Ways to say hello

In textbooks, you learn the standard greetings.

Hello! Good morning/afternoon/evening!

It is nice to meet you. / I am pleased to meet you. / It is a pleasure to meet you. / How do you do?

It is nice to meet you too. / The pleasure is all mine.

How are you? / Very well, thank you.

But in real life you are more likely to hear a wide range of greetings. Here is a small guide to sounding natural.handshake

When you meet for the first time:

Use those standard greetings! 

-Good morning. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Jane.

-Oh, good morning! I’m Nick and the pleasure is all mine.

Seeing each other again:

For formal situations (with co-workers or bosses), use the standard greetings but include “again” to show that you have already met before:

-Hello, Jane. It is nice to see you again.

-Hello, Nick. It is nice to see you too.

For less formal situations (with new friends or coworkers), use semi-formal language:

Hey! / Hi! / Morning!

How are you? / How are you doing? / How have things been?

I’m doing well/fine/alright, thanks. / Things are good, thanks. And you?

It is nice to see you again. / It is good to see you again!

It is nice to see you too. / It is good to see you too.

For casual situations (with good friends), you can use semi-formal expressions as well as slang and casual speech:

Hey! / Hi! / Howdy! / Yo!

What’s up? / Wassup? / Sup? / How you doin’? / What’s new?

Good to see you. / What’ve you been up to? / How’re things? / How’s life?

Good to see you too! / Things’re good. / Life’s good. / What’s up with you?

Not much. / Nothing. / Just hanging out. / Just on my way to the store.

(If you haven’t seen someone in a long time because they have been busy):
Where’ve you been? / Look what the cat dragged in! / Why, hello there! / Well, hello!


Take a look at the following conversations.

Choose if it is formal, semi-formal or casual speech.

-Hello. It is nice to meet you. I’m Jane Doe.

-Hello, Jane. It is nice to meet you too. I am Nick Smith. Welcome to XYZ Company!

This is [expand title=”______”] formal.[/expand]


-Hey, man. Sup?

-Not much. How’s it goin’?

-Good. Good. Haven’t seen you in ages. Where’ve you been?

-Oh, I’ve been working and haven’t gotten out much lately. Good to see you!

-You too.

This is [expand title=”______”] informal.[/expand]


-Morning, Jane.

-Hey, Nick. How are you doing?

-I’m doing well, thanks. And you?

-I’m great, thanks. Are you ready for this meeting?

-I believe so! Let’s go.

This is [expand title=”______”] semi-formal. [/expand]


-Well, look what the cat dragged in?!

-Hi, Grandma.

-I haven’t seen you in forever. What have you been up to that you haven’t come to visit me?

-Sorry, Grandma. I’ve been having my mid-term tests at school. It’s been really busy.

-Oh, I guess that’s alright. I’m just happy that you came.

-Me too, Grandma.

This is [expand title=”______”] informal. [/expand]


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