Friday, 9 September 2016

Social Language – The ‘cool’ way to deal with..


Introductions are the first phrases we say when we meet someone new. They are an important part of small talk - what we say when we meet people at parties. These phrases are different than the phrases we use when we greet friends. Read these phrases and practice them in these short conversations.

There are a number of phrases that are commonly used to introduce strangers.

(name), I don't think you've met (name).
I don't think you know (name)
May I introduce you to (name)
(name), do you know (name)?
(name), I'd like you to meet (name)

When you meet someone the first time, it is common to greet the person with "How do you do?" the correct response is "How do you do." Here is a short introductory conversation:

Kevin: Peter, I'd like you to meet Mary.
Peter: How do you do?
Mary: How do you do.
Kevin: Mary works for ...

A variation is also "It's a pleasure to meet you." or "Pleased to meet you."

Kevin: Peter, I'd like you to meet Mary.
Peter: It's a pleasure to meet you.

Mary: How do you do.
Kevin: Mary works for ...

Kevin: Peter, I'd like you to meet Mary.
Peter: How do you do?
Mary: Pleased to meet you.
Kevin: Mary works for ...

In informal situations, especially in North America, introductions are also made simply saying: "This is (name)." It is also common to just say "Hi" or "Hello" as a response in this informal setting.

Kevin: Peter, this is Mary.
Peter: How do you do?
Mary: Pleased to meet you.
Kevin: Mary works for ...

It is also quite common to shake hands when you are introduced. After the initial introduction, hand shaking generally takes place in more formal, business situations. Otherwise, people just say "Hi."

Some More Social Language Key Phrases


Greetings are used to say hello in English. It's common to use different greetings depending on whether you greet a friend, family or a business associate. When you meet friends, use informal greetings. If it's really important use formal greetings. Formal greetings are also used with people you do not know very well.

Greetings also depend on whether you are saying hello, or you are saying goodbye. Learn the correct phrases using the notes below, and then practice using greetings with the practice dialogues.

Greeting Someone the First Time

Once you have been introduced to someone, the next time you see that person it is important to greet them. We also greet people as we leave people. In English (as in all languages), there are different ways to greet people in formal and informal situations.

Introduction (first) Greeting:

How do you do?

Greetings after the Introduction

How are you?

Here are phrases used for greeting when arriving and departing in both formal and informal situations.

Formal Greetings: Arriving

Good morning / afternoon / evening.
Hello (name), how are you?
Good day Sir / Madam (very formal)

Informal Greetings: Arriving

Hi / Hello
How are you?
How are you doing?
What's up? (very informal)

It's important to note that the question "How are you?" or "What's up?" doesn't necessary need a response. If you do respond, these phrases are generally expected:

Very well, thank you. And you? (formal)
Fine / Great (informal)

Formal Greetings: Departing

Good morning / afternoon / evening.
It was a pleasure seeing you.
Note: After 8 p.m. - Good night.

Informal Greetings: Departing

Nice seeing you!
Goodbye / Bye
See you later
Later (very informal)

Here are some short example conversations for you to practice greetings in English. Find a partner to practice and take a role. Next, switch roles. Finally, make up your own conversations.

Greetings in Informal Conversations

Anna: Tom, what's up?
Tonmay: Hi Anna. Nothing much. I'm just hanging out. What's up with you?
Anna: It's a good day. I'm feeling fine.
Tonmay: How is your sister?
Anna: Oh, fine. Not much has changed.
Tonmay: Well, I have to go. Nice seeing you!
Anna: Later.

Maria: Oh, hello Chris. How are you doing?
Kriss: I'm well. Thanks for asking. How are you?
Maria: I can't complain. Life is treating me well.
Kriss: That's good to hear.
Maria: Good to see you again. I need to go to my doctor's appointment.
Kriss: Nice seeing you.
Maria: See you later.

Greetings in Formal Conversation

Josh: Good morning.
Amlan: Good morning. How are you?
Josh: I'm very well thank you. And you?
Amlan: I'm fine. Thank you for asking.
Josh: Do you have a meeting this morning?
Amlan: Yes, I do. Do you have a meeting as well?
Josh: Yes. Well. It was a pleasure seeing you.
Amlan: Goodbye.

Special Days

It is common to use a special greeting used just for that occasion on special days, holidays and other special occasions. Here are some of the most common:


Happy birthday!
Best wishes / Good luck on your thirtieth (age - use an ordinal number) birthday!
Many happy returns!

Wedding / Anniversary

Best wishes / good luck on your tenth (number - use an ordinal number) anniversary!
Here's to many more happy years together (used when making a toast)

Special Holidays

Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year / Easter / Hanukkah / Ramadan etc.
All the best for a happy New Year / Easter / Hanukkah / Ramadan etc.

When making special greetings to children on their birthday and at Christmas, it is also common to ask them what they received:

Merry Christmas! What did you get from Santa Claus?
Happy Birthday! What did your Daddy get for you?

Special Occasions

Congratulations on your promotion!
All the best for your ...
I'm so proud of you!

Speaking to Strangers

Here are a number of polite phrases used when trying to get the attention or help from people. The use of more formal language is common when speaking to someone you do not know:


It is common to first apologize before interrupting another person, or asking for help if you do not know the person.

Excuse me, could I ...
Sorry, do you think I could ...
Excuse me, do you know ...
I beg your pardon, could you help me? (formal)

Asking Someone to Repeat

When asking for information you may have a hard time understanding in public places which can be very noisy (train stations, restaurants, stores, etc.). Here are phrases commonly used to ask someone to repeat what he has said:

Excuse me, I'm afraid I didn't understand. Could you repeat that? (formal)
I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. (informal)
What? (very informal!)
I beg your pardon.

Traveling phrases

Here are a number of phrases used when saying goodbye to friends or family as the depart on trips, both short and long.

Long Trips, Vacations, etc. American English

Have a good trip.
Enjoy your vacation.
Have a good time in (destination)

Long Trips, Vacations, etc. British English

Have a good journey.
Enjoy your holidays.
Have a good time in (destination)

Short Outings

Enjoy! (American English)
Have a good time at (destination place such as a restaurant)
Have a good time in (destination city)

When your friends or family return home it is common to use one of the following phrases:

How was your vacation? (holiday in British English)
Did you enjoy your time in (destination)
How was your journey / flight / trip?

So Happy Studying!!!