You often hear an American speaking and you have to struggle to know what they are saying. I am sure you have found that too and wonder if they are actually speaking English or what? Common things you will find in America and you will find it very often include some of the following:

‘Sup? – Wassup? – What’s up?

You hear this often and they are merely saying, “Hello, how are you?” regardless of who taught you English they probably did not teach you to say ‘sup to anyone who you just met. It is an informal way of greeting and used very often.

I hear ya – I hear you

When an American says they hear you, they do not actually mean that they hear what you are saying as they use it very often to empathize with the point of view your have uttered. You might say you are sad because your cat died, and the American will empathize with you by saying “I hear ya”.

Tell me about it

When you hear those words tell me about it, it does not mean you have to elaborate on what you have just said it means they know very well.

Shut Up!

Even though the person could want you to remain quiet it could also mean a shocking action of words. You might say something that is hard to believe like a four year old driving a car down the road and the response might be shut up, which relates to disbelieve or shocking reaction, where your response after that would be that you are serious about it!


Dude is very common word used to describe a man or a boy.

I buy it or I don’t buy it!

Here they do not mean they actually buy it or not. If you say something that could also be quite unbelievable and they respond with they buy it or not it means they believe you. If they do not believe you saw a ghost in your house last night he might say “I don’t buy it!”

Bent out of shape

Here they might mean that they are upset for example saying to you please do not get bent out of shape, but I bumped your car.

Nuts – bonkers – bananas

Fruit with a different meaning and nuts too it seems, when someone wants to describe beyond belief, something or someone out of control or crazy they will use either one of those words. You might say long lines make you go bananas or your brother is driving you nuts while the people at work are all bonkers to sit all day.

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