English Slang: Uses of “like” and Synonyms of “say”


Synonyms for say/said

He’s like, “What’s your problem?”

He was like…


He’s all, “What’s your problem?”

He was all…


He goes, “What’s your problem?”

He went…




The meanings of “like”

In addition to the verb (enjoy) and preposition (similar) meanings, like has several uses in American English.  These meanings are only used in informal spoken English and most often by younger people.  You should never use these meanings in formal writing.

1) narration: She was like, “I hate you!”  And he was like, “I hate you more!”

2) for example/such as: “When you can’t come to work, like if you’re sick or your car won’t start, just call me.”

3) general intensifier/filler: “Like, I don’t know!”  “Like, can we leave now?”

4) about/almost/nearly: “There are like 25 people in the class.”  “That movie is like 3 hours long.”


Informal to formal English


Change the following phrases from informal English to formal English:

She was like, “I don’t care!” =                                                                            

How ya doin? =                                                                                         

There are like 100 people here! =                                                              

Lemme know soon. =                                                                                

I’m gonna leave now. =                                                                              


Rewrite the following reduced forms into formal English:

wanna =                                                                        

gotta =                                                                          

doncha =                                                                       

woulda =                                                                       

hafta =                                                                          


Rewrite the following sentences, deleting the fillers in speech:                     

Hi, um, my name is Mike. I’m from Michigan, you know, the state that looks like a mitten. Uh, I’m 20 years old and yeah, I like to play soccer and hockey. I mean, I love all sports but soccer is my favorite.



From Free ESL


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