How to Say Hi in English in 107 Interesting Ways (2023)

How to Say Hi in English in 107 Interesting Ways (1)

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Kerry Hood

How do you say hello in English when you need to be formal, but you also want to convey enthusiasm? And how do you greet someone in English if you’ve never met them? Is there a difference between hi there and hey you, and why does the same greeting change meaning when spoken in a different way?

It’s vital to be able to recognize and understand the different contexts of how we say hello in English.

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This article will explore the many ways we say hello in English and will look at the unspoken and subtle wealth of meanings that accompany our greetings and how you can learn to recognize and use them.

How do you actually say “hello” and “hi” in English?

“Hello” is pronounced /həˈloʊ/, and “hi” is pronounced /haɪ/. Both are exclamations; we pronounce them strongly and clearly because we use them to signal for someone’s attention.

However, hello and hi can carry extra meaning. This is because we naturally intensify our greetings if we know someone or cool our greetings if we are uncertain about them.

Let’s go casual

GreetingPronunciationContext
HihyWe know the person well, and we see them quite often
Hi therehy thehrWe know the person well but have not seen them so recently
HeyhayWe know the person very well
Helloheh lowWe know the person, but not so closely
Hey youhay yooWe know them so well, we can become playful
Hi (person’s name)hyWe know the person and like them very much

Let’s go formal

GreetingPronunciationContext
Hello, nice to meet youheh lowYou don’t know the person
Hello, nice to see youYou know them, but not very well
Hello, how are you doing?You know them in a formal and regular situation, such as at work
Hello Sue, how are you?You know them a little more closely enough to use their name
Hello thereYou know them but haven’t seen them for some time
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Do greetings change at different times of the day?

They do, but to mix these up is often ok, and even useful as an “icebreaker” for a formal conversation:

  • Good morning/evening/afternoon are quite formal, but morning/ afternoon/evening are casual.
  • Goodnight is the same as goodbye, and is not used as a greeting
  • We use good morning, how are you when we know the person
  • We use morning when we are in a hurry or not planning to stop and chat
  • We say good morning or is it afternoon already as polite conversation and as a humorous reference to being so busy that we don’t know what time it is.

Do our greetings change if we know the person we are addressing?

How to Say Hi in English in 107 Interesting Ways (2)

They certainly do, and they change even more if we like that person.

  • Hi will become hiiiiiiii. We lengthen and add volume to the end of the word. This signifies pleasure and warmth.
  • Hello becomes helloooooo. Again, we lengthen and emphasize the word. Using hello instead of hi can also indicate that we really like this person but haven’t seen them for a while.
  • Hey becomes heeeey. We emphasize this form to get someone’s attention who we like.
  • Hey you or hey you there spoken with an emphasis on the you signals that we know them. However, this form can also signal displeasure.
  • Howdy / Hey mate / Hey man / G’day / and Gidday mate all indicate that we know a person quite well.
  • How are you? / What’s up? / How’s it going? are casual ways to say hello in English and indicate that we’ve known that person for some time.
  • How’s you? is a casual and tender way to ask after someone’s wellbeing. It indicates that you know them well.

Greetings in English to use when you haven’t seen that person for some time

  1. Long time no see
  2. Heeeeeey, good to see you
  3. Hellooo, how are you?
  4. Hey, is it really you?
  5. Is that you?
  6. Is that seriously you?
  7. Hello stranger!
  8. Are you kidding me?
  9. This can’t be true!

How to say hello in English when you’ve never met the person before

  • Nice to meet you. This is simple and courteous. You would use this form in a new English class, for example, when you are attending in person.
  • So nice to meet you
  • I’ve been looking forward to meeting you
  • I’ve heard so much about you
  • Hello and welcome. You would formally greet a group this way.

How to say hello on the phone, in a text, or email

How to Say Hi in English in 107 Interesting Ways (3)

  • We use hello, hi, and our name on the phone. If we know the person, we might say hey, it’s me or just hi because the other person likely has us listed in their phone.
  • In a formal text, we always use hi or hello. For an informal text, we don’t use any greeting because texting with people we know is usually a continuing conversation.
  • We always use Hi for emails, or Dear… if it is very formal.

How to say hello while also emphasizing something else

  • Hello again – we use this to greet someone we have only met once before; we say “again” to emphasize that we remember them.
  • Well hello! – we use this to greet someone we’ve only met once, but very much liked.
  • Helloooooo – this is a written form, and is used in short messaging as a greeting, but also to query an absence (where have you been all this time?)

How we say hello in English when the situation is tricky and we aren’t sure how we feel about it

English is full of voice tones and gestures that express courtesy. These are vital to keep conversations smooth and flowing and can also prevent conflict.

For example, when we greet someone we don’t like much, we often say, hiiiiiiii with a lilt. This sing-song tone can express tension and uneasiness and can be used to express enthusiasm that we don’t actually feel.

  • Hiiiiiii, fancy meeting yuuuu here
  • Heeeey, how r yuuuuu
  • Oh My God….I did NOT expect to see you here!
  • Oh wow. Ok. Hi…
  • Oh hello. Sorry, I didn’t expect to see you!

When we’ve had a falling out with someone, we might say hello or hi in clipped tones that do not invite further conversation.

  • Hey.
  • Hi.
  • Hello.
  • A nod (with nothing actually spoken)
  • A smile (and nothing actually spoken)
  • A stiff smile (and then look away)

How to say hello in English in other English speaking countries

What all of these forms have in common is each one is simply stating “hello”. The question format is irrelevant; we aren’t asking an actual question, and we don’t expect any other answer except “hello” or a format that means “hello”.

Like a BritLike an AmericanMeanwhile in Australia
  • Good morning
  • Good afternoon
  • How do you do?
  • What’s new?
  • Well, look who it is!
  • How have you been?
  • What’s up buttercup?
  • What’s up doc?
  • How are you?
  • What’s up
  • How are you going?
  • Yo, what’s up?
  • Where’ve you been?
  • Whassup?
  • Hey man
  • Hey dude
  • How are you guys?
  • Oi!
  • Mate!
  • Hey, what’s up
  • Cheers
  • You right?
  • How ya goin?
  • How are ya?
  • Howdy
  • What’s going on?
  • What do you know?
  • How’s this weather?
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Like the IrishIn New ZealandAnd in Scotland
  • How’s the form?
  • What’s the story?
  • Alright there?
  • How’s she cutting?
  • Kia Ora (a Maori greeting)
  • Morning!
  • Hello. It’s cold out!
  • Hi, how are you?
  • Guid mornin
  • Guid eenin
  • Welcome!
  • How are ye?
  • How’s it gaun?
  • Hou's aw wi ye?

FAQs about saying hello in English

What are some English greeting faux-pas?

To greet a formal acquaintance very casually can cause discomfort, while to greet close friends over formally signals that something is wrong, and they may ask you if everything is ok.

To add physical touch to your greeting must be handled carefully. We usually only greet with a physical gesture if we know the person very well.

What is the best way to practice greetings in English?

How to Say Hi in English in 107 Interesting Ways (4)

The most effective way to learn how to say hello in English is to use these greetings in real life groups. A great way to do this is to join a group class, for example.

Why are knowing English greetings so important?

Saying hello in English is how we begin every interaction. Greetings set the scene and can influence the tone of the rest of the conversation; a faltering conversation can be difficult to continue.

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Getting our greetings right feels good and starting well can make up for mistakes we might make later in the conversation.

Learning to say hello in English is a useful skill and a vital part of successful interaction with others. English has many different greetings, and a variety of ways to express them.

Pay attention to conversations and practicing expressions, and you’ll develop a repertoire and manage conversations with comfort and ease.

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FAQs

How do you say hi in a special way? ›

Hi & Hello! Learn 12 Classy Ways To Greet People. Useful ... - YouTube

What are 50 ways to say hello? ›

Here are 50 ways to say hello and bid someone a good day so pick a way and start saying hello today.
  • Hello.
  • Hello Beautiful.
  • Hey Friend.
  • Hey Boo.
  • Hey Sunshine.
  • Hey Sweetart.
  • Hey Girl Hey.
  • Hey Luv.
7 Jun 2017

What should I reply instead of hi? ›

synonyms for hi
  • greetings.
  • howdy.
  • welcome.
  • bonjour.
  • buenas noches.
  • buenos dias.
  • good day.
  • good morning.

How do you say hi in different ways in English? ›

Howdy / Hey mate / Hey man / G'day / and Gidday mate all indicate that we know a person quite well. How are you? / What's up? / How's it going? are casual ways to say hello in English and indicate that we've known that person for some time. How's you? is a casual and tender way to ask after someone's wellbeing.

What are 3 ways to say hello? ›

synonyms for hello
  • greetings.
  • hi.
  • howdy.
  • welcome.
  • bonjour.
  • buenas noches.
  • buenos dias.
  • good day.

What are 5 ways to say hello? ›

Formal Ways To Say “Hello”
  1. Good morning/afternoon/evening. These are classic, formal phrases to use when greeting someone, whether it's the first time meeting them or if you've already met them before. ...
  2. Pleased to meet you. ...
  3. It's nice to meet you. ...
  4. It's good to see you. ...
  5. How are you?

What are 15 ways to say hello? ›

#WorldHelloDay – How to say hello in 15 languages
  1. Spanish – ¡Hola!
  2. French – Bonjour.
  3. German – Hallo.
  4. Italian – Ciao.
  5. Mandarin Chinese – 你好 (nǐ hǎo)
  6. Irish – Dia dhuit.
  7. Portuguese – Olá
  8. Hindi – नमस्ते (namaste)
16 Nov 2017

How do you say hello in 30 languages? ›

How To Say Hello in 30 Different Languages - YouTube

Which is best hi or hey? ›

Hey is a term that is casual and laid back. Hi is a word used to greet people of all ages. It is considered more formal than Hey though somewhat less formal than Hello. This is the reason why it has become acceptable among people of all classes.

How do you text a guy? ›

MEN LOVE These 4 Texts From Women! (How To Text Guys)

How do you say hello in a smart way? ›

Different Ways to Say Hello
  1. Hi there.
  2. Howdy.
  3. Greetings.
  4. Hey, What's up?
  5. Morning/afternoon/evening.
  6. What's going on?
  7. Hey! There she/he is.
  8. How's everything?

How do you say hello smartly? ›

There are many other options, but here are six of the most common formal ways to say “hello”:
  1. “Hello!”
  2. “Good morning.”
  3. “Good afternoon.”
  4. “Good evening.”
  5. “It's nice to meet you.”
  6. “It's a pleasure to meet you.” (These last two only work when you are meeting someone for the first time.)
  7. 7. “ Hi!” ( ...
  8. 8. “ Morning!” (
29 Jun 2021

How do you say in British hi? ›

How to say hello like a British English speaker - English In A Minute

How do you say hello in 20 languages? ›

How To Say Hello In Different Languages: 21 Ways To Greet The World
  1. French. Formal: Bonjour. Informal: Salut.
  2. Spanish. Formal: Hola. Informal: ¿Qué tal? (What's up?)
  3. Russian. Formal: Zdravstvuyte. ...
  4. Chinese. Formal: Nǐn hǎo. ...
  5. Italian. Formal: Salve. ...
  6. Japanese. Formal: Konnichiwa. ...
  7. German. Formal: Guten Tag. ...
  8. Portuguese. Formal: Olá
5 Jul 2017

What is a good greeting? ›

The most respectful greetings are formal ones like "hello," or time-related greetings like "good morning" or "good evening." To make it even more respectful, add the listener's formal title afterwards, like "hello, Mr. or Mrs. ______," or even "hello, sir or ma'am."

How do you say hello in Old English? ›

Basic phrases in Old English - YouTube

How are you in all languages? ›

Spanish: ¿Cómo estás? French: Ça va ? German: Wie geht's? Italian: Come stai?

What is the longest way to say hello? ›

It is called "As-salamu alaykum (ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ‎)" for greeting in arabic language.

How do you greet in all 11 languages? ›

How to say 'hello' in all 11 of SA's official languages
  1. English. Hello!
  2. isiNdebele. Lotjhani!
  3. isiXhosa. Molo!
  4. isiZulu. Sawubona!
  5. Sepedi. Dumela!
  6. Setswana. Dumela!
  7. Sesotho. Dumela!
  8. Xitsonga. Avuxeni!
28 Jul 2017

How do you say hello in 200 different languages? ›

Hello In Different Languages
  1. Spanish: hola.
  2. French: bonjour.
  3. German: guten tag.
  4. Italian: salve.
  5. Chinese: nǐn hǎo.
  6. Portuguese: olá
  7. Arabic: asalaam alaikum.
  8. Japanese: konnichiwa.

How do you say hello in 25 languages? ›

  1. Hello (English)
  2. Ahoj (Czech)
  3. Halo (Indonesian)
  4. Cześć (Polish)
  5. Hej (Danish)
  6. Merhaba (Turkish)
  7. Yassas (Greek)
  8. Ciao (Italian)

How do you spell Zdravstvuyte? ›

The correct spelling of hello in Russian is здравствуйте (zdravstvuyte) or привет (privyet).

How do you say hello in 22 languages? ›

Hello in 22 languages - YouTube

How do American say hello? ›

How to say HELLO! How are you? Greet Americans ... - YouTube

How do Australian say hello? ›

The most common verbal greeting is a simple “Hey”, “Hello”, or “Hi”. Some people may use Australian slang and say “G'day” or “G'day mate”. However, this is less common in cities. Many Australians greet by saying “Hey, how are you?”.

Why do people say heyyy? ›

"Heyyy" is a playful, friendly greeting that is often used as a form of flirting. You can respond with your own playful "Heyyy :D", or be even more direct. See below for some sample responses. Occasionally, this greeting can also be a sign that a girl wants something from you.

Is Hi friendly? ›

If you are in doubt, use 'hi. ' Both are friendly, and informal but hey could be a little pushier.

Should I say hi or hey to crush? ›

If you're texting your crush, avoid sending a text that just says “hey.” This doesn't tell your crush anything specific about why you're talking to them and is hard to respond to. Even adding on a simple, “how are you?” after your hello is a better conversation starter. You could say, "Hey!

What is the 12 word text? ›

The 12-word text stems from the hero instinct, a concept coined by relationship expert James Bauer in his book His Secret Obsession. You see, all men have this biological urge to step up for the woman they care about and earn her respect in return.

How do I text my crush? ›

Dos and Don'ts of Texting Your Crush
  1. Ask Questions. One of the worst things you can do when talking to someone is hog the conversation. ...
  2. Don't Overwhelm Them. ...
  3. Use Emojis, Pictures, Memes and Voice Notes. ...
  4. Don't Play Mind Games. ...
  5. Be Thoughtful About It. ...
  6. Don't Overdo It. ...
  7. Have Fun With It. ...
  8. Don't Get Too Sexual or R-Rated.
13 May 2021

How do u get a boy to like u? ›

Here are some tips and tricks from relationship and matchmaking experts that can help you get a man to focus his attention on you.
  1. Smile. TODAY. ...
  2. Don't hide in the corner. ...
  3. Ask for his help. ...
  4. Talk about your hobbies. ...
  5. Don't dress for your girlfriends. ...
  6. Look him in the eye. ...
  7. Avoid the obvious. ...
  8. Go out alone or with one other friend.
20 Jul 2016

How do u get a girl to like u? ›

Be respectful and polite around her friends, and be yourself so they can get to know you. If you're nice to her friends and they like you as well, then she could get more interested in you. Look for things or events that you can do as a group, such as bowling, going out to eat, or attending a concert.

How do you say hi to a beautiful girl? ›

It's better to call her by her actual name and then if you really want to compliment her, do it in a respectful way. Like, for example, say “Hi (girl's name)! You look really nice today!” Or even better, compliment her on something she's wearing like “that's a very pretty dress/shirt.”

How do you say hi to a girl? ›

A simple “Hello” or “Hey” is always a great place to start. If you're greeting a girl who is more like one of your guy friends, bump fists with her or give her a playful nudge. If you two are close enough give her a hug, as physical touch can strengthen relationships.

How do you say hi to everyone? ›

Good morning / Good afternoon / Good Evening

When you are greeting a group of people – for example at a meeting – you can also say something such as: Good morning, everyone. I hope you are doing well this morning.

How do you say hi after a long time? ›

Conversation starters for reconnecting with an old friend
  1. Hey, how've you been?
  2. I haven't seen you in ages!
  3. I haven't seen/talked to you for so long!
  4. How long has it been since I last saw/talked to you?
20 Apr 2020

What does Oi mean British? ›

(ɔɪ ) exclamation. In informal situations, people say or shout 'oi' to attract someone's attention, especially if they are angry. [British]

How do u say hello in Brazil? ›

If you'd like to say “hello” in Brazilian Portuguese, you would generally use “Olá”. You can also use “Oí"—which is often considered more informal. Here are a few other basic phrases you'll find useful: Bom dia.

Is Hi there proper English? ›

“Hi there” is a common informal greeting in English. We often use hi there when we are a little bit surprised to see someone because we didn't see them at first. Hi is an informal way to greet someone in English. You can also use hey or hello.

› Blog ›

Hello readers! We are sure that everyone who read this understood the previous greeting. But, do you know how to greet people in some other way besides 'Hel...
JOIN THE ACADEMYhttps://speakenglishwithtiffaniacademy.comIn this English lesson we look at 10 ways to say hello in English. If you want to learn how to spea...

How do you say hi to a cute girl? ›

Whether you're looking for cute ways to say hi or ways to start a conversation that will last, asking questions is the way to go.
...
Here are some cute ways to say hi:
  1. “Hey, cutie! How's it going?”
  2. “Hey there, beautiful! What have you been up to so far today?”
  3. “Hey, lovely! How was your day?”

How do I text my crush? ›

Dos and Don'ts of Texting Your Crush
  1. Ask Questions. One of the worst things you can do when talking to someone is hog the conversation. ...
  2. Don't Overwhelm Them. ...
  3. Use Emojis, Pictures, Memes and Voice Notes. ...
  4. Don't Play Mind Games. ...
  5. Be Thoughtful About It. ...
  6. Don't Overdo It. ...
  7. Have Fun With It. ...
  8. Don't Get Too Sexual or R-Rated.
13 May 2021

How do u get a guy to like u? ›

Here are some tips and tricks from relationship and matchmaking experts that can help you get a man to focus his attention on you.
  1. Smile. TODAY. ...
  2. Don't hide in the corner. ...
  3. Ask for his help. ...
  4. Talk about your hobbies. ...
  5. Don't dress for your girlfriends. ...
  6. Look him in the eye. ...
  7. Avoid the obvious. ...
  8. Go out alone or with one other friend.
20 Jul 2016

How do girls flirt over text? ›

How To Flirt Over Text
  1. Keep it short and sweet. As a general rule, the simpler the message, the better. ...
  2. Stay positive. Flirting, by nature, is meant to be cheerful and lighthearted — it should make you both feel like you're in high school again. ...
  3. Be complimentary.
  4. Ask a playful question.
7 Dec 2021

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