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  • Writer's pictureLuke

For Students: Common Words and Phrases in the UK

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

I work for myself, I teach online using Skype and Zoom, I teach individuals, I teach groups, I even have the pleasure of going to different companies to teach or give them the opportunities to speak English in the form of a speaking club. I work in Lviv, Ukraine if you were wondering. Before all of that I used to work for language schools. I was employed as a teacher, I would have my groups, I had a course book, and I would plan lessons using that. The thing about the course books I mostly used was they were in-house produced by some guys in China who weren’t the most experienced nor did they ever include any real natural sounding language. It was all very artificial, especially the! The upside to having such awful material to use was you were encouraged to find alternative sources for more interesting and engaging stuff and even create your own material, which was great for a very eager and knowledge-hungry teacher like myself at that time….

I would always go back home to England for the summer after an academic year and work for the language schools in my hometown. One summer, I decided to record a list of words and phrases I would often hear and then use that list and turn it into a lesson plan for my groups when I got back to the language school I was working for outside of the UK. I named the lesson ‘Luke’s Summer’ nice and original, huh? It’s almost 10 years since I created that list and as I look at the words I noted down, they are all still very relevant today as I type this blog post up in summer, in England almost 10 years later.

Here is the list of words and phrases. You can also download a PDF file here too if you wish to print it and use the translation section.

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A lot of / Many

​There were loads of people at the match



​What do you reckon about going to the cinema at the weekend?


A long time

I was waiting for the bus for ages!

Smt/so do(es) my head in..

Annoys you

His laugh does my head in


Very big

I'll meet you next to that massive statue of the dog.

Well / proper

​Very / really

You should see that film, it's well/proper good

Dying for(something)/ to do something

Really want

I'm dying to see their new baby. I'm dying for a drink, I'm so thirsty


Thank you

Can you call Peter? No problem I'll do it now. Cheers.



Can I swap seats with you? I prefer the aisle seat.


Very tired

I've been working since 4am, I'm knackered

Fancy (something)

Would like

I fancy fish for dinner tonight.

Full up

​You are not hungry. You cannot eat any more food.

Would you like some cake? No thanks, I'm full up

What have you been up to?

What did you get up to?

What are you into?

What have you been doing?

What did you do?

What do you like?

Hey, John, I haven't seen you for ages, what have you been up to?

What did you get up to last night?

What are you into outside of work?

Sort out


You need to sort out that TV, it's not working.

Let’s sort out a beer next week and talk about it

Wind (someone) up

To annoy someone in a friendly way

Every day he talks about my shoes. He is only trying to wind you up.

Are you having a laugh

Are you serious? Are you really telling the truth?

​£10 for a newspaper? You are having a laugh



The t-shirt costs 10 quid

No worries

​It's not a problem (used as a reply)

Thanks for helping me move flat last week, I really appreciate it. No worries


Very good. The UK's version of Awesome

You really need to see that film it’s wicked!

Short cut

A quick way

That road is too busy, use Brick Lane it’s a short cut.


Beautiful / very nice Used to describe something or someone

Your new dress is lush! Where did you get it?



Can you chuck me my jumper on the back on the chair?



I was so pissed last night, I can't remember how I got home



Alright, mate, how's it going?

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Unsafe. Not authentic. Something strange

Don't buy tickets on that website. It's a bit dodgy

​Give someone a bell

​To call someone

OK, mate. I'll give you a bell tomorrow morning



It feels weird


​To have little or no money

I can’t come out tonight because I’m skint


​Really / real

Put your jacket on, it’s proper cold out there.

​I Can’t be bothered/arsed

When you don’t want to do something, but usually have to

I have to go to the post office to pick up my package, but I can’t be arsed


Very rich

Wow! Whoever drives that car has to be loaded!


​Hello, how are you? The reply can also be alright

Alright, Yeah, not bad


Not very good

​England played rubbish last night!

Again, if you would like to PDF version to print out and add to the translation section you can grab it here. Also, be sure to take a follow of my Native Speaker Instagram page to get regular

Cheers - English native speaking CELTA qualified teacher in Lviv and online. - English Speaking Club on Skype and Zoom - Skype and Zoom English Lessons with a Native Speaker! - Use it, don't lose it! Find a language partner today.

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