text messages and comments

How to write text messages and comments on social media in English

Hi, it’s Kerin here from English Digital Academy and this lesson is all about how to write text messages and comments on social media naturally and fluently in English.

Have you ever got a WhatsApp message from a native English speaker and just been like WTF? (You see what I did there?!)

Or noticed that grammar rules seem to go out the window when you read comments on Facebook or Instagram?!  Love it or hate it, the way we write in English when using these channels is dramatically different to how we write in English in other situations. 

In this lesson I’ll show you some things that you can do to make your English more modern when you text or comment on social. In the second section, we’ll look at the most common acronyms used in these situations.

by Kerin

Original post May 6 2019, updated Jan 19th 2023

How to write text messages and comments and chat on social media

Use acronyms to write text messages and comments

One way to improve how you write text messages and comments on social is to use acronyms!

Listen & read

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 WhatsApp 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:​

Next try the quiz:​

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

Last task: Activate!
Write your own text message

English Digital Academy

Your turn! Read the conversation below between two friends.

Your task is to transform it into a text like that of a native English 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: text messages and comments​

  • 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!
Kerin Goodall Founder English Digital Academy

ps. Want to improve your English and move towards English proficiency? Discover all my courses here

14 thoughts on “How to write text messages and comments on social media in English”

  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?

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