English Idioms about Negotiations
Hi English learners. Welcome to a new lesson. We will look at 10 English idioms about negotiations.
- Common ground
- Change your mind
- Drive/strike a hard bargain
- Draw the line
- Fall through
- Give and take
- Put/lay your cards on the table
- Make up your mind
- Meet someone halfway
- Sitting on the fence
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Meaning: refers to interests, aims, and opinions we share with other parties involved in the negotiation.
- The two parties in the negotiation managed to find some common ground despite their disputes and disagreements.
- The negotiation fell through because the two sides didn’t find common ground.
Change your mind
Meaning: to change your opinion or plan about something.
- The real estate agent tried to make his client change his mind, but he failed.
- If you change your mind about my offer, please let me know.
Drive/strike a hard bargain
Meaning: to argue fiercely in order to make the other side in the negotiation agree to your terms.
- Mark drove a hard bargain, so he clinched the deal in no time.
- Members of the union stroke a hard bargain demanding a raise.
Draw the line
Meaning: to set a limit on what you accept or allow.
- I am flexible when it comes to staying at work after working hours, but I draw the line at working at weekends.
- Simon decided to draw the line at £20,000.
Meaning: a situation when something you’ve planned or arranged fails to happen.
- The deal we had with the supplier fell through, so I’m afraid we’ll have to get a new supplier.
- Our plans to renovate the old house fell through.
Give and take
Meaning: to be willing to accept what other sides in a negotiation want and give up something of what you want.
- If you want to succeed in this business, you’ll have to learn to give and take.
- There’s been a lot of give and take at the meeting.
Put/lay your cards on the table
Meaning: to be honest about your plans and intentions.
- I’ll lay my cards on the table; we can’t give you a full-time job, but we have some part-time jobs to offer you.
- Why don’t you put your cards on the table and tell us your final offer?
Make up your mind
Meaning: to make a decision after serious thinking about it.
- After he read the reviews carefully, Mark made up his mind and decided to hire that designer.
- I’m still trying to make up my mind on how much money to offer them for that project.
Meet someone halfway
Meaning: to compromise.
- I will accept your offer if you meet me halfway and lower the price.
- We are ready to compromise if we meet halfway on this.
Sit on the fence
Meaning: to remain neutral in negotiations.
- You need to decide who you will vote for. You can’t sit on the fence forever.
- If you don’t want to say your opinion you should just sit on the fence and mind your own business.
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