5 different ways to say hello and goodbye


Christmas is soon here, but at any time of the year you need to know the right way to greet someone or to wish them well when you leave their company. English students usually learn one or two things to say but often get them wrong and rarely have command of a number. So here are some polite, warm and friendly ways to say hello or goodbye.


Good morning, afternoon, evening.

Some students, especially Spanish students, do not actually know when morning ends and afternoon begins, let alone what evening means. Part of the problem is translating la tarde into afternoon. It’s not the same.

Twelve mid-day is noon; therefore, after noon is from 12pm until the evening. The evening starts around 6pm when it starts to get dark. And then it’s night after about 9pm. Some confusion can happen over 2 in the morning (2am) but Good Morning would not be appropriate at this time. Knowing these times will help you execute the correct greeting.

You can use these greetings to say hello and goodbye, so that’s good!


How do you do?

This is one that students still learn in English classes, but is really not as useful as you think. It is antiquated, but is still used in formal situations sometimes. “How do you do?” does not, in fact, mean “How are you?” – It is a simple greeting used when you meet someone for the first time to say ‘nice to meet you’. And how do you reply?

How do you do?

How do you do

Yes, the response is the same question in reply. Strange but, nevertheless, a formality.


Long time no see!

Not seen your friend for months or even years? This will happen often at Christmas, at parties where you might bump into old school friends, for example. You can then ask how they’ve been, what they’ve been up to, or just ignore them if it’s one of those old school friends you really didn’t like.

Oh, wow, hey! Long time no see!

Yeah! Oh my god. How long has it been?

It must be like three years since we saw each other!

Yeah. At school. What have you been up to?


What’s up?

No, not the mobile messaging app. This is a greeting. And the answer is not: the sky. They are asking how you are. You can say “not much” or you can say “good, and you?”, which would be more welcoming.

A – ‘Sup?

B – A’ight?

A – Yeah, good.

B – Safe.



Parting is such sweet sorrow. But you can turn goodbye into an opportunity to leave someone with a big smile, a hug, and some good wishes.

It was so nice to see you!

I hope we see each other again soon. We can’t leave it another three years.

All the best!

Give my best to your family.

Take care, mate!


Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!


Written by James R. McCance for Aston School

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