The Bard on Business

Nehézségi szint: KÖZÉPFOK B1/B2 (Szerző: Chris Scully)

Vajon mi köze van Shakespearenek az üzleti élethez? Nos, valóban sok bölcsességet tanulhattunk Skaespeartől, de lássuk milyen tanácsokat adott a híres angol író.

1.Kulcsszavak – Egészítsd ki a mondatokat a megadott szavakkal:

      borrower             cliché              arrangement      condition             lender         charge         interest          loan       financial      quote              wise         contract           debt     saving        con           pro           repayment             schedule

1When you repeat or copy something that someone said you _________ them.

2 A _______ is a phrase or opinion that is overused and shows the user does not exercise enough original thought.

3 A _______ is an amount of money owed.

4 A ______ is a negative point that is made.

5 A _________ is a person who gives another person a money on condition they are paid back

6 _________ is money paid regularly at a particular rate for the use of money lent.

7 An _______________ is an agreement between two people or parties

8 A ___________ is someone who takes money from someone else on condition they will pay back the money.

9 A ____________ is an agreement written down on paper with conditions stated clearly and must be signed by both parties.

10 A ___________ is an amount of money which is lent or borrowed.

11 When you make a ________ on some deal or arrangement, you benefit from it by not spending more money than you would normally.

12 A _________ is a plan for carrying out activities and when they will happen.

13 When someone is ___________ they show experience and good judgment

14 A ______ is a positive point that is made.

15  ____________ is the action of paying back a loan.

16 A ____________ is something that must be true or be done before another thing can happen

17 To _______ someone is to ask someone to pay an amount of money for something that you are doing for them.

18 __________ means anything to do with money.


1)You might ask ‘what has Shakespeare got to do with Business?’ Well actually, he wrote many wise lines, that have later been quoted so often they become clichés. In Hamlet, Polonius gives his son Laertes some life advice before sending him out into the big wide world to become a gentleman:

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be”

2)What he meant was that often in this kind of arrangement between friends, the borrower and the lender end up having negative feelings towards each other and they might lose their friendship over it. This is the danger of mixing business with personal relationships.

Was the Bard giving good advice?

3)When we lend money to friends there can be both positive and negative sides to this kind of agreement.

Cons: On the negative side, if you help a friend out who has serious money worries by offering them a loan, the friend is usually not in a state of mind where they can think clearly about signing a contract agreeing to the conditions of repaying the loan to you. Usually the friend in need is in a desperate state and may not be able to fully understand the details.

4)Although, you might feel you are doing the friend a favour by lending them money without fixing an agreed repayment schedule, you are in fact muddying the waters. Not setting out clear rules at the beginning will leave it difficult for both the borrower and the lender to agree on what was said, when it comes time that you would like your money back. If you have no contract then you do not have a leg to stand on, and when you start demanding your money back your friend may think you are being unfair, and your friendship will suffer.

5)Pros: On the positive side, unless you are Ebenezer Scrooge from a Christmas Carol you will not be charging interest on the money you lend a friend. The friend is not likely to be able to pay such interest anyway, so you can feel like you are being a good person by making their life easier while they are in debt to you.

6)If you compare bank interest rates, which typically run to between 10 and 20 per cent, with an informal borrowing arrangement of friend’s loan, borrowers save about €150 on each €1,000 borrowed, and making such a saving on a loan can make a real difference to a person in debt.

7)While you might think you are missing out financially as a lender, you may also go up in your friend’s opinion of you as well.


2. Ellenőrző kérdések: 

  • Who first said “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”?
  • According to the article, should we lend money to a friend?
  • Is it easy to get a friend to sign a loan agreement?
  • What might happen if you don’t have a contract agreed with a friend?
  • Who was a famously mean man who never lent money or charged high interest when he did?
  • What saving can a borrower make on a loan from a friend compared to a bank?

3. Kifejezések – találd meg a kifejezések meghatározásait:

a)      To miss out


1)      To make something more confusing than it already is
b)      To set out


2)      To owe somebody money
c)       To do somebody a favour 3)      To lose an opportunity to do or have something
d)      To muddy the waters 4)      To be in a situation in which you cannot prove something
e)      To be in debt to someone 5)      To explain, describe, or arrange something in a clear and detailed way
f)       He didn’t have a leg to stand on 6)      To help someone out



1 quote

2 cliché

3 debt

4 con

5 lender

6 interest

7 arrangement

8 borrower

9 contract

10 loan

11 saving

12 schedule

13 wise

14 pro

15 repayment

16 condition

17 charge

18 financial

Ellenőrző kérdések

1 William Shakespeare

2 mixed there are pros and cons

3 not according to the article as they may be in an unclear state of mind

4 You might end up falling out because of it in the end due to disagreements over conditions

5 Ebenezer Scrooge

6 borrowers save about €150 on each €1,000 borrowed compared to between 10 and 20 per cent bank interest rates


A 3

B 5

C 6

D 1

E 2

F 4


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