english survival guide

English Survival Guide: how to easily understand the British

English survival guide: Discover what the British say and what they really mean!

English is a difficult language to master. To follow a conversation with a native English speaker well, you need to have a good understanding of the most common idioms and expressions. To make things even more complicated, native speakers often use polite expressions which actually mean something completely different. Speakily’s English survival guide will help you to identify and understand common expressions that can easily be misinterpreted.

The origins of the list below are unknown but whoever made them most certainly knows a thing or two about British people. If you find yourself in a conversation with a native English speaker and you get the feeling that you are not fully understanding the situation, it might be that they are using some of the terms listed below.

14 translations from English into English:

What The British Say What The British Mean What Others Understand
I hear what you say I disagree and do not want to discuss it further He accepts my point of view
With the greatest respect You are an idiot He is listening to me
That’s not bad That’s good That’s poor
That is a very brave proposal You are insane He thinks I have courage
Quite good A bit disappointing Quite good
I would suggest Do it or be prepared to justify yourself Think about the idea, but do what you like
Oh, incidentally / by the way The primary purpose of our discussion is This is not very important
I was a bit disappointed that I am annoyed that It doesn’t really matter
Very interesting That is clearly nonsense They are impressed
I’ll bear it in mind I’ve forgotten it already They will probably do it
I’m sure it’s my fault It’s your fault Why do they think it was their fault?
You must come for dinner It’s not an invitation, I am just being polite I will get an invitation soon
I almost agree I don’t agree at all He’s not far from agreeing
I only have a few minor comments Please rewrite it completely He has found a few typos
Could we consider some other options I don’t like your idea They have not decided

Have you ever found yourself in a situation with a British person where you have completely misinterpreted what has been said? Share your experience in the comments box below.

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