Basic conversation in English. Ways to say hello and good bye.

Sometimes starting and ending conversations is awkward because you don’t really know what to say. Once you begin a conversation, you can usually follow it based on what the other person is saying, or by adding your own opinion or information.

Let’s start with ways to say hello.

Saying hello to a friend

  • Hey! How are you?
  • Hi! How are you?
  • Hi! How have you been?
  • Hey! How have you been?

Responding to a friend

  • I’m great, thank you and you!
  • I’m having a great week! How are you?
  • (informal, bad grammar but it is accepted and used all the time!) I’m good, thanks!
  • (Proper English grammar) I’m well, thanks!
  • I’ve been better (I’m not doing well), how are you?

Saying hello to someone for the first time

  • Hi! My name is ________. It’s nice to meet you. 
  • Hi! I’m ___________. It’s a pleasure to meet you. 
  • Hi! My name is ________. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you!
  • Hi! My name is ________. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you! I’ve heard so much about you (if you have heard a lot about this person (such as a boyfriend of a friend or family member) but had never met them)
  • (Formal) Good morning/afternoon/evening. My name is ________. It’s a pleasure/honor to meet you. Use “honor” here if someone you are meeting if famous or in a position with a lot of power, such as a president.

Asking questions to get to know the new person:

Obviously you won’t want to ask all of these but these are all appropriate to ask to get to know someone new. Usually by asking one of these questions, the conversation just goes from there

  • Where are you from? 
  • Do you have any children?
  • Are you married? (Be careful with this one, someone might take it as you flirting with them and they might not be comfortable with the question)
  • What are your hobbies?
  • Do you like sports? (yes) Oh! Which ones? I love to play ___________.
  • Do you like to travel? What was your favorite city/country? I’ve been to/I’ve visited ……..

If the person is visiting your city you can ask:

  • How was your flight? (good, bad, long, short, etc)
  • Is your hotel near here?
  • Do you need help finding the hotel?


Introducing someone to someone else:

  • (formal) Please let me introduce you to (person’s name), then say who they are. Ex 1: Please let me introduce you to Kevin, he is my oldest nephew. Ex 2: Please let me introduce you to Kaitlyn, we work together at XYZ Company.
  • (Informal) This is my friend, Ashtyn.

Responding to being introduced. 

Ex: This is my friend, Ashtyn. (You are Ashtyn) Hello Ashtyn! I’m Macey, it’s nice to meet you! Thank you! Nice to meet you! (Then the other person might ask you a question like, how do you know friend number 1? Or you could ask the same question to get the conversation started.

Ways to say goodbye

  • (formal) Goodbye, have a good morning/afternoon/evening!
  • (informal) Bye! See ya!
  • (informal) Bye! See ya later!
  • (informal) Bye! See you later/tomorrow/next week!
  • (to small children) See ya later alligator! Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 7.04.47 AM and they will say, after while crocodile! (This is a silly thing we say to children because it rhymes and it makes them laugh!)


If you don’t understand

  • I’m sorry, could you repeat that?
  • Excuse me, I didn’t hear that. Could you repeat what you said?
  • Could you please speak a little slower, I am not a native English speaker.
  • I’m sorry, I didn’t understand what you said. Could you say it again?
  • Always thank them for repeating themselves!


Ready to take a quiz?

Conversation skills


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