You’re Fired: 5 Ways to Talk About Losing Your Job

In this One Minute Lesson of RealLife TV you will learn 5 expressions for losing your job (Watch Video & See Transcript Below):

  1. To be/get Fired
  2. To be/get Let Go
  3. To be/get Laid Off
  4. To be/get Canned
  5. To be/get Sacked

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Hey guys, how is it going? I’m Justin, welcome to another one minute lesson from RealLife TV.

Today, I’m going to teach you 5 ways to say to get fired, or to lose your job.

Is this RealLife?

Ok, so, none of us want to lose our job, but, unfortunately, it happens from time to time. Sometimes it’s not our fault and sometimes it is, but today I’m going to teach you five expressions.

1. To Get Fired

So, the first expression, the most universal one is to get fired, or to fire somebody. So, to get fired is to lose your job and, usually, it is your fault.

2. To Get Let Go

The second term for to get fired is to be let go. To be let go is similar to get fired, but it’s a little bit more neutral, it’s a little bit more beating around the bush, not direct. So, maybe, the manager that fired a person might say “I had to let that person go.”

3. To Get Laid Off

Third term we’re going to cover today is to be or to get laid off. So, where the first two are probably the fault of the employee, or, at least, a much more aggressive terminating of the person’s position, this one is more systematic, it’s more structural. So, it’s probably not the person’s fault that they got laid off.

4. To Get Canned

The fourth one is kind of a slang, it’s to get canned. It’s more like to be thrown in the can, to be fired.

5. To Get Sacked

And the fifth one is to get sacked, which is another more colloquial way to say the same thing.

So, those are our five expressions today. I hope you enjoyed the one minute lesson.

Have a good day, take care!


  1. Janet Abedi on March 19, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    thanks a lot! enjoyed this lesson. (y)

    • Justin on March 25, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you Janet!

  2. Zulmira Andrade Rabelo on March 19, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Great to remember this. Thank you Justin

    • Justin on March 25, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      I appreciate it Zulmira!

  3. Cemi Kaite on March 19, 2014 at 8:15 pm


  4. Thi Thanh Thao Ly on March 19, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    I really appreciate the lesson! Lots of thanks!

    • Justin on March 25, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      I really appreciate your comment!

  5. Mohamed Mosad on March 19, 2014 at 8:54 pm


  6. Claudia Schmidt on March 19, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks a lot. Very informative.
    It would be nice if you would plan a lesson about expressions for leaving a job.
    One (rhetorical) question: Why of all things the more systematic and structural expression must be the “most delicate” one for a non-native speaker ???
    I wonder what will happen by using phrase #3 if I forget to say the important word “off”. OMG … I’m not going to ponder on that, I only recommend: Never forget the preposition! ;D

    • Justin on March 25, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      Hey Claudia, Thank you for watching and commenting. Expressions for leaving a job is a great idea for a future video. I never even thought about how it would sound to take the “off” off of “laid off” but you made an excellent point! Thanks again!

  7. Ridha Shex Mohammed Solaee on March 19, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Thank you very much .

    • Justin on March 25, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks for watching!

  8. Sei Savitri on March 21, 2014 at 6:42 am

    hehe, well, i hope i will never get canned or get sacked, i will find it hard to move 😀 Thank you, Justin, you're mega galactical as always!

    • Justin on March 25, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Thanks Sei for watching AND your mega-galatictal personality and comment!

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