Mostly in English, conversation starts with “hi”, a shorter version of “hello”. It is an informal way of speaking, but nowadays “Hi” is so much popular, no matter who we are meeting to we can anywhere and anytime start a conversation with this short word. It must be noted also, that in many countries people say “Hello” only once a day, e.g. in Georgia it is common when we meet a person several times a day, we do not use Georgian “Gamarjoba” (hello) each time when we meet the same person. But it is not the same in English, we use “hi/hello” all the time.
“Good Bye” or “Bye-Bye” or just “Bye” is as popular and often used as “Hi”. So, no matter how many times you are parting a person you need to say “Bye” or “See You”. The latter term is more informal and is used among friends. So, one can say, there are as many Hellos as Byes in English language.
“Howdy” or “How do you do” and “Cheerio”, – nowadays these terms are not used at all, although we might meet these words in non-English countries where people were taught the language at old times and think it is still used in native English speaking countries.
“Howdy”, “How do you do” or “Good Day” means Hello and were used while meeting, whereas, “Cheerio” was used as while meeting as well as while saying good-bye. We can forget these two terms for today and move to other salutations.
Good Morning or just Morning, is used in the morning after the sun rises and before noon., From the word “noon” the term Afternoon can be formed, and we have another greeting – Good Afternoon or just Afternoon, which you might already have guessed, is used after noon – 12 p.m., and before evening. Noon in English means 12 o’clock sharp. So, anytime we are asked what time it is and it is 12 o’clock, we may simply answer: “It’s noon”. Ah, did I mention the word “evening”? We know the meaning of this word, probably but do we know where this word comes from? The word “eve” means previous day, for instant Christmas Eve is the day or evening before Christmas. I have no idea where the suffix “ning” came from but Good Evening or Evening you might already have guessed is used after afternoon and before night. And a few words about Midnight; Midnight is exactly 12 a.m., the middle of the night. However, aforementioned Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening if is used only for salutations Good Night or simply Night (informal Nite) is used while parting or instead of saying Bye.
Other terms such as: Sleep Tight, Sleep Well or Sweet Dreams are used when we know person is going to sleep.
Here I would like to introduce you to the phrase “May I Introduce You To”. We use this term when we want to introduce one person to another. And after meeting with the introduced person we may say: “Nice to meet you” or “It’s a great pleasure” or just “pleasure to meet you”.
Let’s have a look at “Send my regards to” or “Give (smb) a kiss from me” or “Say hello to” and “Looking forward to (ing)” and remember which prepositions are followed to each phrase. One notable thing about “Looking forward to (ing)” is the exception in English grammar, which requires verb with “ing” after this phrase, e.g. “Looking forward to seeing you”. These terms can be used in conversation as well as when closing an e-mail or a letter.
Now, a few words about writing e-mails or letters. When we start an e-mail or letter, the opening salutation is placed at the left side of the page. The usual form is e.g. “Dear XXXX” if we know the name of a person; in case the addressee is known for us we write “Dear Sir/Madam”, and the comma (,) follows the salutation and the body of the letter begins beneath it and usually is indented. Subsequent paragraphs follow the same pattern. In an informal letter/e-mail, the writer generally uses contractions e.g. “I’m sorry”, (instead of “I am sorry”).
Closing wishes are placed at the left side at the end of the page. Typical endings are: “Yours, Yours Sincerely, Yours faithfully, (neutral), Best Wishes, Best Regards, (friendly), All the best, See you soon, (more familiar) Love, Love and Kisses, Kisses and Hugs (xoxo) (more affectionate); and “All my love” (“darlings” only). In the end, we write our name (familiar) or along with surname (formal) beneath the closing wishes.
So, my dear devoted readers, sending you best wishes and hope this article was a little bit of help. I look forward to offering you another article very soon, it was a great pleasure for me to present my article and share with you.
By Natia Tananashvili
BBC – BEST BRITISH CENTRE