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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: English Greetings and Introductions - Spoken English

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What's your name?

My name's Kasia, and you are?

My name's Olivier.

Nice to meet you.

And you.

What are we doing in this lesson?

We're going to talk about greetings and introductions in English.


I'm Olivier.

Welcome to Oxford Online English.

Whats the first word you learned in English?

Probably 'hello', right?

'Hello' is the most basic way to greet someone in English.

There are many different ways to greet people and introduce yourself in English.

In different situations, youll need to use different words and phrases to greet people

or make introductions.

In this lesson, you can learn about greetings and introductions in English and see which

language you should use in different situations.

Imagine that youre on a business trip, and youre meeting some important clients

for the first time.

Or maybe you work in service, for example in a hotel, and you need to talk to guests

and customers.

In these situations, youll want to use more formal language.

Good morning!

You must be Olivier.

Yes, good morning!

Im sorry, and your name is…?

My names Kasia.

Very nice to meet you.

Welcome to Madrid!

Thank you.

How are you today?

Very well, thank you, and yourself?

Im good, thanks for asking.

This dialogue uses more formal language.

Can you see what makes it formal?

First, I started by saying good morning.

The greetings good morning, good afternoon and good evening are quite formal and are

generally only used in formal situations.

Theres one exception: you can sometimes use good morning informally with people you


However, its common in this situation to simply say 'morning'.

Can you see any other examples of formal language in this dialogue?

There are many.

Firstly, I asked Kasias name by saying, and your name is…?

This is more formal than asking whats your name?

After she introduced herself, Kasia said very nice to meet you.

Saying nice to meet you is neutralneither formal nor informal.

However, adding very makes it sound much more formal.

One word can make a big difference!

I introduced myself with a full sentence: My names Kasia.

When speaking less formally, youd use a shorter introduction, like Im Kasia or

just Kasia.

After I introduced myself, I said Welcome to Madrid.

Does this sound formal or informal to you?

Its quite formal.

Do you know why it's formal?

Again, its a small change which makes a big difference.

Saying welcome by itself is neutralits not formal.

However, adding to and a place makes it sound much more formal.

So, if you say, Welcome to our office! that sounds formal, while if you just say, Welcome!

it doesnt sound so formal.

Its common when greeting someone in English to ask some kind of how are you question.

Do you remember what Kasia asked me?

She asked How are you today?

Again, one word makes the differencedo you know which one?

Its today.

Asking how are you is neutral.

Adding today makes it sound more formal.

My answer, Very well, thank you, also sounds quite formal.

If I was speaking more neutrally, Id say something like, Well, thanks.

Adding very and saying thank you instead of thanks makes it sound more formal.

Finally, Olivier asked me how are you back.

Do you remember how he did it?

He asked, and yourself?

This is more formal than asking and you?

I replied and said thanks for asking.

You wouldnt say thanks for asking in a more informal situation.

So, youve seen here how small changes can make a big difference to how formal your language


Remember that formality doesnt just depend on the words you use; other things like tone

of voice and body language are also important.

Next, lets look at how to handle greetings and introductions in a neutral way.

Neutralmeans neither formal nor informal.

For example, imagine youre at work, and you meet a new colleague.

Youre the same age and youre in the same department.

This is an example of a neutral situation.

You dont need to be very formal, but you also wouldnt want to sound too casual.



Are you Olivier?

Yes, thats right.

Whats your name?


Nice to meet you.

And you.

How are you?

Fine, thanks, and you?

Im good, thanks.

First, compare this dialogue to the formal one from part one.

They follow the same pattern, but this dialogue is much less formal.

Can you see the differences?

First, we started with a neutral greeting, hello.

You can use hello in any situation.

Then, I asked Olivier his name with a simple question, Whats your name?

Hello, whats your namepretty easy, right?

Thats because neutral language is generally the simplest language.

If you compare the two dialogues, you can see that this neutral dialogue is shorter

than the formal dialogue you saw in part one.

This is very common: formal language is often longer and more complex.

Neutral language is short and simple.

You can see this throughout the dialogue: we use the basic words and phrases that you

probably learned in lesson one of your English classes at school: nice to meet you; how are

you; fine, thanks; and so on.

Okay, so now youve learned about the differences between formal and neutral greetings and introductions.

What about informal greetings and introductions?

Informal greetings and introductions are useful if you know someone well, or if youre meeting

someone in a casual situation.

For example, if youre hanging out with some friends, and your friends introduce you

to one of their friends, you would probably use informal language.

Lets see how this works:





Your name?


Good to meet you.

You too.

How you doing?

Yeah, not bad.


Pretty good!

So, what do you notice here?

The first thing you can see is that the dialogue is even shorter than the neutral dialogue

you saw in part two.

We both used a lot of short questions and sentences.

For example:


Your name?

How you doing?


These are fine in informal speech, and native speakers often shorten sentences and questions

like this.

However, you wouldnt do this in a more formal situation.

There are also several phrases which you wouldnt use in a more formal setting, such as:

Hi/Hey Yeah

Not bad Pretty good

These are all good words and phrases to use in an informal situation.

At this point, you could go back and review the three dialogues.

Each dialogue has exactly the same structureonly the language is different.

See how you can use different words and phrases to greet people and introduce yourself with

different levels of formality.


Lets look at one more thing.

When youre making introductions, you might also need to introduce another person.

Lets see how you can do that in formal, neutral, or informal ways.

Heres a very formal introduction.

Let me introduce my colleague, Kasia.

Heres another very formal way to introduce someone:

May I introduce my colleague, Olivier?

What about neutral introductions?

This is Kasia.

Heres another way to make in introduction using neutral language.

Have you met Olivier?

Finally, what about informal introductions?

In informal situations, you might not introduce people at all.

You might just let them introduce themselves, or you might prompt them to introduce themselves

by asking something like:

Have you guys met?

Do you two know each other?

If you want to make an informal introduction, the most common way is just to say the two

peoples names, then say them again in reverse.

For example, imagine youre introducing two people called John and Emma to each other.

You could say:

John, Emma.

Emma, John.

So now, you should understand how to greet people and introduce yourself or someone else

in different situations.

Do you want more practice with this topic?

Check out the full version of this lesson on our website: Oxford Online

See you next time!

Thanks for watching!

The Description of English Greetings and Introductions - Spoken English