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  • Writer's pictureKaty

Be My Valentine: A Guide to the Sweetest Holiday of the Year

Happy Valentine's Day, English language learners! ❤️ Whether you're in a relationship or flying solo, this holiday is a great opportunity to learn more about British culture and practise your English skills.

So let's take a closer look at some of the traditions and language surrounding Valentine's Day in the UK and around the world.

Sending cards

One of the most well-known Valentine's Day traditions is sending cards. The first recorded Valentine's Day letter was written in 1415 by Charles, the Duke of Orleans, while he was a prisoner in the Tower of London, and the tradition has continued to this day.

Now, these cards often feature a poem. Probably the most famous lines from a Valentine’s Day poem are:

Roses are red, violets are blue,

Sugar is sweet, and so are you.

In the UK, it's common to send anonymous cards and sometimes cheeky or funny ones. Anonymous cards are particularly common in schools and can be a source of great amusement and embarrassment, as everyone tries to work out who sent a card and who has a secret admirer!


Giving gifts

Exchanging small presents is another popular way of celebrating Valentine's Day. In fact, UK shoppers spent nearly £1.5 billion on Valentine's Day gifts last year!

The most common gifts include chocolates, perfume, and jewellery. You might say, "I got you a little something for Valentine's Day, to show you how much you mean to me."

Lots of people send flowers on February 14th. Red roses in particular are considered a symbol of love and passion, making them the perfect gift for Valentine's Day.

And if you're single, don't the UK, it's not just couples who celebrate this holiday. Around 25% of Brits treat themselves on Valentine's Day and friends often give each other cards, gifts, or have a fun night out together.


Romantic idioms

Valentine's Day is also the perfect time to embrace the power of romantic idioms in English. These expressions can add some extra flair and romance to your conversations, especially if you're writing a love letter or sending a Valentine's card.

For example, "to be a match made in heaven" means that two people are perfect for each other, while "to be love-struck" means to be infatuated or enchanted by if you have been 'struck' by Cupid's arrow!

Another one of our favourites is "to be head over heels in love". This phrase means to be completely, madly in love with someone.


We hope you enjoyed learning a little about our holiday traditions! Now, why not use this Valentine's Day as an opportunity to practise your English skills? You could...

  • Write a Valentine's card to a friend in English

  • Watch a classic British romantic comedy

  • Sing along to some English love songs

  • Join the Brighter English Conversation Club

In the Conversation Club we have students from all over the world, with a native British teacher. It's an amazing chance to discover more about English culture, plus boost your speaking and listening skills of course! Book your trial lesson here:

So celebrate the holiday with your loved ones, practice your language skills, and have a wonderful Valentine's Day everyone!

1 Comment

Feb 14, 2023

Happy Valentine's Day!

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