A few years ago my best friend came into some money. If you don’t know what that means, I’ll explain: Basically, his childless aunt died and as the sole (1) HEIR he inherited her property and savings. People told him to buy cars and expensive clothes, but a financial (2) CONSULTANT advised him to be careful: ‘A fool and his money are soon parted’ we say in English.

My friend took notice of what I was saying and started weighing up different options. He thought about (3) INVESTING money in different companies by buying (4) SHARES, or just putting the money in the bank in a savings account.

Eventually he decided to set up his own business. He went to a trade fair and made a (5) DEAL with a fast food (6) FRANCHISE. He spent a lot of money furnishing the premises, but when it opened it didn’t take off the way he had been promised.

I think there were a quite a few reasons for this: Maybe he didn’t work out all the details. The (7) LOCATION of the premises was not well thought out, for example. He didn’t make a business plan. I think Mark realised that it was not going to work out, because he tried to call it off at the last minute. The problem was that he had already put down a (8) DEPOSIT, and he had too much money tied up in the project to back out.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the business went under after a couple of years. After a few months Mark cut back on the (9) EXPENSES, but he was still making a (10) LOSS. Eventually he just gave up: He (11) FIRED the staff and put the premises up for (12) SALE. He would have gone bankrupt if he hadn’t reacted that way.

The franchise has since been taken over by another (13) CHAIN. It just wasn’t making a (14) PROFIT and its (15) CEO didn’t have much idea about the food industry. Mark didn’t seem so bothered. In fact, I think he was relieved that he didn’t have to worry anymore. He hasn’t run out of money yet, anyway!


1. To start a business = SET UP
“Don’t set up a business until you know the risks.”

2. To lessen, to diminish = CUT BACK
“We have to cut back on our travel expenses.”

3. When something is completely used and there is nothing left = RUN OUT OF
“We’re running out of time – I need the report finished!”

4. To inherit = COME INTO
“He came into that fortune – he didn’t earn it.”

5. When an idea or project is successful = TAKE OFF
“His fast food by drones idea really took off!”

6. To have second thoughts and leave a project before it has finished = BACK OUT
“He’s trying to back out of the merger.”

7. When one company buys another (usuallly smaller) = TAKE OVER
“If he convinces the shareholders, we’ll face a takeover scenario.”

8. When a business stops activity due to economic failure (go bankrupt) = GO UNDER
“A lot of companies have gone under since the crisis started.”

9. Stop doing something when you realise you are going to lose = GIVE UP
“You mustn’t give up trying.”

10. To cancel = CALL OFF
“The meeting’s been called off due to the strike.”

11. Have a good result or ending = WORK OUT
Despite the economic conditions, we have every reason to believe that this project is going to work out.”

12. To calculate = WORK OUT
“You have to work out the total yearly cost of running that factory.”

More Phrasal Verbs? Click here!

Part 3:

1. When a product or company does not make money (PROFIT) = UNPROFITABLE

2. INVEST as a noun; How you have used your money = INVESTMENT

3. INVEST as a noun; The people who invest their money = INVESTOR

4. A person who commits FRAUD = FRAUDSTER

5. FRAUD as an adjective; A dishonest, deceitful operation = FRAUDULENT

6. The other companies or individuals you COMPETE against = COMPETITORS

7. Someone who has invested money in a company (SHARE) = SHAREHOLDERS

8. The individual marketing tool you use for your company or product (ADVERTISE) = ADVERTISEMENT / ADVERT / AD

9. When something or somebody is unnecessarily extravagant with money (WASTE) = WASTEFUL

10. The process or quality of CONSUMING (as a noun) = CONSUMPTION