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GREETINGS AND SMALL TALK
Good morning / Good afternoon / Good Evening / Hi there!
Mister (Mr.) / Miss (panna) / Mrs. (pani) / Ms [m-z] – kobieta
– How do you do?
– How do you do?
How are you?
How you doing?
See you later / See you soon / See you tomorrow
Introducing yourself and other people
When you meet someone for the first time, and they do not already know who you are, you can introduce yourself by saying who you are. You may need to say `Hello’ or make a remark first.
`I’m Helmut,’ said the boy. `I’m Edmond Dorf,’ I said.
Come with me, sir. I’m the captain.
`I don’t think we’ve met, have we? Are you visiting here?’—`Yes. I’m Philip Swallow.’
I had better introduce myself. I am Colonel Marc Rodin.
May I introduce myself? The Reverend John Hunt.
You must be the Kirks. My name’s Macintosh.
In formal situations, people sometimes say `How do you do?’ when introducing themselves.
I’m Nigel Jessop. How do you do?
introducing other people
If you are introducing people who have not met each other before, you say `This is…’. You introduce each person, unless you have already told one of them who they are going to meet.
`This is Bernadette, Mr Zapp,’ said O’Shea.
You use an appropriate form of each person’s name, depending on how formal the occasion is. See entry at Names and titles.
Note that `these’ is rarely used, although you might say, for example, `These are my children’. When you are introducing a couple, you can use `this’ once instead of repeating it.
This is Mr Dixon and Miss Peel.
You can just say the name of the person or people you are introducing, indicating with your hand which one you mean.
more formal introductions
If you need to be more formal, you first say something like `May I introduce my brother’, `Let me introduce you to my brother’, or `I’d like to introduce my brother’.
By the way, may I introduce my wife? Karin — Mrs Stannard, an old friend.
Let me introduce everybody to everybody. My brother, Rudolph; my sister, Gretchen; my wife, Teresa; my manager, Mr Schultz.
Bill, I’d like to introduce Charlie Citrine.
You can also say `I’d like you to meet…’.
Officer O’Malley, I’d like you to meet Ted Peachum.
more casual introductions
A more casual way of introducing someone is to say something like `You haven’t met John Smith, have you?’, `You don’t know John, do you?’, or `I don’t think you know John, do you?’
`I don’t think you know Colonel Daintry.’—`No. I don’t think we’ve met. How do you do?’
If you are not quite sure whether an introduction is necessary, you can say something like `Have you met…?’ or `Do you two know each other?’
`Do you know my husband, Ken?’—`Hello. I don’t think I do.’
If you are fairly sure that the people have met each other before, you say something like `You know John, don’t you?’ or `You’ve met John, haven’t you?’
Hello, come in. You’ve met Paul.
responding to an introduction
When you have been introduced to someone, you both say `Hello’. If you are both young and in an informal situation, you can say `Hi’. If you are in a formal situation, you can say `How do you do?’
`Francis, this is Father Sebastian.’—`Hello, Francis,’ Father Sebastian said, offering his hand.
How do you do? Elizabeth has spoken such a lot about you.
People sometimes say `Pleased to meet you’ or `Nice to meet you’, especially in more formal situations.
Pleased to meet you, Doctor Floyd.
It’s so nice to meet you, Edna. Ginny’s told us so much about you.
Greetings and goodbyes
The usual way of greeting someone is to say `Hello’. You can add `How are you?’ or another comment or question.
Hello there, Richard, how are you today?
Hello, Luce. Had a good day?
Note that the greeting `How do you do?’ is used only by people who are meeting each other for the first time. See entry at Introducing yourself and other people.
A more informal way of greeting someone is to say `Hi’ or `Hiya’.
`Hi,’ said Brody. `Come in.’
`Hi’ and `Hiya’ are more common in American English than in British English.
You can use other informal expressions to greet friends when you meet them unexpectedly after not seeing them for a long time.
Well, look who’s here!
Well, well, it is nice to see you again.
If you meet someone in a place where you did not expect to see them, you can say `Fancy seeing you here.’
When you greet someone formally, the greeting you use depends on what time of day it is. You say `Good morning’ until about one o’clock. `Good afternoon’ is normal from about one o’clock until about six o’clock. After six o’clock you say `Good evening’.
Good morning. I can give you three minutes. I have to go out.
Good evening. I’d like a table for four, please.
These greetings are often used by people who are making formal telephone calls, or introducing a television programme or other event.
`Good afternoon. William Foux and Company.’—`Good afternoon. Could I speak to Mr Duff, please?’
Good evening. I am Brian Smith and this is the second of a series of programmes about the University of Sussex.
You can make these expressions less formal by omitting `Good’.
You only say `Goodnight’ when you are leaving someone in the evening or going to bed. You do not use `Goodnight’ to greet someone.
`Good day’ is old-fashioned and rather formal in British English, although it is more common in American English and Australian English.
`Welcome’ can be used on its own or in the ways shown below to greet someone who has just arrived. It is quite formal.
Welcome to Peking.
Welcome home, Marsha.
replying to a greeting
The usual way of replying to a greeting is to use the same word or expression.
`Hello, Sydney.’—`Hello, Yakov! It’s good to see you.’
`Good afternoon, Superintendent. Please sit down.’—`Good afternoon, sir.’
If the other person has also asked you a question, you can just answer the question.
`Hello, Barbara, did you have a good shopping trip?’—`Yes, thanks.’
`Hello. May I help you?’—`Yes, I’d like a table, please.’
`Good morning. And how are you this fine day?’—`Very well, thank you.’
Note that if someone says `How are you?’ to you, you say something brief like `Fine, thanks’, unless they are a close friend and you know they will be interested in details of your life and health. It is polite to add `How are you?’ or `And you?’
greetings on special days
There are particular expressions which you use to give someone your good wishes on special occasions such as Christmas, Easter, or their birthday.
At Christmas, you say `Happy Christmas’ or `Merry Christmas’. At New Year, you say `Happy New Year’. At Easter, you say `Happy Easter’. You reply by repeating the greeting, or saying something like `And a happy Christmas to you too’ or `And you!’
If it is someone’s birthday, you can say `Happy Birthday’ to them, or `Many happy returns’. When someone says this to you, you reply by saying `Thank you’.
You say `Goodbye’ to someone when you or they are leaving.
`Goodbye, dear,’ Miss Saunders said.
At night, you can say `Goodnight’.
`Well, I must be off.’—`Goodnight, Moses dear.’
`Well, goodnight, Flora.’—`Goodnight, Howard.’
People also say `Goodnight’ to people in the same house before they go to bed.
In modern English, `Good morning’, `Good afternoon’, and `Good evening’ are not used to say goodbye.
`Bye’ is commonly used as an informal way of saying goodbye.
See you about seven. Bye.
`Bye-bye’ is even more informal. It is used between close relatives and friends, and to children.
Bye-bye, dear; see you tomorrow.
If you expect to meet the other person again soon, you can say things like `See you’, `See you later’, `See you soon’, `See you around’, or `I’ll be seeing you.’
See you later maybe.
Must go in now. See you tomorrow.
See you in the morning, Quent.
Some people say `So long’.
`Well. So long.’ He turned and walked back to the car.
You can say `Take care’, `Take care of yourself’, or `Look after yourself’ when you are saying goodbye to a friend or relative.
`Look after yourself, Ginny dear.’—`You, too, Mother.’
Many speakers of American English use the expression `Have a nice day’ to say goodbye to people they do not know as friends. For example, employees in some shops and restaurants say it to customers.
`Have a nice day.’—`Thank you.’
`Cheers’ and `cheerio’ are used by speakers of British English.
See you at six, then. Cheers!
I’ll give Brigadier Sutherland your regards. Cheerio.
When you are saying goodbye to someone you do not know very well, you can use a more formal expression such as `I look forward to seeing you again soon’ or `It was nice meeting you.’
I look forward to seeing you in Washington. Goodbye.
It was nice meeting you, Dimitri. Hope you have a good trip back.
It was nice seeing you again.
When you talk to someone, you sometimes use their name. You can sometimes use their title, if they have one. Sometimes you use a word that shows how you feel about them, for example `darling’ or `idiot’. Words used to address people are called vocatives.
Vocatives are not as common in English as in some other languages. They are less common in British English than in American English.
position of vocatives
If you use a vocative, you usually use it at the end of a sentence.
I told you he was okay, Phil.
Where are you staying, Mr Swallow?
When you want to get someone’s attention, you use a vocative at the beginning of a sentence.
John, how long have you been at the university?
Dad, why have you got that suit on?
A vocative can also be used between clauses or after the first group of words in a clause. People often do this to emphasize the importance of what they are saying.
I must remind you, Mrs Babcock, that I did warn you of possible repercussions from failure to take your medication.
Don’t you think, John, it would be wiser to wait?
When you are writing speech down, you separate a vocative from words in front of it or after it using a comma.
Don’t leave me, Jenny.
John, do you think that there are dangers associated with this policy?
addressing someone you do not know
If you want to say something to someone you do not know, for example in the street or in a shop, you do not usually use a vocative at all. You say `Excuse me’ if you need to attract their attention. For more information about the use of `Excuse me’, see entry at Apologizing.
In modern English, the titles `Mr’, `Mrs’, `Miss’, and `Ms’ are only used in front of names. You should not use them on their own to address people you do not know, nor should you use `gentleman’ or `lady’. You should not use `sir’ or `madam’ either; these words are normally only used by people who work in shops to address customers politely.
It is usually considered old-fashioned to use a word that indicates the person’s job, such as `officer’ (to a policeman). However, `doctor’ and `nurse’ can be used.
Is he all right, doctor?
Some people use `you’ to address someone whose name they do not know, but this is very impolite.
addressing someone you know
If you know the surname of the person you are talking to, you can address them using their title (usually `Mr’, `Mrs’, or `Miss’) and surname. This is fairly formal.
Thank you, Mr Jones.
Goodbye, Dr Kirk.
Titles showing a person’s rank can be used without a surname after them.
I’m sure you have nothing to worry about, Professor.
Good evening, Captain.
Is that clear, Sergeant?
`Mr’ and `Madam’ are sometimes used in front of the titles `President’, `Chairman’, `Chairwoman’, and `Chairperson’.
No, Mr President.
See entry at Names and titles for information on titles that are used with names.
People do not usually address other people using their first name and surname. The only people who use this form of address are presenters of radio and television programmes talking to their guests.
If you know someone well, you can address them using their first name. However, people do not usually do this in the course of an ordinary conversation, unless they want to make it clear who they are talking to.
What do you think, John?
Shut up, Simon!
It’s not a joke, Angela.
Short, informal forms of people’s names, such as `Jenny’ and `Mike’, are sometimes used as vocatives. However, you should not use a form like this unless you are sure that the person does not object to it.
People address their parents and grandparents using a noun that shows their relationship to them.
Someone’s got to do it, mum.
The following list shows the commonest nouns that people use to address their parents and grandparents:
mother: Mum, Mummy, Mother, father: Dad, Daddy, grandmother: Gran, Grannie, Grandma, Nan, Nanna, grandfather: Grandad, Grandpa
`Aunt’ and `Uncle’ are also used as vocatives, usually in front of the person’s first name. The more informal word `Auntie’ (or `Aunty’) can be used on its own.
This is Ginny, Aunt Bernice.
Goodbye, Uncle Harry.
I’m sorry, Auntie Jane.
Nouns indicating other family relationships, such as `daughter’, `brother’, and `cousin’ are not used as vocatives.
addressing a group of people
If you want to address a group of people formally, for example at a meeting, you say `ladies and gentlemen’ (or `ladies’ or `gentlemen’, if the group is not mixed).
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
If you want to address a group of people informally, you can use `everyone’ or `everybody’, although it is not necessary to use any vocative.
I’m so terribly sorry, everybody.
If you want to address a group of children or young people, you can use `kids’. You can use `boys’ or `girls’ if the group is not mixed.
Come and say `How do you do?’ to our guest, kids.
Give Mr Hooper a chance, boys.
Girls, a really bad thing has come up.
The use of `children’ as a vocative is formal.
vocatives showing dislike
People show dislike, contempt, or impatience using nouns and combinations of nouns and adjectives as vocatives, usually with `you’ in front of them.
No, you fool, the other way.
Shut your big mouth, you stupid idiot.
Give it to me, you silly girl.
vocatives showing affection
Vocatives showing affection are usually used by themselves.
Come on, love.
Some people use `my’ or the person’s name in front of affectionate vocatives, but this usually sounds old-fashioned or humorous.
We’ve got to go, my dear.
Oh Harold darling, why did he die?
People who are serving in shops, or providing a service to the public, sometimes politely call male customers or clients `sir’ and female ones `madam’.
A liqueur of any kind, sir?
`Thank you very much.’—`You’re welcome, madam.’
A number of words, such as `love’, `dear’, and `mate’, are used by people in informal situations to address other people, including people they do not know. These vocatives are often characteristic of a region or a social group, or both.
She’ll be all right, mate.
Trust me, kid.
You are advised not to use any of these vocatives, because they would sound inappropriate from someone who is not a native speaker from a particular region.
Źródło: (c) HarperCollins Publishers.