048 Idioms and expressions for talking about failure

Idioms for talking about failure


Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of The Art of Business English, this is Andrew Ambrosius here again for another useful and inspiring episode.

Today I have a not to be missed episode. We often associate business with success and winning and all the great things that come with building an empire and making lots of money. This is the wonderful side of business that everyone aspires to reach.

One the other hand, what about failure. As Robert F Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” On the path to success there are so many train wrecks along the way. With every new idea there is always a big chance of failure. However, remember, it only takes 1 idea out of a thousand to be a success for you to make it big.

Making it big sounds great, but today, we are talking about failure. The train wrecks and disasters on our path to greatness.

Got a project that is going down the drain? Have an employee who is a complete disaster? Got a business idea that has turned into a major headache? If that sounds familiar, then check out today’s episode where we explore idioms for talking about failure.

As always, I have divided this episode into the follow parts:

  • Firstly, we will be looking at collocations for talking about failure.
  • Then in the second part I will cover some adjectives for failure.
  • Thirdly, I want to share 6 expressions you can use informally to talk about failure with your friends or colleagues. These phrases are not your everyday expressions and your probably haven’t heard them before.
  • To wrap things up I will be showing you some business scenarios where you can apply this vocabulary in your everyday working life. Plus, I’ll give you some tips on how to learn them and put them into practice.

Make sure you download the free PDF to help you study.

Right, let’s kick things off by looking at some collocations.





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Andrew Ambrosius is the Director of Castells Immerscom and The Art of Business English. A specialist in Business English training and online course development.