There are many ways to say hello in English. Sometimes you say a quick hello as you are passing somebody. At other times a greeting leads to a conversation. Friends and family members greet each other in a casual way. Business greetings are more formal.

Greetings in the classroom

It is polite to greet a new student that joins your class. Introductions immediately follow this type of greeting.


  • Say hello and exchange names.
  • Exchange nationalities.
  • Engage in one line of small talk (weather, surroundings, news).

Useful Phrases

  • 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.

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.
  • Shake hands.
  • Express happiness to meet the other person.
  • Give or accept directions.

Useful Phrases

  • Please have a seat.
  • Thanks for agreeing to meet with me.
  • He’ll be right with you.
  • Can I offer you something to drink?
  • My pleasure.

Adapted from:

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