Life skills tip of the week: ways of saying hello

Posted by on August 12, 2014

Macmillan Life Skills: language is a life skillLearning about pragmatics and how to express yourself successfully is a useful life skillsaid Michael Rundell in January when he introduced the new pragmatics series on Macmillan Dictionary. The series is part of the Macmillan Life Skills campaign, offering free resources for English language students and teachers each month.

As part of the series, we’ll bring more useful content and tips from the Macmillan Dictionary on expressing yourself.

This week’s language tip helps with ways of saying hello and in the next post we’ll look at some ways of saying goodbye:

hello: the most usual way of greeting someone when you meet them or start to speak to them on the phone:
Hello,  I’m Anna.
Hello,  could I speak to George please?

Hi: an informal way of saying hello:
Hi Dad, just calling to say we’ll be late home tonight.
Hi, I’m Tom.’ ‘Hi, how’s it going?’

Hiya/Hey: informal ways of saying hello:
Hey Dan, how are you?
Oh hiya Bella. How are things?

Pleased to meet you/Nice to meet you: polite ways of greeting someone when you meet them for the first time:
I’d like you to meet my uncle John.’  ‘Pleased to meet you. I’ve heard a lot about you.’
Nice to meet you at last Mr Mitchell.

All right? an informal way of saying hello to someone and asking if they are well, especially in British English:
All right mate?’ ‘All right. You?’

Howdy: an informal word that some people use to say hello, especially in American English:
Howdy, I’m Ken.

How do you do? used in very formal situations as a polite way of greeting someone when you meet them for the first time:
This is our new neighbour, Dr Price.’ ‘How do you do?

Good morning/afternoon/evening: used for saying hello to someone in the morning/afternoon/evening. Used especially when addressing an audience:
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I’d like to welcome you on behalf of all of us.
Good evening and welcome to the show.

Morning/afternoon/evening: a more informal way of saying hello to someone in the morning/afternoon/evening:
Morning Sam. Did you have a good trip?

Nice to see you: used for saying hello to someone you already know:
Dave! Nice to see you! why didn’t you tell me you were coming?

Long time no see: used when you meet someone you haven’t seen for a long time:
Well this is a surprise! Long time no see! Come in.

Would you like to learn more about pragmatics? Keep a close eye on our pragmatics page; you can find the sixth life skills lesson plan there. For more information about Life Skills, visit the Macmillan Life Skills page.

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