These days, most communication comes via technology and social media. This means a lot of texting and messaging!
Just like what probably happens in your own language, when sending messages in English, there are lots of slang and shortened ways of saying what you mean. Here you will learn the most common of these. That way, you can recognize them when they are written to you, and you can use them yourself.
Why waste time typing things all the way out when you can do “short-hand”? Here are the most common:
You = u Ex. Do u want to go to the movies with me?
Are = r Ex. What r u up to?
Later = l8r Ex. See you l8r!
Words that end in ing, drop the g – doin, goin, thinkin, etc. Ex. What r u doin?
When we send informal messages, we often write how we would speak. This applies to things like “wanna” and “gonna”. Ex. What do u wanna do l8r?
Acronyms are by far the largest category when it comes to texting like a native speaker. There are a ton, but knowing a handful most commonly used ones will be just fine.
ILY – I love you
IDK – I don’t know
ASAP – As soon as possible
IDC – I don’t care
LOL – Laugh out loud
JK – Just kidding
RN – Right now
NVM – Never mind
Grammar Rules Need Not Apply
In messages, you’ll see no apostrophes, no periods, no capitals, and many more things that you have learned you “always” need when communicating through writing. Messaging is completely different! Of course, you are welcome to write correctly, but don’t expect others too! You’ll get the hang of it but just observing and reading texts from your English speaking friends online.
About the Author
Yvette Smith has been an educator for the past six years. Her speciality is ESL and has taught students of all ages in China, Mexico, and Vietnam.