Saying hello and goodbye
1. Shaking hands and kissing
In the UK, people often shake hands when they meet for the first time. People also shake hands in quite formal situations, for example at
a business meeting with someone from another organization. It is rare in the UK for people to shake hands whenever they meet people
they are used to seeing every day, for example colleagues or fellow students.
Habits about kissing are changing, but in general men do not usually kiss each other. Women who are friends or from the same family often
kiss at events such as special parties or weddings, or if they have not seen each other for a long time. Men and women would also kiss
each other in these situations – usually just once on one cheek. Men would usually shake hands, and perhaps hug each other if they want
to show particular affection.
2. Saying hello
When you meet someone, use one of these words or phrases:
Hi. (This is more informal.)
Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening. (These are slightly more formal, but would be quite normal for example to a neighbour or
to the people you work with.)
3. Asking about someone’s health
When people meet someone, they almost always ask about their health or their general situation, by using one of these phrases:
How are you?
How are you doing? (Slightly informal.)
How’s things with you? (Slightly informal.)
4. Answering questions about your health
If someone asks you one of the questions above, you can use one of these phrases:
Good, thanks./Really good, thanks.
I’m fine, thanks.
Not too bad, thanks.
Not great, actually.
3. Other things to say when you meet someone
After you have said hello, you could say something like:
It’s lovely to see you.
You’re looking well.
I haven’t seen you for ages.
4. Meeting someone for the first time
If you are introduced to someone new, you could say:
Pleased to meet you. (This is the most common thing that people say when they meet for the first time.)
It’s lovely to meet you at last.
I’ve heard a lot about you.
5. When you need to go
When you need to leave, you can say something like:
I’m afraid I have to dash.
I’ll let you get on.
It’s been lovely talking to you.
We must meet up again soon.
6. Saying goodbye
When you leave someone, you can say:
See you! (Slightly informal.)
Bye. (Slightly informal.)
Cheerio. (Slightly old-fashioned.)
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