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Can the idiom

Now, let's get down to business.

be shortened to

Now, down to business.

?

I don't want the part "let's" as it is, to some extent, a friendly approach when the speaker is far from being that. She is, in fact, strict and rough in that particular situation where she says the "idiom" if it would still be considered the same idiom.

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    google.com/…
    – user3395
    Commented May 18, 2019 at 19:37
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    In speech, if someone had shortened it to be terse, that's what they said. No problem, lunch later. Commented May 18, 2019 at 19:55
  • @userr2684291 _ I should have searched in Google books instead of its main search engine. Thanks. Commented May 18, 2019 at 22:22
  • @WeatherVane _ Thank you for the answer and for the example of a similar ellipsis. Commented May 18, 2019 at 22:27

1 Answer 1

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"let's get down to business." does not indicate any particular friendliness. By expanding the contraction, as:

Now, let us get down to business.

there is a greater degree of formality, which might suggest lack of friendliness. I can see a lawyer saying this to a group of parties to which s/he is opposed, say. Even greater formality might be achieved with:

  • Now, gentlemen, let us get down to business.
  • Now, people, let us get down to business. (if the group is not all male)

The form:

Now, down to business.

strikes me as careless speech, on the edge of begin wrong, but these are the kinds of omissions that happen in actual informal speech. But I don't think it indicates any less (or greater) friendliness than the form with "let's".

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  • If that's the case, then I had better go with the full version of the idiom. I would avoid anything wrong. Thank you so much for your answer! Commented May 19, 2019 at 10:19

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