Basic phrases

Here are some basic English phrases which you can use in everyday conversation, as well as some common words you will see on signs.

yes
no
maybe or perhaps
please
thanks
thank you
thanks very much
thank you very much

The following are some polite ways you can reply to someone who thanks you:

you're welcome
don't mention it
not at all

Saying hello and goodbye

Here are some different ways to greet people:

hi (quite informal)
hello
good morning (used before noon)
good afternoon (used between noon and 6pm)
good evening (used after 6pm)

The following expressions, on the other hand, are some different things you can say when saying goodbye:

bye
goodbye
goodnight
see you!
see you soon!
see you later!
have a nice day!
have a good weekend!

Getting someone's attention and apologising

excuse me (can be used to get someone's attention, to get past someone, or to apologise)
sorry

If someone apologises to you, you can reply using one of the following expressions:

no problem
it's OK or that's OK
don't worry about it

Making yourself understood

do you speak English?
I don't speak English
I don't speak much English
I only speak very little English
I speak a little English
please speak more slowly
please write it down
could you please repeat that?
I understand
I don't understand

Other basic phrases

I know
I don't know
excuse me, where's the toilet?
excuse me, where's the Gents?
excuse me, where's the Ladies?

Things you might see

Entrance
Exit
Emergency exit
Push
Pull
Toilets
WC
Gentlemen (often abbreviated to Gents)
Ladies
Vacant
Occupied or Engaged
Out of order
No smoking
Private
No entry
sound

Sound is available for all the English phrases on this page — simply click on any phrase to hear it.

Mobile app

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