Greetings and farewells: hello, goodbye, Happy New Year - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Greetings and farewells: hello, goodbye, Happy New Year

from English Grammar Today

Saying hello

When we see someone we know, we usually exchange greetings:

Good morning/afternoon/evening




Hi there

more formal

less formal




Hello, how are you?


Fine, thanks. How about you?

Saying goodbye

When we leave people, we usually say something as we leave:

Good night


Bye bye


See you later

See you

more formal

less formal


See you later.


OK. Bye.


We use Good night only when we are leaving someone at the end of the day, before going home or going to bed:

[leaving someone’s house]

Good night. Thanks for a lovely evening.

[before going to bed]

I’m off to bed. Good night.

Congratulating and celebrating

We use different expressions for celebrations:

on special occasions

Happy New Year!

Happy birthday!

to wish someone luck before an important event

Good luck!

to congratulate someone

Well done!

Congratulations! (more formal)

We don’t say congratulations to wish someone a happy birthday:

Happy birthday, Nora.

Not: Congratulations, Nora.

(“Greetings and farewells: hello, goodbye, Happy New Year” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press. Need grammar practice? Try English Grammar Today with Workbook.)
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