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What does “LMK” mean and how do you use it?

The letters
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Has anyone ever asked you to “turn around?”

; Here’s what this common Internet acronym means and how to use it.

Let me know

LMK stands for “Let me know”. This initialism is used to tell someone to notify you about something in the future. For example, you can tell someone who is currently ill, “LMK if your fever goes down” or “LMK if you need anything.”

The abbreviation often means that there will be another conversation in the future, probably when the other person answers. It is usually used in texts and emails rather than actual conversations. When speaking to someone IRL, it is best to use the full phrase “Let me know.” You can use this acronym in both uppercase LMK and lowercase lmk, as both occur equally often.

The phrase “Let me know” also tends to make a line of questions less confrontational and more casual. Rather than sounding like you’re asking someone directly, LMK usually sounds more friendly. Hence, it can be used for potentially tense or difficult conversations with other people.

A Brief History of LMK

Before it became an Internet acronym, the phrase “Let me know” was already very widespread in English. It’s versatile and applicable in a variety of contexts, from a restaurant server asking a patron if they need something to asking someone what time a meeting will be held.

The shortened version comes from early internet chat rooms, forums and message boards in the 1990s where it gained popularity alongside other internet acronyms. On the internet slang website Urban Dictionary, the earliest available definition for LMK is from 2003. It simply says “Let me know.”

It has been increasingly used in the 2000s and beyond, especially with the rise of SMS, instant messaging and direct messaging. It is very common to use LMK in face-to-face conversations with other people.

Asking for an answer

A couple standing back to back while texting.
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There are two main reasons for using LMK in a sentence: so that you can ask someone a question or ask for additional information in the future.

In the first case, you use LMK to ask questions and expect an answer from the other person as soon as possible. This is often done when someone sends a message that is currently offline, or when a message is sent through a channel to which someone does not need to reply immediately, such as email or text message. For example, you would say, “LMK if you are free tomorrow.”

You could also say ‘LMK’ next to another question, such as ‘LMK what you think’ or ‘LMK where you are’. Using LMK can make your message appear less abrupt and rude and more informal and non-confrontational.

LMK to request updates

Another reason to use LMK is to request future updates from someone about a particular situation. In this scenario, “lmk” is often combined with phrases such as “what’s happening” or “how you’re doing” referring to a particular upcoming event.

Suppose one of your friends is about to have an important job interview. Your text to them could read, “Good luck, and watch it go!” This means that you want them to update you about the interview later.

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How to use LMK

LMK and the phrase “Let me know” are essentially interchangeable so you can switch between the two. While most acronyms are used strictly for casual conversations, LMK is versatile enough to be acceptable in professional settings. It’s not uncommon to use LMK in an email asking for feedback or insights from other people in the workplace.

Here are a few examples of how to use LMK:

  • ‘I just sent you the second revision of the design. LMK what you think. “
  • “Hey, I heard you have a game tomorrow night. LMK what’s happening. “
  • “Lmk where you are. I’m going to pick you up. “
  • ‘Can you look after me Friday night? lmk, thank you. “

If you want to expand your online slang vocabulary even further, check out our articles on WYD, TTYL and HBU.

RELATED: What does “HBU” mean and how do you use it?

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