Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

English expressions often contain a letter of the alphabet.

In today’s episode, you’ll learn several ways to use the letters A, B, and C to make creative English expressions.

These are useful in talking about organizing an event, natural skills, and more.

The ABCs

Michelle asks Lindsay if she knows the ABCs of podcasting.

Lindsay knows a lot about podcasting and definitely knows ‘the ABCs’ of it.

To say ‘the ABCs’ means to know the basics of something.

This is a fun term to use in an English conversation.

Today’s episode will share how to use the expression ‘the ABCs.’

You can check out a related episode done by the All Ears English team.

This is episode AEE 1651: Alphabet Idioms in English.

Expressions using the Alphabet

There are a lot of English expressions that use the alphabet.

Today Lindsay and Michelle teach five interesting terms to use in your English conversations using A, B, and C.

#1: Plan A and Plan B

‘Plan A’ is the first plan you intend to implement and ‘plan B’ is your alternative option if ‘plan A’ doesn’t work.

This is a good expression to use when you are preparing for a presentation, especially for anticipating any tech issues.

Hi Lindsay! So I think plan A is to record 5 episodes today, but plan B is to do 3 today and 2 tomorrow. Right?
Okay, so what’s our plan B if this doesn’t work out?
Let’s make a plan A and plan B so we can anticipate any issues that come up.

#2: From A to Z

When you say you want to review or do something ‘from A to Z,’ it means you want to do something completely or from beginning to end.

Let’s review this from A to Z.
Okay, so the kids are all ready for bed A to Z so all you have to do is read them a story. Thanks so much for babysitting!

#3: The ABCs of…

This refers to the details or information about something.

It can be used both for lots of details and also general basics.

You can commonly see this in books that are comprehensive guides or manuals.

Let’s go over the ABCs of knife safety.
I’ll give you a quick rundown of the ABCs of the real estate market.

#4: An A/B/C student

You can see this in the grading system in most schools.

The letters A to F are used to correspond to a certain grade of a student or to represent their academic standing.

‘A’ is the best and ‘F’ is a failing grade.

I’m a C student at best when it comes to biology.

#5: A, B, or C list celebrity

Similar to using letters to represent grades in school, saying ‘A, B, or, C – list’ celebrity shows a ranking of popularity in the entertainment industry.

She’s an A-list celebrity, so the place will be packed!


Now that you have learned these different expressions using the letters A, B, and C, here is a quick roleplay from Michelle and Lindsay.

This is for you to better understand how to use these terms in a conversation.

In this scenario, Michelle and Lindsay are friends and are planning a party.

Michelle: Okay, so I think we have to make an A list and a B list for space.
Lindsay: Ugh! I hate that but you’re right. Let’s go over this from A to Z.
Michelle: Okay, so Plan A, the food arrives on time. The guests are there. But let’s make a plan B.
Lindsay: Yes, if the food is late we will start with some of the speeches and dancing.
Michelle: Perfect! I’m so glad we are going through the ABCs of party planning! I’m a total C student when it comes to understanding details and moving parts of events.
Lindsay: Oh, it’s okay. And don’t worry. It’s not like any A-list celebrities are coming. Relax! It will be fine.


All these expressions are fun to use in conversations.

Using letters of the alphabet will make your vocabulary more interesting.

Show your personality when having conversations by using a variety of idioms and expressions.

This will create a better connection between your native English-speaking friends and colleagues.

Keep practicing and elevating your vocabulary today!

What other expressions do you know that use the alphabet?

Share it in the comments below.

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