While most, if not all, students of English learn the language to speak to people face-to-face, there is always a need to send a text to our friends to arrange those meetings, or just to have a chat about the day's events. And to save time or energy, or maybe just to confuse the other person, (!) English speakers come up with all sorts of strange and wonderful abbreviations.
So what are you, the confused English student, to do? Hopefully this guide will help you to understand some of the more commonly used abbreviations, and maybe help you to use them with your new travelling buddy or Tinder date.
- Note - Only use these types of abbreviations for texting or in informal conversations online. Don't use them with that new business associate; you may look unprofessional!
brb – be right back – the subject will return very soon.
asap – as soon as possible – at the first opportunity.
irl – in real life – talking to someone in real life, as opposed to on a computer or phone. Real people meeting face-to-face!
lmao – laughing my a** off – the person is very amused.
lol – laughing out loud – you should know this one. (the person is laughing)
wtf – what the f***? - the person is confused/upset because something strange has happened, or has been said.
atm – at the moment – now, in the present moment.
ttyl – talk to you later – the person has to go, but they will talk to you soon.
idk – I don't know – The person doesn't have an answer.
omg – Oh my God! - an exclamation, the person is shocked. This one is popular at American award shows.
gtg – got to go – the person is obligated to leave, so they can't talk any longer.
nvm – nevermind – the topic is too confusing/complicated to explain, so it is easier to forget about it.
tl;dr – too long, didn't read – if a piece of text is quite long and the writer thinks that not everyone will read it, they will put a summary at the bottom for those who don't want to read all the text.
ikr – I know, right? - the person agrees with you, even though not everyone else seems to agree on what should be a clear conclusion.
gr8, 2moro – great, tomorrow – If you see a number in an abbreviation, say the number phonetically and connect it to the other sounds. It should make sense, hopefully!
So get out there and get texting! You might impress some people with your English skills, and if not, they can always ask you to explain what you mean! GTG, TTYL!!