"Update" Your Business English with These Expressions

Keeping people updated (or staying updated on things yourself!) is pretty much a core business function. As a result, there are many phrases that describe this exact action. 

In this post, we’ll introduce five common expressions that’ll help you better understand English emails and maybe even add variety to your business English vocabulary!

Keep up with (phrasal v.)

Imagine you’re walking somewhere with a friend. She walks much faster than you, so in order to not fall behind, you have to speed up to “keep up with” her.

A horse trying to keep up with another horse.

In business, people use this phrase to talk about staying up-to-date on new developments and trends. For example:

  • Engineers read a lot of studies to keep up with the latest developments in the field.
  • Fashion designers must keep up with the newest trends and designs.

For more examples, check the Engoo dictionary entry on this phrase.

Keep posted (idiom)

“Posted” is a more casual way to say “updated.” This phrase is thought to come from accounting, where it referred to updating an account with new information.

You can also think of someone posting news on a bulletin board to keep everyone updated.

A woman posting something on a bulletin board.

Here are some examples:

  • Best of luck job hunting! And keep me posted on where you end up working.
  • Make sure to keep your manager posted on the status of this project.
  • I probably won’t be able to attend this meeting, but keep me posted.

Keep in the loop (idiom)

To keep someone “in the loop” is yet another way to say you’re keeping someone updated or informed. A “loop” is a round shape made by a line that curves back on itself like a circle. 

A roller coaster with a loop.

But what do loops have to do with keeping someone updated or informed? You can imagine a “loop” as a circle of people who are discussing something together. You “keep someone in the loop” by making sure they get the same information as everyone else involved.

  • I’m CC’ing Jensen just to keep him in the loop.
  • I wanted to share a few important notes to keep you in the loop for the next few weeks.
  • We’re so happy you subscribed to our newsletter. To stay in the loop, add us to your contacts, so our emails don’t end up in your spam folder!

You can also “loop” (bring) someone into a discussion or be totally “out of the loop.” Here are some examples:

  • Should we loop Jensen in on the project? He has relevant experiences.
  • I’ve been out of the loop for a long time, so I’m afraid I can’t tell you what’s going on with that project.

Catch up (phrasal v.)

In a race, if you fall behind someone, you try to “catch up.” 

A boy trying to catch up with a girl.
A boy trying to catch up with a girl.

At some point, this phrase became a way to say “get updated information (from someone).”

  • It was good catching up with you today regarding the status of our project.
  • Can you catch me up on what’s going on? I’ve been out of the loop for too long.
  • Our newsletter makes sure our customers are caught up on our company’s latest products.

Fill in (phrasal v.)

“Fill in” is usually used in the sense of “fill in the blanks” or “fill in a hole.” 

Someone filling in circles on a test.
Someone filling in circles on a test.

When we “fill someone in,” we “fill in” a gap in their knowledge by updating them on something they didn’t know before.

  • I couldn’t attend the meeting. Could you fill me in on what was discussed?
  • You’ll need to ask Raj to fill you in on the details.
  • Welcome to the team! HR will fill you in on all the company policies.

Time to Practice!

Try to use these expressions the next time you talk about keeping someone (or yourself) updated on something! 

If you want someone to check your writing in English or just want to improve your business English conversations, don’t forget that you can book a free lesson with one of our tutors 24/7. 

You can even search for tutors who have experience in many industries, so you can “keep up with” the latest terms used in accounting, finance, or whatever your specialty is. Find the perfect tutor for you!