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45 Proverbs in English to Start Using Today


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?

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  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. 


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.” 


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


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

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

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 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. 


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?


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?


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?


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?


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?


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 useful: 

May you have safe travels and a wonderful adventure!

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An English Learner’s Guide to American Culture


As an individualistic country that’s home to people of numerous cultures, the United States has not one cultural identity, but many. 

Learning about American culture, values, and lifestyle is a great way to immerse yourself in the English language. Whether you’re just curious about what life in the United States looks like, or you plan on moving to the country soon, the information in this article will help you better understand what to expect. 

You’ll learn about a variety of topics, from religion to food, and walk away with a clearer image of the American culture basics. 

Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. Values and Beliefs
  2. Religion in the United States
  3. What is an American Family?
  4. American Work Culture
  5. Art: The Gateway to Self-Expression
  6. Food
  7. Traditional Holidays
  8. Final Thoughts

1. Values and Beliefs

The American Flag

Every country was built upon values and beliefs that define it. There are many values that Americans hold near to their hearts, so, here, I’ll outline the most prevalent ones.

Keep in mind that while these are American ideals, the United States is a melting pot of cultures, religions, and ideologies. As such, these basic values of American culture may be experienced differently from person to person.

IndividualismAmericans take pride in being unique individuals. In addition, we tend to focus our attention on personal happiness and satisfaction, as opposed to what’s better for others. 
IndependenceThis applies to the country as a whole, and to individual Americans. As a country, America strives to be independent from other countries; as a people, Americans value independence in other areas of life (such as caring for one’s own needs).
DemocracyDemocracy is a cornerstone of American culture. In a democracy, people vote for representatives who will work for the people. In our democracy, everyone over the age of eighteen is allowed to vote, and the majority wins. 
JusticeJustice means that people get what they deserve. If someone does good, they should be rewarded. If they do wrong or commit a crime, they should be punished according to that injustice or crime. 
EqualityThough America has had a rocky past in terms of equality, this is a value that’s becoming more and more prevalent in the country. We believe that every person, regardless of race, sex, age, or any other factor, should be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else.
CompetitionAmericans are very competitive. Our schools and workplaces are practically built around competition, with those who work the hardest, get the best grades, and put in the most time, are rewarded with honors or higher positions. 
CapitalismCapitalism is an economic system that promotes personal wealth accumulation, the owning of private property, and an individual’s ability to attain more wealth and belongings.
YouthIn the United States, it seems that everyone is obsessed with youth—that is, the ability to look and feel young and healthy. Some people spend a lot of money on makeup, lotions, medications, cosmetic surgeries, and special foods or vitamins that they think will help them achieve this. 
Self-expressionThis is sort of a step further than individualism. Americans, especially the younger generations, think of self-expression as a thing to be cherished and taken full advantage of. They often express themselves through the clothes they wear and the opinions they give.

Want to learn more about American culture and society? See our lesson on the Top Five Things You Need to Know About American Society

2. Religion in the United States

An Old Man with Glasses Reading the Bible

The United States is a country founded on the principle of religious freedom. This gives U.S. citizens the freedom to believe any religion (or no religion) and to worship according to their beliefs. As such, the United States doesn’t identify with a single religion, and you’ll find people of just about any religion here! 

That said, Christianity is the most prominent religion in the United States. Just under half of U.S. citizens identify as Protestant Christians, and around twenty percent identify as Catholic. There are also plenty of Christians who don’t identify with a single denomination (non-denominational) or who belong to a smaller subset of Christianity. 

Because the United States is such a melting pot of peoples and cultures, there are also many people who identify as Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic, Mormon, and a handful of other religions.

Lately, there’s been a growing trend toward atheism (no belief in a god or gods) and agnosticism (the doubt that a god or gods exist). This is especially true of the younger generations, generally those under the age of thirty. 

In American culture, religion is a common topic of discussion and many people see their religion as part of their identity. You can read more about the religious demographics of the United States on  

3. What is an American Family?

A Family at a Park Flying a Kite Together

The average nuclear family.

Over the years, what a “typical” family looks like has evolved. Several decades ago, the average family was labeled the “nuclear family,” consisting of a father, a mother, and their children. 

Recently, there are more and more families across the United States that don’t look like this. This is due to a number of factors, including:

  • Higher divorce rates
  • Fewer couples having children (or having fewer children)
  • An increase in single-parenting (where one mother or one father raises their children alone)

In light of these changes, there’s also been an increasing trend toward “step families.” This happens when a couple with children divorces, and one or both of the divorced parents remarries. Children in situations like this receive a “stepparent” (the new spouse of their biological parent), as well as step-siblings (if the new spouse also had children from a previous relationship). 

In addition, the United States is becoming more and more open to what families, romantic relationships, and marriages should look like: 

  • Many couples in the U.S. choose to live together before they marry. 
  • Some couples choose not to marry at all.
  • LGBTQ marriages and civil unions are largely accepted in thirty-seven states.

In the United States, gender roles are quite flexible, and becoming even more flexible over time. There are plenty of working women and men who stay at home to take care of the children (though the latter is less common). In many households, both the man and woman work. 

Children in the U.S. are expected to attend school. The ages that a child must attend school varies from one state to another, but it’s generally from the ages of seven to eighteen. Educational opportunities vary. Most children attend public or private schools. Some private schools have a religious affiliation, but not all. Some children are even homeschooled (taught at home, usually by a parent), although specific regulations regarding home schooling vary from state to state. 

4. American Work Culture

A Bunch of People Working at Computers in an Office

There’s no single type of work atmosphere in the United States, though most companies and workplaces do share a few things in common:

  • There’s generally a clear structure of hierarchy.
  • It’s important to be punctual for all work-related activities.
  • Formality levels and dress codes vary greatly depending on the company/workplace. 

Americans often feel that their job should be fulfilling, and many also believe that their work defines who they are. Perhaps this is why many Americans, especially the younger generations, tend to change jobs often

In addition, many Americans feel the need for achievement and competition in their work. The American workplace practically revolves around competition, especially in larger companies. Coworkers may try to outdo each other in work performance or put in extra hours to impress their superiors. This is usually done in hopes of getting a promotion or a raise in their salary.

But despite the competitive nature of work in the United States, most Americans agree that work isn’t everything. We definitely enjoy our time off! Whether this means going out with friends after a long day, staying at home with a glass of wine in the evening, or planning fun weekend activities with family, Americans highly value relaxation and entertainment.

That said, the United States is surprisingly behind the rest of the world in terms of vacation days and paid time off. Only three-quarters of employers offer their employees vacation days, and those that do, don’t offer nearly as many as employers in other countries do! Generally, American workers are allowed more days off per year the more years they’ve worked at a particular company (starting with ten days off after one year).

5. Art: The Gateway to Self-Expression

Perhaps due to our love of self-expression, Americans tend to enjoy many different types of art. Here, I’ll outline what you should know about various artforms in the United States.

A- Painting

A Paint Brush and Different Colored Paints

In the eighteenth century, paintings in colonial America were largely influenced by British painters and aesthetics. During this time, most artists were self-taught and their work usually illustrated historical and religious subjects. 

Painters in the nineteenth century began focusing more on rural scenes as the United States underwent exploration and expansion. In the later years of this century, American artists received influence from French artists, particularly in the form of Impressionism.

The twentieth century saw Realism and controversy find its way into American paintings. At this point in time, American artists began to turn their back on what was considered the “right” way of making art, and individuality began to emerge during this era’s paintings. One of the most famous paintings from this time is called American Gothic by Grant Wood. This century was also a time of growth and change in the country itself, and made way for abstract art and art by African Americans

Today, there’s no one style of art that’s considered the best or most popular. This falls in line with the American culture of individualism, and is thought to be the result of cultural pluralism.

You can read a more detailed review of art in the United States on Wikipedia

B- Literature

A Librarian Putting Books Back on a Shelf

The United States has a rich literary history, and it’s become a melting pot of literary styles, tastes, and voices. I can’t cover everything, but I’ll outline the basics for you. 

Most Famous American Writers of the Past

Most Famous WorksAdditional Notes
Benjamin Franklin
Poor Richard’s Almanack
Father Abraham’s Sermon
The Way to Wealth
He often wrote under the pseudonym Richard Saunders.

Many popular modern-day adages are attributed to him. 
Edgar Allen Poe
The Raven
The Tell-Tale Heart
The Fall of the House of Usher
He wrote mostly poetry and short stories.

Poe is known for his dark, psychological, and often grotesque writing style and themes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Divinity School AddressEmerson is known for his strong transcendental themes and philosophies. 
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Old Times on the Mississippi
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
His real name was Samuel Clemens, but he wrote under the pseudonym Mark Twain.

Twain’s work was both highly controversial and well-admired. 

He often used elements of humor in his writings about darker topics.
Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea
The Sun Also Rises
A Farewell to Arms
Hemingway wrote using a style he coined the “iceberg theory.”

Much of his writing focused on naturalism and gender issues.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby
This Side of Paradise
Tender is the Night
Fitzgerald’s work largely covered the Jazz Age of the U.S.

Many people call his book, The Great Gatsby, “The Great American Novel.”
John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men
The Grapes of Wrath
Tortilla Flat
Steinbeck won a Nobel Prize in 1962. 

His work has been described as “imaginative” and “socially perceptive.”
Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird
Go Set a Watchman
Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel To Kill a Mockingbird in 1961. 

In 2015, the novel’s sequel Go Set a Watchman was published. Later, it was found to actually be the first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Famous Poets

Most Famous WorksAdditional Notes
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Paul Revere’s Ride
The Song of Hiawatha
The Courtship of Miles Standish
Longfellow was a member of The Fireside Poets, a group of poets who gained much popularity and associated themselves with New England.

He translated Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.

His poetry was both lyrical and versatile.
Emily Dickinson
The Poems of Emily Dickinson
(poetry collection, 1955)
Most of Dickinson’s work wasn’t published until after her death. 

Her poetry often employed the use of dashes and capital letters. 

Much of her work focused on the concept of death.
Walt Whitman
Leaves of Grass (poetry collection, 1855)
Song of Myself
Whitman was known for writing very sensual poetry.

Much of his work employed free verse and cadence. 

Leaves of Grass wasn’t published until after his death, because he revised it continuously until then.

American Literature Today

In the United States, reading tastes vary greatly from person to person. A few popular genres include:

  • Mystery / Crime
  • Sci-fi / Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Romance
  • Historical Fiction
  • Action / Adventure
  • Classic Literature

Popular names today include Stephen King, James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Ray Bradbury, Danielle Steel, Dean Koontz, and Nora Roberts. And you can’t forget the fantasy giants J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, whose works are much-beloved even today. 

C- Music

An Ameteur Rock Band Playing in a Garage

Like in its other artistic endeavors, American music is not bound by a single element or genre. Globalization has added to the United States’s melting pot of musical styles, and one can find just about any type of music being played on the radio, on music streaming sites, or even on the streets. 

Some of the most popular music genres in the United States include:

  • Rock 
  • Classic Rock
  • Pop
  • Country
  • Rap
  • Hip-Hop

Other genres include, but are not limited to:

  • Folk
  • Metal
  • Classical
  • Opera
  • Blues
  • Reggae
  • Indie/Alt Rock
  • Jazz

It’s not uncommon to find today’s artists mixing different musical genres to create more unique sounds, and to better express a point they’re trying to make or feelings they want to express. 

In the U.S., younger generations have also developed quite a liking for K-Pop music, and other types of music from other cultures! 

D- Architecture

A Series of Skyscrapers in Los Angeles, California

American architecture tends to be innovative, and there’s no one style that defines it. 

Our architecture draws influence from a number of other cultures and time periods, most notably European, English, Spanish, and Greek. 

Perhaps above all else, the United States is known for creating the first skyscraper. This building was called the Home Insurance Building, and it was built in Chicago in the mid-1880s. At 138 feet tall, this building led the way for the creation of even taller, more impressive skyscrapers in the United States and around the world.

Some famous buildings in the United States include:

You can read more about these buildings and their creators on! 

E- Body Art / Self-Expression

A Woman with an Arm Tattoo and Nose Piercing Crossing Her Arms and Smiling

Self-expression and individuality are core characteristics of American culture. Today, many people—especially the younger generations—tend to express their individuality through body art. 

Body art is a fairly vague term, but it refers to using one’s body as a way of reflecting who they are and what they feel. Tattoos, body piercings, hairstyles and colors, and clothing choices are just a handful of ways that Americans typically do this. 

The concept of body art has become so popular in the United States that there are even body art competitions on TV

A cultural tip: If you’ve never been to the United States before, and you’re from a culture that doesn’t prioritize individualism in the same way the US does, you may experience some culture shock. And that’s okay. Just remember that in the United States, it’s generally considered rude to stare, point, or call someone out for dressing or looking a certain way. 

6. Food

A Hamburger on a Sesame Seed Bun

Like every other aspect of U.S. culture, our cuisine consists of elements from a variety of cultures and countries. A lot of our foods are dishes that have been adapted from other cultures, or “Americanized.”

One notable feature of American food culture is our love for fast food! Americans tend to keep busy and don’t like “wasting” time waiting on food to be prepared (or cooking it themselves), especially around lunchtime. Whether grabbing a breakfast burrito through the McDonald’s drive-thru before work, heading to Burger King for a quick lunch, or getting a Popeye’s chicken sandwich over the weekend, you can see Americans going through drive-thrus all day, every day! It’s cheap, fast, and addicting. 

Perhaps the only thing we love more than a quick bite to eat is actually sitting down in a nice restaurant and having someone cook for us. This is a bit pricier, but the quality and dining experience are worth it! 😉 

Of course, it’s still fairly common for families and individuals to cook and eat at home, especially for dinner on weekdays. 

Some of the most popular American foods include burgers, hot dogs, apple pie, and chocolate chip cookies. Many Americans also enjoy a variety of drinks and beverages with their meals; some of the most popular options are soft drinks, fruit juices or other fruit-flavored drinks, and alcoholic beverages (wine and beer, especially). In the morning, many Americans love a cup (or seven) of coffee, and some people consume milk or other dairy products with breakfast as well. 

You can read more detailed information about current U.S. eating trends on this official government website

7. Traditional Holidays

In the United States, we celebrate lots of holidays, both religious and non-religious. 

A- Religious

As mentioned earlier, most Americans identify as Christian, so two of our biggest holidays are associated with Christianity. These are Christmas and Easter, both of which are also celebrated secularly. 


A Warm Christmas Scene with a Christmas Tree and Fireplace

Christians celebrate Christmas as the day that Jesus was born. Popular activities include going to a Christmas Eve service the evening before, reading Bible stories associated with Jesus’s birth, and giving gifts to family members and other loved ones. 

In addition, many families will put up a Christmas tree in their home a couple of weeks before the holiday and decorate it with ornaments, tensile, and sometimes a star or angel on top. Around Christmastime, you can expect to see people’s yards decorated with things like inflatable snowmen and Christmas lights. All of the radio stations will play nonstop Christmas music and carols, and companies do a lot of marketing around this time. 

Most U.S. children are told the story of Santa Claus, and they wait all year long to receive presents from him on Christmas Day (if they’ve been good all year, that is). 

Many families will have a special Christmas dinner, prepare seasonal desserts, and invite extended family over to celebrate the holiday together. 


An Easter Image with Green Grass, Easter Eggs, and a Rabbit

Easter is celebrated as the day that Jesus was resurrected three days after his crucifixion. It’s common for there to be a sunrise service on this day, during which Christians hold a service outdoors, sing worship songs, and read Bible passages related to Jesus’s resurrection. 

For some, Easter is strictly a religious holiday. For others, Easter is celebrated separately from specific religious practice. 

Other activities include painting eggs, putting candy or money inside of plastic eggs and hiding them for children to find, and simply enjoying the spring weather. 

The Easter Bunny is a fictional character associated with Easter, and children believe that this character is the one who hides the eggs. 

B- Non-Religious

There are plenty of non-religious and secular holidays in the United States as well. These include, but aren’t limited to:

Halloween (October 31)

A Group of Children Dressed in Costumes and Trick-or-treating

Halloween originates from a pagan holiday that used to take place around the same time. 

On this day, many children dress up in costumes (usually scary, but sometimes cute or ones that look like a favorite superhero/character). On Halloween night, they walk around their neighborhood, knock on people’s doors, and say “Trick or Treat” to get candy or small toys. 

People like to decorate their homes and yards with things that are spooky, such as fake spiderwebs, jack-o-lanterns, and witches or zombies that can talk and move. Oftentimes, local community centers or libraries will hold special Halloween events for kids and adults. 

Independence Day (July 4)

A Sparkler in Front of the U.S. Flag

This is the date in 1776 that the United States gained independence from Great Britain. 

Americans often celebrate this day by hanging the American Flag, having barbeques with friends and family, and watching firework displays that night. In some places, people are allowed to buy their own fireworks to set off, in addition to sparklers and similar products. 

    → Learn more about the Fourth of July in this blog post, and pick up some relevant vocab while you’re at it!

Thanksgiving (Fourth Thursday of November)

A Family Eating Thanksgiving Dinner

On Thanksgiving, Americans are encouraged to be grateful for what they have. 

On this day, Americans prepare a large Thanksgiving dinner and eat with family or friends. Sometimes, families with young children will have everyone at the table take turns saying what they’re most grateful for. 

New Year’s Eve (December 31)

Four Glasses of Champagne behind a Clock

On New Year’s Eve, Americans prepare for the New Year. 

We stay up late that night, until midnight or later, usually at a special New Year’s party or with family. Americans often indulge in champagne and other alcoholic beverages to celebrate, and the celebrations reach their peak right at midnight. 

In New York, many people gather to watch the famous Ball Drop (and people who couldn’t make it to New York may watch it on the television). 

Memorial Day (Last Monday of May)

A Small American Flag in Front of a Veteran’s Tombstone

On Memorial Day, Americans remember those who lost their lives in service to their country. 

Many people visit the graves of loved ones who have died, and place flowers on or around their tombstone. In addition, families may gather together in remembrance of departed loved ones, and there are honorary parades in some cities.

Super Bowl Sunday (Early February)

Football Players Tackling Each Other

Super Bowl Sunday is all about American football! 

This is when the NFL (National Football League) holds its annual championship football game. On this day, family and friends often get together at home to watch the game on TV. People eat on this day like they do on Thanksgiving! Popular foods on Superbowl Sunday include buffalo wings, chips and dip (especially guacamole), nachos, beer, and soft drinks. 

8. Final Thoughts

American culture and traditions are not easily defined, as you can probably tell by now. Due to the strong presence of individualism, every person you encounter will have their own set of values, beliefs, preferences, and experiences. 

How does American culture compare to your country? Share your thoughts with us in the comments, and see what your fellow English-learners have to say! 

We only scratched the surface here, and there’s a lot more to learn about American culture and lifestyle. Luckily, caters to your curiosity with hundreds of fun, accessible lessons. Create your free lifetime account today, and start learning English like never before with our audio and video lessons, free vocabulary lists, and insightful blog posts like this one. 

We hope to see you around. 😉

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The Best American Food: All of the Dishes You Have to Try!


According to, Americans eat thirteen billion hamburgers every year, about 3 billion pizzas, and 2 million tons of french fries. Holy moly. 

In the United States, we really do love our American fast food (and our Mexican fast food, Chinese fast food, and all other types of fast foods…). 

That said, not all typical American food is super-unhealthy or purchased at a drive-thru window. American food culture is rather versatile, including a mix of all-American classics, meals passed along from Great Britain, and even traditional foods from other cultures. 

Exploring a country’s food and eating habits is a fantastic way to learn about that country and its people. In this article, I’ll introduce you to:

  • Several popular American foods
  • Foods that are hard to find outside the United States
  • Useful food-related vocab
  • Three American recipes to make at home

Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Let's Cook in English Table of Contents
  1. Must-Try Dishes in U.S. Restaurants
  2. Overseas vs. Authentic U.S. Food
  3. Unique U.S. Cuisine
  4. Food-Related Vocabulary
  5. Bonus: American Food Recipes You Can Make at Home
  6. Final Thoughts

1. Must-Try Dishes in U.S. Restaurants

Trying out new restaurants is my favorite part of traveling, How about you? In the following sections, I’ll show you a few of the most famous American foods you should try during your travels in the U.S. 

A- Breakfast

There are so many American breakfast foods that I couldn’t possibly list them all here. While it’s true that many Americans skip breakfast altogether or eat a simple bowl of cereal, there are three breakfast dishes that you need to try during your visit! 

Biscuits & Gravy

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

I grew up eating my grandma’s biscuits & gravy recipe, so I had to include this one. It’s breakfast comfort food at its finest. 

Biscuits & gravy (sometimes called gravy & biscuits) is exactly what it sounds like: biscuits with gravy. The biscuits can be made from scratch, though they can also be the kind you pop out of a can and put in the oven. The gravy is usually a thick, creamy combination of flour, milk, some kind of animal fat, and meat (sausage is the most popular). 

Biscuits & gravy is especially popular in the southern United States, so do be sure to order this dish while eating out in the southern U.S. Just about any cafe or breakfast chain should have this on the menu.

Eggs & Bacon 

Eggs and Bacon with Sausage, Hash Browns, and Toast

This is another classic American breakfast dish, also named after its sole components. Generally, the eggs are either fried or scrambled, and the bacon is fried in a pan. Growing up, I always ate this breakfast with the eggs fried in bacon fat (very unhealthy, but so good). 

From my personal experience, “eggs & bacon” usually comes with other sides. These can vary based on where you are, but toast, grits, and fresh fruit are common. 

I recommend this dish because it’s simply an American staple and so tasty. 

Chicken & Waffles

Chicken and Waffles

This is another popular breakfast item in the south (though it can also be eaten for lunch or dinner). As this recipe continues to grow in popularity throughout the United States, one can find many variations of it. 

Traditionally, the dish, known as “chicken & waffles,” consists of fried chicken, waffles, and maple syrup. Some varieties are made with grilled chicken, a chicken salad mixture, and different kinds of waffles. 

I recommend this dish because of its growing status in the United States, and its increasing availability in breakfast chains across the country. 

B- Lunch / Dinner

Food palates, eating habits, and local ingredients vary widely from one area of the U.S. to another. For this reason, I struggled to keep this list short. Following are some examples of lunch- and dinner-time American food items you need to try next time you’re at a restaurant! 

Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad
Photo by Elizabeth under CC BY 2.0

The Cobb salad is a classic American dish, dating back to the 1920s or 1930s. This is a salad that’s generally made with four types of salad greens, tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled egg, chicken, and cheese (usually Roquefort). 

I recommend this dish because it’s a semi-healthy American food classic, super-tasty, and something you probably won’t find outside the United States. Give it a try (and learn how to make it yourself at the end of this article)! 


New York Pizza

While pizza is not “classic” American food, the United States does have two very unique takes on this dish: New York-style pizza and Chicago-style pizza.

The New York version is quite similar to the traditional Italian version, with a thin but wide crust, a little tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and sometimes additional ingredients. 

The Chicago version, on the other hand, is very different. It comes in a few different varieties, but its most defining feature is a very thick crust. There are a few different types known as “deep-dish,” “stuffed,” and “party-cut thin-crust.”

Of course, you can always order a simpler pizza from American food chains like Domino’s or Pizza Hut, both of which you can find just about anywhere in the country. 

If you’re surprised at how many pizza varieties the United States has, it’s simply because of our long-time love affair with pizza…

Philly Cheesesteak

The Philly Cheesesteak (also called the Philadelphia cheesesteak), is an all-American sandwich that originated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1930s. The main ingredients in this dish are beef, onion, and cheese, put on some sandwich bread. 

This is a fantastic comfort food, especially if you want some decent American fast food. You can generally order the philly cheesesteak in different varieties, such as one made with chicken instead of beef; there’s even a vegan version. 

Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are most popular in the state of California, so if you plan on visiting Cali, do try its famous fish tacos. 

The content of a fish taco can vary, though it’s generally some kind of fried, breaded white fish topped with cabbage and a special sauce, placed in a corn tortilla. As far as American food goes, fish tacos are actually pretty healthy. 😉


A BBQ with Meat and Veggies

Though BBQ is not uniquely American, we do have our own barbeque varieties, and many American neighborhoods smell of barbeque during summer…

The kind of barbeque you can expect to find depends on where in the United States you are. Each region, and each state, has its own special varieties. Generally, a barbeque meal consists of meat (usually pork or beef), which is cooked with smoke from a grill and served (or prepared) with special seasonings or sauces. 

Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

There are several varieties of clam chowder in the United States, though the two most popular are New England clam chowder and Manhattan clam chowder. 

The New England variety is often a thick chowder made with milk or cream, and also contains potatoes, clam meat, and onions. The Manhattan variety is quite different, having a tomato base; it’s thought to have been the creation of Portuguese immigrants in the U.S. 

C- Dessert

When on vacation, you can’t skip the dessert. Here are three of the most popular and widespread American desserts. 

Apple Pie

Apple Pie with a Slice Taken Out

Apple pie is considered the most American food out there (even though it originated in Britain…), so it’s a must. 

Generally, an apple pie consists of a handmade pie crust, in which there’s a sweet apple compote, sometimes with cinnamon and brown sugar. It’s served warm, and more often than not, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  

Banana Split

A Banana Split

The banana split is a classic dessert, enjoyed by Americans for many, many years. Despite its simplicity, it never fails to amaze the taste buds! 

A banana split is usually served in a long dessert dish. One or two bananas are split in half, placed in the dish, and covered with scoops of ice cream and other toppings. If you’re into cold, creamy desserts, do try a banana split! (Learn how to make one at home at the end of this article.)


Cheesecake with Raspberry Topping

Not everyone likes cheesecake, but you should definitely give it a try. 

Despite its name, cheesecake is actually more similar to a pie in appearance. It usually has a soft, crumbly crust, and a sweet-sour creamy filling. I don’t know what to compare it to, because it has such a unique flavor and texture. Served cool, it’s very refreshing during the spring and summer! 

2. Overseas vs. Authentic U.S. Food 

It’s no secret that many “American” foods are not purely American. The United States is well-known for snatching recipes and food ideas from other countries, though some of these “overseas” foods were slowly integrated into American culture over time. 

I will note that many “American” foods actually originated from England, and came to the Americas as Europeans began to settle in the present-day U.S. So some foods that even Americans consider authentic may actually have origins in England! 

Below are two lists of food: those brought to America from other countries (mentioned in parentheses), and those that are generally considered authentically American. 

A- Overseas Food

  • Burritos / Tacos (Mexico)
    • Americans love Mexican food! We’ve Americanized a lot of it, and we eat it all the time
  • Hot Dogs / Burgers (Germany)
    • Two of the most American foods are actually thought to have originated in Germany…
  • Pizza (Italy)
  • Fried Chicken (Scotland)
    • Considering the vast number of fast food chains dedicated to making the best fried chicken, it’s a bit disappointing to learn that our fried chicken likely originated from Scotland (and not the  state of Kentucky). 

B- Authentic Food

Here’s a breakdown of four very popular and well-loved foods that are (supposedly) all-American. 


It’s a loaf of meat. Usually, ground beef (or turkey) is combined with onions, tomato, and savory spices. Then, it’s placed in a loaf pan (usually used for bread), baked in the oven, and served in slices with various sides. 

Macaroni & cheese

Lovingly called “mac & cheese” or “mac ’n’ cheese,” this is made with macaroni noodles, a variety of cheeses, and sometimes additional ingredients. The ingredients are put in a casserole dish, baked in the oven, and served. 


The word “s’more” (sometimes spelled “smore”) refers to the fact that you’ll always want “some more.” 

S’mores are usually made outdoors, often when camping. A marshmallow (roasted over an open fire until golden-brown or burnt) is placed on a graham cracker, topped with some chocolate, and then eaten like a sandwich with another graham cracker on top. 

Chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are made by mixing flour, sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, baking soda, and chocolate chips together in a bowl, laying out individual portions of the mix onto a baking sheet, and baking them until they achieve the desired consistency. An American favorite. 

3. Unique U.S. Cuisine


Bourbon in a Glass Next to a Pitcher

Bourbon is an authentically American whiskey, originating around the nineteenth century. While its origins are murky, the state of Kentucky is often credited as being where bourbon originated. 

This type of whiskey is bottled and sold at around forty percent alcohol by volume, and is used both for drinking and cooking (usually in BBQ dishes).

It is exported to other countries, though much of it remains in the United States.

Cream Cheese

A Bagel Smeared with Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a favorite condiment to some Americans (and a least favorite to others). We often spread cream cheese over bagels and sometimes use it when cooking or baking creamy dishes. 

Technically, cream cheese originated in Europe, though the United States was the first country to begin its mass production. 

Peanut Butter

A Jar of Peanut Butter Surrounded by Peanuts

I just found out that most countries don’t have peanut butter readily available. I can’t even imagine, because peanut butter is such an American staple. 

Peanut butter is a semi-creamy, semi-solid substance that’s generally made using peanuts and certain oils. 

We use it to make peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and peanut butter cookies, we eat it by the spoonful, and it’s the best part of a Reese’s peanut butter cup.

Thanksgiving Dinner

A Typical Thanksgiving Table

While this isn’t a single food, and you can find most of the basic Thanksgiving foods in other countries, the entirety of the average Thanksgiving dinner is uniquely American. 

Popular food items for Thanksgiving dinner include:

  • Turkey + Ham (usually roasted whole and then sliced)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Twice-baked potatoes
  • Deviled eggs
  • Green beans (or green bean casserole)
  • Beans
  • Bread rolls
  • Sweet potato casserole 
  • Ambrosia (fruit salad)
  • Pie of all kinds (apple, pumpkin, pecan, berry, chocolate)
  • Alcoholic beverages of all kinds
  • Other “odd” dishes and desserts

This is just what I could think of off the top of my head! I’m sure there’s more.

Check out our list of Words for Thanksgiving Day in the United States to learn more food names and other useful words! 

Do you have any major feasts in your country? If so, what are the most popular foods eaten for these feasts? Let us know in the comments! 

4. Food-Related Vocabulary

A- Describing Food

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Veggies

This chicken is fantastic!

Here are some common words we use to describe food, from taste to texture! 

DefinitionIn a Sentence
SweetTasting of sugarBanana splits are sweet.
SaltyContaining much salt; tasting of saltI thought the fish was too salty.
SavoryContaining many flavors, usually complexI would like a savory steak for dinner.
RichHaving a strong flavor or textureThe cake was a little bit too rich
BlandHaving a weak flavor or texture; flavorlessIt’s bland; add more salt next time.
CreamyHaving a smooth, silky, or milky texture; containing creamThe sauce is really creamy.
SmoothNot crunchy; lacking rough or crunchy texturesKeep stirring to get the gravy smooth.
CrunchyNot smooth; containing rough or crunchy featuresI like my peanut butter crunchy.
SpicyHaving a strong spice elementJill doesn’t like spicy foods.
MildHaving little or no spice elementThe dish was mild.
GreasyContaining a lot of grease, fat, or oilWhy is the pizza so greasy?
DeliciousAlmost synonymous with each other; all positive ways of describing a food or dishThis pie is delicious!
TastyThe meal you made was really tasty.
DelectableWhat a delectable dessert! 
FantasticThis chicken is fantastic
WonderfulThe breakfast we had was wonderful.
Mouth-wateringCapable of making your mouth water (salivate) in anticipation of eatingLook at that bread, so mouth-watering
OkayA word you can use to describe a dish you didn’t like very much, but thought was decentDinner was okay, but I liked yesterday’s dinner more.

You can also see our list of the 50 Most Common Adjectives if this list isn’t enough for you. 😉

B- Ordering Food

A Couple Ordering at a Restaurant

I’ll have ___, please.

Here are some phrases you can use to order food at a restaurant and effectively communicate with your waiter. 

PhraseWhen to use it
Can I see the menu?Use this phrase after you’re seated to ask your waiter for the menu. (But usually, a menu will be provided already.)
Can I see the wine list, please?If you would like some wine with your meal, you can ask your waiter to see the restaurant’s wine list. 
What do you recommend?In the United States, it’s very common to ask your waiter what he or she recommends. You can do this if you’re not sure what to order, and want to know what’s popular or particularly tasty. 
What’s today’s special?Some restaurants will have a “special” for each day of the week. This is a particular meal or meal combination that you can get for a lower price on that day only.
What is the soup / salad of the day?Similarly, some restaurants will have a particular soup or salad that they’re serving only on that day. You can order this to go with your meal. 
Can we have a bottle of wine with our meal, please?Are you eating out with your spouse, best friend, or in a large group? In some restaurants, you can ask your waiter to bring an entire bottle of wine to the table (this can get pricey, though!). 
Do you have any ___ dishes?If you have any dietary restrictions or are in the mood for something specific, you can ask your waiter about the menu. 

For example, you could ask: 
  • “Do you have any vegetarian dishes?”
  • “Do you have any seasonal dishes?”
Does it contain ___?This is another useful phrase if you have dietary restrictions. 
  • “Does it contain dairy?”
  • “Does it contain nuts?”
How spicy is it?If you’re not sure how spicy something will be, it’s always a good idea to ask! 
I’m allergic to ___.If you have a severe allergy to something, it’s good to inform your waiter about it right away, before ordering. 
  • “I’m allergic to shellfish.”
  • “I’m allergic to nuts.”
I will have ___, please.When you’re finally ready to order, you can use this phrase. Just fill in the blank with the menu item you want! 

C- Cooking

A Woman Chopping Veggies

Do you enjoy cooking at home? Here are some words for American food staples and food preparation! 

    → Also see our Cooking vocabulary list to hear the pronunciation of these words!

Ingredients and Foods

DefinitionIn a Sentence
IngredientSomething that is used in combination with other things to create a whole entityI can’t make the cake; I’m missing an important ingredient.
SaltA seasoning that brings out the flavor in different foodsThe soup needs more salt.
PepperA seasoning that adds flavor to food; black, and a little spicyCan you pass me the pepper?
Cooking oilAny oil that’s used to cook withPlace 1 Tablespoon cooking oil in the pan.
ChickenThe meat from a chickenChicken is my favorite meat.
PorkThe meat from a pigPork is my least favorite meat. 
BeefThe meat from cattleI love eating beef stew.
FishAny kind of fish that’s prepared or cooked for consumptionI think I’ll make fish tomorrow.
EggUsually refers to the egg of a chicken, though it can also refer to quail, ostrich, goose, or even fish eggsHenry cracked the egg into a bowl.
VegetableThe root, stem, or leaf of a plant that’s used in cooking (or sometimes eaten raw)What’s your favorite vegetable?
FruitThe part of a plant that bears seedsFruit is very refreshing.
RiceA type of grain that’s simmered in water until softI make rice with almost every meal.
BreadMade from flour, sugar, and similar ingredients, and bakedHow do you bake bread so well?

Preparation and Cooking Methods

Potatoes and Carrots Simmering in a Pan

DefinitionIn a Sentence
PrepareTo get something ready, in this case, the foodI need to prepare dinner.
Set the ovenThis phrase is used a lot in recipes, and it simply means to turn on the oven and set it for a specified temperatureSet the oven to 400 degrees F. 
ChopTo use a knife in order to cut something, usually into many piecesChop the carrots evenly.
SliceTo use a knife to cut something, usually in order to make a thin layer or small pieces of itWill you slice the turkey, please?
CubeTo cut something into cubes; often used to describe how to cut meat in recipesNext, cube the chicken breast.
SeasonTo put seasonings on somethingHow do you season the salmon?
Stir-fryTo fry several ingredients together in a pan, while stirring oftenStir-fry the veggies in olive oil.
BakeTo cook something by putting it in the ovenBake the casserole for thirty minutes.
BoilTo get water or another liquid hot enough that it bubbles rapidlyBring the water to a boil.
SimmerTo let something cook on low heat, usually in a hot liquidLet the meat simmer.
Let coolSome recipes are best served after cooling; this phrase is sometimes used in recipes when this is the caseLet cool before serving.

Cooking Utensils and Tableware

A Metal Spatula

DefinitionIn a Sentence
StoveUsually a surface on top of an oven, containing burners used to cook foodTurn on the stove, please.
OvenA cooking device used to cook, bake, or roast food at a specific temperature by placing the food insidePut the dough in the oven.
PotA cooking utensil that’s usually deep, and used for meals that contain a lot of liquid (soups/stews) or to boil waterFill the pot with water.
PanA cooking utensil that’s usually shallow, and used to cook foods that don’t require much liquid; especially popular for stir-frying or sauteing. Coat the pan with olive oil.
SpatulaA utensil used to handle food with while it’s hot or still cooking; it usually has a flat, slightly curved end, with or without slots in itStir the veggies using a spatula.
Cutting boardFood is placed on a cutting board to be cut, chopped, or slicedOn a large cutting board, chop the tomatoes.
ColanderA utensil that’s shaped like a bowl and has many holes in it; used to drain something of liquid, usually noodlesDrain the noodles with a colander.
BowlA dish with raised sides, usually with a round shape; often used to hold soups, stews, salads, and other meals that are best eaten from a bowlMix the ingredients in a bowl.
PlateA shallow or flat dish that food is often served onServe the meal on a plate.
SpoonA utensil that’s used for eating food that’s liquidy (like soup) or of a semi-liquid nature (like yogurt)I dropped my spoon on the floor.
ForkA utensil that’s used for eating solid foods; it contains prongs at the end to stab food withThis fork is dirty.
KnifeA utensil that’s used for cutting food, either during preparation or during consumptionCan you get me another knife?

5. Bonus: American Food Recipes You Can Make at Home

A Couple Cooking in the Kitchen Together

Do you want to try American food, but don’t yet have a trip planned? No worries! Here, I’ll show you how to make American food yourself at home.

A- Biscuits & Gravy

Makes 8 servings, and ready in 15 minutes. 


  • 1 16-ounce can of refrigerated jumbo buttermilk biscuits (or you can make your own!)
  • 9.6 ounces of crumbled pork sausage 
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Bake the biscuits according to the package directions.

2. Cook the sausage in a large pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the flour. Gradually add in the milk, and stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Split the biscuits in half. Spoon the gravy equally over each set of biscuit halves (there should be 2 halves per plate). 

This recipe is adapted from one on You can read the original recipe (and some rave reviews) if you need more guidance.


B- Cobb Salad

Makes 4 to 8 servings, and ready in 45 minutes.


  • 8 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 6-ounce chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
  • Zest in wide strips, and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large head Bibb lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, cut into pieces
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled


1. Cook the bacon in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, stirring until crisp (15 to 20 minutes). Drain on paper towels.

2. Meanwhile, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them to about 1 inch in cold water. Bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat, then cover; remove from heat, and let stand about 10 minutes. Drain, and run under cold water to cool. Peel the eggs while under running cold water, and then peel and chop them; season with salt. 

3. In a medium saucepan, combine the following ingredients: chicken, lemon zest and juice, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, and a pinch of salt. Add enough cold water to cover the chicken by ½ inch. Over medium heat, bring it to a bare simmer (do not boil) and cook for about 7 minutes; the chicken is done when a thermometer inserted into the deepest part of it reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Move the chicken to a cutting board and let cool for about 5 minutes.

4. While the chicken rests, make the dressing. In a serving bowl, whisk the following ingredients together: vinegar, shallot, mustard, and ½ teaspoon salt. Next, whisk in the olive oil until emulsified (blended), and season with pepper. Dice the chicken. In a separate bowl, toss the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the dressing.

5. Halve, pit, and dice the avocados. Season the tomatoes with salt. Add Bibb and romaine lettuce to the serving bowl, on top of the dressing. Arrange the bacon, eggs, chicken, avocados, tomatoes, and blue cheese atop the salad in rows. To serve, toss the salad and season with salt and pepper. 

You can check out this recipe on

C- Banana Split

Makes 1-2 servings (a single banana split), and ready in 15 minutes. 


  • 1 banana (split lengthwise)
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
  • 1 scoop chocolate ice cream
  • 1 scoop strawberry ice cream
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Marshmallow creme
  • Whipped cream
  • Chopped, lightly toasted nuts
  • 3 maraschino cherries


1) The ingredients in italics are for garnish, and are optional. You can remove any of these ingredients, or even add your own that aren’t listed! 

2) If it seems like too much to buy three different tubs of ice cream, you can just buy Neapolitan ice cream. This is ice cream that’s a blend of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors. 


1. Gather the ingredients.

2. Place the banana slices against the sides of a long, narrow dish.

3. Place the ice cream scoops in a row between the banana slices.

4. Drizzle vanilla and strawberry ice cream scoops with chocolate syrup.

5. Spoon some marshmallow creme over the chocolate ice cream scoop.

6. Now add the whipped cream, nuts, and cherries.

This banana split recipe is originally from Check it out! 

6. Final Thoughts

A Man Who Ate Way Too Much

You’ve reached the end of this massive article, congratulations! 

Which of the must-try American foods I listed do you want to eat first, and why? Are there any foods I forgot to mention that you’ve already tried, and think other readers would enjoy? Let us know in the comments! 

If you want more detailed articles like this one, fun and educational video/audio lessons, and exceptional vocabulary-learning tools, create your free lifetime account with today. We look forward to having you and helping you reach your English-learning goals!

Until next time, happy learning from the EnglishClass101 family.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Let's Cook in English

Learn English Grammar Basics in Minutes


When I was a kid, my mom used to force me to diagram sentences, one after another. For some reason, she thought it would help me understand things like sentence structure and parts of speech better. 

It didn’t. I hated it. And today, I don’t even remember how sentence diagramming works. I just remember spending miserable hours of my childhood doing it at the kitchen table.

That image popped into my head as soon as I started writing this article. So today, my goal is to introduce you to all of the English grammar basics in a straightforward and simple manner. No sentence diagramming and no fuss, because I’ve been there! 

By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll have a better idea of how English grammar works, from word order to punctuation. 

Enjoy’s introduction to English grammar for beginners, and don’t forget to see our free English Grammar page for an even more condensed version!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. General English Grammar Rules
  2. Parts of Speech
  3. Determiners
  4. Capitalization
  5. Punctuation
  6. Making Questions
  7. Politeness and Formality
  8. Final Thoughts

1. General English Grammar Rules

There are four things you need to have a basic understanding about before we continue: 

  • Word Order
  • Tenses 
  • Moods
  • Verb Conjugation

Don’t worry, I’ll make it fast! 

Word Order

A Pineapple against a White Background

I hate pineapple.

English is considered an SVO language. This means that when forming sentences, we usually put the subject at the beginning, followed by a verb and then the object (if there is one). For example:

  • I lied.
  • Bob likes Susan.
  • I hate pineapple.

Of course, when it comes to complex sentences, things get a bit more complicated! For a more detailed look at English Word Order, visit our dedicated article. 


In English grammar, tenses are how a verb shows when an action happened. In English, there are three basic tenses: past, present, and future. For example:

  • Past: I went to the store.
  • Present: I am going to the store.
  • Future: I will go to the store.


Mood is a little more complicated. A mood shows how the action happened, or how the subject felt at the time of the action. In English, there are three basic moods: indicative (facts and beliefs), imperative (commands), and subjunctive (hypothetical statements or wishes).

  • Indicative: The library closes at six o’clock.
    • You’re stating a fact.
  • Imperative: Be quiet for a minute.
    • You’re telling someone to do something.
  • Subjunctive: I wish it were time for dinner.
    • You’re expressing a wish.

Verb Conjugations

Conjugation is how a verb changes to provide additional information about an action. In English, verbs conjugate based on person, tense, number, and mood. We’ll outline only the very basics here:

  • Person
    • Six persons in English: I / You [s.] / He, She, It / We / You [pl.] / They
  • Tense
    • Twelve tenses in English
    • For now, just worry about the three basic ones we talked about earlier. 😉
  • Number
    • Singular or Plural
  • Mood
    • Three basic moods in English: Indicative / Imperative / Subjunctive

If you think you’re ready, you can read our article about Verb Conjugations to dive deeper! 

2. Parts of Speech

In English, there are nine basic parts of speech. I’ll briefly outline each one in the following sections. 


To put it simply, a noun is a person, a place, or a thing. However, there are a few subcategories of nouns that you should be aware of.

Concrete vs. Abstract 

    ❖ A concrete noun is one that you can identify using your five senses (sight, smell, touch, hearing, taste). 
    ❖ An abstract noun is one that you can’t identify using your five senses. Examples include ideas and concepts.

  • Table
  • Fish
  • Hat
  • Loyalty
  • Trust
  • Courage

Countable vs. Uncountable

A Man Sitting on the Sand at the Beach

Can you list the different countable and uncountable nouns in this image?

This is a little bit more tricky, but bear with me! 

    ❖ A countable noun is one that you can count using cardinal numbers. 
    ❖ An uncountable noun is one that you can’t count using cardinal numbers.

  • Books
  • Bottles
  • Steps
  • Sand
  • Dust
  • Water

Do you see the difference? In a sentence, you could say “There are three books.” 

But you couldn’t say “There are three sands.” Instead, you would have to say something like “There are three grains of sand” or “There are three bags of sand.” 

Singular vs. Plural

This one’s easy! 

    ❖ A singular noun means that there is only one of that noun.
    ❖ A plural noun means that there are two or more of that noun.

  • Plural 
  • Cat
  • Train
  • Treaty
  • Trains
  • Treaties

  • Possessive Nouns

    In English grammar, possessive nouns are simply nouns that show possession. To form a possessive noun, you add an apostrophe (‘) followed by an “-s.” (There are some exceptions to this rule, but you’ll have to read our Noun article to learn about them!)

    NounPossessive ExampleExplanation
    CatherineCatherine’s shift just ended.The shift belongs to Catherine.
    DogThis is my dog’s favorite toy.The toy belongs to the dog.
    LibraryThe library’s selection is small.The selection belongs to the library.


    A verb is a word that represents an action or a state of being. Verbs can be either regular (meaning they conjugate regularly according to a set pattern) or irregular (meaning they don’t conjugate regularly).

    The two most important verbs in English are the verbs “to be” and “to have,” both of which are irregular. 🙁 

      → See our article on 100 English Verbs to learn more practical everyday verbs and how to use them!


    A Woman about to Cross the Finish Line

    Sarah is the fastest member of her cross country team.

    An adjective is a word that describes a noun, and they can also be used in comparative and superlative forms.

    • Comparatives are used to compare the intensity of an adjective between two people/nouns. 
      • Typically formed with the -er or -ier suffixes.
    • Superlatives are used to compare the intensity of an adjective amongst entire groups.
      • Typically formed with the -est or -iest suffixes.

    AdjectiveIn Comparative FormIn Superlative Form
    He is happy.
    He is happier than Tom.
    He is the happiest of his family.
    Sarah is fast.
    Sarah is faster than me.
    Sarah is the fastest member of her cross country team.
    Tasha is lovely.
    Tasha is lovelier than Mary.
    Tasha is the loveliest girl in class.

    Note that you can also use the words “more” or “less” for the same effect, and with certain adjectives, this is actually necessary. Take, for example, the word “intelligent.” You can’t say “intelligenter” or “intelligentest.” Instead:

    • Intelligent -> More intelligent -> Most intelligent

    Learn the top 100 Adjectives in English and how to use them! 


    An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Here are some examples:

    • Joe ran quickly. [Describes a verb]
    • Her test answers were suspiciously accurate. [Describes an adjective]
    • He was very cautious. [Describes an adverb]

    Yes, we have an article all about English Adverbs, too. Check it out. 😉


    Let’s get pronouns out of the way… 

    A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun in a sentence. There are several categories of pronouns, but we’ll just give you a little info on each one. 

    Personal PronounsI / You / He, She, It / We / They
    Possessive PronounsMy / Mine / His / Her / Hers / Our / Ours / Their / Theirs
    DemonstrativesThis / That / These / Those
    Relative PronounsWhich / What / Whose
    Reflexive PronounsEach other / One another

    Pronouns are a crucial component of speaking English well, so you might as well study up on these, too! 


    A Man Peeking into the Fridge Late at Night

    I found soup in the fridge.

    In English grammar, prepositions are words that give information about a position, location, or status. We see prepositions all the time in English! Some examples include:

    • In: 
      • I found soup in the fridge. 
    • With: 
      • She went to the mall with Lewis.
    • Far from home: 
      • Sue is living far from home.

    Conjunctions and Linking Words

    A conjunction is a word that links one part of a sentence to another part, links two or more words together, and helps language flow more smoothly. Here are a few examples:

    • And: 
      • She watched a movie and cleaned the house.
        • This sounds better than “She watched a movie. She cleaned the house.”
    • But: 
      • I would love to go with you, but I’m very busy.
    • Or: 
      • Do you want ice cream or chocolate cake for dessert?

    There are more conjunctions where those came from! has an article all about Conjunctions waiting for you! 


    An interjection is a word (usually more of a sound) that expresses a sudden emotion. Usually, these are sounds that you don’t really think about when you utter them, though many interjections seem to be infused with one’s language and culture. Some common ones are:

    • Oh! 
      • Oh! I want chocolate cake right now! 
    • Ouch! 
      • Ouch, that hurt! 
    • Ugh…
      • Ugh…I hate this class.
    • Huh?
      • Huh? What did you say?

    3. Determiners

    A determiner is a word that helps you better clarify what you’re talking about or add information to it. There are four main categories of determiners. 

    Definite Articles

    “The” is the only definite article in English. Definite articles come before a noun when you know the exact noun you’re talking about. 

    For example, if you said, “The cat hissed,” it means that you know exactly which cat hissed (it wasn’t just any cat). 

    Indefinite Articles

    “A” and “an” are the two indefinite articles in English. An indefinite article comes before a noun when you don’t know exactly which one of that noun you’re talking about, or when it doesn’t really matter. 

    For example, if you said, “Bring me a pen,” it indicates that you don’t really care which pen they bring you; any pen will suffice. 

    Keep in mind that you should use “a” for nouns that begin with a consonant sound, and “an” for nouns that begin with a vowel sound:

    • A dinosaur / A pandemic / A notebook
    • An apple / An olive / An ordeal


    A Piece of Chocolate Cake with a Fork in It

    This cake is delicious!

    A demonstrative is a type of determiner that demonstrates which noun (or group of nouns) you’re talking about. The demonstratives are:

    • This: A single noun that is near the speaker.
      • This cake is delicious!
    • That: A single noun that is distant from the speaker.
      • That story in the news was so sad.
    • These: A plural noun that is near the speaker.
      • What do you think of these shoes?
    • Those: A plural noun that is distant from the speaker.
      • Why are those people just standing around?


    A quantifier is a word that gives a general idea of how much or how many there is of something. Rather than a specific number, it’s sometimes useful to be more generic. Here are a few common quantifiers in English with example sentences:

    SomeCan I have some raisins, please?
    MuchHow much cereal is left?
    AllAll the workers left early.

    4. Capitalization

    Depending on your native language, you may find English capitalization rules a bit strange. However, proper capitalization is a key component in writing, especially for formal documents or emails! 

    In this section, I’ll go over the basic rules of English capitalization. I do recommend that you check out our lesson on The English Writing System as well, though, for more information.

    Do Capitalize

    At the beginning of a sentence
    • Tom ran away from home.
    • The garden flourished.
    • Please leave me alone.
    Proper nouns
    • Has Jose arrived yet?
    • I enjoyed visiting Yellowstone National Park.
    • Rena and Bill are dating.
    Days of the week and month names
    • I can’t wait until Saturday.
    • Diana’s birthday is in June.
    • Are you free on Monday or Thursday?
    Holidays and certain events
    • My favorite holiday is Christmas.
    • Have you been to the Burning Man Festival?
    • What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
    Titles of books, movies, and other media/art
    • I’m reading Go Set a Watchman.
    • Have you seen Criminal Minds?
    • Dory and I watched The Dark Knight.
    Note that in writing, you need to italicize titles, in addition to capitalizing each word. 

    Further, any articles (a / an / the / etc.) that are in a title are NOT capitalized. 

    Don’t Capitalize

    Generally, the only times you capitalize a word are in the instances listed above. Unless a word (or series of words) fits into one of those categories, do not capitalize it. 

    Sometimes you can find odd capitalization in things like poetry or older English documents, but this is very rare nowadays. 

    Common Source of Confusion

    English capitalization can be confusing, I get it! In this section, I’ll explain a common source of confusion that many people (even native speakers) face! 

    Let’s look at the word “mother.” Did you know there are occasions where this should be capitalized, and others when it shouldn’t be? 

    If you’re using “mother” as a proper noun (meaning you’re talking to your mother, or you’re referring to your mother by that name), you capitalize it:

    • Have you seen Mother today?
    • I took Mother out to dinner yesterday.

    To double-check that you’ve capitalized correctly, simply place a name (in this case, your mother’s name) in place of the word ‘Mother.’ If it fits, great job! You should capitalize ‘Mother’ since it’s a proper noun, taking the place of your mother’s name. 

    If you’re talking about your mother (or someone else’s mother) in a more general sense, you don’t capitalize the word:

    • Your mother is so sweet!
    • I wish my mother were more like yours.

    Use of possessives in front of a noun nearly always warrants a succeeding common noun, meaning the noun should be lowercase. The exception is rare cases of endearment, such as “My Teddy.”

    Don’t worry if this is a bit strange to you now; you’ll gradually get the hang of it! 

    5. Punctuation

    An Exclamation Mark against a Blue Background

    This is important!

    Punctuation is how we make written English more readable and understandable; it’s also how we make it look and sound smoother. Here’s a list of the most common punctuation marks, their uses, and examples:

    Punctuation MarkUseExample Sentences
    Period (.)At the end of declarative and imperative sentences. 
    • I love eating Takis. 
    • Rita hates Susan.
    • Bring me that newspaper, please.
    Question Mark (?)At the end of interrogative sentences (questions).
    • Why aren’t you ready yet?
    • Where did Eric go?
    • What’s your dog’s name?
    Exclamation Mark (!)At the end of exclamatory sentences.
    • Look at that building! 
    • Dinner will be so delicious!
    • Get out of the way! 
    Comma (,)Used inside of a sentence, usually to separate one part of the sentence from another. 
  • In particular, commas are used as a “breather,” or brief pause, to make the sentence sound smoother and more natural. 
    • You don’t know about it, do you?
    • Lola, please come here.
    • After several hours, he came back.
    Colon (:)Used to introduce something that was just mentioned. 
    • I had a great idea: I would eat all the ice cream myself.
    • He knew this: she didn’t love him anymore.
    • He made the decision: he would move to New York City.
    Semi-Colon (;)Used in place of a period to connect one independent clause to another when they’re related (instead of using two sentences).
    • I worked days; he worked nights.
    • I didn’t know what to do; it was all so strange.
    • Liz worried; what would happen to Rick?
    Apostrophe (‘)Used to show possession.
    • The books cover is boring.
    • Sallys husband is tall.
    • Will Jills ex be there?
    Quotation Marks (” “)Used to indicate dialogue, a direct quote, or a set of words that are said sarcastically or with another meaning.
    • I’m tired, Harry said.
    • To be or not to be…
    • He said he’d be back soon.
    Ellipsis (…)Used to indicate a long pause or a moment of thought.
    • WellI guess it’s okay.
    • You knowI don’t like that guy.
    • She said something aboutgoing to the movies.
    Hyphen (-)Generally used to show connection between two or more words, or to give the impression of the two words being one. Used in many set phrases.
    • He’s a runofthemill (average) kind of guy.
    • It’s crystalclear now.
    • Your home should be pestfree now.

    6. Making Questions

    A Filipino Man Shrugging His Shoulders in Uncertainty

    Confused about something? Learn how to ask questions in English.

    I’ll briefly touch on how to make questions in English. 

    First, begin your question with a “question word.” These are:

    • What (asking information about a thing)
    • Where (asking information about a place)
    • When (asking information about a time or date)
    • Who / Whom / Whose (asking information about a person)
    • Why (asking information about motivation)
    • How (asking information about means or in what way something was done)

    Next, you add a question mark to the end (in writing) or use a questioning tone of voice (when speaking). 

    Finally, you can add a “question tag” to the end of your question (before the question mark). A question tag is a set phrase or word that adds emotion or necessity to your question. This is optional.

    Let’s see some examples:

    • What’s your favorite color?
    • How did you get here so fast?
    • You work at the market, don’t you?
    • His name is Gary, right?
    • This is exciting, huh?

    Note that in the sentences using question tags, the questions don’t begin with a question word. This is another reason that question tags are so useful; you can simply say a statement, and by using the question tag, you’re showing that it’s a question. 

    7. Politeness and Formality

    Two Businesswomen Greeting Each Other

    A few good manners can go a long way!

    I’ll end this article with a few words on politeness and formality in English. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

    • There’s no difference between formal and informal speech in English, as far as verb tense is concerned. For example, we don’t have a formal and informal “you,” like many languages do. It’s more about how we use the words.
    • However, there are certain words and phrases that are considered polite and courteous. Some great examples are “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.”
    • When you find yourself in a formal situation (a job interview, for example), use complete sentences while speaking. This shows that you take the situation seriously and are well-studied in English. 
    • When you’re speaking to someone who is older than you or who you don’t know well, use formal titles followed by the person’s last name. Common titles include: Mr. (male), Mrs. (female, married), Miss (female, young or unmarried), Sir (male), and Ma’am (female, usually to older women). 
    • When making an inquiry or asking for permission, use polite set phrases before or after your question. Common phrases include: “May I?” / “Can I?” / “Would you mind if?” / “If it’s alright with you.”

    If you want more-detailed information about how to be polite in the United States, we have a couple of great articles I highly recommend you read: Proper American Etiquette in the United States and How to Find a Job in the USA.

    8. Final Thoughts

    Drawing of a Dandelion with Its Seeds Flying Away

    Understanding and using English grammar properly is something that even native speakers struggle with. There are lots of rules to remember, and only time and practice can help you get better—don’t expect to have perfect English grammar after just one lesson. 

    If you’re willing to face the challenge and put in the work, we applaud you! Even a limited understanding of the basic English grammar rules can prove beneficial in the long run. 

    The good news is that, at, you can continue learning English in a way that’s both fun and informative. You can study on your own time, interact with fellow English learners, and always reach out for help if you don’t understand something. The EnglishClass101 family wants to help you reach your goals, and our expert team of teachers and hosts makes learning easy and effective. 

    Create your free lifetime account with us today, and once you feel confident and comfortable, upgrade to our Premium or Premium PLUS plans for exclusive learning content! 

    Before you go, we would love to hear from you. What part of English grammar seems hardest to you, and how can we help? Are there any topics you want us to write about in the future? 

    Happy learning! 🙂

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    The Best English Quotes for Every Occasion


    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.


    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

    EnglishClass101 Image

    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 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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    English Business Phrases and Sayings You Need to Know


    If you plan on doing business in the United States, it’s crucial that you learn the most common English business phrases and what they really mean. This information will make it possible for you to succeed in any field and form closer bonds with your coworkers! 

    In this article, we’ll be discussing phrases you can use in a variety of work- and business-related situations. This includes, but isn’t limited to: 

    • Job Interviews
    • Business Meetings
    • Business Phone Etiquette & Phrases
    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in English Table of Contents
    1. Before We Begin…
    2. Business Communication Phrases You Need
    3. Final Thoughts

    1. Before We Begin…

    Before looking at our list of business English phrases, there are a couple of things you should be aware of.

    A- A Note on Niceties

    An Old Man Raising His Hat to Someone

    In the United States, one of the most important aspects of business communication is niceties. In this case, a nicety is basically a way of sounding polite when you speak with others in your office or workplace. For example, saying things like “Excuse me,” “Please,” and “Thank you,” are extremely important in day-to-day interactions. Watch for these types of words as you read through this article. 

    In addition, you’ll find it helpful to note the differences between informal and formal speech for the workplace, though we won’t go too much into this. Oftentimes, when you speak to a boss, client, or coworker, it’s good to use longer phrases that contain “polite” words in them. For example:

    Informal speech might look like this: “Can we talk later?”
    Formal speech for the same sentence might look like this: “I would like to discuss ___ with you later, if you’re available.”

    Note the additional words in the formal version, and how they create a sense of respect for the other person and their time. This is what you should aim for in most of your workplace interactions.

    B- Idiomatic Business Phrases and What They Really Mean

    There are many English business phrases you may hear in the office or during a meeting, and have no idea what they mean! Here are some of the most common business- and work-related idioms and what they mean. 

    • Win-win situation. A win-win situation refers to a situation where both sides “win,” meaning that they each benefit from a decision. This term is often used in negotiations.
    • Win-lose situation. In a win-lose situation, one side benefits from a decision, while the other side does not (or even loses something). This term is often used in negotiations.
    • Running out of steam. When a person is “running out of steam,” it usually means that they’re tired or low on energy/creativity. When a thing or project is “running out of steam,” it usually means that it’s slowing down or not doing as well as it once was.
    A Woman Tired and Stressed about Work and School
    • Deadline. A deadline refers to a due date, or the last possible date at which something needs to be accomplished.
    • Take a breather. When someone “takes a breather,” it means that they’re taking a break from something or taking time off from work or a project. 
    • Off the ground. When you get something “off the ground,” it means that you’ve made it good enough that it can continue to do well in the future. For example, if you get a business “off the ground,” it means that you’ve helped that business do well for the long-term.
    • Red tape. This refers to a hindrance, something that makes it difficult to complete a task or achieve a goal. 
    • Get the ball rolling. When you “get the ball rolling” on a new project, etc., it means that you’ve started or initiated with the goal that it will quickly gain momentum (like how a ball continues to roll for a while after you’ve set it into motion). 
    • Go the extra mile. To “go the extra mile” means to do more than what’s expected of you. There’s a story in the Bible of Jesus having told his disciples: “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.” This is thought to be where the term originated from. You can read more about this idiom’s origins on Grammarist
    • Cut corners. When you “cut corners,” you do things as simply and easily as you can, even at the expense of quality. This is usually considered a negative thing.
    • Pitch in. When you “pitch in,” it means that you do your fair share of work in a team project. 
    • Start from scratch. When you start something “from scratch,” it means that you start it from the very beginning. This can refer to starting a brand-new project, or undoing everything you’ve done on a project and starting over.
    • Green light / Red light (something). When something is “green lighted,” this means that the thing has been given permission to start or continue. When something is “red lighted” it means the exact opposite. You may hear phrases like “It was given the green light,” when talking about permission.
    • Behind / Ahead of / According to schedule. The phrase “behind schedule” means that something isn’t going to get done on time, usually by a set deadline. The phrase “ahead of schedule” means that you’ve actually gotten more done than you needed to. When something goes “according to schedule,” it means that the project or assignment will be done exactly on time.
    • Put into action. When you put something “into action,” it means that you’re executing based on an idea, concept, or plan; taking the first steps. You may hear phrases like “It’s time to put our plan into action,” or “You need to put your training into action.” 
    • Tasked with. When you’re “tasked with” something, it means that you’ve been assigned with a responsibility. For example, if you’re “tasked with” writing a report, you’re expected to get that report done.
    • Outsource a task. When you “outsource a task,” it means that you’re giving a task to someone else,  usually someone who’s not a part of your company. For example, your company may “outsource” its advertising to a more prominent advertising company to save time or money.
    • Wrap up / Sign off. These two phrases are both used usually at the end of a meeting. When you “wrap (something) up,” it means that you’re in the process of ending it. When you “sign off” in the workplace, it can mean that you’re leaving a discussion or leaving work for the day, depending on the context.
    • 24/7. When something happens “24/7,” it means that it happens all the time (twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week).
    • Bottom line. This one can actually have two different meanings, depending on the context. Usually, the phrase “bottom line” is used during negotiations, and it refers to the least amount of something (money or another benefit) that a negotiator is willing to settle for. In other contexts, it can be a way of saying “in summary” or of showing that what the person is about to say is the most important aspect of their speech.
    • Brainstorm. When you “brainstorm,” it means that you’re thinking of as many possibilities or ideas as possible in a short amount of time. You can imagine yourself working your brain so hard it’s almost like a storm is going on up there. 
    • Network. In this case, “network” can have two meanings. As a noun, it refers to a group of different companies or organizations that work together toward a common goal. As a verb, it refers to the act of meeting new people in your field of work in order to advance by knowing people. 

    Now you should be familiar with the most common business English expressions! To learn a few more idioms, study our vocabulary list on the Essential English Idioms That Will Make You Sounds Like a Native Speaker

    2. Business Communication Phrases You Need 

    A- Nailing a Job Interview

    Job Interview

    Before you can use the rest of the phrases in this article, you need to have a job! Here are some common business phrases in English that you can use during your job interview.

    “It’s nice to meet you. My name is ___.”
    “I’m here to interview for the ___ position.”

    Interview QuestionsInterview Answers
    “What can you bring to the table?”
    (How can you benefit the company?)

    “What is your greatest strength/weakness?”
    “I’m a skilled ___.”
    “I’ve been (doing) ___ for ___.”
    “I earned my diploma in ___.”
    “I worked for ___ from ___ to ___, doing ___.”
    “My greatest accomplishment was ___.”
    “My greatest strength/weakness is ___.”

    Asking Your Interviewer to Repeat a Question
    “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.”
    “I’m sorry, can you please repeat your question?”

    Thanking Your Interviewer
    “Thank you for your time and consideration.”
    “Thank you for your time, it was nice meeting you.”

    Here’s an example conversation using some of these phrases:


    Mr. Thomas: “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Mr. Thomas.”
    Kara: “It’s nice to meet you too. My name is Kara Smith.


    Mr. Thomas: “What can you bring to the table?”
    Kara: “I’m a skilled technician. I worked at Google from 2012 to 2016, doing tech work.
    “Mr. Thomas: “I see. What is your greatest weakness?”
    Kara: “I’m sorry, can you please repeat the question?”
    Mr. Thomas: “Of course. What is your greatest weakness?
    Kara: “My greatest weakness is that I sometimes give up too easily.”

    Thanking Your Interviewer:

    Mr. Thomas: “Thank you for coming down to complete the interview. I’ll call you soon to let you know what we decide.”
    Kara: “Thank you for your time and consideration. It was nice meeting you.”

    B- Interacting with Your Coworkers

    Coworkers Taking a Group Photo in the Workplace

    In the workplace, you’ll most likely need to interact with your coworkers on a daily basis. In this section, we’ll cover some common English business phrases for different situations.


    “I would like to introduce myself.”You can say this to begin introducing yourself to your new coworkers.

    “I’m ___ [first and last], and I’ll be working with you.”Next, you can say this. In the blank, you simply put your first and last name.
    “I’m Mary Reynolds, and I’ll be working with you.”

    “I would like to introduce ___.”You can say this when you’re introducing your coworkers to another person. For example, a new coworker who you’re training for the job. In the blank, just put their first and last name. 
    “I would like to introduce Kyle Thomas.”

    “This is ___, and he/she will be working on this project now.”In the blank, simply put the name of the new coworker you’re introducing. 
    “This is Charlotte Reyes, and she will be working on this project now.”

    Asking for Help

    “Excuse me, can you help me with something?”The “excuse me” at the beginning is a polite way to get your coworker’s attention. Use this phrase to ask for help on a task.

    “Hi Mr./Mrs. ___, I have a question about ___. Can you please help me?”Usually, you use “Mr.” or “Mrs.” in front of a person’s last name if they are superior to you in the workplace, especially your boss or supervisor. Some workplaces are less formal, though, and you can use the person’s first name in this case. 

    In the first blank, put the person’s name or last name. In the second blank, say whatever it is you have a question about.
    “Hi Mr. Washington, I have a question about the new computer software. Can you please help me?”


    “Hi Joseph, I have a question about this assignment. Can you please help me?”

    “Hi ___, sorry to bother you. Can you please help me with ___?”This is very similar to the phrase above, though the wording is a bit different. “Sorry to bother you,” is a polite phrase that shows respect for the other person’s time. 

    In the first blank, put the person’s name (or Mr./Mrs. with the last name). In the second blank, say whatever it is you need help with.
    “Hi Elizabeth, sorry to bother you. Can you please help me with this phone call?”

    Making Apologies

    Woman Apologizing to a Coworker
    “I apologize for ___.” “I apologize for,” is a formal and polite way of saying that you’re sorry for something.

    In this apology phrase, say the thing you’re sorry for in the blank. Additionally, you can add an explanation afterwards to let the person know why or how it happened.
    “I apologize for not finishing this assignment on time.”

    “I apologize for the inconvenience. It won’t happen again.”When you “inconvenience” someone, it means that you did something that hindered progress or made life more difficult for the other person. 

    For example, if you forgot to mail out some important letters for your company, you could tell this to your boss when they ask you about it. 

    Saying that “it won’t happen again,” means that you’ll work harder in the future to do a better job. 

    “___. I’m so sorry.”In this one, you simply state the thing that happened (or that you did), and then say that you’re sorry about it. 
    I forgot the flash drive for the presentation. I’m so sorry.”

    Giving Thanks

    “Thank you for your help with ___.”If a coworker has helped you with something, it’s important to thank them for it. In the blank, simply say whatever it is they helped you with.
    “Thank you for your help with that presentation.”

    “I appreciate your ___.”In the United States, people love to hear that you appreciate them or something that they did. In this phrase, simply fill in the blank with what you appreciate your coworker for. 
    “I appreciate your patience while I learn the systems here.”


    “I appreciate your help earlier.”

    “Thank you for doing thorough work. You’ve exceeded my expectations.”This is something you might say to an employee who works under you or a new coworker. It lets them know that you recognize their hard work, and that you’re pleased with it. 

    Making Complaints

    You can really complain about anything, and there’s no specific format that’s used for complaints in the workplace. Here are a few examples of complaints you may hear from coworkers once you’ve gotten to know them more.

    “I can’t believe we have to work overtime this week!”


    “I can’t believe I have to work on Christmas!”
    Most employees don’t like being made to work overtime (or on weekends/holidays). Thus, many complaints you hear may have to do with this. 

    When someone says “I can’t believe ___,” when complaining, it usually means that they think it’s unrealistic or unfair.

    “The meeting this morning was so boring.”Business meetings are often considered boring, especially if nothing important was accomplished. This is a common complaint you’re likely to hear in the workplace.

    “I just don’t have enough time to finish the project.”Deadlines can be stressful for many people. Sometimes, employees or coworkers  may feel like they weren’t given enough time to finish something, so this is another complaint you’ll probably hear sometimes.

      → Learn how to complain like a native English-speaker with our Making Complaints vocabulary list.

    Arranging Social Activities

    In the United States, it’s not uncommon for coworkers to spend time with each other outside of work. Here are a few business English small talk phrases you can use if you want to build a relationship with a coworker (or coworkers) outside the workplace. 

    “Are you doing anything after work today?”This is an “opener” question. It’s something you ask a coworker before you suggest they do something with you. Usually, this would be asked near the end of the work day.

    “What are your plans for this weekend?”This is another opener question, used much the same way as the first one. However, this one indicates that you would like to do something over the weekend (not after work that day).

    “I’m going to ___ this weekend. Would you like to join me?”If your coworker doesn’t have any plans, you can ask them this question. In the blank, you can put an activity. 
    “I’m going to see a movie this weekend. Would you like to join me?”

    “We’re going for drinks after work today. Do you want to come with us?”A common after-work activity, especially on a Friday night, is to go get drinks (or food) somewhere as a group. You can use this phrase to ask someone if they would like to join the group that night.


    C- Sounding Smart in a Meeting

    Here’s a list of business English phrases for meetings to help you express your opinion, make a suggestion, or even give someone an assignment. 

    Giving Opinions

    Giving your opinion is a cornerstone of productive communication in meetings. 

    “I think that ___.”Saying “I think that ___,” is a polite way to begin stating your opinion on something. 
    “I think that we should follow through with the new budget proposal.”

    “It seems to me ___.”By saying “It seems to me ___,” you’re showing that you believe something to be true, but that you’re not assuming you’re correct. This is a polite way of stating your opinion without excluding the thoughts of others.
    “It seems to me that we’re in agreement here.”

    “This is only my opinion, but ___.”This phrase is similar to the one above, but is a little bit more humble-sounding. The word “only” indicates that you don’t think too highly of your opinion, and that you respect the opinions of others as well.
    “This is only my opinion, but I’m not comfortable with that idea.”

    “Based on the information, I think ____.”This is a good way to phrase your opinion in reference to what others have said already. It shows that you were paying attention to them, and that you’ve formed a conclusion with that info.  
    “Based on the information, I think we should increase production.”

    Making Suggestions

    If your supervisor or one of your coworkers wants to hear your suggestions on something, you can use one of these phrases. Don’t be afraid to speak up! 

    “It might be a good idea to ___.”Here, the phrase “it might be” makes your suggestion sound more humble. 
    The phrase “a good idea” refers to a course of action that you think would be beneficial.
    “It might be a good idea to decrease the quota for next month.”

    “I recommend that we ___.”This phrase can be used the same way as the one above. However, this phrase also shows a greater degree of certainty and confidence. 
    “I recommend that we make the workspace more open.”

    “Maybe we should ___.”This is a good phrase to use if you want to introduce a new idea and add to the conversation, but you’re not very confident in your suggestion. It gives your boss and coworkers an idea to think about, and add onto.
    “Maybe we should discuss this next Monday.”

    “The company may benefit from ___.”If you’re discussing how to improve a certain aspect of your company, this is a useful phrase to start with. 
    “The company may benefit from closing one of our locations.”

    Agreeing or Disagreeing

    It’s completely normal to sometimes disagree with someone during a meeting. To express your agreement or concern, you can use these phrases.

    “I concur with ___.”“Concur” is a more formal word for “agree.” In most business settings, you can use either word. 

    In the blank, you can either the name of the person you agree with, or the idea that you agree with. 
    “I concur with Olivia.”


    “I concur with that idea.”

    “I think that’s a good idea.”This is a simple phrase you can use to show support for a coworker’s idea or proposal.

    “You have a good point, but ___.”This is a polite way of slightly disagreeing with someone. It shows that you approve of most of what they said, but you think they missed something or gave bad information somewhere. 
    Coworker: “The company may benefit from closing one of our locations.”

    You: “You have a good point, but I think that’s a bit extreme under the circumstances.”

    “You have a good point. I completely agree.”If you completely agree with what someone said, you can voice your support with this phrase.

    “I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with you.”If you really don’t agree with what someone said, you can use this phrase. Saying “I’m sorry, but,” at the beginning makes it sound a little more polite.

    In a business meeting, it’s usually important to back up what you’re saying with more information, or to explain your reasoning. This is often done with the word “because.” Here’s an example:

    “I think that’s a good idea, because it will help the team work more effectively.”

    Making Negotiations

    Three Businessmen Making Negotiations

    Negotiating can be a stressful procedure, but with these useful phrases, you can feel a lot more confident in your abilities! 

    “If we can’t ___, then maybe we can ___ instead.”This phrase is useful for suggesting a compromise or alternative. 

    In the first blank, put a certain course of action (that you can’t do). In the second blank, put a course of action that you can do instead.
    “If we can’t increase the budget, then maybe we can lower costs instead.”

    “If we ___, then they get ___ and we get ___.”This phrase is useful for talking about what will happen if a certain course of action is taken. 

    In the first blank, put the course of action. In the second blank, put what the other party (such as another company) will get as a result. In the third blank, put what your company will get as a result.
    “If we share our resources, then they get more manpower (employees) and we get more supplies.”

    “It’s a win-win situation.”As mentioned earlier, a win-win situation is where both parties can benefit from a decision.

    The last example we looked at is a great example of a win-win situation because both sides get something good.

    “Can we talk about / explore alternatives?”If the conversation doesn’t seem to be going your way, you can use this phrase. When you say this, it means that you want to talk with the other party about how you could do something differently, or make a better plan.

    Giving Presentations

    Have you been asked to present in front of your supervisor or clients? Here are a few useful business English phrases for presentations.

    “Let me introduce myself. My name is ___, and I work for ___.”When you’re giving a presentation, especially in front of people who don’t really know you, it’s standard to introduce yourself. This is a great phrase you can use to do so.
    “Let me introduce myself. My name is Lily Godfrey, and I work for Super Great Company Name.”

    “I would like to start by saying ___.”Having a short intro line can help you ease into the rest of your presentation. This is one way you can do this.
    “I would like to start by saying that I’m honored to be here.”

    “The first point I would like to address is ___.”When beginning your presentation, this is a handy phrase you can use.
    “The first point I would like to address is the recent budget cuts.”

    “Does anyone have a question or concern so far?”After you’ve covered one or two points, you may want to ask your audience if they have questions or concerns. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page.

    “Thank you for your time, I would like to conclude here.”At the end of a presentation, it’s polite to thank your audience for their time, and to let them know you’re done speaking.

    Reporting to Supervisors

    Sometimes, supervisors expect for you to give them updates on your progress during a meeting.

    “I would like to update you on ___.”
    “I would like to update you on our progress with the new marketing campaign.”

    “I wanted to let you know about ___.”
    “I wanted to let you know about a new software problem we’re facing.”

    Giving Assignments

    If you’re in a position to do so, you can give tasks and assignments to other people in the meeting. 

    “___, can you please ___?”You can use this phrase to ask a specific person to accomplish a specific task. Note the use of the word “please,” here. 

    In the first blank, say the person’s name. In the second blank, simply say the task you want that person to complete. 
    Susan, can you please start on those reports?”

    “I’ll leave you in charge of ___.”This phrase is similar to the one above, but it’s a bit more firm. When someone is “in charge of” something, it means that they are responsible for getting that thing done.
    “I’ll leave you in charge of sending out the emails.”

    “Can you please have this done by ___?”Use this phrase to give someone a deadline for a task. 
    “Can you please have this done by next Friday?”

    Business Phrases

    D- Handling Business Phone Calls and Emails

    A Young Businessman Taking Notes During a Phone Call

    In many workplaces, answering the phone, taking messages, and responding to emails is a regular part of day-to-day work. Here are some useful business phone etiquette phrases and a few phrases for work-related emails.

    Answering a Work Phone

    “Hello, you’re speaking with ___. How may I help you?”When you answer the phone, it’s common to say “hello,” followed by information about who they’re talking to. Then, ask why they’re calling or how you can help them. 

    Depending on where you work, there may be different rules for how to answer the phone. Some companies prefer that you give the caller your first name, while others prefer that you call yourself a representative of the company. 
    “Hello, you’re speaking with Robert. How may I help you?”


    “Hello, you’re speaking with a [company name] representative. How may I help you?”

    “Hello, this is ___ from ___. May I ask your reason for calling today?”Another common way to answer the phone is by saying your name and the company you work for. 
    “Hello, this is Tiffany from [company name]. May I ask your reason for calling today?”

    Taking Messages

    “I’m sorry, ___ isn’t here. Can I take a message?”If the person the caller wants to speak with isn’t available, you can use this phrase. 

    When you “take a message,” it means that you relay  what the caller says to the unavailable person. 
    “I’m sorry, Mr. Locke isn’t here. Can I take a message?”

    “Thank you. ___ will contact you shortly.”You can say this phrase after the caller has given you a message for the unavailable person (in this case, Mr. Locke). 
    “Thank you. Mr. Locke will contact you shortly.”

    “Could you please repeat that / speak more slowly?”It can be difficult to understand people over the phone. If you need the caller to repeat something, you can use this phrase.

    “I’m sorry. I didn’t catch that, could you please repeat?”You can use this phrase exactly the same way as the one above.

    Putting Someone on Hold

    Depending on where you work, it may be common practice to put people on hold for short periods of time while you gather info for them. Here are some useful phrases:

    “I’m sorry, but may I put you on hold for just a second?”You can use this phrase before putting someone on hold. Make sure that the other person is okay with being put on hold, first, though (otherwise, you may seem rude). 

    “I’m going to put you on hold for a minute. I’ll get back to you quickly.”This phrase is almost the same as the one above, but is more of a statement than a question.

    “Hello, I’m back. Are you still there?”When you take the person off hold, you can use this phrase to make sure they didn’t hang up. 

    Ending Conversations

    Depending on the type of phone call, there are a few different ways you can politely end the discussion.

    “Thank you for your time. Have a nice afternoon.”This is a fairly generic phrase that you can use to end most phone conversations. 

    “Thank you for reaching out. We will see you then.”This one is used mainly after someone has made an appointment (such as a dentist appointment or an appointment to have their car repaired).

    “Thank you for your call. We hope we answered your questions.”You can end a call with this phrase if the caller asked you questions about something, and you were able to help them.”

    Addressing / Greeting in Emails

    An Upclose Image of a White Keyboard

    As time goes on, emails are becoming more and more important in the workplace. Here are some examples of how you can address a business-related email:

    “Mr./Mrs. ___,”Using “Mr.” or “Mrs.” followed by the person’s last name is a formal and polite way of beginning a business email. 
    “Mr. Harrison,”

    “___,”In slightly less formal instances, you can simply use the person’s first name followed by a comma.

    “Hi ___,” If you’re sending an email to a coworker you’re familiar with, or if your company has a more laid-back policy for emails, you can say “Hi,” followed by the person’s name. 
    “Hi Rene,”

    “This email is for ___.”If you’re sending a formal email, especially if it contains important or sensitive information, you can say “This email is for,” followed by the person’s first and last name. In some situations, you can also put a more generic term in the blank, like in the second example (if you’re sending a mass email).
    “This email is for Loletta Roberts.”


    “This email is for the new IT crew members at [company name].”

    Wrapping Up an Email

    “Thank you for your time.”If you sent a long email, it may be a good idea to thank the reader for their time. 

    “You can contact me (or ___) with any questions.”It’s common to include a line like this one near the end of your email. It lets the reader know that they can contact you if something wasn’t clear. You can also opt to include your email address or phone number here. 

    “Best / Sincerely ___.”At the very end of your email, you sign off. Two of the most common signing off words are “Best” and “Sincerely.” Put a comma after the word you choose, hit the enter key once, and then put your first and last name. 
    “Sincerely,Timothy Gourd

    E- Going on a Business Trip

    Business trips can be great fun, but they also require a new set of vocabulary and phrases in some cases. Be prepared with the phrases below.

    Airplane Taking Off

    Booking a Hotel or Buying Tickets

    “I have a reservation.”When you arrive at your hotel, you can tell the person at the check-in desk that you have a reservation. (If the check-in person asks you if you have one, you can simply add “Yes” to the beginning of this phrase.)

    “I would like a room.”If you haven’t made a reservation, you can tell the hotel staff that you would like a room. 

    “A return ticket to ___, please.”If you need to buy a ticket for travel, it’s best to ask for a “return ticket.” This means that your ticket will allow you to go to your destination and return.
    In the blank, just say the place you want to go.
    “A return ticket to Chicago, please.”

      → To prepare for your hotel stay, study our vocabulary list At a Hotel.

    Sharing Itinerary with Coworkers

    An “itinerary,” is basically an outline or summary of what to expect during your trip. The actual content can vary, but it will usually contain information about the business side itself, as well as non-work activities the group may participate in.

    “Have you all checked your itinerary?”You can use this phrase to ask if the group has checked their itinerary. An “itinerary” is basically a schedule or overall plan of what will be achieved during the business trip (usually printed out). 

    “On ___, we’re going to ___.”You can use this phrase to discuss certain details about the itinerary. 
    “On Tuesday, we’re going to meet with our new clients.”

    “We all need to be back here by ___.”This is a useful phrase if you’re on a tight schedule. It lets the other group members know what time you need to be back together (usually referring to the hotel or another important place).
    “We all need to be back here by nine-thirty.”

    “Tonight, we’ll eat at ___.”If your business trip is very schedule-oriented, your group may end up eating at specific places for the duration of the trip. This is a phrase you can use to talk about meal plans.
    “Tonight, we’ll eat at the Chinese restaurant across the street.”

    Meeting Partners or Clients

    “It’s good to finally meet with you.”It’s considered polite and respectful to let the other person (or people) know that you’re glad to be meeting them.

    “I’m so glad you could make it here safely.”Using this phrase shows that you care about the other person’s safety, and is a sign of respect.

    “I hope you had pleasant / safe travels.”This phrase is similar to the one above, but is generally used only if you know the other person traveled a long distance or in hazardous conditions.

    Checking In or Out of Hotel

    “I’m almost ready to check out.”If it’s your final day at the hotel, you can let the person at the desk know that you’re almost ready to check out. This isn’t mandatory, but is considered polite. 

    “I’m ready to check out now.”Once you’re packed and ready to leave, you can say this to the person at the desk to let them know.

    “Thank you for the room. Here is my key.”When checking out of a hotel, it’s a good idea to let the person know that your room was nice and you enjoyed your stay. 

    Thanking Partners or Clients

    “Thank you for meeting with me/us.”It’s polite to let your partners or clients know that you appreciate their effort to meet with you.

    “Thank you for your time.”Further, you can use this phrase to let them know you value their time, and appreciate that they spent it with you and your team. 

    “It was a pleasure meeting with you.”This is a good parting phrase, and it shows that you enjoyed meeting and talking with them. 

    3. Final Thoughts

    Coworkers Celebrating with Champagne

    We covered a lot of material in this article, but trust us when we say your career in the United States will be better for it. Once you cut through the red tape of language barriers, you’ll be glad you went the extra mile in your English studies. 

    If you’re running out of steam and need some inspiration, has you covered:

    Before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about English business phrases now. Are you ready to put them into action? Are there any phrases or situations we missed? We look forward to hearing from you, and will do our best to help you out. 

    Happy English learning!

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    Super Bowl Sunday in the U.S. – Pass the Guac, Please!


    Huge, cheering (and jeering) crowds. Coffee tables and countertops laden with dozens of deliciously fatty, greasy foods. Several cases of beer located in key positions throughout the household. People dressed in football jerseys and wearing paint on their faces…

    Can you believe that all of this is for a single sports game? And it happens every year. 

    In this article, you’ll learn about Super Bowl Sunday in the United States, from its origin to modern-day traditions. Enjoy!

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    1. What is the Super Bowl?

    Football Players Tackling Each Other on the Field

    Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most-awaited days of the year for fans of American football. On this day, the football season culminates in the championship playoffs, when the two best teams from the NFL’s two conferences compete. Hardcore fans are willing to pay big for tickets to see the game in-person at the stadium, and each moment of the game is televised for the general U.S. population to watch. The Super Bowl is the most-viewed televised event in the country, and it also airs in many other countries. 

    One thing that keeps the game so popular among fans and the general population alike is its unique elimination system. Leading up to the Super Bowl, there are fourteen teams who compete for their chance to take part in the Big Game. Rather than playing a double-elimination series of games, a team drops out after losing one game—this makes the Super Bowl and the games leading up to it very high-stakes and far more exciting to watch. 

    In order to understand the significance of the Super Bowl in the United States, we need to go back a few decades

    Super Bowl History

    A Football Set Up For a Field Goal

    In 1920, the most famous football league in the country was formed: the National Football League (NFL). For many years, it enjoyed quite a bit of fame and fortune as the only major football league in the U.S. But in 1960, the NFL had to face a new challenger: the American Football League (AFL), which grew to be so popular that the two leagues ended up battling for viewers. 

    The following year, the AFL invited the NFL to play in a World Playoff game where the winning team from each league would play each other. The idea was initially declined, but came to fruition a few years later in 1967 to reflect a merger of the two leagues (today called the NFL, which is composed of two conferences). 

    From that point on, the Super Bowl continued to grow in popularity. Today, it’s one of the most widely celebrated events each year. 

      → Of course, not everyone is crazy about football. See our vocabulary lists on Olympic Sports and the Top 10 Summer Sports, and let us know which sports are your favorite!

    2. When is the Super Bowl Each Year?

    Every year, Super Bowl Sunday takes place on the first Sunday in February. Here’s a quick list of this event’s date for the next ten years.

    • 2021: February 7
    • 2022: February 6
    • 2023: February 5
    • 2024: February 4
    • 2025: February 2
    • 2026: February 1 
    • 2027: February 7
    • 2028: February 6
    • 2029: February 4
    • 2030: February 3 

    3. Super Bowl Sunday Traditions

    A Woman Singing at a Halftime Show

    Super Bowl Sunday has become a massive tradition in the United States! 

    Super Bowl festivities involve gathering with family, friends, and sometimes other members of the community to watch the championship game. People may invite family and friends into their home to watch the game, though bars, restaurants, community centers, and even churches tend to be packed and loud on this day! 

    There are many types of people you’ll find at a Super Bowl party. No matter where you are, the true football fans will be clustered around the television (or televisions), cheering for their favorite team—and probably yelling insults at the other team when they score. In more laid-back settings, you might find people sitting around a table playing card games or talking, and still others constantly going to and from the kitchen to load their plates with more food. And, of course, you’ll find a few people who are just there for the free beer. Depending on the size of the get-together, there may be other activities going on in the background: horseshoe tournaments, chili cookoffs, foosball matches, cornhole games, and the list goes on. 

    A fun aspect of watching the game is the Super Bowl halftime show. During the halftime show, famous singers or bands do a major live performance in front of the live audience. This is a way of getting more people to watch the game, and it makes the experience more exciting. In 2020, the two main performers were Shakira and Jennifer Lopez; in 2021, The Weeknd will be performing. 

    Finally, many people tune in to watch the game just to see the famous Super Bowl commercials. Because so many people are watching the game on this day, many companies spend lots of money making their best commercials of the year to show during the game. These commercials are known for their overall high quality and for being unique, funny, or emotional. 

    4. Typical Super Bowl Snacks

    A Plate of Chicken Wings, Carrots, Celery, and Dipping Sauce - Typical Food for Super Bowl Sunday

    Do you know what Thanksgiving and Super Bowl Sunday have in common? People eat tons of food on both of these days! In fact, Thanksgiving is the only day on which people eat more than they do on Super Bowl Sunday. 

    Some of the most common foods include buffalo wings, pizza, hot dogs, nachos, chips & dip, charcuterie-style foods (cold meats and cheeses), chili, casseroles, sandwiches, burgers, all kinds of snack foods, and a variety of sweets such as cookies and brownies. 

    People are also known to drink a lot of alcohol on this day, with beer being the most popular beverage.

      → While you’re at it, you can also learn the names of other popular U.S. Drinks.

    5. Vocabulary You Should Know for the Big Game

    A Plaque for the NFL Playoffs

    There is a lot of terminology related to the game of American football. Here’s a quick list of words and phrases you should know before watching. 

    • Stadium [n]
      • This is an enclosed outdoor area with green turf (or grass) where the game is played. 
    • Football [n]
      • This refers to American football, which differs from ‘football’ in other countries (which we call ‘soccer’).
    • Touchdown [n]
      • A touchdown is when a player from one of the teams gets the football to the end zone on the other team’s side of the field. 
    • Defense [n]
      • A team playing defense tries to keep the other team from scoring.
    • Championship [n]
      • A championship game is a game played between two winning teams to decide who the ultimate winner is that year.
    • Offense [n]
      • A team playing offense tries to get past the other team’s defense in order to score. 
    • Line of scrimmage [n]
      • This is the place on the field where the football gets hiked at the beginning of each play.
    • Score [n]
      • The score is how many points each team has.
    • Kickoff return [p]
      • A kickoff return is when a certain member of the defensive team catches the ball kicked by the offensive team and runs it toward the end zone. 
    • Interception [n]
      • An interception is when a member of the offensive team throws the football toward a teammate, and a member of the opposite team catches it. 
    • Super Bowl halftime show [p]
      • The Super Bowl halftime show is when a very famous singer or band performs at the game’s halfway point. 
    • Recover a fumble [p]
      • To recover a fumble means to regain control of the football after it has been lost by a member of either team. 
    • Tackle [n]
      • A tackle refers to a move in football where a member of one team physically hinders the member on the other team who has control of the ball. 
    • Playoffs [n]
      • For the NFL playoffs, each of the two conferences has its best seven teams compete in a single-elimination format. The two best teams then compete in the Super Bowl. 
    • Special teams [n]
      • Special teams are players on each team who are neither offensive nor defensive, and who are only on the field for kicking plays. There are kicking teams, punting teams, and long-snappers.
    • Quarterback [n]
      • The quarterback is the leading player of the offensive team, responsible for the majority of forward passes and for calling the play.
    • Receiver [n]
      • The receiver (also called the wide receiver) is the player on the team who is typically responsible for catching passes or blocking. 
    • Linebacker [n]
      • Linebackers are defensive players positioned behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. 
    • Running back [n]
      • The running back is an offensive position most often responsible for receiving handoffs, as well as for blocking and acting as a receiver. 
    • Field goal [n]
      • A field goal is when the football is kicked by the player in possession of it and goes through the goal. 
    • Forward pass [n]
      • A forward pass refers to when one player passes the ball to another player on their team who is closer to the goal. 
    • Pass interference [n]
      • A pass interference is a foul move that involves a player of one team physically interfering with a pass made by a member of the other team. 
    • Rush [n]
      • In offense, a rush is when the player with the football runs toward the goal without making a pass. In defense, a rush is when a player on the defensive team runs to stop the rushing offensive player. 
    • Get Ready for the Super Bowl! [s]
      • This is a generic phrase used to make people more excited for the upcoming Super Bowl game, usually on game day. 

    Don’t worry if some of these terms are confusing to you. There are many people in the U.S. who aren’t familiar with them either! You can hear the pronunciation of each word and phrase on our Get Ready for the Super Bowl! word list. 

    Final Thoughts

    We hope you enjoyed our article on Super Bowl Sunday in the United States and that you gained some new insight into American culture. Do you watch the Super Bowl game in your country? Or maybe you prefer a different league or sport? We would love to hear from you in the comments! 

    If you’re interested in learning even more about American culture and holidays, we highly recommend the following pages on

    In addition to culture- and lifestyle-based materials, we provide detailed English lessons that are designed to be both fun and effective. Fine-tune your English reading, writing, and speaking skills with our numerous pathways and vocabulary lists, and check back frequently for new blog posts on key English topics. You’ll be speaking native-level English before you know it.

    Happy learning from the team!

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    Learn English: YouTube Channels You’ll Love!


    What a time to be alive! The age of online learning, working from home…and YouTube. 

    YouTube is one of the most popular social media platforms today, with at least hundreds of millions of users each month. This is the place to find music videos, news coverage, cooking tips, and advice for everyday life. In short, watching YouTube can give you pleasure and entertainment with educational value. (Well, the educational value is optional…)

    Did you know that when you learn English, YouTube can be a great supplemental tool? People tend to learn best when they’re able to have fun in the process, or when what they’re learning intersects with their interests. And luckily, when it comes to English language learning videos, YouTube is a gold mine.

    In this article, we’ll introduce you to the top ten YouTube channels for English learners at every level. These include channels with the best English learning videos on YouTube as well as channels on a variety of other topics. 

    Spoiler alert: We’ll also introduce you to our EnglishClass101 YouTube channel, the absolute best English learning YouTube channel. 

    Let’s get started, and see what catches your eye!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
    1. Speak English with Mr Duncan
    2. Ben Brown
    3. WB Kids
    4. Eat Sleep Dream English
    5. Mayim Bialik
    6. National Geographic
    7. Food Network
    8. VOA Learning English
    9. NBC News
    10. Learn English with
    11. Final Thoughts

    1. Speak English with Mr Duncan

    Category: Language / Education
    Level: Upper Beginner – Intermediate

    Mr. Duncan is an optimistic guy who teaches English in a positive way. 

    Each of his videos contains useful content, ranging from grammar and vocabulary lessons for beginners to more intermediate topics like idioms. Everything is said in English, but there are subtitles with each video so you can read along. Mr. Duncan’s channel is also a great opportunity to train your ear to British English, and to explore life as Mr. Duncan sees it. 

    With fun illustrations, lots of text on screen, hand and body motions to accompany his speech, and a sense of humor that even beginners can appreciate, Speak English with Mr. Duncan is an English YouTube channel you don’t want to miss out on! He also does live-stream videos each week on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 

    (Oh, did I mention that it also has the grooviest theme music?) 

    2. Ben Brown

    Category: Travel & Adventure Vlog
    Level: Intermediate – Advanced

    Ben Brown posts videos about his travels and adventures—both in his home country and around the world. When browsing his channel, you’ll find videos about his time in South Africa, Canada, and the Arctic, and plenty of road trip-skiing-diving footage. 

    Depending on your current English level, there are videos on this channel you can enjoy watching. If you’re up to a challenge, you can listen to his dialogue with friends; for something more comfortable, there are videos where he’s the only one speaking; better yet, if you feel like having the day off but don’t want to miss out on the adventure, you can watch his photo- and music-only Visual Vibes videos.

    We recommend Ben Brown’s YouTube channel for the adventurers at heart and those who enjoy experiencing what the world has to offer. 

    3. WB Kids

    Category: Kids / Cartoon
    Level: Intermediate

    Okay, gang! The WB Kids YouTube channel is a great place to learn English in a more laid-back atmosphere. The idea is to learn without really trying! 

    Who didn’t love watching cartoons as a kid? The WB Kids channel has tons of video uploads from shows that American kids grew up with and will love forever, including Scooby Doo, Tom & Jerry, and Looney Tunes. You can find both full episodes and short clips, depending on how much time you have. 

    From a language-learning perspective, cartoons like these are awesome because they tend to use simpler language, repeat specific phrases from episode to episode, and are so easy to watch. We recommend WB Kids in particular for two reasons: 

    1. You can watch the same cartoons many Americans watched as kids.

    2. WB Kids also has sister channels with videos in different languages (French and Spanish, for example). 


    4. Eat Sleep Dream English

    Category: Language / Education
    Level: Intermediate

    The goal of Eat Sleep Dream English—as the title indicates—is to help English learners want to keep learning, every day. 

    Tom, the host of this British English YouTube channel, is full of energy and enthusiasm for the English language. He teaches specifically about British English and all of its nuances. He covers the basic topics like grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, as well as more unique topics like “18 Very English Sounds” (see the video above). This channel has a new video every week.

    Eat Sleep Dream English is fantastic for intermediate (or even upper beginner) learners, because Tom generally hosts videos himself and always speaks clearly into the camera. You can also find some collaboration videos for more of a challenge, as well as videos about learning English with music. 

    We highly recommend you check it out! 

    5. Mayim Bialik

    Category: Lifestyle Vlog
    Level: Intermediate

    Mayim Bialik (also known as Amy Fowler on the TV series The Big Bang Theory) has her own YouTube channel—and it’s great!  

    On her channel, Bialik talks about a range of topics, though many of her videos do tend to focus on her experiences as a mother, an observant Jew, and a neuroscientist. If you’re getting tired of the same old-same old, we think you’ll find her channel refreshing. In each video, she shares a little bit of herself—the good, the bad, and the ugly. This raw honesty isn’t overbearing, though; you’ll also see her humor and bright side shine through the darker stuff. 

    This channel is especially good for women and mothers, or anyone looking for a unique view on today’s culture and trends. 

    In terms of English learning, this channel may be best for intermediate learners. The language is pretty easy to understand, both because Bialik speaks clearly and into a camera, and because she tends to use many “buzzwords.” Oftentimes, text appears on the screen when she talks about key points or wants to clarify something, and you can also learn a lot about U.S. culture and slang. 

      → You may find it helpful to learn about Using Small Talk Phrases before watching her channel, as it tends to have a laid-back feel.

    6. National Geographic

    Category: Documentary / Nature / Education
    Level: Intermediate – Advanced

    You may be familiar with National Geographic for its TV show, numerous educational books, and magazine. Now, get ready to explore its YouTube channel if you haven’t already! 

    This is the perfect channel for anyone curious about the world—its people and cultures, nature, and even survival. You’ll find tons of educational videos on a number of topics with some of the most stunning footage you’ll find on YouTube today. 

    We recommend this channel for intermediate to advanced English learners. The audio tends to be clear, slow, and broken down into manageable chunks, making it fairly simple to understand when listening. However, most videos don’t have text on the screen (you can use subtitles, but they’re not always accurate or convenient), and some of the vocabulary can be more advanced.

    If you’re feeling confident with your English listening skills, or want to challenge yourself a little bit, you’re going to love the National Geographic channel! 

    7. Food Network

    Category: Food / Cooking
    Level: Intermediate

    Like National Geographic, Food Network is a pretty big name. With a television channel, magazine, and more, you may already be familiar with it.

    The Food Network YouTube channel is a great place to watch food and cooking videos from some of the network’s biggest stars, including Alex Guarnaschelli, Guy Fieri, and Alton Brown. Learn new recipes from numerous cultures, perfect the ones you make already, and learn more English at the same time! 

    We recommend the Food Network channel for intermediate learners. For the most part, the speech is clear (though sometimes fast) and text often appears on the screen with ingredients, steps, or other key points. This allows you to practice your listening and reading skills. You can also find a combination of shorter videos (five minutes or less) and longer videos (twenty minutes or more). 

    To get a taste of what to expect, watch Alex Guarnaschelli make cannolis in the video above! 

    8. VOA Learning English

    Category: Education / Language / News
    Level: Beginner – Advanced

    The VOA Learning English YouTube channel has a unique approach to teaching English, and there are videos available for learners at any level. While this YouTube channel has a variety of video topics and formats, it’s most well-known for its short and humorous skits, as well as its news videos. 

    These news videos are awesome for English learners who aren’t yet comfortable listening to fast-paced conversations. VOA Learning English takes actual news footage and then slows down the speech of the reporter and adds subtitles on the screen. This allows viewers to practice both reading and listening skills in a more real-world context—without feeling overwhelmed.

    The skits on this channel are designed to introduce new grammar, vocabulary, or idioms in a way that’s laid-back, true to life, and very funny. 

    Check out their skit about budget cuts to see what we mean! 

    9. NBC News

    Category: News
    Level: Intermediate

    If you’re feeling more confident in your listening abilities and want to catch up on the latest news, you can check out the NBC News YouTube channel. Here, you can find constant updates on what’s going on in the world, both in shorter snippets and longer videos. 

    We recommend this news channel, and others like it, for intermediate learners. The speech tends to be clear and relatively slow-paced, and text is on the screen basically the entire time to cover key points or give updates. At the same time, you can enhance your listening skills in real-life contexts such as interviews and on-air conversations between hosts. 

    10. Learn English with

    Category: Language / Education
    Level: Absolute Beginner – Advanced

    Guess who else has their own YouTube channel? We do! And we think it’s going to be your best source of English learning, no matter what level you’re at right now. 

    We release a new video almost every single day on a variety of English topics, in numerous formats. Currently, we have over 1000 videos, and counting.

    Just a few features include:

    • Ask Alisha: Members of leave questions about English for Alisha, and she answers them in a video. These videos are a great way to learn about the nuances of English grammar, vocabulary, syntax, and more! 
    • English Words for Every Day: These are fun, short, and sometimes goofy videos (usually under ten minutes) hosted by Alisha. They introduce new vocabulary words and phrases that you’ll hear often as you continue learning English. 
    • Learn English in 3 Minutes: Like the name says, you can learn about an English topic in three- to five-minute videos. Great for people with a tight schedule or who like learning on-the-go! 
    • 24/7 Stream: Yes, we’re serious. You can literally watch EnglishClass101 content twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week! 

    This is just a sampler of what makes us the best English YouTube channel for learners. The best part, however, may be the sense of community you can experience once you start watching and interacting with fellow English learners in the comments or on social media. 

    Explore our channel now, or watch the Ask Alisha video above.

    11. Final Thoughts

    A Little Kid Watching YouTube Videos

    Whatever your interests or passions, there’s a YouTube channel for you. We hope that at least one of the channels on our list caught your eye, and that you enjoy every second of your YouTube English learning experience. 

    We recommend that you use EnglishClass101’s channel as the foundation for your YouTube learning, due to our versatility, range of useful content, and energetic hosts. Any and all of the other channels we listed should make wonderful supplements and keep you entertained at the same time.

    Are there any good English YouTube channels we missed? Which one from our list do you want to watch the most, and why? Let us (and your fellow English learners) know in the comments! 

    If you like the idea of learning English through entertainment media, you should also check out these articles:

    And of course, feel free to explore and our channel. We look forward to having you. 😉

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    Different Ways to Say Goodbye in English


    It’s important to learn how to say goodbye in English because this is a crucial conversational skill to have as a new learner. In any language, saying goodbye at the end of a conversation or when leaving a group is polite. It lets the other party know that you respect them, and it makes your leave less abrupt.

    In this article, we’ll go over a number of ways to say goodbye in English. We cover the most common words and phrases for a variety of situations, so you’ll never have to leave awkwardly again! 

    Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE!(Logged-In Member Only)

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
    1. The Two Most Common Ways to Say Goodbye in English
    2. Goodbye Expressions in English for Any Situation
    3. Goodbye in English Slang & Pop Culture
    4. Final Thoughts

    1. The Two Most Common Ways to Say Goodbye in English

    In the United States, there are two goodbye words you’re going to hear often. These are:

    GoodbyeThis one is more formal, but it’s still casual enough to use with friends and family.
    ByeThis means the exact same thing as “goodbye,” but is shorter and a little bit less formal. 

    If you only learn a couple ways to say goodbye in English today, it should be these. 

    2. Goodbye Expressions in English for Any Situation

    Most Common Goodbyes

    Now, let’s move on to more specific English phrases for goodbye. In the following sections, I’ll give you words and phrases to say goodbye based on the situation or context. I’ll also provide examples for each one, so you can see how to use them.

    A- Formal

    Here are some formal ways to say goodbye in English. These are fairly versatile, and you can use them in most situations that call for formal language.

    “Thank you for your time.”

    You can use this phrase in formal situations, after someone has offered you their time or helped you with something. This is also common after meetings or appointments. Keep in mind that you can use this phrase in both spoken and written communication. 


    “Excuse me, how can I set up a bank account here?”

    Bank Clerk:
    “I can help you with that over here.”

    [After your account is set up…]

    “Thank you for your time.”

    “I enjoyed our talk.”

    This is something someone would say after talking with a client, patient, or anyone else in a more formal environment. 


    A therapist is finishing a session with a patient.

    “I enjoyed our talk. See you again this time next week.”

    “Thank you. See you then.”

    “It was a pleasure speaking with you.”

    This is something a client may tell a customer, especially in more formal or regulated environments, such as a bank or other financial institution. 


    A financial adviser has just finished talking with a client.

    Financial Adviser:
    “It was a pleasure speaking with you.”

    “Thank you, you too. See you next month.”

    “I look forward to our next meeting.”

    People often use this phrase when they plan on seeing the other person (or people) again in a formal environment. 


    A man has just had a consultation with an interior decorator to do some work on his house.

    “I like your qualifications. Can you start next week?”

    “Of course, thank you. I look forward to our next meeting.”

    “Thank you for scheduling your appointment. We’ll see you then.”

    This is a common way of saying goodbye in formal situations, especially when a customer or client is leaving.


    You have just scheduled a dentist appointment.

    Desk Clerk:
    “Thank you for scheduling your appointment. We’ll see you then.”

    “Thank you. See you then.”

    B- Making Arrangements for Another Meeting

    College Student Waving Goodbye to Her Friends

    We’ve covered how to say goodbye in formal situations, but what about when things are more laid-back? Here are some English goodbye phrases you can use to plan another meeting with a friend.

    “See you later.”

    This is a very common phrase to use when you’re about to part ways with a friend (or group of friends). It means that you plan on seeing them again, but you’re not sure exactly when. 


    You and a group of friends just got done watching a movie at the theater. You’re about to leave for home.

    “I need to go home now. See you later.”

    A Friend:
    “Bye. See you later.”

    “Catch you later.”

    This phrase has the exact same meaning as “see you later,” but is significantly more casual. 


    You see one of your friends at the grocery store, and start talking to them. After a few minutes, you need to end the conversation.

    “Thanks for the talk. Catch you later.”

    “You too.”

    “See you around.”

    This one is very similar to the two phrases above. 


    You’re about to go home after chatting with someone at your book club. 

    “Well, see you around.”

    Other Person:
    “Thanks, you too.”

    “See you tomorrow.”

    When you say “See you tomorrow,” it means that you actually plan on seeing them tomorrow, usually because you set a date with that person. 


    You see a friend at the library, and start talking with them. You decide to make plans together.

    “Are you free tomorrow?”

    “Sure. Do you want to get coffee?”

    “That sounds good.”

    “Great. See you tomorrow.”

    “See you at eight.”

    In this phrase, you can replace “eight” with any other time. This is used in situations similar to the one above.


    You want to confirm what time you and your friend will get coffee tomorrow.

    “What time should we meet for coffee?”

    “How about ten?”

    “Sure. See you at ten.”

    “See you in a couple weeks.”

    This is something you would say to someone if you plan on meeting with them in a couple of weeks. You can replace “a couple weeks” with any other extended time period.


    Your mother just called to let you know she’ll be coming for a visit next month. 

    Your Mother:
    “I’ll be coming down there next month to see you.”

    No Mom, please don’t.” “I look forward to it. See you next month!”

    Additional Note

    Most of the phrases in this section can also be used as a question. For example, if you want to confirm when you’ll be seeing someone next, you can say the relevant phrase as a question.


    You’re making plans to see an old friend.

    “Maybe we can go see the hockey game together.”

    “Yeah, that’s a good idea.”

    “Great! See you next weekend?

    “Yep, at nine o’clock sharp.”

    C. Seeing Someone Off

    Couple Parting Ways at the Airport

    It can be painful to say goodbye to someone you care about, especially when you know they’ll be gone a long time, or are going somewhere far away. Here are some special goodbye phrases you can use for situations like this.

    “Take care.”

    Use this phrase to let someone know you want them to take care of themselves while they’re gone.


    Your best friend is about to leave on a plane for another country during her vacation. 

    “Have fun and take care.”

    “Thank you, I will.”

    “Drive safe.”

    Use this phrase to let someone know you want them to drive safely, especially if you know they’ll be driving a long distance or in dangerous driving conditions.


    Your boyfriend or girlfriend is going to drive several hours in bad weather for an important meeting. 

    “It’s supposed to snow a lot today. Drive safe.”

    “I promise I’ll drive safely. I love you.”

    “Safe travels.”

    This one is a more generic goodbye phrase for when someone will be traveling. It means you want them to be safe during their travels.


    Your aunt tells you that she’ll be traveling outside the country for a few weeks. 

    “That sounds like fun. Safe travels.”

    “Thank you.”

    “Have a safe trip home.”

    You can say this to someone when they’re about to leave for home.


    Your friend is about to head home after spending the day together with you.

    “Have a safe trip home.”

    “Thank you, I will.”

    “I’ll miss you.”

    You can say this to someone you really care about before they leave. 


    Your grandparents are about to leave after a visit.

    “I enjoyed seeing you. I’ll miss you.”

    “We’ll miss you too.”

    “Don’t be gone too long.”

    If you’re really going to miss someone after they leave, you can say this to them. It shows the other person that you’ll miss them and look forward to the next time you can see them again.


    Your spouse is going away on a long business trip.

    “I’ll miss you. Don’t be gone too long.”

    “I’ll miss you too. See you next week.”

    “Call me when you get there.”

    Say this to someone to let them know you care about their safety while traveling. It means that you expect a phone call (or text message) from them when they arrive, so you know they’re safe. This is especially common for a parent or grandparent to tell their child or grandchild.


    You’re about to drive several hours back home after visiting your father. 

    “Thank you for our visit. I should leave soon.”

    “Thank you. Call me when you get there.”

    “I love you.”

    Many times, saying goodbye to someone we care about involves saying “I love you,” especially if it will be a while before you see them again.


    You and your mother are about to part ways after a long visit.

    “I enjoyed our visit. I love you.”

    “I love you too. Bye.”


    This goodbye phrase may be a little bit outdated, but some people still say this. It’s basically a way of letting the other person know you want them to be safe while they’re away.


    A large family reunion is coming to an end, and your relatives are beginning to leave.

    “Safe travels. Farewell.”

    A Relative:
    “Thank you. Goodbye.”

    D. Leaving a Group or Party in a Hurry

    It can be very awkward to leave a group of people without saying anything. If you need to quickly say goodbye in English conversations involving a lot of people, there are a few phrases you can use to let people know you’ll be leaving soon.

    “I gotta run / fly / jet.”

    This is a very informal way of letting people know you’re about to leave, and is fine for any kind of casual gathering. The words “run,” “fly,” and “jet” are pretty much interchangeable, as they all mean that you need to leave quickly. 


    You’re at a potluck lunch with some friends, and suddenly realize you need to leave.

    “I gotta run!”

    “Oh, okay. See you later.”

    “I’ll need to get going soon.”

    This is a slightly more formal and polite way of saying that you need to leave. It’s not really saying “goodbye,” but it’s a way of letting others know you’ll have to go. 


    You’re at a friend’s birthday party, but you aren’t able to stay for very long.

    “I’m so sorry, but I’ll need to get going soon.”

    “No, it’s okay. Thanks for coming.”

    “I can’t stay much longer.”

    This phrase is almost the same as the one above. 


    You’re spending time with a couple of friends, but you have something else you need to do soon.

    “Sorry, but I can’t stay much longer.”

    “Ah, that’s okay. See you around.”

    “There’s someplace I need to be.”

    You can use this phrase to let others know you need to leave in order to be somewhere else, especially if it’s another responsibility you have. ‘


    You’re at a dinner party with some friends, but you get a phone call about an emergency back at home.

    “Sorry, but there’s someplace I need to be.”

    “It’s okay. Good luck.”

    “Sorry to leave so soon, but I have to ___.”

    With this goodbye phrase, you can actually let others know the reason you need to leave. In some cases, this can make your leaving seem less rude or abrupt. 


    You’re out socializing with some of your coworkers, but you have to leave early to pick up your kids from school.

    “Sorry to leave so soon, but I have to pick up my kids from school.”

    “No worries. See you tomorrow.”

    “I’m off.”

    This is another slightly informal way of letting others know you need to leave. It’s almost the same as “I gotta run.” 


    You’re about to leave for a get-together with friends, so you let your spouse know when you leave.

    “I’m off.”

    “Okay. Have fun.”

    E. Wishing Someone Well

    Two Couples Talking with Each Other at House

    When you’re about to part ways with someone, it’s considered very polite to wish them well, especially if you know the person. Here are some common ways people in the United States do this.

    “Have a nice day.”

    This is probably the most common way to wish someone well before saying goodbye. It’s just a simple wish for the other person to have a good day from that point on.


    You’re leaving the doctor’s office after a checkup.

    “Thank you for coming in. Have a nice day.”

    “Thank you, you too.”

    “Have a great rest of your ___.”

    This phrase is almost the same as the one above. Here, you can fill in the blank with any amount of time.


    You see your boss at the grocery store, and you start talking with him/her. After a few minutes, you need to leave.

    “I gotta run. Have a great rest of your afternoon.”

    “Thank you. You too.”

    “Take it easy.”

    This one might sound strange, but it’s just a way to wish the other person a good day. More specifically, it means that you want them to enjoy themself and stay safe.


    You see one of your friends while you’re on a walk around the neighborhood, talk with them, and then end the conversation.

    “Bye. Take it easy.”

    “Thanks, you too.”

    “Have a good one.”

    In this phrase, “one” refers to a day. It’s exactly the same as telling someone to “Have a good day,” but it’s a little bit more casual.


    You’re telling a friend goodbye after a short conversation.

    “Bye. Have a good one.”

    “Thanks, you too.”


    The word “well” is very versatile in English, and in this case, it acts as a transition word. People use it often as a way of leading into a goodbye. Sometimes, the other person will understand the hint and say goodbye themselves.


    You ran into one of your former teachers at the park, and are ending a conversation with him/her.


    “I should probably be going. Nice talking with you.”

    “Well, I’d best get to it.”

    This is a good way of politely ending a conversation, especially if you have something you need to do and the other person won’t stop talking.


    You and your neighbor have been talking for almost an hour, and you really need to finish the yard work before it gets dark.

    “Well, I’d best get to it.”

    “I won’t keep you any longer.”

    If you’re lucky, this is what your neighbor will say to you afterward. It’s basically a roundabout way of saying goodbye.


    “Well, I’d best get to it.”

    “Okay, I won’t keep you any longer. Bye.”

    F. Asking Someone to Keep in Touch

    Group of Women Hugging Goodbye After a Party

    When you ask someone to “keep in touch,” you’re letting them know that you want to hear from, or spend time with, them again. Here are a few common parting phrases you can use to do this.

    “Keep in touch.”

    This is the most straightforward way to let someone know you want to talk again. 


    You’re about to part ways with a new friend after spending the day together. 

    “Thanks for hanging out today. Keep in touch.”

    “Of course. Bye.”

    “Call me later.” 

    You can say this to someone if you want them to call you later.


    You’re about to part ways with a friend, but want to talk with them more later that day.

    “I had fun today. Call me later!”

    “Okay, will do. Bye.”

    “I’ll call you later.”

    This is what you can say when the roles are reversed, or just if you want to call the person later.


    You’re about to part ways with a friend, but want to talk with them more later that day.

    “I had fun today. Call me later!”

    “Okay, I’ll call you later. Bye.”

    “When can I call you?”

    Either you or your friend can ask this, depending on the situation.


    “I had fun today. Call me later!”

    “Okay, when can I call you?”

    “Hmm…anytime after seven.”

    “When can I expect your call?”

    Again, you can use this one when the roles are reversed.


    “I had fun today. Call me later!”

    “Okay, will do.”

    “When can I expect your call?”

    “Probably sometime after seven.”

    “Talk to you later.”

    This is very similar to “See you later,” but it actually has more to do with talking to the person.


    You see your neighbor while you’re jogging, and stop to talk with them. After a couple minutes, you end the conversation.

    “Well, I’ll talk to you later.”

    “Okay. Goodbye.”

    “Don’t be a stranger.”

    When you tell someone “Don’t be a stranger,” it’s a way of letting them know you want to see and talk with them often.


    You see your cousin for the first time in a couple of years, but need to end the conversation early.

    “Nice talking with you. Don’t be a stranger!”

    “See you around.”

    G. Letting Someone Know You Enjoyed Seeing Them

    Two Friends Walking in the Snow Together

    Imagine you’ve just spent the day with your best friend, whom you hadn’t seen in years. You’ll want to tell him or her how much you enjoyed seeing them and spending time together.

    “It was nice seeing you / talking with you.”

    This is a very common way to say goodbye in English, and you can use it in both formal and informal situations. 


    You’re about to end a conversation with an old high school classmate you hadn’t seen in years.

    “It was nice talking with you.”

    “Thanks, you too. Have a good day.”

    “Always nice talking with you.”

    This is almost the same as the phrase above, but this one is normally used with people you see from time to time.


    You see your friend’s mom while doing errands, talk for a while, and then end the conversation.

    “Well, have a good day. Always nice talking with you.”

    Friend’s Mom:
    “Thank you. Be safe.”

    “I’m so glad we had a chance to catch up.”

    This is something you might say to a friend you haven’t seen in a long time, especially if you were able to learn new details about each other’s lives while talking.


    You and your friend have been talking about her new job, your new house, and more, but you need to end the conversation soon.

    “I’m so glad we had a chance to catch up.”

    “Me too. See you again tomorrow?”

    “We’ll have to do this more often.”

    This is something you might say to a friend you really enjoy spending time with, but haven’t been seeing as much lately.


    You and a friend just had lunch together, and are about to part ways.

    “Thanks for lunch. We’ll have to do this more often.”

    “I agree!”

    “I hope we can do this again sometime soon.”

    This one is very similar to the one above. 


    “Thanks for lunch. I hope we can do this again sometime soon.”

    “Me too!”

    H. Goodbye Phrases for Texting or Talking on the Phone

    Man Flipping through Channels while Talking on the Phone

    Today, so much of our communication is done over the phone. Here are a few ways you can say goodbye to someone via text or while talking on the phone.


    BRB (Be Right Back)Use this when you need to stop texting for a little while, but plan on texting more in a few minutes.You:
    “BRB. Dinner.”

    G2g or Gtg (Got To Go)Use this when you need to stop texting for a longer while, and probably won’t be able to talk anytime soon.You:
    “G2g. Very busy.”

    TTYL (Talk To You Later)Use this when you need to stop texting, but want to text again sometime in the near future.You:

    ByeUse this when ending a text conversation.You:

    “Ok, bye.”

    Talking on the Phone

    “Thanks again. Bye.”You can use this to end a phone conversation where someone helped you or answered a question for you.You:
    “Can you help me close my account?”

    Person on Phone:

    “Thanks again. Bye.”
    “Well, I should be going now. Nice talking to you.”You can use this after talking with a friend or relative on the phone.You:
    “Well, I should be going now. Nice talking to you.”

    “Thank you. Nice talking to you too.”
    “I’ll see you/talk to you then. Bye.”You can use this phrase after making an appointment with someone over the phone.You:
    “Okay, eight o’clock. I’ll see you then. Bye.”

    Other Person:
    “Okay. Bye.”

    3. Goodbye in English Slang & Pop Culture

    An Alligator against White Background

    English has some creative ways of saying goodbye. Keep in mind that the phrases and words here are very informal, and should only be used with close friends or family. 

    “Smell you later.”

    This is a play on words associated with the phrase “See you later,” and it means the exact same thing. There’s a lot of debate about where the phrase actually came from, but this is the best source I could find


    You’re saying goodbye to a close friend and plan on seeing them later.

    “Bye. Smell you later.”

    “Okay. Bye.”

    “See you later, alligator.”

    This phrase has nothing to do with an actual alligator. This fun English slang for goodbye is another play on words, because “gator” rhymes with “later.” In response, many people will reply with “In a while, crocodile.” 

    This phrase is thought to have originated from a 1950s song titled See You Later Alligator.


    “See you later, alligator.”

    “In a while, crocodile.”

    “TTFN” (“Ta-ta for now.”)

    TTFN stands for “ta-ta for now.” This one is less common, originally used in the UK during WWII. Anyone who knows Disney should get it, though, as the Winnie the Pooh character Tigger says goodbye to his friends this way. (“TTFN! Ta-ta for now!”)


    You’re saying goodbye to your Disney-loving friend.


    “Ta-ta for now!”


    “Cheerio” is a word that was first used in England to say goodbye. Sometimes, people in the U.S. like saying this as well.


    “I should go now. Cheerio!”

    “See you later.”


    Adios is the Spanish word for “goodbye,” but it’s pretty common to use this in the United States when saying bye to friends. 


    “I should go now. Adios.”

    “Okay, bye.”


    Ciao is the French word for “goodbye,” but like adios and cheerio, it’s sometimes used in the United States when saying bye to friends.


    “I should go now. Ciao.”

    “Okay, see you later.”

    4. Final Thoughts

    In this article, we showed you some English words to say goodbye, popular goodbye phrases for any situation, and more. We hope you feel more confident now to start excusing yourself from conversations or wishing your friend a good day. 

    This is just the beginning of what has to offer. To learn more words and phrases in English for day-to-day conversations, check out the following pages:

    Remember: Keep practicing, and use English often. With enough practice and determination, you’re sure to get the hang of English conversations and eventually master the language! 

    EnglishClass101 will be here with you every step of the way. Happy learning! 

    Before you go, let us know in the comments how you say goodbye in your own language. We look forward to hearing from you.

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