‘K’ or ‘Ok’ or ‘Okk’ or ‘Okay’ or ‘ O.K.': What's the Difference Between Them?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on June 6, 2023

Do you need to know the difference between 'K' or 'Ok' or 'Okk' or 'Okay' or 'O.K.?' If so, you are in the right place!

Here is the short answer:

  • Many people feel that 'K' is a rude response.
  • 'Ok' and 'Okay' are perceived as more neutral.
  • 'Okk' has a sarcastic tone.
  • 'O.K.' comes across as rude or gives the reader the impression you are irritated, angry, or annoyed.

'Ok' is a simple word, but it can be challenging to interpret, mainly when you use 'K' or 'Okk' or 'O.K.' as a response. So, if you want to avoid offending your friends and family with an inappropriate 'okay,' read this entire post!

What is the difference Between 'K' or 'Ok' or 'Okk' or 'Okay' or 'O.K.?'

'K,' 'Ok,' 'Okk,' and 'O.K.' are variations of 'Okay.' I've never thought about the difference between them.' However, this is an important topic. Sending the wrong 'Ok' can cause problems in your business and personal relationships.

  • Of the above terms, 'Ok' and 'Okay' are the most professional and acceptable options.

Almost everyone believes these terms are polite unless you pair them with particular punctuation (more on this later). People have mixed reactions to 'K,' 'Okk,' and 'O.K.'

  • Many believe 'K' is rude and dismissive.
  • 'Okk' doesn't cause extreme reactions from most people, and
  • Some think 'O.K.' looks like text yelling and reports that it gives the impression the sender is angry.

Truthfully, they are just 'adaptations' or 'abbreviations' of 'Okay.'

Background on Variations of 'Okay'

People seem to be most offended by the 'k' abbreviation of 'okay.' However, that was not always the case. Here is why.

  • While text messages are the main form of communication for many people today, the method of communication is relatively new and still evolving.
  • When text capability first reached the masses, most carriers charged 10 cents per message, and there was a 160-character limit.

So, people shortened most messages so they could fit more info into each text, for example:

Hey! This shows you the limitations

of early text messaging. Your message

had to be brief to fit into 160 characters

or split into two texts.   

In the early days of SMS messaging, the rates deterred people from using it frequently or encouraged them to fit more into fewer characters. So, many words like 'Okay' were abbreviated.

Here are a few examples:

  • Laugh out loud - LOL
  • Be right back - BRB
  • I love you - ILY
  • What are you doing? - WYD
  • I miss you - IMY
  • On the way - OTW
  • Good night - GN
  • Talk to you later - TTYL
  • Okay - K
  • Hit me up  - HMU

Due to character limits and per-message charges, these abbreviations were widely used. So, many people who were alive during that period still use shortened versions of words like 'okay.'

Interestingly, younger people who weren't around in the early days of texting seem more offended when they receive 'k' as a response.

Which to Use, 'K' or 'Ok' or 'Okk' or 'Okay' or 'O.K.'

As mentioned above, most people agree that 'K,' 'Okk,' and ''O.K.'are the least professional options. So, it is best not to use them. Instead, use "ok,' for example,

I know you were having a difficult time last year, but everything will be 'ok.'

Or, you could use 'okay,' for example:

I was sick last week, but I am okay now.

How to Use 'Ok' or 'Okay'

You know that 'ok' and 'okay' are the most acceptable options and have the same meaning. So you can use them interchangeably.

Now, let's look at how to use them.

  • Use 'Ok' or 'Okay' to tell someone you received their message.

For example,  if a friend sent you a message that said:

Angela. Shannon, Destiny,

Pebbles and I are going on

a mediation retreat next

Friday night. Do you want

to go with us?

You could respond with 'ok' or 'okay.'

Definition of 'Okay': What Does 'Okay' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'okay' is an adjective that means:

  • All right or acceptable

It can also be a noun, adverb, and verb meaning:

  • An endorsement or approval
  • To authorize
  • To approve
  • To support

Synonyms of 'Okay'

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'K' or 'Ok' or 'Okk' or 'Okay' or 'O.K.'

Now, let's examine the pronunciation of each term so you know how to say them confidently.

Here is a pronunciation guide with phonetic spellings.

  • The phonemic spelling of 'K' is:


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'Ok':


  • Use this spelling to pronounce 'Okk' correctly:


  • The phonetic spelling of 'Okay' is:


  • Use this spelling to say 'O.K correctly.'


Punctuation Usage With 'K' or 'Ok' or 'Okk' or 'Okay' or 'O.K.'

Punctuation adds to the meaning of terms when you text them. Here are some examples of punctuation people commonly pair with 'okay.'

  • K!
  • K.
  • K...
  • Okk!
  • Okk?
  • Okk.
  • O.K.?!

As you can see, adding a period, ellipses, question marks, or exclamation marks changes the message. So, be mindful of your punctuation.

Conversational Examples of 'K' or 'Ok' or 'Okk' or 'Okay' or 'O.K.'

Here are a few examples of these terms used in conversation.


  • Janice: Are you working this week? If so, I could use your help with a couple of projects. 
  • Candice: K, I am happy to help but must be home by 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. 


  • Tina: Hi, Lina. I was wondering if I could use you as a reference for a job application. 
  • Lina: Ok, Tina that is fine. 


  • Tammy: Do you have a blue shirt I can wear with my jeans and these shoes? 
  • SammyOkk, I should. Are you going on a date?


  • Mrs. Marie: I hate to inform you of this, but you are in violation of the HOA bylaws. 
  • Homeowner Carie: Okay, I will address the violations this evening. 


  • KenI had a really good time on our date. I would love to take you out again this weekend.
  • Jen: O.K., but I might not be free. I will try to let you know by Thursday. 

Sample Sentences with 'K' or 'Ok' or 'Okk' or 'Okay' or 'O.K.'

Finally, read these sentence samples to know how people use the terms in different contexts and forms.


  • K, I should be free on Wednesday night. Are you going to pick me up, or should I Uber?
  • I need you to take the trash out and bring the trash can in while your dad and I are out of town, K?


  • Ok, I can't take any more of his rambling. Is there anything you can do?
  • Are you doing ok?


  • Okk. If that is what you want, I am happy to do it.
  • Okk, is there anything else that you need?


  • Okay, let me know when you are on the way.
  • It is okay for you to pursue your dreams. Everyone deserves to live a life they love.


  • O.K., let me get this straight. You parked in a no-parking zone, and they towed my car?!

Final Thoughts on 'K' or 'Ok' or 'Okk' or 'Okay' or 'O.K.'

We just reviewed a ton of information. So, let's do a quick recap:

  • 'K,' 'Okk,' 'and 'O.K.' are variations of 'okay' that are sometimes perceived as cold, short, rude, or dismissive, so it is best to avoid them in most cases. 
  • 'Ok' and 'Okay' are relatively neutral and often received well. 

Despite all that you learned, remembering whether to use 'K,' or 'Ok,' or 'Okk,' or 'Okay,' or 'O.K.' can still be confusing. So, if they ever trip you up in the future, you can always come back to this lesson to do a quick review. You can also learn about other confusing words and terms in the other guides here.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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