Linguistic Terms

Abbreviations in English grammar learn 30 of the most used


Abbreviations are defined as; “A spelling convention that allows to reduce the size of words and make a text shorter”. They function as a contraction of the word or set of words in question, usually formed by the first and last letters, although it may vary depending on the case. Abbreviations in English grammar

An abbreviation is a spelling social form or convention that shortens a word in order to simplify a certain term, expression or set of terms. To create an abbreviation, the initial letter (which is written in uppercase or lowercase) is used, followed by some letters that make up the word or concept.

Any word can be abbreviated but there is a distinction between personal abbreviations and conventional abbreviations:

  • The personal abbreviations are those that each person uses in their own language and to communicate informally with others.
  • The conventional abbreviations are endorsed and recognized by speakers of a whole community. For these reasons it can be said that every conventional abbreviation was initially a personal abbreviation but not every personal abbreviation becomes a convention. In addition, conventional abbreviations are regulated by the variables of place and time, so the abbreviations may fall into disuse or last for several decades. Abbreviations in English grammar

The term abbreviation has its origin in the Latin language, and it is a spelling-type procedure that involves the reduction of a word through the suppression of final or central letters and, usually, ends with a period . Some examples are: Atte. (for “attentively” ), Mr. (for “sir” ), Dr. (for “doctor” ).

Although the above abbreviations (and many others) have widespread use and have acquired a conventional way, any person who can write may create an abbreviation for personal use. When a writer does this, he usually includes a glossary at the beginning or end of his work where he explains the particular abbreviations he has used.

There are two ways to abbreviate a term: by truncation or by contraction . The abbreviation for truncation consists in eliminating the final part of the word, as can be seen by observing Av. (By “avenue” ), or etc. (for “etcetera” ). In the Spanish language, this type of abbreviation never ends in a vowel, unlike other languages, such as English (see Ave. , which corresponds to the term “avenue” , which means avenue ).

The abbreviation by contraction , on the other hand, involves the elimination of the central letters of the word, leaving only the most representative ; some of the most used are Avda. (for “avenue” ) and no. (by “number” ).

There are abbreviations that can end in flown letters, such as # (by “number” ). On the other hand, there are abbreviations in which the end point of a word is replaced by a slash : c / c (for “checking account” ) or c / u (for “each” ). There are even abbreviations that can be written in parentheses: (a) (by “alias” ).

It should be noted that, according to the spelling rule, abbreviations should maintain the tilde of the source word, as is the case with p. (for “page” ). Abbreviations in English grammar

English abbreviations of everyday life

It is a fact that, nowadays, abbreviations have invaded our daily lives, perhaps even in Portuguese, but, especially, English is a language that uses them a lot. semantic unit of a text. In other Words naturally plural, first letter highlighted, effective punctuation… many signs tell us that we are dealing with an abbreviation that can be considered interesting from all points of view. Because yes, in addition to being effective, abbreviations are real vectors of everyday life, which allow us to express ourselves, demonstrating reactions, sensations and emotions.

These are new signs of our contemporary society, which are no less important than some written testimonies of people enrolled in traditional online English courses. All this was promoted by the internet and telecommunications, which have managed to democratize the abbreviation and standardize this type of word, due to the simplicity and speed they convey, especially in the written part. In everyday life, all this is very useful, as evidenced by these terms: Abbreviations in English grammar

  • WTF: This abbreviation is probably the best known of all English abbreviations, as most of us use it, sometimes even wrongly . This is a sign of linguistic identity, coming straight from America, which means something like “what is this?”. A good base when you want to speak like a true speaker in English, regardless of region or accent;
  • AC: Do you sometimes wonder why this abbreviation is on our cars when it comes to turning on the air conditioning? Well, it’s simply because “AC” stands for   Air Conditioning  , or “Air Conditioning” in English. Maybe at this very moment a mystery in your life has been solved;
  • THX: Quite simply, “THX” is the logical abbreviation for   Thanks,   which means “thank you” in English. In addition to demonstrating politeness, its use can be very useful for all those who want to stand out and show that their level of English is very good, something almost familiar;
  • LOL: I sure bet you already know this term, used everywhere, especially on the internet, all the time, by everyone. This is the simple translation of “Laughing Out Loud”, which expresses the idea that one is “laughing liters”, as we would say in Portuguese. I even wish you can use it more often!
  • OMG: This abbreviation is probably already one of those you know well, as everyone uses it or has used it. This is the translation of “Oh my God”, and the abbreviation of ” Oh my God”  , a classic when you want to express amazement or surprise at something you have just heard, heard or read;
  • DIY: If the internet world is not unfamiliar to you, the term ” Do It Yourself” is probably already familiar.  Coming from the United States, “do it yourself” includes all manual activities that you do for yourself and others, quite logically. A serving of gnochi, a beaded necklace, a Christmas wreath, and here we are with a nice DIY; Abbreviations in English grammar
  • YOLO: Perhaps for the younger ones, this abbreviation could translate to “You only live once”, meaning “we only live once”, in the sense of enjoying every moment. Increasingly present in oral conversations, it is often used in everyday writing. But attention: we said DAILY, and not in real estate law or political institutions, of course. 

As you can see, we’ve just scanned a small selection of abbreviations that are already pretty representative of the English language and what it has to offer, especially in casual conversation. But in a more formal, more professional way, what are the abbreviated terms that can be found? Let’s see right now!

English abbreviations in a professional context

The English language has some unavoidable abbreviations, which should be known as part of the team of informed and globalized professionals in the corporate world. Whether in matters of jurisprudence, commercial law, departmental management or even dealing with a worldwide organization, all institutions use this type of shorthand to facilitate their communications :

  • BTW: This abbreviation of “By The Way” is a way of saying, in Portuguese, something like “by the way”. A word that all English natives use, as well as Brazilians who live in countries that speak the language. If you usually deal with internationals in your work, it is quite possible that you have already come across these “letters”; Abbreviations in English grammar
  • ASAP: Sometimes caricatured, this abbreviation is a contraction of “As Soon As Possible”, which means “as soon as possible”. What to say to your boss if the file planned for last Tuesday won’t arrive until the day after tomorrow? ASAP, of course, and hope he’s in a good mood; 
  • DND: “Do not disturb”   under this abbreviation hides a relatively serious meaning. In fact, the term can be translated as “Do not disturb”. You can put it on your doorstep or in your emails in case of absence, important meeting or any other event that forces you to be unavailable;
  • FYI: Here’s a more concrete and formal example, in which we’ll use abbreviation. “For Your Information”, or “For your information”, this expression will also be used in everyday life, but it applies very well to the professional world, from the commercial chamber to business law.

English abbreviations for travel

In a nutshell, it is possible to make yourself understood ,  and even be accepted by the English-speaking inhabitants of the country in which you are. For this, some skills in the language are necessary. And we show here some of them, of course!

  • ID: This abbreviation for “Identification” is found anywhere in the world and simply means “identity card”. Getting to know her is a good way to avoid being confused with a “lost tourist” at first sight (even if you are);
  • SSN: Do you have your “social security number” in case of an emergency? Your “social security number” is essential, and knowing the acronym in English will always be an advantage in case of need, in order to save time in your conversation and be as efficient as possible during the trip;
  • USCIS: ” United States Citizenship and Immigration Services” , a rather long and barbaric name that makes use of its abbreviation. The “Immigration and Citizenship Service” is a useful institution if you travel to the United States. You never know when you might need something, do you? Abbreviations in English grammar

Other common English expressions

Because sometimes, some abbreviations don’t fit into the category of everyday life, or travel, or the corporate world. Here is a small selection of short words that, while referring to very specific subjects, you may hear or need to use:

  • AIDS: This term simply refers to AIDS, which we import directly from English. A translation into our language would transform it into AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome);
  • FBI: “Federal Bureau of Investigation”, an acronym that will help you understand some movies;
  • CIA: In Portuguese, “Central Intelligence Agency”, a term that probably doesn’t seem strange to anyone.

In short, when well understood, English can be considered a rich language, full of small semantic unit of a text. In other words and abbreviations of all kinds that, when used well, can fluidize a conversation, to make it easier, faster and more pleasant. Abbreviations in English grammar

English abbreviations: learn 30 of the most used

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