How to Negotiate in English

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Now we are going to learn about how to negotiate in English. This is a topic that is commonly used in business.

Negotiate means “having a formal discussion with someone in order to reach an agreement with them

  • We want to negotiate a settlement that is fair to both sides.
  • This company requires that we don’t negotiate with any other company.
  • I’m negotiating a new contract.
  • The CEO negotiated a deal with their rival.

Now let’s check everything you need to know to negotiate in English

Useful Phrases Before Stating your Requests

These are some useful phrases that you can use before starting a negotiation

  • I would like to have a word with you
  • Can I have a word with you?
  • Can I ask you a question?
  • Can I have a quick word with you?
  • Can I make a suggestion?
  • Can I talk to you for a minute?

State your Position or Request

First, you have to state your position in a clear and concise way.

For example:

You can use the expression “I would like the company to” to state what you want the company to do for you

  • I would like the company to give us additional days off in December
  • I would like the company to pay for our lunch
  • I would like the company to give us days off so we can continue the university

You can use the expression “I want the company to” to state what you want the company to do for you

  • We want the company to pay the school bonus by the end of January
  • We want the company to fix the air conditioning
  • We want the company to rent a parking lot for the employees

Reject a Request

Second, you can deny the request and provide reasons for that.

There are many expressions we can use to reject a request

  • I’m afraid that’s out of the question.
  • I’m afraid that’s not acceptable to us.
  • I understand your position but…
  • I understand where you are coming from but…
  • I am afraid we can not accept that.
  • I’m afraid that we can not accept your offer
  • That’s not exactly as we see it.

For example

  • We want the company to rent a parking lot for the employees
  • I don’t think it is possible, we don’t have a budget for that
  • I would like the company to pay for our lunch
  • I am sorry but that’s a benefit we don’t offer here
  • We want the company to pay the school bonus by the end of December
  • I don’t think that’s possible, Human Resources won’t approve it
  • I would like the company to give us days off so we can continue the university
  • I am afraid we can’t do that since many employees are university students

Accept the Request or Point

These are some expressions to accept a request or point

  • This is a fair suggestion.
  • That’s a fair suggestion
  • I agree with your suggestion
  • You have a strong point there
  • You have a good point.
  • I don’t see any problem with that.
  • I think that’s a great idea.
  • I think your proposal is acceptable.

Now we are going to check some examples in which requests are accepted

  • We want the company to fix the air conditioning
  • We are doing our best effort to fix the problem
  • I would like the company to give us additional days off in December
  • I think that you can have a few more days off around Christmas day
  • I would like the company to give us days off so we can continue the university
  • I think that’s a great idea. Let me help you with that.
  • I think we should hire more university students
  • I think your proposal is acceptable.

Expressions for Clarification

These are some common expressions for clarification

  •  Let me see if I got your point.
  • I’m not sure I understood your position.
  • What do you mean by that?
  • If I understand you correctly
  • Please correct me if I’m wrong
  • As I understand it, you’re saying that
  • What do you have in mind exactly?

Closing the Deal

These are some useful expressions to indicate that the requests have been formally accepted

  • I’m willing to work with that.
  • I’m satisfied with this decision.
  • I think we should get this in writing.
  • Let me communicate this to the human resources department

Conversation: Negotiation in English

This is an example of a negotiation in English with more than one exchange.

MikeHello boss
JessicaHi Mike
MikeI have a question
JessicaHow can I help you?
MikeYou know I study Business
JessicaI am aware of that
MikeI would like to finish my major. I need some days off
JessicaThat’s great news, What days do you need?
MikeI need Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays
JessicaWow, That’s a lot of days
MikeI know, can we do something about it?
JessicaI can give you two days off but you have to work on the weekends
Mike That would be fine
Jessica Let me talk to Human Resources
MikeThank you

Pronunciation: Negotiate

If you are struggling to pronounce the word “negotiate”, you can watch the video and listen to the pronunciation as many times as you want

YouTube video

In addition to that, you can listen to the US and UK pronunciations using the Cambridge Online Dictionary

More English Lessons

I hope that you have found some key phrases that will help you negotiate in English in a basic way

These are some English lessons that you might want to check before you leave

  1. How to Describe People: Appearance and Personality
  2. How to Express Feelings in English
  3. How to Describe Jobs in English
  4. How to Talk about Facilities in English
  5. How To Make Comparisons in English
  6. How To Make a Reservation in English
  7. How to Talk about Movies in English
Jose Manuel Campos N - English Professor

About manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English