The word friend is used a lot in English conversations, writings, movies, television. The word has many different meanings, idioms and can be used in a lot of different ways. Read on if you want to know all the different ways friend is used in English.
I have included examples and dialogues to make it easier to understand and see how friend is used by native English speakers, in every day situations.
First of all, what does friend mean?
1. The noun friend refers to person that you have a good and close relationship with. This person is somebody who you feel you can trust and confide in.
2. A friend can be a member of the family, somebody you met at school or at work, somebody you have similar interests with or somebody that you like and enjoy spending time with. A relationship between friends is not a romantic or sexual relationship.
3. The noun friend can also be used to refer to a person or organisation that supports another organisation or group and usually gives them money or funding.
Below are examples of how friend can be used:
When friend is used to refer to person that you have a very good relationship with, a person that you can trust or a person that you have similar interests with.
- They are great friends, they met at work and realised that they have a lot in common with each other, they enjoy the same types of films and listen to similar music.
- This is my cousin Karen but she is also a very close friend, I tell her everything.
- “Is John your boyfriend? You are always together.” “No, he’s not my boyfriend, he’s just a really good friend. He is always there for me and we have the same sense of humour. We always have a great time together.”
- Who are your friends at school? Who do you spend most of your time with?
When friend is used to refer to a person or organisation that provides funding to another organisation.
- Sterling Ltd, has always been a generous friend to the company, without them this place wouldn’t have stayed afloat for so long.
- This charity organisation relies on our friend’s donations to help us make a difference in the world.
- The Carlyle group, friends of the National Art Museum, have been supporting us from the beginning and we are forever grateful to them.
Below is dialogue discussing somebody’s closest friend:
Justin: Who is your best friend?
Jane: Chloe is my best friend.
Justin: Why did you pick Chloe? Why is she different from your other close friends?
Jane: I picked Chloe because we have been friends for a long time and she has always been there for me.
Justin: What do you mean?
Jane: Whenever I need support or somebody to confide in, I know I can call her and she will drop everything to comfort me and reassure me that everything will work out.
Justin: That sounds like the ideal friendship. It’s very important to have loyal friends around you whom you know you can trust.
Jane: It is, I am very lucky.
Justin: Do you have a lot in common with Chloe?
Jane: I do, we are both passionate swimmers and we both enjoy outdoor activities such as rock climbing, hiking and jogging.
Justin: It’s the perfect friendship!
There are many different types of words that can be created with friend.
this noun describes a close and loyal relationship between friends.
- They have had a long friendship, they have been through everything together and can trust each other with anything.
- Before they started dating each other they had a great friendship but that all changed once they began dating.
- I feel very lucky to have her as a friend. We have so many things in common, we like the same music, we are both interested in sociology and we have similar political opinions. We have a great friendship and I hope we will stay friends for a long time.
this noun refers to a case or situation of somebody not having any friends.
- Her friendlessness is a result of her timidness and lack of trust in other people.
- To be friendlessness can be very lonely and isolating, everybody needs somebody to talk to and to rely on.
is used as a noun in sports terminology. A friendly match, is a match between two teams that is not part of any competitive tournament. Therefore the match is less competitive and gives the two teams an opportunity to train without any added pressure.
- “What is the point of a friendly match?” the player asked his coach “The point is you can put everything that you have learnt into practice and we can see what we need to improve on as a team”
- “Are you watching the match later?” “I don’t think so, it’s a friendly which means it will probably be boring.”
this is the name of a person that you are in a romantic relationship with. Boyfriends and girlfriends are usually dating or exclusive to one another.
- This is my boyfriend, we have been dating for four years and are planning on moving in together.
- He asked her to be his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day.
- They were boyfriend and girlfriend for a long time before they got married.
- She loves her boyfriend and is the happiest she has ever been.
this describes a person that has no friends or companions.
- Due to my selfish and greedy actions, I am now friendless. I pushed everyone away in my pursuit of money and fame.
- You are my only true friend, if you leave I will be friendless and alone, I need you here.
- There are children in school who are shy and find it difficult to make friends. The teachers try to help encourage them to socialise with their peers so they don’t remain friendless.
- Friendly can describe a person’s characteristic – the friendly doorman is always outgoing and happy.
- Friendly can describe an attribute – he has a very friendly smile.
- Friendly describes an agreeable or hospitable environment – her house was alway friendly and welcoming.
is the comparative of the adjective friendly.
- Our old neighbour was a lot friendlier than the new neighbours, I wish they never moved away.
- Rebecca seems friendlier than her sister, she is a lot more outgoing and engaging.
- She wants to be friendlier with her colleagues but she is very shy.
is the superlative of friendly.
- Lucky is the friendliest dog I have ever met, he always wants to be part of the group and loves all the attention.
- Nowadays they are on the friendliest terms but in the past the two sisters were very hostile and aggressive towards one another.
- Greg is the friendliest policeman I have ever met.
is used to describe something that is easy to understand or use.
- They wanted to create a user-friendly device that anybody could use without confusion and with ease.
- When creating a website, a good web designer will also make sure to create a user-friendly site that every customer can use.
this verb is used to refer to the action of inviting or accepting a person as a friend through a social media platform.
- He friended her on Facebook after meeting her in a bar.
- After meeting each other on summer vacation, the two girls promised to friend each other on their social media accounts as soon as they arrived home.
this describes a friendly nature or manner of something or someone.
- She friendlily approached the child as she didn’t want to frighten her.
- They laughed friendlily at Frank when he tripped over the rock.
Friend has many related idioms, let’s have a look at the most common idioms:
1. A friend in need is a friend indeed
This idiom means that true friends show themselves in times of need or when times get hard. Loyal friends stand by you while others disappear and offer little support or help.
Here is dialogue using the idiom:
Sarah: Karen was so supportive when my mother was sick, it really showed me who my true friends are.
Kim: Did a lot of your friends help you?
Sarah: Unfortunately I lost a lot of friends during this time. I think it got too intense for many of them. Karen was the only person who supported me and comforted me.
Kim: A friend in need is a friend indeed. When times get tough it’s always interesting to see who sticks by.
Sarah: I know what you mean. I was very surprised to be abandoned by some many people but it has shown me who my true friends are. Karen was there for me whenever I needed comfort and a shoulder to cry on, she was brilliant!
2. Fair weather friend
A fair weather friend refers to a person who was considered a friend but when times got tough and you needed them, they weren’t around to support you.
- When she was rich and famous she was surrounded by people she assumed were her friends. She realised they were fair weather friends when she became bankrupt and lost everything, these “friends” deserted her and she was left with nothing.
- Do you think he is a true friend or is he a fair weather friend? Will he abandon you at the first sign of trouble?
3. Friends in high places
Friends in high places are friends or acquaintances whom are powerful or influential in business or politics. You can rely on these friends to support you and help you get to where you want or help you get what you want.
- Many people think that you need friends in high places to become a powerful politician. That your intelligence or experience is irrelevant compared to who you know.
- Scott only had to serve one week in prison for his crimes because he has friends in high places, he should have served a much longer sentence.
4. Man’s best friend
A man’s best friend is a loving way of referring to a person’s pet dog as dogs are very loyal to their owner.
Here is dialogue using the idiom:
Son: Why do they say a dog is a man’s best friend?
Mother: People say that because dogs are loyal and devoted to their owners. You will see many dogs following their owner everywhere they go and protecting them from strangers or danger. Do you understand now?
Son: I do, now I want a dog!