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Conversational Phrases

With examples, notes and quizzes
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About conversational phrases

Conversational phrases are expressions that are typically used in speaking, less so in writing. If you're planning to live or study in an English-speaking country, or if you have to speak English at work, these phrases are especially important.

conversational phrases

You'll find over 450 conversational phrases here, each with its own page or entry. Each entry includes a definition, two example sentences showing how the phrase is used, a multiple-choice quiz question that tests your understanding, and sometimes extra notes.

Meaning

In many cases, even if you know every word in a phrase, the actual meaning and use of the phrase may not be clear. For example, if you're giving something to someone, maybe a report or a cup of coffee, you can say "Here you are" or "Here you go". As you can see, there are no clues in the words themselves that tell you what the phrase means, or when and why it's used. If you study the phrase's entry, however, you'll learn these things.

Register

Some conversational phrases also have a "register", such as "formal" or "informal". For example, "Here you are" is more formal than "Here you go". If you're handing a coffee to your boss, you can say "Here you are", but if you're handing one to your friend, you can say "Here you go". If you say "Here you go" to your boss, however, he or she might think you're being impolite. You can see from this example how important it is to know a phrase's register. Not all phrases have a particular register, but the ones that do have are tagged with "formal" or "informal", or the register is explained in the notes. (See the entry for here you are.)

Contributor: Matt Errey