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.

Shortened Words

Why waste time typing things all the way out when you can do โ€œshort-handโ€? 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 โ€“ doin, goin, thinkin, etc. Ex. What r u doin?

Spoken Transfers

ย When we send informal messages, we often write how we would speak. This applies to things like โ€œwannaโ€ and โ€œgonnaโ€. Ex. What do u wanna do l8r?

Acronyms

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 โ€“ I love you

IDK โ€“ I donโ€™t know

ASAP โ€“ As soon as possible

IDC โ€“ I donโ€™t care

LOL โ€“ Laugh out loud

JK โ€“ Just kidding

RN โ€“ Right now

NVM โ€“ Never mind

Grammar Rules Need Not Apply

In messages, youโ€™ll see no apostrophes, no periods, no capitals, and many more things that you have learned you โ€œalwaysโ€ need when communicating through writing. Messaging is completely different! Of course, you are welcome to write correctly, but donโ€™t expect others too! Youโ€™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.

 

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