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13 Ways to Greet Someone

We need to know different greetings in English for different situations. It is also important to know different ways that people greet each other so we can understand other people when they greet us.

Let's go over 10 different ways that we can say hello or greet someone in English.

1. Hello.

This is the most basic greeting in English. We can use it at any time and in any situation.

We can also use it before other greetings, sentences, and questions.
  • Hello. How are you?
  • Hello. My name is Michael. What is your name?
  • Hello. Can you help me with something?
  • Hello. I'm looking for the subway station.
2. Hi.

This is a shorter version of "hello". Some people may say that "hi" is a more casual version of "hello", but we can also use "hi" in any situation. It is not a problem if we use "hi" in a formal situation.

3. Hey.

Now, "hey" is definitely more casual than "hi" or "hello". It is best to only use "hey" with family and friends, or maybe a close co-worker.

"Hey" can also be used to get somebody's attention.
  • Hey Mark! Over here!
  • Hey Ben! Come here.
4. Good morning. / Good afternoon. / Good evening.

We can use these simple and polite situations to greet somebody. Obviously, we use different expressions depending on the time of day.

These expressions are great for formal situations, but we can also use them naturally with our friends and family. Really, these expressions can be used in any situation.

Note: We use "good night" to say goodbye, but we can never use "good night" to say hello. Even if we are meeting somebody at night, we cannot use it as a greeting. We need to use another greeting.

5. It's nice to meet you.

This is a very polite expression to use the first time that we meet somebody.

Many times, people shorten this expression and they leave out "It is".
  • Nice to meet you.
6. It's a pleasure to meet you.

This is the same as "It's nice to meet you".

It can also be shortened.
  • Pleasure to meet you.
7. It's good to see you again.

We use this greeting for people that we have already met before. However, we do not use this for our friends, family, or people that we see often. We use it for people we do not see or meet often but have met before.

This greeting can also be shortened.
  • Good to see you again.
We can also change "see" to "meet".
  • It's good to meet you again.
  • Good to meet you again.
8. What's up?

This is a very casual greeting that can be used among friends. "What's up?" is asking if the person has any news or anything special to tell.

It is common to respond to this greeting by saying "Nothing". This means that everything is the same and your life is good.

A) What's up?
B) Nothing. What's up with you?
A) Nothing new. Everything is good.

But we can respond in other ways. We do not even need to answer the question because usually "what's up" is just used as a casual greeting.

A) What's up?
B) Hey. How are you?

A) What's up?
B) I'm good. How are you?

9. Sup?

This is a slang version of "What's up?". It is used the same way. This is usually used by younger people.

10. How's it going?

This is a very common expression that is used to greet somebody. This expression is asking how a person's life is going. Are they doing well? Are they healthy? How is their job?

We can think of "it" as "your life".

We can respond to this question any way that we want.

A) How's it going?
B) Everything is going well. How about you?

A) How's it going?
B) Everything is good.

A) How's it going?
B) I'm okay. How are you?

A) How's it going?
B) Not well. I got fired yesterday.

11. How are you?

This is one of the most basic greetings in English. In English, it is polite to ask somebody how they are doing when you meet them.

We can give basic responses like this.

A) How are you?
B) I'm good. You?

A) How are you?
B) I'm okay. How are you?

If you respond that you are very good or very bad, then the other person will definitely ask you why. So, only respond this way if you want to talk more about something.

A) How are you?
B) I am great.
A) Why is that?
B) I finally found a job.

A) How are you?
B) I'm terrible.
A) Oh no. What happened?
B) My dog died yesterday.

12. How have you been?

This question is very similar to "How are you?". However, "How are you?" is asking about a person's feeling right now. "How have you been?" is asking about their life from the last time we met them until now.

We can also answer this question in any way that we want.

A) How have you been?
B) I've been good. How about you?

A) How have you been?
B) I'm good. How have you been?

13. What's new?

This is a casual greeting that is usually only used among friends. It is just asking if anything special or new has happened to a person since the last time we met them.

A) What's new?
B) Nothing.

A) What's new?
B) I decided to go back to school.

Use this lesson to help you take your English skills to the next level. Expanding your vocabulary and learning new English expressions and phrases is a great way to improve your English. It will help you a lot when you listen to English or speak English. There are certain situations when the language that you learned in this English lesson can be very useful. Try to use one of these phrases or expressions the next time you speak English.

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