Business English Vocabulary

Business English Vocab: 5 Problem Words for HR

How accurate is your HR Business English vocabulary?

Last week, in a regular appointment I have with an HRD manager, I heard him say, “Our local managers are moaning because they have to do 15 trainings this year.”  Despite being impressed about his use of the word ‘moaning’ (a good synonym for ‘complaining’), I was forced to draw his attention to his mistake in using the word ‘trainings’.

What is wrong with ‘trainings‘?

‘Training’ is one of 5 key words associated with HRD which are ‘uncountable’. This means that it does not take an ‘s’,  an ‘a’, or a number.  There are a number of words which are countable in other languages, but uncountable in English. Five of these common uncountable HRD business English words are:

  • training
  • feedback
  • information
  • learning
  • research

So, how do I say ‘3 trainings’?
In short, there are two main rules to help you correctly use words such as ‘training’ or ‘feedback’.

Business English Vocab: 2 rules for uncountable nouns


Rule 1
Use these words as adjectives with other words which are countable. For example:
(number) training + sessions / events / methods
(number) information + packs/ brochures / desk(s)


Rule 2
Use some / any / a lot of and much in front of the uncountable noun. For example:
“Although we gave a lot of useful information during the training sessions in Berlin, some of the feedback was not very positive.”



If you learn these 5 uncountable words and these two rules, you will help fine tune your professional HRD Business English vocab. Every native English speaker will understand when you say, “ I had English trainings when I was at school”, but they will be more likely to believe that it’s true if there is no ‘s’ on the word ‘training’. Let us know if you have any other problem HR vocab words in the comments areas below.  Do you want to improve your Business English vocab at work?  Check out our list of solutions by clicking here.