Ten ways to say hello and greet people


These greetings are used when you meet people you do not know or who are to be treated with a lot of respect.

Hello “Hello, my name is Sandra.”

Nice to meet you – “Nice to meet you, my name is Sandra.” – You can substitute nice with pleased – “Pleased to meet you, my name is Sandra.”

How do you do – “How do you do? My name is Sandra.”


These greetings are used when meeting family members and people you know well.

Hi – “Hi John.”

Option 1

I haven’t seen you for ages – “Hi Dave, I haven’t seen you for ages.”

Great to see you again – “Hi Dave, great to see you again.” – You can substitute great with good – “Hi Dave, good to see you again.”

Option 2

How’s it going? – “Hi Dave, how’s it going?”

How’s tricks? – “Hi Dave, how’s tricks?”

What’s up? – “Hi Dave, what’s up?” – You can substitute up with new – “Hi Dave, what’s new?”

How are things? – “Hi Dave, how are things?”


It is possible to combine some of these greetings.

Do not combine formal and informal.

Informal combinations are usually “Hi” and one of the other greetings. For example, “Hi, what’s up?”

It is possible to make other combinations, for example:

“Hi Dave, I haven’t seen you in ages. What’s up?”

A general rule for a combined greeting is to start with “Hi”. You may then add a phrase from option 1, followed by a phrase from option 2.

The patterns for making combination greetings are:

  • “Hi” + option 1
  • “Hi” + option 2
  • “Hi” + option 1 + option 2
  • “Hi” + option 2 + option 1

Variations for Hello and Hi

In some parts of the United States, especially Texas, the word howdy is sometimes used instead of hi. Howdy is a contraction for “how do you do”.

Howdy can be used in formal and informal situations but it is not recommended unless you are in a part of the USA where its use is acceptable.