20 ways to say hello in English


How do you greet your English-speaking friends and acquaintances? Probably hello or hi . Did you know that there is a whole arsenal of similar ways to say hello? Why not take advantage of them? Just be careful: not every remedy is suitable for all situations.


This is an everyday expression that is used most often and in all situations. Many people say that 'hi' is a quick and economical way to say 'hello'. For example:

Jim: 'Hello Bob.'
Bob: 'Hi Jim.'


This expression is used to greet in a more formal setting. If this is not taken into account, then 'hello' is used in the same cases as 'hi'.

Good morning

Use this expression to greet someone in the morning. But be careful: it sounds a bit formal. The Beatles, for example, have a song of the same name.


This is a more colloquial version of "Good morning" or a form of response to such a greeting.

Good afternoon / Good evening.

These expressions are even more formal than 'Good morning'. For example, you might say 'Good afternoon' to a customer you don't know very well, or on stage while giving a speech.


This expression is used with those you know well. Using it with strangers is not exactly rude, but it can confuse them. For example, they might think “What? I know this man?" This greeting, for example, cannot attract the attention of a girl you like.

Guy at bar to attractive girl: 'Hey.'
Attractive girl to guy: 'Get off.' (Moves to other side of bar.)

What's up?

This expression sounds simple and cool. Although it takes the form of a question, it does not need to be answered. By the way, if there is an answer to such a question, then in 99% of cases this answer is 'Nothing'.

Person 1: 'What's up?'
Person 2: 'Nothing'


It's a slang version of 'What's up?' It is used by teenagers or those who want to appear as teenagers. You can also answer nothing to this form of question, or you can sort through the options.

Jack: 'Hey, sup?'
Jill: 'Not much.'

How's it going?

This expression has the form of a question, but not always. It can be used instead of 'hello' even if you are walking by and don't expect to hear back. You can also preface this question with the usual greetings - 'hi', 'hello' or 'hey'.

Person 1: 'Hey, how's it going bro!'
Person 2: 'Not bad dude, I haven’t seen you for time...'

How are you doing?

This phrase is synonymous with 'How's it going?' However, it is used as a greeting not only with unfamiliar people, but also with friends and relatives. For example, this phrase can be heard in the movie "Legally Blonde", when the newly minted student Elle Woods greets her fellow students in this way, who see her for the first time in her life.


This expression is used by cowboys in the American South. Do you want to appear like that? Then go ahead! In the movie "The Mask" with Jim Carrey, the hero greets himself in the mirror in such a way before he is going to a party at the club.

Well hello!

In this way, you can say hello if you did not expect to see someone or have not seen someone for a long time. This phrase expresses your surprise. You can also often hear the more common phrase - 'well hello there!'

Why hello there.

This expression is used, for example, by men, in relation to a beautiful woman or their girlfriend or wife, when she is beautifully dressed. If you say it with the right intonation, then this will show that you are interested in someone.
You think, probably, and here why? The fact is that why is used not only as a question word, but also as a means of drawing attention to what follows it. For example:Why, haven’t you heard of that?


It's a "hip-hop" slang expression from the 80s and 90s. If you use it, then you want to sound either cool or stupid. Everything depends on you!

Yo, Chris, what's up?


This is a very formal greeting. Robots on TV and in movies say hello like that. You can say this if you want to sound funny, or if you are tired of using other expressions.
Test yourself: try googling this word. Everywhere there will be links like "greetings". Even the film of the same name with Robert Deniro is translated into Russian like this. But “hello” has not been said like that for a long time.

Look who it is!

You can say hello like this if you meet someone you haven't seen for a long time. This will make you sound more emotional.

Look what the cat dragged in!

This expression is used as a "teaser" for someone you haven't seen in a while. This is a joke expression, but many are offended by it, so be careful! And what about cats? It's simple: cats often drag all sorts of garbage into the house from the street, and this phrase is then used literally - "Look what the cat brought this time."
There is a whole arsenal of entertaining translations into Russian:

  • Look who the hard one has brought!
  • Look who got dragged!
  • What people without protection!
  • Look, it's here!

There he she is…

This is how they greet someone who has been waiting for a long time, for example, because he was late or has not been seen for a long time. It is often used with irony.

Hi there!

If you want to say hello to someone as a formality without starting a conversation, use this expression. But it is absolutely not suitable for formal communication.