English Slang - Use of The Word - Like
This is an extremely common word used mostly by adults and young adults that is heard in many English speaking countries throughout the world. It can be used in several different situations, and can be placed before, in the middle or sometimes even at the end of a conversation.
Take a look at the chart below for information on how to use this peculiar English word in the right context.
Used as
a …?
Before/middle/after sentence?
Filled pause
-Used when a speaker must think about something for a period of time.
-Can normally be used instead of ‘um’, ‘you know’
-Can be followed by a short-long pause, depending on how much the speaker must think/how fatigued they are!
Like, I dunno, I mean it depends”.
“Umm, like… I’m really not sure sorry”.
-Usage as a quotative is restricted to teenagers & adults up to around 30.
-Tends to be used more by women than men.
‘I was like, “Say what?!”’
‘He was like, “Excuse me?””
-Normally LONG PAUSE and stressed (loudness) first syllable of next word(s) in order to emphasise the point
-‘So’ and ‘really’ are two examples, but there are others.
“He was like, SO angry with me”.
“It’s like, REALLY overrated.
*In parts of Northern England, ‘like’ is often placed at the end of the sentence instead. For example, “Oh It was SO cool like”. Note that this is an example of a regional variant that is found only in areas of Northern England, such as Liverpool.
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