AVOID Repeating These Words in Daily English Conversation - Use These Alternative Words


- Hello everyone and welcome back to English with Lucy.

Today I'm going to talk to you about five very boring,

overused words, yes, no, sorry, thank you, and okay.

These are words that we use all the time

in daily English conversation,

and I'm going to give you some more advanced,

more specialised alternatives

that you can use on a daily basis.

This is perfect for you,

if you don't want to repeat yourself over and over again.

There's nothing worse than feeling

that you're repeating yourself.

Well, actually, there might be some worse things in life.

Before we get started,

I would just like to thank the sponsor of today's video,

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Right, let's get started with the lesson.

Okay, let's start with the word yes.

I'm pretty confident that most of you know this word,

I bet you can't even remember when you learnt this word.

In English, we have lots of alternatives for this word,

but learners of English will often find themselves

just using the word yes, instead of the alternatives.

I have got seven for you today,

the first one is this one, yep, yep.

Now this is usually used in spoken English,

and it's quite informal.

It's a non-standard spelling of yes,

and it represents the pronunciation, yep, yep.

"Have you done your homework?"

"Yep, yep, I have."

We use it all the time, especially in casual conversations,

but when I was teaching students in person, I would use it

and they would look at me with a face of confusion.

It's not a word that you often find in textbooks,

an alternative for this which is used more in America,

you'll still find it in Britain,

but because it's a spoken word rather than a written word,

this next alternative represents

the American pronunciation more, its, yap, yap.

We also have number three, which is yeah, yeah.

This can be spelled in a variety of ways,

but it's normally used in spoken English,

and it is just a casual way of saying yes,

and I imagine if we did a study

of every single sentence uttered

by English speakers across the world,

I feel that yeah, would be more common than yes.

I feel that I hear it more than yes.

Yes has lots of emphasis, it's more formal.

Yeah, is more casual,

and it's easier to say in my opinion.

Now, number four, is slightly more formal,

and it is used to respond usually to a request.

It's certainly, certainly.

We also have the more American version which is sure, sure.

"Can you drive me home today?"

"Sure, certainly."

Now, because in the UK,

we watch a lot of American TV programmes and American films,

we are becoming more used to using Americanisms like sure,

so it's definitely something that we will understand

and potentially use.

An additional alternative number six is,

of course, of course.

Now the last one, or should I say the last three,

but I've grouped them into one,

they're not necessarily a direct translation of yes,

but they're used in place of yes.

They are I do, I will, and I have,

and there are many others as well.

I'm talking about echoing a question.

For example, "Do you like kittens?"

Instead of saying, yes, you could say I do.

"Will you have a kitten soon?"

"Yes, I will."

"Have you bought an excessive amount of cute kitten toys?"

Yes or I have.

I just thought I'd mention that one there,

so if you find yourself saying yes, a lot,

you can switch it up and say something different.

Now, what comes next?

I'll give you a few seconds to guess, it's no.

So in the yes section I mentioned yep and yap,

we have that informal variant of no as well,

it is nope, nope.

"Did you do your homework?"

"Nope, nope."

Again, as with yep, I think that we use nope, more than no.

I would like a scientist to do a study into this,

it's something I want to know about,

but I don't care enough to do it myself.

Another alternative, which is potentially used more

in America, and it's definitely not formal,

you would not want to say this to your boss, nah, nah.

I use this a lot actually, I'd use it with my friends,

I use it to express a bit of disgust.

"Do you want this for dinner?"

"Urgh, nah, nah"

I might also use it if I'm expressing a bit of disbelief.

"Nah, no I don't believe that, nah"

Another one which is very forceful, no way, no way.

There is no way in hell that I'm going to do that, no way.

Now, I'm not sure if you know this,

but British people love to say please, thank you, and sorry,

sorry, especially all the time,

so it should come as no surprise,

that sorry, is a perfectly fine alternative for no.

This is global, but especially in Britain.

"Are you coming tonight?"


I don't even have to say no, just a sorry, we'll do.

Something that's slightly less strong is not likely,

not likely, rather than saying it's not likely,

just not likely, will do.

"Do you think you'll get a promotion this year?"

"Not likely, no, I don't think

"that I will get a promotion this year."

Now another really forceful one, we can say absolutely not,

or certainly not.

I love that word,

and I'm noticing it growing in popularity at the moment.

Everyone seems to be saying absolutely,

so get on board the absolutely train, absolutely not.

"Will you go out with him again?"

"Absolutely not, certainly not."

If you want to express no in another apologetic way we have,

unfortunately not, unfortunately not.

Or we also have, I'm afraid not, I'm afraid not,

and don't get this confused,

because to be afraid of something

is to be scared of something, but if I say I'm afraid not,

it means I'm sorry.

You know, I'm scared to tell you this

because I'm so sorry about it, but no.

We also have, if only, if only, short for if only I could.

"Can you come tonight?"

"If only, if only I could but I can't."

It's implying that you can't,

and finally one to use if you're offered something

or you're offered an experience and you want to decline it,

I'll pass, short for I'll pass on that, no, thank you.

Right, let's move on to Britain's favourite word, sorry.

I've got five alternatives for you.

The first one is I didn't mean it or I didn't mean to.

Most of these can be used in conjunction with sorry,

so don't worry, Brits watching,

you can still use your favourite word.

"I didn't mean to run over your toe."

To run over something implies that you have gone over it

with your car wheel.

Another one, it was wrong of me.

"It was wrong of me to put your white work shirts

"in with my red knickers."

You've got pink work shirts now.

Alternatively, you could say I was wrong to.

"I was wrong to go to the concert without you,

"to go and see your favourite band without you."

Also we have I should never have.

"I should never have worn white on your wedding day."

True story, I didn't wear white, but I went to a wedding

and a girl was wearing a white bridal-style dress,

is this okay in your culture?

Let me know because it's not okay in ours,

didn't say anything just judged silently.

Now the last one, this is definitely an Americanism,

it's come over to the UK, and it's very, very casual

and can sometimes be considered obnoxious

if used in an incorrect situation so be careful with it,

but it is my bad, my bad.

Now I remember being a young child

and hearing this on programmes like Friends,

and I didn't really understand what it meant.

I was always taught to say sorry, of course,

because I grew up in Britain and it's our favourite word,

but I remember hearing my bad and thinking your bad,

like you are bad?

No, my bad, it's a very casual,

fairly impolite way of saying sorry,

it's okay to use it with your friends

and if it's not a serious mistake.

Okay, let's move on to thank you, thank you.

I have got eight alternatives for thank you,

lots to do here.

The first one is you're a star, you're a star,

or you're an absolute star, we're using the absolute word.

Instead of saying thank you,

we're just telling someone that they're so wonderful,

and we appreciate them so much.

Very similar is you're a life-saver, you're a life-saver.

So that means that somebody has done something

that has saved you a lot of trouble.

Maybe you left your phone on a train,

and somebody managed to get in contact with you

and give it back to you,

"Ah, you're a lifesaver, you've saved my life."

"You've brought me my smartphone back and that is my life."

Another way of showing that you really appreciate someone,

I don't know what I'd do without you.

I don't know what I'd do without you,

very similar to life-saver.

Another one which is a good way to respond to a compliment

because if you're lucky enough

to receive lots of compliments,

you might find yourself saying thank you, thanks, thank you,

thanks all the time, and that's a wonderful problem to have.

But another phrase that we can use is, I appreciate that,

I appreciate it, I appreciate that.

Yeah, it's a nice one,

so next time you receive lots and lots of compliments,

you can switch between,

thank you, I appreciate that, thanks, I appreciate it.

Ah, you're just so lucky to have me aren't you?

I have equipped you for your next influx of compliments.

You're welcome.

Now something you can say

if someone has made an extra effort for you,

if they've gone above and beyond

that means to make an extra effort,

you can say you shouldn't have, you shouldn't have

and this doesn't literally mean,

you shouldn't have done something,

it's obviously done with a smile.

It means you shouldn't have gone to so much effort,

thank you so much.

Finally, we have three informal ones.

One is extremely British, and there was actually a study,

the other day, the other day, I mean a couple of years ago

in a very unreliable newspaper, but I enjoyed reading it,

saying that this word has now replaced thank you.

It is cheers, cheers, and this is typically something we say

when we bash our drinks together before drinking them,

but now it's something we use instead of thank you.

"Cheers, cheers, mate, thank you for that."

Another one, which I don't like,

and I've said this before in a video, I don't like it.

At nurseries and at schools,

they encourage the children to say ta instead of thank you,

because it's easier to say,

but when someone says, "Ah, tah, tah very much."

I just think it sounds

like they're not putting in enough effort,

but maybe I just need to get over myself,

and then the last one is fab, short for fabulous.

It's just a way of saying, great,

thank you so much fab, that's fab.

Okay, lastly, on to overused word number five,

it's okay, okay.

I have got five here for you.

The first one is okey-dokey, okey-dokey,

or is it Ned Flanders from the Simpsons

that says okely-dokely, maybe don't say that, well, you can.

Okey-dokey is very common.

It's definitely something that's informal.

Use it amongst friends.

Potentially don't write it in formal academic writing.

Definitely don't use it in formal academic writing.

Another very plain and simple alternative is all right,

all right, okay, all right,

they are almost exactly the same.

We also have very well, very well

which almost implies a little bit of displeasure.

"Very well if that's what you want."

Next, we have right-oh, right-oh,

and this is one that has come from my fiance,

I asked him just before writing this script,

if he can think of any other alternatives for okay,

and he said right-oh

and this is definitely one that is used

by the older generation, I think,

but I think it's a lovely one,

and these older kind of more old fashioned words

do come back in fashion. If I were to say to him,

"Oh, by the way,

"my mom's coming over for lunch."

"Right-oh, good, okay."

And the last one, one that is very commonly used in Britain

when we don't want to express,

positive or negative emotions about something, fair enough,

fair enough, okay, I have no feelings about this.

Right, that was it for today's lesson.

I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you learned something.

Please feel free to share any other alternatives

that you can think of,

or any alternatives that you use in your own language

that might not necessarily translate into English,

but might be interesting.

I'm always interested in where you're from

and what kind of words you use.

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I will see you soon for another lesson, mwah.

(gentle music)