Using LIKE in Casual Conversation

MIchael Conversational Phrases

In this English idiom lesson, we are going to look at the word like. I am sure you know how to use like as a verb meaning fondness or enjoyment. For example, I like pizza! But the word like has some very interesting uses in colloquial, everyday SPOKEN English. Here are a few examples of how like is used these days:

Reported Speech
We can use like to introduce reported speech instead of the word said. In this usage, we say was like to mean said. This use of like is very casual and used more by teenagers and young adults. Here is an example:

  • My mom was like, “Where are you going?” and I was like, “To the movies with Jenny” and so she was like, “What time are you coming home” and I was like, “At midnight I guess” and she was like, “Isn’t that a bit late?” and I was like…..

As an Adverb
We can also use like as an adverb, to mean sort of or nearly like this:

    • I couldn’t go to the party last night because I was like, really tired.
    • The boss is like, really upset with something today.
    • I am like, so bored with TV these days.


Like can also be used to mean about or approximately

  • The beach is like fifteen miles from here.
  • The concert last night was like three hours long!
  • I’m like ten pounds overweight. I need to exercise more

These are some of the most common uses of the word like in spoken English. Have you ever heard like used this way? Do you know other ways like is used? Leave a comment and let us know!

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!



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