying) It is unwise to generalize opti-
11A desirable addition, often unneces- mistically on the basis of a single fortu-
sary: La bonificacibn de fin de ano no nate event: Una golondrina no hace
era m3s que la guinda encima de un verano.
suculento pastel. 25 To be less than expected, or of a lower
12 The essential result or outcome: Si no standard than expected: La calidad de
acabas a tiempo, no se te pagarci, a eso sus productos esta por debajo de
se reduce. nuestras exigencias.
124 Stanley
32. Responsibility 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

carry the can pagar el pato


As your immediate supervisor, I've accepted Como tu supervisor inmediato, he asumido la
responsibility for your mistakes in the past. It's responsabilidad de tus errores en el pasado.
time you understood, however, that I'm not Sin embargo, ya es hora de que entiendas
going to go on carrying the can for you in- que no voy a seguir pagando el pato indefini-
definitely. damente.
pass the buck pasar la pelota
He has a tendency to pass the buck which, Tiene la costumbre de pasar la pelota lo cual,
in my opinion, makes him quite unsuitable for en mi opinion, le hace bastante inadecuado
a position of such responsibility. para un puesto de tanta responsabilidad.
give sb a free hand darle a alguien carta blanca
Although the business had been losing money Aunque la empresa ha perdido dinero durante
for years, for sentimental reasons the owner anos, el duerio no ha sido capaz de reducir la
was unable to reduce staffing levels. The only plantilla por motives sentimentales. La unica
way to make the firm profitable again was to forma de conseguir que la empresa vuelva a
engage a manager and to give him a com- ser rentable es contratando a un director y
pletely free hand. dandole carta blanca.
put one's foot down imponerse, ponerse firme
Before the IMF put its foot down, an Indo- Antes de que el FMI se impusiese, una agen-
nesian state agency, known as Bulog, set the da estatal de Indonesia, conocida como
price of rice and handed out lucrative licenses Bulog, fijaba el precio del arroz y entregaba li-
to Suharto cronies like the Salim family. cencias lucrativas a los compinches de
Suharto, como la familia Salim.
desentenderse de algo,
wash one's hands of sth lavarse las manos
Neither side in the dispute would make the Ninguna de las dos partes en litigio estaba
least concession. In the end the mediator dispuesta a hacer la mas minima concesion. Al
was so fed up with their intransigence that final el mediador estaba tan harto de su in-
he decided to wash his hands of the transigencia que decidio desentenderse de
whole business and leave them to find their todo el lio y dejarles que se arreglaran como
own solution. pudieran.
give sth the green light dar luz verde a algo
At its December monthly meeting, the new En su reunion mensual de diciembre, el nuevo
group gave the green light to a "smart car" grupo dio luz verde a un proyecto de "coche
project based in Germany. inteligente" elaborado en Alemania.
give sb the go-ahead darle el visto bueno a alguien
The local authorities have finally given them Las autoridades locales les han dado, por fin,el
the go-ahead for the new factory extension. visto bueno para la expansi6n de la fabrica.
abusar de su autoridad, hacer
pull rank valer sus privilegios
She can be a very persuasive person. And, in Puede llegar a ser una persona muy persuasi-
fact, she almost always gets what she wants va. De hecho, casi siempre consigue lo que
without having to pull rank. quiere sin tener que recurrir a su autoridad.
rule the roost llevar la batuta
The 78 year-old Spaniard has ruled the Este espahol de 78 anos ha llevado la batuta
roost at the IOC (International Olympics Com- del COI (Comite Olimpico International) du-
mittee) for the past two decades, but the cor- rante las dos ultimas decadas, pero el escan-
ruption scandal has prompted calls for him to dalo de corrupci6n exige que renuncie antes
resign before his term expires in 2001. de que su mandato concluya en el 2001.

Stanley 125
Responsibility 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

call the shots mandar


Basically, you start your own business so you Basicamente, uno crea su propia empresa
can call the shots, set your own hours and para establecer mandar, fijar su propio horario
earn unlimited income. y obtener ingresos ilimitados.
have a lot to answer for tener la culpa de muchas cosas
Puno, a town on the western shores of Lake Puno, un pueblo situado a orillas del lago
Titicaca in the Peruvian Andes, has a lot to Titicaca en los Andes peruanos, tiene la culpa
answer for. Pollution produced by its rapidly de muchas cosas. La contaminaci6n produci-
expanding population has caused huge envi- da por el rapido crecimiento de su poblaci6n
ronmental damage. ha causado un dano tremendo al medio am-
biente.
take a back seat pasar a un segundo piano
After three disastrous years, shareholders de- Tras tres arios desastrosos, los accionistas insis-
manded that he relinquish the chief execu- tieron en que renunciara al puesto de presi-
tives role and take a back seat. dente y pasara a un segundo piano.
tener amistades en las altas
have friends in high places esferas
The master manipulator spends years cultivat- Un maestro de la manipulacion se pasa anos
ing a network of friends in high places. enteros construyendo una red de amistades
You go over this person's head at your own en las altas esferas. El pasar por encima de
peril. If you complain to his boss, the manipu- esta persona supone un riesgo. Si te quejas a
lator will use his influence to make you look su jefe, el manipulador utilizara su influencia
like a whiner or worse. para que parezcas un quejica o algo peor a
los ojos del jefe.
kick sb upstairs deshacerse de uno ascendiendole
After heavy losses caused by the Russian fi- Tras las fuertes perdidas ocasionadas por la
nancial crisis, their chief executive paid the crisis financiera rusa, su presidente pago el
price. He was kicked upstairs to the new pato. Se deshicieron de el ascendiendole al
job of co-chairman. nuevo puesto de presidente adjunto.
a sleeping partner (US silent
partner) un socio comanditario
In 1990, Lane finished his MBA and, with the En 1990, Lane termin6 su MBAy con la ayuda
help of a silent partner, he and MacHardy de un socio comanditario el y MacHardy crea-
launched Coed Sportswear. ron Coed Sportswear.
be saddled with sth tener que cargar con algo
In those days IBM was saddled with Por aquellos dias IBM tenia que cargar con
405,000 loyal workers and a sacrosanct no- 405.000 empleados leales y la sacrosanta poli-
layoffs policy. Their more nimble competitors tica de no despedirles. A sus competidores
loved it. mas habiles les encantaba.
the pecking order la jerarquia
In most companies, the public relations per- En la mayoria de las empresas, la persona en-
son is down at number 20 in the pecking cargada de las relaciones publicas esta en el
order, but not here. A high profile is vital for ranking numero 20, pero aqui no. Un buen
our business, so our PR man is one of the perfil es vital para nuestra empresa, asi que
most important and highest paid employees. nuestro encargado de relaciones publicas es
uno de los empleados mas importantes y me-
jor pagados.

126 Stanley
Responsibility , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

know where one stands saber a que atenerse


Never start a partnership with just a vague Nunca pongas en marcha una sociedad unica-
agreement on who does what. Put it down on mente con un acuerdo ambiguo sobre los
paper, in detail. That way, both parties know puestos y las tareas. P6nlo por escrito, detalla-
exactly where they stand. damente. De esa forma, ambas partes sabran
exactamente a que atenerse.
the top brass el alto mando
It's a really important event. All the top brass Es un evento muy importante. Todo el alto
will be there. mando estara alii.
have a say in sth tener voz y voto en algo
Involve people in decisions that affect their Involucra a la gente en las decisiones que
jobs. Give them a say in how they perform afectan a su trabajo. Han de tener voz y voto
their work, and be sure they understand how en el modo de realizar su trabajo, y asegurate
the business works, where the company is go- de que entienden el funcionamiento del ne-
ing, and their individual role in the company's gocio, los objetivos de la empresa y su papel
goals. individual en estos objetivos.
stand on one's own two feet valerse por si mismo
If you need advice, my door is always open. Si necesitas consejos, mi puerta esta siempre
That doesn't mean I want you to come to me abierta. Eso no significa que quiero que ven-
with every single problem you encounter. On gas con todos los problemas a los que te en-
the contrary, the sooner you can stand on frentes. Todo lo contrario, cuanto antes
your own two feet, the better. puedas valerte por ti mismo, mejor.
have the final say on sth tener la ultima palabra en algo
My goal is to turn 90% of my authority over to Mi meta es traspasar el 90% de mi autoridad
my management team. I still have the final al equipo de gerencia. Aun tengo la ultima
say on some issues — major financial com- palabra en algunos temas - importantes com-
mitments, for example, or hiring new staff, promises financieros, por ejemplo, o contratar
but generally I'm trying to make as few deci- a nuevos miembros del equipo,pero, en gene-
sions as possible. ral, estoy intentando tomar el menor numero
posible de decisiones.
sb's say-so el visto bueno de alguien
You can't start loading the containers without No puedes empezar a cargar los contenedores
the boss's say-so. sin el visto bueno del jefe.
play second fiddle to sb estar a la sombra
Why am I resigning? Because I'm fed up <i.Por que dimito? Porque estoy harto de es-
playing second fiddle to Butley. I do all tar a la sombra de Butley. Hago todo el tra-
the work and he takes all the credit, and I'm bajo y el se queda con todo el merito, ya
sick of it. no puedo mas.
be quits with sb estar en paz con alguien
He gave us a lot of help when we were set- Nos ayud6 mucho cuando estabamos mon-
ting up the company, it's true. But we've put tando la empresa, es verdad. Pero le hemos
thousands of dollars' worth of business his hecho ganar miles de ddlares desde entonces.
way since then. I consider we were quits Estamos en paz.
years ago.

Stanley 127
32.Exercise ,000 everyday idioms in business

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To be forced, against one's will, to take 14 To have the chance to influence a deci-
the responsibility for something: Nos sion: Yo no tengo ni voz ni voto en el
cargaron con todas las facturas. asunto.
2 A hierarchical system which determines 15 To give somebody permission to put a
who dominates and who is dominated: plan into action: Han dado luz verde a
Luchaban por hacerse un lugar en la la construccion del nuevo bloque de
jerarqula. oficinas.
3 To misuse one's position of authority in 16 To give somebody permission to do
an organization to force someone of something: Dieron el visto bueno a
lower rank to do what one wants: No nuestros planes.
es de las que abusan de su autoridad. 17 To insist on something, to be firm: Se
4 To know what someone else expects mantuvo firme y se nego a firmar.
from one, what one's position is: Me 18The important people in control of
gusta saber a que atenerme. something: He coaches the in
5 To take a position of less importance: such companies as Intel, Microsoft and
Ha resuelto dejar que otros asuman las AT&T.
responsabilidades de ahora en 19 To be second in importance to some-
adelante. one: After years of to others, he
6 Somebody's permission or authorisa- decided to start a company of his own.
tion: No podemos hacerlo sin que el 20 To be responsible for bad things that
nos de el visto bueno.
have happened: As regards pollution,
7 To be the most powerful person in a the mining industry .
group: Es el quien lleva la batuta.
21 A partner who does not play an active
8 To be even with someone, to be no role in running a business but who in-
longer in someone's debt: Ahora vests money in it: Unless he could find
estamos en paz. a he would be unable to start
9 To know people in positions of influ- the company.
ence and power: Tiene amistades en 22 To avoid a responsibility by passing it
las altas esferas. on to someone else: Le acusaron de
10To accept the responsibility for some- querer pasar la pelota.
thing that someone else has done: 23 To remove someone from a position of
Como siempre tuve que pagar el pato. power by promoting him to a position
11 To have the authority to decide some- where his power is reduced: If they
thing: Es el director quien tiene la wanted to bring in a new CEO, the only
ultima palabra en estas cuestiones. solution was to the present one
12 To be independent: Tienes que apren-
der a valerte por ti mismo. 24 To decide what should be done, how,
13 To give someone freedom to do what when, etc: Cronin es quien manda
he wants: The board assured him that ahora.
they would to introduce any poli- 25 To refuse to accept any further respon-
cies or make any changes he consid- sibility for something: Despu£s de eso,
ered necessary. no quiso saber nada de ellos.

128 Stanley
33. Ethics 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

honesty is the best policy lo mejor es ser franco


While honesty is usually the best policy, Aunque normalmente lo mejor es ser franco,
some managers find that subterfuge and indi- algunos directives piensan que el subterfugio
rection work even better, especially when y la indirecta funcionan incluso mejor, en es-
dealing with the prima donnas in their com- pecial al tratar con algunos de los "divos" de
pany. sus empresas.
be fair and square ser honrado a carta cabal
The last thing in the world I want is for you to Lo que menos quiero del mundo es que creas
feel that we've deceived or tricked you in any que te hemos traicionado o engafiado de al-
way. On the contrary, I want an agreement guna manera. Todo lo contrario, quiero un
which is fair and square for both parties. acuerdo que sea honrado a carta cabal para
ambas partes.
in good faith de buena fe
The director of the company said that al- El director de la empresa dijo que aunque su
though his organisation was responsible for organizacion era responsable del error, no se
the error, no disciplinary action would be tomaria ninguna medida disciplinaria. Insistio
taken. He insisted that at all times his staff en que en todo momento su equipo actuo de
had acted in good faith. buena fe.
be on the level ser de fiar, ser honrado
Starting any business has risks, and those risks El inicio de cualquier negocio tiene sus riesgos,
aren't entirely offset by the advantages of the y esos riesgos no estan completamente com-
franchise relationship. How can you be sure pensados por las ventajas de una relacion de
the company you are dealing with is on the franquicia. £C6mo puedes estar seguro de que
level? la empresa con la que estas tratando es de fiar?
cook the books amanar las cuentas
He was forced to resign when it was discov- Fue obligado a dimitir cuando se descubrio
ered that one of his subordinates had been que uno de sus subordinados habia estado
cooking the books to pay off gambling amanando las cuentas para pagar sus deudas
losses. de juego.
sweep sth under the carpet correr un velo sobre algo
There are irregularities in these accounts Hay irregularidades en estas cuentas sobre las
which you can't afford to simply sweep un- cuales no te puedes permitir correr un velo.
der the carpet. You may want to ignore Puedes ignorarlas pero el auditor externo no
them but the external auditor won't. lo hara\
have the courage tener el valor
of one's convictions de atenerse a sus principios
Jeff Franklin expressed bitter opposition to Jeff Franklin expres6 una oposicion frontal ha-
the policies the new CEO had imposed. cia la politica impuesta por el nuevo presiden-
Moreover, he had the courage of his te. Es mas, tuvo el valor de atenerse a sus
convictions: immediately after the meeting principios: inmediatamente despues de la re-
he resigned from his highly paid job on the union, dimitio de su bien remunerado puesto
board of directors. en la junta directiva.
ir en contra
go against the grain de los principios de alguien
Three million people out of work goes El hecho de que tres millones de personas es-
against the grain of a socialist Britain ten sin empleo va en contra de los principios
haunted by the ravages of the 1930s. de una Gran Bretana socialista amenazada por
los estragos de los anos 30.
a man of his word un hombre de palabra
Don't worry about Francis Jameson, he's a No te preocupes por Francis Jameson, es un
man of his word. If he says he'll help us, he hombre de palabra. Si dice que nos ayudara,
will help us. lo hara\

Stanley 129
Ethics 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

feather one's nest barrer para casa


Shareholders are kings, and the duty of a Los accionistas son los reyes y el deber de los
company's directors and officers is to make directores y altos cargos de una empresa es
them rich kings. Things go wrong if managers convertirles en reyes ricos. Las cosas saldran
forget who owns the company and feather mal si los directives se olvidan de a quien per-
their own nests. tenece la empresa y barren para casa.
grease sbs palm untarle la mano a alguien
We hypocritically criticise countries like Ni- Hip6critamente criticamos a paises como
geria, where bribery and corruption are cer- Nigeria, donde el soborno y la corrupcion es-
tainly widespread, as though in Europe it tan sin duda a la orden del dia, como si en
were unknown to grease the palms of gov- Europa no se untase la mano a miembros del
ernment officials and business contacts. gobierno y a contactos empresariales.
estar dispuesto
have an itchy palm a dejarse sobornar
Forget all about his smiles and obsequious Olvidate por complete de sus sonrisas y de
manner. You need to know two things about sus modales serviles. Necesitas saber dos
Magdi Hassan: he's the one who's responsible cosas acerca de Magdi Hassan: el es el res-
for contracting suppliers like us, and he has ponsable de contratar a los proveedores
an itchy palm. He'll help us all right, but not como nosotros y esta dispuesto a dejarse
for nothing. sobornar. Nos ayudara, sin duda, pero no
por amor al arte.
on principle por principle
Burma's opposition National League for De- La oposicion de Burma, la Liga Nacional para la
mocracy (NLD) yesterday denied charges that Democracia (National League for Democracy -
it had accepted foreign financial assistance. NLDJ, nego ayer las acusaciones segun las cua-
"The NLD does not accept foreign financial as- les habia aceptado ayuda financiera extranjera.
sistance on principle," said a spokesman. "La NLD no acepta ayuda financiera extranjera,
por principio," dijo un portavoz.
be as good as one's word cumplir su palabra
He promised to send us a cheque and he was Prometio enviarnos un ta!6n y cumpli6 su pa-
as good as his word - it arrived in this labra: Ileg6 con el correo de esta manana.
morning's mail.
take sbs word for it confiar en la palabra de alguien
It's not unknown for applicants to exaggerate No es extrario que los aspirantes a un puesto
the importance of their previous accomplish- exageren la importancia de sus logros. Asi que
ments. So if they tell you about wonderful si te hablan de las cosas maravillosas que han
things they've done in the past, don't just hecho en el pasado, no te fies de su palabra.
take their word for it. Check. Compruebalo.
pull the wool over sbs eyes enganar a alguien
Hermes, the UK's biggest pension fund man- Hermes, el mayor gestor de fondos de pensio-
ager, says that boardroom pay policies should nes del Reino Unido, dice que la politica de pa-
be audited independently, so that companies gos de los directives deberia ser auditada de
do not use consultants to pull the wool manera independiente, para que las empresas
over shareholders' eyes. no se escuden detras de los consultores con el
fin de enganar a los accionistas.
come home to roost producir su fruto amargo
Their neglect of the environmental issue has Su indiferencia por los temas
now come home to roost: they will be medioambientales ha producido su fruto
obliged to spend millions bringing their facto- amargo: se veran obligados a gastarse millo-
ries into line with strict European regulations. nes para conseguir que sus fabricas esten a la
altura de la estricta normativa europea.

130 Stanley
Ethics 1,000 everyday idioms in business

that's a different kettle of fish eso es harina de otro costal


I don't mind stretching the rules a little in an No me importa ser un poco flexible con las re-
emergency, but what you're suggesting is a glas en el caso de una emergencia, pero lo
criminal offence, and that's a different ket- que me estas sugiriendo es un delito en toda
tle of fish altogether. regla y eso es harina de otro costal.
be above board ser legitimo, ser sin tapujos
It is difficult for a foreigner to do business in Para un extranjero es dificil hacer negocios en
China. You must have a joint venture, a Chinese China. Tienes que asociarte con un socio chino
partner who knows how to deal with local gov- que sepa c6mo tratar con los funcionarios del
ernment officials: both above board and un- gobierno local: por encima y por debajo de la
der the table. There's bribery at every level. mesa. Hay sobornos a todos los niveles.
have the guts to do sth tener agallas de hacer algo
Leadership is not a basket of tricks or skills. It's El liderazgo no es una cesta de trucos ni de ha-
strength of character and honesty and hav- bilidades. Es personalidad y honradez y tener
ing the guts to make hard decisions. It's a agallas para tomar decisiones dificiles. Es una
matter of ethics and moral compass, the will- cuesti6n de ambito etico y moral, la predisposi-
ingness to remain highly vulnerable. cion a mantenerse vulnerable ante los demas.
coger a uno
catch sb red-handed con las manos en la masa
In 1994, General Motors felt it had discovered En 1944, General Motors creyo que habia
a major case of industrial espionage: a top ex- descubierto un caso importante de espionaje
ecutive had been caught red-handed de- industrial: un alto ejecutivo habia sido cogido
livering GM documents to Volkswagen. con las manos en la masa entregando docu-
mentos de GM a Volkswagen.
entrarle miedo a uno,
get cold feet dar marcha atras
Any money that came in we put back into the Reinvertiamos en la empresa cualquier canti-
company. A couple of times we were ap- dad ingresada. Un par de veces fuimos
proached by people who wanted to buy into contactados por personas que querian com-
the business. But to me that's like getting mar- prar el negocio. Pero para mi era como casar-
ried to someone you don't know, and I got se con alguien a quien no conoces y di
cold feet. marcha atras.
under the table bajo cuerda, bajo mano
In most oil-producing countries, it is normal En la mayoria de los paises productores de pe-
business practice to pay large sums of money tr6leo, el pagar grandes cantidades de dinero
under the table in order to obtain confiden- bajo mano es una practica habitual para obte-
tial information. ner informaci6n confidencial.
be on the make tratar de sacar tajada
He's one of those people you can't feel at ease Es una de esas personas con quienes no se
with. You have the feeling that, whatever he puede estar a gusto. Tienes la sensaci6n de
says or does, he's always on the make, al- que, diga lo que diga o haga lo que haga,
ways looking for an angle to exploit. siempre esta intentando sacar tajada, siempre
buscando un angulo que explotar.
there are no two ways about it no tiene vuelta de hoja
These figures make it perfectly clear that Estas cifras demuestran perfectamente que
O'Neill has been embezzling us for years. O'Neill ha estado malversando fondos desde
There are no two ways about it. hace afios. No tiene vuelta de hoja.

Stanley 131
33. Exercise ,000 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To falsify the accounts of a company: 13 To bribe someone: You can in


Alguien ha estado falsificando los libros. more ways than one — it doesn't nec-
2 To do what one has promised to do: essarily have to be with money.
He said he would let us know it there 14 To stop doing something or withdraw
were any new developments and he from something because one becomes
that's exactly what he did. afraid of the consequences: He had
3 To have the courage to do what one prepared a list of grievances which he
believes to be right: No es consecuente intended to read at the monthly meet-
con sus principios. ing, but at the last moment he
and said nothing.
4 To deceive someone: Es inutil que
15 (used when the resulting situation is un-
intentes darle gato por liebre.
satisfactory) With sincere or honest inten-
5 (a mistake, a misdeed, etc.) To return, tions: When we engaged Mr Hill as a
after a long time, as an unpleasant ef- consultant, we did so , with no
fect on the person who initially made knowledge of the fact that he was al-
the mistake: Ahora su politica produce ready employed by our main competitor.
su fruto amargo.
16 To discover somebody doing something
6 To conceal something shameful or un- forbidden or illegal: Lo pille con las
pleasant: Intentaron correr un velo manos en la masa.
sobre el asunto.
17A person who keeps his promises: Es
7 To accept what someone says as true, un hombre de palabra.
without checking the facts: Tendras que 18 To have the necessary courage to do
creerme. something: Tuvo las agallas de decirselo
8 To make sure of one's own financial a la cara.
comfort, especially in a dishonest way 19 (a business, a deal, etc.) To be entirely
and at someone else's expense: Se ha legal and proper, (person) to be honest:
puesto las botas a costa del Todas las operaciones fueron legales.
contribuyente.
20 To be honest and correct, honestly:
9 There is no doubt at all about it: No Ganaron en buena ley.
tiene vuelta de hoja.
21 To be easily bribed: Esta dispuesto a
0O (saying) Being honest is ultimately more dejarse sobornar.
profitable: Lo mejor es ser franco.
22 To be in opposition to one's principles,
11 To be concerned only with making a to a natural tendency, etc: Apoyarlos
profit or gaining a personal advantage: va en contra de mis principios.
The trouble with having salesmen for 23 That's something completely different:
friends is that you never know when Eso es harina de otro costal.
they're being sincere and when they're
simply . 24 Because of a fixed moral rule: No lo
hace por cuestibn de principios.
12 (payments) Secretly and usually ille-
25 To be honest and trustworthy, to be
gally: Le pagaron 25.000 d6lares bajo
telling the truth: No te preocupes, Sam
cuerda.
es honrado.

132 Stanley
34. Psychology 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

what makes sb tick lo que mueve a alguien


To find out how something works you need to Para saber como funcionan las cosas es nece-
take it apart. That is a strong tradition in both sario desmontarlas. Esa es una fuerte tradi-
psychology and self-help. Why do we behave cion, tanto en psicologia como en
as we do? What makes us tick? auto-ayuda. ^Por que nos comportamos como
lo hacemos? ^Que es lo que nos mueve?
demostrar
show what one is made of las cualidades que tiene uno
It's true that he's young and that he doesn't Es verdad que es joven y que no tiene mucha
have much experience, but he's been asking experiencia, pero ha estado pidiendo la opor-
for a chance to show what he's made of tunidad de demostrar las cualidades que tiene
and I think we should give him one. y creo que deberiamos darsela.
be able to think on one's feet ser capaz de pensar con rapidez
In this job, people are constantly coming to En este trabajo, la gente te viene constante-
you with problems, questions, bad news and mente con problemas, preguntas, malas noti-
complaints. It's a steady flow, so you have to cias y quejas. Es un flujo continue, asi que
be able to stay calm and to think on your tienes que poder mantenerte tranquilo y ser
feet. capaz de pensar con rapidez.
be a bag of nerves ser un manojo de nervios
It was the first time he had given a presenta- Era la primera vez que hacia una presentacion
tion to such a large audience and an hour be- ante un publico tan numeroso y una hora an-
fore it started he was a bag of nerves, pac- tes de que empezara, estaba hecho un mano-
ing up and down the room, chain-smoking jo de nervios, caminando en circulos,
and biting his nails. fumando sin parar y comiendose las unas.
have a screw loose tener flojos los tornillos
When he first suggested we could sell more Cuando al principle sugirio que podriamos
perfume by raising the price, I thought he vender mas perfumes subiendo el precio, pen-
must have a screw loose. But it turned out se que debia de tener flojos los tornillos. Pero
he was right: normal logic doesn't apply to resulto que tenia razbn: la logica normal no se
luxury goods. aplica a la mercancia de lujo.
read sb like a book leer el pensamiento de alguien
Poor George! He thinks he's so clever with all jPobre George! Se cree muy listo con todos
his plotting and scheming, but I can read sus complots y tramas, pero le puedo leer el
him like a book. I know exactly what he's pensamiento. Se exactamente lo que esta pla-
up to. neando.
have a chip on one's shoulder ser un / estar resentido
I found out that if you have a chip on He averiguado que si estas resentido cuando
your shoulder when you go into a meeting est^s en una reunion con inspectores de ha-
with the tax inspectors, it'll cost you money. cienda, te costara dinero. No ganaras nada
You gain nothing by being defiant and con- con ser desafiante y buscar bronca.
frontational.
be on cloud nine estar en el septimo cielo
When they invited him to become a partner in Cuando le invitaron a ser socio de la empresa,
the firm, he was on cloud nine for a week. estuvo en el septimo cielo durante una sema-
It was the reward for a decade of grinding na. Fue la recompensa por una decada de tra-
hard work, and an honour no one had ever bajo durisimo y un honor que nadie habia
refused. rechazado nunca.

Stanley 133
Psychology 1,000 everyday idioms in business

mostrarse uno
to show one's true colours como es en realidad
He seemed liberal enough until they made Parecia bastante liberal hasta que le hicieron
him manager. Then, showing his true col- gerente. Entonces, mostrandose como era en
ours, he imposed a strict white-shirt-and-tie realidad, impuso una norma estricta de ves-
dress code on all male employees. And that tuario, camisa blanca y corbata para todos
was only the beginning. los empleados masculinos. Y eso fue tan s6lo
el comienzo.
deep down en el fondo (de su corazon)
Outwardly, I've always been rather conventional Por fuera, siempre he sido bastante clasico y
and traditional: Brooks Brothers clothes, know- tradicional: ropa de Brooks Brothers, trato con
ing all the "right people,' etc. But deep down I la gente "bien", etc. Pero, en el fondo, se que
know I'm a contrarian who likes to challenge soy una persona que Neva la contraria, a
the orthodox way of looking at things. quien le gusta desafiar al orden establecido.
be fed up with sth estar harto de algo
My last place of employment was so horrible Mi ultimo puesto de trabajo era tan horrible
that everyone except the boss dreaded com- que todos salvo el jefe temian ir al trabajo
ing to work each day. I finally got fed up cada dia. Al final me harte y dimiti.
and quit.
ser realista, ser practice,
have both feet on the ground tener los pies en el suelo
He's not one of these modern visionary lead- No es uno de esos lideres modernos y visiona-
ers. He believes that management is a practi- ries. Cree que la gerencia es un negocio prac-
cal business, requiring you to have both tice, que exige tener siempre los pies en el
feet firmly on the ground at all times. suelo.
be nobody's fool no dejarse enganar por nadie
Their chief negotiator is a smooth operator Su principal negociador es un tipo habil con
with a reputation for getting what he wants. fama de conseguir lo que quiere. Pero Michael
But Michael is nobody's fool and I have no se deja enganar por nadie y tengo plena
every confidence that he'll defend our inter- confianza en que defender^ nuestros intereses
ests and get the best possible deal. y conseguir^ el mejor trato posible.
blow hot and cold vacilar, no saber que hacer
Because Wall Street blows hot and cold Como Wall Street no se siente segura en cuan-
on biotech stocks, many biotech firms look to a las acciones de las empresas de biotecno-
to the $ 1 1 0 billion pharmaceutical industry logia, muchas empresas de este sector miran
for help. hacia la industria farmaceutica de 1 10 mil mi-
llones de dolares en busca de ayuda.
perder el control,
go all to pieces quedarse deshecho
It's terribly sad about Mathers. After his wife's Lo de Mathers es muy triste. Tras la muerte de
death, he just went all to pieces. Now he su esposa, se quedo deshecho. Ahora tarda
takes weeks to complete tasks he used to do semanas en hacer lo que antes hacia en dias.
in days.
be on pins and needles estar sobre ascuas
That lawsuit really scared us. If we had lost, Ese pleito realmente nos asusto. Si hubiesemos
we would have been bankrupt. We were on perdido, nos habriamos declarado en quiebra.
pins and needles the whole time. Estuvimos todo el tiempo sobre ascuas.
keep sb on tenterhooks tener a uno sobre ascuas
General Electric Company has been keeping La General Electric Company ha mantenido
British Aerospace and Thomson-CSF of France sobre ascuas a British Aerospace y a

134 Stanley
Psychology 1 , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

on tenterhooks. However, GEC is expected Thomson-CSF de Francia. Sin embargo, se es-


to decide within the next few days whether to pera que GEC se decida en los pr6ximos dias
sell its Marconi defence division to BAe or si vende su divisi6n de defensa Marconi a BAe
merge it with Thomson. o se fusiona con Thomson.
be quick on the uptake pillarlas al vuelo
Your new assistant seems very quick on the Tu nueva ayudante parece pillarlas al vuelo.
uptake. She's only been here two weeks and S6lo lleva aqui dos semanas y ya entiende to-
already she understands all the intricacies of das las complejidades de nuestra politica ad-
our office politics. ministrativa.
his bark is worse than his bite perro ladrador poco mordedor
Don't let yourself be intimidated by old No te dejes intimidar por el viejo Ogden, ya
Ogden, his bark's worse than his bite. que perro ladrador es poco mordedor. Cuan-
When you know him a bit better, you'll see do le conozcas un poco mejor, veras que no
he's not a bad sort to work for. es un mal tipo para trabajar con el.
tener costumbres
be set in one's ways profundamente arraigadas
The problem facing Fisher is how to trans- El problema al que se enfrenta ahora Fisher es
form a work force that is complacent, set c6mo transformar un equipo de trabajadores
in its ways, and slow to change into one autocomplacientes, de pinon fijo y de reaccio-
that's able to cope in today's highly com- nes tardias, en uno que sea capaz de hacer
petitive market. frente al mercado altamente competitivo de
hoy en dia.
be out of one's mind estar loco
How would their wives react if these nor- iComo reaccionarian sus esposas si estos em-
mally level-headed businessmen announced presarios normalmente sensatos anunciaran
they were having a midlife crisis? Every re- que sufren la crisis de los 45 arios? Se pronos-
action imaginable was predicted. The most ticaron toda clase de reacciones. La mas co-
common was: "Are you out of your mun fue: "^Estas loco? Vuelve a trabajar."
mind? Get back to work."
irsele de la memoria,
slip one's mind pasarsele algo a alguien
The last time I saw him, he said he would send La ultima vez que le vi, dijo que me enviaria
me his new e-mail address, but that was two su nueva direcci6n de correo electronico, pero
weeks ago and I haven't heard from him yet. I eso fue hace dos semanas. Supongo que se la
suppose it must have slipped his mind. ha pasado.
take it out on sb desquitarse con uno
At bottom, he's a bully. If he's under pressure En el fondo, es un bruto. Si esta bajo presion
or things aren't going right, he takes it out o las cosas no van bien, se desquita con sus
on his subordinates. subordinados.
salirse de sus casillas,
fly off the handle perder los estribos
Ever have a client fly off the handle at you iAIguna vez has tenido un cliente que ha per-
for something that wasn't your fault? Rule dido los estribos por algo que no era culpa
number one: don't take it personally. Most dif- tuya? Regla numero uno: no te lo tomes a pe-
ficult behaviour is a response to stress or some cho. La mayoria de los comportamientos difici-
kind of perceived threat. les son una respuesta al estres o a algun tipo
de amenaza imaginaria.
what's eating you? £que mosca te ha picado?
Bill's in a foul temper this morning, snapping Bill esta de muy mal humor esta manana.
at everyone. I wonder what's eating him? iMe pregunto que mosca le ha picado?

Stanley 135
34. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To reveal one's true and usually bad 15 To alternate between liking and dislik-
character: Se mostrb tal cual era en ing something: Its infuriating to work
realidad. for someone like Adnan, he on
every possible subject.
2 To be in a state of excitement and anxi-
ety: They waiting for the results. 16 To be very nervous or anxious: Era un
manojo de nervios antes de la
3 To keep somebody in a state of anxi-
entrevista.
ety: Le encanta tener a la gente sobre
ascuas. 17 What is worrying you, or making you
nervous, bad tempered, etc?: ^Que
4 To be extremely happy: Ha estado en
mosca te ha picado?
el septimo cielo desde que se enterb.
18To be realistic and practical: She ,
5 He is not as bad-tempered as he seems
so she won't be impressed by big prom-
to be: Perro ladrador poco mordedor.
ises alone.
6 To show one's real abilities or Worth:
19 To be quick to understand or to learn
This is your chance to the man-
new things: Las pilla al vuelo.
agement .
20 To feel angry or bitter because one be-
7 To have fixed habits which are very
lieves others do not appreciate one's
unlikely to change: He's a sixty-five year
real worth, e.g. because of lack of
old bachelor, so naturally he's .
money or education: Esta muy
8 Deep in ones conscience, feelings, etc: acomplejado por su origen social.
En el fondo lo senti'a.
21 To suddenly lose one's temper with
9 To be mad: jDebes de estar loco! someone: Cuando se lo dije, perdio los
estribos.
10 What makes a person think and behave
as he does: Me gustarfa saber que es 22 To be able to react quickly to changing
lo que lo mueve. circumstances: En este puesto hay que
ser capaz de pensar con rapidez.
11 To become suddenly confused or dis-
tressed: Quedb deshecho cuando se 23 To be a shrewd person, not easily de-
entero. ceived: Nadie le engana.
12 To be forgotten: Lo siento, se me olvid6 24 To be bored and dissatisfied with some-
por completo. thing: Estoy harto de que me digan lo
que tengo que hacer.
13 To understand someone completely, to
not be deceived by someone: A mi no 25 To be slightly mad: Le falta un tornillo.
me vengas con cuentos, que ya te
conozco.
14 To treat somebody badly because of
one's own personal troubles: Se que
estas molesto, pero no te desquites
conmigo.

136 Stanley
35. Colleagues 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

an Aunt Sally un bianco (de insultos, crfticas, etc.)


Topliss wasn't quite as inefficient as everybody Topliss no era tan inutil como se decia. Quiza
claims. Perhaps his colleagues simply needed sus compafieros necesitaban un bianco para
an Aunt Sally to divert attention from their desviar la atencion de sus propios fallos.
own shortcomings.
a whizz kid un lince, un prodigio
Young Hall has been our top salesman four Eljoven Hall es desde hace cuatro anos nues-
years in a row. He's a real whizz kid. If he tro mejor comercial. Es un autentico prodigio.
continues like this, he'll be running the com- Si continua asi, estara al cargo de la empresa
pany by the time he's thirty. cuando llegue a los 30.
a live wire un nervio, un torbellino
Acquiring charisma isn't easy, and a lot of Tener carisma no es facil y muchos lideres no
leaders shouldn't even bother. Who hasn't deberian ni siquiera intentarlo. iQuien no ha
cringed at the sight of an awkward manager sentido verguenza ajena al ver a un gerente
trying to be a live wire? torpe comportarse como un torbellino?
a glutton for punishment un masoquista
I don't understand why he goes to the office No entiendo por que se va a la oficina duran-
at the weekend. Either he's trying to impress te el fin de semana. O esta intentando impre-
somebody or he's a real glutton for pun- sionar a alguien o es un autentico
ishment. masoquista.
a pain in the neck un pesado, un pelmazo
Some people you meet in business are a pain Algunas personas que conoce uno en el tra-
in the neck. Like the client who demands bajo son unos autenticos pelmazos. Como el
that his project be completed overnight, but cliente que insiste en que su proyecto este ter-
lets your bill go unpaid for 90 days. minado para el dia siguiente, pero deja que
pasen 90 dias sin pagar la factura.
a fair-weather friend un amigo de conveniencia
There isn't anything easy about bankruptcy. No es nada facil declararse en quiebra. Pero
But don't waste time crying over fair- no pierdas el tiempo llorando por amigos de
weather friends. Instead, take strength from conveniencia. En su lugar, concentrate en
those who support you. aquellos que te apoyan.
be part of the furniture formar parte del decorado
Sam Mouldy has been down in the Accounts Sam Mouldy lleva tanto tiempo en el departa-
Department for so long, he's part of the fur- mento de contabilidad que forma parte del
niture. I hear he's due to retire next year, but decorado. He oido que le toca jubilarse el ano
then that's what I heard last year as well. que viene, pero eso es lo mismo que oi el ano
pasado.
ser practico,
be down-to-earth ser realista, bonachon
Bollenbach has another rare strength: a re- Bollenbach tiene otra rara habilidad: una perso-
laxed, jovial personality. His ruddy face and nalidad relajada y jovial. Su cara rubicunda y
blue eyes radiate down-to-earth charm. sus ojos azules irradian un encanto bonachon.
be on the ball estar al caso, espabilar
There's always a certain anxiety in Singapore Siempre hay una cierta ansiedad en
and this is a galvanising force. It keeps people Singapur,lo que constituye un gran incentive.
on the ball. Mantiene a la gente a tope.

Stanley 137
Colleagues 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

be sb's right-hand man ser el brazo derecho de alguien


Ballmer, who is Gates' right-hand man, Ballmer, la mano derecha de Gates, Ileg6 a la
concluded that India was potentially a huge conclusion de que la India ofrecia inmensas
opportunity. oportunidades.
be a dead ringer for sb ser un doble a alguien
Have you seen the boss's new PA? She's a iHas visto la nueva relaciones publicas del
dead ringer for the young Sharon Stone. jefe? Es la doble de Sharon Stone. La unica di-
The only difference is she wears glasses. ferencia es que esta lleva gafas.
give sb the sack despedir a uno
At Morgan Grenfell, 18 fund managers were En Morgan Grenfell, 18 gestores de fondos
given the sack in November and morale is fueron despedidos en noviembre y se dice
said to be low. que la moral est£ baja.
put sb out to pasture jubilar a alguien
"They didn't just put us out to pasture, "No s6lo nos jubilaron, sino que nos pegaron
they put a bullet through us," claimed un tiro," dijo McManis, que ha llevado a pleito
McManus, who has filed an age-discrimination a la empresa por discriminacion de edad.
lawsuit against the company.
pass the hat round asar el platillo, pasar la gorra
As you all know, Dick Walton will be getting Como todos sabeis, Dick Walton se va a casar
married next month. So, as is customary, we'll el mes que viene. Asi que, como de costum-
be passing the hat round the department bre, pasaremos el platillo por el departamento
to get him a wedding present. All contribu- para comprarle un regalo de boda. Todas las
tions will be most welcome. contribuciones seran bienvenidas.
keep oneself to oneself ser discrete
We don't really know what he's like. He Realmente no sabemos c6mo es. Se mantiene
keeps himself to himself — never comes apartado, nunca acude a las fiestas de la ofici-
to staff parties, or anything like that. na ni nada por el estilo.
get on sb's nerves crispar los nervios a alguien
Do you ever snap at a colleague or a cus- has levantado nunca la voz a algun com-
tomer who gets on your nerves? If so, it's panero o cliente que te crispa los nervios? Si
probably evidence of stress. es asi, seguramente es una muestra de estres.
be all mouth ser un fanfarron
You don't want to believe everything Conway No te creas todo lo que te diga Conway. Es
tells you. He's all mouth, forever bragging un fanfarrbn, siempre alardeando de gente
about people he's never met and places he's que nunca ha conocido y de lugares en los
never been. que nunca ha estado.
a skeleton staff un personal minimo
We're open 7 days a week throughout the Estamos abiertos 7 dias a la semana durante
year. On weekends and holidays, of course, todo el ano. Pero durante los fines de semana
we operate with only a skeleton staff. y las vacaciones, funcionamos solo con el per-
sonal minimo.
across the board general, global
Mandini sought to placate employee worries, Mandini quiso tranquilizar a los empleados,
saying there would be no immediate salary re- diciendo que no habria ninguna reducci6n in-
ductions. Yet he also announced austerity mediata de salaries. Pero tambien anuncio
measures across the board and hinted at medidas globales de austeridad e insinu6 que
personnel reductions. podria haber ajustes de plantilla.

138 Stanley
Colleagues , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

give sb his due ser justo con alguien


Whether you like Murdoch or dislike him, and Te guste Murdoch o no —y la mayoria de la
most people working here can't stand him ei- gente no le puede aguantar ni como persona
ther as a person or as a manager, you still ni como gerente—, tienes que ser justo con
have to give him his due: he gets the job el: consigue terminar el trabajo a tiempo y lo
done on time and he gets it done well. consigue hacer bien.
be like a fish out of water estar como pez fuera del agua
I don't know why they put the new manage- No se por que han puesto al joven en practi-
ment trainee in the Data Processing Depart- cas de direccion en el departamento de proce-
ment, he doesn't know the first thing about so de datos, no sabe ni lo mas basico sobre
computers. He must really feel like fish out ordenadores. Se tiene que sentir como un pez
of water. fuera del agua.
a dark horse una enigma, un ganador sorpresa
No one expected him to be promoted to Divi- Nadie esperaba que fuera ascendido a jefe de
sion Head, but then he's always been a bit of departamento, pero siempre ha sido un poco
a dark horse. Clearly the management have enigma"tico. Esta claro que la direccion ha vis-
seen qualities in him that the rest of us were to cualidades en el que el resto de nosotros
unaware of. desconocemos.
new blood sangre nueva, savia nueva
Employees who have been doing the same Los empleados que han estado haciendo lo
things the same way for twenty years or so mismo de la misma forma durante veinte anos
aren't going to change overnight. That's why no van a cambiar de la noche a la manana.
we need the kind of energy and ideas that Por eso necesitamos la energia y las ideas ge-
come with regular infusions of new blood. neradas por la introduccion de savia nueva.
hate sb's guts no poder ver a alguien
You can't possibly ask those two to share an No se puede pedir que esos dos compartan
office. Don't you know they hate each oth- la misma oficina. ^No sabes que no se pue-
er's guts? den ver?
tenerle algo
have sth in store for sb preparado para alguien
Immediately he took over the company, it was En cuanto se hizo cargo de la empresa, era
obvious he had a number of major changes evidente que tenia preparados para nosotros
in store for us. unos cuantos cambios importantes.

Stanley 139
35. Exercise 1,000 everyday idioms in business

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 To have something prepared or re- 13 To be a person no-one pays attention
served for someone: iQue nos deparar^ to because he has worked somewhere
el destine? for so long: Hace tanto tiempo que
2 To be boastful: You can't believe a frac- trabaja en la oficina, que ya forma parte
tion of what he tells you, he's . del decorado.
3 The smallest number of employees 14 To be lively and alert, and usually highly
competent: Parecla muy espabilada.
needed to keep a service operating,
e.g. during holidays: We'll be open for 15 To dismiss somebody from his job: Los
business over Christmas and the New echaron a todos.
Year, but with a , of course. 16An annoying person: Es un pesado.
4 A person who invites, or seems to in- 17 To force someone to retire: I don't know
vite, treatment usually considered un- exactly how old he is, but I suppose
pleasant or painful: Eres masoquista, they'll be soon.
mira que ir a la oficina el fin de semana. 18 To be practical and realistic, to have
5 (wages, prices, etc.) Affecting everyone both feet on the ground: You'll like Bill
or everything, without exception: Los a lot, he's a very sensible, per-
supermercados subiran los precios de son, not at all interested in grand theo-
todos sus productos. ries of management.
6 To annoy someone: Ese ruido me crispa 19A new person or new people brought
los nervios. into an organization to stimulate activ-
ity: Hace falta gente nueva en la
7 To collect gifts of money from people, compania.
e.g. in an office or company: When
someone leaves the department, we 20A young person with modern ideas
usually to buy them a little fare- working with energy and success: He's
well gift. a real , it usually takes fifteen or
twenty years to reach the position he's
8 To admit something positive about reached in five.
someone: Para ser justo con el, tienes
21 A person who doesn't talk much about
que reconocer que es muy eficiente.
himself or who has greater abilities than
9 To not mix or communicate much with others think: Es una caja de sorpresas.
other people: She tends to ,
22 To be someone's most trusted helper:
which explains why nobody really Lleg6 a ser el brazo derecho del patr6n.
knows what kind of person she is.
23 To feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar
0O Someone who is laughed at, blamed, company or surroundings: Me siento
insulted and despised: Every large of- como un pez fuera del agua.
fice has an some unfortunate
24A person who is only friendly while
person at whom others can direct their
things are going well for one: It's bad
hostility.
enough to have major financial prob-
11 To dislike someone intensely: No se lems, but what is particularly painful is
pueden ver. to discover how many you had.
12 To look very much like another person: 25 An extremely active, eager, lively per-
Es la viva imagen de su hermano. son: Es una persona llena de vida.
140 Stanley
36. Politics ,000 everyday idioms in business

pull strings tocar teclas


My uncle knows people in high places. He Mi tio conoce a gente en las altas esferas. Es
may well be able to pull a few strings muy posible que pueda tocar unas cuantas te-
for us. clas para favorecernos.
you scratch my back
and I'll scratch yours hoy por ti y manana por mi
For some members of the International Olym- Para algunos miembros del Comite Olimpico
pic Committee a "mutual understanding" is Internacional un "acuerdo mutuo" es el equi-
the equivalent of "you scratch my back and valente de "haz algo por mi y puede que vote
I might vote for your city". por tu ciudad".
every man for himself salvese quien pueda
They've announced their intention to reduce Han anunciado su intenci6n de reducir el per-
the workforce by 40% over the next three sonal de un 40% durante los tres proximos
years, so, as regards keeping your job, it's anos, asi que en cuanto a mantener el puesto
every man for himself. de trabajo, salvese quien pueda.
stab sb in the back dar a uno una punalada trapera
The word "loyalty' isn't part of his vocabulary. La palabra "lealtad" no forma parte de su vo-
However much you've done to help him, cabulario. Por mucho que hayas hecho para
sooner or later he'll stab you in the back. ayudarle, tarde o temprano te dara una puna-
It's his nature. lada trapera. Es su forma de sen
lick sb's boots hacer la pelota a alguien
Auge worked his way up through the ranks, Auge fue ascendiendo desde abajo, haciendo
licking the boots of his supervisors all constantemente la pelota a sus superiores. Ja-
the way. I never saw a man who could crawl mas he visto un hombre capaz de arrastrarse
to management the way he could. ante los directives como lo hace el.
have an axe to grind tener intereses personates
"Fishbowl" is a management exercise which La "Pecera" es un ejercicio de gestion que re-
brings everybody with an axe to grind on a une en una habitaci6n a todos los que tienen
given issue together in one room, with advo- un interes especial en un tema concrete, con
cates of certain points of view in the centre of los defensores de ciertos puntos de vista en el
the "fishbowl" and executives responsible for centre de la "pecera" y con los ejecutivos res-
the decision on the outside. ponsables de la decision en el exterior.
behind sb's back a espaldas de alguien
Every time I came into the office, they would Cada vez que entraba en la oficina, dejaban
suddenly stop talking. That happened three or de hablar. Eso ocurrio tres o cuatro veces, asi
four times, so I knew they were planning que sabia que estaban planeando algo a mis
something behind my back. espaldas.
take the credit for sth atribuirse el merito de algo
Brown wrote an excellent analysis of the situa- Brown escribio un excelente analisis acerca de
tion but it was his boss who took all the la situacion pero fue su jefe quien se atribuyo
credit for it. todo el merito.
tratar de
curry favour with sb congraciarse con alguien
He's a talented golfer, so he curries favour Es un golfista con talento, por eso trata de
with his superiors by giving them tips on how congraciarse con sus superiores d^ndoles con-
to improve their game, or even by letting sejos sobre c6mo mejorar su juego, o incluso
them beat him from time to time. dejando que le ganen de vez en cuando.
Stanley 141
Politics 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

poke one's nose into sth meter las narices en algo


What did Parker want this time? He's always iQue es lo que Parker queria esta vez? Siem-
snooping around our offices, poking his pre esta fisgando en nuestras oficinas, metien-
nose into matters that don't concern him. do las narices en donde no le llaman.
molestar a alguien,
put sb's nose out of joint ofender a alguien
Julia used to work in his department, so it's Antes Julia trabajaba en su departamento, asi
bound to put his nose out of joint if she's que se sentira sin duda dolido si a ella le as-
promoted over him. cienden por encima de el.
pensar ante todo
look after number one en el propio interes
If he's agreed to help you, it's because it's to Si esta de acuerdo en ayudarte, es porque se
his advantage to help you, you can be sure of va a beneficiar en algo, puedes estar seguro.
that. He believes in looking after number El piensa solamente en su propio interes y
one and only number one. nada m^s.
keep a low profile intentar pasar desapercibido
Everybody makes mistakes. Just keep a Todo el mundo comete errores. Intenta pa-
low profile for the next few months and sar desapercibido durante los proximos me-
soon this whole unfortunate business will ses y pronto este desgraciado asunto se
be forgotten. habra olvidado.
a snake in the grass un traidor, un Judas
Don't be deceived by all his talk of honesty and No te dejes enganar por su palabreria sobre la
loyalty and so on, it's completely superficial. Be- honradez, la lealtad, etc. Es muy superficial.
lieve me, he's a real snake in the grass. Creeme, es un verdadero Judas.
soft-soap sb dar coba a alguien
Often it's not the cleverest or most able people Muchas veces el que asciende no es ni el mas
who get promoted, but those who know best listo ni el mas capacitado, sino el que mejor
how to soft-soap their superiors. sabe dar coba a sus superiores.
put a spoke in sb's wheel poner trabas a alguien
Even if it's 20% up on last year, there's a good Incluso si sube un 20% en relacion con el afio
chance the Training Plan will be approved at anterior, hay una buena posibilidad de que se
the next board meeting. Unless, of course, the apruebe el Plan de Formacion en la proxima
Head of Finance manages to put a spoke in reuni6n del consejo. A no ser, claro esta, que
our wheel first. el jefe de finanzas consiga ponernos trabas.
a storm in a teacup una tempestad en un vaso de agua
How ridiculous to see grown men shouting at jQue ridiculo es ver a hombres adultos gritan-
each other like schoolboys! But don't let this do como ninos! Pero no dejes que te preocu-
silly row worry you — it's only a storm in a pe esta discusion tonta, es tan s6lo una
teacup. Tomorrow they won't even remember tempestad en un vaso de agua. Mariana ni si-
what they were shouting about. quiera se acordaran por que gritaban.
make waves hacer olas, causar problemas
Billionaire Ted Turner made waves in the El multimillonario Ted Turner hizo olas a me-
mid-1980s when he bought the rights to diados de los anos 80 cuando comprd los de-
classic black-and-white movies and rechos de peliculas clasicas en bianco y negro
colorized them to make them more appeal- y las coloreo para hacerlas mas atractivas al
ing to young audiences. publico joven.

142 Stanley
Politics , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

put in a good word for sb interceder por alguien


I'd like to work in our Paris branch and I know Me gustaria trabajar en nuestra sucursal de
the manager there is a personal friend of Paris y como ya se que el gerente de alii es
yours. I was wondering if you could put in a amigo personal tuyo, me preguntaba si po-
good word for me if any vacancies come up. drias interceder por mi si se produce alguna
vacante.
get even with sb desquitarse con alguien
Kicked out of the family business, Richards Cuando le echaron de la empresa familiar,
didn't get mad. He decided to get even in- Richards no se enfado, pero decidio desquitar-
stead. In such cases, founding your own suc- se. En tales casos, la mejor venganza es crear
cessful company is the best revenge. tu propia empresa y tener exito.
bury the hatchet enterrar el hacha de guerra
The trend among retailers and oil companies La tendencia entre los minoristas y las empre-
is to bury the hatchet and try to maximise sas del petrdleo es la de enterrar el hacha de
their returns by going into partnership. Thus, guerra e intentar conseguir el maximo benefi-
Elf, BP and Esso have joined forces with the cio asociandose. Asi, Elf, BP y Esso han auna-
Somerfield, Safeway and Tesco retail chains re- do fuerzas con las cadenas de minoristas
spectively. Somerfield Safeway y Tesco respectivamente.
una persona contratada
a hatchet man para "cortar cabezas"
Introducing the Time and Efficiency specialist Al presentarles al especialista en Tiempo y Efi-
to his employees, the GM insisted that he was cacia, el director general insistio en que solo
interested only in improving procedures and le interesaba mejorar los procedimientos y
that no one need fear for his job. The special- que nadie tenia que temer por su trabajo. El
ist was in no sense a hatchet man. especialista no era de ninguna manera una
persona contratada para "cortar cabezas".
a vested interest un interes adquirido
Our employees have options on nearly 2 mil- Nuestros empleados tienen opciones sobre
lion shares of company stock. Sharing the casi 2 millones de acciones de la empresa. El
wealth creates a vested interest for every- hecho de compartir la riqueza genera un inte-
one to succeed. res adquirido para que todos tengan exito.
dar completa libertad a alguien
give sb enough con la esperanza de que vaya a
rope to hang himself enredarse
Perhaps the best way to deal with any prima Quiza la unica forma de tratar con cualquier
donnas working for you is to give them tibur6n que trabaje para ti es darle cuerda
enough rope to hang themselves. Then para que se ahorque a si mismo. De este
they can either learn from their mistakes or modo o aprende de sus errores o se marcha
move out of the company. de la empresa.
on the sly a escondidas, a hurtadillas
It seems that certain employees have been us- Parece ser que ciertos empleados han estado
ing the firm's Internet connection to play utilizando la conexion de la empresa con
games on the sly. Internet para jugar a hurtadillas.

Stanley 143
36 Exercise 1,000 everyday i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 To take care of oneself exclusively or to 13 If you help me with something, I'll
look for one's own advantage: Solo help you in return: Hoy por ti y
piensa en sf mismo. manana por mi.
2 To deliberately behave in a way that 14To use personal influence to obtain
does not attract attention: Trato de something: Toc6 muchas teclas para
pasar desapercibida. conseguir ese trabajo.
3 To betray someone: Esto fue una 15 Secretly in order to deceive: Se ha
punalada trapera para el director de estado viendo con ella a escondidas.
exportaciones. 16 Without someone's knowledge or ap-
4 A deceitful or treacherous person: Nos proval: Tramaban algo a mis espaldas.
delato algun judas. 17 To disturb a comfortable situation by
5 To flatter someone in order to gain causing trouble: In the present eco-
something: Susan le dio coba y logro nomic climate, this isn't the moment to
que accediera.
6 To cause someone to be offended be- 18 To agree to be friends again after a
cause he no longer receives as much quarrel: Por fin han decidido hacer las
attention as in the past: We succeeded paces.
where Fredricks failed, and of course 19To have a person interest in something:
that . No estoy motivado por intereses
7 To give someone a lot of freedom to personales en este asunto.
do something his own way in order to 20 To get one's revenge on someone: Ya
see him fail or to make him look fool- me las pagara algun dia.
ish: Dejale actuar y el se condenara a
21 An argument about something trivial:
si mismo.
Su pelea no es mas que una tormenta
8 To behave obsequiously to someone in en un vaso de agua.
power: It makes me sick to see the way
22 To ingratiate oneself with one's superi-
he the boss's and even
ors: He knows the boss's son collects
sicker to see that it works.
stamps, so he always brings back some
9 A personal interest: Tienen un interes from his trips abroad. Of course, he's
personal en promocionar estos simply .
productos.
23 A situation of extreme danger in which
10 To accept praise for something, espe- everybody must take care of himself:
cially something done by someone else: Salvese quien pueda.
Su jefe se atribuyo el merito de haber
24 To prevent or hinder someone from
escrito el informe.
reaching their objective: Don't tell
11 To speak well of someone in order to Morton what you're doing, because if
recommend or defend him: Prometi6 he can, he'll try to .
hablarle bien de mi al director.
25 To concern oneself with someone else's
12A person hired to reduce staff or costs affairs: Siempre esta metiendo las
in a company: I'm a professional , narices en nuestros asuntos.
so I don't expect to be popular.

144 Stanley
37. Careers 1 , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

set one's sights on sth tener la mira puesta en algo


Root set his sights on being a national Root tenia su mira puesta en ser presentador
sports broadcaster — and got rejected by nacional de deportes y fue rechazado por
hundreds of TV stations. But he persevered cientos de cadenas de television. Pero perse-
until FNN, a cable network, offered him a job vere hasta que la FNN, una cadena de televi-
as its weekend sports anchor. sion por cable, le ofrecio un puesto como
presentador de deportes de fin de semana.
be cut out for sth estar hecho para algo
He's not really the adventurous sort. I don't No es realmente un tipo aventurero. No se si
know whether he's cut out for the expa- esta hecho para vivir expatriado.
triate life.
tener todo lo necesario
have the makings of sth para ser algo
I realised at once that these six individuals Me di cuenta enseguida de que estos seis in-
could work together as a cohesive unit and dividuos podrian trabajar juntos como un solo
that we had the makings of a winning hombre y que teniamos todo lo necesario
team. para convertirnos en el equipo ganador.
follow in sb's footsteps seguir los pasos a alguien
He hoped that one day his son would follow Esperaba que su hijo siguiera algun dia sus
in his footsteps and run the family busi- pasos y llevara la empresa familiar, pero su
ness, but his son had other plans. hijo tenia otros planes.
fly high picar alto
It is less emotionally demanding to fire Es menos estresante a nivel emocional el des-
high-fliers than less gifted employees be- pedir a los que pican alto que a los emplea-
cause high-fliers can always go and fly dos con menos talento porque los que pican
high somewhere else. But for most people, alto siempre pueden ir a picar a otro lugar.
there is nowhere to go. Pero la mayoria de la gente no tiene donde ir.
go far llegar lejos
He is an ambitious and talented young man. I Es un joven ambicioso y con talento. Estoy
am sure he will go far in his chosen field. seguro de que llegara lejos en el campo
que elija.
pull oneself up
by one's bootstraps salir adelante sin ayuda de nadie
Pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, Al salir adelante sin ayuda de nadie, aprendes
you learn things that can't be taught in busi- cosas que no se pueden ensenar en una es-
ness school. So your chances of survival are cuela empresarial. Asi, las posibilidades que
much better than those of some guy who's tienes de sobrevivir son mucho mayores que
had it all handed to him on a plate. las del tipo a quien se lo han dado todo en
bandeja.
come up through the ranks empezar de cero
Galvin came up through the ranks. He be- Galvin empezo de cero. Comenzo en 1973
gan by selling two-way radio systems in 1973, vendiendo sistemas de radio bi-direccionales y
and by 1 984 was head of the U.S. operations para 1984 era ya director de operaciones de
of legal. legal en EE UU.
make a name for oneself hacerse un nombre
Since it was founded in 1971, Kryptonite Desde su fundacion en 1971, Kryptonite
Corp. has made quite a name for itself, Corp. se ha hecho un nombre, vendiendo
selling more than one million locks and enjoy- mas de un millon de candados y consiguien-
ing healthy success. do un gran exito.
Stanley 145
Careers 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

be a feather in one's cap ser un triunfo para alguien


He was just a junior executive like many oth- S6lo era un ejecutivo del monton como tantos
ers until he clinched the deal with Newton. otros hasta que consigui6 el contrato con
That was a real feather in his cap. The Newton. Eso fue un triunfo para el. Los altos
top men in the company knew who he was cargos de la empresa sabian quien era des-
after that. pues de eso.
give sb a pat on the back felicitar a alguien
Anybody coming from a corporate environ- Cualquiera que venga del ambiente de una
ment is used to having a shoulder to cry on gran empresa esta acostumbrado a tener un
on a bad day or getting a pat on the back hombro en el que llorar cuando tiene un dia
on a good day. You lose that when you go malo, o ser felicitado cuando el dia es bueno.
into business on your own. The isolation be- Eso desaparece cuando uno pone en marcha
comes your worst enemy. su propio negocio. El aislamiento se convierte
en su peor enemigo.
pull one's socks up hacer un esfuerzo, esforzarse
This is the third time this week you've been Esta es la tercera vez esta semana que has lle-
late. If you want to continue working here, I gado tarde. Si quieres seguir trabajando aqui,
seriously advise you to pull your socks up. sugiero que hagas un esfuerzo.
ojos que no ven,
out of sight, out of mind corazon que no siente
The problem with accepting an expatriate El problema de aceptar un puesto en el ex-
post in K.L is that one is a very long way tranjero es que se esta muy lejos de la oficina
from the main office in London. Out of central de Londres. Ya ves, ojos que no ven,
sight, out of mind, you know. corazon que no siente.
get into one's stride coger el ritmo
It's unfair to criticise someone who has only No es justo criticar a alguien que acaba de in-
just joined the company. Let's give him a cou- corporarse a la empresa. Demosle un par de
ple of weeks to get into his stride, then semanas para que coja el ritmo, estoy seguro
I'm sure his performance will improve. de que su rendimiento mejorara.
piedra movediza
a rolling stone gathers no moss nunca moho la cobija
Changing one's job frequently used to be Antes se miraba con desprecio el cambiar con
frowned upon ("a rolling stone gathers no frecuencia de trabajo ("piedra movediza nun-
moss", etc.); now no-one can expect to ca moho la cobija", etc.); ahora nadie puede
spend one's whole working life in the same or- esperar que uno se pase toda su vida laboral
ganisation. en la misma organizacion.
mark time hacer tiempo
You can mark time until some of the older Puedes hacer tiempo hasta que algunos de
men retire or leave the company, but there's los empleados mas mayores se jubilen o dejen
absolutely no guarantee that you'll gain pro- la empresa, pero no hay ninguna garantia de
motion this way. que consigas un ascenso de esa manera.
sb's track record el historial de alguien
Suharto's decision to resign in 1998, after 32 La decisi6n de Suharto de dimitir en 1 998,
years in power, was greeted with little enthu- tras 32 anos en el poder, fue recibida con
siasm in financial markets. That was mainly poco entusiasmo en los mercados financieros,
because of the dubious track record of his debido principalmente al dudoso historial de
successor, BJ. Habibie. su sucesor, B.J. Habibie.

146 Stanley
Careers 1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

up-and-coming que promete mucho


You don't learn leadership in books, you learn No se aprende a ser lider en los libros, sino
it through experience. Here we believe in di- con la experiencia. Aqui creemos en una ex-
versity of experience, so we move up-and- periencia diversificada, por eso trasladamos a
coming managers from division to division los directives que prometen mucho de divi-
and from job to job. sion en division y de trabajo en trabajo.
fall by the wayside quedarse en el camino
Some people get rich through multilevel mar- Algunas personas se enriquecen a traves del
keting, but the overwhelming majority fall by marketing de multiples niveles, pero la inmen-
the wayside — and that's no accident. It's sa mayoria se quedan en el camino, y eso no
how the system works. es ningun accidente. Es asi como funciona el
sistema.
come up in the world prosperar
Slater has certainly come up in the world Desde luego. Slater ha prosperado desde la
since the last time I saw him. He was only an ultima vez que le vi. Entonces era s6lo un
accountant then, now he's running the Fi- contable. Y ahora lleva el departamento de fi-
nance Department. nanzas.
pasar a ocupar
step into sb's shoes el puesto de alguien
Have you groomed a successor? If you were iHas preparado a tu sucesor? Si te fueran a
to be promoted, is there someone who could ascender, <Lhay alguna forma de que alguien
step into your shoes right away? pudiese ocupar tu puesto de inmediato?
blot one's copybook manchar su reputacion
Harris seemed to be destined for great things Harris parecia estar destinado a grandes cosas
until he blotted his copybook by getting hasta que manch6 su reputacion emborra-
drunk at the office party and insulting the GM chandose en un fiesta de la oficina e insulto al
in front of everyone. director general delante de todos.
be in line for sth estar a punto de recibir algo
Women are successful in high tech companies Las mujeres tienen exito en empresas de alta
because there isn't a man with 20 years' expe- tecnologia porque no hay ningun hombre con
rience in line for the job ahead of them. 20 anos de experiencia delante de ellas para
Things change so fast in high-tech businesses el puesto. Las cosas cambian tan rapido en los
that new opportunities open faster there than negocios de la alta tecnologia que las nuevas
in older kinds of work. oportunidades se presentan mas rapidamente
que en otra clase de trabajos.
a stepping stone un trampolin, un escalon
If the company pays for educational courses Si la empresa paga a sus empleados el coste
for employees, these are tax-free to the em- de los cursos de formacion, estos estan libres
ployee as long as they relate to his current po- de impuestos para el empleado siempre que
sition. But if the course is a stepping stone tengan relacion con su puesto actual. Pero si
to another job, it's taxable. el curso es un trampolin para otro puesto, hay
que pagar impuestos.
rest on one's laurels dormirse en los laureles
Probably the reason the technology business Posiblemente la razon por la cual el negocio
is such fun is that no company is allowed to de la tecnologia es tan divertido es porque no
rest on its laurels. The moment you be- se permite que ninguna empresa se duerma
come complacent, the competition sprints en los laureles. En el momento que te relajas,
ahead. la competencia se te adelanta.

Stanley 147
37. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.
1 To become famous: Se dio a conocer 12 To obtain a high position at work: Esta
como disenador industria volando alto.
2 (saying) Someone who is not seen is 13 To make a serious effort to improve the
soon forgotten: Ojos que no ven, quality of one's work: Ya va siendo hora
corazon que no siente. de que ponga un poco de emperio.
3 To become successful through one's 14 To be satisfied with successes already
own efforts, without help from others achieved and not attempt to go further:
and in spite of disadvantages: Your fa- Se nan dormido en los laureles.
ther had nothing when he started, not
15A position on the way to something
even a good education, but he worked
better: Es un peldano en el camino del
hard and , so he deserves all the
exito.
success he's had.
16 To have suitable abilities for a particu-
4 To become accustomed to an activity
so that one starts doing it well: Estaba lar job or activity: No estoy hecho para
empezando a habituarme cuando me los negocios.
despidieron. 17 To have the necessary abilities to be-
5 An achievement of which one can be come something: Tiene madera dejefe
proud: Es un triunfo para el. de personal.
6 (saying) A person who frequently 18To be due to receive something, e.g. a
changes his job will not become promotion: Pronto le subira el sueldo.
wealthy or successful: Piedra movediza 19 Likely to be successful, rising quickly (in
nunca moho la cobija. an organisation, etc.): Don't you know
7 To reach a high position in an organi- him? He's one of our young ex-
sation, especially in the military, after ecutives.
starting in a low position: Starting in 20To spoil one's record: Fue una mancha
1985 as a maintenance technician, he en su historial.
and was appointed Head of
21 To praise someone for something he
Training in 1 998.
has done: Se merece que la feliciten.
8 To remain in one's present position un-
22 To take over someone else's job, respon-
til conditions permit further progress:
sibilities, etc: It's not easy to of a
He wasn't happy in that job, he was
man like Christopher, so all I can say is
really just until something better
came along. that I'll try my best.
9 To do what another person, especially 23 To be successful in one's work: Con
a relative, has already done: Queria dedicacion llegaras lejos.
seguir los pasos de su padre. 24 To improve one's rank, socially or pro-
10 The list of a person's or organisation's fessionally: Han prosperado mucho.
successes: Esta compania tiene un 25 To become discouraged and abandon
excelente historial comercial. the struggle to succeed: Abandonaron
11 To aim at having or doing something: a medio camino.
Tenia la mira puesta en convertirse en
abogado.

148 Stanley
38. Contacts , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

it takes all sorts


(to make a world) de todo hay en la vina del Senor
Martin actually prefers travelling in economy En realidad, Martin prefiere viajar en clase tu-
to travelling in first class, because he doesn't rista que en primera clase, ya que no le gusta
like being near the front of the plane. Ah well, estar en la parte delantera del avion. En fin,
I suppose it takes all sorts. de todo hay en la vina del Senor.
estar en buenas
be on good terms with sb relaciones con alguien
It's never easy to get that kind of contract — Nunca es facil conseguir ese tipo de contrato,
unless, of course, you happen to be on a no ser, claro esta, que de la casualidad de
good terms with someone important in the que estas en buenas relaciones con alguien
Ministry of Defence. del Ministerio de Defensa.
be on firstname terms with sb tutear a uno
There are hundreds of salesmen working here, Hay cientos de comerciales trabajando aqui y
and I'm on firstname terms with each and yo me tuteo con todos ellos.
every one of them.
get in touch with sb ponerse en contacto con alguien
The secret of the mail order business is to of- El secreto del negocio de las ventas por correo
fer a product people really want — and then es ofrecer un producto que la gente quiera real-
learn how to get in touch with the people mente y entonces aprender como ponerse en
who want it. contacto con la gente que lo quiere.
mantenerse
keep in touch with sb en contacto con alguien
Finding new customers costs money. On the Encontrar nuevos clientes cuesta dinero. Por
other hand, keeping in touch with your otra parte, mantenerte en contacto con los
satisfied customers and making them devotees clientes mas satisfechos y conseguir que te
costs you relatively little. sean fieles te cuesta relativamente poco.
the old pals act amigos de toda la vida
He didn't pay much attention to me until some- No me hizo mucho caso hasta que alguien
one mentioned that I was Head of Purchasing. menciono que era el director de compras. En-
Then he turned on the old pals act. tonces hizo la pantomima como si fueramos
amigos de toda la vida.
tener a alguien
have sb in the palm of one's hand en la palma de la mano
With our new presentation software, you'll Con nuestra nueva presentacion de software,
have the audience in the palm of your tendras al publico en la palma de la mano.
hand every time.
know sb to see conocer a alguien de vista
Jim Burton? Well, we both attend the same <i.Jim Burton? Pues los dos visitamos las mis-
trade fairs, so I know him to see. But we've mas ferias, asi que le conozco de vista. Pero
never been formally introduced or anything nunca nos han presentado formalmente ni
like that. nada por el estilo.
none other than ... nadie mas que ...
You'll never guess who came over and sat Nunca adivinaras quien vino a sentarse a
down at our table. None other than the nuestra mesa. jNi mas ni menos que el vice
Vice President in person!. presidente en persona!.

Stanley 149
Contacts 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

be the salt of the earth ser la sal de la tierra


Why do truck drivers enjoy widespread public iPor que los transportistas tienen el apoyo del
support, even in the middle of a strike? Partly publico incluso en medio de una huelga? En
because they're the salt of the earth and parte porque son la sal de la tierra y en parte
partly because everyone knows their working porque todo el mundo sabe que sus condicio-
conditions are dreadful. nes laborales son lamentables.
it's a small world el mundo es un panuelo
People in the oil industry are constantly La gente de la industria petrolifera se suele
bumping into each other, at intervals of encontrar cada 10 o 20 anos en los lugares
maybe 10 or 20 years, in the most unlikely mas insospechados. El mundo es un panuelo
places. It's a small world for everybody, but para todos, pero en particular en la industria
particularly small in the oil industry. petrolifera.
talk of the devil ! ; hablando del rey de Roma !
You'll be working on this project with Jimmy Trabajaras en este proyecto con Jimmy
Hargreaves and Sid Connors. Well, talk of Hargreaves y Sid Connors. Mira, jhablando del
the devil, here's Jimmy coming now. rey de Roma!, por ahi viene Jimmy.
have a foot in both camps tener intereses en ambos lados
France is a net contributor to the European Francia .es una contribuidora neta al presu-
budget, although its farmers are still massive puesto europeo, aunque sus granjeros son
net recipients. That is why France has tradi- aim receptores en gran parte. Por tal moti-
tionally been such a successful negotiator: it vo, Francia ha sido tradicionalmente un ne-
has a foot in both camps. gociador con exito: tiene intereses en
ambos lados.
get on like a house on fire llevarse de maravilla
At first they didn't like each other much, prob- Al principio no se caian bien, probablemente
ably because their styles were so different. But porque sus estilos eran muy distintos. Pero
now Lucy sees how much her skills comple- ahora Lucy ve como sus habilidades se com-
ment Harry's, and vice versa, and they get plementan con las de Harry y al reves, y se lie-
on like a house on fire. van de maravilla.
be in the know estar enterado
Barcelona and Dublin were successful confer- Barcelona y Dublin tuvieron exito durante al-
ence venues for a while but conference or- gun tiempo como destines para conferencias
ganisers in the know are currently looking pero los organizadores de conferencias que
at central Europe, and at Prague in particular. estan al dia estan mirando ahora a Europa
Central y a Praga en particular.
give sb a leg up echarle un cable a alguien
Bill Braden and I had been friends for years, Bill Braden y yo hemos sido amigos durante
so when his son joined the company, I natu- anos, asi que cuando su hijo ingres6 en la em-
rally took an interest in him. He was a tal- presa, me interest por el. Era un chico con ta-
ented lad and I was able to give him the lento y pude echarle el cable que necesitaba.
leg up he needed.
sb's opposite number el homologo de alguien
A meeting is rumoured to have taken place Se rumorea que hubo una reuni6n antes de
before Christmas between Sir Graham Hearne, Navidad entre Sir Graham Hearne, el presiden-
the chairman of Enterprise, and Rudolph te de Enterprise, y Rudolph Agnew, su homo-
Agnew, his opposite number at Lasmo. logo en Lasmo.

150 Stanley
Contacts , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

hear sth on the grapevine me lo ha dicho un pajarito


Nothing's been announced officially, of No se ha anunciado nada de forma oficial, na-
course, but I heard on the grapevine that turalmente, pero me ha dicho un pajarito que
we'll soon be getting a new CEO. pronto tendremos nuevo presidente.
get wind of sth olerse algo
We must do everything possible to ensure that Tenemos que procurar que nuestros competi-
our competitors don't get wind of this dores no se huelan nada de este proyecto
project until it's too late for them to do any- hasta que sea demasiado tarde para que pue-
thing about it. dan hacer algo al respecto.
mencionar gente importante
drop names para impresionar
One way of increasing your clientele is to Una forma de incrementar el numero de clien-
casually drop names of previous customers. tes es mencionando como quien no quiere la
The operative word-is "casually". cosa, los nombres de antiguos clientes impor-
tantes. La palabra clave es "como quien no
quiere la cosa"
de ciento en viento,
once in a blue moon de Pascuas a Ramos
Carla and I work in the same company, it's Carla y yo trabajamos en la misma empresa,
true, but so do two thousand other people. es verdad, pero tambien lo hacen otras dos
And we work in different departments, so I mil personas. Y trabajamos en distintos depar-
only see her once in a blue moon. Which is tamentos, asi que solo la veo de ciento en
why I hardly know her. viento. For eso casi ni la conozco.
put business sb's way conseguirle clientes a alguien
Alan worked for us for fifteen years before Alan trabajb para nosotros durante quince
leaving to start his own company. We still see anos antes de marcharse para crear su propia
each other from time to time. And if I get the empresa. Aun le vemos de vez en cuando. Y si
chance to put a little business his way, tengo la oportunidad de conseguirle algun
I'm only too glad to help out. cliente, estoy encantado de hacerlo.
better the devil you know mas vale malo conocido
(than the devil you don't) que bueno por conocer
To everyone's surprise the General Manager Para sorpresa de todos, el director general no
was not replaced. "I kept my job," he joked, fue sustituido. "Mantuve mi puesto," bromeo,
"because the board prefers the devil it "porque la junta de consejeros piensa que
knows to the devil it doesn't. They're mas vale malo conocido que bueno por cono-
scared somebody else might lose even more cer. Tienen miedo que otro pueda perder m3s
money than me." dinero que yo".
not be sb's cup of tea no ser plato de su gusto
Can you and your staff stay polite and fresh ^Tu y tu equipo podeis manteneros correctos
with each new customer? Can you establish y amables con los nuevos clientes? ^Podeis es-
good relationships? If not, you should think tablecer buenas relaciones? Si no es asi,
twice before going into a service-oriented in- deberiais pensarlo dos veces antes de meteros
dustry. It may not be your cup of tea. en la industria de servicios. Puede que no sea
un plato de vuestro gusto.
give sb the lowdown on sth poner a alguien al tanto de algo
Why don't we have lunch sometime? You can iPor que no comemos juntos algun dia? Me
give me the lowdown on why Clive Mendel puedes poner al tanto de por que Clive
resigned so suddenly. Mendel dimiti6 tan repentinamente.

Stanley 151
38. Exercise 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To contact somebody: Ponte en contacto 13 To mention the names of important peo-


con nosotros cuando llegues. ple in order to impress others: Siempre
2 To stay in contact with somebody: esta mencionando gente importante.
Intento mantenerme en contacto con 14 (used to emphasize the name of a per-
mis amigos de la universidad. son or thing when it is surprising in a
3 To give someone the real information particular situation) Who do you think I
about something, as opposed to official met at the airport in Hamburg? Why,
information: I don't care how you do it, Bogdan Steplewski.
but I want you to on what their 15 To hear about something others are try-
R&D department is working on. ing to keep secret: That kind of informa-
4 To have a person or group under one's tion is highly confidential, so how on
complete control or influence: Se lo ha earth did you ?
metido en el bolsillo. 16 (saying, used when one meets a person
5 To dislike something or some activity, who has an unexpected connection with
and so prefer not to have or to do it: No something or someone in one's past) El
es plato de mi gusto. mundo es un panuelo.
6 To have a good relationship or be 17 To learn something in an indirect or
friendly with someone: Nuestras roundabout way, e.g. through friends:
relaciones no son muy cordiales en este Lo escuch£ en radio macuto.
momento. 18 A person who has the same post as one-
7 (saying) It is preferable to suffer from self but in a different company: Se
something one knows than change it for entrevist6 con su hom6logo frances.
something one doesn't know which 19 (used when a person one is talking about
might be worse: Mas vale malo suddenly and unexpectedly appears)
conocido... jHablando del rey de Roma!
8 To find customers for someone: We've 20 To help someone to succeed: When he
known each other since we were at was starting out in business, I , but
school, so I'm happy to from time he seems to have forgotten that now.
to time, and he does the same for me. 21 To have the (lightest personal qualities,
9 Very friendly behaviour used to gain a e.g. honesty, courage, etc: Son la sal de
business advantage: We hardly know la tierra.
each other but when he saw me talking 22 To be one of a small number of people
to Gates, he came over and turned on who know secret information: Est^n en
the . la onda.
10 Very, very rarely: S6lo va a la oficina de 23 (of two people) To enjoy each other's
Pascuas a Ramos. company very much, to have an excel-
11 (saying, used to express mild disappoval lent relationship: El director y yo nos
of a person's unconventional behaviour) llevamos de maravilla.
Any society consists of people whose char- 24 To have a relaxed and friendly relation-
acters, opinions, etc. vary greatly: De todo ship with somebody: Nos conocemos
hay en la vina del Senor. hace bastante tiempo como para
12 To have a good relationship with two tratarnos de tu.
opposing groups of people: Either you're 25 To be able to recognise someone with-
on our side or you're on management's out knowing him well: S6lo la conozco
side, you can't . de vista.
152 Stanley
39. Socialising 1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

all work and no play makes Jack hay que divertirse de vez en
a dull boy cuando
Insist that everyone takes vacations. All Insiste en que todos se tomen unas vacacio-
work and no play makes Jack a dull nes. Hay que divertirse de vez en cuando. Em-
boy. Start worrying if Jack doesn't want to pieza a preocuparte si alguien no quiere irse
take a vacation. de vacaciones.
break the ice romper el hielo
It's important to establish a relationship, so Es importante establecer una relacion, asi que
talk about baseball or your favourite movie or habla de beisbol o de tu pelicula favorita o de
anything else that will help you to break the cualquier otra cosa que te ayude a romper el
ice and make a personal connection. hielo y establecer una relacion personal.
descansar, ir despacio,
take it easy tomarselo con calma
A large Chinese man points a finger at my Un chino grande senala con el dedo hacia mi
half-empty glass. I shake my head: best to vaso medio vacio. Digo que no con la cabeza:
take it easy after a day under the es mejor tomarlo con tranquilidad tras pasar
tropical sun. un dia bajo el sol tropical.
let one's hair down desmadrarse, soltarse el pelo
The annual office party is really the only La fiesta anual de la oficina es en realidad la
chance we all have to get together, have a iinica oportunidad que tenemos todos para
few drinks and let our hair down. reunirnos, tomar unas copas y desmadrarnos.
the more the merrier cuantos mas mejor
We're all going down to the King's Head for a Vamos a ir al King's Head a tomar una copa
drink after work. If you want to come with us, despues del trabajo. Si quieres venir con noso-
you're most welcome. The more the mer- tros, bienvenido. Cuantos mas, mejor.
rier, and all that.
put in an appearance hacer acto de presencia
When was the last time that a British chancel- iCuando fue la ultima vez que un ministro de
lor of the exchequer turned up at Davos? This hacienda britanico aparecio en Davos? Este
year, not only did Gordon Brown put in an ano, Gordon Brown no solo hizo acto de pre-
appearance but so did his predecessor, sencia, sino que tambien lo hizo su predece-
Kenneth Clarke. sor, Kenneth Clarke.
get away from it all evadirse del bullicio
A key to having it all — money, power, suc- La clave para tenerlo todo —dinero, poder,
cess, status — is knowing how to get away exito, posicion— es saber como evadirse del
from it all. In this article we explore execu- bullicio. En este articulo exploramos las ideas
tives' ideas about leisure. que tienen los ejecutivos sobre el descanso.
stand on ceremony ser muy ceremonioso
Our chairman, although extremely wealthy, is Nuestro presidente, aunque extremadamente
a very modest man. You don't need to stand rico, es un hombre muy modesto. No tienes
on ceremony with him. Just treat him like por que ser muy ceremonioso con el. Tratale
anyone else. como a cualquier otro.
do the honours hacer los honores
John, would you do the honours, please, John, iquieres hacer los honores, por favor, y
and make sure everybody's glass is full? asegurarte de que todo el mundo tenga la
copa llena?

Stanley 153
Socialising ,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s

the life and soul of the party ser el alma de la fiesta


He seems like such a quiet, timid fellow in the Parece un tipo callado y timido en la oficina,
office but when he has a drink or two in him, pero cuando se ha tornado una copa o dos,
he's the life and soul of the party. es el alma de la fiesta.
a drop of the hard stuff un traguito de algo fuerte
I never touch a drop of the hard stuff, Nunca tomo bebidas fuertes, s6lo un vaso de
only a glass of wine or beer from time to time. vino o una cana de cerveza de vez en cuando.
one for the road la ultima copa
- Let's have one for the road. - Tomemos la ultima copa.
- No, thanks, I'm driving and I've already had - No, gracias, tengo que conducir y ya he be-
more than enough. bido demasiado.
pull sb's leg tomarle el pelo a alguien
Levine asked me what I thought of the pro- Levine me pregunto qu6 pensaba acerca de la
posal. I started reviewing it, but after just a propuesta. Empece a revisarla, pero tras unos
few minutes decided that Levine must be minutos decidi que Levine debia estar toman-
pulling my leg. The deal was ridiculous. dome el pelo. El asunto era ridiculo.
on the rocks irse a pique
When he was finally sure that his business re- Cuando al fin tuvo la seguridad de que su ne-
ally was on the rocks, he went into the gocio se habia ido a pique, se fue al bar m3s
nearest bar and ordered a stiff whisky — also cercano y se pidi6 un whisky doble con hielo.
on the rocks.
talk shop hablar del trabajo
If we have a colleague over for dinner, my Si invitamos a un companero a casa para ce-
wife complains that we talk shop all nar, mi esposa se queja de que hablamos del
evening. But surely it's better to do that than trabajo toda la noche. Pero es mejor que estar
just sit there saying nothing. sentado sin decir nada.
rub shoulders with sb codearse con alguien
When you're a CEO, says lacocca, you never Cuando se es presidente, dice lacocca, uno
rub shoulders with the people who make nunca se codea ni con la gente que fabrica
your cars, or buy them, or service them. Your los coches ni con los que los compran ni con
life is so structured that you really become in- los que los mantienen. Tu vida esta tan
sulated. estructurada que esta"s totalmente aislado.
drown one's sorrows ahogar las penas
One way or another we'll be in the pub to- De una forma u otra iremos a un pub mahana
morrow night. Either because we we've won por la noche. Sea porque hemos conseguido
the contract and we're celebrating, or be- el contrato y lo estaremos celebrando sea por-
cause we haven't won it and we're drown- que no lo hemos conseguido y estaremos
ing our sorrows. ahogando nuestras penas.
let off steam desfogarse, desahogarse
All work and no play will cause any executive Trabajar sin distraerse es la causa de que un
to eventually burn himself out. You need to ejecutivo se queme tarde o temprano. Uno
let off steam with regular, competitive necesita dasahogarse con unos cuantos parti-
games of tennis or squash. dos de tenis o de squash.

154 Stanley
Socialising 1 , 0 0 0 everyday i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

small talk charla, charloteo


Attending a Tom Peters seminar in Tampa, I Cuando asisti a un seminario de Tom Peters
made small talk with others at my table. Did en Tampa, tuve una pequena charla con los
they think he was worth the $445 apiece they de mi mesa. ^Pensaban ellos que se merecia
had paid to attend? los 445 dolares que habiamos pagado cada
uno por asistir a su seminario?
wine and dine sb tratar a alguien por todo lo alto
High ranking government officials wined Altos funcionarios gubernamentales trataron a
and dined Toyota representatives for more los representantes de Toyota por todo lo alto
than a year before the Japanese car manufac- durante mas de un ano antes de que el fabri-
turer agreed to build the plant in France. cante japones de coches decidiera construir
una fabrica en Francia.
a wet blanket ser aguafiestas
Come on, Hilary, don't be such a wet blan- Venga, Hilary, no seas aguafiestas. Coge una
ket. Get a glass and join in the fun. copa y unete a la diversion.
make oneself at home sentirse como en su casa
Come in, come in. Sit down and make your- Pase, pase. Sientese como si estuviera en su
selves at home. What will you have to casa. iQue quiere beber?
drink?
darse por aludido,
take a hint coger la indirecta
We were yawning and looking at our watches Bostezabamos mirando nuestros relojes cada
every five minutes and saying what a hard cinco minutos y diciendo que nos esperaba
day tomorrow was going to be, but they sim- una dura Jornada al dia siguiente, pero no
ply refused to take a hint. In the end, I just captaban la indirecta. Al final, me puse en pie,
stood up and said it was late and I was going dije que era tarde y que me iba a la cama.
to bed.
take a joke saber aceptar las bromas
I can take a joke as well as the next man, Se aceptar una broma tan bien como cual-
only I don't happen to think that what you've quier otro, solo que no acabo de ver que lo
done — sending out a fictitious memo with que has hecho —enviar una nota ficticia con
my signature on it — is particularly amusing. mi firma— sea especialmente gracioso.
dar una fiesta
throw a party for sb en honor de alguien
Next Friday will be Fred Wallace's last day in El viernes que viene sera el ultimo dia de Fred
the office before returning to headquarters in Wallace en la oficina antes de volver a la cen-
Sydney, so we're throwing a little farewell tral de Sydney, asi que vamos a dar una fiesta
party for him at our place. Naturally, you're en su honor en nuestra casa. Naturalmente,
all invited. estais todos invitados.

Stanley 155
39. Exercise 1,000 everyday idioms in business

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capitulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espafiol, traducela al ingles.

1 To attend an event, e.g. a party, be- 14 To joke with someone by telling him
cause one thinks one has a duty to something that isn't true: Me est^s
do so: Hizo una breve aparici6n en tomando el pelo, ^no?
la fiesta. 15 To offer someone expensive meals in a
2 One last drink before leaving: In my ex- restaurant: El director y su mujer nos
perience, is usually one too many. invitaron a una cena por todo lo alto.
3 To organise a party or celebration for 16 Polite conversation about unimportant
somebody: Dieron una fiesta en su matters: Hablamos de trivialidades
honor. hasta que llego.
4 To escape from the difficulties and wor- 17 The liveliest and most amusing person
ries of work: Every so often the pres- at a party or other social gathering: Fue
sure becomes unbearable and I take a el alma de la fiesta.
few days' holiday, just to . ISA drink of strong alcohol, especially
5 To not be offended by something said whisky: He offered me a but I
or done for fun: A ti no se te puede had a long drive ahead of me and sen-
gastar una broma. sibly refused.
6 To do something to ease the tension of 19 (saying, used to invite or welcome oth-
a formal occasion, e.g. by starting a ers] The more people there are, the
conversation: Pusieron musica para more they will enjoy themselves:
romper el hielo. Cuantos mas mejor.
7 To understand what is stated only indi- 20 To give free expression to one's feelings,
rectly: Yo no dejaba de mirar el reloj, e.g. by using strong language or do-
pero no se dio por aludido. ing violent physical exercise: Cuando se
8 (alcoholic drink) With ice, (marriage, enfada, sale a correr para desahogarse.
business) close to ruin: Su relacibn anda 21 To talk about one's work during a so-
mal desde hace tiempo. cial event: Dejate de hablar de trabajo,
9 To act as if one were in one's own estas de vacaciones.
home: Sientate y ponte c6modo, est^s 22 To act as the host, e.g. to serve people
en tu casa. drinks or food, or to introduce them to
10To not hurry or become anxious, to not each other: John, could you open that
work too hard: jTranquilo! bottle of champagne and ,
11 A person who spoils a happy atmos- please?
phere by refusing to join in the fun: 23 To drink alcohol in order to forget un-
There's no point in inviting him to the fortunate recent events: Esta en el bar
party, he's a real . ahogando sus penas.
12 (saying) A person who spends all his 24 To be in the same group as someone
time working will become a dull human rich, famous, powerful, etc: Se codea
being: My wife complains about me con estrellas del cine.
playing golf, but I tell her that . 25 To enjoy oneself without reserve after
13 To act with excessive formality: Por a period of discipline and restraint: Se
favor, no te andes con cumplidos con desmadro en la fiesta.
nosotros.

156 Stanley
4O. Miscellaneous ,000 everyday idioms in business

on no account bajo ningun concepto


In a warning that says much about how local En un aviso que dice mucho de como las au-
authorities handle problems in China, Mr Zhu toridades resuelven los problemas en China,
said on no account should officials "use dic- Mr. Zhu dijo que los funcionarios no deberian
tatorial means against people". bajo ningun concepto "aplicar medidas dicta-
toriales contra el pueblo".
let alone ... y mucho menos ...
You can never be certain of recovering an in- Nunca se puede estar seguro de recuperar
vestment, let alone getting a return on it. una inversion, y mucho menos de conseguir
beneficios.
all along desde el principio
Management makes a big fuss about consult- La direcci6n habla mucho de consultar a los
ing the workers — then they announce that trabajadores, y luego anuncia que no hay
there's no consensus and do what they in- consenso y hace lo que pensaba hacer desde
tended to do all along. el principio.
by and large por lo general
By and large, top managers are optimistic Por lo general, los altos directives son optimis-
about their own businesses. Nearly three- tas acerca de sus empresas. Casi las tres cuar-
quarters of the CEOs we interviewed believe tas partes de los presidentes que entrevistamos
their companies' financial performance will creen que los resultados financieros de sus em-
improve this year. presas van a mejorar este ario.
a case in point un buen ejemplo
Once your competitor starts discounting, your En cuanto tu competidor empiece a ofrecer
newly acquired customers are likely to flock to descuentos, tus nuevos clientes acudiran rapi-
him. The long-distance phone market — with damente a el. El mercado de las conferencias
its confusing promotions and its migrating telefonicas - con sus campanas confusas y sus
subscribers — is a case in point. subscriptores errantes - es un buen ejemplo.
know sth to one's cost saber algo por propia experiencia
Competitive advantage brings growth, not the La ventaja competitiva atrae el crecimiento y
other way round, as many companies have no al reves, como muchas empresas saben
found to their cost. por propia experiencia.
have nothing to do with sth no tener nada que ver con algo
The marketing and promotion of a product El marketing y la promoci6n de un producto
are greatly simplified when it stands out visu- se simplifican enormemente cuando destaca
ally among competing products. This differ- visualmente sobre los productos de la compe-
ence may have nothing to do with the tencia. Esta diferencia puede que no tenga
product's function or effectiveness. nada que ver con la eficacia o la funcion del
producto.
on the face of it a primera vista
On the face of it, the UK is merely follow- A primera vista, el Reino Unido se limita a seguir
ing the European trend by introducing energy la tendencia europea al gravar la energia. Pero
taxes. But many industrialists are painfully muchos empresarios son conscientes de que un
aware that large numbers of their interna- gran numero de sus competidores internaciona-
tional competitors, notably in the US, have no les, en especial los de EE UU, no tienen ningu-
intention of doing so. na intencion de hacerlo.
be in favour of sth ser partidario de algo
The euro has not been widely popular in Eu- El euro no ha sido muy popular en Europa, ya
rope, with relatively few Germans in favour que pocos alemanes son partidarios de desha-
of giving up the Deutschmark. cerse del deutschmark.

Stanley 157
Miscellaneous ,000 everyday idioms in business

and so forth y demas


The sales rep has to fill out a special form El comercial tiene que rellenar un formulario
which includes information on the customer, especial que incluye informacion acerca del
the deal, the volume, the competitive situa- cliente, el tipo de transacion, el volumen, la si-
tion, and so forth. tuacion competitiva y demas.
as good as como (si), practicamente
Sometimes I would have a late-afternoon Algunas veces tenia reuniones hasta ultima
meeting. On those days I checked into a hora de la tarde. Esos dias me metia en un
nearby hotel at lunchtime, took my hour's hotel a la hora de la comida, me echaba una
nap, and went back to work as good as siesta de una hora y regresaba al trabajo
new. como nuevo.
hold good seguir valida
Our offer holds good until the end of July. Nuestra oferta sigue valida hasta finales de Ju-
Naturally we expect your answer before then. lio. Naturalmente esperamos que nos contes-
ten ustedes antes.
to say the least por no decir mas
The directors simply cannot agree with each Los directores no consiguen llegar a un acuer-
other. It's an embarrassing situation, to say do. Es una situacion embarazosa, por no decir
the least, for a company that earns most of mas, para una empresa que consigue la ma-
its revenue by telling others how to resolve yor parte de sus ingresos diciendoles a los de-
problems. mas como resolver sus problemas.
en vista de algo,
in the light of sth teniendo algo en cuenta
In the light of Asia's economic chaos, it's En vista del caos economico de Asia, esta bas-
pretty clear that any return from our invest- tante claro que cualquier beneficio proceden-
ment is still a long way off. te de nuestra inversion esta aun muy lejos.
the long and the short of it is ... en resumidas cuentas ...
He wrote a ten-page memo to the DHR ex- Escribio un informe de diez paginas al Direc-
plaining why we shouldn't send him to Saudi tor de RR. HH. de por que no deberiamos en-
Arabia. But the long and the short of it is viarle a Arabia Saudi. Pero en resumidas
that he doesn't want to be separated from his cuentas, lo que no quiere es separarse de su
girlfriend. novia.
as a matter of fact en realidad, de hecho
Being good friends is not a prerequisite to a Ser buenos amigos no es un requisite para te-
successful partnership. As a matter of fact, ner exito en una asociacion. De hecho, puede
it can add a stressful dimension. anadir un factor estresante.
by all means naturalmente, por supuesto
If you love such gadgets, by all means get Si te encantan ese tipo de chismes, por su-
them. But legally, they're not required. Le- puesto consiguelos. Pero legalmente, no son
gally, you need only satisfy a court that you necesarios. Legalmente, solo necesitas con-
took "reasonable' care protecting your trade veneer a un tribunal de que has tornado unas
secret. medidas "razonables" para proteger tu secreto
industrial.
by the way a proposito, por cierto
Inventory management, a key measure of La gestion de inventarios, una medida clave
how efficiently a manufacturer operates, para conocer la eficiencia de un fabricante,
hasn't improved for U.S. companies in the no ha mejorado nada en las empresas de EE
past 50 years. You see a similar situation in UU en los ultimos 50 afios. Se ve una situa-
Europe and Japan, by the way. Nothing has cion similar en Europa y en Japon, por cierto.
happened. Nada ha ocurrido.

158 Stanley
Miscellaneous , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

out of place fuera de lugar


You're honest, intelligent, reliable, hard-work- Eres sincere, inteligente, responsable, trabaja-
ing, loyal — and clearly quite out of place in dor y leal, y estas claramente fuera de lugar
a company like ours. en una empresa como la nuestra.
in principle en principle
In November 1997, Gordon Brown, the En noviembre de 1997, Gordon Brown, Minis-
chancellor, first expressed the government's tro de Hacienda, expreso por primera vez el
support for joining the single currency in apoyo del gobierno para unirse en principio a
principle. la moneda unica.
on purpose a proposito, adrede
I'm sorry I spilled coffee all over your papers Siento haber derramado cafe sobre tus pape-
but there's no need to make such a fuss. I les pero no hay que armar tanto escandalo.
didn't do it on purpose, you know. No lo hice a proposito, sabes.
out of the question imposible, impensable
To reach its destination, the oil must pass Para llegar a su destine, el petroleo tiene que
through the Bosphorus strait — in other pasar por el estrecho del Bosforo - en otras
words, right through the middle of Istanbul. palabras, justo en medio de Estambul. El go-
Turkey's government insists this is out of the bierno turco insiste en que esto es imposible
question for environmental reasons. por razones medioambientales.
for starters para empezar
He is one of the smartest people I've ever met. Es una de las personas mas inteligentes que
For starters, he has a wonderful talent for he conocido jamas. Para empezar, tiene un
explaining complicated technology in terms gran talento para explicar tecnologia compli-
anyone can understand. cada en terminos que todo el mundo com-
prenda.
be under the weather no estar muy bien
I'm sorry I couldn't attend the meeting last Siento no haber asistido a la reunion la sema-
week, but I had an awful cold. In fact, I'm still na pasada, pero tenia un catarro terrible. De
a bit under the weather. hecho, aun no estoy muy bien.
jump the gun adelantarse a los acontecimientos
The price increases should not come into ef- Los aumentos de precio no deberian entrar en
fect before next month at the earliest. We've vigor antes del mes que viene como muy
received reports, however, that some retailers pronto. Sin embargo, hemos recibido informa-
have jumped the gun and are already charg- ci6n, de que algunos minoristas se han ade-
ing the new prices. lantado a los acontecimientos y ya estan
cobrando los nuevos precios.

Stanley 159
4O. Exercise 1,000 everyday i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

Encuentra los modismos presentados en este capftulo que mejor corresponden a las
definiciones y descripciones que vienen a continuacion. Si una frase contiene un espacio
en bianco, completalo con las palabras que faltan (poniendo atencion al tiempo del
verbo, pronombres, etc.). Si la frase esta en espanol, traducela al ingles.

1 To have no connection or relationship 15 Deliberately, with concious intent: No


with something: Eso no tiene nada que fue un accidente, lo hizo a prop6sito.
ver contigo.
16 Considering the knowledge gained
2 Superficially, at first sight: For lo que from something: A la luz de lo que
parece, la economfa esta mejorando. sabemos ahora, la idea parece extrana.
3 From the beginning, all the time: I knew 17 Etcetera, and continuing in a similar
that he was lying, but I had to manner: Vendian libros, periodicos, y
wait until he contradicted himself to cosas asi.
prove it.
18According to general principles: En
4 To feel unwell: No se encontraba bien. principle, estoy de acuerdo con lo que
5 To act prematurely: No te adelantes. dices.

6 To one's disadvantage or loss: No se 19To say no more than this: Estuvo


puede conducir cuando se ha bebido, grosero, y me quedo corto.
leccion que le costo muy caro aprender. 20 Unsuitable, inappropriate: In the mod-
7 Almost the same as, almost: El trabajo ern workplace, it's considered for
esta casi acabado. a male boss to compliment a female
subordinate on the way she dresses.
8 To begin with, first of all: What does
the employee get out of this increased 21 To continue to be valid: Mi promesa
responsibility? , he gets a new sigue en pie.
sense of self-respect.
22 {often used to introduce a piece of in-
9 Impossible, not to be considered: The formation that may surprise the listener)
idea was appealing but financially As it happens: En realidad nunca he
estado en Espafia.
10 Generally speaking, in general: En gen- 23 The only thing that needs to be said,
eral, la organizacion es buena. the conclusion: En resumidas cuentas,
11A very good example of what is being hemos fracasado.
talked about: Su forma de llevar los 24 In no case, not for any reason: No
asuntos es un ejemplo que viene al debes volver a verla bajo ningun
caso. concepto.
12 (used to introduce something the 25 To be in agreement with something:
speaker has just thought of) jAh, a Estoy totalmente a favor de la libertad
prop6sito! Tienes una carta. de expresion.
13 (used to give permission) Yes, certainly:
Llevatelo, no faltaba m^s, pero por
favor tr^elo de vuelta.
14 And much less: He doesn't even know
how to turn on the computer, use
the word processor.
160 Stanley
Answers
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Answers 1,000 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s

1. Fundamentals implemented, the better. 9 To call it a


day: I clearly wasn't getting anywhere,
1 A bad workman blames his tools. 2 so I called it a day and left. 10 Trams
Forewarned is forearmed. 3 To keep are a thing of the past. 11 Be ahead
one's head above water: keep our of one's time: He was ahead of his
heads above water. 4 Half a loaf is time. 12 To date. 13 Against the
better than none. 5 Never put off till clock. 14 Do something at one's lei-
tomorrow what you can do today. 6 sure: Read it at your leisure. 15 To
The ground rules: We can't change the move with the times: moving with
ground rules at this stage. 7 Time is the times. 16 To keep up to date
money. 8 If at first you don't succeed, with something: keep up to date.
try and try again. 9 Where there's a 17 It was about time. 18 For don-
will, there's a way. 10 To take the key's years : I haven't seen her for don-
rough with the smooth: You have to key's years. 19 At the best of times.
take the rough with the smooth. 11 20 In the nick of time: I arrived at the
A fool and his money are soon parted. airport in the nick of time. 21 To be
12 It's an ill wind that blows nobody out of date: out of date. 22 At the
any good. 13 Take care of the pen- eleventh hour. 23 To take one's time:
nies and the pounds will take care of Just take your time. 24 Round the
themselves. 14 What you lose on the clock. 25 Once and for all.
swings you gain on the roundabouts.
ISA bird in the hand is worth two in
the bush. 16 He who pays the piper 3. Money
calls the tune. 17 Easy come, easy 1 The sixty-four thousand dollar ques-
go. 18 The grass is always greener tion. 2 To be rolling in it: They were
on the other side of the hill. 19 Where rolling in it. 3 To make a bomb: He
there's a will, there's a way. 20 Ups made a fortune out of that business.
and downs: His business has had its 4 To go through the roof: The price
ups and downs. 21 To let sleeping of petrol went through the roof. 5
dogs lie. 22 One good turn deserves They operate on a shoestring. 6 To
another. 23 Waste not, want not. 24 pay cash on the nail: paid cash on the
The exception proves the rule. 25 nail. 7 Money doesn't grow on trees.
That's the way the cookie crumbles. 8 To foot the bill: The company will
foot the bill. 9 To the tune of sth:
2.Time He's in debt to the tune of £5,000. 10
1 In the long run. 2 Leave it there To pay over the odds. 11 Money talks.
12 To be hard up: We were very hard
for the time being. 3 Till the cows
up. 13 To throw good money after
come home. 4 It's high time that some-
bad: throwing good money after bad.
body did something. 5 The train left at
14 They want the contract at any
half past two on the dot. 6 So you won't
price. 15 To not have a penny to one's
do it, not even for old time's sake. 7
name: have a penny to his name. 16
Time flies: How time flies! 8 The sooner
To be in the black: Your account is in
the better: The sooner this decision is
the black. 17 To be in the red: I'm
Stanley 163
1,000 everyday idioms in business
Answers

always in the red. 18 To see the col- chest. 18 To put someone in the pic-
our of sb's money: seen the colour of ture: He arrived late but we soon put
his money. 19 They bought the com- him in the picture. 19 To keep one's
pany fora song. 20 To make a bomb: ear to the ground: Keep your ear to
That must have cost you a bomb. 21 the ground. 20 To keep something
To be penny wise and pound foolish. dark: keep it dark. 21 Cannot believe
22 To be deep in debt: They're deep one's ears: I couldn't believe my ears.
in debt. 23 Money is no object: He 22 Do you promise not to spill the
said money was no object. 24 Bet beans? (or...let the cat out of the bag?)
one's bottom dollar: bet your bottom 23 To shed light on something: Let's
dollar. 25 It's a drop in the ocean. see if you can shed any light on this
business for us. 24 A red herring: It
turned out to be another red herring.
4. Information
25 No news is good news.
I To keep something under one's hat:
He kept his promotion under his hat
5. Experience
for three months. 2 To keep some-
body posted: keep each other posted. 1 It's easy to be wise after the event.
3 There's no smoke without fire. 4 2 (You) live and learn. 3 To go
The news of his resignation spread like through the mill. 4 We solved it by
wildfire. 5 How did you know that? trial and error. 5 An object lesson: It
A little bird told me. 6 To keep some- was an object lesson in how not to do
thing under wraps: kept under wraps. it. 6 To get one's fingers burnt: many
7 To sell someone a bum steer: They've lenders got their fingers burnt. 7 To
sold me a bum steer. 8 To take some- know one's onions: unless you really
thing with a pinch of salt: I would take know your onions. 8 To learn one's
anything he says with a pinch of salt. lesson: we've certainly learnt our les-
9 To come to light. 10 To put some- son. 9 He will need time to learn the
body out of his misery: Put me out of ropes. 10 Once bitten, twice shy. 11
my misery and tell me what happened. To know the score: I told him about my
I1 To have something at one's finger- past, so he knows the score. 12 Un-
tips: he has all the facts at his finger- der one's belt: They have a string of
tips. 12 It's news to me: It was news hits under their belt. 13 Seeing is
to me. 13 Who let the cat out of the believing. 14 A lot of water has
bag? or Who spilt the beans? 14 To flowed under the bridge since then.
be none of somebody's business: What 15 To be in one's line of country: That's
I do is none of your business. 15 To not in my line (of country). 16 To
put something down in black and have a rough ride: The company has
white: I want to see your offer down had a rough ride recently. 17 You
in black and white. 16 To get some- can't teach an old dog new tricks. 18
thing straight from the horse's mouth: You can rely on him through thick and
I got it straight from the horse's mouth. thin. 19 To have another string to
17 To play one's cards close to one's one's bow: He's also an electrician, so
chest: he played his cards close to his he has another string to his bow. 20
164 Stanley
1 , 0 0 0 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s
Answers
To be second nature to somebody: 17 To have one's work cut out (for
Don't worry, it'll soon be second na- one): She'll have her work cut out for
ture to you. 21 To find out the hard her finishing the job on time. 18 To
way: He found out the hard way. 22 be snowed under with work: I'm
To take a leaf out of somebody's book: snowed under with work at the mo-
You ought to take a leaf out of Manolo's ment. 19 To be on the dole: He's been
book. 23 To be an old hand at some- on the dole for two years. 20 To burn
thing: He's an old hand at climbing. 24 the midnight oil: He's burning the mid-
It's just one of those things. 25 To be night oil to get the job finished. 21
wet behind the ears: The new manager To down tools. 22 A blue-collar job:
is still a bit wet behind the ears. Blue-collar jobs won't be affected. 23
To breathe down somebody's neck: I
had the boss breathing down my neck
6. Work
all day. 24 To be dead beat: You look
1 The factory is working at full stretch. dead beat. 25 To get one's teeth into
2 To keep tabs on someone or some- something: You've got a new job to get
thing: We'll have to keep tabs on who your teeth into now.
enters and leaves the building. 3 To
do the dirty work: I'm fed up doing his
7. Routine
dirty work for him. 4 To make short
work of something: She'll make short 1 The economy is now on an even
work of typing the reports. 5 To put keel. 2 They're forcing him to toe the
one's back into something. 6 To not line. 3 Middle-of-the-road. 4 I listen
do a hand's turn: I can't get him to do to the same complaints day in, day out.
a hand's turn. 7 To put one's shoulder 5 To go through the motions of doing
to the wheel: If you put your shoulder something: They went through the
to the wheel. 8 To burn the candle at motions of interviewing him. 6 All in
both ends: He's burning the candle at a day's work. 7 His bad temper is par
both ends. 9 To do the spadework: for the course. 8 True to form, he
...without doing the spadework. 10 arrived late. 9 In theory we should
To sit on one's hands: They seem to be reply to all letters, but in practice it's
sitting on their hands. 11 To keep a impossible. 10 To take something in
tight rein on something: The govern- one's stride: He takes everything in his
ment is keeping a tight rein on expendi- stride. 11 You need to get out of the
ture. 12 To swing the lead: ...as he rut you're in. 12 We always keep a
does into swinging the lead. 13 To copy as a matter of course. 13 Prac-
do the donkey work: I did all the don- tice makes perfect. 14 As a rule, she's
key work but he got all the credit. 14 very hardworking. 15 To get into the
Persuading them to come was a piece swing of something: You'll soon get
of cake. 15 To keep one's nose to the into the swing of it. 16 As a rule of
grindstone: I'll have to keep my nose thumb, the journey takes three hours.
to the grindstone until the exams are 17 To kill time: I did the crossword
over. 16 Three years' wear and tear puzzle to kill the time. 18 Short hair-
made a complete overhaul necessary. cuts were the order of the day. 19 Red
Stanley 165
, 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s
Answers

tape. 20 I've been going backwards from him is like getting blood from a
and forwards all day between the stone. 20 To drive a hard bargain:
house and the office. 21 Run-of-the- He drives a hard bargain. 21 Be in
mill. 22 From day to day. 23 From short supply: Copper was in short sup-
now on it's all plain sailing. 24 Did ply. 22 At a price. 23 To be worth
you notice anything out of the ordi- someone's while to do something: It
nary? 25 In the normal course of could be worth your while to make a
events. friend of him. 24 Go public. 25 To
sell like hot cakes: His books are sell-
ing like hot cakes.
8.Trading
1 To break even: Let's hope we can at
9.Thinking
least break even. 2 To run short of
something: We're running short of 1 His boss's words gave him food for
money. 3 To put something on the thought. 2 To have no idea: I have
market: We put the house on the mar- no idea what you're talking about. 3
ket at £150,000. 4 To pay through Great minds think alike. 4 To be dead
the nose for something: We paid from the neck up: He's dead from the
through the nose for it. 5 To cost an neck up. 5 To not have a clue: I don't
arm and a leg: That car cost me an arm have a clue how much it costs (or I have
and a leg. 6 To corner the market in no idea...). 6 He refuses to see rea-
something: They've cornered the mar- son. 7 To think twice about (or be-
ket in electronic books. 7 To change fore) doing something: She'll think
hands: The company has changed twice before being rude to me again.
hands. 8 That's the going rate. 9 To 8 Use your grey matter! 9 I think
give someone first refusal: Can I have we're on the right track here. 10 To
first refusal ? 10 To wheel and deal: have something (or someone) in mind:
He eats, drinks, sleeps, wheels and I had him in mind for that job. 11 To
deals. 11 To go window-shopping: put two and two together: He soon put
Yesterday we went window shopping. two and two together. 12 To rack
12 To price something out of the mar- one's brains: She racked her brains try-
ket: They've priced themselves out of ing to think of an excuse. 13 To have
the market. 13 Shall we do it today a mind of one's own: He has a mind of
or tomorrow? It's six of the one and half his own. 14 To bear something in
a dozen of the other. 14 To sell one- mind: Bear in mind that you have to
self short: Don't sell yourself short. 15 be back before five. 15 More money?
To get one's foot in the door: It's a way That's just wishful thinking. 16 To
of getting your foot in the door. 16 jump to conclusions: Don't jump to
Chicken feed: They pay their staff conclusions. 17 In one's heart of
chicken feed. 17 To be in the market hearts: In his heart of hearts he knew
for something: They're in the market it was hopeless. 18 To bear no rela-
for semiconductors. 18 To flood the tion to something: His answer bears no
market with something: They're flood- relation to the question. 19 To have
ing the market. 19 Getting money something at the back of one's mind:
166 Stanley
1,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s
Answers

I've had the interview at the back of they have financial problems. 17 To
my mind all day. 20 To take some- give someone to understand some-
thing at face value: I took what he said thing: He gave me to understand that
at face value. Why should he lie? 21 she was leaving. 18 To have a good
To toy with an idea: I've been toying head for something: He has a good
with the idea of buying a boat. 22 head for business. 19 It is difficult to
Come to think of it, I could have done understand all the ins and outs of the
it yesterday. 23 To have a brainwave: legal system. 20 To fall into place:
I had a brainwave. 24 He always in- Things are beginning to fall into place.
sists on knowing the whys and where- 21 To get the hang of something: I
fores. 25 To cross one's mind: It didn't never got the hang of golf. 22 Let
even cross his mind. me get this straight: Let's get this
straight, we're a thousand pounds
short of our target? 23 To make al-
1O. Understanding
lowances for someone (or something):
1 To get the picture: Just read this, You have to make allowances for him,
you'll soon get the picture. 2 To be he's very young. 24 To get to the
out of one's depth: I tried reading Marx bottom of something: He was resolved
but I was soon out of my depth. 3 to get to the bottom of the matter. 25
The mind boggles!: His mind boggled To be all Greek to someone: It's all
at the thought of all that money. 4 Greek to me.
Cannot make head or tail of something:
I can't make head or tail of this dia-
gram. 5 To know one's stuff: He seems
11. Discussions
to know his stuff. 6 To go over some- 1 To complain about the date would
one's head: His lecture went right over be to split hairs. 2 To pick somebody's
my head. 7 To get the message: You're brains: ...so he could pick my brains.
not welcome here, (do you) get the 3 To set the record straight. 4 For
message? 8 To get ones wires crossed: one thing, it's getting very late and I'm
I think we've got our wires crossed. 9 tired. 5 To be all ears: I'm all ears. 6
The penny (finally) dropped. 1O To compare notes. 7 To put oneself
There's more to this than meets the eye: into somebody's shoes: The skilled ne-
There's more to that software than gotiator knows how to put himself into
meets the eye. 11 To get hold of the the shoes of his adversary. 8 Face to
wrong end of the stick: As usual, he face. 9 Off the record: The minister
got hold of the wrong end of the stick. was speaking off the record. 10
12 To not see the point of doing some- There's the problem of time, not to
thing: I don't see the point of doing it. mention the cost. 11 It stands to rea-
13 To not know the first thing about son that he won't want to buy it again.
something: You don't know the first 12 For the sake of argument, let's sup-
thing about it. 14 To lose the thread: pose he's guilty. 13 To be beside the
I lost the thread of his argument. 15 point: They're quite beside the point.
They cannot see the wood for the trees. 14 To agree to differ: Let's agree to
16 Reading between the lines, I'd say differ, shall we? 15 At issue. 16 To
Stanley 167
1,000 everyday idioms in business
Answers
put words into someone's mouth: Don't 16 The negotiations are going round in
put words into my mouth. 17 To talk circles. 17 To cover a lot of ground: We
through one's hat: He's talking through covered a lot of ground in our discussions.
his hat, as usual. 18 To be neither 18 I don't know how they're going to
here nor there: His objections are nei- react, I'll just have to play it by ear. 19
ther here nor there (or are beside the Who's going to start the ball rolling? 20
point). 19 To talk at cross-purposes: To tie up loose ends: There are still a few
They were talking at cross-purposes. loose ends to tie up. 21 To cut some-
20 To beg to differ: On that point I thing short: She had to cut her holiday
beg to differ. 21 To ring a bell: The short. 22 The meeting was short and
name rings a bell. 22 To scratch the sweet. 23 For the record, I don't agree.
surface: This article doesn't even 24 To take something as read: We took it
scratch the surface of the problem. 23 as read that he had a valid passport. 25
To play devil's advocate. 24 On the That's the situation in a nutshell.
one hand..., on the other hand... 25
Cannot get a word in edgeways: I
13. Speaking
couldn't get a word in edgeways.
I To say something till one is blue in
the face: I've told him till I'm blue in
12. Meetings
the face, it makes no difference. 2 To
1 To get one nowhere: This is getting pay lip-service to something: Ralph
us nowhere. 2 When all's said and paid lip-service to his firm's efforts to
done, she's the one who's going to suf- change. 3 Off the top of one's head:
fer. 3 To speak to the purpose: He He gave me a few suggestions off the
speaks to the purpose. 4 To have one's top of his head. 4 To tie oneself up in
say: Let him have his say now. 5 To knots: He quickly tied himself up in
get to the point. 6 The chairman knots. 5 To not mince one's words:
asked for a show of hands. 7 To hold He doesn't mince his words. 6 To
forth: He held forth on the need to act waste one's breath: You're wasting
with moderation. 8 To go over old your breath trying to convince him. 7
ground: We're going over old ground. To speak for itself: I think that the facts
9 I stand corrected. 10 To lose sight speak for themselves. 8 To hit the nail
of something: They've lost sight of the on the head: You've hit the nail on the
most important thing. 11 To get head. 9 It goes without saying that
down to business: Let's get down to we'll pay your expenses. 10 To pile it
business straight away. 12 To go off at on thick: You were piling it on thick.
a tangent: He went off at a tangent and I1 Not in so many words: He didn't
never finished his explanation. 13 We say it in so many words, but that's what
put our heads together and came up he meant. 12 To have something on
with the idea. 14 To lay it on the line: the tip of one's tongue: I have her name
I'm going to lay it on the line with you, on the tip of my tongue. 13 To call a
your work isn't up to scratch. 15 To spade a spade. 14 Tongue in cheek
beat about the bush: Stop beating about (adverbial expression/: He made several
the bush and tell me what happened. tongue-in-cheek remarks. 15 To take
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the word out of one's mouth: You took one's mind up: Tell him to make his
the words right out of my mouth. 16 mind up. 15 To argue the toss: There's
He spoke off the cuff. 17 To take no point arguing the toss, my mind's
somebody's word for something: You'll made up. 16 To strike a happy bal-
have to take my word for it. 18 To ance: They strike a happy balance be-
have the gift of the gab: He has the tween formality and familiarity. 1 7
gift of the gab. 19 To speak one's You have to strike a balance between
mind: I always speak my mind. 20 quality and price. 18 Read the small
That's a rather sweeping statement, print before signing the contract. 19
isn't it? 21 To cut a long story short. To be at a crossroads: He was at a cross-
22 His technique was to learn the first roads in his career. 20 They were dis-
sentence of every paragraph by heart. cussing the pros and cons of buying a
23 I'm sorry, that was an unfortunate computer. 21 To be up in the air:
slip of the tongue. 24 Not to put too Nothing's settled, everything's still up
fine a point on it, he's stupid. 25 Give in the air. 22 To take the bull by the
it to them straight from the shoulder. horns: We must take the bull by the
horns and act immediately. 23 To
have mixed feelings about something:
14. Decisions
I have mixed feelings about it. 24 They
1 To give someone the benefit of the decided to toss a coin for it. 25 To sit
doubt: We'll give you the benefit of the on the fence: The minister was accused
doubt. 2 To stick to one's guns: He of sitting on the fence
stuck to his guns. 3 To tip the scales
in somebody's favour: His fluency in
15. Priorities
Russian tipped the scales in his favour.
4 I wasn't brave enough to take the 1 To have other fish to fry: I can't
plunge. 5 We decided to go to Vigo come, I've got other fish to fry. 2 Bet-
on the spur of the moment. 6 I chose ter late than never. 3 We'll cross that
this make on the strength of your rec- bridge when we come to it. 4 Don't
ommendation. 7 He was in two minds put the cart before the horse. 5 You're
about whether to tell her. 8 To take throwing the baby out with the bath
something into account: You should water. 6 Prevention is better than
have taken that into account. 9 To cure. 7 First things first, how are you
think better of (doing) something: She getting on with the translation? 8 You
was on the point of applying for the have to keep a sense of proportion. 9
post, but then thought better of it. 10 And last but not least, my wife. 10
To keep one's options open: We're Their campaign put a premium on
keeping all our options open. 11 I lower taxation. 11 To make a big
was in a quandary (or dilemma) about thing out of something? Why does he
whether to go or not. 12 To have have to make such a big thing out of
second thoughts about something: I've it? 12 This decision is only the thin
had second thoughts, I don't want to sell end of the wedge. 13 Coventry was,
the company. 13 To change one's tune: first and foremost, an industrial city. 14
You've changed your tune! 14 To make Better safe than sorry. 15 I'll do it
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first thing. 16 First come, first served: comb. 13 This will go a long way
It was done on a first-come-first-served towards solving the problem. 14 To
basis. 17 To make a mountain out of hedge one's bets: He's hedging his bets
a molehill: She's always making moun- by going to both interviews. 15 To
tains out of molehills. 18 Above all. look forward to doing something: We
19 If the worst comes to the worst, look forward to meeting you. 16 You
we could contact him at home. 20 can't have it both ways. 17 To not
You shouldn't have been there in the hold water: That theory just doesn't
first place. 21 I thought it was the hold water. 18 He say he'll put out
lesser of two evils (or the lesser evil). feelers and see what he can do. 19
22 To have pride of place: The latest It's a whole new ball game. 20 To
award has pride of place in their col- take shape: My report is beginning to
lection. 23 There's only one thing for take shape. 21 In any event, let me
it, we'll have to go on foot. 24 Hav- know. 22 To be on the safe side, we'd
ing possessions isn't the be-all and end- better leave at two. 23 To set the
all in life. 25 Don't count your chick- stage for something: This agreement
ens before they're hatched: We don't sets the stage for even closer ties. 24
want to count our chickens before To do one's homework: It was obvious
they're hatched. he hadn't done his homework. 25
Cannot see beyond the end of his nose.
16. Planning
17. Problems
1 The booklet explains the nuts and
bolts of accounting. 2 To save some- 1 Up the creek. 2 To be hard pressed
thing for a rainy day: They're saving to do something: We'll be hard pressed
for a rainy day. 3 To be on the cards: to replace him. 3 To not be out of the
It was on the cards that something like woods: We're not out of the woods
this would happen. 4 As a last resort yet. 4 It can't be helped, we'll have
we put an advertisement in the paper. to buy a new one. 5 To be out of
5 He bought a book to learn English order: The telephone's out of order (or
step by step. 6 In the pipeline. 7 To is on the blink). 6 It was the last straw
take something for granted: He takes when he said that the price had gone
it for granted that they'll support him. up. 7 He couldn't make ends meet.
8 To count the cost of (doing) some- 8 To go haywire: The computer sud-
thing: We have to count the cost of denly went haywire. 9 It was a vi-
launching this product now. 9 To have cious circle. 10 To come up against a
something in view: Let's see what we brick wall: They came up against a brick
have in view for the week ahead. 10 wall. 11 To go from bad to worse:
To build castles in the air: He's always His financial situation went from bad
building castles in the air. 11 To take to worse. 12 To be one of those days:
the long view: The boss take a longer It's just been one of those days. 13
view. 12 To go through something To be behind schedule: We're falling
with a fine-tooth comb: They went behind schedule. 14 To go through
through the books with a fine-tooth a bad patch: The team is going through
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a bad patch. 15 To jump out of the To tighten one's belt: He had to tighten
frying pan into the fire: He jumped out his belt when he lost his job. 17 To
of the frying pan into the fire. 16 The be at one's wit's end: He was at his wit's
photocopier is on the blink. 17 One's end. 18 To fiddle while Rome burns:
Achilles' heel: We must find their Achil- The management is fiddling while
les' heel. 18 By the skin of one's teeth: Rome burns. 19 To pull the rug out
He caught the plane by the skin of his from under someone's feet: His resig-
teeth. 19 To be heavy going: His pres- nation pulled the rug out from under
entation of the sales figures was heavy our feet. 20 To come to the boil. 21
going. 20 To take the easy way out: To be on the brink of something: We
He took the easy way out. 21 To have were on the brink of disaster. 22 To
something on one's mind: I can't relax be up to one's ears (or eyes or neck) in
with all these problems on my mind. something: I'm up to my ears in work.
22 To be up in arms about something: 23 To have one's hands full: She has
They were up in arms about the delay. her hands full right now. 24 To get
23 To be hard hit: The company was out of hand: The situation is getting
hard hit by the recession. 24 These out of hand. 25 To hang by a thread:
cases are just the tip of the iceberg. 25 His promotion is hanging by a thread.
It's a tough nut to crack.
19. Action
18. Emergencies
1 To practice what one preaches: He
I To keep one's head: The important doesn't practice what he preaches. 2
thing is to keep your head. 2 The It was a step in the right direction. 3
calm before the storm. 3 We could We worked against the clock to meet
see the light at the end of the tunnel. the deadline. 4 A stitch in time saves
4 All hell breaks loose: When the news nine. 5 Actions speak louder than
became known, all hell broke loose. 5 words. 6 We had to start again from
When his savings ran out, he began to scratch. 7 To not do something by
feel the pinch. 6 To be taken short: I halves: He never does things by halves.
was taken short. 7 When the chips 8 To pull out all the stops: We pulled
are down, what matters is who you out all the stops to make the party a
know. 8 If it comes to the crunch, I'll success. 9 To take steps: The govern-
resign. 9 By seven o'clock, I was on ment is taking steps to end the con-
my last legs. 10 To have one's back flict. 10 To get the show on the road:
to the wall: There was no choice, I had Let's get this show on the road. 11 In
my back to the wall. I had to do it. 11 the heat of the moment. 12 To reach
It's impossible to do it at such short first base: They'll probably not even
notice. 12 To weather the storm (or reach first base. 13 There's no time
to ride out the storm). 13 Replies were like the present (or Don't put off till to-
coming in thick and fast. 14 To come morrow what you can do today). 14
to a head: Matters have come to a To take the bit between one's teeth: She
head. 15 The company is in dire has (taken) the bit between her teeth.
straits and heading for bankruptcy. 16 15 His apparent generosity was a
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means to an end. 16 Easier said than mark in business. 18 All's well that
done. 17 No sooner said than done. ends well. 19 To make a go of some-
18 To follow suit: He sold all his shares thing: He's making a go of the business.
and the others followed suit. 19 To 20 A sure-fire method. 21 To have
nip something in the bud: That kind of (got) it made: If you go to Harvard
behaviour must be nipped in the bud. Business School, you've got it made.
20 We have to come to grips with the 22 To come out on top: Our team
problem. 21 To cut corners: He's al- came out on top. 23 A self-made man.
ways cutting corners to get things 24 I took a short cut across the park.
done. 22 Out of order. 23 To make 25 To get off to a flying start: He got
a point of doing something: She always off to a flying start in his new job.
made a point of talking to everyone.
24 To throw caution to the winds: He
21. Failure
threw caution to the winds. 25 This
machine only works in fits and starts. 1 To go to the dogs: The country's go-
ing to the dogs. 2 To shoot some-
thing down in flames: They shot it
2O. Success
down in flames. 3 To give something
I If you've convinced the boss, that's up as a bad job: He gave it up as a bad
half the battle. 2 To hit the jackpot: job. 4 To go back to square one: Now
He hit the jackpot. 3 To do the trick: we're right back to square one. 5 To
Thanks for those pills, they did the trick. come to nothing: His ambitions had
4 To make a killing: He made a killing. come to nothing. 6 To go downhill:
5 It's probably only a flash in the pan. That restaurant has certainly gone
6 To go from strength to strength: Our downhill. 7 To come a cropper. 8 A
campaign is going from strength to damp squib. 9 You can't win them
strength. 7 Nothing succeeds like suc- all. 10 In the end they had to throw
cess. 8 He's getting better by leaps in the towel. 11 To reach a dead end:
and bounds. 9 To be home and dry: The talks reached a dead end. 12 To
Once they agree to terms, we'll be prac- see the writing on the wall: Investors
tically home and dry. 10 To make a saw the writing on the wall and sold
splash: The new range made a splash. their shares. 13 To go bust: The firm
I1 It'll take some time for the new went bust last year. 14 To serve no
system to get off the ground. 12 To purpose: It serves no particular pur-
get on top of something: They finally pose, it's purely decorative. 15 To fall
managed to get on top of the situa- flat (on one's face): His jokes about sec-
tion. 13 To land on one's feet: He retaries fell flat. 16 To make a dent in
always seems to land on his feet. 14 something: It's made a big dent in our
To make someone or break someone: savings. 17 To fight a losing battle:
It can make us or break us. 15 One We were fighting a losing battle against
thing led to another. 16 To rise from inflation. 18 To hit rock bottom: Mo-
the ashes: He went bust three times, rale had hit rock bottom. 19 A has-
and three times rose from the ashes. been: ...other old has-beens like him-
17 To make one's mark: He made his self. 20 To go down the drain: It's
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money down the drain. 21 The be- be on the wrong track: I think we're
ginning of the end. 22 To go back to on the wrong track here. 19 To be
the drawing board: Back to the draw- out of tune with something: The build-
ing board! 23 To come away empty- ing is out of tune with it's surroundings.
handed: The delegation came back 20 To make a hash of something: He
empty-handed. 24 To go to the wall: made a real hash of writing the report.
More and more companies were going 21 A half-baked idea: Stop wasting
to the wall. 25 To lose one's touch: I our time with your half-baked ideas.
must be losing my touch. 22 To dig one's own grave: You're dig-
ging your own grave. 23 To shoot
one's mouth off: He's always shooting
22. Mistakes
his mouth off about what he did in the
1 To cut one's own throat: If you leave army. 24 It's a case of the blind lead-
now, you'll be cutting your own throat. ing the blind. 25 To rub someone
2 To get off on the wrong foot: He the wrong way: I suppose I just rub him
got off on the wrong foot. 3 To back the wrong way.
the wrong horse. 4 To bark up the
wrong tree: You're barking up the
23. Criticism
wrong tree. 5 To put all one's eggs in
a one basket: Don't put all your eggs 1 Our department will be in the firing
in one basket. 6 To bury one's head line. 2 To tell somebody a few home
in the sand: When are you going to truths: I told him a few home truths. 3
stop burying your head in the sand? It's no use crying over spilt milk. 4 To
7 To go too far: This situation has gone lay the blame for something on some-
too far. 8 To tread on someone's toes: body: He laid the blame for everything
When we made those changes, we on his partner. 5 To pour cold water
were careful not to tread on anyone's over something: The division heads
toes. 9 To be wide of the mark: His poured cold water over our proposals.
estimate was wide of the mark. 10 To 6 A slap in the face. 7 To have a
put one's foot in it: He put his foot in bone to pick with someone: Tell Marcus
it. 11 To get somebody wrong: Don't I have a bone to pick with him. 8 To
get me wrong, we're not against the give something (or someone) short
plan. 12 I don't intend to go out to shrift: The idea was given short shrift.
the airport again on another wild 9 And, to add insult to injury, I had to
goose chase. 13 To live beyond one's pay for his meal. 10 They took our
means: He was living beyond his criticism to heart. 11 The bad news
means. 14 To bite off more than one put a damper on the celebrations. 12
can chew: He's bitten off more than he To vote with one's feet: He decided to
can chew. 15 To blow up in one's vote with his feet. 13 To put one's
face: Their plans blew up in their faces. own house in order: Let him put his
16 To go off the rails: He went com- own house in order. 14 To make no
pletely off the rails when he lost his job. bones about something: He makes no
17 To go wrong: Follow the instruc- bones about his sympathies. 15 It's a
tions and you can't go wrong. 18 To bone of contention between them. 16
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To be in somebody's bad books: We're to see the back of them. 11 Well, we


in her bad books at the moment. 17 have to be thankful for small mercies.
We should let bygones be bygones. 18 12 To take a hard line. 13 To take
To pick holes in something: They kept something lying down: When you tell
picking holes in my argument. 19 I him, he won't take it lying down. 14
have no hard feelings about the way To stretch a point. 15 To make do
they treated me. 20 To lay oneself with something: We'll have to make do
wide open to something: That would with what we have. 16 To lose sleep
lay us wide open to criticism. 21 You over something: I'm not going to lose
could drive a horse and carriage any sleep over it. 17 He's trying to
through it. 22 To make amends for pick up the pieces of his life. 18 To
something: He should make amends to not bat an eyelid: When he announced
us for his negligence. 23 To tell some- his resignation, she didn't bat an eye-
one where to get off: I'll soon tell him lid. 19 To lose heart: They've lost heart
where to get off. 24 To tear some- in the project. 20 To look on the
thing to pieces: Neither had he ex- bright side: She always looks on the
pected them to tear it to pieces. 25 bright side of things. 21 To take a
To clear the air: It clears the air for a dim view of something: They take a
while. very dim view of this type of behav-
iour. 22 We could all be sacked at
the drop of a hat. 23 I refuse to take
24. Reactions
sides when they start to argue. 24
1 To cut one's losses: We should cut You'll just have to grin and bear it. 25
our losses and drop the deal. 2 It's To be sick and tired of something: We're
sour grapes: He said that the job would sick and tired of your complaints.
have been boring anyway, but that was
just sour grapes. 3 To dig one's heels
25. Opportunities
in: She dug her heels in and refused to
be persuaded. 4 To clutch at straws: 1 To hand something to someone on
He's just clutching at straws. 5 To whet a plate: They aren't going to hand it to
someone's appetite for something: The us on a plate. 2 The letter arrived out
experience had whetted her appetite of the blue. 3 That way we could kill
for foreign travel. 6 To get a grip on two birds with one stone. 4 Good
oneself: This type of behaviour is point- teachers are few and far between. 5
less. Get a grip on yourself! 7 To put To rise to the occasion: They rose to
on a brave face (or to put a brave face the occasion. 6 To play one's cards
on something): She was very disap- right: If you play your cards right... 7
pointed but she put a brave face on it. To have a finger in every pie: He has a
8 To turn a blind eye to something: finger in every pie. 8 To not look a
The company turns a blind eye to pri- gift horse in the mouth: (saying) Never
vate phone calls. 9 To turn a deaf ear look a gift horse in the mouth. 9 To
to something: They turned a deaf ear miss the boat: I missed the boat with
to our warnings. 10 To be glad to my application. 10 To take advan-
see the back of someone: I was glad tage of something: He took full advan-
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tage (or he made the most) of the op- offered him a job. 12 To be (orto go)
portunity. 11 It is difficult to gain a out on a limb: He went out on a limb
foothold in the Japanese market. 12 defending the research. 13 To be
He let the opportunity slip through his touch and go: For a while it was touch
fingers. 13 To get in on the ground and go whether it would be ready on
floor. 14 You have the best of both time. 14 To play it safe. 15 To leave
worlds. 15 To break new ground: someone to sink or swim: New recruits
They're breaking new ground in the are left to sink or swim. 16 To skate
treatment of this disease. 16 If I were on thin ice: They're skating on thin ice.
you, I'd buy it while the going is good. 17 To put one's money where one's
17 Every cloud has a silver lining. 18 mouth is: Let's see you put your money
To be up for grabs: The job is up for where your mouth is! 18 To cut it
grabs. 19 To make hay while the sun fine: Hasn't he left yet? He's cutting it
shines: (saying) Make hay while the sun very fine! 19 It was a shot in the dark
shines. 20 Don't worry, this may turn but it proved to be right. 20 In the
out to be a blessing in disguise. 21 end we won, but it was a close shave.
The sky's the limit. 22 To have a crack 21 It's anybody's guess: What will hap-
at something: Let me have a crack at pen next is anybody's guess. 22
fixing it. 23 n 24 You'd better strike Against the odds: They won the con-
while the iron is hot and tell him now. tract against all the odds. 23 To play
25 To make the most of something: with fire: You're playing with fire. 24
We must make the most (or take full Time will tell. 25 A long shot: It's a bit
advantage) of this good weather. of a long shot, but it just might work.

26. Risk 27. Competition


1 To carry out a spot check: We do 1 They have a head start over us, so
carry out spot checks. 2 I didn't really they'll probably win. 2 To be streets
think I'd find him in the office, but I ahead of someone (or something): The
went on the off-chance. 3 An un- company is streets ahead of it competi-
known quantity: The new sales man- tors. 3 To knock spots off someone
ager is a bit of an unknown quantity. (or something): Their latest machines
4 To push one's luck: Be careful, you're knock spots off all comparable PCs. 4
pushing your luck. 5 It's all a bit hit To play into somebody's hands: Don't
and miss. 6 To be at the mercy of play into his hands, tell him no. 5 To
something: We are at the mercy of their come off second best: I have no inten-
hunches. 7 To keep one's fingers tion of coming off second best. 6 To
crossed: - Will he come tomorrow? set the pace: Europe has set the pace
Keep your fingers crossed. 8 They for reform. 7 To give someone a good
were selected at random. 9 Her ca- run for his (her, their, etc.) money:
reer hung in the balance. 10 To not Never mind, we gave him a good run
stand a dog's chance: We didn't stand for his money. 8 To stand the pace:
a dog's chance of winning. 11 To stick He can't stand the pace. 9 To be in
one's neck out: I stuck my neck out and the running: We're still in the running
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for the contract. 10 To be out of the same wavelength: He wasn't on the


running: They are out of the running. same wavelength as the others. 8 To
11 It has to be a frank discussion, with let the side down: He always lets the
no holds barred. 12 To give some- side down. 9 To be in good company:
one an edge (over someone else): It You're in good company, we've all been
would give us an edge over our com- fired. 10 To sit on the sidelines: He
petitors. 13 To be on the cutting edge has been sitting on the sidelines of
of something: We are on the cutting public life for years. 11 To pull one's
edge of technological development. weight: Everyone will have to pull their
14 In the teeth of something: The weight to get the job done. 12 He
changes were made in the teeth of was a square peg in a round hole. 13
strong resistance. 15 To stay (or to Many hands make light work. 14 To
be) one jump ahead of someone: He's play ball with someone: We tried to
always one jump ahead of us. 16 To persuade him but he refused to play
hold one's own: He holds his own with ball. 15 To do something in tandem
the senior partners. 17 To keep pace with somebody: We make decisions in
with somebody: I can't keep pace with tandem with their department. 16
him. 18 To jump on the bandwagon: She's the driving force behind the
We were accused of jumping on the project. 17 You can't trust him, he's
bandwagon. 19 To get in on the act: in cahoots with Neyrolles. 18 The
He tried to get in on the act. 20 To rank and file. 19 Too many cooks spoil
beat someone to the punch: Somebody the broth. 20 To be as thick as
had beaten her to the punch. 21 To thieves: Last year they couldn't stand
be neck and neck (with someone): The each other, now they're as thick as
two runners were neck and neck. 22 thieves. 21 They close ranks when
To meet one's match: He has met his they are criticised. 22 To see eye to
match in Dennis Bartley. 23 Another eye: Those two have never seen eye
nail in someone's coffin: This is another to eye. 23 The two companies were
nail in their coffin. 24 To gain ground: not competing on equal terms. 24
The campaign to protect the environ- To give someone a hand: They gave
ment is gaining ground. 25 He was us a hand. 25 To have a hand in
determined to get out of the rat race. something: I had a hand in its crea-
tion.
28. Teamwork
29. Quality
1 To be hand in glove: They're said to
be hand in glove with their competi- 1 To be second to none: Our service
tors to fix prices. 2 Two heads are is second to none. 2 To be no great
better than one. 3 To do someone a shakes: The food was no great shakes.
good turn: You've done me a good 3 To put something or someone to
turn. 4 To be in the same boat: We're shame: He speaks English so well that
all in the same boat. 5 To go hand in he puts me to shame. 4 He'll never
hand: These matters go hand in hand. make the grade. 5 To beggar descrip-
6 Jobs for the boys. 7 To be on the tion: It beggars description. 6 To
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scrape the bottom of the barrel: You're There has to be some give and take. 9
really scraping the bottom of the bar- To get down to brass tacks. 10 To lay
rel. 7 To separate the men from the one's cards on the table: I'm prepared
boys: The initial training separates the to lay my cards on the table. 11 (You
men from the boys. 8 To not be up to can) take it or leave it. 12 He had an
much: His work wasn't up to much. 9 ace up his sleeve. 13 To budge an
To be worth one's salt: Any engineer inch: He wouldn't budge an inch. 14
worth his salt would have seen it im- To play cat and mouse with somebody:
mediately. 10 You cannot hold a can- I think they're playing cat and mouse
dle to him. 11 To be up to scratch: with us. 15 To strengthen one's hand:
He's simply not up to scratch. 12 To His announcements have strengthened
make a clean sweep of something: Our our hand. 16 Common ground. 17
team made a clean sweep of the They managed to turn the tables on
awards. 13 To get one's money's their adversaries. 18 You have to
worth: I've got (or had) my money's draw the line somewhere. 19 A stum-
worth out of this car. 14 Second-rate. bling block: We have overcome the
15 This hotel is the pick of the bunch. most important stumbling block. 20
16 It's not all it's cracked up to be. 17 To have the upper hand: He thinks he
Language schools are two a penny. 18 has the upper hand. 21 To meet
To go out of one's way to do some- someone halfway: If he won't agree to
thing: He went out of his way to make this, we'll have to meet him halfway.
me feel at home. 19 Fly-by-night. 20 22 To stand one's ground: He stood
To steal the show. 21 It's absolutely his ground. 23 To call someone's bluff:
out of this world. 22 To be in a class Go ahead and call his bluff. 24 To
of one's own: He's in a class of his own lose face. 25 Beggars can't be choos-
(or it's in a class of its own). 23 You ers.
can't keep a good man down. 24 It's
nothing to write home about (or It's no
31. Results
great shakes). 25 To praise someone
or something to the skies: It has been 1 She soon became a household
praised to the skies. name. 2 Not by a long chalk. 3 A
can of worms: The revaluation of sala-
ries opened up a can of worms. 4 To
3O. Negotiations
make inroads into something: Training
1 The ball is in your court. 2 To take make serious inroads into my free time.
someone's point: I take your point, but 5 To make headway: We've finally
our prices are not negotiable. 3 To managed to make some headway. 6
grind to a halt: The negotiations have To pave the way for something: This
ground to a halt. 4 To be poles apart: bill paved the way for a united Europe.
He and his brother are poles apart. 5 7 To flog a dead horse: You're flog-
To have someone over a barrel: We ging a dead horse talking to them
have him over a barrel. 6 He has been about cutting expenditure. 8 The re-
organising everything behind the sult was a foregone conclusion. 9 The
scenes. 7 We split the difference. 8 acid test is whether the public likes it
Stanley 177
,000 everyday idioms in business
Answers

or not. 10 It makes no odds. 11 on your own two feet. 13 To give


The end-of-year bonus was just the ic- someone a free hand: They would give
ing on the cake. 12 If you don't fin- him a free hand. 14 To have a say in
ish on time, you won't be paid n that's something: I have no say in the mat-
the bottom line. 13 At the end of the ter. 15 To give someone the green
day, it's his responsibility. 14 To bear light: Plans for the new tower block
fruit: His careful planning bore fruit. have been given the green light (orgo-
15 They couldn't come up with the ahead). 16 To give someone the go-
goods. 16 This is a far cry from what ahead: Our plans were given the go-
I expected. 17 He has made his bed ahead (orgreen light). 17 To put one's
and now he must lie in it. 18 The foot down: He put his foot down and
course of events has come full circle. refused to sign. 18 The top brass.
19 To take its toll: Years of hard work 19 To play second fiddle to someone:
had taken their toll on his health. 20 After years of playing second fiddle to
So far, so good. 21 To not have a leg others... 20 To have a lot to answer
to stand on: He doesn't have a leg to for: The mining industry has a lot to
stand on. 22 The employees in this answer for. 21 A sleeping partner or
company are a mixed bag. 23 To (US) a silent partner. 22 They accused
serve somebody right: It serves you him of trying to pass the buck. 23 To
right. 24 One swallow doesn't make kick someone upstairs: The only solu-
a summer. 25 To fall short of some- tion was to kick the present one up-
thing: The quality of their products falls stairs. 24 To call the shots: Cronin's
short of our requirements. calling the shots now. 25 To wash
one's hand of something or someone:
After that, he washed his hands of
32. Responsibility
them.
1 To be saddled with something: We
were saddled with all the bills. 2 They
33- Ethics
were fighting for their place in the
pecking order. 3 She's not the sort to 1 To cook the books: Someone has
pull rank. 4 To know where one been cooking the books. 2 To be as
stands: I like to know where I stand. 5 good as one's word: He was as good
He has decided to take a back seat from as his word. 3 He does not have the
now on. 6 We can't do it unless we courage of his convictions. 4 To pull
have his say-so. 7 To rule the roost: the wool over someone's eyes: There's
He's the one who rules the roost. 8 no point trying to pull the wool over
To be quits with someone: Now we're his eyes. 5 Now his policies have
quits. 9 To have friends in high places: come home to roost. 6 To sweep
He has friends in high places. 10 As something under the carpet: They at-
usual I had to carry the can. 11 To tempted to sweep the affair under the
have the final say in something: The carpet. 7 To take someone's word for
manager has the final say in these it: You'll have to take my word for it. 8
matters. 12 To stand on one's own To feather one's nest: He has feathered
two feet: You have to learn to stand his nest at the tax payer's expense. 9
178 Stanley
1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms i n b u s i n e s s
Answers

There are no two ways about it. 10 it completely slipped my mind. 13 To


Honesty is the best policy. 11 You read someone like a book: Don't tell
never know when they're being sincere me stories, I can read you like a book.
and when they're simply on the make. 14 To take it out on somebody: I know
12 They paid him $25,000 under the you're upset, but don't take it out on
table. 13 To grease somebody's palm. me. 15 To blow hot and cold on
14 To get cold feet: He got cold feet something: He blows hot and cold on
and said nothing. 15 In good faith. every subject. 16 He was a bag of
16 To catch someone red-handed: I nerves before the interview. 17 What's
caught him red-handed. 17 He's a eating you? 18 She has both feet on
man of his word. 18 To have the guts the ground. 19 He's very quick on
to do something: He had the guts to the uptake. 20 To have a chip on
say it to his face. 19 All the transac- one's shoulder: He has a chip on his
tions were above board. 20 They won shoulder about his background. 21
fair and square. 21 He has an itchy To fly off the handle at someone: When
palm. 22 To go against the grain: It I told her, she flew off the handle. 22
goes against the grain for me to sup- In this job you have to be able to think
port them. 23 That's a different kettle on your feet. 23 He's nobody's fool.
of fish. 24 He doesn't do it on princi- 24 To be fed up with something: I'm
ple. 25 To be on the level: Don't fed up with being told what to do. 25
worry, Sam's on the level. He has a screw loose.

34. Psychology 35. Colleagues


1 To show one's true colours: He re- 1 To have something in store for some-
vealed his true colours. 2 To be on body: What does fate have in store for
pins and needles: They were on pins us? 2 To be all mouth: He's all mouth.
and needles waiting for the results. 3 3 A skeleton staff. 4 You're a glutton
To keep somebody on tenterhooks: She for punishment, going into the office
loves keeping people on tenterhooks. at the weekend. 5 Supermarkets will
4 To be on cloud nine: He's been on raise prices across the board. 6 To
cloud nine since he heard the news. get on someone's nerves: That noise
5 His bark is worse than his bite. 6 gets on my nerves. 7 To pass the hat
To show what one is made of: This is round (or around). 8 To give some-
your chance to show the management one his due: To give him his due, he is
what you're made of. 7 To be set in very efficient. 9 To keep oneself to
one's ways: Naturally he's set in his oneself: She tends to keep herself to
ways. 8 Deep down she regretted it. herself. 10 An Aunt Sally. 11 To
9 To be out of one's mind: You must hate somebody's guts: They hate each
be out of your mind. 10 What make other's guts. 12 To be a dead ringer
someone tick: I'd like to know what for someone: He's a dead ringer for his
makes him tick. 11 To go all to pieces: brother. 13 He's worked in this office
He went all to pieces when he found so long, he's part of the furniture. 14
out. 12 To slip one's mind: I'm sorry, She seemed to be on the ball. 15 To
Stanley 179
1,000 everyday idioms in business
Answers

give somebody the sack: They gave nally decided to bury the hatchet. 19
them all the sack. 16 He's a pain in To have an axe to grind: I have no axe
the neck. 17 To put someone out to to grind in this matter. 20 To get even
pasture: They'll be putting him out to with someone: I'll get even with him
pasture soon. 18 He's a sensible, some day. 21 Their quarrel is only a
down-to-earth person. 19 This com- storm in a teacup. 22 To curry fa-
pany needs some new blood. 20 A vour: He's simply currying favour. 23
whizz kid. 21 He's a dark horse. 22 It's every man for himself. 24 To put a
He became the boss's right-hand man. spoke in somebody's wheels: He'll try
23 I feel like a fish out of water. 24 to put a spoke in your wheels. 25 To
A fair-weather friend: It's painful to dis- poke one's nose into something: He's
cover how many fair-weather friends always poking his nose into our busi-
you had. 25 He's a real live wire. ness.

36. Politics 37. Careers


1 He looks after number one. 2 She 1 To make a name for oneself: He
tried to keep a low profile. 3 To stab made a name for himself as an indus-
someone in the back: This was a stab trial designer. 2 Out of sight, out of
in the back for the export manager. 4 mind. 3 To pull oneself up by one's
A snake in the grass: Some snake in the bootstraps: He pulled himself up by his
grass informed on us. 5 To soft-soap bootstraps. 4 To get into one's stride:
someone: She soft-soaped him into I was just getting into my stride when
agreeing. 6 To put someone's nose they fired me. 5 That's a feather in his
out of joint: That put his nose out of cap. 6 A rolling stone gathers no
joint. 7 To give someone enough rope moss. 7 To come up through the
to hang himself: Give him enough rope ranks: He came up through the ranks.
and he'll hang himself. 8 To lick some- 8 To mark time: He was really just
body's boots: It make me sick to see the marking time. 9 To follow in some-
way he licks the boss's boots. 9 They body's footsteps: He wanted to follow
have a vested interest in promoting in his father's footsteps. 10 This com-
these products. 10 To take the credit pany has an excellent track record. 11
for something: His boss took all the To set one's sights on something: He
credit for writing the report. 11 To had set his sights on becoming a law-
put in a good word for someone: He yer. 12 To fly high: He's flying high.
promised to put in a good word for me 13 To pull one's socks up: It's high time
with the manager. 12 A hatchet man. he pulled his socks up. 14 To rest on
13 You scratch my back and I'll scratch one's laurels: They've been resting on
yours. 14 To pull strings: He pulled their laurels. 15 It's a stepping stone
quite a few strings to get that job. 15 to success. 16 To be cut out for some-
He has been seeing her on the sly. 16 thing: I'm not cut out for business. 17
Behind somebody's back: They were To have the makings of something: He
planning something behind my back. has the makings of a personnel man-
17 To make waves. 18 They've fi- ager. 18 He's in line for a raise soon.
180 Stanley
1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s
Answers

19 Up-and-coming. 20 To blot salt of the earth. 22 To be in the know:


one's copybook: It was a blot on his Are they in the know? 23 To get on
copybook (or He blotted his copy- like a house on fire: The manager and I
book.) 21 To give someone a pat get on like a house on fire. 24 We've
on the back: He deserves a pat on known each other long enough to be
the back. 22 To step into some- on first name terms. 25 To know some-
body's shoes: It's not easy to step into one to see (or by sight): I only know him
the shoes of such a man. 23 With to see.
dedication you'll go far. 24 They've
come up in the world. 25 To fall by 39. Socialising
the wayside: They fell by the way-
side. 1 To put in an appearance: He put in
a brief appearance at the party. 2 One
for the road. 3 To throw a party for
38. Contacts someone: They threw a party for him.
1 To get in touch with somebody: Get 4 To get away from it all. 5 To take a
in touch with us when you arrive. 2 To joke: You can't take a joke. 6 They
stay in touch: I try to stay in touch with put on some music to break the ice. 7
my friends from university. 3 To give To take a hint: I kept looking at my
someone the lowdown on something: I watch but he didn't take the hint. 8
want you to give me the lowdown on Their relationship has been on the rocks
their recent R&D. 4 To have someone for some time. 9 To make oneself at
in the palm of one's hand: She's got him home: Sit down and make yourself at
in the palm of her hand. 5 To not be home. 10 To take it easy. 11 A wet
somebody's cup of tea: It isn't my cup of blanket. 12 All work and no play
tea. 6 To be on good terms with some- makes Jack a dull boy. 13 Please,
body: We aren't on very good terms at there's no need to stand on ceremony
the moment. 7 Better the devil you with us. 14 To pull someone's leg:
know (than the devil you don't). 8 To You're pulling my leg, aren't you? 15
put business somebody's way: I'm happy We were wined and dined by the man-
to put business his way. 9 The old pals ager and his wife. 16 We made small
act. 10 He only goes to the office once talk until he arrived. 17 He was the
in a blue moon. 11 It takes all sorts (to life and soul of the party. ISA drop
make a world). 12 To have a foot in of the hard stuff. 19 The more the
both camps. 13 To drop names: He's merrier. 20 To let off steam: When he
always dropping names. 14 None gets angry, he lets off steam by going
other than. 15 To get wind of some- for a run. 21 To talk shop: Stop talk-
thing: How on earth did you get wind ing shop, you're on holidays. 22 To
of it? 16 It's a small world. 17 To hear do the honours. 23 To drown one's
something on the grapevine: I heard it sorrows: He's in the bar drowning his
on the grapevine. 18 He met with his sorrows. 24 To rub shoulders with
French opposite number. 19 Talk of somebody: He rubs shoulders with
the devil! 20 To give someone a leg movie stars. 25 To let one's hair down:
up: I gave him a leg up. 21 They're the He really let his hair down at the party.
Stanley 181
Answers 1,000 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s

4O. Miscellaneous
1 To have nothing to do with some-
thing or someone: That has nothing to
do with you. 2 On the face of it, the
economy is improving. 3 All along.
4 To be (or to feel) under the weather:
She was feeling under the weather. 5
To jump the gun: Don't jump the gun.
6 To one's cost: You can't drink and
drive, as he found out to his cost. 7
The job's as good as finished. 8 For
starters. 9 Out of the question. 10
By and large, the organisation is good.
1 1 Their way of doing business is a
case in point. 12 Oh, by the way,
there's a letter for you. 13 By all
means take it, but please bring it back.
14 Let alone. 15 It wasn't an acci-
dent, he did it on purpose. 1 6 In the
light of what we now know, the idea
seems strange. 1 7 They sold book,
newspapers, and so forth. 1 8 I agree
in principle with what you say. 1 9 He
was rude, to say the least. 20 Out of
place. 21 To hold good: My promise
still holds good. 22 As a matter of
fact, I've never been to Spain. 23 The
long and the short of it is that we've
failed. 24 On no account are you to
see her again. 25 To be in favour of
something: I'm all in favour of freedom
of speech.

182 Stanley
Index
This page intentionally left blank
1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s
Index

The numbers in this index are chapter numbers, not page numbers.
A B
able 34 baby 1 5 better 1,2, 14, bow 5
account 14, 40 back 6, 9, 18, 21, 15, 28, 38 boy 28, 29, 39
ace 30 22, 24, 32, 36, big 15 brains 9, 1 1
Achilles 17 37 bill 3 brainwave 9
acid 3 1 backwards 7 bird 1, 4, 25 brass 30, 32
act 27, 38 bad 1, 3, 17, 21, bit 19 brave 24
action 19 23
bite 22, 34 break 8, 18, 20,
add 23 bag 4, 31, 34
bitten 5 25, 39
advantage 25 balance 14, 26
black 3, 4 breath 13
advocate 1 1 ball 35
blame 1, 23 breathe 6
again 1 ball 12, 16, 28, 30
agree 1 1 blanket 39 brick 1 7
bandwagon 27
ahead 2, 27 blessing 25 bridge 5, 1 5
bargain 8
air 14, 16, 23 blind 22, 24 bright 24
bark 22, 34
alike 9 blink 1 7 brink 18
barred 27
allowance 10 block 30 broth 28
alone 40 barrel 29, 30
blood 8, 35 buck 32
always 1 base 19
blot 37 bud 19
amend 23 basket 22
blow 1, 22, 34 budge 30
another 1, 5, 20 bat 24
blue 13, 25, 38 bull 14
answer 32 bath 15
blue-collar 6 bum 4
anybody 26 battle 20, 2 1
bluff 30 bunch 29
apart 30 bean 4
board 21, 33, 35 burn 6, 1 8
appearance 39 bear 9,24,31
appetite 24 boat 25, 28 burnt 5
beat 6, 12, 27
argue 14 boggles 10 bury 22, 36
bed 31
argument 1 1 i_ _ _ t i
boil 18 bush 1, 12
beg 1 1
arm 8, 1 7 bolts 16 business 4, 12, 38
beggar 29,30
ash 20 bomb 3 bust 2 1
Aunt 35 beginning 21
bone 23 bygones 23
axe 36 believe 4
book 5, 23, 33, 34
believing 5
boots 36
bell 1 1
bootstraps 37
belt 5, 1 8
both 6, 16, 25, 38
benefit 14
bottom 3, 10, 21,
best 2, 25, 27, 33 29, 31
bet 3, 16 bounds 20
Stanley 185
Index ,000 everyday idioms in business

C D
cahoots 28 clock 2 crack 1 7, 25 damp 21
cake 6, 8, 3 1 close 4, 26, 28 cracked 29 damper 23
call 1,2, 13, 30, cloud 25, 34 credit 36 dark 4, 26
32 clue 9 creek 17 dark 35
calm 18 clutch 24 cropper 2 1 date 2
camp 38 coach 23 cross 9, 11,15 day 2, 7, 1 6, 1 7,
can 1, 22, 25, 32 coffin 27 crossed 10, 26 31
candle 6, 29 coin 14 crossroads 1 4 dead 6, 9, 21, 31,
cap 37 35
cold 23, 33, 34 crumble 1
card 4, 16, 25, 30 colour 3, 34 crunch 18 deadline 19
care 1 comb 1 6 cry 31 deaf 24
carpet 33 come 1, 2, 4, 9, crying 23 deal 8
carry 26, 32 15, 17, 18, 19, debt 3
cuff 1 3
cart 1 5 20, 21, deep 3, 34
cup 38
27,31,33,37 dent 2 1
case 40 cure 15
common 30 depth 10
cash 3 curry 36
company 28 description 29
castles 1 6 cut 6, 12, 13, 19,
compare 1 1 deserve 1
cat 4, 30 20, 22, 24, 26,
conclusion 9, 31 37 devil 1 1, 38
catch 33
cons 14 cutting 27 differ 1 1
caution 19
contention 23 difference 30
ceremony 39
conviction 33 different 33
chalk 31
cook 33 dig 22, 24
chance 26
cookie 1 dim 24
change 8, 14
cooks 28 dine 39
chase 22
copybook 37 dire 18
check 26
corner 8, 1 9 direction 19
cheek 13
corrected 12 dirty 6
chest 4
cost 3, 8, 1 6, 40 disguise 25
chew 22
count 15, 16 dog 1, 5, 21, 26
chicken 8, 1 5
country 5 dole 6
chip 18, 34
courage 33 dollar 3
chooser 30
course 7 done 2, 12, 19
circle 1 2, 1 7, 3 1
court 30 donkey 2, 6
class 29
cover 1 2 door 8
clean 29
cow 2 dot 2
clear 23

186 Stanley
1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s
Index

E F
doubt 14 ear 4, 5, 11, 18, face 9, 11, 13, 21, flame 2 1
downhill 21 24 22, 23, 24, 30, flash 20
earth 38 40
down 6 flat 2 1
easier 19 fact 40
downs 1 flies 2
easy 1, 17, 39 fair 33
down-to-earth 35 flog 3 1
dozen 8 eating 34 fair-weather 35
flood 8
edge 27 faith 33
drain 2 1 floor 25
draw 30 edgeways 1 1 fall 10, 21, 31, 37
flowed 5
drawing 2 1 egg 22 far 22, 25, 31, 37
fly 34, 37
drink 25 eleventh 2 fast 1 8
fly-by-night 29
drive 8, 23 empty 2 1 favour 1 4, 36 40
flying 20
driving 28 end 6, 1 0, 1 2, 1 5, feather 33, 37
follow 19, 37
16, 17, 18, 19, fed 34
drop 3, 24, 38, 39 food 9
20, 21, 31 feed 8
1 Wt^U \J
dropped 10 fool 1 , 34
enough 36 feel 18
drown 39 foolish 3
equal 28 feeler 16
dry 20 foot 3, 8, 22, 32
error 5 feelings 14, 23
due 35 38
even 7, 8, 36 feet 18, 20, 23,
dull 39 foothold 25
event 5, 7, 16 32, 33, 34
footsteps 37
every 25, 36 fence 14
force 28
evil 15 few 23, 25
forearmed 1
exception 1 fiddle 1 8, 32
foregone 3 1
eye 10, 24, 28, 33 fight 2 1
foremost 15
eyelid 24 file 28
forewarned 1
final 32
form 7
find 5
forth 1 2, 40
fine 13, 26
forward 16
fine-tooth 16
forwards 7
finger 5, 25, 26
free 32
fingertip 4
friend 32, 35
fire 4, 1 7, 26, 38
fruit 3 1
firing 23
fry 15
first 1,8, 10, 15,
frying 17
19
full 6, 1 8, 3 1
firstname 38
fun 2
fish 15, 33, 35
furniture 35
fit 19
Stanley 187
1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s
Index

G H
gab 13 grave 22 hair 11, 39 heart 9, 13, 23,
gain 1, 25, 27 grease 33 half 1, 8, 20 24
game 16 great 9, 29 half-baked 22 heat 19
gather 37 Greek 10 halfway 30 heavy 1 7
get 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, green
«j 32 halt 30 hedge 16
10, 11, 12, 18, greener 1 halves 19 heel 1 7, 24
19, 20,22,23, hell 18
grey 9 hand 1, 5, 6, 8,
24, 25,27, 29, helped 17
grin 24 11, 12, 18, 25,
30,33,
27, 28, 30, 32, here 11
35,36,37,38,39 grind 30, 36
38
gift 13, 25 grindstone 6 herring 4
handed 21
give 8, 10, 1 4, 2 1 ,grip 1 9, 24 high 2, 32, 37
handle 34
23, 27, 28, 30, ground 1,4, 12, hill 1
32, 35, 36, 37, hang 10, 18, 26,
20, 25, 27, 30, hint 39
38 36
34 hit 13, 17, 20, 21
glad 24 happy 14
grow 3 26
glove 28 hard 3, 5, 8, 1 7,
guess 26 hold 10, 12, 16,
23, 24, 39
glutton 35 gun 14, 40 27, 29, 40
has-been 2 1
go 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, guts 33, 35 hole 23, 28
10, 12, 13, 16, hash 22
home 2, 20, 23,
17, 20, 21,22, hat 4, 1 1, 24, 35 29, 33
26, 28, 29, 33, hatched 15 homework 16
34if J
J 371
hatchet 36 honesty 33
go-ahead 32 hate 35 honours 39
going 8, 17, 25 have 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, horn 14
good 1, 3, 4, 10, 10, 12, 13, 14,
25, 28, 29, 31, horse 4, 1 5, 22,
15, 16, 17,18,
33, 36, 38, 40 23, 25, 31, 35
20, 23, 25, 27,
goods 3 1 28, 30, 31, 32, hot 8, 25, 34
goose 22 33, 34, 35, 36, hour 2
37, 38, 40 house 23, 38
grabs 25
having 2 household 31
grade 29
j 25
hay
grain 33
haywire 1 7
granted 16
head 1, 10, 12,
grapes 24
13, 18, 22, 27,
grapevine 38 28
grass 36 headway 3 1
grass 1 hear 4, 38

188 Stanley
1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s
Index

1 J K L
ice 26, 39 Jack 39 keel 7 land 20
iceberg 1 7 jackpot 20 keep 1, 2, 4, 6, large 40
14
icing 31 job 6, 21, 28 - 18, 26, 27, ,ast 15 16 17 18

idea 9, 22 joint 36 29,34,35,36, ^ ]5


JO
ill 1 joke 39 __ laurel 37
kettle 33
inch 30 jump 9, 17, 27, ,.,-,., lay 12, 23, 30
K\f*K ^S

injury 23 40
kid 35 lead6'25
inroads 3 J Just 5 leadi 22
kill 7, 25 "9
ins 10 Ipof C
killing 20
insult 23 i i 27
-»-i 'eaP
knock ^ 20
interest 36 . ._.--,- learn 5, 13
know 5, 1 0, 32,
iron 25 38 least 1 5, 40
issue 1 1 leave 26, 30
itchy 33 led 20
itself 1 3 leg 8, 18, 31, 38,
39
leisure 2
lesser 1 5
lesson 5
let 1, 4, 10, 23,
25, 28, 39, 40
level 33
lick 36
lie 1, 31
life 39
light 4, 18, 28,
32, 40
like 4, 8
limb 26
limit 25
line 5, 7, 1 0, 1 2,
23, 24, 30, 31,
37
lining 25
lip 13
little 4
live 5, 22, 35
Stanley 189
, 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s
Index
M N
loaf 1 made 20, 31,34 moment 14, 19 nail 3, 13, 27
long 2, 13, 16, make 3, 6, 7, 10, money 1, 3, 26,
name 3, 31, 37,
26, 31, 40 14, 15, 17, 19, 27, 29 38
look 16, 24, 25, 20,21,22,23, moon 38 nature 5
36 25, 28, 29, 31, more 10, 22, 39 necessity 24
loose 12, 18, 34 33, 34, 36, 37,
38 39 moss 37 neck 6, 9, 26, 27,
lose 1, 10, 12, 21, most 25 35
makings 37
24, 30 needles 34
man 20, 29, 33, motions 7
losing 21 neither 1 1
35, 36 mountain 15
losses 24 nerves 34, 35
many 13, 28 mouse 30
Iot5, 12, 32
mark 20, 22, 37 mouth 4, 11, 13, nest 33
louder 19 markets 22,25,26,35 never 1 , 1 5
low 36 move 2 new5, 16, 25, 35
match 27
low-down 38 much 29 news 4
matter 9, 1 0
luck 26 nick 2
matter 7, 40
lying 24 nine 19, 34
means 22, 19, 40
medium 14 nip 19
meet 10, 17, 19, nobody 1, 34
27, 30 none 1, 4, 29, 38
mention 1 1 normal 7
mercy 24, 26 nose 6, 8, 16, 36
merrier 39 note 1 1
message 1 0 nothing 20, 21,
method 20 29, 40
middle 7 notice 18
midnight 6 nowhere 12
milk 23 number 36, 38
mill 5, 7 nut 16,17
mince 13 nutshell 12
mind 9, 10, 13,
14, 17, 34, 37
misery 4
miss 26
miss 25
mixed 14, 31
molehill 15

190 Stanley
,000 everyday idioms in business
Index

o P
object 3, 5 pace 27 plate 25 purpose 1 1,12,
occasion 25 pain 35 play 4, 11, 12, 2! 21, 40
ocean 3 palm 33, 38 26, 27, 28, 30, push 26
32 39
J £- , *J /
odds 3, 26, 31 pal 38 put 1, 4, 6, 8, 9,
off-chance 26 plunge 14 11, 12, 13, 15,
pan 17, 20
oil 6 point 11, 12, 24, 16, 22, 23, 24,
par 7
30, 40 26, 29, 32, 35,
old 2, 5, 12, 38 part 35
point 10, 13, 19 36, 38, 39
once 2, 5, 38 parted 1
poke 36
onions 5 partner 32
pole 30
only 15 party 39
policy 33
open 14, 23 pass 32, 35
posted 4
opposite 38 past 2
pound 1, 3
options 14 pasture 35
pour 1, 23
order 7, 1 7, 23, pat 37
32 practice 7
patch 17
ordinary 7 practise 19
pave 3 1
other 8 praise 29
pay 1,3,8, 13
other 1 , 11, 15, pecking 32 preach 19
38 premium 15
peg 28
outs 10 present 1 9
penny 1,3, 10, 29
own 9, 22, 23, pressed 1 7
perfect 7
27, 29, 32
pick 1 1, 23, 24, prevention 15
29 price 3, 8
picture 4, 1 0 pride 1 5
pie 25 principle 33, 40
piece 6, 23, 24, print 14
34
profile 36
pile 13
proportion 1 5
pinch 4, 18
pros 14
pin 34
prove 1
pipeline 16
piper 1 public 8
place 10, 15, 32, pull 18, 19, 28,
40 32, 33, 36, 37,
39
place 32
plain 7 punch 27
punishment 35
Stanley 191
1 , 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y idioms in b u s i n e s s
Index

Q R S
quandary 14 race 27 round 2, 5,12, 28, sack 35
35
quantity 26 rack 9 saddled 32
question 3, 40 rails 22 roundabouts 1 safe 15 ,6 26

rains 1 rub 22, 39 said 12, ]9


quick 34
ru
quits 32 rainy 16 9 18 sailing 7
random 26 rule 1 , 7 , 3 2 sake 2 n

rank 28, 32, 37 run 2, 7, 8, 27 Sa||y 35

rat 27 running 27 salt 4 29, 38


rut 7
rate 8 same 28
reach 19, 21 sand 22
read 10, 12, 34 save 16,19
reason 9, 11 say 12, 13, 32, 40
record 11, 12, 37 say-so 32
red 3, 4, 7 scales 14
red-handed 33 scene 30
schedule 1 7
refusal 8
score 5
rein 6
scrape 29
relation 9
scratch 11, 19, 29,
resort 1 6 36
rest 37 screw 34
ride 5 seat 32
right 9, 10, 19, second 5, 14, 27,
25, 31 29, 32
right-hand 35 second-rate 29
ring 1 1 see 3, 9, 1 0, 1 6,
ringer 35 18, 21, 24, 28,
38
rise 20, 25
seeing 5
road 7, 19, 39
self 20
rock 21, 39
sell 4, 8
rolling 3, 12, 37
sense 15
Rome 18 separate 29
roof 3 serve 2 1 , 3 1
roost 32, 33 served 1 5
rope 5, 36 service 13
rough 1, 5
192 Stanley
, 0 0 0 e v e r y d a y i d i o m s in b u s i n e s s
Index

set 11, 16, 27, 34, skies 29 square 21, 28, 33 stumbling 30
37 skin 17 squib 21 succeed 1, 20
shakes 29 sky 25 stab 36 success 20
shame 29 slap 23 staff 35 suit 19
shape 16 sleep 24 stage 16 summer 31
shave 26 sleeping 1, 32 stand 11, 12, 26, sun 25
shed 4 sleeve 30 27, 30, 31, 32, supply 8
shines 25 39
slip 13, 25, 34 sure-fire 20
shoes 1 1, 37 start 12, 19, 20,
sly 36 surface 11
shoestring 3
27
small 14, 24, 38, swallow 31
starters 40
shoot 21, 22 39
statement 13 sweep 29, 33
shop 39 smoke 4
stay 27 sweeping 13
shopping 8 smooth 1
steal 29 sweet 12
short 6, 8, 1 2, 1 3, snake 36
steam 39 swim 26
18, 20, 23, 31, snowed 6
40 steer 4 swing 6, 7
sock 37
shot 26 step 16, 19, 37 swings 1
soft-soap 36
shots 32 stepping 37
song 3
shoulder 6, 13, stick 10, 14, 26
sooner 2, 1 9
34, 39 stitch 19
sorrow 39
show 12, 19, 29, stone 8, 25, 37
34 sorry 1 5
stops 19
shrift 23 sort 38
store 35
shy 5 soul 39
storm 18, 36
sick 24 sour 24
story 13
side 1, 16, 24, 28 spade 13
straight 4, 10, 11,
sidelines 28 spadework 6
13
sight 12, 37 speak 12, 13, 19
straits 18
sights 37 spill 4
straw 17, 24
silent 32 spilt 23
street 27
silver 25 splash 20
strength 14, 20
sink 26 split 1 1, 30
strengthen 30
sit 6, 14, 28 spoil 28
stretch 6, 24
six 8 spoke 36
stride 7, 37
sixty-four 3 spot 26, 27
strike 14, 25
skate 26 spread 4
string 5, 36
skeleton 35 spur14
stuff 10, 39
Stanley 193
Index ,000 everyday idioms in business

T u
table 30, 33 thread 10, 18 try 1 understand 10
tabs 6 throat 22 tune 1, 3, 14, 22 unknown 26
tacks 30 throw 3, 15, 19, tunnel 18 up-and-coming 37
tail 10 21, 39 turn 1, 6, 24, 28, upper 30
take 1 , 2, 4, 5, 7, thumb 7 30 ups 1
9, 12, 13, 14, tick 34 twice 5, 9 upstairs 32
16, 17, 19, 23, tie 1 2, 1 3 two 1, 9, 14, 15, uptake 34
24, 25, 30, 31, tight 6 25, 28, 29, 32,
32, 33, 34, 36, use 23
33
38, 39 tighten 18
taken 18 time 2, 7, 37
talk 3, 11, 38, 39 time 1, 2, 19, 26
tandem 28 times 2
tangent 12 tip 13, 14, 17
tape 7 tired 24
tea 38 today 1
teach 5 toe 7, 22
teacup 36 together 9, 12
tear 6, 23 told 4
teeth 6, 17, 19 27 toll 31
tell 23, 26 tomorrow 1
tenterhooks 34 tongue 13
term 28, 38 tool 1, 6
test 31 top 13, 20, 32
thankful 24 toss 14
themselves 1 touch 21, 26, 38
there 11 tough 17
thick 13 towards 16
thick 5, 18, 28 towel 21
thieves 28 toy 9
thin 5, 15, 26 track 9, 22, 37
thing 2, 5, 10, 11, tread 22
15, 19, 20 tree 3, 1 0, 22
think 9, 1 4, 34 trial 5
thinking 9 trick 5, 20
thought 9, 1 4 true 7, 34
thousand 3 truths 23

194 Stanley
,000 everyday idioms in b u s i n e s s
Index

V W Y
value 9 wall 17, 18, 21 wood 10, 17 year 2
vested 36 want 1 wool 33
vicious 17 wash 32 word 11, 13, 19,
virtue 24 waste 1 , 1 3 33, 36
view 16, 24 water 1,5, 15, 16, work 6, 7, 28, 39
vote 23 23, 25, 35 workman 1
wavelength 28 world 25, 29, 37,
waves 36 38
way 1,5, 16, 17, worse 1 7, 34
22, 29, 31, 33, worst 15
38, 40 worth 1, 8, 29
wayside 37 wraps 4
wear 6 write 29
weather 18, 40 writing 21
wedge 15 wrong 10, 22
weight 28
well 20
wet 5, 39
wheel 6, 8, 36
wherefores 9
white 4
whizz 35
whole 16
whys 9
wide 22, 23
wild 22
wildfire 4
will 1
win 21
wind 1, 19, 38
window 8
wine 39
wire 10, 35
wise 3, 5
wishful 9
wit 18

Stanley 195
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