My apologies for not writing any blogs for the past few weeks. There have been some changes, and I was relocated to Berlitz Fujisawa Language Center in July. While I was very sad to say goodbye to Berlitz Kamiooka and the wonderful team there, I am very lucky to be a part of a great team here in Fujisawa. This will mean some changes for the blog though, as it will now be shared on the Fujisawa website instead of the Kamiooka site. However, it will still be available to everyone, including all my old students in Kamiooka!
To mark this change, and my new workplace in Fujisawa, this week’s blog is going to focus on “Goodbyes” and “Hellos”. “Goodbye” to the wonderful people of Kamiooka, and “Hello” to my new team in Fujisawa!
English speakers like a lot of variety in their everyday language. We have lots of different expressions for saying simple things. Often, students only learn the basic “Goodbyes” and “Hellos”, but we use a wide variety of phrases for different situations. Here are some phrases that are quite common in American English.
Different Ways to Say "Goodbye".
"Goodbye" itself is actually one of the most formal ways to say goodbye to someone. It is usually more final, when you won’t see them for a long time…if ever! Here are some situations in which "Goodbye" is appropriate:
- You've broken up with your partner. You're sad about it. You think that you may never see this person again.
- You're angry with a family member. You say this as you slam the door or hang up the phone.
This phrase is quite formal and very emotional-sounding. It also seems very final. It's the type of thing that two lovers in a movie might say if they're never going to see each other again. You probably won't use it often in daily life.
- Have a good day.
Say "Have a good day" (or "Have a nice day," "Have a good evening," or "Have a good night") to someone that you're not very close with, like a coworker that you don't know well, an employee, a customer, or a friend of a friend.
- Take care.
This phrase is still a little bit formal, but not quite as formal as "Have a good day." Use this when you're not going to see someone again for at least a week.
Most of the time, we use one of these casual phrases when saying goodbye to someone in English.
"'Bye" is the most common way to say goodbye in English. You can say "'Bye" to anyone you know, from friends to coworkers to clients. It's common to say "'Bye" at the very end of a conversation, even after you've said some of the other phrases in this list. For example:
A: See you later.
B: OK, have a good one.
A: You too. 'Bye.
- Bye bye!
Little children say "Bye bye", and adults say it when speaking to children. When adults use "Bye bye" with each other, it can either sound childish or sometimes flirtatious.
"Later!" is a cool, casual way to say goodbye. Men often use "Later!" when speaking with each other. You often follow "Later!" with something like "man", "bro", "dude", or "dear".
- See you later. / Talk to you later.
"See you later is not quite as casual as "Later!". You can use it with almost anyone. You say "See you later" when you're saying goodbye to someone in person. When you're talking to someone on the phone, you can say "Talk to you later" instead.
- Have a good one.
"Have a good one" means "Have a good day" or "Have a good week." You sound relaxed and friendly when you use it. However, there are people who get annoyed by it because they think that "Have a good day" is better.
- So long.
"So long" isn't very common for actually saying "goodbye" to someone, but you may find it sometimes in news headlines and other places.
- All right then.
This isn't a very common phrase, but some people in the Southern part of the U.S. use it. It's very casual, relaxed, and colloquial.
- Catch you later.
This is a variation on "See you later" that you might use if you want to seem super-casual. You might imagine a surfer using this phrase.
- Peace! / Peace out.
"Peace!" as a way to say goodbye comes from hip-hop music and culture. It sounds very casual. "Peace out" is the same but it was popular in the early 1990s. Today it sounds very dated.
- I'm out!
"I'm out!" is also connected with hip-hop. It's something that you can say when you're glad to be leaving. For example, you might say "I'm out!" to your coworkers as you're leaving your part time job for the day.
Now that the sad part of saying goodbye is over, let’s think about happier things. Let’s look at some different ways of saying “Hello”.
Different Ways to say "Hello"
This is the plain, everyday expression that you should probably use most.
- Good morning
Say this the first time you see someone in the morning. It sounds nice, though a little formal.
This is a more casual version of "Good morning"
- Good afternoon / Good evening.
These are more formal than "Good morning". You might say "Good afternoon" to a customer that you don't know well, or on stage when giving a speech or lecture.
Use "Hey" with people that you know well. It's not exactly rude to use with strangers, but it might be confusing. The person that you say "Hey" to might think, "Huh? Do I know this person?"
- What's up?
This sounds casual and cool. Even though it looks like a question, it doesn't need to be answered.
This is a slang version of "What's up?". Use it if you're a teenager or want to pretend that you are one :)
- How's it going?
"How's it going" looks like a question, but sometimes it's not. You can say this to someone instead of "hello", even if you're only passing them by and don't intend to wait to hear their answer.
This is a Southern way to say "Hello". You might sound like you're pretending to be a cowboy if you use it. But practice it with our local Texans Keith and Ira!
- Well hello!
Say "Hi" this way when you're surprised to see someone, or if you haven't seen them in a long time. It makes you seem excited.
- Why hello there.
A man might say this to a beautiful woman, including his own girlfriend or wife if she's wearing something sexy. When you say this with the correct intonation, it makes you sound attracted to the person you're talking to.
This is hiphop slang from the 1980's and 1990's. When you say this, you sound either tough and cool, or silly. It all depends on your personality.
This is an extremely formal greeting. Robots on TV and movies say "Hello" this way. You can use it to be funny if you're tired of using other phrases.
- Look who it is!
You can use this when you see someone that you haven't seen in a long time. It sounds really excited.
- Look what the cat dragged in!
This is an energetic, teasing way to say "Hello" to someone that you haven't seen in a while. It's a kind of joke. You're saying that the person looks like a dead mouse or some piece of trash that a cat has found and carried inside. Of course, it's not serious. You only say this to tease the person, but not everyone may find this joke is funny.
So there you have it, many different ways to say “Hello” and “Goodbye” in English. So try a few out with your friends or teachers, and see how it goes. And until next week…..”Farewell to the wonderful people at Kamiooka, Greetings to the fantastic people in Fujisawa!!”
Do you have a knack for learning English?
Min's Berlitzine (Dec. 2016)