Hello and other greetings

 In Modern English

There are many ways to say hello.  Hello, used when you come into contact with somebody you know, is the most common form of greeting in the English language.  However, hello is slightly formal, and we have adopted all sorts of other phrases and words to replace this greeting. We borrow from slang, regional dialect,other languages. Here are some other ways to say hello, a few quite formal and traditional, but many informal and recent arrivals to this greeting.

other ways to say hello

“Hey there”     This is casual, friendly, and familiar, used in spoken English, text messages, voice mail or emails.

“What’s going on?”     This is casual and could be used between friends.

“Hey! What’s up?”     (or just “Hey!”) This is casual and  you use it with friends, but it’s also used in the workplace, and acquaintances.  Your parents may not warm to this kind of greeting, however.

“Good morning” or “good afternoon”.  These greetings are very formal, and you use them in formal situations such as in hotels, fancy stores which sell expensive items, restaurants, at work and to address a group or an individual in a formal situation.

“How are you doing today?”   This alternative to hello is quite formal.  it can be used in a professional situation, between a boss and employee, professional and client, and between fellow workers.

“Hey! There she is”  After a bit of a wait for someone with whom you are very friendly, you might say this as you see them arriving.

“How’s everything?”  This is a casual way of saying how are you?

“How are things?” This is similar as How’s everything?

“Good to see you,” “great to see you,” “nice to see you”  This is informal and often used when you have not seen the person for a while.i

“What’s happening” or “What’s happenin’?”  This is a youth alternative greeting to hello.

“How’s it going?” Also a youth alternative to saying hello.

“Good evening”   This is a formal greeting for customers at restaurants, hotels, etc.

There is more than one way to say  hello!  It’s good to know the social context in which you can use them.  Listen for these and other ways to say hello in your daily life. By hearing them often, you will understand when and how to slip them into a conversation. When in doubt, though, it’s a good idea to use that simple word, hello.

 

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