Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts
1) a point in a discussion at which it is not possible to compromise or reach an agreement
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a sticking point in a discussion/negotiation
A 'sticking point' in a discussion, dispute or negotiation is an issue or moment where both parties cannot agree or come to a compromise. This is a polite way of highlighting a tense situation or moment. It is an aspect of a problem where it is difficult to find a solution and may signal an end to talks or progress. This can be used in social contexts but you might be more likely to hear it in professional situations.
Social Examples (Basic)
We have a great relationship, but deciding which country to live in has always been a sticking point for us.
My mother and I have never got along. My father leaving was a sticking point in our relationship and we never dealt with it properly.
Professional Examples (Basic)
We anticipate that costs will be a significant sticking point in the negotiations, but we will have to think of some creative solutions.
The leaders have reached a sticking point in their talks and will reconvene tomorrow.
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