AEE 512: Hello! Hey! Hi! Find Out the Best Way to Greet Someone in English on the Street

how to greet someone in English on the street

Today we have a good question from a listener!

The question is about greeting people on the street in English.

The listener was wondering if/when/where it’s ok to greet someone on the street.

“I want to ask you guys, is it possible and polite to talk to a stranger and say “hey” or what else can I say?”

-AEE Listener

Today we are not talking about how to start a conversation in English. Today we are just talking about how to acknowledge the presence of someone else.

In Boston it’s not as common to greet someone on the street as it is in other paces.

In Colorado it’s common to wave to people on the street when you pass them.

 

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What can you say when you pass a stranger?

  • “Hey!” This is usually reserved for someone you know
  • “Hi”
  • “Hi there”
  •  Nod your head and smile
  • “Hello!’
  • “How is it going?”
  • “Good morning”

 

Remember, street greetings can vary around the US.

In Boston and New York people are not usually super friendly on the street but sometimes they are.

Get to know the local culture before you decide how you want to greet people.

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