#1 – let (someone) know
To let someone know means to tell the person something, to give them some information or a notification. For example, if you invite your friend to a party, but he isn’t sure if he can come, you could say:
Let me know if you can come.
I want to call attention to the pronunciation. We often pronounce this expression very fast, so it sounds like:
- let me know – lemmeno
- let you know – letyano / letchano
- let him know – letimno
- let her know – letterno
- let us know – lettusno
- let them know – lettemno
#2 – let’s say
This expression is used to introduce a hypothetical/imaginary situation:
Let’s say your plan doesn’t work out. What would you do then?
#3 – let’s see
Let’s see means “I/we want to discover”:
Mark has scored 8 points so far; let’s see if he makes it to 10.
I’m not sure your parents will like that idea. Let’s see how they react.
Let’s see or let me see can also be used as a sentence filler when you need to pause your speaking for a moment to think:
“How long have you lived in Canada?”
“Let me see… I came here for the first time in 2001, then I visited a couple times… but I didn’t settle here permanently until around 2005. So, almost ten years.”
#4 – Let’s call it a day.
This phrase means “let’s end what we are doing for the day.” You can say this whether the work is finished or still unfinished… if it is unfinished, then you will finish the rest tomorrow!
We’ve already packed 30 boxes. I’m tired – let’s call it a day.
#5 – Let’s shake on it.
We say this phrase when we want to confirm an agreement by shaking hands:
“How much for your bike?”
“I’ll give you $100 for it.”
“How about $150?”
“All right. Let’s shake on it.“
#6 – let it slide
The expression let it slide means to choose to ignore or overlook a problem or error:
I made some punctuation mistakes in my essay, but the teacher let it slide – she didn’t take any points off.
#7 – let (someone) in on
To let someone in on something means to tell them a secret, or some information that is known by very few people.
I’ll let you in on a little secret – Sarah only got the job because she’s dating the boss’ brother.
#8 – let go / let it go / let yourself go
To let go of something means to stop holding it:
The little boy let go of his mother’s hand and ran across the park.
The expression let it go means to overlook something (similar to “let it slide”) or stop trying to control it:
I was angry about what she did for a long time, but eventually I decided to let it go.
If a company lets someone go, that is a polite and indirect way to say they fired the person (terminated the person’s employment):
There were too many managers in the department, so the director decided to let some of them go.
Finally, if you let yourself go, it means you take less care of your appearance (you start to gain weight, not bother with your hair or clothing, etc).
He used to be so athletic, but after he turned 40 he really let himself go – now he has a beer belly.
#9 – let it be
If someone tells you to let it be, they are telling you to leave the thing/situation alone, don’t interfere with or worry about it.
“I’m not sure the oven is hot enough… maybe I should turn up the temperature.”
“Just let it be – the chicken is supposed to cook slowly, on low heat.”
We can also say let me be! – to tell someone to leave us alone:
“My brother keeps trying to give me advice even when I don’t ask for it; I wish he’d just let me be!“
#10 – let your guard down
To let your guard down means to relax and stop trying to protect yourself against competition or trouble. This expression can be used when someone who is normally very emotionally “closed off” shows a moment of vulnerability.
“After a series of terrible relationships, I was finally able to let my guard down after I got to know my husband.”