English phrasal verbs with “down”

Some common business English phrasal verbs that use “down”.

Back down (or climb down) = to no longer stick to your original ideas or position: “After weeks of negotiating, she backed down and accepted their conditions.”

Break down (1) = examine the different parts of something: “The profits break down in the following way – 50% profit in European sales, a 20% profit in North American sales and a 30% profit in Asian sales.”

Break down (2) = when communication stops between two parties: “The negotiations broke down after two days.”

Bring down = destroy something: “A series of disastrous investments brought down the company.”

Cut back on = reduce something: “The government has cut back on its defence budget.”

Drive down = work hard to reduce prices or costs: “Over the last year we have driven down the distribution costs.”

Live down = when other people can forget a bad reputation: “I was two hours late for the meeting and now my colleagues will never let me live it down.”

Play down = minimise the importance of something: “She played down the fact that her father was the boss.”

Set down = put something in writing: “The conditions are set down in the contract.”

Stand down = resign: “After ten years at the head of the company, the chairman has decided to stand down.”

Take down = write notes in a meeting: “Can someone take down the minutes?”

Wear down = argue so much that the other person abandons their position: “The unions finally wore the management down on the issue of overtime pay.”

Write down (or note down) = write something: “Could you write down your mobile phone number?”