Learn useful Business Idioms for Making Decisions in English with meaning and examples.
List of common English Idioms for Making Decisions.
You can jump to any section of this lesson:
- 1 (Give Someone) Carte Blanche
- 2 All Things Being Equal
- 3 Up for Grabs
- 4 On the Bubble
- 5 All Told
- 6 All Things Considered
- 7 Up in the Air
- 8 Raise Red Flags
- 9 Rubber-Stamp (v.)
- 10 Take It or Leave It (command)
- 11 Out of the Loop
- 12 On the Same Page
- 13 Hobson’s Choice
- 14 Flip-Flop (v. or n.)
- 15 Fish or Cut Bait (usually an exclamation)
(Give Someone) Carte Blanche
- Meaning: Allow someone complete freedom; entrust a decision to someone
- Example: I’ll give you carte blanche to hire whoever you think is best. I’m going on vacation, and I’ll be back in two weeks.
All Things Being Equal
- Meaning: In the event that all aspects of a situation remain the same.
- Example: All things being equal, I think we should invest in the new factory.
Up for Grabs
- Meaning: Available
- Example: The election is up for grabs. Everything is still very chancy.
On the Bubble
- Meaning: One of a group that may be selected for the last spot in a competition
- Example: The team is on the bubble – there are three other teams that might make the finals.
- Meaning: With everything taken into consideration
- Example: All told, it’s been a good year for the company despite the loss of key salespeople.
All Things Considered
- Meaning: Taking all factors into consideration
- Example: All things considered, we had a good trip. With the bad weather, it could have taken much longer.
Up in the Air
- Meaning: Not yet decided
- Example: The salary increase is still up in the air – the boss favors it, but she hasn’t gotten approval from her superiors.
Useful Business Idioms for Making Decisions in English
Raise Red Flags
- Meaning: Warn of trouble ahead
- Example: Annette seems like the perfect candidate, but the fact that she was fired from her last job raises red flags.
- Meaning: Approve something without consideration, as a formality
- Example: The real power is with the president, and the parliament is expected to rubber-stamp his initiatives.
Take It or Leave It (command)
- Meaning: You must decide now whether you will accept this proposal.
- Example: This is our final offer – take it or leave it.
Out of the Loop
- Meaning: Not part of a group that’s kept informed about something
- Example: You’ve been out of the loop on the new marketing plan. Let me bring you up to date.
On the Same Page
- Meaning: Understanding a situation in the same way
- Example: Sheila and I are on the same page about the sales presentation. We’ll work out the details tomorrow.
- Meaning: A choice among bad options
- Example: They’re offering a Hobson’s choice between higher prices and reduced quality. I think we can hold out for a better option.
Note: This is occasionally used the USA.
Flip-Flop (v. or n.)
- Meaning: To vacillate between two choices, to be indecisive
- Example: The politician was well known for his flip-flops – she often says what she thinks people want to hear.
Fish or Cut Bait (usually an exclamation)
- Meaning: Make a decision or give someone else a chance.
- Example: You’ve kept us waiting for weeks on the decision. It’s time to fish or cut bait.
Note: An obscene variation is “shit or get off the pot.”