Learning English in NYC

Did you know that there is something you can do to make you feel immediately more connected to your new home in New York City?

Did you know that this can also help you learn knew American English phrases and vocabulary- and it’s as simple as riding the train?

One more question:

How often do you look around at the billboards and advertisements in while you commute (1) around the city?

Learning to understand the way Americans speak and think is just as easy as looking at an advertisement (ad).

For example, the ad below for a food delivery service says, “New Yorkers aren’t angry, we’re just hangry“.

Hangry is a new casual English word that describes the feeling of being angry because you’re hungry!

Just by looking at this ad you’ve learned a word that you would not learn from school.

Look below!

Do you recognize the train ad?

It is a popular slogan (2) in NYC that says, “If you see something, say something!”

This phrase simply means, that if you see something strange or dangerous on the train or anywhere in the city, you can call the number 888-NYC-safe to tell someone who can help you.

In the above example, we can learn new words, new ways of speech, and new information that can keep us safe!

Not only can you learn, popular words and phrases, but you can also learn valuable information about NYC and the resources it offers!

In the picture below, you’ll see an ad for NYC’s public college system- CUNY!

If you’ve ever dreamed of going to college, you can learn more information about how to go to college without spending a lot of money from this ad.

And if you didn’t already know the vocabulary, you’ll learn the words, apply, degrees, and debt.

How can you use ads to study on-the-go?

  1. Go to the Google Translate app on your phone.
  2. Choose your language.
  3. Use the camera in the app to scan the ad- it will translate into whatever language you chose.
  4. Translate the words and read the ad!

It’s as simple as that!

Next time you’re walking around your neighborhood or traveling between work and home, look at the ads around you!

You will learn new words, find things that can help you, and most importantly, you’ll feel a part of New York!


  1. Commute– (v) to travel regularly by bus, train, car, etc. between your place of work and your home
  2. Slogan– (n) a word or phrase used by a party, a group, or a business to attract attention.


  1. Google Image search
  2. https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english
Share this:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.