Improve your English: typical casual English phrases

Many students at EF English Live are learning English for their work, so they will need to master a lot of formal English. However, many others simply want to learn in order to communicate, and therefore will be happy to learn more informal English. There are many casual phrases that can help learners sound like native speakers. For example, read this dialogue below between two friends about looking for a new job.

Andrew: “Hiya, how ya doing?”

Ben:  “Not bad, I’m all right, ya know, what about you? What’ve you been up to lately?”

A: “Nothing much. That holiday I was planning didn’t pan out, which was a bit of a pain, but the others who went said it was not all it was cracked up to be, so perhaps I wasn’t missing much after all.”

B: “That’s a shame. Maybe you can go another time. How about work?  Any luck getting a new job?”

A: “Yeah, I’ve got an interview next week so keep your fingers crossed for me.”

B: “ Cool, that’s brilliant. What’s it for?”

A: “ Just a working in the local supermarket, but I figure it might lead to other things, and something better in the long run.”

B: “ Okay, cool sure, at least its local so it’ll be easy to get there.  What’s the money like?”

A: “ I’m not sure, I hope it’s more than I got in the last place. I am absolutely broke and the dole still hasn’t come so I need to get something quick.”

B: “Know the problem.  Anyway let me know what happens.”

A: “ Yeah no problem. I’ll give you a bell when I know.”

B: “ Cool, that would be brilliant, or you could just text me.”

A: “ Sure, anyway I will let you know one way or another.”

B: “ Sweet, anyway I had better be off, see ya later.”

A:  “ Okay, cheers, will do.”

Real street language between two 19 years olds is almost impossible to understand if you are from an older generation, but the phrases above are in common use in the UK and will be understood by most people.

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