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The English language is forever evolving. With the wide use of technology in our modern society, there are always new words coming into play that may be hard for non-native English speakers to grasp. Even native speakers might struggle sometimes. We’ll introduce you to the most commonly used abbreviations and acronyms used in daily life and on social media. 

The list provides a good start to help you understand how and when to use abbreviations and acronyms and may also be a useful tool for your IELTS Writing test. 

Abbreviations and acronyms are both used to shorten words or phrases. The only difference between the two is the way in which they are formed. Abbreviations usually take the first few letters of a word and also end in a full-stop. On the other hand, acronyms are mostly formed from the first letter of each word in a phrase.

Commonly used abbreviations

Abbr. abbreviation(s), abbreviated
cal calorie(s)
cm centimetre(s)
Corp. Corporation
dept. department
Dr. Doctor
ed. edition
est. established, estimated
et al. et alii (and others)
fl oz fluid ounce(s)
ft foot, feet
gal. gallon(s)
hr hour
i.e. id est (that is)
in. inch(es)
inc. incorporated
Jr. Junior
kg kilogram(s)
km kilometre(s)
Ltd. Limited
m metre(s)
mg milligram(s)
min minute(s)
mm millimetre(s)
mph miles per hour
Mr. Mister
Mrs. Mistress
oz ounce(s)
sec second(s)
sq square
Sr. Senior
vol volume(s)
vs. versus

Commonly used acronyms

Acronyms Meaning
AFK Away From Keyboard
ASAP As Soon As Possible
AWOL Absent Without Leave
BRB Be Right Back
DIY Do It Yourself
EOBD End Of Business Day
EOD End Of Day
ETA Estimated Time of Arrival
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation
FYI For Your Information
HR Human Resources
IDK I Don’t Know
IIRC If I Recall/Remember Correctly
ILY I Love You
IMO In My Opinion
IRL In Real Life
LOL Laughing Out Loud
MBA Masters of Business Administration
MIA Missing In Action
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NSFW Not Safe For Work
NVM Never mind
OMG Oh My God
OMW On My Way
POS Point Of Service
POV Point Of View
SWAT Special Weapons And Tactics
TBA To Be Announced
TGIF Thank God It’s Friday
TMI Too Much Information
TTYL Talk To You Later
TYVM Thank You Very Much