The first stage of learning a new language involves getting the hang of the various manners of greeting, be it in a formal or informal setting.
Some patterns associated with greeting someone or starting a conversation are common to all languages. You will find variations of such common gestures in the English language too.
In addition, there be might some phrases or sayings that are unique to the culture of its speakers. In this article, we are going to list popular greetings used by fluent English speakers. Some are common, and others might be a bit unusual.
Some are usually used in a more formal context, such as at work, whereas some are used more informally, with friends and family.
Learn to speak English with these greetings and slide into a conversation with ease.
- Hello, nice to meet you – The most commonly used greeting to start a conversation in a formal context. Imagine you are introduced to somebody for the first time. You break the ice by graciously acknowledging your addressee’s presence with this sentence.
- Good Morning. How are you today? – Morning can be substituted with Afternoon or Evening, depending on the time. This is another polite way to begin a conversation in a formal setup. The address is usually followed by, “I am well, how are you?” or “Thank you for asking, I am fine, how are you?”.
- Pleased to meet you – Another form of saying “nice to meet you.” Can be used interchangeably with “It’s a pleasure to meet you” in a formal setup. It is an appropriate way to greet someone you are being introduced to for the first time, usually followed by a shake of hands.
- Hey there, how’s it going? / Hi, how’s it going? – Could be a conversation starter or a response to someone who has already greeted you. Used in an informal setting.
- Hello, how are you keeping? – Polite way of asking if someone is doing well, especially if the enquirer is close to the person and is concerned about his/her health. Better placed in a context where the enquirer is aware of the addressee’s current situation. Can be added with a “these days” – “how are you keeping these days?”. This is a greeting with a neutral tone and can be used in both a formal and informal context.
- Hey, how are things with you? – Informal way of greeting a person by asking if he/she is doing well.
- All right? – Informal, and primarily used by British speakers. Another way of asking if the person being greeted is doing well. Short for, “Is everything all right with you?”, or “how are you doing?”.
- What’s keeping you busy these days? – An endearing greeting to someone you know whom you are meeting after a while. Such an address is usually followed by a long answer instead of the usual “I’m fine” or “I’m well.” You can expect the person to explain their present circumstances.
- I know you’re swamped, so I’ll be brief – Great opener to a mail where you are pitching an offer or requesting something. Works as a good alternative to the usual, “Hello, hope you are doing well” or “Hello, hope this mail finds you well”.
- Hope you had a great weekend – Formal opening to a mail you are sending on a Monday.
- I hope you are having a great week – Formal opening to a mail you are sending in the middle of the week.
- To whom it may concern – In case you are sending a mail where you do not know the identity of the recipient.
- How you doin’? – The famous catchphrase used by Joey Tribbiani in the popular show Friends – used as a pickup line. However, can be used as an informal greeting.
- Hey, what’s up? – Another popular informal greeting. Rather than referring to the direction, as it might seem, it Is a way to ask how they are feeling or what they have been doing.
- Long time, no see – Can be used both formally and informally to greet a person you have met before but haven’t seen in a long time.
Something important to consider when you are using any of these greetings is the situation and context you find yourself in. Important factors could be the type of event and whether or not you are addressing someone you know well. As well as this, there is different language you might use for your colleagues compared to your Boss, so authority can be a factor.
If you want to speak fluent English, it is always beneficial to learn the language from British teachers, so you understand the dynamics of the language and the culture behind it. This is something that teachers who teach English as a foreign language or second language may fail to communicate accurately.
Also, British teachers can provide you with a better understanding of the intonations and pronunciation which are prerequisites of spoken English.