How to formally greet someone
Business Writing Tips

How to Formally Greet Someone

Let’s start with what is the meaning of greet? In simple words, to say hello or to welcome somebody.
Formal greetings or expressions are usually used in the serious or official language and would not be appropriate in normal everyday conversation.

Here are the most common ways to greet someone formally:

1. “Hello” – it’s the most usual word and is used in all situations, including answering the telephone, meeting someone on the street, starting a business meeting. You can use it in formal and informal situations.

2. “Good morning” – is often used by members of a family or people who work together when they see each other for the first time in the day. It can also be used in formal situations and on the telephone. In informal speech, people may just say Morning.

3. “Good afternoon” and “Good evening” are much less common.

*If you are meeting someone for the first time, you can say Pleased to meet you or Nice to meet you (less formal). Some people use How do you do? in formal situations. The correct reply to this is How do you do?

After the greeting, you can use some of the honorifics (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms.) to show respect and admiration to the person you are speaking to.

Mr. – it’s not possible to know if the man is married or single.
Mrs. – used to refer to a married woman.
Miss – used to refer to a single woman.
Ms. – it’s not possible to know if the woman is married or single.

Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms. are usually used with the last name.

Good morning, Mr. Smith. I will pick you up from the airport at 5 pm.
Hello, Will. Excuse me for interrupting you. Someone is waiting for you in the lobby.
Hello, Ms. Roberts. Would you like some water?
Good afternoon, Mr. Brown. How may I help you?

Informal greetings

1. “Hi”- it’s more informal and is now very common. You can say it to your friend, neighbor, or your family.

2. “Morning”

3. “Good night” is not used to greet somebody, but only to say goodbye late in the evening or when you are going to bed.

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