How to Greet in English

Each country or culture has its own way of greeting others, and these greetings are a part of every conversation. Think about how you greet new people in your native country. Do you have different ways to say “hello” when you meet someone in a store, at a job interview, at school, or at your own house? Just as there are different ways to say “hello” in your native language, there are different conventions to follow in English. It is important to know the common greetings and how to use them properly and confidently. They say that first impressions are everything, but I say that a first impression is nothing without the proper greeting.When learning another language, you’ll be aware that the method by which you greet people can often depend upon whom you’re addressing, whether the occasion is formal or informal and what is common in the area or country you’re in.

Use formal greetings for formal events and when greeting dignitaries and persons in authority:

For example, whenever addressing persons at a business meeting, an occasion during which you’re meeting people with titles, positions of authority or who are in a position requiring the utmost of respect from you. Greetings that can be used on such occasions include:Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening. These are always polite ways of addressing people when greeting them.

Include the person’s title where you know it:

  • “Good evening Lady Haversham. I am honored to meet you.”
  • “Good morning you’re Royal Highness.”

Consider other gestures that might complete the greetings:

In certain cases, some of the following may be appropriate, depending on appropriate protocol:

Making a slight or deep bow, or a slight or deep curtsy.

Removing your hat.

Where shaking hands is appropriate, use a good, firm hand grip and shake confidently without being rough or holding on for too long.

Meeting People

When arriving at your destination or meeting people during the day, use the following phrases:


Good morning/afternoon/evening.
How are you (doing)?
(It’s) nice/good/great to see you.
How is your day (going)?


Hey (man).
How’s it going?
How is everything/life?
How are things?
What’s up/new?
What’s going on?
How have you been?
Long-time no see.
It’s been a while.

Example Dialogues

Person 1: Good morning, John.
Person 2: Good morning. How are you?

Person 1: What’s up?
Person 2: Nothing much. You?

Leaving People

At departure, there is also a variety of ways you can be polite or friendly:


It was nice to meet you.
It was nice meeting you.
Have a good night.


See you.
See you soon/next time/later/tomorrow.
I have to go now.
I have to get going.
(It was) good seeing you.
Take care (of yourself).
Till next time.

Example Dialogues

Person 1: I have to get going, Sam. It was good seeing you today.
Person 2: You, too. See you soon again. Bye!

Person 1: Goodbye, Lucy. It was nice to meet you.
Person 2: Bye, John. You as well. Take care.

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