BBC Learning English: The English We Speak – To downsize: That’s the word companies use to describe cutting a number of jobs and making employees redundant. And some people have started applying the term to their own situations. If you’ve had to sell your house and move to a smaller flat, for example, you might say you were ‘downsizing’.
Neil and Feifei discuss a verb usually applied to businesses but is also used in a personal context. Listen to the programme to learn how it’s used now.
Hello. Neil here with you. And this is Feifei.
The word we are going to focus on today is the verb ‘to downsize’. That’s the word companies use to describe cutting a number of jobs and making employees redundant. ‘Downsizing’ is the noun.
Yes. When they make workers redundant the companies become smaller in size. They downsize.
You might have heard or read this verb during the economic downturn of the last few years. As most people were short of money, they decided to save the money they did have and it had an impact on businesses all over the world.
And some people have started applying the term to their own situations. If you’ve had to sell your house and move to a smaller flat, for example, you might say you were ‘downsizing’.
‘To downsize’ is today’s expression in The English We Speak. Let’s hear some examples of how it’s used.
The growth of online sales in the UK has forced many retail businesses to downsize. Some of them have reduced their number of outlets in the high street.
Now that I am going to university, my parents have decided to downsize. They are selling the house, moving to a flat and using some of the money to travel the world.
And if you don’t mind me saying, Neil, I think you would benefit from downsizing.
What do you mean? I don’t own a company and I’m not selling my house or anything.
No but I’ve noticed you’ve… well, you know, you really enjoy your food, don’t you?
Are you calling me fat!?
Oh no, no, no… well, yes. A little.
How dare you! And anyway, we don’t use ‘downsize’ for bodies, so you’re confusing our audience!
I am a bit fat, actually…
Well, maybe if the company downsizes, you won’t be able to afford all those meat pies.
That’s what I like about you, Feifei. You always look on the bright side.
The English We Speak – To downsize Transcript Video
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