Although there are cultural differences in how you do a meeting, finishing or ending a business meeting is the same in English as in other languages. Firstly, you briefly summarize what has been confirmed or decided and say who is taking responsibility for different tasks. And then you try to arrange a suitable date, location and time for the next meeting. And of course, you have to thank people for attending.

In this online exercise on meetings, you will learn business English vocabulary for summarizing, ending meetings and arranging the next meeting. First, read the below dialogue/conversation and then do the quiz/test at the end to learn how to both use the vocabulary and say/pronounce it perfectly.

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Exercise: Finishing a meeting

Read the following end of a meeting in a company that produces detergents.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Chair:'Before we finish, I'll briefly go over what we have decided. Firstly, due to concerns about the increasing cost of the new washing powder project, the project will be put on hold until the next meeting.

Simon is going to take care of reviewing the project's budget to see where we can make cuts, the aim is to reduce its overall budget by 15%. Simon will also liaise with both the Finance and the R & D departments to make sure that everything is covered. He will present his recommendations at the next meeting.

Sally is going to speak with the chemical supplier about obtaining a bigger discount or better terms on the price we'll pay for their product. I'm taking over from Ken for resolving the continuing problems that we have had with the IT network, whilst he's in China. I'm going to contact their service manager tomorrow and I'll update you by Friday at the latest.

Does anybody have anything more to add?

No? OK. Let's talk about when we should have the next meeting. Does anybody have any objections to holding the meeting here, on Thursday the twenty second at 2.30 in the afternoon?'

Attendee One:'I'm afraid that I'm tied up on that afternoon, I have a client visit at 3pm. Could we make it a little earlier?'

Attendee Two:'I'm afraid that I can't make it on Thursday at all. How about on the Wednesday at the same time?'

Chair:'Well, I'm ok with Wednesday. Does anybody have any objections?

No? Perfect. So we'll provisionally have the next meeting on Wednesday the twenty first at 2.30 in the afternoon. I'll confirm it in a couple of days.

Well I think that we've covered everything. I'll send you a copy of the minutes tomorrow morning. I'm sorry that the meeting has run over, but we have had a lot to talk about. Thank you all for coming today and we'll see each other in two weeks time.'



Quiz: How to finish a meeting vocabulary

Below is a definition/description of each of the words/phrases in bold from the above text. Now fill in the blanks with one of these words/phrases in bold. Only use one word/phrase once and write it as it is in the text. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1. A different way to say busy, is    

         

Tied up:
(adjective) It is a different way of saying 'busy'. Like busy, you can add the reason by using 'with' after it, e.g. 'I'm tied up with client meetings all day'. Non-native speakers may not understand this expression. In Spanish: "ocupado".

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Tied up:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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2. A way to say that something has not been confirmed yet, is    

         

Provisionally:
(adverb) It is used to express that something has not been finally agreed and there is a possibility that it can change. In Spanish: "provisionalmente".

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Provisionally:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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3. A polite way to ask if people have more things to say about something, is    

         

Have anything more to add:
(phrase) A very common phrase used at the end of a discussion or a business meeting. You can replace 'more' with 'else'. In Spanish: "tiene algo más que añadir".

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Have anything more to add:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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4. When something finishes later than expected, it has    

         

Run over:
(phrasal verb) The infinitive is 'to run over'. It is a phrasal verb with many different uses. In this context it means that something has finished later than it was planned to do. This is an intransitive phrasal verb (it doesn't have an object), e.g. 'the presentation ran over by 5 minutes'. In Spanish: "sobrepasar tiempo".

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Run over:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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5. Another way to say that 'I'm going to repeat', is    

         

Go over:
(phrasal verb) In this context it means 'to repeat'. It is commonly used at the end of business meetings. It is often followed by 'again'. This is a transitive phrasal verb (it has an object) and is inseparable, the object always follows 'over', e.g. 'he went over the report'. 'To go over' does have other meanings, like 'to review' or 'to check'. In Spanish: "repasar".

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Go over:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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6. Another way to say 'to be responsible for', is    

         

To take care of:
(phrasal verb) In this context it means 'to be responsible for' or 'to be in charge of'. This is a transitive phrasal verb (it has an object) that is inseparable, the object always follows 'of', e.g. 'I'll take care of it'. Be careful with its use, it can also mean 'to resolve something', so context is important, e.g. 'Don't worry, I've taken care of it'. In Spanish: "encargarse de".

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To take care of:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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7. A polite way to ask somebody to change the time of a meeting, is    

         

Make it a little earlier:
(phrase) It is used to request that a business meeting or appointment takes place earlier or later. It often follows 'could we'. The use of 'little' makes the phrase sound politer. In Spanish: "tenerla un poco antes".

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Make it a little earlier:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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8. When you cooperate with a different department/company to resolve or do something, you    

         

Liaise:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to liaise'. It is a more professional way to say 'to work with' or 'to cooperate'. It is normally followed with the preposition 'with', e.g. 'He liaised with marketing on the project'. In Spanish: "trabajar en colaboración con".

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Liaise:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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9. When a project is stopped temporarily, it is    

         

Put on hold:
(phrasal verb) It means to stop temporarily a plan or project from progressing until a decision is made about what to do with it. This is a transitive phrasal verb (it has an object) that is separable, the object can go between 'put' and 'on', or it can follow 'hold', e.g. 'they have put it on hold until June.' In Spanish: "suspendir".

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Put on hold:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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10. A way to ask for people's opinion on a suggestion, is    

         

Have any objections to:
(phrase) It is a polite phrase. It is used when proposing/suggesting something to check people's opinion about it. In business meetings it often follows 'Does anybody'. In Spanish: "tiene objeciones a".

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Have any objections to:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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11. A different way to say replace someone, is    

         

Taking over:
(phrasal verb) The infinitive is 'to take over'. It's a phrasal verb with many different uses. In this context it means that somebody is replacing or substituting another person to perform a task or responsibility. This is a transitive phrasal verb (it has an object) that is separable, the object can go between 'take' and 'over'. It uses 'from' to say who had the responsibility before, e.g. 'He's taking it over from Claire'. In Spanish: "asumir".

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Taking over:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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Practice

Now that you understand the ending a business meeting vocabulary, practice them by creating your own sentences in English with the new words/phrases.

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