Greetings in Passing
It is polite to greet a person you know. However, you don't always have time to stop and have a
conversation. Just remember to smile as you say hello. A small wave is also polite. Sometimes you
pass the same person a second time on the same day. You can say "hello again" or just smile.
Slow down to greet someone you know. You don't have to stop what you are doing (walking,
Say an appropriate form of hello.
Smile and wave.
How's it goin'?
*Good night is a farewell (goodbye) phrase. It is NOT a greeting to use at night time.
**Native speakers often shorten "going" to "goin" in casual greetings.
Slang greetings in passing
Using slang in a greeting is typical between close friends. Teens often use slang when they greet each
other. Certain English speaking countries also have their own popular form of "hello".
Greetings before a Conversation
Sometimes you stop and talk for a minute as you say hello. This type of greeting is followed by a
conversation. Close friends often hug when they greet each other, especially after a long time without
seeing one other. Men sometimes give each other a hand shake or a high-five (touch palms above the
Stand near a person and say hello.
Express happiness to see a person.
Ask a question or begin a conversation.
Nice to see you.
Long time no see. (I haven't seen you in a while.)
What have you been up to?
How are things?
It's been a while. (It's been a while since I've seen you.)
Not much. (answer to What's new?)
Pair Practice (casual between friends or coworkers)
A: Hi Corey.
B: Hey, Jennifer. Good to see you. (hug)
A: You too. How've you been?
B: Busy, you?
A: Pretty good. How's your new job?
B: It's okay. There's a lot to learn. What's new with you?
A: Not much. The kids are back at school.
Note: Between very close friends it's uncommon to use names in a casual greeting. Sometimes
nicknames or short forms are used. (Cor and Jen instead of Corey and Jennifer).
Greetings in the Classroom
It is polite to greet a new student that joins your class. Introductions immediately follow this type of
Say hello and exchange names
Engage in one line of small talk (weather, surroundings, news).
I'm from...(city or country)
I hear it's beautiful/hot/expensive there.
How do you like it here?
How long have you been here?
*Learners often say "I come from..." instead of "I'm from...". Native speakers use "come from" for
things or animals, not people: The toys come from China. Milk comes from cows.
A: Hello. I'm Sasha.
B: Hi Sasha. I'm Brent. (hold out hand to shake)
A: Nice to meet you Brent. Where are you from?
B: Chicago, Illinois. And you?
A: I'm from Australia. I live in a small town near Sydney.
B: Australia. Wow. I've always wanted to go there. How long have you been in Canada?
A: I just arrived this week. It's my first day of school.
B: Really? I think you'll love Vancouver. It's not too hot and not too cold.
Greetings in Business
Proper etiquette is important in business greetings. Make sure to use polite language such as "please"
and "thank you". Appropriate titles and gestures should also be used. Shaking hands is common in
most English speaking countries. It is also important to smile.
Introduce yourself with name and title.
Express happiness to meet the other person.
Give or accept directions.
Please have a seat.
Thanks for agreeing to meet with me.
He'll be right with you.
Can I offer you something to drink?
A: Hello. I'm Mia Conners.
B: Hi Mia. I'm David Sinclair, and this is my partner Gina Evans. (hold out hand to shake)
A: Nice to meet you Mr. Sinclair and Ms Evans. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today.
B: It's our pleasure. And please, call us David and Gina. Can I take your coat?
A: Thank you.
B: No problem. Please take a seat and we'll be right with you. I just have to take make a quick phone
Greetings at a Party or Social Event
It is polite to greet many people at a social event. This is called "mingling". After you greet people you
know look for people you haven't met before. Introduce yourself and start a conversation.
Say hello and introduce yourself to a person who is not in a conversation.
Talk about your relationship to the host.
Discuss one party related item (food, theme, length of stay).
Who are you here with?
How do you know Jane? (party host)
I don't think we've met.
Have you been here long?
Have you tried the cheese dip/dessert/punch?
Where did you get your costume?
The food looks great. I can't wait to try the dip.
I love your dress/shirt/hat. It really suits you. (looks good on you)
These decorations are wonderful. I love the table cloth/balloons/flowers.
A: I don't think we've met. I'm Stacey. (hold out hand to shake)
B: Hi Stacey. I'm Carl.
A: Hi Carl. So, how do you know Jane?
B: Oh, Jane and I used to work together at a coffee shop.
A: Oh, you mean when you were working in Japan?
B: That's right. And how do you know her?
A: Actually, Jane is my cousin. Our moms are sisters.
B: No way! You two don't look anything alike.
Greetings in a Friend's Home
When you go into a friend's home, it is polite to greet other people (relatives/roommates) in the
house. Say hello and introduce yourself. A conversation may or may not follow.
Introduce yourself to people you don't know.
Express happiness to meet the other person.
Make small talk.
You can call me...
Thanks for coming
Thanks for having me.
I've heard so much about you.
It's nice to put a face to a name.
You have a beautiful home.
A: Hi Mike. I've heard all about you. Jesse says you love to play guitar.
B: Yes I do, Mrs. Simpson. Nice to meet you.
A: We're glad to finally be able to meet you. Dinner will be ready in about twenty minutes.
B: Is there anything I can do to help?
A: No, everything is pretty much ready. We're just waiting on the roast. I hope you like roast beef.
B: Yes, of course. Jesse tells me you are a fabulous cook.
A real example of the story as it has been circulated:
The Smell of Rain
A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the Doctor walked into the small
hospital room of Diana Blessing. Still groggy from surgery, her husband David held her hand as they
braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10,1991, complications had forced
Diana, only 24 weeks pregnant, to Danae Lu Blessing.
At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was
perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. I don't think she's going to
make it, he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10 percent chance she will live through the
night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one."
Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems
Danae would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would
probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral
palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on. "No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and
David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to
become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.
Through the dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest thread, Diana slipped in
and out of sleep, growing more and more determined that their tiny daughter would live, and live to
be a healthy, happy young girl. But David, fully awake and listening to additional dire details of their
daughter's chances of ever leaving the hospital alive, much less healthy, knew he must confront his
wife with the inevitable. David walked in and said that we needed to talk about making funeral
arrangements. Diana remembers, 'I felt so bad for him because he was doing everything, trying to
include me in what was going on, but I just wouldn't listen, I couldn't listen. I said, "No, that is not
going to happen, no way! I don't care what the doctors say; Danae is not going to die! One day she
will be just fine, and she will be coming home with us!"
As if willed to live by Diana's determination, Danae clung to life hour after hour, with the help of every
medical machine and marvel her miniature body could endure. But as those first days passed, a new
agony set in for David and Diana. Because Danae's under-developed nervous system was essentially
raw, the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny
baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Danae struggled
alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay
close to their precious little girl. There was never a moment when Danae suddenly grew stronger.
But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength
there. At last, when Danae turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for
the very first time. And two months later-though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her
chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero. Danae went home
from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.
Today, five years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an
unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, what so ever, of any mental or physical impairment.
Simply, she is everything a little girl can be and more-but that happy ending is far from the end of her
One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Danae was sitting in
her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ballpark where her brother Dustin's baseball team was
practicing. As always, Danae was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting
nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, Danae asked, "Do you smell
that?" Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells
like rain." Danae closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?" Once again, her mother
replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet, it smells like rain. Still caught in the moment, Danae
shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells
like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest." Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae
then happily hopped down to play with the other children.
Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the
extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and
nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her,
God was holding Danae on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well. You now
have 1 of 2 choices...you can either pass this on and let other people catch the chills like you did, or
you can delete this and act like it didn't touch your heart like it did mine.
IT'S YOUR CALL!