Useful phrases in British English

A collection of useful phrases in British English, a variety of English spoken in the UK, recorded by Simon Ager, the author of this site. Although I grew up in Lancashire in the northwest of England, my accent is closer to RP (Received Pronunciation), with some regional influences.

If you can provide these phrases and/or recordings in other varieties of English (including regional accents), please contact me.

To see these phrases in many other languages click on the English versions.

Key to abbreviations: frm = formal, inf = informal.

Phrase British English
Welcome Welcome
(General greeting)
Hi (inf)
Hello (on phone) Hello
How are you? How are you?
How are things? (inf)
How's it going? (inf)
Alright? (inf)
Reply to 'How are you?' Fine thanks, and you?
Not bad, and yourself? (inf)
Okay, and you? (inf)
Long time no see Long time no see
I haven't seen you for a long time
I haven't seen you for ages
What's your name? What's your name?
What are you called?
My name is ... My name is ...
I'm called ...
Where are you from? Where are you from?
Where do you come from?
I'm from ... I'm from ...
I come from ...
Pleased to meet you Pleased to meet you
Nice to meet you
A pleasure to meet you
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Good morning
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Good afternoon
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Good evening
Good night Good night
Night night (inf)
Sweet dreams
Good night, sleep tight
Good night, sleep tight, hope the bedbugs don't bite
(Parting phrases)
Farewell (frm)
Bye bye
See you
See you later
Good luck Good luck!
Break a leg!
(said before a musical/theatrical performance
(Toasts used when drinking)
Good health!
Bottoms up!
Down the hatch!
Have a nice day Have a nice day
Have a lovely day
Have a pleasant day
Have a good day
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Enjoy your meal!
Bon appetit!
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Bon voyage!
Have a good journey!
Have a good trip!
I understand I understand
I see
I get it
I don't understand I don't understand
I don't get it
Yes Yes
Yeah (inf)
No No
Nah (inf)
Maybe Maybe
I don't know I don't know
I dunno (inf)
Dunno (inf)
Please speak more slowly Please speak more slowly
Could you speak a bit more slowly?
Slow down please
Please say that again Please say that again
Could you say that again?
Please repeat that
Please write it down Please write it down
Could you possibly write it down?
Could you write it down?
Would you mind writing it down?
Do you speak English? Do you speak English?
Can you speak English?
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
Yes, a little
Speak to me in English Please speak to me in English
Would you speak to me in English, please?
Could you possibly speak to me in English?
Would you mind speaking to me in English?
How do you say ... in English? How do you say ... in English?
What's the English word for ...?
What's the English for ...?
Excuse me Excuse me
How much is this? How much is this?
What does this cost?
How much does this cost?
Sorry Sorry
I'm sorry
Terribly sorry
Awfully sorry
I apologise
Please Please
Thank you Thank you
Thank you very much
Thanks a lot (inf)
Thanks (inf)
Ta (inf)
Cheers (inf)
Reply to thank you You're welcome
You're very welcome
Don't mention it
No problem
No worries
Where's the toilet? Where's the toilet?
Where's the loo?
Where's the bathroom?
Where's the gents?
Where's the ladies?
Where's the bog? (inf)
This gentleman will pay for everything This gentleman will pay for everything
This lady will pay for everything This lady will pay for everything
Would you like to dance with me? Would you like to dance with me?
Would you like to dance?
Would you care for a dance?
Do you want to dance?
I miss you I miss you
I love you I love you
I adore you
Get well soon Get well soon
Go away! Go away!
Get out of it!
Get lost!
Leave me alone! Leave me alone!
Help! Help!
Fire! Fire!
Stop! Stop!
Call the police! Call the police!
Christmas and New Year greetings Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Easter greetings Happy Easter
Birthday greetings Happy birthday
One language is never enough One language is never enough
My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?
My hovercraft is full of eels


  • RP or Received Pronunciation is a prestige accent of English that originates in the south of England and can be heard throughout England and Wales. It is spoken by about 2% of the UK population.
  • The phrase 'Where's the bathroom?' is more commonly used in American English, however in the UK it might be used when visiting someone's home.

More information

Download the audio files (Zip format, 7.85MB)

Information about English | British English phrases | Tower of Babel in English | Books about English | English-related links

Phrases in Germanic languages

Afrikaans, Bavarian, Alsatian, Danish, Dutch, Elfdalian, English (British), Faroese, Flemish (West), Frisian (North), Frisian (West), German, Gothic, Icelandic, Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, Norwegian, Old English, Scots, Swedish, Swiss German (Basel dialect), Swiss German (Chur dialect), Swiss German (Lucerne dialect), Yiddish

Phrases in other languages Free Translation Online | Cheap Essay | Essay Writing Service | Paper Writing Service

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a person who knows all the languages of the world and can effortlessly speak with anyone and anywhere on their native tongue? It's probably impossible but you can, at least, try to learn some of the most common phrases. We have a very helpful table here with popular phrases you might need while traveling and learning the languages.

All you have to do is to click on the word you're interested in and you'll see its translation to many languages. Have fun learning and exploring the world!

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