Hello and Goodbye – Greetings and Farewells

Hello and Goodbye

Which greetings and farewells to use and when to use them.

Hello and Goodbye are the first words you need to know when learning a new language.
This is not be as simple as it sounds, for not only are there different ways of saying both Hello and Goodbye, but there are also the different times of the day when we should use these greetings and farewells.

For example, in ‘formal’ English we would only say “Good morning” the first time we see somebody that day, and it should be before 12 noon. Informally however, we could just say “Hello” at any time, Americans might say “Hi” and Australians usually say “Good-day”. Then after 12 noon, we change to “Good afternoon” and later (after about 6pm) it would be “Good evening”.

Also there are rules about when to say “Good night” – should we say it as a greeting when we are meeting someone later in the evening? Or just as a farewell when we are leaving their company? It is quite important to note at what times of the day these greetings and farewells change.

Here are some examples of the hello and goodbye phrases that we learn in Lesson A0.01 (the first of 12 lessons at the Complete Beginners level – Hello / Hi / Good morning / Good-day / Good afternoon / Good evening / Goodnight / See you later / See you soon / Goodbye.

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All new words are also given in Phonetics so that you will be able to teach yourself how to pronounce them. Phonetics are explained in Lesson A0.02 – Phonetics, Alphabet, Colours.

Once we have learned when to use the different words for hello and goodbye there are replies to learn, and the courtesy words such as “Thank you” and “You’re welcome”, and apologies like “I’m sorry” and “Excuse me”.
Lesson A0.01 is also where we take a quick look at the different periods of time during the day and find out what they are called.

Finally, we learn how to approach someone in the street to ask for something, and how to reply when someone asks us a question. Basic phrases like “Excuse me, do you speak English?” and “I’m sorry, I don’t speak very much English”, are important and here are a few more examples:

What’s your name? / My name is Mr. James, and you? / Tell me your name, please.
Are you Mr Smith? / No, my name is White. I am Mr White. /
I am English. / I am from London./ I am from Italy, but I live here.
Where are you from? / Are you from here? / No, I am a foreigner.

What do you do? / Are you a student? / Yes I am a student. / I study at the University.
No, I’m not a student, I work. / Where do you work? / I am self-employed.
I work in a bank. / I work in a shop. / I am a doctor. / I am unemployed. / I am retired.

Can you speak more slowly, please? / What is this called? / Can you help me, please? / How much is this? / Excuse me, where is the bathroom? / Is it far away? / It’s important. / It’s urgent. / What does that mean? / I don’t understand. /

Finish the lesson by writing out the new words you have learned and then practice speaking them aloud. Remember, check out the free lessons and the rest of the course by going to our Lessons page.


Related Content:

Cambridge – Greetings, Farewells & Special Expressions
BBC Learning English – Greetings and Farewells

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