Business French Lesson Cost Cutting

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Business French Lesson Cost Cutting chapter 31 is taken from the book Hands Free Business French.

Below is a very real sample chapter in which Eric and I design phrases that carefully select French grammar, verbs and subjects that are relevant to learning Business French for use in a professional environment.

Related post: Sales situations

  1. “cost-cutting”: « réduction des coûts »

Example sentence Business French Lesson Cost Cutting

“The CEO just announced his four-year cost-cutting program.”

« Le PDG vient d’annoncer son plan de réduction des coûts sur quatre ans. »


  • “a program”: « un plan »

False Friend alert!

“program” is not « un programme ». « Un programme » is usually used with « programme télé », “a TV program” or a “festival program”. « Un plan » is usually what you use for “a program”, what you plan to do.

  • “just” as in “just announced”: « VENIR DE »

We will see this in the grammar point.

  • “cost-cutting”: « réduction des coûts »

This is an excellent example of a translation that is not literal, because the English uses two nouns with a hyphen in the middle to turn the first one into an adjective, cost and cut: cost-cutting, cutting the cost.  The French can’t do that. So it has to use two nouns, with « de » or « des » in the middle.

  • “The CEO”, the Chief Executive Officer is « le Président-Directeur Général », le PDG
  • “to announce”: « ANNONCER »  
  • “four-year”: « de quatre ans »

The same thing happens as before, the hyphen makes it an adjective, so we have to use « de », the genitive way: « de quatre ans ».

French Grammar point: « venir de »

Why did I translate “just” with « venir de »? « Venir de » is a set phrase. Here’s how it works. You’ve got two verbs and the first one will be conjugated, but the second one will stay in the infinitive. 

For example, « venir d’annoncer »:


Je vien-s d’annoncer I (have) just announced
Tu vien-s d’annoncer You (have) just announced
Il/Elle vien-t d’annoncer He/She (has) just announced
Nous ven-ons d’annoncer We (have) just announced
Vous ven-ez d’annoncer You (have) just announced
Ils/Elles vienn-ent d’annoncer They (have) just announced

So we only conjugate « VENIR »; the second verb « ANNONCER » stays in the infinitive. It’s a very useful go-to expression in French. 

Pay attention to the clue which is « de », it gives away the fact that it’s used as a modal verb and not as a common verb. « VENIR » alone is “TO COME”. It behaves exactly the same, it’s the same verb and you conjugate it the same. 

It’s like “going to” in English: “going” is a stand-alone verb, which can also be used as a modal verb, thus introducing another verb, e.g. “I’m going to eat”. 

So you can use « venir de » with any verb: « je viens de manger » (“I just ate”), « je viens de marcher » (“I just walked”, « je viens de parler » (“I just talked”), with all 6 persons.

You may wish to learn French for Business by studying free French lesson on a lot of topcs like Downsizing.

Learn Business French quickly – Get the FULL audiobook here or just the e-book here.