English dating vocabulary you need to know

English dating vocabulary

Talking about love and relationships using dating vocabulary is something almost everybody does, and whether you’re dating in English or not, this useful English dating vocabulary will help you discuss dating and relationships with friends and family.

Many people around the globe celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th. This is the day of the year when people often show their love for each other, or maybe even tell someone they secretly admire them. Here is some useful English vocabulary you can use around Valentine’s Day.

Organising and going on a date 

Going on a date means to spend time with someone you’re interested in getting to know in a romantic way. But before the date, you’ll need to ask someone out, so ask someone to go on a date with you. But where do you go, and how do you find out if they’re interested in you?

Asking someone out 

You could start by suggesting going for a coffee or grabbing a drink. If you fancy a longer date, you could even eat out or wander round a museum. You could ask, ‘Do you fancy going on a date?’ or ‘Would you like to go out with me?’

Once you’re on your date, you can find out if they like you by seeing how you get along, so, whether you have lots to chat about, and finally, by asking if they want to hang out again and spend more time together.

Some people like to flirt on a date, which means that they act a certain way to make it clear they like you. This may or may not help you decide whether both of you want to get together for a second date or not. 

Talking about being in a relationship 

If you do go on that second date and then have many more, you’re going out with someone. This means you have a boyfriend or girlfriend

Once you’ve been seeing each other for a while and have spent a lot of time together, you may start falling for each other (falling in love). On the other hand, you might decide you want to break up with them and end the relationship, if you’re feeling like it’s not right. 

When people split up and are no longer together, they may fall out and not have a friendship anymore. Other people may decide that it’s better to simply stay friends. 

Using dating apps to practise English 

So, you’ve learnt lots of language for talking about dating in English, but how can you use it? 

One way to practise your English dating vocabulary is to join a dating app, to meet people and chat, and to build your English skills and confidence. 

Start by creating a profile that describes you and shows what you’re looking for – to practise your English. Then, find people who have similar interests to you and would like to help you with your English skills. You may find someone who wants to have an exchange, which means you spend time helping them practise your native language, too. 

Once you’ve matched with someone, you can start chatting, and asking and answering questions about each other. Find out their hobbies, their interests, and make it clear you’re looking to practise your English skills, rather than going on a date. 

Remember to give compliments if you’re doing a language exchange and your partner expresses something well in your native language. You could say things such as ‘that was great!’ or ‘well done!’

Finally, keep note of any everyday expressions or new language you learn. You can use the chat as a way to learn new language in context and feel confident in using it.

Check your understanding

Match the word or phrase from the article to its definition.

1. Ask out
2. Fall for
3. Match (with someone)
4. Fall out
5. Flirt
6. Get along
7. Date
8. Get together
9. Break up / Split up
10. Go out with someone

A. When you start to love somebody
B. When you and a partner have a disagreement and are angry or upset with each other
C. When you have a good relationship with someone
D. When two people come together to meet
E. When you ask someone if they would like to spend time with you, or date you
F. When you spend time with someone to get to know their personality more
G. When you and another person both like each other’s profiles on a dating site or app
H. When you behave in a way that shows the other person you are attracted to them
I. When a relationship ends
J. When you have a boyfriend or girlfriend

Click here to reveal the answers.

1. E
2. A
3. G
4. B
5. H
6. C
7. F
8. D
9. I
10. J

Want to find more Valentine’s Day vocabulary? Read this blog post on 10 romantic idioms. 

What are your experiences of learning English through dating? Have you ever talked about dating in English? Share your comments and experiences below. 

Billie Jago is an ELT writer and teacher trainer, specialising in digital & assessments. She is the founder of the professional development podcast ELTcpd and co-founder of the digital ELT content agency, otterelt.

Author: Oxford University Press ELT

Every year we help millions of people around the world to learn English. As a department of the University of Oxford, we further the University’s objective of excellence in education by publishing proven and tested language learning books, eBooks, learning materials, and educational technologies.

One thought

  1. Thank you very much for the post before the Valentine’s Day. The idioms are fine and so well presented. I can’t wait to meet my students to share the enjoyment with them.

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