English abbreviations that are important “imo” Posted by on Apr 7, 2015 in English Language, English Vocabulary

Image 'WFT" by Niels Heidenreich on

Image ‘WFT” by Niels Heidenreich on

Abbreviations, or short forms of words and phrases, are quite common in English. They are particularly common in electronic communication such as emails, texting, messaging on social media, and so on. One of the reasons written abbreviations are so common is because they are quicker to type than full words. So they save time and we all like to save time, right? Knowing common English abbreviations is important for understanding, of course, but learning to use them yourself is also a great way to add new vocabulary to your repertoire.  Just keep in mind that abbreviations are definitely informal English and best used with friends and family, but not in formal school or business writing.

Note: Abbreviations traditionally are written in all capital letters in English, like acronyms, but when they are used in texting, chat rooms, or on social media they are more commonly written in all lowercase letters. Using either all capital letters, or all lower case letters, is fine.

AMA – ask me anything
BRB – be right back
BTW – by the way
FYI – for your information
GG – good game
ICYMI – in case you missed it
IDC  – I don’t care
IDK – I don’t know
IKR – I know right? (This is an emphatic expression of agreement.)
ILY – I love you
IMO – in my opinion
JK – just kidding
LOL – laugh out loud
LMAO – Laugh my a** off
OMG – oh my god
PPL – people
TGIF – thank God it’s Friday
THX – thanks
TBH – to be honest
WTF – what the f*ck (This is an emphatic expression of surprise or anger.)
YOLO – you only live once

Well, now that you have had a look at these common English acronyms, let’s take a look at how they can be used. Here are some texting conversations using acronyms from above, and a few others I introduced in this post. Keep in mind, these are not examples of spoken conversations, they are all written electronic conversations.

Jim: icymi we just made it 2 the finals
John: I saw – gg

Al: tgif want to get drinks l8r  (l8r=later)
Abi: idk I’m feeling tired
Al: come on yolo

Eric: wtf did you see what Kate wore 2 work today
Erin: imo ppl can wear whatever they want – who cares

Now that you have seen how some of these acronyms can be used, why not see if you can figure out which acronyms go where in this fill in the blank. Good luck!

1.    That was so funny it literally made me ________.
2.    I love the present you got me, __________.
3.    _________ ! I can’t believe that you just said that.
4.    I __________ during the movie we went to last night. It was hilarious.
5.    I know what I am talking about ________.



1.    LOL 2. THX 3. OMG 4. LMAO 5. FYI

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About the Author: Gabriele

Hi there! I am one of Transparent Language's ESL bloggers. I am a 32-year-old native English speaker who was born and raised in the United States. I am living in Washington, DC now, but I have lived all over the US and also spent many years living and working abroad. I started teaching English as a second language in 2005 after completing a Master's in Applied Linguists and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults' (CELTA). Since that time I have taught ESL in the United States at the community college and university level. I have also gone on to pursue my doctorate in psychology and now I also teach courses in psychology. I like to stay connected to ESL learners around the world through Transparent Languages ESL Blog. Please ask questions and leave comments on the blog and I will be sure to answer them.


  1. ReelCarina:

    I especially love IKR!