Advanced English: The New Normal

Everything has changed with Covid-19 (“Coronavirus”). Our habits, work life, school life are all different now. Nobody knows if these changes will be permanent, but one thing is sure. Our lives will never be the same again!

There are phrases that we can use to compare our lives now and our lives before, and we also have ways to show how we feel about these changes. Here are some advanced English phrases that you can use.

The New Normal

We say “the new normal” to talk about things that are normal now – but which were different in the past.

“Wearing a face mask is the new normal.”
“You don’t like social distancing? Well, it’s the new normal.”

No longer

Use this phrase to say what you don’t do any more.

“I no longer go to the shops every day.”
“We no longer spend hours browsing in book shops.”

To be here to stay

If something is here to stay, it’s permanent.

“Social distancing is probably here to stay.”
“Contactless payments are here to stay.”

To be unthinkable

If something is unthinkable, it means that it’s impossible to imagine.

“It’s unthinkable now to shake hands with a stranger.”
“All these restrictions would have been unthinkable a year ago”

To take something for granted

When you take something for granted, you don’t appreciate something enough, because you are so used to it.

“We just took it for granted that we could travel anywhere we wanted, at any time.”

To look back (on)

This is a phrasal verb which means to remember the past.

“When I look back on the past, it reminds me of all the freedoms we had.”
“When we look back on last year, we could never have imagined how Covid-19 would change everything.”

To never go back to

If you can never go back to something, you can never return to it.

“We’ll never go back to carefree travel.”
“I’ll never go back to paying in cash.”

Be / Feel nostalgic for

If you’re nostalgic for something, you remember it and you feel a little sad that times have changed.

“We’re all a little nostalgic about our lives before Covid-19.”
“He feels nostalgic for the times when he could meet all his friends in the pub.”


When you learn phrases (like “be here to stay”) and phrasal verbs (like “look back onr”) you can speak English more fluently and naturally. When you join the English Fluency Club, you get immediate access to more than 650 fluency phrases, collocations and phrasal verbs.

Advanced English: The New Normal
Clare, the Founder of the English Fluency Club

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