7 Helpful Ways To Say Hello and Goodbye in English

Greetings are a funny thing. It’s best to use the formal ones first and then listen to how the person you are speaking to you responds. This will then indicate if it’s appropriate to continue being formal or casual. Usually over time, especially in business situations, start by using the formal English greetings and then after some time (weeks, months etc) you will see that it is probably acceptable to use the informal ways of saying hello and goodbye.

  • Hi, Hello Both Hi and Hello are interchangeable in most situations. You can never go wrong with “Hello” so use this one all the time. However, in more casual and informal situations saying “hi” is also ok.
  • Hey (informal) This is another way of saying “Hello”. Please remember that we only use this when speaking to someone we already know or have met before.
  • Good morning / Good afternoon / Good evening Please understand that these are all actually formal ways of saying “hello” depending on what time of the day it is. It is quite common (not only in English) to just say “Morning!” as a way of sounding more casual, although it can also be used in formal settings.
  • Goodbye / Bye / Bye-Bye Goodbye is formal and bye is more informal although there is not really much of a difference these days. Bye-bye however is definitely used more among children so this is definitely informal.
  • See ya later (informal) This greeting with “ya” comes from “see you later”. In British and Australian English, “you” is often pronounced as “ya” when spoken quickly.
  • Have a good one (informal) This greeting again is another informal way of saying goodbye. It is usually used with people you know and those that you feel comfortable with.
  • Take care (of yourself) This is another way of saying goodbye. It actually really means that you are wishing someone well and that you care about them and how they are. So, you might say this to someone that is about to go on a holiday or to someone you may not see for a while. The best reply to this would be, “thank you” or “you too”.

Which greetings are your favourites to use? And do you know of any more in English?


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