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    • Join Date: Aug 2007
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    #1

    What does this idiom mean?

    Hello
    Please can you explain to me the meaning of this idom

    ' To be in business'
    and weather it is mainly used in written or spoken English?

    Thanks a lot


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: What does this idom mean?

    You really need to provide a context. Have you a sentence in which it appears?

    "whether"

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    #3

    Re: What does this idom mean?

    It can mean that a deal or arrangement is going ahead.

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    #4

    Re: What does this idiom mean?

    Generally speaking, it means to have set up in business, to be working for oneself in a commercial enterprise. It is used in both spoken and written English.


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    #5

    Re: What does this idiom mean?

    To be in business is to work for one's self.

    To be in business is to work for the hardest taskmaster you've ever had.

    To be in business is to be at the whim of local government.

    To be in business is my fondest desire.

    To be in business means becoming a slave to it.

    To be in business makes you a slave to a harsh mistress.

    To be in business, or not to be, that is the question! Whether 'tis nobler to serve the whims of others, or to be one's own taskmaster.

    To be in business... ah to be in business! My fondest desire!


    Wholeman


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    #6

    Re: What does this idiom mean?

    "to be in business" is not in itself an idiom, but a grammatically correct phrase.
    It is an idiom in the context, where something is broken and is mended, or put back together, or set up, and when it it operational, one person might say to the other, "Now we're in business!" The person is not, and does not mean, that he is ready to conduct business, or sell anything. It means that now the thing is working, or has been set up, they can get on and do something that was held up until it had been fixed or assembled.
    An example: say I want to change the washer on a tap, but I don't have the right tool. If somebody says, oh, I've got a wrench in the boot of my car, and goes and gets it. When he hands me the tool, I might say, "Now we're in business" because I can get on and change the washer.

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