Chatting in English
The verb "to chat" means to
talk (to someone) in a friendly, informal way.
Today there are many places on the Internet where you can chat. You
can chat with people all over the world, in many languages and about many subjects or topics. These places are usually called
"chatrooms" and you
can find thousands of them by using the keywords "chat" or "chatroom" in any good search engine.
Sometimes you need to register to enter a chatroom. This means that
you need to provide a username and password, and possibly your email address. Your username does not have to be your real
name. It can be your nickname or any name you want (if it is not already in use). When you have your username, other people
in the chatroom will call you by that name and nobody else can use it.
Chatting is a good way to practise your *informal* English. Messages
in a chatroom, are usually short sentences. Sometimes they are not even sentences, but just a few words that are not really
correct grammatically but may be typical of the way we speak in a quick conversation with friends.
To save time, people often use abbreviations like TTYL (talk to you
later) or IDK (I don't know). You can see a list of some of these abbreviations below.
So don't go to a chatroom to practise "perfect" English. Go to a chatroom
to practise casual or informal English and find new friends. You can even use a chatroom to help improve your typing skills
if you want.
There are usually two ways to chat in most chatrooms:
In public. (Everyone can see what you say.)
In private. (This is called "person-to-person" or "one-to-one" and
you talk directly to one other person. No-one else can see what you say.
This is useful to chat with a friend or relative in another country,
or to have private lessons with a teacher.)
Here are some of the most common abbreviations people use:
121 One-to-one (Person-to-person) AFK Away from keyboard
ASAP As soon as possible
BBL Be back later
BRB Be right back
BTW By the way
FAQ Frequently asked questions FYI For your information
IDK I don't know
LOL Laugh out loud
M/F Male or female
OIC Oh, I see
PM Private message
SYL See you later
TGIF Thank goodness it's Friday THX Thanks
TTYL Talk to you later