(the) business is great

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Tess meets her ex-boyfriend Mick at their friend's wedding after a while:
Tess: You really look great. How are you?
Mick: Good. Good. Business is great and uh...
Working Girl, film

I'm wondering, if "the business" is implied in this context, or if "the" was never meant here.

Thanks.
 
  • reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    No it's not implied - see similar constructions

    Life is great.
    School's a drag.
    Love is blind
    Money is happiness
    Death is guaranteed to all.
    Etc
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Yes but "business" in the OP is specific — whatever business Mick's running, not business as a general idea.

    I've just checked Google:

    "How's your business going?" 150 hits
    "How's the business going?" 170 hits
    "How's business going?" 170 hits

    Seems like they are all used?:confused:
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Good. Good. Business is great and uh...
    In this sentence, he means the uncountable "business". He says that "business activity in general" is happening well ("great").

    He does not mention his specific company (his "business") in this sentence.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    If this meaning of business doesn't have to do with making money, could you please show me in the dictionary this meaning of business?
     

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Yes but "business" in the OP is specific — whatever business Mick's running, not business as a general idea.
    Specific? Really? Not from the context. At least in AE, "business is great" can mean several things. It can simply mean "Everything's going ok". After all, "business is great" is the guy's answer to the question "How are you?". She's not asking "How is your business?." (if she had, then it would be "specific"......but she didn't)

    Maybe you're right in this case, but if so, you have to show the context where it mentions that the guy is really "a business owner" or "is in business". The context you have provided doesn't suggest this at all.
     

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    If this meaning of business doesn't have to do with making money, could you please show me in the dictionary this meaning of business?
    .
    Here are 4 instances from a dictionary showing "business" is not used as a "commercial establishment (there were other examples)

    AFFAIR, MATTER>>>>>>>>>>>>>>the whole business got out of hand.................business as usual
    4a: personal concern.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>none of your business
    b: RIGHT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    you have no business speaking to me that way

    from: Definition of BUSINESS
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Here are very ordinary, common sentences using both meanings of "business".

    "Business has been great for my business."
    "The business is doing great business."

    In each case the word "business" with a determiner (my, the) before it means one specific company.

    In each case the other word "business" means "the ongoing process of buying and selling goods".
     

    Steven David

    Senior Member
    Standard General American English USA
    Tess meets her ex-boyfriend Mick at their friend's wedding after a while:
    Tess: You really look great. How are you?
    Mick: Good. Good. Business is great and uh...
    Working Girl, film

    I'm wondering, if "the business" is implied in this context, or if "the" was never meant here.

    Thanks.
    Whether or not we use an article depends on what we specifically mean by "business".

    In this case, "business" is general. He refers to the state of whatever company, store, or operation he's running.

    Your question calls to mind two ways in which we can use the word "business".

    Business can also be a specific company, store, or operation.

    Someone could say "this is my business", which is to say "this is my store, company, or operation".

    Let's say someone walks into someone's store. Someone could ask this: How's business? This is like saying "Are you making enough sales? Is your business in a good state?"

    At another location, not at the store, someone could also ask this: How's the business? In this case, business is a direct reference to someone's store. Therefore, it's not general but specific.

    How's business? This question means this: In "whatever it is you do", how is it going?

    How's the business? This question refers to the specific store, company, operation, or whatever it is someone does. Business is used, here, in place of the name of the specific operation, whatever that may be.

    business - general day to day activities and state of the operation - how much revenue someone brings in - How's business?

    a business - a company, a store, or some particular operation - How's the business?

    Depending on context, both could be used in the same situation or circumstance. In other words, even in the same situation or circumstance, it's possible to reference "business" in both ways.

    This accounts for the Google searches that you posted after this first post.
     

    Steven David

    Senior Member
    Standard General American English USA
    Yes but "business" in the OP is specific — whatever business Mick's running, not business as a general idea.

    I've just checked Google:

    "How's your business going?" 150 hits
    "How's the business going?" 170 hits
    "How's business going?" 170 hits

    Seems like they are all used?:confused:
    Yes, they are definitely all used.

    The one someone chooses to use depends on how they reference "business". Or it depends on how they view the idea of business in a particular situation, circumstance, or context.

    "How's your business going?" 150 hits < Here, business is a direct reference to a company, store, or operation that someone owns.

    "How's the business going?" 170 hits < Here, business means a specific store, company, or operation.

    "How's business going?" 170 hits < Here, business refers to the state of the daily activities of a particular company, store, or operation.
     

    Steven David

    Senior Member
    Standard General American English USA
    If this meaning of business doesn't have to do with making money, could you please show me in the dictionary this meaning of business?
    A way in which we use business that does not have anything to do with making money is this:

    "Mind your own business."

    "That's none of your business."

    In these sentences, business refers to the daily activities or affairs of someone's life. Someone says one of these sentences when they don't want another person to ask questions about something that is personal or that they don't want to talk about. They are not polite statements. So you should be careful how you use these. There are other ways to say the same thing more politely. It depends on the circumstance, the situation, and the person you are speaking to as to whether or not one of these statements is appropriate. It depends on speaker viewpoint within a circumstance or situation, and it depends on the speaker's viewpoint of the listener in a particular circumstance or situation.
     
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