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How to text message like a native English speaker!

Kerin English Teacher
Lesson by Kerin

To do the quizzes for this lesson you need to use GOOGLE CHROME

Play the audio

Intro: learn how to text like a native English speaker

Acronyms!

Oh acronyms! I remember when LOL used to mean ‘love you lots’… oh how times have changed!

If you have friends or colleagues who are native speakers of English, chances are you communicate by Whats App or some kind of instant messaging service. If you want to be as fluent as a native, it’s time to up your game* and up* your mobile phone slang!

*up your game means IMPROVE

First, have a look here:

  • F2F = Face to face
  • sth = something
  • L8R = later
  • CU (or: C U) = see you
  • lol = laugh out loud
  • asap = as soon as possible
  • Tnx (or Thx) = thanks
  • OMG = Oh my God
  • RU (or: R U) = Are you
  • Pls = Please
  • BTW= By the way

Next try the quiz:

Complete the following text messages with the common acronym by dragging and dropping into the correct gap. 

Okay, good job! 

So, we notice that the use of subject pronouns (I, you, we, they) and the use of articles (the, a, an) are often omitted in chats or texts, and the style is extremely informal and colloquial.

Even in business situations when you text, this style is common. (Please note, it’s not appropriate to use the same style in an email, but you can use acronyms in email, like ETA, asap, and so on).

Your turn!

Task 2: Read the conversation below between two friends.

Your task is to transform it into a text like that of a native speaker:  by using more colloquial language, acronyms and omitting unnecessary grammar.

When you are ready, write your dialogue in the comments at the end of the blog post.

JULIE: Hi Susan. Are you busy at the moment?

SUSAN: Yes, I’m still at the restaurant with friends. I’ll be back home later. Is it anything important?

JULIE: I just wanted to let you know that I got the job!

SUSAN: Oh my God! That’s wonderful news. Well done!

JULIE: Thank you!

SUSAN: The next dinner will be on you.

JULIE: Ha ha ha! By the way, how is the restaurant? Is it any good?

SUSAN: Yes, it’s pretty decent in my opinion. Perhaps it is slightly over-priced.

JULIE. Okay, well, I’ll leave you to it. Enjoy yourself!

SUSAN: Okay. See you. And later you can tell me all about the new job in person.

JULIE: Kisses!

Lesson sum up

  • Acronyms are often used in texts, messaging and chats.
  • Certain acronyms are acceptable in email but colloquial acronyms and overly informal words are not usually appropriate, especially in business situations
  • We often omit subject pronouns and articles in chats
  • Learning colloquial words and expressions will help you understand native speakers better and you will impress your friends if you learn how to use them!

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Responses

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  1. I try! Here is mine
    JULIE: Hi S. Busy at the moment?
    SUSAN: Yes, still at restaurant with mates. Be back home l8r. Anything important?
    JULIE: Just wanted to let you know- got the job!
    SUSAN: OMG! Well done!
    JULIE: Tnx!
    SUSAN: Next dinner on you
    JULIE: LOL! BTW, how is restaurant? Any good?
    SUSAN: Yes, pretty decent. Bit over-priced.
    JULIE. OK, well, I’ll leave you to it. Enjoy!
    SUSAN: OK. CU. L8R you can tell me all about the new job F2F.
    JULIE: xxx

    1. Hi Giulia! This is fantastic, well done! It sounds very natural. Have you spent a lot of time in the UK by chance? Good job!

  2. Hello! Thank you. Unfortunately not so much, even if I’d like. I am lucky, I have many English friends and I work everyday with mother tongue people so I am quite used to read this kind of message. Funny lesson, thanks u!!!

  3. JULIE: Hi Susan. RU busy now?
    SUSAN: Yes, still at the restaurant with pals. Be back home L8R. What’s up?
    JULIE: Just text u coz I got the job!
    SUSAN: OMG! That’s fantastic news. Well done!
    JULIE: TNX!
    SUSAN: Next dinner will be on you.
    JULIE: Ha ha ha! BTW, how is the restaurant? Any good?
    SUSAN: Yes, pretty decent for me. Bit over-priced, though.
    JULIE. Ok, well, I’ll leave you to it. Have fun!
    SUSAN: Ok. CU. And catch up L8R to fill me in about the new job.
    JULIE: Xx!

  4. JULIE: Hi Sus. RU busy now?

    SUSAN: Yes, still at the restaurant with friends. Be back home l8r. Ath important?

    JULIE: Just wanted to tell you I got the job!

    SUSAN: OMG! That’s wonderful news. Well done!

    JULIE: Thx!

    SUSAN: Next dinner on you.

    JULIE: LOL! Btw, what about the restaurant? Good?

    SUSAN: Yes, pretty decent IMO. Php over-priced.

    JULIE. Ok,leave you to it. HF!

    SUSAN: Ok. CU. L8R tell me about the new job.

    JULIE: Xxx!

  5. JULIE: Hi Susan. R U busy at the moment?

    SUSAN: Yes, I’m still at the restaurant with friends. I’ll be back home L8R. Is it anything important?

    JULIE: I just wanted to let you know that I got the job!

    SUSAN: OMG! That’s wonderful news. Well done!

    JULIE: Tnx!

    SUSAN: The next dinner will be on you.

    JULIE: lol! BTW, how’s the restaurant? Is it any good?

    SUSAN: Yes, it’s pretty decent in my OPN. Perhaps it is slightly over-priced.

    JULIE. Okay, well, I’ll leave you to it. Enjoy Urself!

    SUSAN: Okay. See ya, And L8R you can tell me all about the new job in person.

    JULIE: Kisses!

    1. Nice job Hiron! A little tip: If you want to make it even more like text-speak, you can omit the ‘I’
      e.g:
      SUSAN: Yes, I’m still at the restaurant with friends. I’ll be back home L8R. Is it anything important?
      >SUSAN: Yes! Still at the restaurant with friends. Be back home L8R. Anything important?

  6. JULIE: Hi Susan. U busy now?

    SUSAN: Yes, Still at the restaurant with my homegirl. BBL. anything important?

    JULIE: Just wanted to let you know, I got the job!

    SUSAN: OMG! That’s amazing news. Well done!

    JULIE: ThanQ!

    SUSAN: Next dinner on you.

    JULIE: LOL! BTW, how is the restaurant? good?

    SUSAN: Yeah, it’s pretty decent. slightly over-priced.

    JULIE. OK, well, I’ll leave you to it. Enjoy!

    SUSAN: Kay. CU. tell me abt the new job F2F L8R.

    JULIE: Xxx!

    1. Nice work Alia! This is super.
      For other students BBL = be back later
      A tip: If you want to make it EVEN shorter, you could omit some words, like:
      SUSAN: OMG! That’s amazing news. Well done!
      SUSAN: OMG! Amazing news. Well done!

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