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20 Different Ways To Wish ‘Happy Birthday’

Today, I am going to teach you better alternative ways of wishing people happy birthday, and happy anniversary.

Right, let's get started with the lesson.

Let's start with happy birthday.

Okay, this is a very common phrase, and we tend to repeat the same thing over and over again.

But today, I'm going to show you 14 interesting, witty, and funny ways of wishing somebody a happy birthday.

Now the first one is mainly used jokingly, via text message.

Sometimes if we want to wish somebody a happy birthday, but we don't want to act like we're putting in too much effort, we just say HB.


HB, and everybody knows what it means.

In these big WhatsApp groups we have now, it's very common in the UK to just have a page full of HB.

It's quite funny.

Some people consider it rude, but I think as long as the receiver knows that you're joking, it's nice.

We have number two, which is commonly found inside birthday cards.

It is many happy returns.

Many happy returns.

Now, when I was a child, I never understood this phrase when I saw it on birthday cards.

But it means many happy returns of the day.

As in, I hope you have many more birthdays.

I hope you live a long life.

So many happy returns is a very nice one.

It's slightly more formal.

Number three is have a great one.

Have a great one.

This one is very informal.

Sometimes we use the word one in place of something that is already known to the listener.

Have a great one, they know that I'm talking about their birthday.

Have a great day, have a great birthday, have a great one.

In number four, we have an alternative phrase for birthday.

It is special day.

On your birthday, on your special day.

You more or less know that if it's somebody's special day, it's their birthday.

Unless it's their wedding, or another celebration like that.

So you could say, I wish you the best on your special day.

Number five is slightly fancier.

It is wishing you a day that is as special as you are. So fancy.

Wishing you a day that is as special as you are.

Now it should be, I am wishing, or we are wishing, but sometimes we just shorten it down to wishing you were here, I am wishing you were here, wishing you a great day.

We're wishing you a great day.

Another alternative, wishing you many more candles to blow.

When we have a birthday, we blow out a certain number of candles on our cake.

So we're implying that we hope the person lives for a long time.

This tends to be a theme.

A really nice alternative way of just saying happy birthday.

So much more interesting, wishing you many more candles to blow.

Number seven is a funny one.

It is happy 21st.

Happy 21st birthday.

Now why do we use 21st in particular?

If somebody is quite a lot older than 21, often we'll say, happy 21st, pretending that we don't think they look any older than 21 years old.

I wonder if you have this in your own language, and if it's the same number, 21, or if it's a different number.

Is there a dream age at which everyone wants to remain?

Number eight is a really nice one.

May your day be filled with laughter and presents.

Obviously the most important thing about birthdays, apart from the cake, presents.

I get so excited about giving and receiving presents.Number nine, this is something that you can say to people who really like beer.

Happy beer day, happy beer day! (laughing) 'Cause a birthday is a fantastic excuse to drink far more beer than usual.

Number 10 is a funny one.

It is, hmm, didn't we celebrate this just a year ago?Terrible!

I love it though.

I really like number 11, it is, congratulations, you survived another trip around the sun.

'Cause obviously we go round the sun every 365 days.

I don't think I need to explain that to you, I think I'm underestimating your intelligence.

(laughing) But now you know what it means.

Number 12 is possibly my favourite.

In fact, it is my favourite.

It is happy womb eviction day.  So obviously, the womb is where you lived before you were born, and you were evicted on your birthday.

Number 13 is a lovely compliment.

It's a nice way of telling somebody that they are older.

You have to say, you're ageing like a fine wine.

'Cause obviously fine wines get better with age.

So if you're ageing like a fine wine, you're ageing beautifully, you're getting better with age.

And let's end this section on a really cute one.

It is, don't count the candles, just enjoy the glow.  I really like that.

Don't worry about how old you are, just enjoy the celebration.

Right, let's move on to wishing people a happy anniversary.

I've split this into two sections.

The first is wishing happy anniversary to another couple.

And the second section is wishing a happy anniversary to your partner.

So much more romantic in the second section.

Number one, the first one that you'll wish to another couple is, wishing a perfect pair a perfect day together.

If two people are a perfect pair, it means they were made for each other, they are perfect together.

Number two is a lovely one.

It can be said as a toast, cheers.

You can also say it to your romantic partner.

It is here's to another year of being great together.

Of you two being great together.

Number three is another year, another reason to celebrate.

I've explained this a lot on my vlogging channel, but my family like to celebrate anything, anything.

On Valentine's day, my mother decorates the house, and makes heart shaped biscuits.

On Halloween, we had cobwebs all over the house, and she dressed up as a witch, normally. So we love reasons to celebrate, and an anniversary is definitely a reason to celebrate.

Another year, another reason to celebrate.

Number four is so, so cute.

It's, I always knew you two had something special.

So if you have some friends that have always had a wonderful relationship, you can say this to them.

I always knew you two had something special.

Had a special chemistry or a special spark together.

And number five, the last one that you can say to another couple is, love and cheer to one of our favourite couples.

If that's coming from just you, to one of my favourite couples.

It's a big honour to be told that you're one of someone's favourite couples.

And finally, we have five more romantic ways to wish your partner a happy anniversary.

The first one is lovely.

It is I love you more and more every year.

My love just grows for you.

I love you more and more every year.

Number two is a very common one, but it's actually one that I find really annoying.

(chuckling) And I'll explain why.

It is thanks for putting up with me for another year.

Now, why does this annoy me?

Well, to put up with someone is to tolerate, or endure someone.

So this is jokingly saying, thank you for tolerating me, or thank you for enduring me for another year.

I just don't think it's very nice, I don't think we should just tolerate each other, we should adore each other! (laughing) I'm just joking.

I know it's a joke.

I just, yes, it's not something I'll be putting in my anniversary card to Will.

Number three is here's to five years and 5 million memories.

So you can replace the number as you wish.

Here's to 10 years, but 10 million memories.

That's really, really nice.

'Cause it's not about how long you've been together, it's about the things you've done together, and the memories you've made.

Number four, a really common phrase in anniversary cards, and messages to each other is, I can't believe it's been four years already.

I can't believe it's been 20 years already.

Time flies when you're having fun.

Unless you're just putting up with someone.

Sorry, I need to let that go. (laughing) Okay.

The last one, number five, is quite an interesting one.

It is happy ruby anniversary, happy gold anniversary, happy paper anniversary.

What am I talking about?

Well, for each year you're together, there is an anniversary name.

And some people give gifts corresponding to this name.

So your first anniversary is your paper anniversary.

So someone might write a love letter.

Second is cotton, third is leather.

And it goes all the way up to number 10, which is tin.

Then you have 20, which is platinum, silver, which is 25th, ruby, which is the 40th, gold, which is 50th, and diamond, which is 60th.

My grandparents made it to their 60th diamond anniversary.

And if you make it to 60 years of marriage in the UK, then you can apply for the queen to write you a letter or card of congratulations.

And they did receive that card.

She will also write you a letter if you reach 100 years of age.

So that's a really nice thing to look forward to. (chuckling) Right, that's it for today's lesson.

I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you learnt something.

Don't forget to complete the quiz.

I've got everything we've spoken about today on the PDF worksheet, as well as a quiz.

If you'd like to download it for free, you can click on the link in the description box, enter your name and your email address.

You sign up to my mailing list, and I send it directly to your inbox.

If you're looking to acquire some further vocabulary, and improve your listening skills, then I also have a vlogging channel, where I vlog my daily life on a farm in the UK.

And importantly, every video is fully subtitled.

So you can use it to learn new vocabulary in context, and also practise your listening.

Don't forget to connect with me on all of my social media.

I've got my Facebook, my Instagram, and my website, englishwithlucy.co.uk.

There, I have got an amazing interactive pronunciation tool.

So you can click on sounds and hear me pronounce them.

I will see you soon for another lesson.
  1. 2022/10/30(日) 14:55:21|
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DO NOT say "you're welcome"!

Today, I am going to be teaching you all of the ways that you can respond to thank you.

Now you're welcome or you are welcome is a perfectly valid way to respond to a thank you.

But I think it's a little bit overused, especially by learners of English.

It's completely natural.

You find one way you like to say things and then you say it again, and again, and again.

The purpose of this video is to expand your vocabulary bank, so that you have many more options when somebody thanks you.

I advise you to take a book that you already have, a book that you've maybe already read and download the audio version and listen to it whilst you are reading.

Just reading alone will not help you with your pronunciation because English is not a phonetic language.

If you are hearing the word as you read it, your brain will make the connection, and next time you see that word, you will know how to pronounce it.

And next time you hear that word, you will know how it's spelt.

I really encourage you to try out this method because it could transform your pronunciation, your spelling, your vocabulary and you're listening.

Right, let's get started with the lesson.

Let's begin with informal or casual phrases that you can use with your friends and family.

The first one is, you're welcome.

But let's expand on that a little bit.

If you really want to emphasise that their thanks has been taken into consideration, you can say, you're very welcome.

Number two, this one is slightly more American.

It's, no problem, no problem.

Bear in mind that the older generation seem to dislike this one.

So keep that in your head if a slightly older person is thanking you.

An example, thanks for the help today.

No problem, I enjoyed helping you.

Number three, the third way to respond to thank you is, thank you.

But this one is all about the emphasis.

If somebody thanks you but you think that they should be thanked, you can say, no, thank you.

Or just, thank you.

For example, thanks for accepting the invitation.

Thank you.

I'm emphasising that really, I should be thanking them because they invited me somewhere.

Number four, this one is much more formal.

If we say it in its entire form it's, the pleasure is mine.

The pleasure is mine.

You can also shorten it to make it less formal by saying, my pleasure, or simply, pleasure, that's very casual.

For example, thanks for taking the parcel in for me.

Pleasure.

That's a short way of saying it was my pleasure, or the pleasure is mine, or was mine.

Number five is a very friendly one.

Only use this with people you know well.

It's, I know you'd do the same for me.

For example, I'd like to thank you for looking after my cat so well.

The response, I know you'd do the same for me.

I know you'd look after my cat, so I looked after yours.

Even Stevens.

Number six is much more casual.

And it's slightly less heartfelt.

You might say this if you don't really care, or if somebody is thanking you for doing something that you might not have wanted to do.

But depending on the intonation and the tone of voice, it can also be quite warm.


It's, that's all right.

So I could say, thank you for picking me up from the station.

I could say either, that's all right.

Or, that's all right.

My tone of voice is telling you everything you need to know there.

Number seven is a very casual one.

It's, no worries, no worries.

In use, thanks for letting me know that my car alarm was going off.

No worries, I thought I'd better tell you.

It's quite self-deprecating.

It's, don't mention it.

For example, thank you so much for bringing the desert.

Oh, don't mention it.

It was a lot of effort to bring dessert probably.

And they probably do want you to mention it, but we just say, don't mention it because, oh, it was nothing.

Number nine is very heartfelt.

It is, it was the least I could do.

For example, thank you for visiting me in hospital.

Oh, it was the least I could do.

Again, very British, very self-deprecating.

Number 10 is quite casual.

It's, anytime.

Thank you for stopping by, oh, anytime.

It's quite a generous response, I like this one.

Number 11 is a really American one.

But I thought I should teach it to you because British English is not the only English, it's good to know about all of the different slang phrases.

And yes, this is a very casual one, it is, sure.

A one word answer to say you're welcome.

Thank you for thinking of me, sure.

It often goes hand in hand with no problem.

Sure, no problem.

Number 12 is, oh, it was nothing.

Again, another self-deprecating one.

It's a way of saying that what they are thanking you for was no extra effort.

Thank you for picking my kids up from school.

Oh, it was nothing, my kids already needed picking up.

No extra effort here.

Now I want to talk to you about four more formal ways of responding to thank you.

And these are more likely to be used in business situations, or maybe in a shop or restaurant.

Number one is very British, it's quite old fashioned, and it is, much obliged.

The full formal way of saying it is, I'm very much obliged to you.

For example, thank you so much doctor, I'm very much obliged to you.

This is shortened down to, I actually experienced this one in use the other day at a shoe shop.

I said, thank you so much after paying and he said, "Much obliged."

And I thought, oh, I haven't heard that phrase in a while, I'm gonna put it in a video.

The guy had an amazing Cockney accent as well, he was really nice, really helpful.

Great shoes, they had a gel bottom.

Number two is a more formal way of saying you're welcome it is, you're most welcome.

Now, this does sound very posh.

So I wouldn't use it willy-nilly, willy-nilly means without careful thought, or planning.

I wouldn't use it willy-nilly.

But if you're in a formal situation, for example, I thanked my solicitor on the phone the other day for sending me some forms.

And she replied with, you're most welcome because she's quite a formal person, and it was a formal legal situation.

Number three is, we appreciate your business or we appreciate your custom.

Custom if you're talking to a customer and business if you're talking to a business client.

For example, thank you for sending the sample so promptly.

We appreciate your business.

And the last one, definitely a business one, it's, I'm happy to help.

For example, thank you for helping me carry the coffees to the office.

Oh, I'm happy to help.

Right, that's it for today's lesson.

I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you learned something.

Again, really consider starting to listen to audiobooks, you can claim your free audio book by clicking on the link in the description box.

Don't forget to connect with me on all of my social media.

I've got my Facebook, I've got my Instagram and I've got my twitter.

And I shall see you soon


  1. 2022/10/30(日) 14:43:6|
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