Getting beyond “Hi” and “Hello”
There are so many phrases we use to greet people or to start conversations, and they can be difficult to understand or know how to respond to. Part of the problem is that they are typically spoken very quickly.
Here are a few common greetings and conversation starters and typical responses. You can listen to the audio and follow along with the chart below:
|Common Greetings:||Common Responses|
|Hi. Hello.||Hi. Hello.|
(Often shortened to: “morning”)
*Although the greetings “Good afternoon” and “Good evening” exist, they are usually only used in formal situations or to customers in a restaurant, store, etc.
Good morning, how are you?
|Hi (Hello), how are you?||Good. How are you?
Good, and you?
Good. How about you?
I’m well. (a little formal sounding)
|Hey. (Informal)||Hey, what’s up?
Hey, how’s it going?
|Hey, what’s up? (Informal. means: what are you doing?)
Other variations: What’s happening? What’s shaking? (not so common, but you will sometimes hear it.)
|Not much.Not much, just. . .(whatever you are doing) Ex. Not much, just watching TV.|
|What’s going on? (means: what are you doing?)
|Nothing. Nothing much.
Nothing/not much, just (whatever you are doing)
Ex. Not much, just working on my blog.
|How’s it going? (means: how are you, how is your day going, etc.)
Other variations: How’s life? How’s life treating you?
|Good. Pretty good. Not bad.|
|What have you been up to? Sounds like: “Whatcha been up to?”
(means: what has been going on in your life since the last time we met/spoke: catch up on news, etc.)
I’ve been busy. . .(with work, family, etc.)(or give news about something interesting: I just got back from vacation. . .My parents came to visit for a few weeks, etc.)
|How have you been? (usually said when it has been some time since you spoke to or saw each other)||Good, and you?|