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English Greetings for English Learners

English Greetings for English Learners

A greeting is merely a means of welcoming someone. There are several ways to do this in the English language. There are greetings that are appropriate for official occasions, and greetings that are appropriate for a more pleasant, informal context. It is essential to be able to choose an acceptable welcome for every occasion. Here, we are going to talk about the Top 4 greeting styles:

  1. Formal Greeting
  2. Informal Greeting
  3. British Greeting
  4. Slang

1. Formal greeting:

Some of these more formal greetings may be used when meeting someone in a traditional setting, such as a business meeting or meeting an important person for the first time. If you are unsure whether to give a formal or casual welcome, it is usually advisable to go with the traditional greeting to avoid offending someone.Formal greeting

How are you?

When you are meeting someone for the first time and you are searching for an extremely formal phrase to say, then you should definitely use this one. While this greeting is no longer often used, it can still be heard from elderly people. “Hello, How are you?” is appropriate for a formal dinner or a business occasion, for instance a conference. According to professionals speaking in every other country and language, the best suitable reply to the question would be in a neutral or positive tone “I’m doing well, thank you / Fine, thank you” to maintain some professional space and this phrase is pretty well even if you are having a bad day.

“How do you do?” is sometimes used as a formal phrase/greeting and employed as a statement rather than a question. When you shake hands with someone for the first time, this is really common. If this is the case, there will be no intonation at the conclusion of the statement, making it simple to hear. The right response in this case is to ask the other person “How do you do?” in a positive tone.

Really nice to meet you:

When you are responding to someone for the first time this is definitely one of the courteous greeting examples you might want to use:

Person 1: Good Afternoon, I am Morris Charles from xyz company

Person 2: Pleased to meet you, Mr Charles.

It is customary for individuals to shake hands when they greet. Usually, handshakes lasts a few seconds, giving you ample time to respond with, “Pleased to meet you” Or “Nice to meet you.”

How have you been?

When one have not seen someone in a long time, this is a polite approach to ask, “How are you?” However, if you have met the person before, only then you should ask this question.

Person 1: How are you doing? Alternatively, how you have been?

Person 2: I have been binge watcing a lot lately. What about you?

One of the best method to guarantee that your welcomes seem natural and pure intentional is to practice them aloud, preferably with the assistance of a proficient speaker who can provide feedback. Want to practise it with someone? Find The Perfect Tutor

When and How to say Good Morning, Good Afternoon, and Good Evening:

The following methods of greeting individuals are utilized at various times of the day. Whether you are speaking with a frequent client, coworkers, or new neighbors, these words will get the conversation started.

The greetings vary according to the time of day. For example, “Good morning” is often used between 5:00 A.M and 12:00 P.M, “Good afternoon” is often used between 12:00 P.M and 6:00 P.M, and “Good evening” is generally used after 6:00 P.M or when the sun goes down.

“Good evening” is frequently used after 6 P.M or after the sunsets. Sometimes, in informal communication goodnight is used to bid farewell. For instance:

A: It is always a pleasure to meet you. Goodnight!

B: Goodnight, we will meet soon.

When you add the person’s last name while greeting it can be seen as showing respect. Even in business, native English speakers prefer to be more casual and use the person’s first name following the salutation:

Good evening, Mrs. James

Good morning, Mr. Grey

Good afternoon, Garry

Good morning, Carl

When you are greeting a person whom you do not know in a professional event then it is advised to say “Good morning, sir/madam”. One can hear these phrases when a staff member is talking to their boss or in a restaurant with customers.

Formal Greetings for Emails and Letters:

Many of the most serious talks in any language take place in writing: job applications, legal questions, and complaints against a firm. When you have something serious to say to someone, these are the greatest ways to welcome them in writing.Formal Greetings for Emails and Letters

  • Dear Madam or Sir:

If you are writing a formal email or letter, whose name you have no idea about then the most typical method to begin the discussion is “Dear Sir or Madam.” It is straightforward, courteous, and to the point. Here are some examples of why this is useful:

However, if you can discover the person you wish to speak with through little online research, it is far more professional to do so and send a tailored formal welcome.

  • To Whom It May Concern:

This is yet another formal technique of addressing an email to a stranger. It is a little old fashioned, but it’s ideal if your formal email is going to be relevant to a group of individuals or if you want to appear extra reserved. Some instances are:

  • To the Hiring Manager:

If you are sending a job application or contacting an Human Resource (HR) department about a position, “To the Hiring Manager” is a great greeting to utilize. It is especially useful when emailing a generic company-wide “info@” mailbox since it indicates that your message will be about a job opportunity and instantly advises whoever handles the inbox to pass your letter to Human Resource (HR) department.

  • Dear Mr A/ Mrs B / Ms C / Miss D / Prof E / Dr F:

If you know the name and title of the person to whom you are writing a professional email, begin the discussion with “Dear Mr [surname]” rather than “Dear sir or madam.” In rare situations, the individual you are emailing may use a greeting that indicates their occupation. Doctors and academicians with a PhD may use “Dr,” and college professors may use “Prof.” Otherwise, you can address a guy as “Dear Mr [surname],” a married lady as “Dear Mrs [surname],” and an unmarried woman as “Dear Miss [surname].” If you don’t know a woman’s marital status and are emailing her professionally, say “Ms [surname].”

2. Informal greeting:

Because most settings involve a more relaxed tone, there are many more informal greetings in English than formal ones. We will now look at some casual greetings that you may use with English-speaking friends, relatives, or anybody else with whom you are familiar.Informal greeting

  • Hey / Hello / Hi:

As you are almost probably aware, the most common greetings for informal occasions are “Hello” and “Hi.” They are usually followed by the person’s name:

As a general guideline, say “hello” to individuals you know well. It is okay to begin a discussion with a stranger in a casual setting with “hello,” but do not pronounce it too forcefully, since this might come across as unfriendly or hostile.

  • Mornin’ / Afternoon / Evenin’:

In most casual contexts, this is a nice and pleasant approach to welcome someone. It seems especially natural if you are simply strolling past someone with whom you have a casual relationship but do not have time to engage in a lengthy conversation, such as a postman, a neighbour, or a café employee. However, it may also be used to initiate a longer conversation.

  • How is it going? / How are you doing?

This is a casual way of asking, “How are you?” People like to follow the primary welcome with one of these inquiries. It is usually followed by a brief, favorable response. As an example:

A: Good day, Amanda! How are things going for you?
B: Okay, thank you. What about you?

  • It is Nice to see you / It’s Good to see you:

Use one of these nice greetings when you have not seen someone in a long time or when you encounter someone unexpectedly. You can use them at the start of a discussion or soon after the first “hi.”

  • It is been a while / Long-time no see:

These common expressions are used to welcome an old acquaintance or to strike up a discussion with someone you haven’t seen in a long time. These phrases are frequently followed by queries such as “How are you?” or “What’s new?” It’s also a fantastic approach to start a conversation on what’s happened since your previous encounter.

Person 1: Hello there, White! It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other. How are you doing?
Person 2: I am good, thank you! What has changed?
Person 3: Hey, Grey. How is it going?
Person 4: Great! Thank you.
Person 3: I have not seen you for ages.
Person 4: Yeah, it has been so long.

3. British Greetings:

Knowing a few British English greetings will make you appear extra welcoming when visiting the UK, demonstrating from the start that you wish to participate with the local culture. Here are some British greetings you may use on the Queen or your friends at a restaurant!

british greetings

  • Lovely to meet you / Lovely to see you:

When greeting each other in a formal context, British individuals are more likely to use the word “lovely” rather than “nice.” If you visit the United Kingdom, you will find that many individuals use the word “lovely” to express the same thing as “fine” in American English. It sounds warmer and more real to British English speakers.

  • Are You Okay?

This is a British slang variation of the phrase “Hello.” “How are you?” If your friend welcomes you in this manner, you may react with “yeah, fine” or, to seem even more British, “not bad” – all of which imply the same thing.

  • Alright? / Alright, mate?

This is a typical slang method of saying “Hi” to a friend in a relaxed manner. It is an abbreviated form of “Are you all right?” Once again, an appropriate and pleasant response is “Not bad, mate, you?”

  • Heya!

This is a typical method of saying “hello,” particularly in the north of England. It is also often used in text messaging.

  • What’s new with you?

When you are meeting with a British friend after some time, you can just use “Hey mate, what’s new with you?”

4. Slang / Lingo:

Slang is a real treat to learn since it’s casual and a little bit goofy, and using it shows that you’re on good terms with someone. Here are a few other ways to greet your close friends and younger relatives:

Slang Lingo

  • Hellooo / Heyyy … :

Some people prefer to add extra “y”s and “o’s” to the end of “hey” and “hello”, while texting or sending direct messages. For some inexplicable reason, this is most commonly used when flirting. The longer the tail of “ys,” the more flirtatious the message! More than three or four, on the other hand, seem a touch desperate…

  • Yo!

This highly casual greeting is widespread in the United States. It derives from hip-hop slang from the 1990s and is widely used humorously nowadays. This greeting is only appropriate for extremely close friends and should never be used in a professional context.

  • Wassup?

This is a highly widespread slang greeting that is used often both in person and by text message. It is a more casual method of welcoming a friend by asking how they are and what is going on in their lives. It is not impolite and may be used with close coworkers, as well as family and friends.

  • Sup?

This is a short version of “What’s up?”, which was very popular in America in the early 2000s. Now it is mostly only used ironically or in text.

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With over 3 years of experience in teaching, Chloe is very deeply connected with the topics that talk about the educational and general aspects of a student's life. Her writing has been very helpful for students to gain a better understanding of their academics and personal well-being. I’m also open to any suggestions that you might have! Please reach out to me at chloedaniel402 [at]