"Hello” - the most popular greeting in the English language but there are many different ways that you can greet people, whether it's a friend, family, coworker or a stranger. In this article, we’re going to explore some of the formal and informal greetings that you can use every day.
- Used when communicating with someone you don’t know or in professional situations
- Business emails, academic writing/articles, reports, job interviews, legal documents and public speaking are some examples of where formal language is used
- Used when communicating with someone you are familiar with or in more relaxed situations
- Personal emails, networking, socialising, advertisements, messaging and talking to peers are some examples of where informal language is used
Meeting someone in a formal setting requires a formal greeting. These types of situations usually occur at work - whether it’s greeting someone as you arrive at work, greeting someone in a meeting or introducing yourself to your new coworkers. If you’re ever in doubt as to whether a situation calls for a formal or informal greeting, the best option will always be to use a formal greeting - this will avoid the likelihood of causing offence.
Here are some formal greetings for you to try:
This greeting changes based on the time of the day
Nice to meet you/Pleased to meet you
This greeting is usually used when meeting someone for the first time.
Good to see you
A polite option for greeting a coworker. This greeting is often used alongside "Hello” - for example, "Hello Maria, Good to see you!”
Informal greetings are the more common greetings that we use in almost every other situation. They have a more laid-back tone - perfect for greeting family, friends or anyone else that you are familiar with.
After "Hello”, these two will be the next most commonly used greetings. "Hi” can be used in any situation whereas "Hey” is generally used to greet someone you already know.
How’s it going/How are you doing
These are both used as a more casual option for asking "How are you?”. Replies to this can range from "It’s going good” or "I’m good” but the most common reply would simply be "Good”.
What’s up/What’s happening/What’s new
These are some more options to check in with how someone is doing.
Long time no see
This greeting is used when you bump into someone that you haven’t seen in a long time.
There are many more ways to greet people, as you speak to more people in English, you will learn more and you’ll find your own signature greeting! But for now, why not try out some of these greetings.
Share your favourite greetings with us in the comments!