Why Try and Sound British?

If you want to sound more British, then these 15 phrases, typically only used by British people, will help you.

Now just to be clear, you actually don’t need to try and sound like a British person. 

You can be an effective and confident English speaker using a mix of American, British, Irish, Canadian and Australian phrases and accents. 

You can even have a local accent (from your country) and still be a great communicator in English.

That said, these phrases can be extremely useful if you are living in, or going to live in, Great Britain.

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They will help you better understand the local people.

Also, because many of these phrases are what we call slang (informal expressions used in a certain place), they can be used to surprise, create humour and build a connection with local people. 

What’s more, these phrases will help you understand British films and TV series like Killing Eve, Sherlock, After Life, The Split and many more.

How Do You Greet People in British English?

The most common greetings in English are 

A: Hello!

B: Hi!

But, in many parts of Britain, we also use the following with friends and family

A: Hiya 

B: Hiya 

This is pronounced the same as ‘higher’

A very common greeting is ‘alright’ and is actually used as a question, and the response is the same word! It probably means ‘are you alright?’ but we just use it to mean ‘hello’.

A: Alright?

B: Alright?

After saying ‘hello’, most people then ask the following, which is probably the most common greeting;

A: How are you?

B: Fine, thanks  

In addition, in very informal situations we often use the following instead, 

How’s it going?

How are you doing? 

How’s tricks?

And the answer in British English is often very calm and underwhelming, such as,

Not bad

Can’t complain 

Mustn’t grumble

Same old, same old

  • To grumble = to complain
Greeting friends

How to Invite Someone in British English

Of course the most common way to invite people to something or to do something is to say,

  • Would you like a _____?
  • Would you like to _____?

For example, 

Would you like a coffe?

Would you like to go out for a drink?

In British English, we also use the word ‘fancy’ which can mean to like someone (and find them attractive) and also to feel like something or doing something. In this case of inviting, we are using the second meaning.

Fancy a coffee? 

Fancy going out for a drink?

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