Here is a list of essential phrases to say hello, introduce yourself, and introduce other people to each other.
(Our page English greetings has more phrases.)
Here's a typical conversation structure.
A: Say "Hi!", "Hello!" and follow with a phrase like "How are you?" or "How are things?"
B: Answer with a phrase like "Fine" and ask A a similar question.
Here's an example:
A: Hi Suzie. How are you?
B: Fine thanks. And you?
A. Yeah, fine thanks.
"Fine", "Fine thanks", "OK", "OK thanks" all mean the same.
"I'm very well, thanks" is more formal.
"Not bad thanks", "Can't complain" are less positive.
In formal situations, you can also say "Good morning", "Good afternoon" and "Good evening".
"Good morning" = for the morning up to lunch.
"Good afternoon" = for the afternoon until early evening (i.e. around 6pm)
"Good evening" = for the rest of the evening
"Good night" = when you leave a person at the end of the evening, or when you go to bed.
Here are some simple phrases you can use.
"I'm ..." (your first name / first name + surname)
"My name is ..." (your first name / first name + surname)
In formal situations, give your first name and surname. In informal situations give your first name.
The other person says:
"Pleased to meet you." or "Nice to meet you." or "Good to meet you."
A: Hi, I'm Clare.
B: Pleased to meet you! I'm Dave.
A: Good morning. I'm David Green.
B: Pleased to meet you. I'm John Harris.
A. Good to meet you.
Introducing other people
"This is... (name of your friend)."
Now give more information about the person.
"He's a friend of mine."
"He's a friend of my brother."
"He's a colleague."
"She's my cousin."
A: "John, this is Paul. He's a friend of mine."
B: "Hi Paul. Nice to meet you."
Paul: "Good to meet you John."
Deborah: "This is Sally. She's my cousin."
B: "Hi Sally. Pleased to meet you."
Sally: "Pleased to meet you too."
Saying Hello Quiz
Level: Elementary and above
- ''How are you'' is a very common way to say hello!
- How are you doing? = How are you?
- How are things? = How are you? (Don't forget: ''everything'' is a singular noun. You can say ''How is everything?'')
- How's it going? = How are things?
- What have you been up to? = What have you been doing recently?
- How is X getting on? = How is X progressing? You can also ask ''How are you getting on ... (with your new job, etc)
- ''Great'' or ''Really well'' are alternatives to ''Fine thanks''.
- Can't complain = Not great, but not terrible.
- ''This and that'' is a vague way to say ''nothing very interesting''.
- You can say ''the usual'' to mean everyday life (i.e. not very interesting to tell someone about).
Practise your listening!
Listen to five conversations. You can also read the tapescript as you listen.
Conversation 1: Greeting a friend
Hi! How are you?
Great thanks. You?
Conversation 2: Replying to a friendly greeting
Hi! How are you?
I'm fine thanks. And you?
Yeah, I'm fine.
Hey! How's it going?
Hi. How are you?
Mmm, not bad thanks. What about yourself?
Yeah, can't complain.
Conversation 5: Formal greeting
Good morning Clare. How are you?
I'm very well thank you, Mr Jones. How are you?
Yes, very well..."]