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English expressions explained

04 Jul 2019 - Fiona Raleigh

Sometimes when you are learning a language, you will come across words, phrases or expressions that you were never taught in class. In English, there are so many slang words and phrases that you might only hear if you actually live in a particular English-speaking country and immerse yourself in the culture.

We asked our students who are studying in the USA to tell us a new expression or phrase they’ve learned since moving abroad. Read on to find out what they said!

English expressions explained

 

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EXPRESSIONS EXPLAINED 💬 We asked our students to tell us a new expression or phrase they've learned since moving abroad. 🌎 X, studying at @ipnortheastern, says " 'Lit'. As in 'That’s so lit!' It means something is very cool." 🔥 😎 Ever heard someone say this? #KaplanLife #ExpressionsExplained

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X, studying at Northeastern University, says the newest phrase he’s learned is “lit.” As in: “That’s so lit!” means something is very cool.

"For here or to go?”

Amol from India, studying at Northeastern says, “When I ordered food in a restaurant, and the cashier said ‘for here or to to go?’ I didn’t know what she meant. She had to repeat it 3 times and then act it out. It was a bit funny and embarrassing!”

“What’s up?”

Jaehan from South Korea and studying at Pace University says, “When people meet, they say this to each other, but I still don’t really know how to respond. What do I say… 'Nothing?'… That’s kind of awkward. Sometimes I just stay silent!”

 

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EXPRESSIONS EXPLAINED 💬 We asked our students to tell us a new expression or phrase they've learned since moving abroad. 🌎 Romina from Peru, studying at @pacepathways, says "'Bet' is a slang word, meaning 'OK'." 👌 . Example: "Ready to go?" "Bet." . What expressions have you recently learned? #KaplanLife #ExpressionsExplained

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Romina from Peru, studying at Pace says “bet” is a slang word, meaning “OK.” Example: “Ready to go?” “Bet!”

“Of course!”

Kehinde from Nigeria, studying at Northeastern, says, “When someone says ‘thank you,’ normally I would say ‘you’re welcome,’ but I’ve heard a lot of people here say ‘of course!'"

“Time is money”

KitKat from Thailand says, “Not a new phrase for me, but it’s got new meaning since I got to the USA. In Thailand, we often don’t stick to the time but here, if you have an appointment at 9am, it is actually at 9! So 'time is money' means that time is valuable and you shouldn’t waste it by being late or doing things slowly!”

“Brick”

Annie from the UK, studying at Pace says, “Instead of saying ‘it’s freezing,’ people here say 'it’s brick.' So 'brick' is a slang word for 'very cold.'"

 

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EXPRESSIONS EXPLAINED 💬 We asked our students to tell us a new expression or phrase they've learned since moving abroad. 🌎 Xin from China says "When I first got here, I heard people say "hit" with everything. A lot of time when people took my phone number they’d say “hit me up.” So "Hit me up" means to contact someone. It can also be used to ask someone for something, typically money, e.g. "He hit up some family members" 💵 What expressions have you recently learned? #KaplanLife #ExpressionsExplained

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Xin from China says, “When I first got here, I heard people say ‘hit’ with everything. A lot of time when people took my phone number, they’d say ‘hit me up.’" So,"hit me up" means to contact someone. It can also be used to ask someone for something, typically money. For example, "he hit up some family members."

Study in the USA

So, there you have it: some real-life examples of the kind of English words and phrases that are used in the USA!

If you're interested in studying abroad, there are many ways that you can follow your path to university: you can apply for direct admission, or, if you need to raise your English level to meet entry requirements, you can first study a pathway program. Follow the links below to find out more about studying abroad with Kaplan!

 
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