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Text lingo

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This activity introduces students to some English text message abbreviations.

Jo Budden


Photocopy the text message abbreviations and their standard English equivalents. You can either hand these out as a worksheet or cut them up into strips for students to match.


Ask your students how they send texts and to teach you a few tricks for messaging in their language. Then tell them that in English there are lots of ways to shorten texts.

  • Give out the worksheet or cut up strips to each group of three or four students.
  • Ask them to read the messages and to match them with their standard English equivalent.
  • Tell them the answers and ask them if they have any equivalents in their L1.
Abbreviation Meaning
1) C U L8R M8 a) As far as I know
2) B4 b) Love you with all my heart
3) AFAIK c) Boring
4) W8 4 ME, I'M L8, SOZ d) Text me back
5) KIT e) Have a nice day
6) RUOK? f) See you later mate
7) LUWAMH g) Keep in touch
8) HAND h) Easy
9) Zzzzzzzzz i) Are you okay?
10) KOTL j) Wait for me, I’m late, sorry
11) TMB k) See you tonight or tomorrow
12) 0 ME l) By the way
13) EZ m) Before
14) BTW n) Ring me
15) C U 2NITE O 2MORO o) Kiss on the lips


  1. f
  2. m
  3. a
  4. j
  5. g
  6. i
  7. b
  8. e
  9. c
  10. o
  11. d
  12. n
  13. h
  14. l
  15. k
Language level
Language Level: 
Pre-intermediate: A2

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