Hello. Hi there. How’s it going? Hey! What’s up? How are you doing? Welcome to this YouTube English lesson on greetings. Now, you might think this is a simple topic but it’s not. If English only had the greetings “Hi”, and “Hello”, it would make things a lot easier for people but there are a lot of different greetings in English and many people have questions about how to answer things like what’s up or how’s it going or how are you doing today? So here is an in depth look from Bob the Canadian.

This English lesson looks at all the different types of greetings in English and tries to explain them in a very logical way so that as you start to speak English or continue to speak English, you can use all of the greetings correctly. It is organized in a way that should make it a lot easier for you to understand.

So, the simple greetings are greetings like “Hi”, or “Hi there”, or “Hello”, or “Hello there”, or even “Hello hello”. (Yes, sometimes people say hello twice in a row (you know who you are) – probably to sound cute.) We say things like “Hey” or “Hey there” etc, but we also say things like good morning, good afternoon and good evening.

And there’s more. If you want to sound like a cowboy, you can say “howdy”, and if you wanna sound hip and cool, you can say “yo”.

Now, the cool thing about the simple greetings is the statement or the greeting is also the answer. So if someone says hi to you, you can respond by saying hi. If someone says howdy, you can say howdy. If someone says hey man, you can say hey. So the simple greeting also acts as a proper choice for an answer to that greeting.

Of course, if someone says “Hi there”, you can respond with other greetings like, “Hello hello”. So all of the simple greetings that you see in this video, you can also use as your response.

It is important to know which ones are formal. Well, “hello”, “good morning”, “good afternoon”, and “good evening”, are all quite formal. When you say “hi”, “hi there”, “hello there” or “hello hello”, those are informal. The informal version of good morning is just morning. So someone may just say morning, how’s it going? The informal version of good afternoon is just afternoon and the informal version of good evening is just evening.

By the way, “yo” is slang and “howdy” is really just something you say for fun, unless you really are a cowboy.

Don’t forget, you can always add the person’s name when you are using the simple greetings. So you can say “Hi, Bob”, “Hello there, April”, “Hey, Paulette,” … how are you today?

However, we don’t just stop with simple greetings, we usually add a question when we are speaking English and when we are greeting someone.

So, we may say “Hey”, or “Hi” and then we’ll add a question. One of the common questions that we’ll ask is “How’s it going?” When we say how’s it going, it is the contraction of “How is it going?” This is a question that people are often unsure about how much detail they should give, but generally, if you are speaking to someone at work or someone that you don’t know that well, you would answer with good, pretty good, not too bad, fine.

The next questions that you might ask are “How are you”, “how are you today”, “how are you doing” and “how are you doing today?” Which are all basically the same question. Possible answers for these questions are “I’m fine”, “good”, “I’m good”, “pretty good” or “I’m doing great”. So of those questions, “how are you”, “how are you today”, “how are you doing”, “how are you doing today”, your possible answers are, “I’m fine”, “I’m good”, “good”, “pretty good”, even “I’m doing great”.

The next set of questions you might ask or be asked, and remember, you usually use a simple greeting and then you add a question to it, are “hey man, what’s up”, “hey man, what’s going” on or “hey man, what’s happening?” All of these questions are almost always answered the same way. You either say “not much” or “not a lot”, and you might hear “same old same old”.

So if someone says to you hello, what’s up, you most will probably say “not much”, or you might say “not a lot”. It might seem like a funny way to answer but generally, around 99% of the time when someone is asked “what’s going on”, they will answer by saying “not much”, or “not a lot”.

The last set of questions that you may face are the questions “How are things”, or “How’s everything?” If someone says to you hey, how’s everything or how are things, you usually answer by saying things are great even if things aren’t great, which is probably why greetings in English can be rather confusing because we’re not always honest with our answers.

Another big challenge is knowing how you answer these questions: that depends on who you are talking to. If your mother asks “What’s up”, you would probably tell her in great detail what is actually happening in your life. If your mum says how are you and you’re not feeling great, you will tell her exactly how you’re feeling.

On the other hand, if you’re talking to someone you don’t know as well, you would just say I’m fine, good, or I’m good. You could use any of the answers from earlier, those short, quick answers.

Again, if your mum asks how are things and if things weren’t good, if you were having any difficulties in your life, not just speaking English, you would honestly tell her how things are. However, if a colleague who you do not know well asks how are things, you would probably just say things are great. It is a little challenging to figure this out. The safe thing to do is to use the short answers. If someone says how’s it going, you should just answer “fine, thanks”.

If someone says what’s up, you could say not much and then here’s the last part. When you are greeting someone, you use the simple greeting then you add one of the questions and then if you are answering the question, you usually say you. So if someone says to you hey man, what’s up, you can say, “Not much, you?” So you can simply add the word you after your response and it prompts the other person to answer you.

As found on YouTube

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