Friendships… They enrich our life, provide comfort and support, boost our confidence and sense of belonging. And yet a true friendship is not that easy to find, takes a lot of effort to maintain and can be lost forever with one thoughtless word or action.

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Obviously, there are loads of words related to the topic of friendship. I’ve picked the ones I think you’ll find most useful – I myself use them a lot and so do native speakers.

Friendship is a kind of magic, don’t you think? You meet a lot of different people but you make friends with only a handful (=few) of them.

By the way, friend is also a verb meaning to add someone as your friend on a social networking website (i.e. Facebook).

– He’s got about ten thousand friends on Facebook! How’s that possible?!

– It’s because he friends every single person he meets.

So, friends and work colleagues aside, each of us has a large bunch of casual acquaintances (=people you know but now very well and with whom you don’t have a close relationship).

– Who’s that woman I saw you talking to at the bus stop? Are you friends with her?

– Well, she lives round here and, like me, has a dog so I often see her with her dog in the park. So, I’d say she’s just a casual acquaintance.

Buddy is the word we use for someone we do a particular activity with.

Jenny is my gym buddy.

Sometimes it takes a long time for a friendship to develop. At other times, two people click (=like, understand and agree with each other) the very moment they meet.

Anna and I just clicked when we first met in a yoga class and have been friends ever since.

There’s an idiom with a similar meaning – to get on/along like a house on fire.

I was rather scary of meeting my boyfriend’s parents but we got on/along like a house on fire.

To get on/along with someone means have a friendly relationship with someone and can be used on its own.

He doesn’t get on with his classmates but has a couple of friends outside school.

Of friends that spend together all the time we say that they are inseparable or that they are/live in each other’s pockets.

I doubt living in each other’s pockets is beneficial either for you or Rosie. Maybe you should see your other friends as well?

Spending time together is essential for a friendship to thrive (=be successful). And don’t be scared of sometimes falling out (=have a quarrel) with your friends – it happens to the best of us – but don’t let it last too long and make up (=become friendly with someone after you had an argument with them) as soon as possible.

Occasional quarrels are not to be worried about as long as your friendship is based on empathy (=the ability to understand other people’s feelings and problems), mutual respect, honesty, and loyalty (=the quality of remaining faithful to your friends). The lack thereof can spoil (=make worse) or even ruin (=spoil completely) even a long-standing (=existing for a long time) friendship.

And if a friendship comes to an end, let it go with gratitude and be prepared for a new one!

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