Grammar for Beginners – Formal and informal greetings

Speaking to people for the first time can sometimes be challenging as we try to work out how we should address them. In today’s post you are going to learn a wealth of useful information on how to greet someone for the first time, both in a formal and informal way.

Informal Greetings

Let’s start by looking at an example of a conversation between two friends that meet in the street. Since they are already friends, their conversation is informal:

– Hello!

– Hi!

– How are you?

– Great, thanks, and you?

– Fine, thanks.

Instead of “hello”, we can also use “hi” or “hey”.

Usually, when someone asks us how we are, we answer “fine, thanks”. “Thanks” is a more informal way of saying “thank you”.ç

Formal Greetings

Ok, let’s see another conversation example. This time the people do not know each other and are meeting for the first time.

How do you do? My name is John.

– Pleased to meet you. My name is Lyndsey.

The sentence “how do you do” is a set phrase. This means you do not have to explain how you really are. You can simply answer with the same expression, or with “pleased to meet you”.

Nice to meet you and introductions

Time for another conversation! James, Lola and Sydney have just met.

James: How do you do? My name is James.

Lola: I’m Lola. Nice to meet you.

James: This is my wife, Sydney.

Sydney: Hi Lola! How are you?

Lola: Very well, thank you. And you?

Sydney: Fine, thanks.

We can say “nice to meet you” or “pleased to meet you”.

As important as it is to have this new information, it’s equally important to put it into practice as much as you can. At ABA English, we give you free access to 144 video classes like the one shown in the image above, to ensure that our students improve their level of English as much as they can.



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