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How to text in English: 31 abbreviations

Like it or not, we live in a world of Messenger, What’sApp, Twitter and texting … and that means if you want to read and understand conversations on the internet, abbreviations and acronyms can’t be avoided!

Having said that, no one is saying you have to use them when you write! You can write a perfectly good message WITHOUT using abbreviations. However, if you want to understand a message written by a native speaker, the chances are you are going to have to decipher an abbreviation or two! 

So the next time your colleague from New York sends you a message, instead of thinking WTF?! (ha ha!) … you’ll be able to understand it!

LEVEL: Upper Intermediate and Advanced English Vocabulary Lesson

Kerin English Teacher
Lesson by Kerin

31 common internet abbreviations for texts and tweets

To make it easier to learn, we’ve grouped them into categories!

Abbreviations to Express Opinion


2. POV

3. TBH





8. SMH

-in my opinion / in my humble opinion

-Point of view

-To be honest

-Over my dead body


-Great minds think alike

-Complete waste of time

-Shaking my head (to describe a reaction to something stupid, hostile, unfair, unbelievable)

Abbreviations to Give Context

9. IRL

10. TIL

11. SOML

12. EMBM

13. J4F

14. JSYK

15. CS

16. DWH

-In real life

-Today I learned

-Story of my life

-Early morning business meeting

-Just for fun

-Just so you know

-Career suicide

-During work hours

Abbreviations for Notifications, Wishes & Greetings

17. OMW


19. GL

20. IDK

21. TTYL

22. IBRB

23. W8

24. B4N

25. B@u


27. CYT

28. DM

29. RUOK

30. GFN

31. CUL8R

-On my way


-Good luck

-I don’t know

-Talk to you later

-I’ll be right back


-Bye for now

-Back at you!

-Be back in a sec

See you tomorrow

Direct message

Are you ok?

Gone for now

See you later

Advanced English How to text in English

Learn how to text like a native speaker

Have you done our FREE interactive lesson yet?!

So that’s it! 31 essential abbreviations to help you understand texts and tweets in English. 

Now it’s over to you – try writing a conversation in the comments below to show how you would use them  👇  

Kerin English Teacher

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