Podcast 1: Formal and Informal Greetings

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Title Podcast 1: Formal and Informal Greetings
  This podcast is brought to you free of charge by Dhurakij Pundit University International College. Please visit our website at to download the podcast scripts and supporting material.


In this podcast, you will hear some people greeting each other. Notice how the greetings differ for each different situation. The first situation is where two friends meet:
1 David Hi Steve.
2 Steve Oh. Hi David. How are you?
1 David Ok thanks.  How are you?
2 Steve Not bad thanks…
Comment (Narrator) The people know each other already, so they do not need to ask for much information. This kind of greeting is informal.


Narrator In the second situation, a student is meeting a teacher at his university


1 Teacher (Knock on the door) Come in.


2 Student Good morning Dr. Williams. My name is John Weston. I am a student on the English programme.
1 Teacher Yes. Hello John. How can I help you?
Comment The student already knows who the teacher is, but the teacher may not know the student, so the student needs to tell his teacher who he is and what he studies. The student also has to be polite and quite formal. The teacher might allow the student to be less formal and more relaxed after the first introduction. He does this by saying “hello” and by using the student’s first name.
Narrator In the third situation, two people are meeting for the first time at work
1 Stephen Hello. My name is Stephen Cannell. It’s nice to meet you.
2 David Hello. I’m David Common. It’s nice to meet you too.  
Comment When you meet someone for the first time, you want to make a good impression. As a result, the introduction is formal and very polite.
Summary How you greet someone really depends on who, where and when you meet. If you meet someone for the first time, or meet someone older or more important, you need to be more polite and more formal. When you get to know someone better, you can be more informal.
Comment If you download the scripts for our podcasts, you can practice the conversations with your friends.

This podcast is brought to you free of charge by Dhurakij Pundit University International College. Please visit our website at for more information, tape scripts, supporting materials and other downloads.






Supporting Materials

Formal and Informal Greetings and Introductions



Introducing yourself Introducing someone else Responses to introductions When leaving
How do you do?

My name is Mr. Jones.

Mr. Jones, may I introduce my boss, Mr. Williams.     I’m pleased to meet you Mr. Jones. Goodbye. It’s a pleasure to have met you.

Hello, I’m Colin Jones. I’m the manager of this office.

Colin, I’d like you to meet John Williams, our salesman. John, this is Colin Jones. I’m pleased to meet you Colin.  Goodbye. It’s nice to have met you.

Colin Jones.

Colin, meet Julia, my wife. Julia this is my boss, Colin.   Hi, Colin. How are you? Bye. It was nice to meet you.




               When you meet someone again:
Formal                                       Greetings                                                                                     Replies
Good afternoon, Mr. Jones. It’s nice to see you again. Good afternoon.  It’s nice to see you too.  How are you?
Good morning Mr. Jones.  How are you today? I’m very well, thank you.  And you?
Hello, Mr. Jones.  It’s good to see you What a pleasant surprise! How are you? It’s been a while.
Hello Colin.  How are you doing? Fine thanks.  What’s new with you?  
Hi, Colin. How’s it going? Not too bad, busy as always.
Hi, Colin. How are things? Oh fine thanks.


Note: for first meetings say, “It’s nice to meet you“. For future meetings say, “It’s nice to see you again“.










Other Formal greetings:

Greetings at different times of the day

“Good morning”                  (from early morning to midday)

“Good afternoon”               (from midday until about 6pm)

“Good evening”                   (from about 6pm until about 10pm)

“Good night”                        (in the late evening when leaving)


Meeting for the first time

“How do you do?”        (answer)    “How do you do?”

“It’s nice to meet you” (answer)   “It’s nice to meet you too”

You might also shake hands with someone when you first meet them in a formal situation.


Other words and phrases

Formal (adjective): the kind of language, behaviour or dress for ‘serious’ situations

Informal (adjective): the kind of language, behaviour or dress when with close friends or in relaxed social situations.

Polite (adjective): having good manners and using pleasant language; being respectful in the way you speak or behave.

‘To make a good impression’: to have a strong, favourable, or remarkable effect on someone

Boss (noun): an employer

Relaxed (adjective): not stressed or worried

Responding (non finite verb/gerund): answering or taking your turn to say something

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