Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

How do you address your friends in English when you meet up with them?

Does it depend on their gender? Your friendship? The situation that you’re in?

Today we got a great question from a listener.

“Hi Lindsay Hi Michelle I am writing to you from Iran to thank you for your awesome podcast. It is so full of energy and inspiration.

Sometimes I wonder how to address a friend in an informal way. How are words used like, “dude, “buddy,” and “guy” and how can I address a female friend?”


Good question!

It’s important to know how to address someone when we run into them on the street or when they approach us.

So we have ways to greet people that can bring you closer to someone, can help you connect, and might show that you are happy to see them or that you’re comfortable around them.

Having these skills will help you build the Connection!

So if you guys are at the advanced level you’re probably ready for these so listen up and take notes today.


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Things to consider when you choose a greeting:

  • The situation, how casual or formal, who’s around
  • Your relationship- how close are you?
  • Your gender
  • The other person’s gender
  • Your personality

Why are these things important?

It sounds weird if a woman says to a man that she hardly knows at a fancy place like a wedding reception- “hey dude” Why?

Usually this is guy to guy, casual, used with someone you know but not always. It could be used to talk to a stranger.


For guys to guys:

  • “Hey dude how’s it going?” (a guy friend greeting a guy friend, casual place)
  • “Dude, you just cut me off in my own lane” (a guy or a girl talking to a stranger, hostile)
  • “Hey buddy”: This could come from a stranger but more often a guy would say this to another guy
    • “Hey buddy you’re driving in my blind spot” – women could also say this to a guy.
    • “My buddy is coming over and we’re gonna have some beers and watch the game”: This is used more by a guy talking about a friend
    • “Hey buddy”: This might be used to address a little kid


Girls to girls:

  • “Hey girl I’m so glad you made it to my party.”
    • This could be used by a girl to a girl. It sounds like they are familiar with each other.
    • This might be used by guys when they’re flirting with girls.
  • Hey lady- “How are things in your life?”


Guys to Girl (groups)

  • Ladies, you ladies, hey ladies
    • “Hey ladies are you ready to order?”: This might be said by the waiter at a restaurant
    • “You ladies look beautiful tonight, can I buy you all a drink?”: This might be used when a guy is hitting on a group of girls.
  • Girl, hey girls (might be used by younger guys to younger girls, teens, 20’s)
    • “Hey girls, what are you all up to tonight?”

Gender Neutral:

  • Hey there, hey, hi,



When you choose a word to greet someone make sure you understand the connotations, the context, but as always don’t get paralyzed and always go for connection!


Let us know what your questions are below.


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