Of course Covid 19 has changed the way we greet each other. Social distancing has meant the routine handshake is no longer an acceptable form of greeting. Nowadays you are as likely to be offered a shoulder, or a foot. It might be best to simply raise your hand in a friendly acknowledgement.

Learn about greetings (requires Real Player).

Everyday Greetings

English listening "Good morning."
English listening "Good afternoon."
English listening "Good evening."
English listening "Goodbye."
English listening "Good night."
"Good night."

Special Greetings

Santa Claus English listening "Happy Christmas." or English listening "Merry Christmas."
00.01 - 1st January English listening "Happy New Year!"
Easter English listening "Happy Easter."
drivetest or Testetc.... English listening "Good Luck!"
PassTest orGraduation etc... English listening "Congratulations!" or English listening "Well done!"
Get well English listening "Get well soon."

Shaking Hands


When meeting someone formally for the first time, we used to shake their hand and say "How do you do?" or "Pleased to meet you."

"How do you do?" isn't really a question, it just means "Hello".

High 5
When young people meet informally they sometimes say "Give me five!" and slap their hands together (high five). Covid has changed this greeting to an elbow bump, or a foot nudge.
  Generally we do not shake hands with people we know well.

Shaking hands cartoon.

Cartoon by Michael Leunig ©  Republished with permission.


Naturally speaking

You say hello, and I say goodbye!

Follow the dialogue.

Mr Bean meets Mrs Breuer, one of his students, and her husband in the street.

Mr Bean:

Good morning, Mrs Breuer.

Mrs Breuer:

Good morning, Mr Bean. How are you?

Mr Bean:

I'm fine thanks, and you?

Mrs Breuer:

Not too bad. Mr Bean, this is my husband Michael, Michael this is Mr Bean my English teacher.

Mr Breuer:

Pleased to meet you.

Mr Bean:

Pleased to meet you too. Are you from Germany, Mr Breuer?

Mr Breuer:

Yes, East Germany, from Dresden. And you, are you from London?

Mr Bean:

No, I'm from Derby, but I live in London now.

Mrs Breuer: Well, goodbye Mr Bean, it was nice to see you.
Mr Bean: Yes, goodbye.

Formal to Informal Greetings and Introductions

First meetings
Introducing yourself
Introducing others
Responding to an introduction
On Leaving
Top of page
  • How do you do? My name is Mrs Hand.
  • Mrs Hand, may I introduce my boss, Mr Smith.
  • Pleased to meet you Mrs Hand.
  • Goodbye. It's a pleasure to have met you.
  • Hello, Lynne Hand. I'm the owner of this web site.
  • Lynne, I'd like you to meet John Smith, our salesman. John, this is Lynne Hand.
  • Pleased to meet you Lynne.
  • Goodbye. Nice to have met you.
  • Lynne Hand.
  • Lynne, meet John, my husband. John, this is my teacher Lynne.
  • Hi, Lynne. How are you?
  • Bye. It was nice to meet you.

Subsequent meetings
Possible Greetings
Possible responses
Top of page
  • Hello, Mrs Hand.  It's nice to see you again.
  • What a pleasant surprise! How are you? It's been a while.
  • Good morning Mrs Hand.  How are you today?
  • I'm very well thank you.  And you?
  • Good afternoon, Mrs Hand.  It's good to see you.
  • Thank you.  It's nice to see you too.  How are you?
  • Hello Lynne.  How are you doing?
  • Fine thanks.  What's new with you?




  • Hi, Lynne! How's it going?
  • Not too bad, busy as ever.
  • Hi, Lynne. How are things?
  • Oh fine. You know how it is.

!Note - on first meeting say, "It's nice to meet you", and when departing "It was nice to meet you", or "Nice to have met you."

For future meetings say, "It's nice to see you again", and when departing, "It was nice to see you again."

More information on greetings here.