Greeting people is a very important part of our daily life. We use greetings to say hello in English. When you wake up in the morning, you greet your family; your mom, dad, brothers, and sisters. When we meet people, we greet them. When you go to school you greet your classmates and your teacher. Anywhere we go we can be friendly by greeting people.
Greetings also depend on the occasion, people you are meeting, and whether you are arriving or leaving. When we meet our friends, we can be informal with our greetings. When students meet their teachers, they should be more formal in their greetings. Businessmen usually use formal greetings.
Here are examples of greetings that you can practice and apply in daily life.
When arriving at a place you can use these informal greetings.
- Hi (name of your friend).
- Hello (name of your friend).
- How are you?
- How are you doing?
- What’s up? – (A very informal way of saying hi)
When arriving at a place you can use these formal greetings.
- Good morning. / Good afternoon. / Good evening.
- Hello (name), how are you?
- Good day Sir / Madam (very formal)
Respond to a formal greeting with another formal greeting.
- Good morning Mr. Smith.
- Hello Ms. Anderson. How are you today?
It’s important to note that the question How are you? or What’s up? doesn’t necessarily need a response. If you do respond, these phrases are generally expected:
How are you? / How are you doing?
- Very well, thank you. And you? (formal)
- Fine / Great (informal)
- Not much.
- I’m just (watching TV, hanging out, cooking dinner, etc.)
Informal Greetings After a Long Time
If you haven’t seen a friend or family member for a long time, use one of these informal greetings to mark the occasion.
- It’s great to see you!
- How have you been?
- Long time, no see.
- How are you doing these days?
Formal Greetings: Departing
Use these greetings when you say goodbye at the end of the day. These greetings are appropriate for work and other formal situations.
- Good morning / afternoon / evening.
- It was a pleasure seeing you.
- Goodnight. (Note: Use after 8 p.m.)
Informal Greetings: Departing
Use these greetings when saying goodbye in an informal situation.
- Nice seeing you!
- Goodbye / Bye
- See you later
- Later (very informal)
Here are some short example conversations for you to practice greetings in English. Find a partner to practice and take a role. Next, switch roles. Finally, make up your own conversations.
Greetings in Informal Conversations: Practice Dialogue
Mint: Tom, what’s up?
Tom: Hi Mint. Nothing much. I’m just hanging out. What’s up with you?
Mint: It’s a good day. I’m feeling fine.
Tom: How is your sister?
Mint: Oh, fine. Not much has changed.
Tom: Well, I have to go. Nice seeing you!
Mook: Oh, hello Chris. How are you doing?
Chris: I’m well. Thanks for asking. How are you?
Mook: I can’t complain. Life is treating me well.
Chris: That’s good to hear.
Mook: Good to see you again. I need to go to my doctor’s appointment.
Chris: Nice seeing you.
Mook: See you later.
Greetings in Formal Conversations: Practice Dialogue
John: Good morning.
Alan: Good morning. How are you?
John: I’m very well thank you. And you?
Alan: I’m fine. Thank you for asking.
John: Do you have a meeting this morning?
Alan: Yes, I do. Do you have a meeting as well?
John: Yes. Well, it was a pleasure seeing you.
Greeting someone when you are introduced.
Once you have been introduced to someone, the next time you see that person it is important to greet them. We also greet people as we leave people. In English (as in all languages), there are different ways to greet people in formal and informal situations.
Introduction (first) Greeting: How do you do?
The question ‘How do you do’ is only a formality. In other words, the question does not need to be answered. Rather, it is a standard phrase used when meeting some for the first time.
- Tom: Peter, I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith this is Peter Thompson.
- Peter: How do you do?
- Mr. Smith: How do you do?
Use these phrases to say that you are happy to meet someone when introduced for the first time.
- It’s a pleasure to meet you.
- It’s nice to meet you.
Greetings after an Introduction: How are you?
Once you have met someone, it’s common to use standard greetings such as ‘Good Morning’, ‘How are you?’ and ‘Hello’.
- Jackson: Hi Tom. How are you?
- Peter: Fine, and you?
- Jackson: I’m great.