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In this unit you will learn the vocabulary that will help you describe objects you could find in an office. You might have used a lot of these words already at school, college and university.





the occasion or period of time when somebody is away


a list of items to be discussed at a meeting

air conditioner

a machine that cools and dries air

annual leave

the amount of leave a person is allowed in the period of an year


a piece of paper that shows how much you owe somebody for goods or services


a container that you put waste in


a hard cover for holding sheets of paper, magazines, etc. together


a group of people who have power to make decisions and control a company or other organization


a flat case used for carrying papers and documents

bulldog clip

a metal device for holding papers together

business card

a small card printed with somebody’s name and details of their job and company

business card holder

a case for storing business cards

business day

a day when offices are normally open


a wire, covered in plastic or rubber, that carries electricity, telephone signals, etc.


a small electronic device for calculating with numbers on its face


a page or series of pages showing the days, weeks and months of a particular year


a place where food and drink are served in a factory, school, etc.


a thick woven material made of wool, etc. for covering floors or stairs.

CD (compact disc)

a small disc on which sound or information is recorded

CD DVD burner

a piece of equipment used for copying sound or information from a computer onto a CD DVD


a piece of furniture for one person to sit on, with a back, a seat and legs


the person in charge of a meeting, who tells people when they can speak, etc.


a piece of equipment for loading a battery with electricity


a page or sheet of information in the form of diagrams, lists of figures, etc.


a person whose job is to keep the records or accounts in an office, shop store etc.


a small board with a clip at the top for holding papers, used by somebody who wants to write while standing or moving around

closed-circuit television (CCTV)

a system using video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place, on a limited set of monitors


a person that you work with, especially in a profession or a business


an instrument with two long thin parts joined together at the top, used for drawing circles or measuring distances on a map


an electronic machine that can store, organize and find information, do calculations and control other machines

conference call

a telephone call in which three or more people take part

conference room/ meeting room

a room for holding meetings and presentations

correction fluid (white-out)

a white liquid that you use to cover mistakes that you make when you are writing or typing, and that you can write on top of


a space in a wall with a door that reaches the ground, used for storing things


a piece of furniture like a table, usually with drawers in it, that you sit at to read, write, work, etc.


a book with spaces for each day of the year in which you can write down appointments, make notes, etc.


an official paper or book that gives information about something, or that can be used as evidence or proof of something

drawing pin

a short pin with a large round flat head, used especially for fastening paper to a board or wall

dust jacket

a paper cover on a book that protects it but that can be removed

DVD (digital versatile disc)

a disc on which large amounts of information, especially photographs and video, can be stored, for use on a computer or DVD player


a flat, paper container used for sending letters in


a small piece of rubber or similar substance, used for removing pencil marks from paper


a machine with blades that go round to create a current of air


a box or folded piece of card for keeping loose papers together and in order

filing cabinet

a piece of office furniture with deep drawers for storing files

fire alarm

a bell or other device that gives people warning of fire in a building

fitted carpet

a type of wall to wall carpeting.

flip chart

large sheets of paper fixed at the top to a stand so that they can be turned over, used for presenting information at a talk or meeting


a cardboard or plastic cover for holding loose papers, etc.


sticky substance that is used for joining things together


a special pen used for marking words in a text in bright colours

hole punch

a tool or machine for cutting holes in paper, leather or metal

ID badge

a card with identifying information on it (name, job title, etc.) pinned to one’s clothing


a list of goods that have been sold, work that has been done etc., showing what you must pay

jewel case

a plastic box for holding a CD


the set of keys for operating a computer or typewriter


a device that uses electricity, oil or gas to produce light


a small computer that can work with a battery and be easily carried


a period of time when you are allowed to be away from work for a holiday or for a special reason


a public room in a hotel, club, etc. for waiting or relaxing in

marker pen

a pen with a thick felt tip


an occasion when people come together to discuss or decide something

memory stick

a small memory device that can be used to store data from a computer and to move it from one computer to another


a summary or record of what is said or decided at a formal meeting


a screen that shows information from a computer


a small device that is moved by hand across a surface to control the movement of the cursor on a computer screen

mouse mat

a small square of plastic that is the best kind of surface on which to use a computer mouse


a small book of plain paper for writing notes in


sheets of paper that are held together at the top and used for writing notes on


a board for putting notices on


a room or a set of rooms or building where people work, usually sitting at desks

office hours

the time when people in offices are normally working

paid leave

a period of time away from work in which the employee receives payment


the thin material that you write and draw on and that is also used for wrapping and packing things

paper clip

a piece of bent wire or plastic that is designed to hold loose sheets of paper together

paper clip holder

a container for holding paper clips

parental leave
maternity/paternity leave

time when a parent is allowed to be away from work to care for a child


an instrument made of plastic or metal used for writing with ink

pen holder

a container for holding pencils, pens, etc.


a narrow piece of wood, metal or plastic casing, containing a black or colored substance, used for drawing or writing

pencil sharpener

a small device with a blade inside, used for making pencils sharp


a machine that makes copies of documents, etc. by using electro-photographic technology


a small device used to point to things on a map or picture


pieces of paper with an adhesive strip along one of the sides

power pack

portable device that converts supply current to direct or alternating current as required by specific equipment


a meeting at which something, especially a new product or idea, or piece of work, is shown to a group of people


a machine for printing text on paper, especially one connected to a computer


a piece of equipment for projecting photographs, films movies or computer slides onto a screen

punched pocket

a plastic cover for holding a small number of paper sheets.


a type of drawing pin with a colored plastic head that is not flat


the area inside the entrance of a hotel, an office building, etc. where guests or visitors go first when they arrive


a person whose job is to deal with people arriving at or telephoning a hotel, an office building, etc.

ring binder

a file for holding papers, in which metal rings go through the edges of the pages, holding them in place


a rotating file device used to store business contact information

rubber band

a thin round piece of rubber used for holding things together

rubber stamp

a small tool that you hold in your hand and use for printing the date, the name of an organization, etc. on a document


a straight strip of wood, plastic or metal, marked in centimeters or inches, used for measuring or for drawing straight lines


a strong metal box or cupboard with a complicated lock, used for storing valuable things in, for example, money or jewelry


a device which copies pictures and documents so that they can be stored on a computer


a tool for cutting paper or cloth, that has two sharp blades with handles, joined together in the middle


a person who works in an office, working for another person, dealing with letters and telephone calls, typing, keeping records, arranging meetings with people, etc.

sticky tape

clear plastic tape that is sticky on one side, used for sticking things together

set square set

an instrument for drawing straight lines and angles, made from a flat piece of plastic or metal in the shape of a triangle with one angle of 90°


a piece of paper for writing or printing on, etc. usually in a standard size

lino (linoleum)

a single piece of synthetic material used to create a hard wearing floor surface


a machine that tears something into small pieces, especially paper, so that nobody can read what was printed on it

sick leave

permission to be away from work because of illness; the period of time spent away from work due to illness

smoke alarm

a device that makes a loud noise if smoke is in the air to warn you of a fire


a computer program that is used, for example, when doing financial or project planning. You enter data in rows and columns and the program calculates costs, etc. from it.


a small piece of paper with a design on it that you buy and stick on an envelope or a package before you post it


a small piece of wire that is pushed through pieces of paper and bent over at the ends in order to fasten the pieces of paper together


a small device used for putting staples into paper, etc.


materials for writing and for using in an office, for example paper, pens and envelopes


a small device that you press or move up and down in order to turn a light or piece of electrical equipment on and off

swivel chair

a chair that swivels on its base


a piece of furniture that consists of a flat top supported by legs


a machine used for talking to somebody else over long distances, using wires or radio;

to clock in

to record the time at which you arrive at work, especially by putting a card into a machine

to clock out

to record the time at which you leave work, especially by putting a card into a machine

unpaid leave

a period of time away from work in which the employee does not receive payment

water cooler

a machine, for example in an office, that cools water and supplies it for drinking;
used when referring to a place where office workers talk in an informal way, for example near the water cooler


a large board with a smooth white surface used to write on with special pens


the part of a day during which you work





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