Learn British English: love and romance
This lesson aims to introduce you to a range of vocabulary to do with love and romance in contemporary British English, including British slang. Please read below.
Romance / court (archaic / old-fashioned verbs)
To romance or to court someone are fairly outdated verbs which mean to approach someone romantically.
Go out (with)
This is a hugely popular modern slang / phrasal verb which means to date or be in a relationship with someone.
“She went out with that ex-boyfriend for four months.”
“They’ve been going out for a while now.”
“Will you go out with me?” (Very common way to say “Will you be my boyfriend / girlfriend?)
Flirt (verb / noun)
To flirt describes when someone is behaving like they are attracted to a person.
“Flirt” as a noun describes a person who flirts a lot.
“If you don’t like him, why do you keep flirting with him?” (Verb.)
“He’s such a flirt.” (Noun.) This example means “He flirts a lot.”
Date (noun / verb)
“Date” as a noun refers to one particular romantic meeting, so a couple will probably have many dates in total.
“Date” is also a verb which means that two people are going on dates / in a relationship.
“They’ve been on a lot of dates in the last two weeks.” (Noun.)
“They’ve been dating for two weeks.” (Verb.)
Slang verb which means you find someone attractive.
“She’s nice and funny, I think I fancy her.”
To have got a crush on (phrasal verb)
Phrasal verb which means the same thing as “fancy”, so if you have got a crush on someone, you fancy them.
“I’m in trouble. I’ve got a crush on my best friend’s girlfriend.”
Chat up (verb)
Phrasal verb which means that you talk to someone so that they will like you.
“Where’s he got to?”
“He’s still at the bar, trying to chat up that girl.”
(On the) pull (verb)
Slang verb which means that you seduce someone.
“He’s looking to pull tonight.”
“He’s on the pull tonight.”
Both of the above examples mean, “He wants to seduce someone tonight.” (In a club or bar.)
Fit / hot (slang adjectives)
Slang adjectives to describe people who are physically attractive, possibly having a particular athletic look to them. Synonyms for “sexy”.
Can be used to describe males or females who are attractive. I would suggest it is a synonym for “pretty”, but is often used to describe males.
Fall for someone (phrasal verb)
Fall for someone means fall in love with them. (Note the use of the verb “fall” in these expressions.)
“She always falls for guys who don’t really care about her.”
Fall head over heels in love with (phrasal verb)
To fall completely in love with someone.
“Just when I think I’m used to being single, I fall head over heels again.”
Love at first sight
Refers to when people supposedly fall in love the first time they see each other. Many people do not believe this is possible.
“We knew it the moment we met. It was love at first sight.”
True love (noun)
The love you share with someone your whole life, e.g. the person you are married to.
Soul mates (noun)
If people share “true love” and seem like a perfect match, they are described as “soul mates”, as if their souls are mates.
“They’ve been together for 25 years. They’re real soul mates.”
St. Valentine’s Day (14 February)
14 February every year is a celebration of St. Valentine, the Patron Saint of love. Couples will often celebrate it, but some people do not like it as they think love is special every day.
It is normal for couples to give each other presents and cards on this day. (If the man forgets, he will be in trouble!)