Common English abbreviations explained

Do English abbreviations confuse you? You’re not alone! 

From abbreviations and slang words to colloquial and regional sayings, the English language has so much variation!

Here’s your guide to what some of them actually mean.


Post script”

Sometimes found at the end of a note. P.S. is normally used to include an extra thought or comment that was left out in the letter.

However, the use of P.S is diminishing; it was more commonly used in typewritten letters, which didn’t allow you to go back and edit.

Example: P.S I forgot to note in my above email that I am away on Monday.


Répondez s’il vous plait”

This acronym is French for “respond, if you please”.

This abbreviation is normally used at the end of invitations as a way of asking you to reply with a “yes, I will attend,” or “no, I will not attend”.

Example: Please R.S.V.P by the 12th of January to let us know if you can attend or not.

english abbreviations rsvp


Point of view.”

Used when describing what you think about something.

Example: From my P.O.V. the red curtains look nicer than the green.


As soon as possible”

This English abbreviation is used when encouraging someone to respond to a request without delay or when something is happening promptly.

Example: I’m running a little bit late, but I’m leaving A.S.A.P.



Estimated time of arrival”

This common English abbreviation is used to guess when you are going to arrive somewhere.

Example: My E.T.A is 6pm, if I leave by 5pm.

English Abbreviations


Bring your own bottle”

This saying is used when you’re attending a party where you’re expected to bring your own beverages. Some restaurants also offer this too!

Example: I’m having a birthday party at my house on Saturday, it’s B.Y.O.B.


Be right back.”

One of the many online English abbreviations, which lets your friends know that you’ll be away from your keyboard for a few minutes.

Example: B.R.B. I’m just cooking some dinner.

Common English Abbreviations Explained


Do it yourself”

This means creating, often building something on your own.

Example: I’ve bought a new bed, but it’s D.I.Y.


Too much information!”

Used as a response when sharing too much or inappropriate personal information.

Example: She was telling me all about her personal life, it was T.M.I.



For your information”

This English abbreviation is often used when forwarding an e-mail to colleagues or friends. It usually means that information is simply being shared.

Example: F.Y.I please note the email below.


Virtual reality.”

This is where computer technology creates a simulated 3D environment. Virtual reality places the user inside an experience by wearing the headset rather than just watching something on a screen.

Example: My new PlayStation V.R. headset is great, it is so realistic.

VR headset


Frequently asked question”

Normally a series of common questions and answers on a specific topic.

Example: Look at the F.A.Q’s on this website, we might find the answer there.


Now you can start using these abbreviations A.S.A.P. to let people know your E.T.A. at the B.Y.O.B. party. 

P.S. if you liked this blog post, why not read all about London slang and Irish slang too! 

F.Y.I. you can find out more about studying abroad with INTO on our website.

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1 Response

  1. June 29, 2017

    […] To continue your learning further, you may also like to read about London slang or common English abbreviations explained. […]

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