ConversationsSkillsSpeaking

How to Use British Slang in a Conversation

London, UK, Union jack, learnenglishontheinternet

Get tips on how to use British slang in a conversation and what phrases are common in the UK. Find links to other websites where you can compare English used in the UK with English used in Australia or the USA.

English is spoken in many different countries. There are lots of words that all English speakers use, but there are also lots of slang words or pronunciation that are only used in one specific country. 

Australians speak a slightly different English than Brits (British people), and people from the USA speak slightly different English than Canadians.

On our instagram page @learnenglishontheinternet we gave you different phrases British people use, and different phrases people from the USA use. This blog will talk about British English. 

Below is a conversation using lots of these British phrases. In the video you will hear them spoken in a British and a US accent.

You can also read the transcript and then we will talk about the language we have used.

Transcript

A: Hi

B: Hello, you still up for today?

A: I know we said we would go for a walk today, but I’m knackered. And it’s chucking it down. Fancy a cuppa instead? We could go to that new cafe in town.

B: Sure, that sounds good. I’m zonked too. I might have a kip before we meet up.

A: Do you want to ring me when you wake up, and we can decide a time then?

B: That sounds good.

A: I know a place that does great bangers and mash. It’s called The White Lion. The pub in Hassocks.

B: Cool, I’ll talk to you later.

A: Ok, Bye.

This blog will take you step-by-step from the example conversation to the British vocabulary you will need.  So you can have this conversation and be confident in speaking English. This is for any level: elementary, intermediate or even advanced English speakers.

British slang

Meaning

I’m knackered

I’m really tired / exhausted.

it’s chucking it down

It’s raining really hard outside (a lot of rain)

Fancy a cuppa

Do you want a cup of tea?

I’m zonked

I’m really tired.

I might have a kip 

I might have a nap (short sleep).

bangers and mash

Sausages and mashed potato

white sheets on a bed with persons leg and arm draped over them

How British people say they’re tired

There are lots of ways to say you’re tired. Words like ‘knackered’ and ‘zonked’ are informal words you would use to say you are very, very tired.

Sometimes you might not be tired, but you have no energy.  

3 ways to say this are:

  • I’m wiped out today. (Or ‘The children wiped me out today.’)
  • I’ve got no energy today.
  • I’m so lethargic today.

The first 2 are informal and the last one is more formal.
You should remember that ‘wipe out’ is a phrasal verb that can be separated:
You can say ‘It wiped me out’ or ‘They were wiped out’.

union jack umbrella, rainy Britain, rain, UK, lernenglishontheinternet

How British people talk about the weather

One of the things Brits talk about the most, in informal conversations with people they don’t know very well, is the weather.

It does often rain in England, and there are lots of different types of rain, so there is lots of vocabulary for rain!

3 ways to say ‘It’s raining a lot’:

  • It’s chucking it down.
  • It’s pouring today.
  • It’s coming down heavily out there! / It’s raining heavily.

3 ways to say ‘It’s raining a little’:

  • It’s only drizzling. (To drizzle) – Very light rain
  • It’s spitting. – Very light rain.
  • We’ve had showers all day. – When it rains for a short time, then stops and starts again (many times).

If you want more vocabulary about rain, you can click here. This vocabulary is for British, American and Australian English.

Sausages, BBQ, British food, English food, learnegnlishontheinternet
potato, dinner, british food, English food, learnenglishontheinternet
roast, chicken, roast dinner, sunday roast, learnenglishontheinternet, British food, English food

How British people talk about food

One meal that is traditionally British is sausages and mashed potato, usually with gravy and peas. This is often called bangers (sausages) and mash (potato).

Another very traditional British meal is the ‘Sunday roast’. This is roast (cooked in the oven) chicken, pork, beef or lamb.

We often have it with carrots and peas, gravy and roast potatoes. Although you can put almost any vegetable with it.

Traditionally Brits ate it on a Sunday at lunch because it can take a long time to prepare, but now you can have it any day!

Now we often just say ‘I had a roast’, you don’t need to say ‘Sunday roast’, or ‘roast chicken’.

If you would like examples of British English vs American English you can go here.

For examples of Australian English you can watch this video:
How to speak Aussie: Abbreviate everything!

If you want more help with using British slang, or even Australian or American slang: book a consultation with us and we will teach you any vocabulary, grammar or pronunciation you need.

You can also get more tips on remembering vocabulary here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.