They say the language of love is universal, but every culture has its own vocabulary when it comes to talking about relationships. The United States is no different.

Below are five common expressions Americans use to describe falling in — and out of — love.

To have a crush on someone


What it means: To have strong feelings of love or affection for someone (often for a short time and with no actual relationship).
In conversation: “Last month he had a crush on Claire, but this month he has a huge crush on Emily.”

To hit it off


What it means: To get along well with someone from the first moment you meet.
In conversation: “Ben and Jan hit it off on their first date.”

To fall for someone


What it means: To begin to feel love for someone.
In conversation: “I think I’m falling for Jess. I can’t stop thinking about him.”

To break up


What it means: To end a romantic relationship.
In conversation: “They broke up last week, but they are trying to remain friends.”

To make up


What it means: To become friendly with someone again after an argument.
In conversation: “We had a huge fight yesterday, but we made up today.”

Learn more

Other idioms common in everyday American speech include those derived from art, sports and cooking.

ShareAmerica has a series of everyday conversations that include audio clips to help practice English. The American English resource center and the American English Facebook page can help you master conversational English. The Voice of America offers news stories, podcasts and other free tools that help students at different levels.