English greetings: 30+ Ways to Say HELLO in style
Howdy, friends! Long time no see. We’ve noticed that you are a little confused about these greetings. Well, you are not alone! Many non-native English speakers find it challenging to choose the right salutation words for the right situation.
The good news is that there are literally dozens of ways to greet someone in English, and we’re here to help you learn them all. In this article, we’ll show you many different ways to say hello in English, along with example sentences for each one, so you can quickly implement them in your daily conversations.
What are greetings, and why do they matter?
Greetings are one of the first things we learn in any language, and are also one of the most important. According to Cambridge Dictionary, they are polite words that we say to people when we meet them. These words are about how we start conversations and create a good impression.
There are many ways to greet people except the traditional “Hi” or “Hello.” You can use them in different situations. But it is not a good idea to choose the exact words when you meet your boss as when you meet your old friends. So, it is important to remember at least a few phrases to use in different circumstances.
Greetings are also a great way to practice your English skills. When you meet someone new, you have the perfect opportunity to start a conversation and get some speaking practice. So now that you know why greetings are important let’s look at some of the most popular ways to say hello in English.
How to say hi in English? Formal edition
Let’s start with something official. Using slang words can be inappropriate when it comes to work or any other formal conversation. When you meet your boss, colleagues, competitors, etc., you have to make an outstanding first impression. And what is the first thing you would say? Of course, greetings. So if you are still wondering, how to say hi in English in formal situations – continue to read, and you will find the answers below.
- Good morning.
You can use this greeting for all formal conversations in the early morning. Whether you’ve just come to work, class, or just met your boss while jogging – this phrase will be a perfect fit. For example:
Good morning, Mr. Black. I need to talk to you about my project. Do you have a minute?
- Good afternoon.
This phrase is as polite as the previous one and is suitable for the same occasions. The only difference between them is that this phrase can be used only in the middle of the day, from about 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. For example:
Good afternoon, Jamie. I haven’t seen you for a while.
- How do you do?
These are one of the most common greeting words you can use in several situations. It will be great to say them in business meetings, formal events, conferences, job interviews, etc. For example:
Hi, Janet. How do you do?
- Hello, nice to meet you.
How do you say hi in English if you don’t know the person? Just use this phrase. It is the most polite way to greet new people on formal occasions. For example:
Hello, Johnathan. It is nice to meet you finally.
- Hello, nice to see you.
This phrase is similar to the previous one. You can use it to greet someone you already know, but not well enough to use informal expressions. It also fits well with the question above:
Hello, Michael. Nice to see you again. How do you do?
- Good evening.
If you are starting your dinner, conference, or any other formal meeting in the evening, take note of this sentence. For example:
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Please take your seats.
- How have you been?
You can use it as a formal morning greeting when you want to ask your interlocutor about them politely. Also, it is suitable for any other time of day – just make sure that you use it in appropriate circumstances. For example:
Hello, Kate, it’s good to see you again. How have you been?
How to say hello in English to strangers?
During our life, we meet a lot of people in different places. Some of them become our friends, and others remain strangers forever. But one thing that these people have in common is that we start conversations with them using good greeting words suitable for communicating with strangers. So if you don’t know how to say hello in English in such cases, look at the list below.
- Hello, my name is…
This phrase can be used when you want to introduce yourself to someone you don’t know well. It is also suitable for any formal occasion when you must introduce yourself to several people at once. For example:
Hello, everyone. My name is Janet, and I’m going to talk about marketing today.
- Hi, I’m…
This expression is more informal than the previous one and can be used in different situations with new acquaintances. You can use these greeting phrases in English when talking to someone for the first time. For example:
Hi, I’m Tony. Do you mind if I sit here?
- What’s your name?
It is another way to ask someone their name if you didn’t hear it when they introduced themselves. It is more informal than the previous phrase and can be used only in certain situations. For example:
Hi! What’s your name? I’m Mike.
- Hey! May I talk to you, please?
It is another polite way to say hi in English to a stranger if you need to talk to them about something. For example:
Hey! May I talk to you, please? I think I need some help.
Casual greetings in English to say to your friend
Conversation with friends is way more informal than a business meeting or job interview. Therefore, you can use less formal greetings in English to start your dialogue. Below, you can see the most widespread ways to greet your buddies.
- What’s up?
It is the most common way to say hi in English among friends. It doesn’t require any special occasion – you can use it anytime. Just don’t forget that this phrase is only suitable for informal conversations. For example:
Hey, Mike! What’s up?
- What’s going on?
This greeting in English is similar to the previous one and can be used in the same situations. Remember that it is a bit more formal than “What’s up?” and shouldn’t be used with close friends. For example:
Hi, Tony! What’s going on?
- What are you up to?
If you want to ask your friend what they are doing, use this phrase. It is also suitable for informal conversations between people who know each other well. For example:
Hey, Steve! What are you up to?
- What have you been up to?
This phrase is more formal than the previous one and can be used when you haven’t seen your friend for a long time. It is also suitable for inquiring about their recent activities. For example:
Hi, Eddie! I haven’t seen you for ages! What have you been up to?
- Long time no see!
If you want to say hi to your old friend that you haven’t seen for a long time, use this phrase. It is informal and shouldn’t be used in any other situation. For example:
Hey, Mike! Long time no see! How are you doing?
It is the simplest way to say hi in English and can be used in any situation with friends and strangers. Just remember that it is pretty informal and shouldn’t be used in formal conversations. For example:
Hi, Jane! How are you doing?
This phrase is also suitable for any situation and can be used with both friends and strangers. However, it is even more informal than “Hi” and should be used only when talking to close friends. For example:
Hey, Mary! What’s up?
Slang English greetings to revive your speech
In addition to the standard English greetings phrases, there are a variety of informal and slang expressions that you can use with your close friends. But keep in mind that they are only suitable for friendly conversations and shouldn’t be used in other situations.
- What’s crackin’?
This slang greeting is very popular among young people and can be used as a way to say hi in English. You can say it to your bestie, but not to your boss. For example:
Hey, Lucas! What’s crackin’?
There are many different ways of saying hello in English, and this phrase is one of them. However, just like the previous phrase, it is informal and shouldn’t be used in official conversations. For example:
- What’s good?
Just use this phrase to say hi to your friend and ask them about the latest news and gossip. For example:
Hey, John! What’s good?
- What it do?
It is another answer to a question about how to say hello in English. However, just like the previous phrases, your friend will understand it, but your boss – no. For example:
Hey, buddy! What it do?
- How you doin’?
Remember Joey from Friends? It was his catchphrase for more than ten years. And yes, it is another excellent way to start a conversation with a friend or a stranger. For example:
Hey, how you doin’?
This greeting slang came from 90s rap culture and is now widespread among youth as a way to say hello. For example:
Yo, Mark! What’s up?
British greetings to use when you travel to the UK
If you are planning to travel to the UK, it is essential to know some of the most common British greetings. These phrases will help you make a good impression on the locals and make it easier for you to communicate with them.
It is one of the most widespread English greetings in the UK. Often, it doesn’t require an answer and is used as a polite way to say hello. For example:
This phrase is ubiquitous in the UK and can be used to say hi and goodbye. For example:
Hiya! I’m Jack. Nice to meet you.
- Lovely to meet you.
British and American English are similar and different at the same time. For example, when Americans say “nice to meet you,” Brits would probably choose “lovely to meet you” instead.
Hello, Ma’am. It’s lovely to meet you.
- What’s up, buttercup?
It’s an old-school but still cute and common greeting in the UK. If you want to make your friends smile, use this phrase next time you see them.
What’s up, buttercup? I missed you.
American English slang greetings to use when visiting the US
There are many different ways to say hi in English and sound like an American. Below, you can find just a few examples, but you should know that there are many more of these expressions.
- Hey dude.
You can use this informal phrase to greet your friend. It is straightforward but friendly and pleasant. For example:
Hey, dude! How you doin’?
It is a short and very informal version of the phrase “what’s up?” widespread in North America. For example:
- What’s shakin’/what’s cookin’?
It is one of those popular greetings examples you can use only with friends. It is used to ask how your friend is doing and what their latest news is. For example:
What’s shakin’, bro?
Best ways to say hello in different English-speaking countries
Traveling to another country can be difficult. Even though English is an international language, it can vary in different areas. That is why you can find our complete greeting list of the most widespread expressions in foreign countries below.
It is a popular way of saying hello in Australia and can be used in formal and informal situations. For example:
G’day, mate! How are you doing?
Another typical Australian greeting you can hear a lot from the locals. It is informal and usually used to start a conversation. For example:
Oi, dude! What’s up?
- How’s this weather?
One of the most popular Australian greetings sentences. Usually, it is used to start a dialogue with a stranger. For example:
G’day! How’s this weather?
- How’s she cuttin’?
It is a standard greeting you can hear in Northern Ireland. You can use it when referring to our friend. For example:
How’s she cuttin’, mate?
- How’re yer doin’, pet?
If you travel to Scotland, you will hear this phrase a lot from the locals. It is both a greeting and a way of checking up on somebody. For example:
How’re yer doin’, pet? You look a bit peaky.
Formal English greetings for letters and emails
You can start the conversation not only offline. There are many situations when you need to greet someone in a regular letter or email. So, how do you say hello in English in these circumstances? Let’s figure it out with some of the most well-known examples listed below.
- Dear Sir/Mam.
You can use this standard greeting if you don’t know the person you are writing a letter to. It is very formal and polite so you will make an excellent first impression. For example:
Dear Sir! I’m writing to you regarding the project you’ve posted on your website.
- To whom it may concern.
Another formal greeting you can use in your professional letters. Usually, this expression is used when you don’t know exactly to who you are addressing the letter. For example:
To whom it may concern, please accept this letter as a notification.
- Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs./Miss
This expression is another informal way to start your letter, but it is only used when you know the person you are writing to. For example:
Dear Mr. Snow. Have you had a chance to check my last message?
Bonus! Formal, informal, and slang expressions to say goodbye
Now that you know enough ways to greet people instead of traditional ones, it is time to learn a few phrases you can use to say goodbye. In this section, you will find the most popular formal and informal expressions that will revive your speech.
You may think it’s weird, but this word is not usually used commonly among natives. If someone says “goodbye,” they will probably never meet the referred person again. For example:
Thank you for your service. Goodbye!
- Have a nice day/Have a good…
You can spread this formal expression at the end of a business meeting, conference, or conversation with your colleague or person you don’t know well. For example:
It was good to see you. Have a lovely weekend!
If you are sure you will meet your interlocutor again and know the exact time it happens, use this expression. For example:
Well, I have to leave now. Until Monday!
- Bye/bye bye!
One of the most used expressions suitable for the end of friendly conversations with your friends or even strangers. For example:
Thank you for your time, Max. Bye!
- See you later/see you soon.
Another popular expression you can use for the same circumstances as the previous one. For example:
It was enjoyable! See you later, Joe!
- Take it easy.
It is a casual and informal way to wish a person a good day at the end of your dialogue. For example:
See you next weekend, Monica. Take it easy!
This slang expression is a short form of “see you later” and is usually used to say goodbye to the person you know well. For example:
I gotta go now. Later!
- I’m outta here.
This slang phrase is a good fit when you want to notify someone that you are leaving. For example:
This party is becoming really lame. I’m outta here!
- Peace/Peace out.
If you were born in the 80s or 90s, you’ve probably heard this expression a lot. Now it is a bit old-school, but still a widespread way of saying goodbye. For example:
It was a pleasure to see you, but I have to go. Peace!
Best tips and tricks to learn English greetings quickly and easily
Learning a new language can sometimes be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can use many methods and techniques to make learning more fun and less stressful. And in this section, we would like to share some of them with you.
- Try to find a native speaker. It is probably one of the most effective ways of learning proper English greetings and phrases. Nothing can compare to real-life experience, so try to find someone who can help you practice your language skills. Every time you see this person, you can use different ways to say hello in English. And you can also join some English-speaking clubs or communities, where you will meet new people and make friends from all over the world.
- Use technology. In today’s day and age, you can use many language learning apps and websites to strengthen your skills. Applications like the Promova app usually offer a wide range of exercises and games that can help you learn new words and phrases in a fun and engaging way.
- Watch English movies and TV shows. Another great way to learn everyday English greetings is to watch English-speaking films and TV shows. Not only will you hear how the locals greet each other, but you will also get to see the context in which these phrases are used. It will help you better understand when and how to use them in real-life situations.
- Read books and magazines. If you want to learn more about the culture and traditions of English-speaking countries, reading their books and magazines is a great way to do it. You will not only learn about the customs and lifestyles of the locals, but you will also get to see how they use greetings in different situations.
- Listen to songs. Songs are a great way to pick up new words and phrases in any language. And since they are usually catchy and easy to remember, they can be an excellent tool for learning English greetings. Try to find some songs that contain the phrases you want to learn, and listen to them repeatedly until you’ve memorized them.
Those are just a few of many ways to learn English ways of saying hi. So, if among all greetings, hello is still your only choice, note some of these tips to improve your skills and feel confident from the very first seconds of any conversation.
Learn all popular greetings even more effortless with Promova
If you want to learn even more impressive English greetings and unique ways to say hello, say no more! You should try the Promova online platform right now. Our experienced tutors know how to make your studying process exciting and entertaining. You have to try, and you don’t even notice how fast your skills will grow, and you’ll start to sound like a native speaker.
And if you don’t want to spend much time studying, you can install the Promova app instead. This convenient application has a pleasant, user-friendly design, dozens of exclusive lessons, and other fun activities that will help you improve your English. Here you can find the most famous greetings, goodbye expressions, and other helpful things for your English-learning journey. So, what are you waiting for? Now is the best time to start!
According to Urban Dictionary, greetings are an integral part of any conversation. Whether you are talking to your boss, best buddy, or grandmother, there is no other way to start a dialogue. And even though there are many regular ways to say hello, sometimes people want to sound more natural and more like a native speaker. That is why we created this article. Here, you can find dozens of expressions for different life situations. And we hope that it will help you!
How to say hello in English?
There are many different ways to say hello in English. Some of the most common ones include: “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” “Hi,” “Hello,” and “Hey.” These words can vary depending on the situation, type of conversation, or person you are talking to. That’s why we recommend learning some formal and informal expressions, just in case.
What is the best way to learn English greetings?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, some of the most effective methods include watching English movies and TV shows, listening to songs, and reading books and magazines. And if you don’t want to do it alone, you can seek help from professional tutors offline and online.
Is it hard to learn English greetings?
No, it is not hard to learn English greetings. However, it is essential to remember that they should be used in the appropriate context to sound natural. You just have to remember when to choose formal, when informal, and what is the best time to use slang expressions.
How to say goodbye in English?
There are various ways to say goodbye in English. Some of the most common ones include: “Bye,” “See you later,” and “Take care.” But, just like with greetings, you can dilute your speech with more unique phrases and expressions. It will help you to sound more natural, and your interlocutors won’t have the feeling they are talking to their English teacher.