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Archive for the 'English Phrases' Category

40 Basic English Phrases for Beginners

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When learning a new language in a foreign country, it can be stressful to communicate in your daily interactions. One great way to make your conversations smoother is to memorize a few common English phrases for beginners. 

In this article, we’ll teach you 40 basic phrases in English you need to know for day-to-day activities and interactions. You’ll learn phrases for introducing yourself, being polite, shopping & dining, and asking for help. 

Ready? Let’s go.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. Greetings and Self-Introductions
  2. Courtesy Phrases and Social Expressions
  3. Dining and Shopping Phrases
  4. Asking for Help
  5. Conclusion

1. Greetings and Self-Introductions

Our first set of English beginner phrases consists of those you would use to greet others or introduce yourself. We have included phrases of varying formality levels, adding notes where needed.

Two Women Chatting in a Coffee Shop

Hello. / Hi. / Hey. 

Meaning: 

These are basic phrases used when first greeting someone. “Hello” is the most formal, “hi” is less formal, and “hey” is informal.  

Examples:

Hello, Mrs. Warren.” [Formal]
Hi Sharon.” [Less Formal]
Hey Sharon!” [Informal]

Good morning.

Meaning:

This phrase is used to greet someone in the morning. You may use it to begin a conversation or just to be polite when walking past someone. 

Example:

Good morning, Mr. Sandoval.”

Good afternoon.

Meaning:

This phrase is used to greet someone in the afternoon. It’s used the same way as “good morning.”

Example:

Good afternoon, Polly.”

Good evening.

Meaning:

This phrase is used to greet someone in the evening. It’s used the same way as “good morning” and “good afternoon.”

Example:

Good evening, Ivan.”

Nice to meet you. 

Meaning:

This is a polite phrase used when first meeting someone. It’s most often said right after “Hello,” or after someone has told you their name. 

Example:

A: “Hello, my name is Karen.”
B: “Nice to meet you.”

My name is ___.

Meaning:

Use this phrase to tell someone your name. In formal situations, you should give both your first name and your last name. In more casual situations, it’s better to give only your first name (or even a nickname). 

Examples:

“My name is Jack Frost.” [Formal]
“My name is Jack.” [Informal]

I am ___.

Meaning:

You can use this phrase for many different purposes. For example, you can tell someone your age or occupation. You can also express your personality traits or states of being this way. 

Examples:

“I am 22 years old.” [Age]
“I am a writer.” [Occupation]
“I am shy.” [Personality Trait]
“I am tired.” [State of Being]

I’m from ___.

Meaning:

Use this phrase to tell someone what country, city, or geographic location you are originally from. 

Examples:

“I’m from the United States.” [Country]
“I’m from China.” [Country]
“I’m from Manila.” [City]
“I’m from Africa.” [Geographic Location]

How are you?

Meaning:

This phrase is normally used with people you have met before. It’s a polite phrase meant to show that you are interested in the other person’s wellbeing. 

Important Note – In the United States, you would normally answer with “I’m good,” or “I’m well,” and then repeat the question to the other person. 

Example:

A: “Hello, how are you?”
B: “I’m well, and how are you?”

Goodbye. / Bye. 

Meaning:

This phrase is used at the end of a conversation, right before you leave the other person. “Goodbye” is a little bit more formal than “Bye.”

Important Note – To be extra polite, you can say something like “It was nice talking to you,” before saying goodbye. 

Example:

“It was nice talking to you. Goodbye.”

See you later.

Meaning:

This is a less formal way of saying goodbye. You can use it in more casual situations, when you plan on seeing the other person again in the future. 

Example:

“Thank you for the talk. See you later!”


2. Courtesy Phrases and Social Expressions

In this section, you’ll find simple English phrases for daily use. Learning how and when to use these expressions will help you sound polite in a variety of contexts.

Someone Checking in for an Appointment

Please. 

Meaning:

This is a very polite phrase you should use anytime you ask for something.

Examples:

“May I have this, please?”
“Can you please pass the salt?”

Thank you. / Thanks.

Meaning:

These are polite phrases you should use after someone gives you something or helps you in some way. “Thank you” is more formal than “thanks.”

Example:

Thank you for your help earlier.” [Formal]
Thanks for everything!” [Informal]

You’re welcome.

Meaning:

This phrase is used after someone says thank you. It can be used in both formal and informal situations.

Example:

A: “Thanks for everything!”
B: “You’re welcome.”

Sorry. 

Meaning:

You can use this phrase anytime you inconvenience someone (for example, if you get in their way by accident or step on their foot). 

Example:

Sorry! I didn’t see you there.”

That’s okay.

Meaning:

You can use this phrase after someone says sorry. It means that you are not upset with them. 

Example:

A: “Sorry! I didn’t see you there.”
B: “That’s okay.”

Excuse me.

Meaning:

You can use this phrase in two different ways: 1) to get someone’s attention, or 2) to politely ask someone to move out of the way. 

Example:

1) “Excuse me. Where does this train stop next?”
2) “Excuse me, I need to get through.”

Take care.

Meaning:

This is a polite phrase you can use to end a conversation with someone. It means that you want them to stay well and safe until the next time you meet.

Example:

“I enjoyed our chat. Take care.”

May I ___? 

Meaning:

Use this phrase to ask permission to do something. 

Examples:

“May I smoke here?”
“May I use the restroom?”
“May I go with you?”

Important Note – You might also hear the common phrase “Can I ___?” used for the same purposes. However, “May I ___?” is the correct way to form the phrase. This is because “can” indicates ability, while “may” is used to ask for permission

Could you (please) ___?

Meaning:

You can use this phrase to politely ask someone to do something. You can use it with or without the word “please,” but using this word will make you sound more polite. 

Important Note – Using the form “could you” is considered more polite than using “can you.” It shows a degree of respect and seems to give the other person more choice in whether they help you or not. 

Examples:

“Could you turn off the AC?”
“Could you please open the window?”


3. Dining and Shopping Phrases

Whether you love eating out at restaurants or simply want to be prepared for your next trip to the grocery store, these useful English phrases will help you make the most of your interactions.

A Couple Shopping for Fabrics Together)

Can I get ____?

Meaning:

This phrase is most commonly used in restaurants to order something from the menu. 

Examples:

“Can I get the shrimp alfredo?”
“Can I get another glass of wine?”

___, please.

Meaning:

This is another common phrase used in restaurants. You can often use it in place of the previous phrase to order from the menu. It can also be used to ask for the check after your meal. 

Examples:

Shrimp alfredo, please.”
Another glass of wine, please.”
Check, please.”

I would like ___. 

Meaning:

This is a useful phrase for ordering in a restaurant, but it can also be used while shopping. 

Examples:

“I would like the shrimp alfredo.”
“I would like this one.”
“I would like to try on another dress.”

Important Note – This phrase can be used to describe items you want (the first two examples) as well as actions you would like to take (the last example). When used to express actions you want to take, remember to use the main verb in the infinitive form (“to try”). 

Do you have ___?

Meaning:

This phrase is very useful in both restaurants and shopping centers. You can say this to a waiter, store clerk, or other staff member to ask if they have what you’re looking for.

Examples:

“Do you have vegetarian options?” [Restaurant]
“Do you have dragonfruit?” [Grocery Store]
“Do you have a smaller size?” [Clothing Store]

May I see ___?

Meaning:

You can use this phrase to ask to see something that you already know the restaurant or store has.

Examples:

“May I see the dessert menu?” [Restaurant]
“May I see that necklace?” [Store]

Could you bring ___?

Meaning:

This phrase is most often used in restaurants. You can say this to your waiter or waitress to have them bring something to you. 

Examples:

“Could you bring the menu?”
“Could you bring the check?”
“Could you bring more bread?”

Where can I find ___?

Meaning:

You can use this phrase in a store to ask a staff member where something is. 

Example:

“Where can I find leeks?”
“Where can I find the Asian food aisle?”
“Where can I find the restroom?”

How much is ___?

Meaning:

This phrase is used to ask how much something costs. While prices are usually displayed clearly in stores and malls, many high-end restaurants do not include the prices of menu items, so it can be helpful to ask. 

Examples:

“How much is the shrimp alfredo?”
“How much is a bottle of Merlot?”
“How much is the lava cake?”

Is a credit card okay?

Meaning:

In the United States, it’s very common to pay for things using a credit card instead of cash or a check. However, smaller stores or restaurants (especially in rural or low-traffic areas) may not accept credit cards. It’s always a good idea to ask if you’re not sure! 

Example:

Clerk: “That will be $32.15.”
You: “Is a credit card okay?”
Clerk: “Yes, thank you.”

Are you in line?

Meaning:

You can use this phrase to ask someone if they are standing in line (U.S.) or in the queue (U.K.). This will ensure that you don’t accidentally “cut” in front of them in line.

Example:

A: “Excuse me, are you in line?”
B: “Oh, no. Go ahead.”
A: “Thank you.”

Important Note – Here, the other person responds with “Oh no, go ahead.” This is a common response, and it means that you can go in front of them to stand in line. If the person responds “Yes,” it means you need to stand behind them. 


4. Asking for Help

Some of the most important phrases in English for beginners to learn are those for getting help. Here are some phrases for overcoming language barriers, getting directions, and more.

Friends Helping a Woman Move a Big Box

Do you speak ___?

Meaning:

You can use this phrase to ask if someone speaks either English or your native language. If you’re getting someone’s attention, you should also add “excuse me” to the beginning of the question to be polite. 

Examples:

“Excuse me, do you speak English?”
“Excuse me, do you speak Japanese?”
“Excuse me, do you speak Spanish?”

Where is ___?

Meaning:

This is a useful phrase for asking where something is. You can ask this to someone if you’re lost or need to find a restroom, for example. 

Examples:

“Where is the pharmacy?”
“Where is the community center?”
“Where is the restroom?”

How do you say ___ in English?

Meaning:

You can use this phrase to ask 1) how to say something from your language in English, or 2) ask how something in English is said in your native language. 

Examples:

1) “How do you say Tienes una sonrisa bonita in [English]?”
2) “How do you say ‘You have a beautiful smile,’ in [Spanish]?”

Can you say that again? / Can you repeat?

Meaning:

Both of these phrases are used to ask someone to repeat what they’ve said. You can say this to someone if they’re speaking too fast or if you didn’t understand what they said. 

Example:

A: “Would you like to have ice cream or go see a movie?”
B: “I’m sorry, can you say that again?”
A: “Sure.”

I don’t understand. 

Meaning:

You can use this phrase when you don’t understand what someone just said. This phrase is useful when discussing more complex topics or when the other person is speaking too fast. 

Example:

A: “Can you go downstairs to the basement for me, find the dresser I told you about, and get the map?”
B: “I don’t understand. Can you repeat?”
A: “Okay.”

Can you explain ___?

Meaning:

You can use this phrase to ask someone to explain something to you if it isn’t clear. 

Examples:

“Can you explain what this sign means?”
“Can you explain what she said?”

I need a doctor.

Meaning:

Use this phrase to let someone know that you need medical attention. 

Example:

“I’m hurt, I need a doctor!”

Call the police.

Meaning:

Use this phrase to have someone call the police during an emergency, for example. 

Example:

“Someone stole her purse! Call the police.”

Can you help me?

Meaning:

This is a versatile phrase you can use anytime you need help with something. You can say this to a store clerk, for example, if you need help finding something. 

Examples:

Can you help me? I can’t find the restroom.”
“I think I’m lost, can you help me?”

I lost my passport. 

Meaning:

Use this phrase to let someone know that you’ve lost your passport. 

Example:

“Can you help me? I lost my passport.”


5. Conclusion

A Woman Studying with Her Phone and a Textbook

Learning these English phrases for beginners will make your basic everyday conversations so much smoother and help you sound more like a native speaker. We hope you enjoyed this lesson and learned some new phrases you can start practicing today! 

You can continue improving your English with EnglishClass101.com. We provide a variety of free resources for our students, including themed vocabulary lists and grammar information. You can also create your free lifetime account for access to tons of fun and practical lessons in both audio and video format. It’s our goal to help you go from beginner to advanced speaker, and to be there for you every step of the way. 

How many of these phrases did you know already? And how will you start practicing the new ones? We look forward to hearing from you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English

Advanced English Words

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If you’ve been studying English for a while, you know the positive feelings that come with expanding your knowledge and improving your skills.

You probably felt overjoyed the first time you read something in English and understood it. You might have found yourself trying to eavesdrop on native speakers as your listening skills got better. And I’m willing to bet you felt a little bit proud of yourself after having your first English-language conversation. 

At this stage in your learning journey, memorizing more advanced English words is going to boost your confidence even further and provide you with a more comprehensive vocabulary base. 

In this article, we’ll introduce and show examples of advanced-level English words in the following categories:

  • Academic
  • Business
  • Medical
  • Legal

In addition, we’ve included a bonus section where you can find more professional, impressive words  you can use in place of their weaker counterparts.

    → Before we get ahead of ourselves, have you read our articles on Beginner words yet?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. Advanced Academic Words
  2. Advanced Business Words
  3. Advanced Medical Words
  4. Advanced Legal Words
  5. Bonus: Alternative Words for Acing Your English Exam
  6. Conclusion

1. Advanced Academic Words

A Woman Highlighting Key Notes in Her Textbook

Do you plan on finishing high school or attending university in an English-speaking country? Then you’ll need a suitable vocabulary! Below are some of the most common advanced English words used in academic settings.


Ambiguous 
Adjective
Unclear or uncertain; Able to be interpreted more than one way
The results from the last election are rather ambiguous

Analyze
Verb
To study something in a methodical manner in order to find relationships or patterns
Peter had to analyze the data from his biotechnology experiment. 

Assessment 
Noun
A tool used to measure one’s knowledge or ability
Each student was given a long assessment at the end of the semester.

Contemporary
Adjective / Noun
Adjective: Being of the current times
Noun: Something or someone who existed at the same time as another
Adjective: She doesn’t like contemporary artwork.
Noun: Franklin D. Roosevelt was a contemporary of Albert Einstein. 

Controversy
Noun
Quarrels or arguments resulting from opposing views on a topic of importance
The new film sparked a lot of controversy

Credentials
Noun
Documents or testimonials that indicate a person’s worthiness or ability to perform in a specific role
Lilly was asked about her credentials during the interview.

Curiosity
Noun
Inquisitiveness or interest in something
Curiosity is an important trait for any student to possess.

Discrimination
Noun
A prejudiced view; The act of judging others based on category and not their own personal merits or faults
Please write an essay on how discrimination has affected your life. 

Evaluate
Verb
To look over data in order to find patterns or relationships
Tom and Susan evaluated the data from their experiment. 

Factor
Noun
Any element that contributes to the success or accomplishment of something
What is the most important factor in learning a language? 

Finesse
Noun
 
A skillful, delicate, or refined manner of performing an action or completing a task
Polly recited the poem with great finesse

Former
Adjective
Previous; Coming before
When was the last time you talked with a former classmate?

Incident
Noun
A (usually negative) occurrence
We do not want a repeat of last week’s incident, do we?

Inferior
Adjective
Not as good as; Weaker than
Opal’s math skills are inferior to Rick’s. 

Inquiry
Noun
A question or series of questions asked in order to receiving information; An investigation
My recent inquiry went unanswered. 

Irrational
Adjective
Lacking reason, clarity of mind, or logic
Her behavior that day was irrational and frightening.

Irrelevant
Adjective
Lacking relevance; Having nothing to do with the topic at hand
The answer he gave was irrelevant and added no value to the discussion.

Juvenile
Adjective / Noun
Adjective: Childlike; Immature
Noun: A child or minor
Adjective: Cara hated his juvenile behavior. 
Noun: Because she was a juvenile, she was let off easy.

Latter
Adjective
Coming after
Now, let’s discuss the latter point.

Listless
Adjective
Having no energy or enthusiasm
After the breakup, Anne was listless

Motive
Noun
A reason for doing or saying something
What is the motive behind the president’s decision?

Observe
Verb
To watch closely
I had the chance to observe petals falling from the tree.

Outstanding
Adjective
1. Exceptional
2. Still needing to be dealt with
1. Her performance for Theatre class was outstanding
2. Will you pay the outstanding credit card balance? 

Parlance
Noun
A specific way of using words; Jargon
The two siblings had a special parlance between them. 

Proportion
Noun
A number or percentage of something
The proportion of people getting the COVID-19 vaccine is slowly increasing.

Qualm
Noun
A fear, doubt, or worry
Evelynn had some qualms about her upcoming appointment. 

Subsequent
Adjective
Coming after another thing (usually an event or action)
The rain brought on a subsequent hailstorm. 

Vast
Adjective
Wide; Expansive
The ocean is incredibly vast.

Widespread
Adjective
Existing across a large area or population
From where did this widespread belief originate? 

2. Advanced Business Words

Four Colleagues Smiling into the Camera

If your long-term goal is to grow your career in an English-speaking country, you’ll need a strong set of relevant words and phrases to ensure your success. Below is a list of advanced English words for daily use in business settings. 


Agenda
Noun
1. A plan or schedule (usually for a trip or meeting)
2. An underlying motive for doing or saying something
1. The first thing on our agenda is to discuss our budget for this quarter.
2. Politicians always seem to have a hidden agenda

Alternative
Adjective / Noun
Adjective: Different; Other
Noun: An option that is available or offered in place of another
Adjective: Are there any alternative methods available to us? 
Noun: I wish there was an alternative

Authorization
Noun
Permission from a superior to do something
You need authorization to make that purchase.

Banknote
Noun
A paper form of legal tender
Can you deliver these banknotes to the appropriate department?

Branch
Noun
A company division or office; An extension or subdivision of a company
The bank will be opening a new branch in my area.

Clause
Noun
A specific article or stipulation within a document
The rules were clearly outlined in the third clause.

Compensation
Noun
Payment received for one’s work; Money or another asset given to someone to make up for injury or loss
Dom was unsatisfied with the compensation he received for his labor.

Consensus
Noun
Agreement
We have yet to reach a consensus concerning our email marketing campaign. 

Consumer
Noun
One who purchases a product or service
In marketing, it’s important to understand the wants and needs of the consumer.

Counter-offer
Noun
An offer given to negotiate terms after hearing an original offer
Maria didn’t like the terms laid out, so she made a counter-offer.

Estimate
Noun / Verb
Noun: An educated guess 
Verb: The act of making an educated guess
Noun: Isla made a quick estimate on how much the project would cost. 
Verb: In the United States, most self-employed persons must estimate their taxes every quarter.

Expansion
Noun
Growth 
The library network underwent a large expansion last year.

Fiscal
Adjective
Relating to taxes or other government revenue
What was our gross income for the last fiscal year?

Invoice
Noun / Verb
Noun: A document containing information on services rendered and their costs
Verb: The act of sending someone an invoice
Noun: Have you sent Mr. Hayneedle the invoice yet?
Verb: No, I still need to invoice him for our services. 

Monopoly
Noun
Exclusive possession/control of a product or service
The grocery store had a monopoly in the area, because it had no competitors.

Reinforce
Verb
To encourage or strengthen something
Eva needed to reinforce the company guidelines.

Rendezvous
Noun / Verb
Noun: A scheduled meeting
Verb: The act of attending a scheduled meeting
Noun: We have scheduled a rendezvous with the stakeholders for tomorrow afternoon.
Verb: I must rendezvous with my family at the airport next week.

Revenue
Noun
Generated income
How can we generate more revenue next year?

Strategy
Noun
A detailed plan 
I am developing a new strategy for our customer service sector. 

Transfer
Noun / Verb
Noun: A move or shift to another location
Verb: The act of moving or shifting someone/something to another location
Noun: Thank you for banking with us; the transfer was successful. 
Verb: Would you like to transfer to another department? 

Visual aid
Noun
Images, graphs, tables, or charts used to help others visualize the presented information
The presentation was quite dull because Tammy did not incorporate visual aids.

Vocational 
Adjective
Relating to one’s field of work 
Can you describe your vocational goals?

Workaholic
Noun
One who works too much or too hard, especially if they seem addicted to working despite its consequences to their health
Joe is a workaholic; he hardly ever leaves the office. 

3. Advanced Medical Words

A Doctor and Two Nurses Helping an Elderly Woman in a Wheelchair

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for healthcare workers is projected to increase 15% over the next decade. If you would like to pursue a medical career, knowing advanced English words related to medicine and health conditions is essential! 


Analgesic
Adjective / Noun
Adjective: Reducing, relieving, or preventing pain
Noun: A drug or other medium that reduces, relieves, or prevents pain
Adjective: The doctor prescribed some analgesic drugs after the surgery. 
Noun: Many analgesics are habit-inducing and not for long-term use. 

Anemia
Noun
A condition characterized by a low red blood cell count; Symptoms include dizziness and lack of energy
Nina had to take an iron supplement due to her anemia.

Anesthesia
Noun
The controlled loss of sensation, commonly used before surgery or other medical operations
Ray was put under anesthesia before his major surgery. 

Aneurysm 
Noun
A bulge in an artery resulting from a weakened point in the artery wall
Liza suffered an aneurysm after working out too hard. 

Anomaly
Noun
Something that varies from the norm
The doctors discovered an anomaly during Gerald’s annual checkup. 

Anorexia
Noun
Loss of appetite; A condition in which one starves oneself and exercises excessively in order to lose weight 
Jasmine was hospitalized due to her anorexia

Aphasia
Noun
A condition in which one has difficulty understanding or using speech
Aphasia made it difficult for Henry to communicate with his family. 

Apnea
Noun
A condition in which one’s breathing stops for extended periods while they sleep, especially common in those who are obese or have heart/lung problems
Tom’s wife told him to see a doctor for his sleep apnea

Arthritis
Noun
A condition in which one’s joints are swollen and tender
His grandmother takes medication for her arthritis

Asymptomatic
Adjective
Showing no symptoms
Many people who contract COVID-19 are asymptomatic

Atrophy
Noun / Verb
The wasting away of something, usually muscle
Noun: He experienced muscle atrophy during his long hospitalization. 
Verb: His muscles began to atrophy during his long hospitalization. 

Autopsy
Noun
An examination done postmortem to pinpoint one’s cause of death
The autopsy revealed the man died of a heart attack.

Benign
Adjective
Not cancerous; Not likely to spread or be harmful
Lucille was relieved to hear that her tumor was benign

Biopsy
Noun
An examination done on human tissue to determine if a disease is present
Where are the results from the biopsy

Bronchitis
Noun
A condition in which the bronchial tubes (which carry air to/from the lungs) become inflamed
His coughing was a symptom of bronchitis

Carcinogenic
Adjective
Causing cancer
Processed meat and alcohol are said to be carcinogenic

Cardiology
Noun
A branch of medicine focusing on heart problems and other issues related to the circulatory system
Mellany studied cardiology for several years. 

Cauterization
Noun
The act of burning a section of the body in order to stop excessive bleeding or remove infected skin
Kevin’s wound required cauterization.

Chemotherapy
Noun
A standardized procedure using several drugs to target cancer cells
Their grandfather had finally finished his last round of chemotherapy

Chronic
Adjective
Long-lasting or permanent
Some medical conditions are chronic, such as arthritis. 

Colic
Noun
A condition in which a newborn baby cries for several hours a day over the course of several weeks
Valerie hadn’t slept all week because her baby had colic

Cranium
Noun
The skull
He’s lucky he didn’t fracture his cranium after that fall! 

Dementia
Noun
A condition encompassing symptoms such as memory loss and difficulty with speech
Sara’s aunt was diagnosed with dementia and could not remember her. 

Dermatitis
Noun
A general term for skin conditions or diseases
Sometimes, lotion can soothe the skin of those with dermatitis

Diagnosis
Noun
The identification of a condition based on symptoms
Buck anxiously waited to hear the diagnosis

Hemorrhage
Noun / Verb
Noun: A condition in which a ruptured vessel bleeds
Verb: To suffer a hemorrhage
Noun: There’s a hemorrhage in his brain that must be treated immediately. 
Verb: Once her brain began to hemorrhage, there was nothing more they could do. 

Psychiatry
Noun
The study and treatment of mental and/or emotional issues
Kellie studied psychiatry so that she could become a therapist. 

Residency
Noun
A period of time (usually several years) during which medical students practice what they’ve learned firsthand
After completing his five-year residency, Hector celebrated with friends and family. 

Therapy
Noun
The act of working with a therapist to overcome problems that interfere with your life (anxiety, depression, etc.)
Joyce began therapy after her divorce. 

4. Advanced Legal Words

Two People Swearing an Oath on the Bible in Court

Is it your parents’ dream for you to become a lawyer or a judge? Then you’d better study up! And I don’t mean on laws—there’s a ton of terminology and other advanced English terms you’ll need to know before donning that judicial robe. 

    → There are a few additional words on our Law Vocab Builder page. Hear their pronunciation and practice along!

Acquit
Verb
To clear someone of all charges against them
The man accused of robbery was acquitted of the crime. 

Adjudicate
Verb
To make an informed decision on a dispute
The jury plays a large role in adjudicating a case.

Affidavit
Noun
A written statement signed over oath and used as court evidence
William had to sign an affidavit to gain access to his funds.

Appeal
Noun / Verb
Noun: A request to change a ruling
Verb: The act of requesting a change to a ruling
Noun: He quickly filed an appeal to reverse the ruling. 
Verb: Olivia appealed to the higher court on the issue. 

Apprehend
Verb
To arrest
The criminal was apprehended by police at his home. 

Arraign
Verb
To call someone to court in order to answer a charge against them
Alyssa was arraigned due to suspicion of her involvement in a crime. 

Bail
Noun / Verb
Noun: A specified amount of money to be paid in order to release someone from jail
Verb: The act of paying said amount of money
Noun: Riley posted bail to release her son from jail. 
Verb: Wayne refused to bail his father out of jail. 

Bankruptcy
Noun
A legal process which allows debtors who cannot repay their debts to be relieved of the responsibility
Her mother filed for bankruptcy last year. 

Class-action lawsuit
Noun
A situation where several plaintiffs may simultaneously file and prosecute a complaint against the same party
Did you hear about that class-action lawsuit on the news? 

Complaint
Noun
A formal statement concerning an issue that one would like resolved
Jose decided to file a complaint against his neighbor. 

Curfew
Noun
A specific time by which time a person should not be outside of their home
The city government imposed a curfew of 11 p.m. on its citizens. 

Deed
Noun
A legal document that proves one’s ownership (of a house, property, car, etc.)
The Gallagers couldn’t find the deed to their home. 

Defendant
Noun
The party in court that has been accused of a crime or misdemeanor
The defendant kept his head down as he walked into the courtroom. 

Detention
Noun
The act of detaining someone
She underwent detention because she was a major suspect. 

Embezzlement
Noun
Handling the money of another in a way that is unauthorized, especially when done for personal financial gain
The businessman and his colleague were charged with embezzlement

Equity
Noun
1) A principle that encourages fairness in court rulings, especially those that are not straightforward
2) The actual value of a property
1) The court used the principle of equity in its ruling. 
2) The equity of the home was not impressive. 

Espionage
Noun
The act of spying on the political or military status of another country for the sake of one’s own country
The woman was openly accused of espionage

Evict
Verb
To legally remove someone as a resident of your home or other owned property
Matthew had to evict his friend from their shared apartment. 

Expiration
Noun
The act of ceasing to be valid by a specified date
Before the expiration of the contract, you will need to renew it. 

Felony
Noun
A crime
Robert’s brother committed a felony many years ago. 

Foreclosure
Noun
A situation where a mortgagor is forced to put their home up for sale due to not being able to make their payments
The foreclosure wreaked havoc on the family’s finances. 

Impeachment
Noun
The act of legally removing someone from their station, especially in government 
The government official faced impeachment as a result of his actions. 

Infringement
Noun
The act of breaking an agreement or limiting one’s right to something
Jessica sued her company over the infringement of her contract with them. 

Interrogation
Noun
The act of questioning someone in order to gain information (or a confession)
The interrogation lasted several hours, but yielded no results. 

Jurisprudence
Noun
A legal system
Abigail was well-studied in U.S. jurisprudence

Legislation
Noun
Laws on a given topic that are considered collectively
What are your thoughts on the current legislation

Legitimate
Adjective
Adhering to the law
Tristan was uncertain whether the company’s actions were legitimate

Liable
Adjective
Legally responsible for
The court deems you liable for the damage. 

Magistrate
Noun
A court official who typically helps in resolving smaller disputes
The magistrate resolved a minor dispute between neighbors. 

Malpractice
Noun
Physical activity that has been handled in an illegal or negligent manner
The hospital was sued for malpractice by a former patient. 

Marshal
Noun
The administrative head of a police department
Wendy was served the eviction notice via the marshal

Misdemeanor
Noun
A petty crime
The teenager had several misdemeanors on her record. 

Negligent
Adjective
Lacking the due care, caution, or diligence required for a given task or role
The court found him negligent in his duties. 

Null and void
Adjective
No longer binding or applicable
This contract is now null and void

Nullify
Verb
To cause an agreement or contract to be no longer binding or applicable
How can I nullify the agreement? 

Parole
Noun
 
A release from jail or prison, based on a set of rules the releasee must agree and adhere to
Noun: The prisoner was placed on parole

Penalty
Noun
A specified amount of money owed for breaking an agreement or contract, or otherwise failing to meet legally binding expectations
Sylvia had to pay a penalty of $1000 for breaking the contract.

Perjury
Noun
The act of lying while under oath
Barney was accused of perjury

Plaintiff
Noun
A person who accuses another party of committing a crime
The plaintiff accused the defendant of stealing her money. 

Prosecutor
Noun
One who performs the act of prosecuting a party in court
The prosecutor put forth the case against the defendant. 

Premarital
Adjective
Relating to a time prior to one’s marriage
The couple drafted and signed a premarital agreement. 

Precedent
Adjective / Noun
Adjective: Happening before another event or action
Noun: A ruling or court case example that serves as a model for future cases
Adjective: The precedent ceremonies seemed to take a long time. 
Noun: The judge drew on old precedents to rule the case. 

Refutation
Noun
A statement that declares another statement untrue or invalid
The lawyer put forth a refutation of the plaintiff’s account of events. 

Sentence
Noun / Verb
Noun: A formally declared judgement or punishment of the guilty party
Verb: To put forth the judgement or punishment of the guilty party
Noun: Joe was served a life sentence in prison for his heinous crimes. 
Verb: I hereby sentence you to life in prison.

Statute
Noun
A law
Emily became familiar with several statutes while studying law. 

Summons
Noun
An order to appear in court
Ursula received a summons to appear in court the following Thursday. 

Tenancy
Noun
The state of being a legal resident on a property
Her husband’s tenancy was in dispute. 

Treason
Noun
A crime committed against one’s own country
The politician was accused of high treason

Verdict
Noun
An official decision
The final verdict shocked nearly everyone in the courtroom.

Writ
Noun
A formal written document that contains an official order
She received a writ commanding her to testify on a case. 

5. Bonus: Alternative Words for Acing Your English Exam

Are you nervous about an upcoming English exam or essay? Then there are three things you should do: 

1) Practice some de-stressing methods

2) Head over to our article on The IELTS Exam

3) Study the following list of advanced English words for essays. 

Note: The words in red are basic words that you could use, and the words in green are more advanced words you should use instead. 

Another Note: There’s a time and place for any word to be used, even a basic one. If you’re ever in doubt about the exact meaning of an advanced word, it may be better to use the basic one that’s less nuanced. 

Verbs

Two Colleagues Looking Over Stats

I concur with his analysis.

AgreeConcur
I agree with his analysis.

Vs.

I concur with his analysis. 

AskInquire
I asked about her work.

Vs.

I inquired about her work.

BuyPurchase / Acquire
She bought a new dress.

Vs.

She purchased a new dress. 
She acquired a new dress.

DelayDefer / Postpone
The school delayed its opening.

Vs.

The school deferred its opening. 
The school postponed its opening.

ExpectAnticipate
I expect she will marry soon.

Vs.

I anticipate she will marry soon.

FindDiscover
It took her years to find her hidden talents.

Vs.

It took her years to discover her hidden talents.

GiveOffer / Provide
He gave his children an allowance.

Vs.

He offered his children an allowance.
He provided his children with an allowance.

HaveOwn / Possess
She has many houses.

Vs.

She owns many houses.
She possesses many houses.

KnowComprehend / Understand
Mr. Luis knows the law.

Vs.

Mr. Luis comprehends the law.
Mr. Luis understands the law.

LookExamine
I looked at the pictures.

Vs.

I examined the pictures.

MakeCreate 
He made significant changes within the company.

Vs.

He created significant changes within the company.

NeedRequire
I need additional resources to achieve my goal.

Vs.

I require additional resources to achieve my goal. 

PutPlace
This has put much strain on the organization.

Vs.

This has placed much strain on the organization.

SayClaim
She said they are having financial difficulties.

Vs.

She claimed they are having financial difficulties.

ShowIllustrate / Reveal
This shows how far the nation has fallen.

Vs.

This illustrates how far the nation has fallen.
This reveals how far the nation has fallen.

StartArise / Begin / Develop
When did the problem start?

Vs.

When did the problem arise?
When did the problem begin?
When did the problem develop?

TalkDiscuss
We need to talk about our plans for next year.

Vs.

We need to discuss our plans for next year.

TryAttempt
The doctor tried to save the patient.

Vs.

The doctor attempted to save the patient. 

UseEmploy / Utilize
We need to use additional resources.

Vs.

We need to employ additional resources.
We need to utilize additional resources.

WantDesire / Long for
It is normal to want companionship. 

Vs.

It is normal to desire companionship.
It is normal to long for companionship.

Adverbs

A Woman Whose Nose Is Growing as She Lies

She is certainly not telling the truth.

AfterwardSubsequently
The company went bankrupt and notified the public afterward.

Vs.

The company went bankrupt and notified the public subsequently

AlsoMoreover
Also, she has never been married.

Vs.

Moreover, she has never been married.

CarefullyTediously
The bookkeeper carefully recorded the numbers.

Vs.

The bookkeeper tediously recorded the numbers.

DefinitelyCertainly
She is definitely not telling the truth.

Vs.

She is certainly not telling the truth.

ExactlyPrecisely
Please arrive at exactly four o’clock.

Vs.

Please arrive at precisely four o’clock.

MainlyLargely
It was mainly a matter of patience.

Vs.

It was largely a matter of patience.

OnlyMerely
She was only fifteen.

Vs.

She was merely fifteen.

On purposeDeliberately
The bank misled their customers on purpose.

Vs.

The bank misled their customers deliberately.

QuicklyPromptly
Please respond to this email quickly.

Vs.

Please respond to this email promptly

ReallyQuite
She was really inconsiderate.

Vs.

She was quite inconsiderate.

SoTherefore / Thus
He left the company, so we must find a replacement.

Vs.

He left the company, therefore we must find a replacement.
He left the company, thus we must find a replacement.

TooOverly
The new trainee was too optimistic.

Vs.

The new trainee was overly optimistic.

Adjectives

An Angry Man with Hands Over His Head

He was upset at the outcome.

AngryUpset
He was angry at the outcome.

Vs.

He was upset at the outcome.

BeautifulAttractive / Lovely
The interior decorating was beautiful.

Vs.

The interior decorating was attractive.
The interior decorating was lovely.

BigEnormous / Large / Significant
The event had a big impact on the future.

Vs.

The event had an enormous impact on the future.
The event had a large impact on the future.
The event had a significant impact on the future.

CheapAffordable / Budget-friendly
The desk was cheap.

Vs. 

The desk was affordable.
The desk was budget-friendly.

GoodBeneficial 
The result was good for everyone.

Vs.

The result was beneficial for everyone. 

HappyEcstatic / Glad 
He was happy about his promotion.

Vs.

He was ecstatic about his promotion.
He was glad about his promotion.

InterestingFascinating / Noteworthy
Here are some interesting facts.

Vs.

Here are some fascinating facts.
Here are some noteworthy facts.

PoliteAmiable / Well-mannered
The interviewer was very polite.

Vs.

The interviewer was very amiable.
The interviewer was very well-mannered.

PoorLess fortunate / Proletariat*
We should help the poor in our society.

Vs.

We should help the less fortunate in our society.

*Proletariat is a term from Marxist theory that refers to the poor working class. 

RichWealthy / Bourgeoisie*
The rich should give to the poor. 

Vs.

The wealthy should give to the poor. 

*Bourgeoisie is a term from Marxist theory that refers to members of society who control the means of production to serve their own interests.

SadDepressed / Mournful / Sorrowful
She was sad after her mother passed away.

Vs.

She was depressed after her mother passed away.
She was mournful after her mother passed away.
She was sorrowful after her mother passed away.

SmallPetite / Tiny
The dog was small

Vs.

The dog was petite.
The dog was tiny.

UglyUnappealing / Unattractive
The dress was ugly.

Vs.

The dress was unappealing.
The dress was unattractive

Conjunctions

A Green Apple and An Orange

I like both apples and oranges.

AndBoth… and…
I like apples and oranges.

Vs.

I like both apples and oranges.

OrEither… or…
I want pizza or Chinese food

Vs.

I want either pizza or Chinese food.

NorNeither… nor…
I do not like pineapple nor water chestnuts

Vs.

I like neither pineapple nor water chestnuts.

Prepositions

AboutConcerning / Regarding
May we have a talk about your son?

Vs.

May we have a talk concerning your son?
May we have a talk regarding your son?

ByNear
He lives by my house.

Vs.

He lives near my house.

In spite ofNotwithstanding
In spite of the snow, the school opened at its normal time.

Vs.

Notwithstanding the snow, the school opened at its normal time.

FromVia
He got cash from the ATM.

Vs.

He got cash via the ATM.

6. Conclusion

A Woman Raising Her Arms in Victory Atop a Mountain

Remember that your English learning journey is one with no definite end point—you can progress and learn as much as you want, and each achievement will feel like a major victory! We hope this article gave you some new vocabulary goals to work toward and has helped you take another step toward your life goals. 

Did you know any of these words already, or were they all new to you? As always, feel free to drop us a comment with any questions or concerns you have regarding the advanced English words we covered. 

Whatever direction your studies are taking, know that you can count on EnglishClass101 to provide you with fun, detailed lessons on every aspect of the English language. Speaking of, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming article series on beginner, intermediate, and advanced English phrases. 😉 In the meantime, you can also explore our advanced English course library and scope out the best lesson pathway for your studies. 

Happy learning!

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Master a Conversation with These English Phone Call Phrases

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You recently moved to the United States. Unfortunately, you get an incredibly painful toothache within your first week of residence. What should you do?

Hello. Thank you for calling Bright Smile Dental Clinic. This is Jenny. How may I help you?
*silence*
Hello? Hello?

Language barriers, especially on the phone, can be so inconvenient. Today, you will learn how to overcome such situations with common English phone call phrases.

Placing phone calls in English is easier than you think. For starters, phone call phrases are often routine. Therefore, learning the common ones in English will make calls easier to understand and respond to.

In this article, you’ll learn how to handle a phone call in English in both professional and casual contexts. By the conclusion, you will know how to:

  • Answer the phone
  • Make reservations and appointments
  • Arrange a meeting with friends and acquaintances
  • Leave a message
  • Ask to speak to someone

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. The Roles of a Caller and Receiver
  2. Politeness on the Phone
  3. Stating the Reason for Your Call
  4. Ways to Speak to Someone During a Phone Call
  5. How to End a Phone Call
  6. Sample Phone Conversations
  7. Subscribe to EnglishClass101.com!

1. The Roles of a Caller and Receiver

During phone calls, you play the role of either:

  • Caller – the person making the phone call
  • Receiver – the person answering the phone

The atmosphere of a call changes, depending on whether it is a casual or professional phone call. For close acquaintances, friends, family, and regular callers, it is advisable to add their phone numbers to your Caller ID. Additionally, mobile phones have the option to categorize callers from family members to coworkers.

Your role as a caller and receiver changes, depending on who you talk to via phone.

Let’s first review how you answer the phone as both the caller and receiver.

How to Say “Hello”

First of all, there is a very important word that you must say whenever placing or answering a phone call. 

Hello.

However, your tone changes depending on your role. If you are the caller, you must say “Hello” as a statement or a neutral tone. If you are the receiver, you will answer with “Hello” interrogatively, while saying the final syllable with a rising intonation.

Here is an example phone call as a caller.

Thank you for calling the Italian Bistro. This is Mike. How may I help you?
Hello. I would like to make a reservation for Friday night please.

Here is an example as a receiver.

Hello?
Hello. This is Jenny at the Bright Smile Dental Clinic, calling to confirm your appointment for tomorrow afternoon.

You will say “Hello” these ways when having business-related phone calls or talking to people who are unfamiliar. However, the calls are vastly different when answering or placing a call with a friend. With friends, “Hello” is a little too formal.

Hello?
Hey, this is Tyler!
Oh! Hi, Tyler! What’s up?
Are you free tonight?

Chatting with a Friend

When making the phone call, your friend will act familiar, unless they do not have your phone number saved in their Caller ID.

Hey! What’s up? I missed you!
Hi, Tyler! BTS’s concert ticket sales will go live in two hours! Should I buy one for you, too?

Those are the common phone calls in English. It always depends on who you are talking to. As you become familiar with these calls, it becomes easier.

Here are more ways to say “Hello.”

2. Politeness on the Phone

There are some rules for having phone calls in English, particularly in America.

Stating Who You Are

In America, it is common courtesy to state who you are first when you are placing a call. Never call someone and ask for their name first. Otherwise, it appears rude and may result in something similar to the following tense conversation:

Hello?
Hello. Is this Joseph?
Who wants to know?

When calling someone, always state your name before asking someone to reveal their identity.

Hello?
Hello. This is [your name], calling for Joseph. Is he available?
This is he.

On the contrary, it is advisable to not reveal your name before a caller. If this ever happens, always respond by asking, “May I ask who is calling?” If the caller refuses to reveal their name first, there is nothing wrong with simply hanging up and/or blocking the caller’s number.

However, if the caller introduces himself or herself first, it is courteous practice. Likely, if someone calls you, they want to speak with you specifically. Therefore, they will commonly ask “Is this [your name]?” or “Is [your name] available?” It is more formal to respond with “This is he/she.

Here is an example conversation. 

Hello?
Hello. This is Kiki of Latimer Motors, calling for [your name]. Is she/he available?
This is he/she.
Hello, [your name]. We received your job application and want to schedule an interview with you.

If you are having professional phone calls, you would want to state your identity by mentioning your company name, too.

When answering the phone, you will say, “This is [company], [your name] speaking.” To express even more politeness, thank the caller beforehand.

Answering a Call at Work

Thank you for calling Latimer Motors. This is [your name]. How may I help you?

If you say these phrases during phone calls, you will appear nearly fluent in English.

Here is more info on how to introduce yourself on the phone in English.

3. Stating the Reason for Your Call

In order to have a successful English phone call conversation, you should be able to state the reason for your call.

You may want to ask a question.

I’m calling to ask if you have the Playstation 5 in stock.
I’d like to talk to someone about vehicle appraisals.
I am calling, because…

You can make appointments or reservations.

I’d like to make an appointment/reservation for [date].

It can also be as simple as returning a missed call.

This is [your name], returning your phone call.

Once you boost your vocabulary in English, it will be easier to express your wants and needs during phone calls. You can increase your vocabulary quickly with vocabulary lists on EnglishClass101.com!

4. Ways to Speak to Someone During a Phone Call

We touched on how to begin a phone conversation, but now we will review how to extend the phone conversation.

Asking to Speak to Someone

Perhaps there is a particular person that you would like to speak with. 

Imagine that you are looking for an attorney who specializes in personal injury. After searching for law firms nearby on Google, you located one that is rated 4.6 stars.

There are three common situations for phone calls similar to this one. If the main desk answers, the conversation will go like this:

Thank you for calling [name] Law Firm. This is Natalie. How may I direct your call?
May you please transfer me to [name]?

Maybe you dialed your friend’s number, but someone unfamiliar answered.

Hello?
Oh! Hello. This is [your name]. Is Tyler available?

Lastly, you can simply ask “May I speak to…” Once you learn how to ask to speak to someone, you must know the language for asking someone to wait.

Asking Someone to Wait

There are various reasons to ask someone to wait. Maybe the receiver has to check on an answer to a question.

If you are still anxious to know the availability of the Playstation 5, for example, you may hear either of the following common English phone call phrases:

  • Just a moment, let me check.
  • I am going to transfer you to the Electronics Department. Please hold.

Placing Someone on Hold

In any situation, you will most likely hear this regularly said phrase.

Do you mind if I place you on a brief hold?

You may also hear the following:

Let me see if he/she is available. Please hold.
I am going to transfer you to his/her office. Please hold.

If you happen to be the receiver, you can practice those phrases, too. Hypothetically, if someone says something that you do not understand, you can always say, “Do you mind if I place you on a brief hold?” Then you can locate someone who can better assist the caller.

However, it is not polite to leave someone on hold for more than two minutes. Whether you are the receiver or caller, you should learn how to leave or take a message in such cases.

How to Leave and Take Messages

In cases where there is a long wait or the requested person is unavailable, you should take a message. A message consists of the caller’s name and callback number. Additionally, the message can have the caller’s reason for calling. However, the reason may be too personal. Therefore, do not ask for the reason. The caller will state the reason himself/herself.

You can take the message by saying the following:

Employee Taking a Message

[name] is unavailable at the moment. Can I take a message?

There are easier options, too, such as transferring the caller to the person’s voicemail. That way, they can leave their info independently.

If you are the caller and want to leave a message, you can say either of the following:

  • Can you please transfer me to his/her voicemail?
  • Can I leave a message?
  • Can you please tell him/her to return my call?

Here is more info on how to leave messages via voicemail.

After taking and when leaving the message, you have to make sure the info is accurate. That is where clarification comes in!

Asking for Clarification

When taking messages, we always ask for clarification. The message must be accurate in order to deliver it appropriately.

There may be times when you cannot hear the caller. In these cases, you will say:

I’m sorry. Can you please repeat that?

If you sense a bad connection, you can say the phrase below:

I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard time hearing you. I think there’s a bad connection.

Sometimes, certain names can be complicated to spell.

Can I take a message?
Yes, please. My name is Ashleigh.

You may or may not know that the spelling is different from the common name “Ashley.” You can ask the person…

Could you spell your name for me please?

When asking for clarification in English, not only do we repeat, but we use phonetic alphabets. Phonetic alphabets are commonly used in telecommunications. It is a list of words used for identifying letters of the alphabet. For example, here is Ashleigh’s response.

Yes. That’s “A” as in “Adam,” “S” as in “Sam,” “H” as in “Henry,” “L” as in “Larry,” “E” as in “Edward,” “I” as in “igloo,” “G” as in “George,” and “H” as in “Henry.”

Is your name unique? If so, save the receiver the trouble by immediately spelling your name.

Can I take a message?
Yes, please. My name is [your name]. That’s…

Based on this easy phonetic alphabet chart, how do you spell your name?

AAdamKKateUUnicorn
BBoyLLarryVVictor
CCharlieMMaryWWilliam
DDavidNNancyXX-ray
EEdwardOOscarYYo-yo
FFrankPPeterZZebra
GGeorgeQQueen
HHenryRRobert
IIglooSSam
JJohnTTom

When giving phone numbers in English, we often say it as an individual number. For example, we commonly read 234-567-8910 as 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-1-0. However, sometimes, a person may read the last four digits as tens. It would be read as 2-3-4-5-6-7-89-10. To make things easier for the receiver, say your phone number as individual numbers.

Also, it is always best to repeat for clarification.

Thank you. I’m going to repeat it to make sure everything is correct. That’s [repeat spelling of name conventionally] and [say phone number as individual numbers]. Is that right?

If it is not correct, the caller will repeat to provide the correction.

5. How to End a Phone Call

Lastly, it is time to learn how to end a phone conversation. The common way to end a conversation is with “Bye.” However, there are more phrases to end calls before saying “Bye.” It is practically a summary of the call, giving thanks, and/or offering additional help.

For professional phone calls, you will likely hear or say the following phrases:

Is there anything else I can help you with?
Your reservation/appointment is set for [date] at [time].
Thank you for calling [company]. Have a good day.
You have been very helpful. Thank you.

For friends, it is a lot more casual. With friends, either you end a long conversation with phrases like these…

  • Talk to you later!
  • It was great talking to you!
  • Have a good day/night!

Or you say phrases confirming a meetup like these:

  • I can’t wait to see you on [day]!
  • See you then/later/soon! or See you on [day]!

In English, the very last word spoken on a phone call is Bye. Whether you’re having a formal or informal conversation, do not forget to say Bye.

6. Sample Phone Conversations

Here are two sample English phone call dialogues. The first one is informal, and the second one is formal.

Two friends are setting up a time to meet for brunch on a weekend.

Phone rings. The caller ID says “Tyler.”

– Hi, Tyler!
– Hi there! How’s it going?
– It’s going well! How about you?
– Same here! Are you free on Sunday morning at 11?
– No, I’m free. Why?
– There’s a German restaurant nearby that opened recently. Do you want to try their brunch menu together?
– That sounds great!
– Awesome! I’ll call and make the reservation now.
– Perfect! Thanks, Tyler!
– No problem! See you on Sunday!
– See you on Sunday! Bye!
– Bye!

Reserved Table

Tyler calls the German restaurant.

– Thank you for calling Better Bratwurst. This is Jon. How may I help you?
– Yes. I’d like to make a reservation for two on Sunday morning at 11.
– Sure. May I have your name and phone number please?
– Yes. My name is Tyler. That’s “T” as in “Tom,” “Y” as in “Yo-yo,” “L” as in “Larry,” “E” as in “Edward,” and “R” as in “Robert.” My phone number is 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-1-0.
– Thank you for that information. I set your reservation for two on Sunday morning at 11. Is there anything else I – can help you with?
– No, that is all. Thank you so much.
– You’re very welcome. Thank you for calling Better Bratwurst. Have a good day.
– You too. Bye.

7. Subscribe to EnglishClass101.com!

Congratulations! You made it through your first lesson of common English phone call phrases! You now know how to answer the phone, state who you are, leave messages, and more! We hope you’re feeling more confident now, but let us know in the comments if there are any phrases or situations you’re still uncertain about. We’ll be glad to help! 

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Top 10 Most Common English Filler Words

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The professor walks into the lecture hall.

“Okay, class. Umm, clear your desks. It is time for your pop quiz. So basically, it’s not as hard as the last test. Well… It could be depending on how hard you studied. Now let’s get started. We, like, don’t have all day.”

If you were a student in that lecture hall, could you take the professor seriously? The professor used almost every English filler word on the planet.

How often do you listen to your speech? Whether in professional or casual settings, do you pay attention to your spoken words? Or the ones you’re hearing?

Chances are that you routinely use filler words too. We all do.

You may naturally be aware of filler words in daily conversations, especially if you are the epitome of a skilled public speaker. Educational organizations, such as Toastmasters International or TED Talks, discourage filler words because when they are used excessively, they can distract from the main message and reduce credibility.

Man Giving a Public Speech

In today’s article, we will review the top 10 most common filler words in the English language.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. What are Filler Words and Why Do We Use Them?
  2. Filler Word #1: “Like”
  3. Filler Word #2: “I mean…”
  4. Filler Word #3: “So basically…”
  5. Filler Word #4: “You know…”
  6. Filler Word #5: “…Umm/Uh/Er…”
  7. Filler Word #6: “Well…”
  8. Filler Word #7: “…Okay/So…”
  9. Filler Word #8: “Now…”
  10. Filler Word #9: “Or something (like that)…”
  11. Filler Word #10: “…I guess…”
  12. Pros and Cons of Filler Words
  13. How to Eliminate Filler Words
  14. Conclusion

1. What are Filler Words and Why Do We Use Them?

Filler words are commonly known as words used in speech to express hesitation or the need for more time to think.

There are a number of other uses as well. The following are also functions of filler words:

  • Speak indirectly to avoid conflict
  • Approach sensitive topics, such as politics
  • Emphasize opinions and ideas
  • Hint at emotions or behaviors
  • Express uncertainty

If you are a non-native English speaker, it is especially helpful to learn filler words. By learning filler words, you will be able to identify them by listening. You will also know when and when not to use filler words yourself. 

If you use the right filler word at an appropriate time, you will sound more like a native speaker. This especially helps as you are becoming familiar with English. Once you learn more vocabulary and advance in English, you will be able to lessen the amount of filler words you speak.

As you will notice, different English filler words are used for different purposes; they each have their own unique meaning and usage.

2. Filler Word #1: “Like”

MeaningWhen to UseExample
may or may not be truewhen you’re not exactly sure or have a hard time describing something“What was his name again?”
“It was, like, Justin or something.”
extra emphasis when comparingor describing thingswhen you want to exaggerate a comparison or description “COVID-19 is like something I never imagined.”
“Like” is an overused filler word in English, used in both formal and informal settings. It is commonly spoken by Generation Y, also known as millennials, and Generation Z

3. Filler Word #2: “I mean…”

MeaningWhen to UseExample
to express emphasis to a statementto strengthen your opinion or statement“ I failed the biology exam today.”
“I mean, you can always study harder for the next test.”
to make a correction (sometimes to lie)to correct oneself or lie“Where is he?””He went to the store. I mean, he went to school.”
“I mean” is generally said to emphasize how one feels about something. When it is used to express honesty, it can sometimes be quite brutal. Take this statement for an example.

I mean, I never liked your cooking in the first place.

It is mostly used while making corrections. However, it can sometimes be used to change the truth into a lie or vice versa. Therefore, the listener may not take the speaker seriously.

4. Filler Word #3: “So basically…”

MeaningWhen to UseExample
to give an accurate account of a situation or statementto give a more detailed explanation (generally used in the beginning of a sentence)“So basically… The man was kicked out of the aircraft for refusing to wear a mask.”
to give further instructionsto give instructions that are easier to understand“I can’t afford to give each of my 30 students a family pack of candy.”
“So basically… All you have to do is buy one family size bag of candy and distribute it evenly among the students.”
“So basically” is mostly used when telling stories or giving instructions. Therefore, when you hear someone begin a sentence with “So basically,” expect to get lots of details.

Man Giving His Side of the Story

5. Filler Word #4: “You know…”

MeaningWhen to UseExample
to refer to something already knownasking for confirmation“This book is a New York Times bestseller, you know?”
to prove something to someoneto help someone understand what you mean“You know, last night’s party was really lame and tiring.”
“You know” is said when the speaker assumes that the listener already knows something. It is also used to further explain how you feel or what you mean.

6. Filler Word #5: “…Umm/Uh/Er…”

MeaningWhen to UseExample
expressing hesitationwhen you don’t want to respond“Do these pants make me look fat?” “Uh…”
added pause in speechwhen you need more time to think about what you’re going to say*giving presentation at meeting* “Today, we are going to review last week’s…Umm…sales.”
“Umm,” “uh,” and “er” are used to fill awkward silence. It is spoken when either the listener doesn’t want to cause conflict with someone or needs more time to think.

7. Filler Word #6: “Well…”

MeaningWhen to UseExample
to think about your next wordsto get more time to think or stall“Well… Alright, I will extend the deadline by another week.”
to mark the end of a conversationto end a conversation“Well, it was nice talking to you! Bye!”
“Well” can be used when you want to make a quick decision but need to think about it first. It can also be a polite way to end a conversation.
Woman Thinking about Her Next Words

8. Filler Word #7: “…Okay/So…”

MeaningWhen to UseExample
marks the start of a conversation or ideato start a new topic“So why did the two singers argue at the Oscars?”
to give instructionswhen you want to give details or instructions“Okay, so let’s turn to page 78. Who wants to read the first paragraph? Okay, Jonathan?”
to give a summarywhen you prepare to summarize an event“So, yesterday, I went to Starbucks to study Korean, and the barista asked everyone to wear their masks.”
When someone is preparing to start a new topic, give instructions, or provide a summary, he or she starts a sentence with “So” or “Okay, so…”

9. Filler Word #8: “Now…”

MeaningWhen to UseExample
to give instructions or introduce an ideawhen you want to start a conversation“Now… What is the main idea of the story?”
to express confusionwhen you’re in wonder“Now how did my laptop end up on the bathroom floor?”
to give honesty on changes needed to something or someonewhen you need to be honest about a situation“Now you have to stop smoking. It is bad for your health.”
“Now,” as a filler word, is used at the beginning of a sentence. Like most filler words in English, it is used to lighten a statement to not cause offense. It is also a marker to the start of a conversation. Lastly, when something seems bizarre or confusing, the speaker may begin their statement with “Now.”
Man Scratching His Head in Confusion

10. Filler Word #9: “Or something (like that)…”

MeaningWhen to UseExample
to give similaritiesto provide examples“If you want to watch a sad romance, you should watch The Notebook or something like that.”
to give a guesswhen you’re not entirely sure what something is“Her job is IT-related and consists of coding or something like that.”
This filler phrase is usually used to keep a conversation active and interesting. 
“Or something (like that)” leaves the listener with many options of comparisons or guesses to what the speaker is referencing. Once the listener has a clear understanding, given the examples provided by the speaker, he or she is left with many options and choices.

11. Filler Word #10: “…I guess…”

MeaningWhen to UseExample
affirmation but without certaintywhen you’re not entirely sure about something“I guess he overslept, because he is an hour late for work today.”
to express no harm done or will be doneused as reassurance that everything will be fine“I guess it’s okay for you to use my car this weekend.”
“I guess” is used to make light of situations, in case it’s not true or harmful.

12. Pros and Cons of Filler Words

You now learned the top 10 most common English filler words, their meaning, and their usage. 

As you can see, filler words are not terrible. However, they are highly discouraged.

Here are the reasons why.

Pros

You appear gentle during talks of sensitive topics, such as politics and controversial issues.

Usage of some filler words like “I mean” and “okay/so” may lighten the mood during tense conversations. It’s understood that by using filler words, the speaker intends to speak with added politeness and respect and to minimize any perceived aggression. 

Take this conversation as an example.

Speaker 1: Did you see the first 2020 U.S. Presidential Debate? The moderator did such a poor job.

Speaker 2: I mean, he did the best he could. I doubt any other moderator could have calmed down the president.

Other than politics, conversations about other people or special events can be taken lightly, such as some of the sample sentences above.

People are more likely to understand what you say, whether you answer directly or not.

Usually, when people are direct, the listener may not understand where they are coming from. By using filler words like “or something like that” and “you know,” the listener is prepared to hear further details and comparisons.

Here’s a conversation as an example.

Speaker 1: It saddened me that Chadwick Boseman passed away.

Speaker 2: Who?

Speaker 1: He played Black Panther. You know, Black Panther is one of the Avengers from Marvel.

Speaker 2: Oh no! Black Panther passed away?! I’m so sad!

Filler words mark the start of further explanations, which are always helpful in conversations.

It makes you seem fluent in a language, because it is naturally used by native speakers in daily conversations.

Depending on your level in English, you could easily trick people into thinking you’re a native English speaker. Once you master the meanings and usage of English filler words, it will become second nature. You will begin using filler words like a pro!

Woman Who Can Speak Multiple Languages

Your first step can be to learn the filler words from the list above!

Cons

You will be seen as unreliable and dishonest.

Usage of filler words is not always natural. As the speaker, you want to display your true self and personality. When you use filler words, especially excessively, you appear unreal to your audience.

Female Employee Who Has No Idea What She’s Doing

Filler words have the disadvantage of making you seem distracted and dishonest. If someone wants an answer to a question or your opinion on a certain issue, it will be disappointing to hear you hesitate and fill your response with filler words.

It is especially upsetting during a speech. If you want the audience to understand your point of view, using filler words will not deliver your message clearly. It will cause the audience to lose interest and decrease your credibility.

It is unprofessional and puts you at the bottom of the hiring pool.

Employers often seek ideal employees with honesty and great speaking skills. By confidently speaking with little to no filler words, you impress the employer with your excellent communication skills. On the other hand, if you constantly hesitate or speak filler words during a job interview, employers will sense a lack of responsibility.

If you have an upcoming job interview, do yourself a favor and practice answering frequently asked questions beforehand.

Your speech will bore your listener(s).

Audience Bored during Presentation

Your goal as the speaker is to convey a message to your listener. Imagine the listener eager to hear what you have to say, but you use 1-2 filler words like “Umm” and “like” per sentence. It will create disappointment for the listener, because in addition to the heavy usage of filler words, you wasted his or her time by not having fluid speech.

13. How to Eliminate Filler Words

Like all bad habits, eliminating or reducing the number of filler words from your speech will not be easy. However, by following these three tips, you will become a better speaker and increase your charisma.

Awareness

Become aware of the filler words you use most often and how you tend to use them. Take a mental note of how often you speak them and which filler words you use the most. As you continue to have conversations, you will become more conscious of your speech and know to eliminate your filler words.

Woman Realizing She Said a Filler Word

For the moment, replace your filler words with pauses. Learn to be okay with pauses, but avoid holding long pauses of five seconds or more. If you sense a long pause in a casual conversation, prepare an honest excuse, such as “I apologize. I forgot what I was going to say.” On the contrary, if it is during a presentation, move onto the next part of the speech that you remember. The listeners will understand.

In order to prevent the pauses, consider the next two tips.

Role Play

Whether you have a presentation or job interview in the near future, role play in the mirror or with a trustworthy source (e.g. a mentor or close friend). Practice your speech or presentation as much as necessary, which will enable you to speak flowingly on the big day.

You can also go the extra mile and prepare answers for questions that you will likely be asked. That is one reason to have an audience during your practice rounds.

Increase Vocabulary

What is the word I am looking for? It’s on the tip of my tongue.

How often do you share that thought when speaking? It is possible that you actually lack vocabulary.

One surefire way to increase your vocabulary is by downloading apps that involve studying with spaced-repetition system (SRS) flashcards. SRS is a method in which you see a vocabulary word repeatedly during different intervals. It allows you to remember words and burn them into your brain. 
For example, you learn the word simultaneously. At first you will see the word again in a few minutes. Later, if simultaneously appears before you again and you remember the definition, you will see the flashcard again in a few days, weeks, or months.

Girl Studying Vocabulary with Flashcards

On EnglishClass101, you will find numerous vocabulary lists with different themes. Best of all, you can add these words to flashcard decks on our site to study with SRS.

Also, subscribe to Learn English with EnglishClass101.com on Youtube. Its Youtube channel includes ways to start conversations in English with phrases and vocabulary. Take the video “Learn Over 100 English Words for Daily Conversation!,” for instance. It features 100 English words for daily conversations, and a number of them are advanced, including the word “esoteric.” As you will learn from the video, esoteric means “something that requires specialized knowledge.”

As your vocabulary improves, you will cleverly replace filler words with them.

14. Conclusion

Believe it or not. 

Learning new languages will cause you to become more aware of how you speak. When learning a new language, you learn important factors, such as vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar. 

That is where Innovative Language comes in!

By subscribing to Premium PLUS on EnglishClass101 or any of our 34 language courses, you will have access to your own personal teacher and assignments. From thousands of audio lessons to our Core Word Lists, you will learn a new language in an enjoyable way!

Start speaking a new language almost immediately by shadowing with our line-by-line audio. Take advantage of our free resources as well!

From learning about filler words to understanding blog entries, you have everything you need to learn about your target language at your fingertips!

Happy learning with EnglishClass101!

Were any of the filler words unfamiliar to you? What are some equivalent filler words in your native language? Let us know in the comments!

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Love Phrases in English to Improve Your Love Life

Thumbnail

The need for companionship runs deep. The desire for a hand to hold even as we grow old alters the way we lead our daily lives. The longing to find a person who embraces us completely—and whom we can embrace completely—burns within our hearts like an illuminated candle…until we meet that person and everything becomes so clear in the light of a roaring fire.

A Couple Running Along a Beach

But then we find ourselves tongue-tied! What do we say to win this person’s heart? And what about in English?

What you need, in this case, are some quick and easy-to-use love phrases in English.

Proper communication is key in any relationship. And this can be difficult in an unfamiliar country, speaking a language that’s not your own! If you struggle to find love or keep the romance alive in your relationship with an English speaker, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to English love phrases that you can start using when the time is right. In addition, I’ll provide you with other words and terms you should know about romance in the United States and information about American dating culture. 

Ready? Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. Words and Phrases About Love & Romance
  2. Terms of Endearment
  3. Confess Your Affection
  4. Fall in Deeper
  5. Take it One Step Further
  6. A Handful of Love Quotes to Brighten Your Day
  7. Romance and Dating in American Culture
  8. Final Thoughts

1. Words and Phrases About Love & Romance

A Man and Woman Putting Their Foreheads Together in Understanding

Do you think these two are “soulmates”?

There are a lot of English love idioms and phrases, as well as specific words you’ll hear often in the context of romantic relationships. I won’t even try to cover all of them here, but I will introduce some of the ones you’ll see in this article. You can find several more on Grammar.YourDictionary.com.

LikeIf you “like” someone, it means that you have feelings for them, but not necessarily serious feelings. We can even use this term platonically between friends of the same or opposite sex. 
LoveIf you “love” someone, it means that you have serious feelings for them and care about them. We can use this term with both family and romantic partners. 
AdoreIf you “adore” someone, it means that you find them cute or admirable for some reason. The word “adore” is often used to show affection (e.g. “I adore you.”). This term is primarily used in romantic relationships. 
CherishIf you “cherish” someone, it means that you care about them, appreciate them, and hold them in high regard. This term is primarily used in romantic relationships.
TreasureIf you “treasure” someone, it means that you think highly of them, see their value, and care for them deeply. This term is primarily used in romantic relationships.

Fall in loveWhen you “fall in love,” it means that you develop romantic feelings for someone.
In love withWhen you’re “in love with” someone, it means that you have romantic feelings for them.
Have feelings forWhen you “have feelings for” someone, this refers to romantic feelings.

Get togetherWhen you “get together” with someone, it means that you spent time with or go on a casual date with someone. 
Go outWhen you “go out,” it means that you have a date with someone, usually in a public area like a restaurant or movie theater.
Are you free?If you ask someone “Are you free?” it means that you want to know if they’re doing anything during a specified time. If they’re not, you may ask them out for a date. Synonymously, you might ask, “Are you available?” although this sounds slightly more formal. 

SoulmateYour “soulmate” is the person you’re destined to be with, the person who knows and understands your soul. 
Love of my lifeIf someone is the “love of your life,” it means that you love them more than any other person, and will for the rest of your life.
Better halfYour “better half” is the person who not only completes you, but also represents the better qualities of the relationship. 

2. Terms of Endearment

A Man Showing His Girlfriend Something on His Phone

Honey, did you see this funny video yet?

A term of endearment is a word that’s used in place of someone’s name to show affection. In the case of romantic couples, these words often have a sweet or suggestive nature. Here are some of the most popular endearment terms, what they mean, and how to use them.

DescriptionExample
Honey / Hon / Hun“Honey” (or Hon / Hun for short) is a popular endearment term. By calling the other person “Honey,” you’re referring to the fact that you find them sweet. Honey, could you take out the trash, please?”

“Wait a minute, Hon.”

DescriptionExample
Baby “Baby” is a little less common, but still frequently used among some couples. It’s used almost like a diminutive, to refer to the other person in a “small” way. It can be used to show that you will take care of that person, though it can also have a more suggestive connotation.Baby, are you okay? Do you need to talk about it?”

DescriptionExample
BabeThis is a shortened version of “Baby,” and the two terms can be used interchangeably. “Babe” tends to be a little more intimate.Babe, are you almost ready? We have to go.”

DescriptionExample
Bae“Bae” (pronounced like “bay”) is mainly used by the younger generations. It stands for “Before Anyone Else,” referring to how important the other person is to you. It also sounds similar to “Babe,” which may account for its fast-growing popularity. “Dinner’s ready, Bae.”

DescriptionExample
Hubby“Hubby” is an affectionate term used to refer to one’s husband. It’s normally used when talking about one’s husband to others.“My hubby is the best. He brought me flowers and chocolate yesterday.”

DescriptionExample
Sweetie“Sweetie” is an endearment term used to show that you find the other person to be sweet or cute.“Oh, Sweetie, thank you so much for the gift!”

DescriptionExample
Darling“Darling” is used to show the other person that they’re precious or dear to you. It’s considered a bit more classy and traditional than many of the other endearment terms on this list. It can be used with or without the person’s name, depending on the context.“Linda, Darling, you look lovely today.”

“Where are you going, Darling?”

DescriptionExample
Dear“Dear” is another term that expresses how precious the other person is to you. Dear, have you paid the electric bill yet?”

DescriptionExample
(My) loveCalling someone “my love” is a very romantic and tender way to show that you cherish the other person.“George, my love, you’ve been gone so long.”

DescriptionExample
(My) amour If you don’t know, amour is the French word for “love.” Many people find this version of “my love” even more romantic (because everything is more romantic in French or Italian). This version also has more a sexual connotation, and can be used to refer to lovers who are having an affair.My amour, I can never live without you.”

DescriptionExample
SexyWhen you call your partner “Sexy” it means that you find them attractive, especially to the point that they’re irresistible. This is often used between couples who have been together a while, and is considered a cute endearment term that can also have a sexual connotation. “Hey Sexy, where have you been all my life?”

DescriptionExample
Shortened version of first nameMany couples also refer to each other with a shortened version of their first name. For example, if a woman’s name is Cheryl, her S.O. may call her Cher. If a man’s name is Robert, his S.O.may call him Rob or Robbie. Cher, could you hand me the notepad please?”

Robbie! You’re looking handsome tonight.”

Keep in mind that endearment terms are not limited to those above. Couples can use any affectionate terms with each other, depending on their relationship, their history together, and a number of other factors. 

3. Confess Your Affection

So, you find yourself attracted to a new coworker, a schoolmate, or some other person you’ve recently met. How can you get their attention and let them know how you feel?

Generally speaking, it’s important not to come across as aggressive, pushy, or needy. In the United States, most people value their space and privacy, and flirting or asking someone out in an overt way can really make an American uncomfortable. 

Below are several English love phrases you can use to get the person’s attention, flirt with them, and eventually ask them out on a date.

Getting His / Her Attention

A Man and Woman Flirting while Working on a Laptop

I thought you did well on your presentation.

One of the best ways to get a man or woman’s attention is to offer them genuine compliments. If you don’t know the person well, you should make sure your compliments aren’t too personal or suggestive (though you can compliment their appearance as long as you’re respectful). 

I love your ___.I love your jacket.
I love your attitude.

You have a beautiful / handsome ___, you know?You have a beautiful smile, you know?
You have a handsome face, you know?

I thought you did well ____.I thought you did well on your presentation.
I thought you did well in the bowling tournament.

You’re such a ___ person.You’re such a cool person.
You’re such a sweet person.

Pick-Up Lines

A Man Flirting with a Woman from Outside a Window

Are you as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside?

A pick-up line is a sentence someone says to indicate they like someone or want to go out with them. It’s important to note that most pick-up lines are silly and noncommittal. They’re often cleverly worded, but used far too often to really mean anything. 

Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?This indicates that someone is so beautiful or so kind that they must be an angel.

Do you have a name, or can I call you mine?This is a play on words. In English, we can call someone “ours” if we are in a serious relationship with them. In this pick-up line, the speaker uses “mine” as a placeholder for the other person’s name to indicate they “want” the other person.

I thought happiness started with an H, but mine starts with U (you). This is another play on words. The word “happiness” begins with the letter H, but the beginning of the speaker’s happiness begins with the other person (in this case “you” or U).

Are you as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside?This phrase indicates that the speaker thinks the other person is attractive. In English, we consider someone “beautiful on the inside” if they are a good person. So this phrase is like saying: “You’re very beautiful / handsome. Are you also a good person?” Normally, a man says this to a woman.

If being in love was illegal, would you be my partner in crime?A “partner in crime” is someone who helps another person commit a crime, usually on an ongoing basis. This phrase is like asking if the other person is also in love with you.

What are you doing for the rest of your life? Because I want to spend it with you.This is a cheesy way to let someone know you like them, and maybe even love them. 

If you feel like making your English study time a little more fun today, you can head over to Pickup-Lines.net, where you’ll find tons of pickup lines in different categories. Great practice for understanding English wordplay and humor! You’re welcome. 😉

Asking Someone Out

A Man and Woman Having a Romantic Date at a Restaurant

You’ve gotten their attention…now, can you capture their heart? Here are some different ways you can ask them to go out on a date with you. 


Would you go out with me?This is a straightforward (but still polite) way of asking someone if they want to go on a date with you.

Would you like to have dinner with me?This is a slightly more specific way of asking someone on a date. It lets the other person know the activity you have in mind, making it easier for them to make a comfortable decision. You can replace “have dinner” with any other activity (“see a movie” / “walk” / etc.).

Are you free this weekend / evening?You can ask the person this question to hint that you would like to do something with them if they’re free. This is a set phrase, and it allows you to ask someone out in a light manner while allowing that person an easy way out if they’re not interested.

I would like to get to know you better.This phrase is a bit more serious in nature, indicating that you’re considering a relationship with that person. It’s a way of asking if they would like to go out with you, especially on a long-term basis.

I would like to spend more time with you.This phrase can be used similarly as the one above, though there’s a greater emphasis on “time” being important. 

Could we get together sometime?This is a basic phrase you can use to ask someone out in a generic manner. You could be asking for a romantic date or a more casual outing to get to know each other better. Either way, it indicates that you like the other person.

Can I have your number?In the United States, it’s fairly common to ask people for their phone number if you want to contact them again in the future. In the context of dating, asking for someone’s number is a way of showing that you’re interested in them and want to continue talking (and planning more dates). 

Are you on ___ (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)?Nowadays, asking for someone’s social media information is more common than asking for their phone number, especially among younger people. Asking this has the same meaning as asking for their number: you want to stay connected.

Did you have a wonderful first (or second) date? Then you may want to let the other person know that you enjoy spending time with them, and that you definitely have feelings for them. 

Did your date not go so well? There are a couple of polite ways you can let them know that, too. 

I had a great time last night. This is a great phrase to use the day after a date. It shows that you appreciate their time, and that you would like to spend more time with them.

I enjoy spending time with you.You can use this phrase to let the other person know that you enjoy their company and being with them.

I would like to do that again sometime.This is a straightforward way of letting the other person know that you would like to go on another date with them.

I’m sorry, but I didn’t really feel a connection.You can use this phrase to politely let the other person know that you’re not interested in future dates. Saying “I’m sorry” softens the blow and lets the other person know you respect them and their feelings. By saying you “didn’t really feel a connection” you’re letting them know you appreciate their time, but don’t see a future together.

I enjoyed spending time with you, but I don’t think we’re right for each other.You can use this phrase interchangeably with the one above.

Telling How You Feel

A Smiling Couple Holding Hands while Standing against a Wall

I think of you as more than a friend.

If you’ve had a few dates now and have gotten to really know each other, it may be time to start expressing how you feel. Here are some phrases you can use to let the other person know you like them.

I (really) like you.Telling someone this means that you have romantic feelings for them.

I have feelings for you.Like the phrase above, this one means that you have romantic feelings for the other person. Using the word “feelings” here gives it a more romantic feeling than only saying “like.”

I think of you as more than a friend.This phrase is a bit of a cliche. You can use this phrase when letting a friend know that you have romantic feelings for them, especially if you’ve been friends for a while.

I’m falling for you. / I’ve fallen for you.When you “fall” for someone, it means that you fall in love with them. In this context, it indicates that not only do you have feelings for them, but you’re starting to become infatuated with them.

I think I’m in love with you.If you’ve been seeing someone for a while, this phrase would be appropriate to use if you have strong feelings for them. Using “I think” at the beginning softens the impact of saying that you’re in love with them, so there’s no pressure for them to say the same thing to you. 

I can’t get over you.If you “can’t get over” someone, it means that you’re always thinking about them, wanting them, and wishing they were with you. 

You’re the object of my affection.This is a classier phrase, most often said by a man to a woman (though not always). When someone is the “object of your affection” it means that you give affection to them, or that they receive affection from you. It basically means that you cherish and care for them.

You can find even more romantic words to whisper in your partner’s ear in our list of 15 Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day

4. Fall in Deeper

A Man Holding His Girlfriend while Watching Autumn Leaves at a Park

We were made for each other.

You’re past the initial dating phase and have moved into a serious long-term relationship with someone. You can’t believe how lucky you are to have found this person, and to have them share your feelings. But what can you say to let them know how much you love them? Here are some cute English phrases to express love:

    ★ I love you.
    ★ You mean the world to me.
    ★ You are my everything.
    ★ I feel lucky to be with you.
    ★ We were made for each other.
    ★ We were meant to be.
    ★ You’re my soulmate.
    ★ You’re the love of my life.
    ★ I miss you (a lot, so much, already).
    ★ I can’t stop thinking about you.
    ★ You make life worth living.
    ★ You are my sunshine.
    ★ You are the light of my life.
    ★ I’ll always want you / need you.
    ★ There’s no one else I’d rather be with.
    ★ You’ll never know how much I love you.
    ★ I treasure / cherish you.
    ★ You’re my better half.
    ★ I can’t wait to see you again.
    ★ You make me (want to be) a better person (or man / woman).
    ★ I love you more than words can say.
    ★ I can’t imagine my life without you.

5. Take it One Step Further

You’re both madly in love, spend all of your free time together, and continue to develop your relationship into something deep and meaningful. But it’s not enough. You think it’s time to take some positive steps forward in your relationship, and want to discuss this with your partner. Here are some phrases for common life situations you can use!

Meeting the Parents

A Couple Entering a Family Home for a Holiday

In the United States, most people see it as polite to meet your partner’s parents, especially before you take any huge steps forward in the relationship. 


I think it’s time you meet my parents.This is a gentle way of approaching the topic. Saying “I think” at the beginning makes it sound more like a gentle suggestion than a demand. 

Have you met my parents yet?Asking if your partner has met your parents yet is an even gentler way of approaching the topic. 

Would you like to have dinner with me and my parents?You can use this phrase as an invitation for your partner to get to know your parents over dinner. 

I would like to meet your parents.You can use this phrase if you want to meet your partner’s parents. Do keep in mind that not all Americans are close with their parents, so it’s possible that your partner won’t want to introduce you.

Moving In Together

Several Moving Boxes Packed with Belongings

Many couples in the U.S. decide to move in together before getting married, and most people consider this a positive step forward if the relationship is going well. This is a major life decision, though, so make sure you approach the topic gently and respectfully. 

Do you think it’s time to move in together?You can say this if you’ve been dating the person for a while, and want to know their thoughts on moving in together at this point in your relationship.

Would you move in with me?This is a more straightforward way of asking someone to move in with you.

What do you think about living together?This question is a great way of asking for the other person’s opinion while expressing yours at the same time.

What would you say to moving in together?This phrase is similar to the one above.

Getting Married

A Man Proposing to His Girlfriend on a Bridge

If you know you’ve found the one, there may come a day when you want to propose and ask them to marry you. Here are some common phrases you can use during your marriage proposal. 


Would you marry me? / Will you marry me?This is the most common way to ask someone to marry you. 

I want to spend the rest of my life with you.This phrase indicates that you’re serious about your relationship and will love them forever.

I want to grow old with you.This phrase has a similar meaning as the one above, though there’s a greater emphasis on “growing old.” It means that you’ll stay with them for your entire life, and love them even in old age.

I wish I could give you everything, but I hope this ring is enough.This is a cheesy way of proposing. It means that you love the person so much that you want to give them everything, but because that’s impossible, you give them all of yourself and your life (as the ring symbolizes marriage and eternal love). 

I never want to be without you.This phrase shows that you always want to be with the other person, and that you never want to be in their absence.

Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife / husband?This phrase indicates that you not only want to marry them, but that it would be an honor to you if they said yes. It shows affection and respect for the person you’re proposing to.

Starting a Family

A Couple Playing with Their Child in the Ocean

Whether or not to have children is a huge decision that couples need to make, and it often requires a long and respectful discussion. I can’t guide you through the entire discussion, but I can offer you some opening lines. 

I want to raise a family with you.This simple statement is a great way to open a conversation about having children. 

I want you to be the mother / father of my children.This phrase is a little more intimate. It indicates that you know your partner well and trust them to be a good parent for your children.

There is no one else I would rather have be the mother / father of my children.This one is even more intimate, and there’s more emphasis on the fact that this person is the only person you would want to raise children with. 

In case you do both agree to start a family and raise children, you’ll need these Common English Phrases to Know About Having a Baby

6. A Handful of Love Quotes to Brighten Your Day

A Woman Smelling Flowers

Life is the flower for which love is the honey.

How would you describe love or romance? Here are some words on the topic from a variety of legendary figures. Do you agree with them?

    ★ Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. – Alfred Lord Tennyson
    ★ Life is the flower for which love is the honey. – Victor Hugo
    ★ I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
    ★ The course of true love never did run smooth. – William Shakespeare
    ★ At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet. – Plato
    ★ Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
    ★ Love is blind. – Geoffrey Chaucer
    ★ Love is suffering. One side always loves more. – Catherine Deneuve
    ★ Passion is momentary; love is enduring. – John Wooden
    ★ To witness two lovers is a spectacle for the gods. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We’ve collected additional love quotes in our list of the top English Quotes About Love and in our recent blog article about The Best English Quotes for Every Occasion!

7. Romance and Dating in American Culture

A Man Surprising His Girlfriend with Flowers

To close, I did want to bring up a few key elements about romance and dating in American culture. (If you’re curious about dating in England, you can read this interesting U.S. dating vs. England dating article from BBCAmerica!) Let’s get to it.

As with many other aspects of American culture, dating traditions and ideals vary from region to region, and even from state to state. In more conservative regions, dating is taken more seriously and is often seen as the first step toward marriage. In more liberal regions, dating is taken less seriously in this regard and focuses more on the happiness of each individual in a relationship.

    There are nationwide similarities, though.

Throughout the country, popular date ideas include: having a nice dinner, going out for drinks, seeing a movie, and doing outdoor recreational activities (like hiking or kayaking). Additionally, most Americans find certain things particularly romantic when in a dating relationship: men buying women flowers and chocolate (or vice-versa), candlelit dinners, expensive wines, love notes, and doing small but meaningful things for each other.

    It’s okay for women to ask men on a date.

While it’s still more common for a man to ask a woman, it’s becoming increasingly common for a woman to ask a man. A lot of it depends on the region and the individuals themselves. 

    It can be hard to know what a date is.

Oftentimes, when one person is asked to go and do something fun with another person, they’re unsure of whether to consider it a date or not. In the U.S., it’s common for a man and a woman to have a platonic (non-romantic) relationship, in which they go out and do things together as friends. To avoid confusion, it’s best to make it clear from the beginning whether the activity is meant to be a date or not.

    Dating relationships aren’t necessarily exclusive.

This is especially true at the very beginning of a relationship (e.g. if you’ve only had one or two dates with the person). Younger Americans, in particular, may be “dating” more than one person for a little while, in order to speed up the process of finding the best candidate. Of course, if you do see your relationship lasting long-term, it may be a good idea to have a discussion with your partner about exclusivity to make sure you’re on the same page. Normally, once a relationship has been established, couples choose to be exclusive (only date each other). 

Final Thoughts

With all of the English love phrases, endearment terms, and other romantic words from this article, you should be much more prepared to woo your future lover. Which of these love phrases is your favorite, and why? Let us know in the comments!

The world of dating and romance is complicated already, and even more so when you’re trying to find love in an unfamiliar culture. Before you plunge headfirst into romance, it may be a good idea to get settled in your new home. EnglishClass101.com has just the resources for you:

Create your free lifetime account today and keep improving your English skills with us. The love of your life will thank you for it one day. 😉

We hope to see you around! <3

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Negation in English: The Art of Saying No

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Your friend is offering you cake, but you’re on a strict diet. There’s some creepy guy at the bar trying to ask you out, and you’re a little scared. Your new coworker wants to know about your likes and dislikes, but you don’t know what to say…

The world is full of situations that require us to say “no,” turn down offers, or negate a response altogether. 

In this article, I’ll show you how to properly use negation in English. Learning how to make negative sentences in English will empower you to stick to your goals, keep yourself safe, and express yourself effectively! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. How to Negate a Positive Statement
  2. How to Give a Negative Response to a Question
  3. Telling Someone Not To Do Something
  4. Other Words and Phrases for English Negation
  5. Double Negatives
  6. Final Thoughts

1. How to Negate a Positive Statement

If you read my article on English Word Order, you know that a typical English sentence follows the SVO (Subject-Verb-Object) pattern:

  • I love wine.
  • Wendy has a dog.
  • They arrived together.

There are many ways you can negate a statement, but this is the most common pattern for sentence negation:

[Subject] + [Auxiliary Verb] + [Negative Word] + [Verb] + [Object or Complement]

For example:

  • I (S) do not love (V) wine (O).
  • Wendy (S) does not have (V) a dog (O).
  • They (S) did not arrive (V) together (C).

A Woman Snuggling a Kitten

Wendy does not have a dog…she has a cat!

There are two things you may have noticed: 

1) The auxiliary verb for each sentence is different:

This is because there are different conjugations of the auxiliary verb “to do” depending on the person, number, and tense. You may find it helpful to memorize this table:

PresentPastFuture
IDoDidWill do
You (singular)DoDidWill do
He / She / ItDoesDidWill do
WeDoDidWill do
You (plural)DoDidWill do
TheyDoDidWill do

As you can see, the conjugations are very consistent, and only the third person present tense differs. 

    → To learn more about the conjugation of English verbs, you can read my article all about English Verb Conjugation

2) The main verb in the last two sentences changed from the original statement:

This has to do with the fact that the auxiliary verb indicates the tense, and the tense may require a different form of the verb to ensure subject-verb agreement. 

2. How to Give a Negative Response to a Question

What if someone asks you a question and you want to respond in the negative? 

1) Giving a General Negative Answer

The basic pattern for giving a negative response to a question is:

[Negative Word]* + [Negative Phrase] + [Complement or Reason]

*The negative word at the beginning of your response is usually optional. You can also respond with only the first negative word, though this is sometimes seen as rude.

Here are some questions and their most appropriate negative answers.

  • Do I love wine? / No, I do not love wine.
  • Does Wendy have a dog? / No, Wendy does not have a dog.
  • Did they arrive together? / No, they did not arrive together.

Note that after the first negative word, the rest of the sentence is exactly the same as when you simply give a negative statement. Sometimes this sentence pattern is used to add clarification. For example, perhaps the person who posed the question could not hear your response clearly. They may ask again to clarify.

  • Speaker A: Oh, you do love wine?
  • Speaker B: No, I do not love wine.

2) Turning Someone Down or Refusing an Offer

A Man Scratching His Head in Uncertainty

No, I’m sorry. I have to…

What if someone asks you if you would like to go out with them on a date or offers you something you don’t want? There are three patterns you can use to turn someone down or refuse an offer:

[Negative Word] + [Thank You]

[Negative Word] + [I’m Sorry]

[Negative Word] + [Thank You / I’m Sorry] + [Reason or Complement]

It can be as simple as saying: “No, thank you” or “No, I’m sorry,” but most people will appreciate it if you give them a reason for your answer. Of course, you don’t have to give a reason; the other person should respect your decision anyway. But it is considered polite to have a reason or excuse for why you’re saying no. 

Here are a few examples of negation in this context:

  • “Would you like to go out?” / “No, I’m sorry.”
  • “Would you like some cake?” / “No, thank you. I’m on a diet.”
  • “Can you watch my kids this Saturday?” / “No, I’m sorry. I have plans that day.”
  • “Could you come into work early tomorrow?” / “No, I’m sorry. I have to drop my kids off at school.”

Want more? We have a vocabulary list of Ways to Reject an Invitation. Check it out!

3. Telling Someone Not To Do Something

A Man Holding Out His Hand to Say Stop

Stop bothering me.

Has someone made you uncomfortable or upset you with something they’re doing (or thinking about doing)? There are a few ways you can ask or tell someone not to do something. In some cases, we will use the imperative/command verb form. In other cases, we will form gerunds. Here are a few common patterns:

Do not ___.

This one is the most basic way to ask someone not to do something.

Please, do not ___.

This one is a little bit more polite, and also denotes a greater sense of desperation (like you really want them not to do that thing). 

Stop ___.

This one is most commonly used when the person saying it is frustrated or upset about something. 

For example:

  • Do not walk on the grass.
  • Do not mess with me.
  • Please, do not do anything stupid.
  • Please, do not move things around in the kitchen.
  • Stop bothering me.
  • Stop ignoring everything I say.

You can learn more about forming commands in our beginner lesson.

4. Other Words and Phrases for English Negation

A Woman Crossing Her Arms and Thinking

What’s the best word for my negative sentence?

While “no” and “not” are the most common negative words in English, there are actually several others you can use depending on the situation, as well as set phrases.

BarelyHe barely eats anything. (He eats very little.)
HardlyShe hardly spends time with me. (She doesn’t spend much time with me.)
NeverEva never smokes or drinks.
No moreThere are no more carrots in the fridge.
No longerVicky no longer enjoys going out.
Not anymoreA: Are you still stressed about the exam?
B: Not anymore. I studied a lot this week.
Not reallyA: Do you like pineapple?
B: Not really. The flavor is too strong.
Not recentlyA: Are you still practicing the piano?
B: Not recently. I’ve been very busy.
Not at allA: I’m sorry, have I disturbed you?
B: Not at all. Come in.
NobodyNobody was prepared for what happened.
NowhereHe looked for the missing cat all day. It’s nowhere.
NothingShe has done nothing wrong.
NoneNone of us enjoyed the party.
Neither… Nor…I like neither beets nor radishes.
I doubt it.A: Will Jim show up on time for the meeting?
B: I doubt it. He’s always late.

5. Double Negatives

Many languages use double negatives, and English is one of them…sort of

There are certain situations and contexts where using a double negative makes sense. However, there are also cases where double negatives are considered improper grammar. Let’s break it down.

1) When Can You Use Double Negatives?

In English, double negation is appropriate when you’re:

  • Answering a question in the negative.
    • No, Wendy does not have a dog. ✅
    • No, I have not seen him lately. ✅
    • No, the restaurant does not have a bathroom. ✅
  • Making a “negative prefix” word more or less meaningful. 
    • It’s not uncommon for it to rain in the summer. ✅
    • I don’t dislike him, but I do find him annoying. ✅
    • He doesn’t disapprove, he’s just worried about you. ✅

You can find more information about negative prefixes in our lesson!

2) When Can’t You Use Double Negatives?

A Bald Man Shouting in Anger

Bob doesn’t have any patience…

You can’t use double negatives when you’re:

  • Trying to make a sentence more negative.
    • I don’t have nothing.
    • She isn’t going nowhere.
    • Bob doesn’t have no patience.

When you use double negatives like this in English, the second negative word cancels out the first one, making it a positive statement (in theory). For example, these sentences would really mean:

  • I have something.
  • She is going somewhere.
  • Bob has patience.

Instead, these sentences should be:

  • I don’t have anything. ✅
  • She isn’t going anywhere. ✅
  • Bob doesn’t have any patience. ✅

There are situations where you’ll hear people use improper double negatives, as this is simply a feature of spoken English in some areas. It tends to make the speaker sound uneducated, though, so it’s best to avoid them!

If you want to learn more about when to use an “any” word versus a “no” word (anything vs. nothing, etc.), we recommend our lesson Are You a Slave to American Coffee? It contains useful information on when to use one or the other so you can avoid these double negative mistakes.

6. Final Thoughts

Now you have a better idea of how to make negative sentences in English, give negative responses to questions, properly use double negatives, and more. 

Do you feel more confident in your ability to use negation in English, or do you still have some questions or concerns? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll do our best to help!

If you enjoyed this lesson, be sure to visit EnglishClass101.com often and take advantage of our numerous free resources and vocabulary lists. To get the most out of your learning experience, we recommend creating a free lifetime account to gain access to tons of video and audio lessons for learners at every level. 

We hope to see you around!

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How Long Does it Take to Learn English Fluently?

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Learning a language can feel like climbing a huge mountain. It’s not so bad when you start, but the higher up you get, the more difficult the terrain becomes. You’re tired, you’re out of breath, and you don’t know if it’s worth it to keep going. Things aren’t going well, and you’re getting discouraged.

When this happens, it can really help to have a more realistic sense of the work involved and the direction you must take. This way, you can prepare yourself for the road ahead and regain your energy. And I have some good news: If you’re reading this article, you’re almost there! You just need to keep pressing forward. 

In this article, I’ll talk about how long it takes most people to learn English and give you some advice on how to learn English fast!

Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. First, a Few Factors to Consider
  2. Reaching Beginner Level (CEFR A1 – A2)
  3. Reaching Intermediate Level (CEFR B1 – B2)
  4. Reaching Advanced Level (CEFR C1 – C2)
  5. Final Thoughts

First, a Few Factors to Consider

From Start to Finish

So how long will it take, really? It depends on who you ask.

According to English UK, it generally takes 120 hours for each level of English fluency. But if you ask Cambridge ESOL, it takes closer to 200 hours per level. 

One thing professionals agree on is that there are certain factors that influence how difficult English will be for you. (We covered a few of these points in our recent article titled Is English Hard to Learn? You can check it out for more information.) 

  • How similar your native language is to English.

If you speak German, Spanish, or French, you’ll likely have an easy time learning English! But if you speak a very different language, particularly a language that does not belong to the Romance language family (like Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic), learning English will be a lot harder for you. 

  • What other languages you know.

If you already know more languages than your mother tongue, learning English won’t be nearly as difficult (no matter what your native language is). This is because you’ve already trained your brain to pick up new language patterns. In other words, once you learn a new language, every subsequent new language is easy to learn. And if the language(s) you learned are similar to English, that’s even better.

  • How much time and money you’re able to invest in learning.

If you spend six or more hours a day learning English, you’re going to pick it up much faster than someone who only studies for an hour or less. In addition, investing in language courses or better learning tools can significantly help your learning process!

  • How dedicated and motivated you are.

If you don’t have an end-goal or aren’t really passionate about the language, you probably won’t get very far. It’s important to have a goal (or series of goals) to help you along, and it’s even better if you can find ways to love learning English.

  • Your everyday exposure to the language.

The more exposure to English you have each day, the faster you’ll learn. If you’re struggling to make progress, you might want to start implementing English-language content into your daily routine. Listen to English-language music, read books, stream movies on Netflix, or find an English YouTube channel to follow! 

  • How effective your learning tools and methods are.

When you’re using the best tools available to you and learning in a way that works for you, you’ll absorb so much more information! I recommend doing a little research on learning styles, so you can make more effective study decisions based on how you prefer learning.

  • How old you are.

Children tend to be much more effective language-learners than adults. Their brains are more adept at acquiring new information in general, while the adult brain has more difficulty learning new things. My advice: If you’re young and want to continue improving your English, take advantage of your youth while you can. 😉 But if you’re learning English as an adult, don’t despair: You can still make progress and even perfect your language skills! It will just take a little longer. 

1. Reaching Beginner Level (CEFR A1 – A2)

A Man Tired While Hiking

Level A1

Time: Approximately 70 hours of regular study time. 

Language points and abilities: 

  • Understand basic phrases
  • Greet and introduce yourself
  • Engage in short conversations (when the other person talks slowly and clearly)

Level A2

Time: Approximately 180-200 hours of regular study time. 

Language points and abilities:

  • Understand frequently used phrases
  • Exchange basic information
  • Talk about things of immediate relevance without too much trouble

How to Learn Faster

  • Set a clear goal. What do you want or need from the language? Make sure your goals are manageable and that they line up with your reasons for studying. 
  • Make flashcards. The flashcards you create should have something to do with your goal. In this case, you’ll probably want to memorize words that have to do with basic conversations and everyday life. 
  • Practice listening. In addition to EnglishClass101’s podcasts and video lessons, I recommend you do some passive listening. Watch TV shows in English, listen to songs in a genre you like, or tune into a podcast that interests you. A few minutes a day can really add up. 

Relevant Lessons

Daily Conversations in English for Beginners. 

This lesson series provides five and a half hours of native English dialogue. In each of the twenty-five lessons, you’ll learn a new aspect of everyday English conversations, from common phrases to verb tenses. 

Also see the following blog posts about basic conversations:


2. Reaching Intermediate Level (CEFR B1 – B2)

Someone Climbing a Mountain at Dusk

Level B1

Time: Approximately 350-400 hours of regular study time.

Language points and abilities:

  • Understand main points about familiar things
  • Possess the vocabulary needed for travel
  • Produce simple text
  • Express dreams, plans, and events

Level B2

Time: Approximately 500-600 hours of regular study time.

Language points and abilities:

  • Understand more complex texts (abstract + concrete + technical)
  • Participate in increasingly fluent conversation
  • Write clear text 
  • Express and support opinions

How to Learn Faster

Are you wondering how to learn English properly at this stage? Here are a few tips for you. 

  • Continue expanding your vocabulary. Make more flashcards and study them regularly. You may find it beneficial to label items in your home or office with their English name. This will expose you to the vocabulary all day, every day, and help you associate the word with what it is.  
  • Practice listening and writing. Listen to things in English that have to do with your interests and language goals, and write in English whenever you can. Do you want to open a restaurant in the U.S.? Listen to cooking podcasts and start a food blog in English. This will help you learn words and phrases that match up with your goals. 
  • Practice reading. Start with simpler texts and work your way up. It’s also important to read things that you’re interested in, and in a format you feel comfortable with. If you enjoy reading magazines in your native language, you should try reading them in English; if you like reading fiction novels, try your hand at a shorter English novel. 
  • Work on your pronunciation. If you haven’t yet, now’s the time to get serious about your pronunciation. Even with a strong vocabulary, your speech will falter if your pronunciation isn’t right. A good way to start is by reading vocabulary words out loud and checking your pronunciation against that of a native speaker. 

Relevant Lessons

In our Ordering Pizza lesson series for lower-intermediate learners, you’ll learn what to expect during a casual phone call. You’ll also learn things like:

    ❖ How to use the modal verb “would” for polite requests
    ❖ How to use wordplay and humor in conversations

Each lesson in this series also includes 1) a transcript so you can read along with the lesson, 2) a printed version of the conversation, and 3) a vocabulary list that you can study, practice, and add to your flashcard deck. 

I also recommend checking out the following series and lessons:


3. Reaching Advanced Level (CEFR C1 – C2)

A Man Who Has Reached the Top of a Snowy Mountain

Level C1 

Time: Approximately 700-800 hours of regular study time.

Language points and abilities:

  • Understand longer, more complex texts and their implicit meaning
  • Have fluent/spontaneous communication with others, and express yourself
  • Use the English language in a flexible manner
  • Produce clear and detailed text with excellent command of all grammatical aspects

Level C2

Time: Approximately 1000-1200 hours of regular study time.

Language points and abilities:

  • Understand just about everything you hear and read in English
  • Be able to summarize texts or conversations
  • Reconstruct arguments
  • Perfectly incorporate linguistic nuances in spontaneous communication

How to Learn Faster

You’re so close to total mastery! Here’s some advice on how to learn English effectively as you approach the advanced level. 

  • Write longer texts and listen to longer-form material. Take notes when needed, make flashcards, and look words up in a dictionary if you need to. As you increase the amount of writing and listening you do, you’ll become more comfortable with it and get a better understanding of nuances.  
  • Quiz yourself and take mock quizzes. One of the funnest ways to learn something is to play games with yourself. In this case, you can quiz yourself throughout the day (or once a week) on things you’ve recently learned, read, heard, or even said! Additionally, you can find pre-made quizzes online to help you find areas for improvement. Some of them can even help you prepare for major English tests like the IELTS
  • Think in English. This can be the hardest part! I’m currently learning Spanish and Korean, and it’s so unnatural for me to think in those languages. It will take practice, but it will be very worth it. Thinking in English will make the language feel more natural to you over time.
  • Learn English-language nuances. Every language has its own nuances that foreigners find difficult to learn. By familiarizing yourself with little-known grammar rules, spelling exceptions, and turns of phrase, you’ll be one step closer to full English mastery. 
  • Practice speaking with native speakers. One of the best ways to really test yourself is to have practice conversations with native English-speakers. This will expose you to real, everyday language and give you someone to help correct your mistakes. If you’re not living in an English-speaking country, you can always find online chat groups, language-learning forums, or even pen pals to practice speaking with! 

Appropriate Lessons

EnglishClass101.com has plenty of audio and video lessons for advanced learners to help them hone their skills. For example, this lesson about Michael Jackson’s song Thriller provides learners with cultural information, more complex sentences to study, and an interesting topic to listen to. 

I also recommend the following series and vocabulary lists:


Final Thoughts

A Helping Hand

I hope this article has shown you that becoming fluent in English is totally doable, even if there are some aspects of the language that seem insurmountable now. 

Now that you know some of the milestones you can look forward to, are you wondering how to learn English more effectively? 

At EnglishClass101.com, we understand that English has its tough points, and that you might be tempted to give up. We want you to know that you don’t have to make this journey alone! 

Here are just a few of our features:

We’re dedicated to making English an accessible language for everyone, and that’s reflected in our themed lessons for beginners, intermediate learners, and advanced students. There’s always room for growth, and we’ll be here to help on every step of your journey. 

If you’ve read this entire article, it means that your English is already really good! But if you’re not satisfied with your current level, you can work on improving key areas (such as speaking, pronunciation, or grammar). Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes, so we hope you’ll stick with us.

Before you go, do you have any tips for fellow English-learners? Or maybe a question about something in this article? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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45 Proverbs in English to Start Using Today

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that “every cloud has a silver lining” when I was sad. Or that “curiosity killed the cat” when I asked too many questions. Or, my least favorite as a child, that I should “never put off until tomorrow what I can do today” when I wanted to play video games instead of finishing my homework. 

These are only three of the most commonly used proverbs in English, but I swear I’ve heard these hundreds of times! 

I’m sure that you’ve heard similar proverbs and sayings over and over again in your native language. These words of wisdom can give us a new perspective, reinforce good habits, and give us something to say when we’re at a loss for words. And for you, as the avid language-learner you are, using these proverbs well will help you sound more like a native English-speaker! 

In this article, I’ll show you forty-five popular English proverbs, what they mean, and how to use them in a given context. You might know some of these already, but do you know all forty-five?


Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. Life
  2. Success
  3. Love and Relationships
  4. Family and Friendship
  5. Health and Beauty
  6. Religion and Virtues
  7. Final Thoughts

1. Life

A Kitten Meowing with Its Eyes Closed

Curiosity killed the cat.

Life can be crazy or calm, joyful or sorrowful, busy or relaxed. Whatever stage of life you’re in, there’s certainly a proverb in English you can use to describe or add spice to it. 

Here are a few of the best English proverbs about life. You can start using these right away and in a variety of situations! 

1 – Actions speak louder than words.

What it means: 

It’s easy to say that you’ll do something or that you believe something, but there’s no reason for people to believe you unless you act accordingly. 

How to use it:

Your significant other says that he or she is sorry for doing something that hurt you. But later, they do that thing again and then apologize for it. At this point, you could tell them: “Actions speak louder than words.” Meaning that if they want you to believe them, they need to show their remorse through their actions, not their words alone. 

2 – Curiosity killed the cat.

What it means:

Trying to learn more about something can sometimes cause more harm than good. 

How to use it:

Parents often use this phrase toward their children, especially if the child is trying to do something dangerous as a result of curiosity. For example, a child sees that the oven is turned on and wants to take a look inside, the child’s parent may keep them away from the oven, and warn: “Curiosity killed the cat.” This is because if the child touched the oven, they could burn themself.

3 – Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

What it means:

If someone is providing for you or helping you in some way, don’t treat them badly or betray them. The imagery here refers to how a dog or cat will sometimes bite the hand of someone who’s trying to feed it.

How to use it:

This is another proverb that parents tell their children often. For example, if a parent has offered to do something nice for their child (like let them stay over at a friend’s house), and their child begins to misbehave in the meantime, the parent may say: “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” This is a warning that the privilege can be taken away at any time. 

4 – Every cloud has a silver lining.

What it means:

Even negative things that happen can have a more positive aspect to them. (Just as clouds are perceived as gloomy, but when you look closely, you can see the sun peeking through the edges.)

How to use it:

A friend has told you that they just lost their job. Trying to comfort them, you may say: “Every cloud has a silver lining. Maybe there’s a better job out there for you.”

5 – Every man has his price.

What it means:

Every person has a price point where they become willing to turn their back on what they believe in or what they value.

How to use it:

Someone you know took a shady job because it paid more than their old one. You may say to yourself: “Every man has his price.”

6 – Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.

What it means:

If you give someone just a little bit of something, they’ll expect for you to give them a lot more. 

How to use it:

Your friend is talking to you about someone who’s been manipulating them into doing things for them all the time. You may say: “Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.” This would serve as a warning that your friend should stop doing things for that person before it gets more out of hand. 

7 – Good things come to those who wait.

What it means:

When you’re patient, it creates a calmer environment that may cause good things to happen. (And if you’re impatient, things will take longer to happen!)

How to use it:

There are two ways you can use this proverb: seriously and jokingly. 

To use it seriously, imagine that a family member is complaining that nothing in their life is going right. You say: “Good things come to those who wait.” This lets them know that something good may be coming in the future if they’ll just be patient for it. 

To use it jokingly, imagine that your child is waiting for cookies to come out of the oven and they are being impatient. You may say to them: “Good things come to those who wait.” (Though this might make them more impatient…)

8 – If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

What it means:

When bad things happen, try to make the best of them or use them for good. You can change your thinking and create a positive situation out of a negative one. 

How to use it:

Your friend is complaining that the mall is closed. You tell your friend: “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This will suggest that there might be something even better they can do than go to the mall. 

9 – As you sow, so shall you reap.

What it means:

The actions you do now will affect the outcome of a project or situation. A more common variation is: “You reap what you sow.”

How to use it:

Your friend wants to start a business. They’ve been doing a lot of research on how to succeed, but are still worried about failing. To reassure them, you might say: “You reap what you sow. Your research and diligence will help you succeed.”

10 – All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

What it means:

It’s important to have fun in life, instead of just working all the time. If you only work, you won’t have time for personal growth or fulfillment. 

How to use it:

Your sibling has been working on an essay for several hours now, and you’re worried about them. You may tell your sibling: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This would suggest to them that they should take a break and do something fun.

2. Success

A Man Multi-tasking

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

The need to be successful can really drive a person forward and help them achieve their most important goals. But what things contribute to success? What does success look like, and how can you get there? Here are some of the most popular proverbs in English about success. 

    → What does success mean to you? Do you think you’re successful right now? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to study our list of the Top 11 Quotes About Success for more inspiration!

11 – A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

What it means:

Even the strongest chain will be useless if just one link is weakened, missing, or broken. Likewise, a business, project, or idea can’t succeed unless even its weakest link is strong enough to help support it. 

How to use it:

You and a friend are eating at a restaurant that has great food but terrible service, and you decide not to go there again. When you’re leaving, you tell your friend: “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” This indicates that the great food meant nothing because the service was so bad.

12 – A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

What it means:

Even the greatest successes and accomplishments started with taking the first step toward it. 

How to use it:

A family member has told you that they want to start a business, but are afraid to begin making preparations because they might fail. You can tell them: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This should help encourage them to take the first step toward their business.

13 – A stitch in time saves nine.

What it means:

Taking an action as soon as it’s necessary, or fixing a problem right when it happens, will save you time and effort in the future.

How to use it:

Your friend feels ill, but they don’t want to go to the doctor because it may be nothing. You may say to your friend: “A stitch in time saves nine.” This refers to the fact that going to the doctor now may keep things from getting worse later.

14 – Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

What it means:

Don’t take on more responsibilities than you’re able to handle.

How to use it:

A friend is telling you that they just took on a second job and have started volunteering part-time. They look tired, so you say: “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” This indicates that you think they’re doing too much to be productive and stay healthy.

15 – Don’t cast pearls before swine.

What it means:

Don’t show or give something that’s valuable to someone who won’t treasure or take care of it.

How to use it:

A friend tries out to make it onto a dance team. You think they did really well, but they didn’t get a place on the team. You tell your friend: “Don’t cast pearls before swine.” This indicates that you think your friend was too good to be on the team anyway.

16 – Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

What it means:

Don’t rely too much on one thing to lead you to success. Instead, you should diversify. (If you put all your eggs in one basket, they’ll all break if you drop the basket, and you’ll have no eggs left.)

How to use it:

Your friend has spent all their time and effort trying to get into one college. You might warn them: “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket,” and encourage them to apply to more colleges in case they don’t get into that one.

17 – Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

What it means:

If you have the time and means to get something done today, you should! This will make your workload the following day much easier (and tomorrow is never guaranteed, anyway).

How to use it:

Imagine a mother asks her son to take out the trash, and he says that he’ll do it “later.” The mother may say: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

18 – Rome wasn’t built in a day.

What it means:

Big things take time and effort to accomplish. 

How to use it:

You’ve been trying to write a novel for the past several years, and you’re ready to give up. While you’re talking to a friend about it, they may tell you: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” In other words, writing a novel is a huge task so you can’t expect it to be fast or easy. 

19 – The early bird catches the worm (but the second mouse gets the cheese).

What it means:

“The early bird catches the worm” means that those who start something early will be rewarded for their diligence. 

The second part (“but the second mouse gets the cheese”) is a fun addition to the traditional phrase. It refers to how a mousetrap will kill the first mouse that tries taking the cheese, allowing the next mouse that comes by to take it for himself. It means that sometimes it’s better to wait and be patient, instead of trying to be first all the time. 

How to use it:

Your significant other asks you why you get up so early on the weekend. You say “The early bird catches the worm,” meaning that waking up early gives you more time to get things done. They may reply with: “But the second mouse gets the cheese,” in a light gesture, to mean that the second person will benefit from the first’s work (a clean home, freshly brewed coffee, etc.)

20 – Haste makes waste.

What it means:

Trying to get things done too quickly often results in poor-quality work. 

How to use it:

Your child finished their math homework super-fast so they could play video games earlier than usual. But you warn them: “Haste makes waste.” In other words, they’ll probably regret doing their homework so quickly because there will be more mistakes.

3. Love and Relationships

A Couple Hugging at the Airport

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Where would you be without your best friend or lover? Learn some of the sweetest (and strangest) English proverbs about love. 


21 – Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

What it means:

When you love or care about someone, those feelings become even stronger when that person is far away from you, especially for long periods of time. 

How to use it:

Your significant other needs to leave for a week-long work conference. You may say: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” This will let them know you’ll miss them. 

22 – All’s fair in love and war.

What it means:

Just like war can bring out the worst in people, so can love when it becomes a battle. In another sense, we can interpret this to mean that there are no rules, both in terms of love and war. 

How to use it:

This is most often used when two people are trying to attract the same person for a romantic relationship. It basically means that anything goes, since the two people are “at war” for the other person’s heart. 

23 – Grief divided is made lighter.

What it means:

When you have someone to share your grief with, it doesn’t feel quite as bad. 

How to use it:

You see that your best friend looks sad, so you ask them what’s wrong. If they seem hesitant to share what’s wrong, you might say: “Grief divided is made lighter,” to encourage them. 

24 – No man is an island.

What it means:

Islands are small, isolated pieces of land. This proverb means that no man should isolate himself this way. Instead, it’s important for people to be part of a community. 

How to use it:

Someone you know has been withdrawing more and more from their friendships and relationships. In this case, you could say to them: “No man is an island.” This would be a way of encouraging them to maintain their relationships better, and of letting them know you’re there for them.

25 – Never let the sun go down on your anger.

What it means:

When you’re angry with a friend, family member, or other loved one, it’s important to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. 

How to use it:

Your friend is telling you that they had a fight with their significant other, and they want your advice. You may say: “Never let the sun go down on your anger,” to encourage them to resolve the issue quickly. 

26 – Happy wife, happy life.

What it means:

This is normally used jokingly. It means that it’s important to keep one’s wife happy, otherwise said wife might make your life miserable. 

How to use it:

If you’re a woman, imagine your spouse brings home a chocolate bar for you after work. You thank them for it, and they say: “Happy wife, happy life.” This means that by doing something that made you happy, everyone at home is able to live more peacefully. 

27 – The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

What it means:

This one is often used jokingly as well. It means that the best way to win a man’s heart (or keep it) is to cook delicious food for him.

How to use it:

Women often use this proverb when talking with each other about the men in their lives. For example, one woman may be talking about a new recipe she tried that her husband liked, to which another woman may respond: “Yes, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

4. Family and Friendship

A Group of Girls Hugging from Behind

Birds of a feather flock together.

Whether you’re single or in a whirlwind romance, your friends and family likely hold a huge part of your life and heart. Here are some common proverbs in English about family and friends. 


28 – Blood is thicker than water.

What it means:

Here, “blood” refers to blood relations (i.e. one’s family). The proverb means that the relationship one has with their family is more important than any other relationship they have. 

How to use it:

Your friend is talking to you about a dilemma they’re facing. They have to choose between spending a week with their family in another country, or spending that week with their significant other instead. You say: “Blood is thicker than water,” to encourage them to spend that time with their family. 

29 – Birds of a feather flock together.

What it means:

Just like birds of the same type will flock together, people with similar personalities or interests also tend to spend time with each other. 

How to use it:

Your friend says something about how much time you two spend together. You say: “Well, birds of a feather flock together.” This means that you spend so much time together because of how similar you are. 

30 – Great minds think alike.

What it means:

Often used jokingly, this proverb implies that when two or more people think the same way, it’s a sign that they have “great minds.” 

How to use it:

You and your sibling are having a conversation about something, and you both happen to say the same thing at the same time. In this case, you may say: “Great minds think alike.”

31 – The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

What it means:

Here, the “apple” refers to a child, and the “tree” refers to that child’s parent. This proverb means that children often end up being a lot like their parents. This can be used both positively and negatively.

How to use it:

You’re telling your grandmother about how much you enjoy crocheting. Because your mother also likes to crochet, your grandmother might say: “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

32 – Children are a poor man’s riches.

What it means:

Children are of great value to their parents, especially if their parents have very little. 

How to use it:

Two fathers are talking about their children, and one of them mentions how proud he is that his daughter graduated college with honors. The other father may say: “Yes, children are a poor man’s riches.”

5. Health and Beauty

A Mother and Her Young Daughter Laughing

Laughter is the best medicine.

In the United States, people tend to view health and beauty as two of the most important things a person can possess. Following is a list of English proverbs on health, beauty, and how to maintain both! 


33 – An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

What it means:

If you eat things that are good for you and live a healthy lifestyle, you won’t have to see the doctor as often. 

How to use it:

People may reference the proverb while literally eating an apple, or else, eating healthy food that will hopefully lead to good health in the long term. 

Note:

People often play around with this proverb by replacing the words “apple” and “doctor” with other words that make sense in a given context. For example: “A smile a day keeps the sadness away.”

34 – Laughter is the best medicine.

What it means:

Sometimes, nothing can make you feel better than having a good laugh.

How to use it:

Your friend seems sad, so you suggest that you watch a funny movie together, and say: “Laughter is the best medicine.”

35 – You are what you eat.

What it means:

The foods you eat on a regular basis can say a lot about you. Also, the foods you eat can affect your health.

How to use it:

Your significant other asks why you didn’t have a bowl of ice cream after dinner. You say: “You are what you eat.” This implies that you skipped eating ice cream because it’s not very good for you. 

36 – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What it means:

Beauty is subjective, meaning that what one person thinks is beautiful, another person may not. 

How to use it:

You’re telling your friend about a poem you thought was really beautiful, and they tell you that they didn’t like that poem very much. You say: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

37 – Beauty is only skin-deep.

What it means:

Even if a person is beautiful or handsome on the outside, this doesn’t say anything about what the person is really like on the inside. 

How to use it:

Your friend is reading through a fashion magazine, and says she wishes she looked like one of the models. You might say: “Beauty is only skin-deep.”

38 – Don’t judge a book by its cover.

What it means:

This proverb means almost the same thing as the one above. You can’t really tell what a person is like (or a book, or a movie, etc.), just by looking at them. 

How to use it:

You just cooked a new recipe for dinner, but it doesn’t look very appetizing. Your significant other says so, and you reply: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This means that while it might not look good, it will probably taste good. 

6. Religion and Virtues

Someone Washing Their Hands with Soap and Water

Cleanliness is next to godliness.

I’ll end this list of commonly used proverbs in English with a handful of proverbs related to religion, virtues, and morals. 


39 – Cleanliness is next to godliness.

What it means:

This proverb implies that keeping yourself and your environment clean is extremely important. 

How to use it:

Your child didn’t wash their hands after using the bathroom. You ask them to go back and wash their hands, saying: “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”

40 – God helps those who help themselves.

What it means:

This proverb is mainly used in religious contexts. It means that unless you take initiative and work hard to make change yourself, you can’t expect God’s help. 

How to use it:

A distant relative of yours says that they’ve been praying for something to happen, but nothing has happened yet. You might say to them: “God helps those who help themselves.” This would encourage them to take action instead of just hoping that God will take care of the problem. 

41 – Honesty is the best policy.

What it means:

Whatever situation you’re in, it’s best to tell the truth. 

How to use it:

Imagine you’ve made a big mistake that you’re afraid you’ll get in trouble for. You confide in a friend, and they tell you: “Honesty is the best policy.” This would encourage you to be honest about your mistake with the affected party. 

42 – Practice what you preach.

What it means:

If you tell someone that they should do something or live a certain way, you should also be doing that thing or living that way. Otherwise, you’ll be a hypocrite and the person you’re “preaching” to won’t take you seriously. 

A popular equivalent is: “Take your own advice.”

How to use it:

This is normally used in a negative way. For example, imagine that a mother and her daughter got into a fight about something. The mother told her daughter not to stay up too late, but her daughter replied with: “Why don’t you practice what you preach?” This implies that if the daughter has to go to bed early, so should her mother. 

43 – Two wrongs don’t make a right.

What it means:

When someone hurts you or does something that you think is wrong, hurting that person back won’t make the situation right. 

How to use it:

You’re telling your friend that a coworker said something mean to you the other day, and that you want to say something mean in return when you get a chance. But your friend warns you: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

44 – Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes.

What it means:

To “walk a mile in someone’s shoes” means to look at things from the other person’s perspective, and to imagine what it’s like to live life through their eyes. This proverb means that you should do this before you judge someone for their attitude or actions. 

How to use it:

You hear a family member complaining about someone they don’t like, but you know the person they’re talking about, and think your family member is being close-minded. You might say: “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes.” This would encourage your family member to look at things from the other person’s perspective.

45 – People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

What it means:

This one is a bit more complex.

“Throwing stones” refers to the act of stoning someone, or condemning/judging them. And a “glass house” refers to something that’s both delicate and completely see-through. 

If you live in a “glass house,” it means that your own life is completely visible to others (so they can see if you’re being hypocritical or not). And, of course, throwing stones against glass will cause the glass to shatter (just as your life can shatter if your own wrongdoings are found out). 

So this proverb means that you shouldn’t judge or condemn others so long as people can see your life and actions. It also implies that you may be in a particularly vulnerable position, and you should especially not judge when you may need to seek the mercy of others. 

How to use it:

Your friend sees someone smoking outside a restaurant, and starts complaining to you about why that person shouldn’t be smoking. But you happen to know that your friend has a problem of spending too much money. So you say: “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” 

Note:

Do be careful when using this proverb, as it can easily hurt someone’s feelings or make them upset with you. There is a time and a place to use it, but be cautious and considerate of others’ feelings. 

7. Final Thoughts

I do want to end on a quick word of caution here: 

While proverbs can make your speech seem more fluent and add depth to a conversation, you shouldn’t use them too often. Proverbs are like salt: a little bit can make your meal more flavorful, but too much will cause you to gag or get sick. Use them sparingly for the best results.

I hope that with this quick guide, you have a better idea of how and when to use some of the most common English proverbs. But if there’s anything you’re uncertain about, feel free to ask us in the comments! We’ll get back to you with useful information as soon as possible. 

How many of the sayings on our English proverbs list did you know already? Which ones were new to you? Drop us a comment down below, and let us know.

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The Very Best Places to Visit in New York City

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If you plan on visiting the United States, you can’t pick a more iconic location than New York City. 

With a population of over 8 million people, NYC received over 65 million tourists in 2018! Compare this to other major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, California (50 million tourists) or Seattle, Washington (40.9 million tourists). 

So what makes New York City such a desirable tourist destination? 

NYC is known for being welcoming to any and all visitors, and the city also has quite a diverse population. NYC is known to have the largest population of Jews outside of Israel and the largest population of native Chinese outside of Asia. In addition, roughly a quarter of all Native Americans in the U.S. reside in New York City. 

NYC also boasts a rich historical background, tons of fascinating buildings and structures, high-end restaurants and wineries, and wide-open spaces for nature-lovers in the form of public parks. 

In this article, I’ll outline the top ten places you need to experience if you’re visiting New York City for the first time, depending on the length of your trip. Let’s get started!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. But Before You Go…
  2. Must-See Places for a 1-3 Day Trip
  3. Where to Go if You’re Staying Longer
  4. Bonus: Dining and Beverages
  5. Survival Phrases
  6. Final Thoughts

But Before You Go…

Before you visit New York City, make sure you’re well-prepared. Here are some travel tips and a convenient list of things you should bring with you.

Travel Tips

Someone Making Online Reservations for a Hotel

If you’re visiting New York City for the first time, there are a few things you should keep in mind before heading out on your big adventure! 

  • Plan a budget in advance. New York City can get pricey fast! Unless you happen to have a load of cash available, we recommend that you set a budget before your trip. Your budget should include things like plane tickets, taxi transportation, lodging, food, souvenir shopping, and maybe a little emergency money. 
  • Plan your trip based on the time of year. Depending on when you visit, you may have limited activity or tourism options. If you know exactly where you’d like to visit within NYC, make sure those places will be available (and practical) during your visit. 
  • Book and reserve everything you’ll need well in advance. New York City is a major tourist hotspot, and it gets crowded fast. If you wait until the last minute to get your plane tickets or hotel room, there’s a good chance you’ll be too late! By booking way in advance, you’re sure to have a much more enjoyable and smooth trip. 
  • Get a New York CityPASS (or other pass option). Like we said, NYC can get expensive. But you can definitely visit New York City on a budget using a New York CityPASS, which will help you save forty percent on several of NYC’s most popular attractions and avoid long waits in line. Of course, the New York CityPASS may not be for everyone. There are several options to choose from, so do your research before making a choice! 

What to Bring

Someone Packing Lots of Clothes for Their Upcoming Trip

Packing for any long trip can be stressful, but especially so when visiting a foreign country. Here’s a quick list of things you should bring with you to New York City:

  • Any necessary visas or travel documents
  • A bag or backpack (should be light and comfortable)
  • Good walking shoes
  • A portable charger 
  • A camera (or a cellphone with a high-quality camera)
  • An umbrella
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, etc.)
  • Versatile and comfortable clothing
  • Bug spray + sunscreen
  • First-aid kit
  • Cash (in case a store or restaurant doesn’t accept credit or debit cards)

Remember that the currency in the United States is the US Dollar (USD).

Weather – When is the Best Time to Visit New York City?

The weather in New York City varies throughout the year, though it’s known to be rather cloudy and drizzly year-round. Temperatures tend to be mild (25°F to 85°F, based on the time of year), so you can comfortably visit any time of year depending on your preferences. However, if you come from a warm climate, you may want to bundle up, especially during winter months. If you visit between the months of November and March, there will likely be snow. Therefore, plan your wardrobe accordingly. 

  • From early June to mid-September, NYC experiences its warmest days (usually in the high 70s). 
  • From early December to mid-March, NYC experiences its coldest days (usually below 50°F). 

You can review this information and get a more-detailed look at NYC weather on WeatherSpark.com

There are some activities in New York City that are seasonal (such as the Queens Botanical Garden), so keep this in mind while planning.

Also be sure to pack versatile clothing that you can wear in any weather condition, and dress in layers while you’re there! 

Must-See Places for a 1-3 Day Trip

If you’re going to be in New York City for a limited time (one to three days), you’ll probably want to see the most popular attractions first. Here are three major tourist attractions in New York City we highly recommend! 

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is famous for being one of the tallest buildings in New York City. Actually, it used to be the tallest building in the world, until 1970 when the World Trade Center was built. 

To visit, you must buy tickets either online or in-person once you arrive. Tickets cost anywhere from $42 to $160, depending on how much access to the building you want. The Empire State Building is one of the priciest locations on our list, but it’s also the most popular NYC destination for tourists. 

You can visit the Empire State Building year-round and enjoy its observation decks, beautiful interior, and maybe even the exciting Annual Empire State Building Run-Up

Central Park

An Ice Rink in Central Park, New York City

Central Park opened in 1857, and today receives around 42 million visitors a year. Here’s why you should be one of them:

First of all, this may just be the most budget-friendly location on our list. It’s completely free to enter Central Park, though you’ll need to pay for food, souvenirs, and certain park activities. Inside the park, you’ll find that there’s something for everyone:

  • Kids will love the Central Park Zoo, running around in the grass, and watching the ducks in the ponds.
  • Solo travelers can enjoy a variety of activities and dining experiences.
  • Central Park is a popular place for proposals, weddings, and romantic picnics
  • The park accommodates larger-sized groups, especially for picnics! 
  • There are even “designated quiet zones” throughout the park to help you get peace and relaxation. 

Central Park can certainly be a breath of fresh air from the hustle-and-bustle of New York City. 

Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

A Ferry Boat Going to Ellis Island, with the Statue of Liberty in the Background

The Statue of Liberty was created over the course of several years throughout the 1880s. It came to be seen as a gateway to the U.S. for immigrants on ships going to Ellis Island. If you’re interested in U.S. history or happen to be a history buff, you need to visit these two iconic locations! 

You must purchase tickets and reservations well in advance, but it’s really not too expensive. The ferry ride is just under $20 for adults, with additional charges for access to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Hospital Tours. 

Keep in mind that this location is not completely kid-friendly. If you’re traveling with little ones, you may have limited access to the statue and hospital tours for safety purposes. 

Where to Go if You’re Staying Longer

If you’re spending more than three days in NYC, there are several other locations you’ll have time to visit! 

Times Square

Times Square in the Evening

If you’ll be staying in New York City a little longer, you absolutely need to visit Times Square! This iconic location is where you’ll find Broadway shows, fantastic dining, and an array of seasonal events. 

Perhaps the most popular Times Square activity is the annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Times Square becomes crowded with people from around the country—and the world—who anxiously anticipate watching special celebrity performances, counting down until midnight together, and watching the famous Ball Drop! 

It’s free to enter Times Square, though activities inside the gated area may be a bit pricey. 

The Bronx Zoo

A Panda Bear in a Zoo Enclosure

If you’re traveling with kids, the Bronx Zoo is a must. 

Year-round events and educational talks, plus an astounding variety of animals, make the Bronx Zoo the perfect location for families to spend a few hours. 

Entry into the zoo is roughly $40 for adults, though you should expect to pay extra fees for parking and bringing a stroller. 

Queens Botanical Garden

The Queens Botanical Garden is a gorgeous place to take a stroll, especially if you’re fond of flowers and other plant life. But keep in mind that it’s only open part of the year, from November to March. 

It’s free to enter and enjoy! 

Museum of Modern Art

A Couple Looking at Paintings in an Art Museum

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) features modern artwork from artists around the world. On its website, MoMA boasts a collection of over 200,000 works of art (nearly half of which are available to view online). 

Modern art isn’t for everyone, but if you’re into that kind of thing, MoMA is a must! The museum hosts fun and educational events year-round, such as workshops and lecture panels. Whether you’re traveling alone, with your significant other, or with kids, MoMA has something for everyone! 

Entry into MoMA costs roughly $25 for adults (and is free for kids under sixteen years old). 

Decaying World’s Fair Buildings

In 1964, eighty nations took part in a World Fair based in New York City. The 1964 World Fair was a time for many different peoples to come together and share with each other the most prominent aspects of their cultures. A variety of ethnic restaurants, shops, films, and statues graced the Flushing Meadows and Corona Park area of NYC. Perhaps the coolest part about this area today is the time capsule, set to be open in the year 6964! 

The area is free to visit, and it’s perfect for anyone interested in finding hidden gems. 

You can read some interesting insights on the decaying World’s Fair Buildings on Forgotten-NY.com

The High Line

The High Line is supported by a nonprofit organization in New York City.  It’s a railroad track that once supported trains carrying dairy, meat, and produce, designed in the 1930s to make for a safer West Manhattan area. 

Beginning in the 1960s, trains ran this track less and less frequently as trucking became more popular. In 1999, an order was signed to have the decaying track demolished, but New York citizens and other interested parties from around the world got involved to make sure the track was here to stay. 

Today, this tourist attraction hosts a variety of events, boasts an art collection, and possesses a lovely garden of wildflowers. In addition, you can find tasty restaurants nearby. 

It’s free to check out The High Line, but donations are always appreciated. 

Coney Island

An Amusement Park with a Cotton Candy stand and Ferris Wheel

Coney Island is one of the most iconic locations, not only in New York City, but in the United States as a whole. This area has a long history, having been colonized by the Dutch in the seventeenth century and being the source of several land-related disputes since then.

In the 1800s, Coney Island was transformed into an amusement park with numerous rides and amenities. By the late 1800s, it was the largest amusement in the U.S.

Today, Coney Island consists of two parks and a number of independently-owned rides and amenities. Coney Island USA, a nonprofit organization, hosts a variety of events here year-round. The most notable of these may be the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

Bonus: Dining and Beverages

A Reserved Table Laid Out at a Nice Restaurant

New York City has plenty of fantastic places to dine! However, there are three places in particular we recommend you visit.


Delmonico’s

Delmonico’s was the first fine-dining restaurant in the United States, created in 1837. This steakhouse features a variety of top-notch meals, wines, and desserts, and it’s so fancy you need to wear business casual attire to enter! 

Delmonico’s is a bit pricey, but depending on your budget, we think it’s totally worth it for the experience. This is one of the most famous restaurants to visit in New York City, and one of the most iconic. 

Lombardi’s

While in NYC, you have to try NYC-style pizza! And there’s no better place than in the United States’ first-ever pizzeria, Lombardi’s

Lombardi’s is a little less expensive than Delmonico’s and has several locations, so wherever your NYC travels take you, you’ll be sure to find one close by. 

Astor Wine & Spirits

Are you a wine connoisseur? Or maybe you just enjoy a good beer now and then? 

Then we highly recommend you visit Astor Wine & Spirits during your visit. This eco-friendly business, created in 1886, offers free wine and spirit tastings on an ongoing basis. You can purchase bottles of the wine you taste at a 20% discount (and a 10% discount for other drinks you taste). Perfect for relaxing in your hotel room after a long day of roaming NYC. 

Did I mention they even sell sake

Survival Phrases 

Here are the most important phrases you should know before your trip!

1 – Greetings

A Woman in a Tank Top Waving Hi to Someone

Hello.Say this when you first meet someone.
Good morning / afternoon / evening.Say this when first meeting someone, depending on the time of day.
Nice to meet you.This is a polite phrase to use when someone introduces themself to you.
My name is ___.This is how you can introduce yourself. Simply fill in the blank with your name.
Goodbye. Say this when the conversation ends, right before parting ways. 

Learn how to say Hello, Introduce Yourself, and say Goodbye in English! 

2 – Transportation

A Subway Station in Manhattan, NYC

Where is the bus / train station?Ask someone this to learn where the nearest bus or train station is. 
When does the next bus / train arrive?Ask someone this to learn when to expect the bus or train.
Does the bus / train go to ___?Ask someone this to learn if the bus or train will go to your destination.
How much is a ticket to ___?Ask this to the ticketmaster to learn the price of a ticket to your destination.
A ticket to ___, please.Say this to order a ticket. 

Here’s a more comprehensive list of Phrases You’ll Need at the Bus or Train Station

3 – At a Hotel

A Large Suite in a Hotel

I have a reservation.Say this to the hotel clerk at the front desk if you’ve already booked a room.
What is your availability?Ask the hotel clerk this to learn what rooms are available.
I would like to book a room.Say this to the hotel clerk if you haven’t booked a room yet, and would like to do so.
What time is breakfast?Ask the hotel clerk this to learn what time the hotel’s breakfast is. 
Do you have Wifi?Ask the hotel clerk this to learn whether or not the hotel offers free Wifi.
What is the Wifi password?If so, you can ask the clerk this for the Wifi password.

Also see our vocabulary list of useful Hotel words you should know!

4 – Shopping

A Woman Asking a Store Clerk if She Can Try on a Yellow Dress

How much is ___?Ask a store clerk this to learn how much something is (assuming the price isn’t obvious). 
Do you accept ___?Ask a store clerk this to learn if they accept a certain payment method. For example:

Do you accept credit cards?

Or:

Do you accept cash?
Do you have ___?Ask a store clerk this to learn if the store has something specific you’re looking for. For example:

Do you have a bigger size?

Or:

Do you have any purses?
I like this. / I don’t like this.Use this phrase to let the store clerk (or your shopping buddy!) know that you do or do not like something.
I would like this. Use this phrase to let the stork clerk know that you would like to purchase an item.

Do you think you’ll need more Shopping vocabulary? Check out our vocabulary list! 

5 – Asking for Directions

A Woman Giving a Man Directions

Where is ___?Use this phrase to ask someone where something is.
For example:

Where is the hospital?

Or:

Where is the Museum of Modern Art
How can I get to ___?Use this phrase to ask for more specific directions to a location.
How far away is ___?Use this phrase to ask how far away something is from you.
For example:

How far away is Delmonico’s?

Or:

How far away is the nearest bus stop?
Is ___ close or far from here?Use this phrase to ask whether a location is nearby or far away from you.

Check out our vocabulary lists of helpful Direction / Position words so you can understand the answers you get! 

6 – Essential Questions

Two Women Chatting on the Bus

Do you speak ___?Use this phrase to ask if someone speaks a certain language. For example:
Do you speak Spanish?

Or:

Do you speak Indonesian?
Can you help me, please?Use this phrase to ask someone for help in a polite way.
Where is the bathroom?Use this phrase to ask someone where the bathroom is. 
Can you say that again?Use this phrase to ask someone to repeat what they said if you didn’t hear or understand them.
Can you write that down?Use this phrase to ask someone to write something down for you. 
What is this called?Use this phrase to ask someone what something is called if you’re not sure.

You may also find the following vocabulary lists helpful as you make your way through NYC:


Final Thoughts

Which NYC location sounds the most fun to you, and why? Let us know in the comments! 

We hope our guide on the best places to visit in New York City was helpful to you, and that you have a good idea of what to expect. 

If there’s any way we can be of more help to you before your visit, let us know. But in the meantime, you may find these pages on EnglishClass101.com useful: 

May you have safe travels and a wonderful adventure!

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The Best English Quotes for Every Occasion

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Why are people drawn to quotes? I think it’s because a quote can do one of two things: 

1) Put our existing feelings and opinions into words

2) Help us see things from new perspectives

These are things that everyone needs from time to time, and the quotes that resonate with us may stay with us forever.

In this article, we’ll show you the best English quotes for students of the language! These are quotes that will inspire you, make you think, or make you smile. We’ll explain each quote in detail, so you can understand their background and meaning.

Enjoy!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. Quotes About Success
  2. Quotes About Creativity and Inspiration
  3. Life Quotes in English
  4. Quotes About Time
  5. Love Quotes in English
  6. Quotes About Family
  7. Quotes About Friendship
  8. Quotes About Food
  9. Quotes About Language Learning
  10. Final Thoughts

1. Quotes About Success

A Tall Tree with Sunshine Coming Through the Leaves

We all want to be successful, but not everyone agrees on what success is or how to get there. Here are some motivational quotes in English about success from some very successful people.


“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

Author: Warren Buffet

This quote means that the things we do today will impact the future for someone else. It also refers to the fact that the things we have today were given to us (or “planted”) by those who came before us. 

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”

Author: David Brinkley

If someone throws a brick at you, it’s going to hurt. In this quote, the “bricks” represent negativity or obstacles that other people give you. To be successful, you can’t give up when others don’t believe in you. Instead, you need to keep going, using that negativity to build yourself up toward success. 

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” 

Author: David Frost

The most successful people are those who do what they love, or who are fighting for a cause they believe in. Everyone wants to be successful in one way or another, but you can’t get there by simply striving for perfection. You need to enjoy what you do!

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Author: Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison was a famous American inventor, particularly known for his work in creating a functional light bulb. It took him a lot of time—and many failures—to get it right. 

This quote suggests that he refused to accept defeat, and rather thought of his “failures” as mistakes that would drive him forward toward progress. If you find 10,000 ways that won’t work, it must mean that you’re 10,000 tries closer to finding what will work. 

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” 

Author: Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt was the United States’ First Lady from 1933 to 1945, and is known for her social work during this time. 

This fascinating quote means that people who only gossip or talk about things that happened will never get as far in life as those who discuss ideas. In other words, to be successful, one must look at the bigger picture and not be distracted by things that don’t really matter.

“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.” 

Author: Reba McEntire

In this witty quote from American celebrity Reba McEntire, the “wishbone” refers to hope, the “backbone” refers to strength and courage, and the “funny bone” refers to a sense of humor. As long as you have these three things, you can make it through any tough situation stronger than before.

“A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.” 

Author: Unknown

Diamonds are formed by putting coal under lots of pressure. This quote plays with words to explain how the same thing can happen to people. Sometimes, “pressure” (a bad or stressful situation) can make you a better, more beautiful person (like the coal becomes a diamond). 

“The best is only bought at the cost of great pain.” 

Author: Colleen McCullough

This quote is from Colleen McCullough’s novel The Thorn Birds. This novel focuses on the many painful sacrifices that we must make in order to achieve the thing most important to us. Without making these sacrifices, one can never reach their ultimate goal.

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” 

Author: Leonardo da Vinci

The Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most famous historical figures today, and for good reason. He accomplished many things in a number of fields, particularly in science and the arts. 

This is a longer quote, but the message is simple: In order to achieve great things, you have to make them happen. It’s easy to let life happen to you and make excuses for why you can’t do things. But if you’re serious about achieving your life’s ambitions, you’ll do something about it. 

2. Quotes About Creativity and Inspiration

A Bunch of Kids Finger Painting

Do you consider yourself to be the creative type? Below is a list of quotes about creativity and inspiration to help you keep going on your latest creative project! 


“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” 

Author: Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso was a notable twentieth-century artist and poet, best known for founding the Cubism art form—so he certainly has the authority to speak on creativity! 

Children tend to be very creative and imaginative by nature, and are often drawn toward making things. However, many adults lose the creativity they once fostered as children. According to Picasso, it’s important to maintain that creativity, even as you age. 

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” 

Author: Thomas Edison

This quote means that inspiration isn’t nearly enough to bring a project to fruition; you need to act upon that inspiration, and work really hard to make it come alive. 

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” 

Author: Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman is well known for her involvement with the Underground Railroad in the United States, which was a secret organization working to free African-American slaves during the nineteenth century. 

This quote is meant to inspire anyone with a dream to work toward it. You can always use the tools you have available to you to make a positive change.

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”  

Author: Ray Bradbury

Bradbury explains that in order to successfully complete a creative endeavor, you need to do it. Thinking too much can hinder your creative process, and keep you from putting your ideas to work.

“Some men see things as they are and say why—I dream things that never were and say why not.” 

Author: George Bernard Shaw

Creativity isn’t bound by what we see or what we know already; creativity can stretch much farther than that. To create something worthwhile, it’s important that you don’t keep yourself tied to the world you know. Explore new ideas and bring them to life! 

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” 

Author: Albert Einstein

According to Einstein, creativity happens when you use your knowledge in a way that’s entertaining for you! 

3. Life Quotes in English

A Variety of Chocolates

What is life? Why do we exist? How can we make our lives the best we can? 

No one knows for sure, but the English quotes about life below offer insight from a few notable people (and characters).

“Life is like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re going to get.” 

Author: Forrest Gump

This may be one of the most iconic American quotes ever, and it originates from the movie Forrest Gump. To provide context, we see the main character (Forrest Gump) trying to sell boxes of chocolate in a park, and he sits beside someone on a bench to tell them his life story. He opens with this line. 

In a box of chocolates, there are usually a variety of different chocolate pieces and you don’t know what kind you’ll have until you take a bite. Life is the same way; you don’t know what your life will hold until you experience it, piece by piece.

“Get busy living or get busy dying.” 

Author: Stephen King

This quote means that you can either start living your life to the fullest, or you can simply exist until the day you die. 

“Life is trying things to see if they work.”

Author: Ray Bradbury

As you live your life, you experience many things and make constant decisions. Sometimes these decisions work out well for us; other times, they make things worse or have no effect at all. Life is comprised of these decisions and experiences. 

“I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” 

Author: Nathan Hale

This is another iconic quote, said by American soldier Nathan Hale during the time of the American Revolutionary War. When he said this, he meant that he loved his country so much that he would die for it again if he could. 

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” 

Author: Dolly Parton

We all find ourselves dissatisfied with our lives at some point. When this happens, it’s important to remember that we’re not stuck on that “road”; we can always do things to start making our lives better. 

“What comes easy won’t last long, and what lasts long won’t come easy.” 

Author: Unknown

In life, the best things are those that we earn through lots of hard work. When we try to get these good things without hard work, they’re not going to be worthwhile.

“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.” 

Author: Unknown

This is a great quote to remember, especially on the toughest days. It’s important to remember that even when everything is falling apart, there’s at least one good thing that you can still appreciate. 

“Every day above ground is a good day.”

Author: Unknown

Similar to the quote above, this one means that you should appreciate something about every day. As long as you’re “above ground” (alive), your day can’t really be that bad, can it?

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” 

Author: Mark Twain

When you’re born, you’re brought into existence; when you discover what you’re meant to do with that existence, it gives your life meaning and purpose.

4. Quotes About Time

Nebulae in the Night Sky

Now, let’s look at some of the best English quotes about time, one of life’s greatest mysteries.

“Time and tide wait for no man.”

Author: Geoffrey Chauncer

Here, “tide” refers to the ocean’s waves, and how they shift according to the moon’s pull. This quote is basically saying that time and nature’s cycles will go on, whether you’re ready for it or not. So use your time wisely!

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” 

Author: C.S. Lewis

If you’ve ever done something you regretted, or wish that a certain part of your life had been different, you know how it feels to wish that you could go back in time to change things. This quote is saying that while going back is impossible, you can do things today that will make your future better.

“For age is opportunity no less / Than youth itself, though in another dress / And as the evening twilight fades away / The sky is filled with stars invisible by day.” 

Author: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This is from one of my favorite poems, by renowned nineteenth-century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sometimes, it can feel like time is slipping away, and we’re afraid that as we get older, we’ll lose opportunities. But at the same time, age and the passing of time can bring new opportunities that we didn’t have before. 

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

Author: Steve Jobs

It’s easy to live your life based on other people’s opinions, or to compare yourself to other people. But by doing this, you’re robbing yourself of the ability to live your own life, how you want to.

“Forever is composed of nows.” 

Author: Emily Dickinson

We only have this moment to live in. “Forever” is made up of every moment a person has experienced. In other words, every moment you have is infinitely important and valuable; enjoy each moment, and make the most of your time.

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”

Author: William Penn

How many times have you said “I need more time,” or “There’s not enough time”? After all, time and tide wait for no man…

We all wish that we had more time, but we also tend to use the time we do have poorly. This quote is basically saying that instead of wishing for more time, we should make better use of what time we have.

“There’s only one thing more precious than our time, and that’s who we spend it on.” 

Author: Leo Christopher

We spend time with the people who are important to us, and we even spend time doing things for them. If we’re willing to spend time on them, they must be very precious to us.

5. Love Quotes in English

A Couple Holding Hands and Watching the Sunset

Are you a hopeless romantic? In a serious relationship with the love of your life? Just reading this section because it’s here? Let’s have a look at some popular love quotes in English! 


“The best feeling is when you look at him and he is already staring.”

Author: Unknown

Have you ever had this experience? It’s nice to know that the person you love thinks about you as often as you think about them. 

“Thank you for always being my rainbow after the storm.”

Author: Unknown

This is something sweet you can say to your significant other (or even a best friend). Just like a rainbow after a storm, the person we love is something beautiful we can look forward to after a bad time. 

“The course of true love never did run smooth.” 

Author: William Shakespeare

It’s tempting to think of love as a smooth, straight path where everything is perfect. But this is never the case. 

Every serious relationship is going to have bumps along the way, and every couple will eventually run into problems. But this is the test of true love.

“Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.” 

Author: William Congreve

You may be wondering how this is a love quote… Well, this is something that some women say jokingly, perhaps even to their significant other. It’s basically saying: If you make a woman angry, you’d better watch out! Sometimes you hear this quote used in other contexts too, like politics, to underscore a woman’s ferocity or toughness. 

“Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”

Author: Robert Frost

Have you ever been completely in love with someone, and wish they would return your feelings? According to poet Robert Frost, this is a sign that you really love someone. 

“Years of love have been forgot in the hatred of a minute.” 

Author: Edgar Allen Poe

To end this section on English love quotes, here’s a more depressing aspect of love we often overlook. I think this quote actually has two meanings. 

On the one hand, we should be careful of how we treat the person we love. Hurting someone badly enough, even if you’ve loved each other for years, can be enough to make them leave. 

On the other hand, we should also be careful about how we respond when someone we love hurts us. It’s easy to become angry, even to the point of hate, so we should be careful not to let that anger disrupt all the love there was before.

6. Quotes About Family

A Couple Walking on the Beach with Their Daughter

We may not always get along with our families, but family is still an essential aspect of life. Here are some popular English sayings and quotes about family! 


“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” 

Author: David Ogden Stiers

If you’ve ever seen the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch, you’re probably familiar with this one. It basically means that you should never abandon your family, because each family member is precious.

“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” 

Author: Michael J. Fox

Nothing should ever be as important to you as your family; without your family, you have nothing.

“You can’t choose your family.”

Author: Unknown

This is a very common quote in the United States. People usually say it to express that we don’t always get along with our family members, but there’s nothing we can do to change who our family is. We’re stuck with them, so we should make the most of our familial relationships. 

“Family is like a batch of brownies; you always have a few nuts.”

Author: Unknown

Brownies are a favorite chocolate dessert for many Americans, and some people make them with nuts baked inside. “Nut” is also a word we use to describe a person who’s a little crazy or not quite right in the head. People jokingly (and lovingly) use this quote to describe the fact that every family has a few people who are kind of crazy. 

“Home is where you are loved the most and act the worst.” 

Author: Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Let’s admit it: We all tend to act differently at home with our family than we do anywhere else. And it’s not always a good thing. 

This quote means that the love of family is so strong that your family will put up with you when you’re at your worst. 

7. Quotes About Friendship

Best Friends Hugging Each Other

If you’re lucky enough to have a best friend or a close circle of friends, you’ll love these friendship quotes in English! 


“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

Author: Walter Winchell

True friends are special. Like family, a good friend will stay with you during your worst times, when everyone else would simply leave. 

“Friends are born, not made.” 

Author: Henry Adams

A lot of people use the phrase “making friends” when they talk about becoming friendly and developing relationships with people. But a friendship isn’t something that’s made; it’s something that needs time to grow before being “born.” In a sense, friendship is a precious living thing, not an object.

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” 

Author: Michael Corleone (The Godfather character)

Why should you keep your enemies closer than your friends? Because this way, you can keep an eye on them, gain their trust, and get the upper hand! 

“There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.” 

Author: Jim Henson

Have you ever met someone, and instantly felt a friendship connection? Or have you ever sat down to talk with your best friend of many years, and reflected back on your first meeting? I think that’s what Jim Henson was talking about here. 

“Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer.” 

Author: Ed Cunningham

In the United States, it’s very common to ask how someone is, and not really listen to their answer (if you give them time to answer, at all!). 

You know that someone really cares about you when they wait to hear what you have to say. 

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” 

Author: Elisabeth Foley

Even when you’re far away from your closest friends, a true friendship allows you to stay in each other’s lives no matter what comes.

“Some souls just understand each other upon meeting.” 

Author: N.R. Hart

If you’ve ever known right away that someone was going to be a good friend, you’ve probably experienced this feeling—like two puzzle pieces clicking together. 

8. Quotes About Food

A Group of Friends Eating Dinner Together

Our list of English quotes wouldn’t be complete without some words of appreciation for good food. This section is for the foodies, the cooks, and anyone who appreciates a good meal. 

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” 

Author: Julia Child

I think this quote from the famous cooking teacher Julia Child says it all. 

“Let food be thy (your) medicine and medicine be thy (your) food.” 

Author: Hippocrates

This quote from Hippocrates (the Greek “Father of Medicine”) means that the food you eat should be good for you, like medicine is when you’re sick. In a sense, food and medicine are similar to each other in nature. A  good diet can keep you healthy and even make you feel better.

“I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.” 

Author: W.C. Fields

If you’re looking for funny quotes in English that are also relatable, here you go. Usually when someone “cooks with wine,” it means that they use it as an ingredient when cooking. Here, Fields plays with words to explain that “cooking with wine” means he drinks it while cooking. 

“Eating is so intimate. It’s very sensual. When you invite someone to sit at your table and you want to cook for them, you’re inviting a person into your life.” 

Author: Maya Angelou

This quote from Maya Angelou expresses the opinion that eating with someone is a major occasion. Cooking for another person, in particular, is a sign of friendship and care. 

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” 

Author: Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

This quote basically means that what a person eats can say a lot about them. A more popular variation of this quote is the expression: “You are what you eat.”

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

To end this section, a quote from famous fantasy writer J.R.R. Tolkien

There are things much more important in life than gold (wealth), and recognizing those things will make you and the people around you happier. In this case, Tolkien uses food, cheer, and song as examples. 

9. Quotes About Language Learning

A Woman Covering Her Face with a Book and Laughing

These quotes are perfect for any language-learner who needs a bit of motivation. No matter where you are in your language-learning journey, these words are sure to make you feel refreshed and ready to keep going.


“Language is wine upon the lips.” 

Author: Virginia Woolf

This quote refers to the beauty of language, and how sweet it can be when used well. 

“Any time you think some other language is strange, remember that yours is just as strange, you’re just used to it.” 

Author: Unknown

Starting to learn a new language is very daunting, and in many cases, we’re not used to how that language works. It’s tempting to believe that a new language is impossible to learn, and give up. But by remembering that your language is weird too, you’ll be more motivated to continue learning that new language.

“Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.” 

Author: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Our native tongue is something that comes natural to us, and oftentimes, it’s something that we’re forced to learn as we grow up. It’s not until you learn another language that you start to understand language itself. 

“Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.”

Author: Benjamin Lee Whorf

You may be familiar with the concept that language can influence the way someone thinks about the world. But it can go even farther than this; language can also limit what you’re able to think about, and by learning a new language, you can broaden your horizons! 

“If any language scratches your mind, that language is going to disappear as soon as you reach the threshold of the school door. But if that language scars your mind, it will last forever.”

Author: Safir Kassim Boudjelal

This quote means that in order to really master a language, you can’t just stop after the basics. You need to go all-in, and make sure that what you’re learning leaves a scar in your mind! 

10. Final Thoughts

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In this article, you read several English quotes on life and love, learning and food. We hope that these quotes inspired you, resonated with you, made you laugh, and gave you even more reasons to keep learning English! 

What were your favorite quotes from this article, and why? What are some popular quotes in your language? We look forward to hearing what you have to say! 

Finally, if you want to make sure that you get an English “scar” in your mind and expand your world, check out EnglishClass101.com and everything we have to offer! Free resources and vocabulary lists are waiting for you, and by creating your free lifetime account today, you’ll get access to tons of fun and effective lessons. 

We look forward to having you. 😉

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