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Greetings - Social Language

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Greetings are used to say hello in English. It's common to use different greetings depending on whether you greet a friend, family or a business associate. There are also greetings that are used with people you do not very well.

Once you have been introduced to someone, the next time you see that person it is important to greet them. We also greet people as we leave people. In English (as in all languages), there are different ways to greet people in formal and informal situations.

Formal Greetings: Arriving

Good morning / afternoon / evening.
Hello (name), how are you?
Good day Sir / Madam (very formal)

Informal Greetings: Arriving

Hi / Hello
How are you?
What's up? (very informal)
How are you doing? (very informal)

It's important to note that the question "How are you?" or "What's up?" doesn't necessary need a response. If you do respond, these phrases are generally expected:

Very well, thank you. And you? (formal)
Fine / Great (informal)

Formal Greetings: Departing

Good morning / afternoon / evening.
It was a pleasure seeing you.
Goodbye.
Note: After 8 p.m. - Good night.

Informal Greetings: Departing

Goodbye / Bye.
See you (later).
Later (very informal

More Social Language Key Phrases

Introductions
Greetings
Special Days
Speaking to Strangers
Traveling phrases

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