No strings attached –  An offer or opportunity that carries no special
conditions or restrictions
This offer comes with no strings attached. You can quit when you want.

Touch base – To make contact with someone
We must touch base next week, to catch up on each other’s news.

Twist someone’s arm – Pressurise someone into doing something
that they are reluctant to do
You’ll have to twist Jane’s arm, because she doesn’t want to go.

Up in the air – Something is undecided or uncertain
Our holiday plans are still up in the air.

Upper hand – The position of having power or being in control in a particular situation
I think we’ve got the upper hand in this negotiation.

Learn the ropes – Learning how a particular task or job is done
It will take you about 6 months to learn the ropes.

Give someone Carte Blanche – Allow someone complete freedom; entrust a decision to someone
I’m going to give you carte blanche to do the organisation for our wedding.

Stand one’s ground – Refuse to change your opinion or give in to an argument
I’m going to stand my ground this time, because I know I’m right.

Smooth sailing – Easy progress without impediment or difficulty
Getting this deal has been smooth sailing, without any problems.

Rock the boat – To do or say something that will upset people or cause problems
Don’t rock the boat with John. He’s easily upset.

Take the bull by the horns – Deal with a difficult situation in a very direct or confident way
You have to take the bull by the horns, if you want to get it done.

The elephant in the room – An obvious problem or controversial issue that no one wants to discuss
The elephant in the room is, why aren’t Brian and Sophie talking to each other?

Think outside the box – Think imaginatively using new ideas instead of traditional or expected ideas
We will have to take a different approach and think outside the box.

Uphill battle – A very difficult struggle
Getting a new job has been an uphill battle.

Sever ties – End a relationship
The two companies severed ties after a 25-year business relationship.

Pull the plug – Stop a project that is not doing well
Management has pulled the plug on our project, because of funding issues.


Idioms in Use  Business Idioms Part 2

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