10 Popular English Phrases of Encouragement

Have you ever wanted to say something encouraging to a friend going through tough times, a coworker who needs confidence or someone who just needs to hear some kind words?

Today, we'll go over 10 phrases that native English speakers use to encourage each other.

English phrases for boosting confidence

Anyone can do great things if they just have confidence. Here are some things you can say to help them believe in themselves.

1. You can do it

"You can do it" means "I believe you can succeed."

Cass
I've always wanted to learn Japanese, but it just seems so difficult.
Mel
Come on, you can do it! Just sign up for a course and try learning the basics.

You can use "you can do it" by itself or in a sentence like "I know you can do it" or "I'm sure you can do it."

2. Believe in yourself

"Believe in yourself" means "trust yourself" and "believe that you can do it."

Bill
I want to be a doctor or a nurse, but I'm scared I'll accidentally hurt someone.
Pooja
Just believe in yourself! You're the most careful person I know, so if anyone can do it, it's you!

There are many sayings that use this phrase: e.g. "Believe in yourself and anything is possible" and "Success starts with believing in yourself."

3. You got this

"You got this" or "You've got this" means "I have full confidence in you" and "I know you'll succeed."

Shiva
I'm really nervous about this presentation I need to give at work tomorrow.
Sam
Hey, you got this! You've rehearsed the presentation so many times you could probably do it in your sleep!

You can think of "you got this" like "You (have) got this under control."

English phrases for helping people to be less stressed

Sometimes, people put a lot of pressure on themselves. They may think, "I need to get 100% on this test!" or "I need to get this job!" Here are some things you can say to make them feel less stressed.

4. Just do your best

"Just do your best" means "Don't worry too much about what happens. Just focus on doing your best."

Pat
I'm so stressed about my English exam tomorrow.
Chris
Just do your best! That's all that matters.

"Just do your best" reminds people to:

  • Avoid thinking about what they can't control (the results).
  • Focus on what they can control (trying their best).

5. It happens to the best of us

"It happens to the best of us" means "Everyone makes mistakes." or "Even if you're super smart, talented, or experienced, mistakes will still happen." You can say this phrase to help people feel better about themselves after some sort of mistake or failure.

Alex
I'm pretty sure I failed my interview.
Lucia
It happens to the best of us. Just think of it as practice for your next interview.

This phrase sounds nice and positive, because "best of us" means "the best of all people." So when you use it, it's like you are saying that someone is "one of the best people."

English phrases for getting people to try something

Sometimes, people want to do something but are afraid to take the first step. You can say some encouraging things to give them the push they need.

6. Give it a try

When you "give (something) a try," you give yourself the chance to try something new: e.g. "I wasn't sure if I would like hiking, but I gave it a try."

When we want to encourage someone to try something new or difficult, we can tell them "give it a try!"

Beth
Do you think I should apply for a job at Google?
Ines
Give it a try! What do you have to lose?

If someone has tried something many times and has not succeeded, you can use the phrase "Give it one last try." This will encourage them to try it again, one final time.

7. It’s worth a shot

"It's worth a shot" means "It may or may not work, but it's still worth trying." If someone asks you whether they should try something, replying "It's worth a shot" is like saying "Why not?"

Sophie
Should I enter the pizza eating contest? There are some interesting prizes.
Vlad
It's worth a shot. If you win, you get prizes. And if you don't, you still get to eat a lot of pizza.

In sports, when you try to get something, like a basketball or football, into a goal, that's called "taking a shot." Since you take a shot when you are trying to score, "shot" is also used to mean "try."

English phrases for getting people to keep doing something

8. Keep it up

"Keep it up" means to "keep doing something": e.g. "My neighbors throw very loud parties. If they keep it up, I will report them to the police."

As a phrase of encouragement, "keep it up" means "You're doing (something) well. Keep doing it like that."

Max
How am I doing, coach?
Carmen
You're doing great, Max. Keep it up!

You will also hear people say "Keep up the good work" - for example, "Keep up the good work, and I'm sure you'll get promoted."

9. Don’t give up

Sometimes, things get tough and people want to give up on something like a dream or a goal. You can say "don't give up" to encourage them to keep going.

Ash
I'm thinking about dropping out of my PhD program.
Colin
But didn't you always want to be a scientist? Don't give up now!

10. Hang in there

"Hang in there" is similar to "keep trying" and "don't give up." It is usually used to encourage someone who is doing or going through something difficult.

Blake
I really hope I recover from this surgery soon.
Joe
I'm afraid you may need a few months. Hang in there!

This phrase came from a famous photograph in the 1970s. In the photo, a kitten hangs onto a bamboo stick with its front legs and some text at the bottom says "Hang in there, baby."

You can do it!

Learning English is hard, so you probably need some encouraging words too. Well, we're here to tell you that you can do it! Just believe in yourself!

Don't give up and you'll definitely master English. If you need help, remember that Engoo's professional English tutors are here for you 24/7 every day of the year.

They're also super encouraging, so you'll forget any fears you may have about speaking English. Book a lesson today!