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6 Ways to Start the Conversation

One of the most exciting things about learning English is the opportunity it creates to meet and form relationships with so many new people.

Whether you’re being introduced to someone for the first time or catching up with an old friend, there are many ways to greet someone. Since a greeting sets the tone for the conversation that follows, it’s nice to have some variety in your personal “word bank”.

These 6 phrases each mean something slightly different – so make sure you read the explanations! – but are all great ways to greet someone.

  • How’s it going?
    • This is an informal way to say, “How are you?”
  • Long time no see!
    • This may look strange as a written sentence, but it’s a common thing people say when they haven’t seen each other in a long time.
  • Pleased to meet you
    • This is another way to say “Nice to meet you.” It generally has a more formal connotation and can be used when you’re meeting a new person, like a new co-worker, for the first time.
  • Look who it is!
    • In informal settings, this is a way to express excitement about seeing a friend.
  • Good to see you
    • Just like it sounds, this phrase is used to say you’re happy to see someone again.
  • Glad to put a name to a face
    • Many times, we’ll talk to someone via email or over the phone before actually meeting them in person. This is what you can say when you’re finally meeting someone face-to-face after communicating with them in other ways for a while.

Now that you know how to use these different greetings in different scenarios, try one out! Whether it’s someone new that you’re meeting for the first time, or an old friend that you haven’t seen in ages*, you’ll be able to start the conversation on a much more personal note with these phrases.

*BONUS: “I haven’t seen you in ages” is similar to “Long time no see!” and is another way to greet someone you’ve missed for a long time.