English is filled with acronyms—abbreviations formed from the initial letters of words in a phrase. Even beginners will encounter acronyms in both formal and informal conversations! You might be familiar with more acronyms than you realize, especially from text messages and social media. 

Here are 16 common English acronyms you'll find everywhere!

English acronyms for work

FYI (For your information), we'll start with FYI, which is used to send an update and can be used either at work ("FYI, I just responded to your email") or with friends ("FYI, I'll be 10 minutes late!").

Another acronym you'll see used in professional situations is TLDR, sometimes written as TL;DR. This stands for “Too long; didn’t read” and is used when you are faced with a long piece of writing that would require too much time to read all the way through. If your co-worker summarizes the report for you, they have given you the TLDR. That's helpful when you need to know the basics ASAP (as soon as possible).

At work and in your personal life, you might often interact with resources like FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on company websites. A list of FAQs provides answers to typical questions that users or readers tend to have.

Your reward at the end of the work week is getting to use the acronym TGIF: “Thank goodness (or thank God) it’s Friday”!

English acronyms for the weekend

Have you ever received an invitation with the acronym RSVP on it? This acronym stands for a French phrase that asks you to please respond to the invitation: Répondez s'il vous plaît (literally, "Please respond"). Although RSVP comes from French, it's very common in English! It’s considered good manners to RSVP when requested. 

Invitations for parties or potlucks might also say BYOB, which means “Bring your own beer” or other beverage. This is an inexpensive way to host a party and encourage people to bring something they would like to drink, alcoholic or otherwise. If you go to the store to pick up a drink for the party, you might see signs saying BOGO (Buy one, get one): If you buy one of that item, then you get a second of the same item for free. That’s a great deal! 

Another acronym filled with weekend vibes is YOLO (You only live once). Although it's been around for many decades, YOLO gained popularity in the 2010s to put a modern spin on Carpe diem and Seize the day: Take advantage of every opportunity!

English acronyms on social media

On social media or in text messages, you might encounter acronyms like IYKYK (If you know, you know), IMO or IMHO (In my (humble) opinion), and FWIW (For what it’s worth). These can be used to share that something is an inside joke as in, “IYKYK I can’t wait to go back to that café on 5th Street,” for example, if there's something special or funny about that café. You can also use them to introduce your own perspective, especially if you think others might disagree or it might be an unpopular opinion, as in “IMO that new movie is not worth your time.” 

If you follow social media accounts run by brands or businesses, you might also see the acronyms ICYMI (In case you missed it) and BTS (Behind the scenes). These are used to advertise something new, highlight updates, or help users get to know the brand better. Sometimes, celebrities, influencers, or popular companies might hold an AMA (Ask me anything), during which fans and followers are invited to submit questions.

TLDR: English acronyms are everywhere!

These popular English acronyms are a great start for learners! It's natural to feel surprised or overwhelmed by new ones you encounter, and our advice is to respond with another favorite English acronym, LOL (laugh out loud) 🤣 There's always more to learn!