Best Ways to End an Email in English

Many of our students ask us “What is the best way to end an email in English?” 

Well, the answer is it depends. Is it a formal communication? How well do you know the person? Is it a professional email? There is a lot to consider!  However, let’s not overthink it! Most times you won’t offend anyone too badly with the wrong kind of closing:) Are you stressed about how to end an email in English? Before we get into the options, let’s discuss the context of your communication.

 

Who are we talking to and why?

So this is the way I think about it. The context will dictate how formal you want to be. Consider two things. 

  1. How close are you to the person(s) you are emailing?
  2. What is your relationship to them?

This will determine how formal or informal to be when ending an email. If it’s not someone you know very well, you probably want to err on the side of caution and be more formal with a closing. When you are emailing a friend, it’s probably OK to be very casual. If you are emailing someone in a professional context (say a customer or your boss), even if you know them very well you may want to be formal just to show a sign of respect.

Here is a short list of common email endings or closing (in English) and what they mean.

 

9 Ways to End an Email in English

Sincerely This is a classic formal closing that harkens back to when people actually wrote letters with pen and paper:) It’s a go to closing for business emails to clients, colleagues and other professionals. To be sincere, means to be genuine… like you mean what you say.
Respectfully This is a very formal way to end an email in English. Respectfully, Respectfully Yours or With Respect, these all mean that you have a lot of respect for the person you are emailing. This is something you’d use when applying for a job. 
Regards Regards, Warm Regards and Best Regards are ways to say that you are thinking of your audience, but in a very polite and formal way.    
Best Wishes This is a nice thing to say… nothing wrong with wishing someone the best! It is considered formal, but also very personal. You would typically use it when there’s closure though. Use Best Wishes if it might be awhile before you see or talk to someone again. 
Thank You In my opinion Thank You is somewhat neutral when it comes to being formal or informal. It is a very versatile closing that shows respect, care and appreciation. Of course if you shorten it to Thanks it becomes less formal. 
Cheers In America Cheers is more often something you say when you are raising your glass and making a toast. However, if you are British or Australian it’s commonly used as a casual closing for an email. 
Take Care Take Care is a nice and simple way to close an email. Sometimes you hear someone say this at the end of a phone call. It’s a roundabout way of wishing that no harm comes to them… or simply wishing them well.
XOXO Hugs and Kisses is a super casual way to close a message. It really should only be used with close friends and family. You wouldn’t want someone to get the wrong idea!
Nothing More often than not, it’s OK to close with NOTHING. Especially if your email communication is more like an exchange or conversation thread. Sometimes you may just put your name at the bottom or nothing at all. It’s not very formal, but totally acceptable… especially in this day and age where everyone is trying to save time.

What else can we help you with?

With the world becoming more connected, communication is as important as ever. Especially when it comes to using English in business. If you are a professional that needs help speaking English with the right pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary, try Lingoloop. Need help with emails, a presentation or maybe an interview? We can help!

Our expert teachers are ready to help you feel good speaking English! You won’t believe what our students are saying about us… 

Internet Slang Quiz

Slang on the Internet?

There are so many acronyms and slang people use to communicate on the Internet. Initially these were abbreviations for longer phrases, but people nearly treat them like they are actual words! Take our Lingoloop Internet slang quiz below and test how well you speak Internet:)

 

I hope you enjoyed our quiz. If you want to brush up on your slang and learn to speak like a native speaker, sign up for a Lingoloop free trial class. Practicing real English conversations with our expert tutors over video chat will improve your skills and boost your confidence quickly!

 

How to Speak About Politics in English Without Upsetting Anyone

The conventional wisdom in America is that there are three things you should never discuss: politics, religion, and money. All three of these are controversial topics that many people believe you should only bring up with your closest friends and family.

Politics is on this list because the politicians and issues you support often reflect your values, or things you think are most important in life. A conversation about these important issues can make people very emotional (especially when they don’t share your values), and there are some places, such as the workplace, where you want to be careful about offending people.

Even so, there is SO MUCH political news in a presidential election year like 2020. In addition to knowing the right political words in English you need to know the right way to say them! The topic will come up, so… how do you talk about it without upsetting anyone? We have three pieces of advice.

Our first piece of advice: stick to the facts!

For example, you can talk about what a candidate says about a specific issue, but try to avoid saying how you feel about that. Be careful expressing your own opinions.

Our second piece of advice: know these important terms and phrases!

1. Who is running for office?

“Running for office” is an English idiom that means someone has entered an election race. This race isn’t for the fastest time but instead for the most votes. The candidate with the most votes wins the race!

2. How many people are in the race?

America is a “two-party system”. Those two “political parties” are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. In the “general election” (usually in November) it will usually be one Republican versus one Democrat. Although sometimes you may see other parties on the “ballot,” usually only a Republican or Democrat wins and gets the job. On “election day,” the voters “go to the polls” (each neighborhood has a location to which residents can go) and “cast their votes.”

Before the general election is the “primary.” This is when certain people (the “candidates”) run for the chance to represent the Democrats or Republicans in the general election. The candidate who wins a primary also “wins the nomination.” That winner is now the “nominee” and heads to the general election.

3. Who is the dark horse? Who is the frontrunner? Who is the underdog?

A “dark horse” candidate is one who starts with very little support but then gains enough support to potentially win the race. This term is also used in sports tournaments. The “frontrunner” is the person who is currently most likely to win the race. The “underdogs” (another sports term) are anyone who is not the frontrunner (and are therefore not as likely to win the race). An underdog can become a dark horse and even win the nomination!

4. Are they “on the left” or “on the right”?

When we say someone is “on the left” or “left-wing” it means they are “liberal.” In America, that means the Democratic Party. Liberals generally believe in “large government” that collects higher taxes and offers more services. They are also said to have “bleeding hearts,” meaning that they feel sympathy for people who are disadvantaged and want to protect minority rights. Being “on the right” or “right-wing” refers to “conservatives.” In America, that is the Republican party (or, “GOP – Grand Old Party”). Conservatives tend to believe in “small government” and lower taxes, preferring that people pay private companies for services rather than paying taxes to the government for the same things. They also tend to believe in maintaining “the way things are” rather than risking change, especially in terms of culture. The parties also both have mascots: a donkey for Democrats and an elephant for Republicans.

5. Do they have bipartisan support?

When something is “partisan” it means that only people from one party support it (and people from the other party do not support it). Conversely, “bipartisan” means it has support from both parties. Most people register to vote as either Republicans or Democrats which means that they can vote in their party’s primary. However, in the general election everyone can vote for whomever they want. When a candidate gets votes not only from their party but also from the other party, this is called “bipartisan support.”

6. What are they running for?

In America, the “legislative branch” writes the laws. This branch is broken up into “the House” (the House of Representatives) and the Senate. All of these positions are won in elections by the candidate who gets the most votes. The “federal branch” is run by the president, who is also elected but through a very complicated process called the Electoral College. Generally the candidate with the most votes wins but this doesn’t always happen: in 2000 and 2016, for example, the candidate who won the electoral college – and therefore the presidency – actually lost the “popular vote”.

7. Who are the “swing voters” and what are “swing states”?

“Swing voters” are people who are undecided through the course of a “campaign” (or, election cycle). They could swing from one party to the other and nobody knows for sure what their vote will be! These voters are therefore focused on a lot by candidates in the general election. “Swing states” are states that could go one direction or the other in the Electoral College. There are only a handful of these states and they get by far the most attention from the presidential candidates.

8. Who will get the most voter turnout?

If a candidate can’t persuade swing voters to vote for them, another way to win an election is “voter turnout.” In America, while all adult citizens have the “right to vote,” many people do not actually vote. Voter turnout is the measure of how many people actually voted in a given election. High voter turnout means a lot of people came to the polls to cast their vote for a candidate; low voter turnout is the opposite.

9. It’s all about spin.

In politics, as in life, there is what actually happens and then there is what people believe happened. In between those two things is “spin” – when people try to change the way you think about what just happened. Usually these people work for the candidates. Their job after an event – such as a “debate” where candidates discuss political issues on stage – is to go on tv and spin what happened in favor of their candidate.

These words and phrases should help you to discuss the facts of the election… which shouldn’t offend anyone 🙂

Our third piece of advice: practice talking politics in a Lingoloop online English class.

Practicing real conversations with our expert tutors is going to improve your English and build your confidence quickly! Sign up for a free trial class today!

4 Different Ways to Say No in English

 

“No” is a powerful word. It’s so powerful that most people know what it means even if they don’t speak English!

When you say it, it gives you control of the conversation, or at least makes you feel in control of the conversation. Because of its power, replying with just “no” is not always the best option. The situation really determines the best response. 

 

  • Is it a casual or formal situation? 
  • How well do you know the person? 
  • Are you completely uninterested, or might you be interested in the future? 
  • Is your opinion or preference being considered?

 

All of these factors help determine the best way to say “no.” Here are some alternatives to just a simple “no” and what they really mean.

Nope

“Nope” is very informal in English – a single word answer. It is usually used in a situation where preference is not considered. You can use it when you mean “No” very confidently.

 

Examples of when to use it – 

Person 1: “Did the package arrive?” 

Person 2: “Nope.”

Person 1: “Is that your mess?”

Person 2: “Nope”

 

Example of when not to use it – 

Person 1: “Do you want to go see a movie tonight?”

Person 2: “Nope, I already have plans.”  

People will be able to understand you, but this doesn’t sound natural because you’re stating your preference, and it is more than a one-word response. 

 

I’m good

“I’m good” is also informal. It is used in a situation where preference is considered. 

Examples of when to use it – 

Person 1: “Can I offer you another glass of wine?”

Person 2: “I’m good.”

Person 1: “Do you want to go on a walk with us?”

Person 2: “I’m good.”  

 

Example of when not to use it – 

Person 1: “Did the package arrive?”

Person 2: “I’m good.”

This doesn’t make sense because the question does not ask for your preference. 

 

No way

“No way” is very informal and is usually used in a conditional situation (would, could).

Examples of when to use it – 

Person 1: “Would you ever go to Antarctica?”

Person 2: “No way.”

Person 1: “Could you lift up that car?”

Person 2: “No way.”

 

Example of when not to use it – 

Person 1: “Do you want to go to dinner tonight?”

Person 2: “No way.”

Although this does make sense, it would sound rude in this situation. “No way” should only be used to answer a questions like this if you do not want to interact with the person anymore.

 

 

I wish, but…

“I wish, but…” is used when you want to be polite and explain your reason for saying no.

Examples of when to use it – 

Person 1: “Do you want to go to the beach this weekend?”  

Person 2: “I wish, but I have to work on Saturday.” 

Person 1: “Is that your dog?”

Person 2: “I wish, but I am allergic to dogs, so I cannot have one as a pet.”

Example of when not to use it – 

Person 1: “Did you get food poisoning from the restaurant?”

Person 2: “I wish, but… “

This does not make sense because there really is no reason why you would have wanted to get sick!

Of course there are many more ways to say “no.” These are just a few examples to show that different situations require different answers. A simple “no” won’t always be the best choice. Our students often ask us about the best words to use in various situations, so that they can be confident when speaking at work, or when they are in a social situation. Bring some questions to your next Lingoloop class! Your tutor will be happy to answer!

Share the Love: 10 Ways to Say I Love You in English

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

Two hundred years later, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s words ring as sweet and true as ever. Valentine’s Day is a special day where we take a moment to smell the roses and appreciate the loved ones in our lives. 

With a mysterious history connected to both the Pagan fertility holiday Lupercalia and the Christian justice fighter St. Valentine, Valentine’s Day is about more than just the romance of flowers, chocolates and gifts. It’s about sharing love of all sorts. How will you share the love this Valentine’s Day? Here are Lingoloop’s 10 ways to show you care… in English!

You are the apple of my eye.

This is a way to show that you love someone most. It is common for parents to say this to children.

You’re sweet as sugar.

The kindness of family can be described as “sweet.” And there’s nothing sweeter than sugar!

I’ve got a crush on you.

If you don’t know someone well, but you think they are attractive and would like to get to know them better, you might have a “crush.”

I’ve fallen for you.

If you’re in a new relationship and discover that you have romantic feelings for someone, you might use this phrase.

We were meant to be.

If you love someone so much that you feel like fate or a higher power brought you together, this is a good phrase to use.

My love for you knows no bounds.

When you love someone so much that you feel like nothing could ever change it, try this phrase.

I’m crazy about you.

Beyonce knows all about being Crazy in Love. If you find yourself thinking about someone constantly, you might feel a little crazy. This phrase expresses that in a sweet way.

You complete me.

You know that feeling… that feeling when someone makes you feel whole.

I love you to the moon and back!

That’s a whole lot of love! This phrase is a way to show that you love someone as much as the distance to the moon…and back.

I’m entirely enamored.

There’s a bit of whimsy and mystique to this fancy way to say that you have deep, loving feelings for someone.

Would you like to share the gift of confidence? Or are you interested in falling in love with your own English speaking skills? Connect to a Lingoloop tutor online and practice real conversations that will help you build the skills you need to share your love in the English language.

 

10 everyday business acronyms, what they mean and how to use them

Do you think I could borrow your extra hand for my exam?

 

Short and sweet… let’s use some acronyms 

In today’s fast-paced world, acronyms and abbreviations are heavily used… especially in Business English. Just like investors want to invest as little money as possible to make a profit, people want to use as few characters (or words) as possible to express their meaning, especially when typing an email or a text message. 

Whether you are learning English for business or just for fun, knowing these 10 everyday business acronyms, what they mean and how to use them will help you communicate with native English speakers.

FYI

 

“For your information” or FYI is one of the most common acronyms used in business and communication in general. You may get a forwarded email from a co-worker with these 3 letters and nothing else! Usually what this means is that the sender of the message simply wanted to “keep you in the loop” and let you know that something happened. 

Or someone may start a sentence with “FYI” so that they don’t have to say “for your information” to save time (and breath).

“FYI your boss left you a voicemail. She was looking for you earlier.”

‘FYI Lingoloop offers online English classes, not in-person classes.”

 

BTW

 

Like FYI, “By the way” or BTW is an acronym used to inform someone of something as well.

“BTW, the memos were sent out at the end of last week.”

“BTW, I checked my notes and I don’t have her phone number.”

 

IMHO

 

“In my humble opinion” is used when you want to signal to someone that you are voicing your own perspective. For example: 

“IMHO, brunch is overrated.”

“We should have fired him years ago IMHO.”

While the word “humble” means to be respectful or deferential, sometimes IMHO can be used in a proud (not so humble) or snide way… So make sure you understand the context!

 

ASAP

 

“As soon as possible” or ASAP is a classic acronym that is used in all walks of life. When you want something ASAP, you want it right away!

“Sorry sir, we will get you a room ASAP!”

“I’m hoping we will know the test results ASAP.”

 

IOU

 

IOU is short for “I owe you.” It is often used as a noun to express a debt. AN IOU can be have a monetary value (like if you borrow $5 from someone). It can also have a non-monetary value, like if a friend helps you with a task, you may repay them in kind by offering to help them on their next project. 

“Thanks for covering for me, I’ll give you an IOU.”

“Hey Jimmy this is the last time. Next time you’ll have to start paying back these IOUs.”

 

TBD

 

If something is TBD or “to be determined” it has not yet been decided. Sometimes you will see TBD on a schedule. Let’s say you are looking at a calendar of events. The date and/or time may be printed, but perhaps the location is TBD. 

 

ETA

 

ETA or “estimated time of arrival” is a popular acronym used when you want to know when something will be finished or when someone will arrive.

“Mom, I’ll wait for you outside in the parking lot. What’s your ETA?”

“Do you have an ETA for when that report will be finished?” 

 

EOD

 

EOD or “end of day” is another acronym related to time. It’s usually used to express a deadline.

“I’ll have that report to you by EOD Friday.”

“I see that the package will be delivered by EOD.”

 

FTR

 

You don’t see FTR or “for the record” that often, but it does appear from time to time. Sometimes when someone is trying to argue, or defend a position, they will say “for the record” to express a fact that supports their opinion. 

“I know you think it’s my fault, but FTR I sent the invoice yesterday, before the deadline.”

“FTR I told HR (Human Resources) about this problem two months ago.”

 

KISS

 

“Keep it simple stupid” or KISS is a principle that means sometimes simplicity is best. Systems that are overly complicated in design have a greater risk of failure. It’s very much related to the expression “too many moving parts” which was covered in our last blog post. The KISS acronym is not used as an abbreviated phrase to shorten a sentence like some of the other examples. We included it because it’s an important concept and phrase that’s useful in business and life in general.

To review, people use these business acronyms to simplify their writing – to get their point across in as few words as possible. So, keep it simple stupid, IMHO if you want to improve your English quickly, practice real conversations with our expert tutors at Lingoloop. FYI we have a 5-star google rating🙂

10 popular business English expressions, what they mean and how to use them

English learners have trouble understanding business English expressions. It is because Native English speakers have a colorful way of expressing themselves, especially in business!

Why do people use such indirect ways to express their ideas? One reason is that it’s a shortcut. People in business often say “time is money.” By using these sayings (or idioms) we save time – we rely on people’s shared understanding of these phrases so that we don’t have to go into too much detail.

Another reason people use these expressions is that it shows that you have experience. It’s like you’ve joined a special club of people who know these sayings. Most of our students want to improve their English for work. You want to be in the club, right? Lingoloop is here to help you improve your business English! Here are ten common business English expressions, their meanings and how to use them.

At the end of the day

If I had a nickel for every time I heard this expression, I’d be a millionaire! People love to use this when they are trying to decide what to do or contemplating a plan of action. It is often used to state (or restate) the most important point in an argument.

“At the end of the day, this will require money that we don’t have. So let’s postpone the plan.”

When there are many competing reasons or factors in a decision, often times someone will use this phrase to cut through or simplify the analysis.

“I can appreciate everyone’s thoughts about Amy, but at the end of the day she was the candidate I got along with the best, so I think we should hire her.”

Move the needle

What kind of needle are they talking about? This phrase refers to the indicator meter on machinery (think of the speedometer on your car, or a temperature gauge on a grill). You use this phrase when you are describing whether an action will have a big enough effect.

“I like Bill’s plan to move our accounting software into the cloud, but I just don’t know if it will move the needle on our overall budget.”

Drop the ball

In business there are many English expressions that have to do with sports. “Dropping the ball” is one of the more popular ones. In the sports that involve catching (like football, basketball and baseball), dropping the ball is really bad! You can use it to talk about other people:

“Fred forgot to call the customer back. He really dropped the ball.”

You can also use it to talk about yourself:

“Sorry, I dropped the ball! I should have cc’ed you on that e-mail.”

Good problem to have

This is a weird expression because generally problems are bad to have! In business, it is used to describe a situation where something bad happens because you are making money or your business is growing. It can be used to describe something hypothetical, or in the future:

“If we keep on going at this rate, we’ll have to double our staff, but that will be a good problem to have.”

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater

English expressions can be dramatic and brutal, but that’s why they can be effective in helping you express yourself. This phrase is used to express caution: when you are trying to eliminate something bad, don’t remove something good by accident.

“We need to cut back our spending during this recession, but don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. We still need to operate our core business.”

The big picture

What is this “big picture” and what does it look like? When people talk about the “the big picture” they are not talking about a literal picture or painting. This phrase is used when you want to talk about something at a high level. You may want to revisit the main point of doing something:

“Thanks for all the details, but let’s not forget the big picture. We are doing this to simplify our customer service strategy.”

It is sometimes used to criticize someone’s lack of vision:

“Amy is a tireless worker, but sometimes she forgets the big picture. I need her to channel her work ethic in the right direction.”

People person

Aren’t people just a bunch of persons? This expression is used to describe someone friendly our outgoing – someone who likes to interact with people.

“I’m so glad we hired Janet. She is a real people person. She’s great with customers.”

Lots of moving parts

People love simplicity. They hate things that are complicated. Things with “lots of moving parts” can be difficult to understand or learn:

“I love the new strategy, but the plan has lots of moving parts. I hope the managers will be able to explain it to their teams.”

“Our new digital advertising campaign is great, but there are lots of moving parts. I will need a couple hours to show the team everything we are doing.”

Low hanging fruit

Business people love fruit, especially the ones that hang low! Use this phrase to describe achievable targets:

“Let’s focus on the low hanging fruit. I say we start by selling the new product to our existing customers.”

It can also be used to describe tasks that are easy to complete:

“Before we tackle the large boxes, let’s take care of the little ones. It will be easier if we just take care of the low hanging fruit first.”

Think outside the box

People in business love to talk about the ‘box” and whether their thoughts are on the inside of it. This phrase is used to talk about creativity. Sometimes in order to generate new ideas, you need to change the way you do things. That is what it means to “think outside of the box.”

“Let’s think outside the box. Instead of hiring a tutor to teach English to the staff in person, maybe we can hire Lingoloop to give them online English classes.”

We hope our take on these English phrases was helpful to you! Business people also use many abbreviations or acronyms. Click here to read our post on common business acronyms. Are you ready to learn English “outside of the box” with Lingoloop? Sign up for a free trial class today.

Feeling shy? Overcome your fear of speaking English with these 4 simple tips.

Feeling Shy

Are you asking how to overcome the fear of speaking English?

As a Lingoloop tutor, I talk with English learners everyday about their goals. I also hear about the things that are holding them back from being comfortable speaking English. The number one issue that people mention is shyness. 

I was talking with a student just this week who mentioned that she is able to speak English fluently when she practices alone in her apartment, but as soon as she is around others, she feels shy, freezes, and can’t get her thoughts out. Does this sound familiar? Want to get rid of your fear of speaking English?

So let’s address this very common issue. Here are some simple things you can start doing right now to help you overcome your fears when speaking English, or even when speaking your native language. 

1 – Smile

Sounds simple, right? Well it is! I make this recommendation to both English learners and native-English speakers all the time. Smile! It doesn’t have to be a huge, goofy, toothy grin. Even a slight smile changes the way people perceive you. It shows that you are confident and at ease, even when you are not! Think of it as wearing a mask. Nervousness and shyness are all inside your head. Having a small smile on your face not only makes you look at ease, it actually does make you feel more at ease! Try it right now. Don’t you feel better?

Feeling shy

Just because you feel nervous, you don’t have to appear nervous. Acting confident is the first step to being confident. In time, the nervousness will go away. Also, your smile will most likely make others around you smile. And when you see someone smile back at you, it makes you feel more comfortable and less shy. 

 

2 – Ask Questions

Asking questions is a great way of controlling the conversation and keeping the focus off of you. In our previous blog post, we discuss how a conversation is like tennis. You need to know how to hit the ball back to keep the game going! A great way to do that is to ask questions. People love to talk about themselves, so give them that opportunity! The key is to avoid yes/no questions. Try to ask questions that start with the words who, what, when, where, why, and how. Questions that start with these words open up the conversation and gets the other person talking more, taking the pressure off of you.

 

3 – Prepare 

Good conversationalists aren’t born that way. They take active steps to prepare for various situations. They think of things to say and questions to ask when they are on their way to a social event. They go into situations prepared with content to discuss. You can do the same thing. Before going into a social situation, take a few minutes to read about some current events online. Think of a few interesting things that happened to you that week. Think about some interesting plans you have in the coming months. Have those topics ready for when it is your turn to add to the conversation.

Feeling shy

4 – Practice

To get good at anything, you need to practice. Practice your English with someone you feel comfortable with. It will feel good to practice speaking English in a safe space with someone you trust. A great way to practice is to join a Lingoloop Group class . You will be with other people who are in similar situations as you, and who understand what you are going through. Our expert tutors will guide you through the conversation and help you correct any mistakes that you make along the way.

Sometimes we can’t help feeling shy, but we can change how we respond to that feeling. Take a deep breath, smile, ask questions, be prepared, and practice. By following these simple steps, having conversations in English will get easier each time. Let Lingoloop help you overcome your fear of speaking English! You won’t believe what our students are saying about us!

 

40 ways to say “Hello” in English and the right way to respond

Hi there! Are you looking for some different ways to say “hello” in English? Well, a good conversation in English (or any language) requires some back and forth. Our students consider us the best English class online because we help our students know different ways to say things, but we also prepare them for how to respond or react.

Conversation is like tennis. You need to know how to hit the ball back to keep the game going! Today let’s focus on the beginning of a conversation: the different ways we say “hello” in English and how to respond. 

The Basic “Hello”

There are so many creative ways to say “hello” in English. Whether you are having a casual conversation or preparing for a job interview in English, it’s important to know different ways to start a conversation.

We often start an English conversation with a simple “hello.” You may see someone you know, make eye contact with a stranger, or start a phone conversation with this simple greeting. You may be asking yourself: “What should I say instead of “hello?”

Here are some different ways to say the basic “hello.”

Hello. This is a classic way to greet someone.
Hi. It is the shortest way to say hello.
Hey! This is another short and casual hello, usually used with someone you know.
Hi there!

Hey there!

Another informal hello, “Hi there!” can be used with someone you know well, like a friend, neighbor or co-worker. “Hi there!” can used when greeting someone from a distance, but is also used when you haven’t seen some for a long time.
Hey man!

Hey bro!

Hey girl!

Hey dude!

Hey buddy!

Yo!

Use slang for a casual hello with close friends and acquaintances, but  be careful, not everyone wants to be called “bro” or “girl!” 
Howdy! People in the South use this as an informal way to say hello. 
Hey y’all! In the South people use “y’all” to refer to a group of people. It is short for “you all.”

So what do you say to someone who has just said “hello” to you? Of course you can respond back with “Hello” or “Hi,” but does that move the conversation forward? No it does not!

Remember, we want to hit that tennis ball across the net. Answer a simple “hello” with a question. “How are you?” is a popular way to respond and keep the conversation going. You may want to add a simple “hello” to your response just to acknowledge the person, like “Hi there! How are you?” or “Hey man. What’s up?”

In the next section we will cover different ways to say “How are you?” and the typical responses.

What do people really mean when they ask “How are you?”

When people start off an English conversation with “How are you?” they usually don’t expect you to go into much detail. Think of the “How are you?” question as a simple way to get the conversation going. 

This is what we call “exchanging pleasantries.” We are just warming up with some easy questions and answers. If your conversation partner signals wanting to continue the discussion, answer in more detail later.

The only exception to this rule is if you know your conversation partner really well. They may signal to you that they want more details when they emphasize the word “are” in the question. “How ARE you?” They mean, “How are you REALLY doing?” Here are some different ways to say “How are you?”

How are you? This is the most popular way to ask this question.
How are ya? We use “ya” instead of “you” to make it less formal.
How are things?

How are things going?

How’s it going?

What’s going on?

Sometimes we ask the question “How are you?” indirectly. We do this to be informal and signal comfort with our conversation partner. You are also inviting them to answer the question in any way they’d like. 
How have you been? This is just another way to ask “How are you?” but more focused on the (recent) past.
How’s everyone?

How’s everyone doing?

When we ask about “everyone” we are asking about our conversation partner’s family or friends. It shows your partner that you care about their people.
What’s up?

Whazzup?

Sup?

“What’s up?” and all its variants are slang for “How are you?” Use this mostly with friends.
What’s happening? This is another slang version of “How are you?” When someone asks you this don’t tell them literally what is happening in the moment!
What are you up to these days?

What’s new?

This version of “How are you?” is more specific and typically asked by an old friend. If you are asked this, it’s ok to talk about your job and more recent events in your life. 
What’s shaking?

What’s shakin’?

English speakers love slang! Again, when we use slang we are signaling comfort with our conversation partner. This is a very casual way to ask “How are you?”
How are you holding up? This is a way to say “How are you?” when we know someone has gone through a hard time. 
Doing OK?

Everything OK?

We don’t have to expect greatness every time! Sometimes we just want to know if things are normal.

What’s the best way to respond to a “How are you?” question? If we are at the beginning of a conversation and still “exchanging pleasantries,” we want to answer quickly and move the conversation forward! 

More often than not, our goal is to let the other person know that we are fine and that we appreciate their interest. We can say, “I’m doing fine!” “Everyone is good.” or “Things are going great!” We don’t always have to say “Everything is awesome!” We can just say “Things are OK.”

However, be careful expressing negative thoughts. If you say “Things are not good.” or “I’m not doing well.” your conversation partner may ask you to explain (as a courtesy to you), so be prepared to let them know your problems!  

To show them we appreciate their interest, we can thank them. If someone asks you “How are you holding up?” You could say “I’m holding up fine. Thanks for asking.” If they ask “How are you doing?” you can say “I’m good. Thanks!” Another way to show appreciation is to return the favor – ask them how they are doing! If they ask “What’s up?” We can say, “Not much. How about you?” If they ask “Everything OK?” We can say “Yes everything is OK. And you?” 

lingoloop free trial class
Let our expert teachers correct your English and help you feel good speaking English – Sign up for a Free Trial Class

Want to be polite? Be a mirror.

In some situations it’s good to just repeat the same greeting back to your conversation partner.

In a more formal setting, it shows that you are listening, and that you agree with what them. When you are meeting someone for the first time, it is considered polite to engage in this way. If you are improving your English for work, mirroring is also great for negotiation! 

What are some greetings people use that can be repeated back to them? See below:

Nice to see you!

It’s nice to see you again!

Good to see you!

This greeting is used very often when you see a friend or relative you haven’t seen in a while.
Pleased to meet you.

Nice to meet you.

This is a formal way to greet someone you’ve never met. 
It’s been a while!

Long time no see!

People love to remark about how long it’s been since they’ve seen somebody. It’s a way to say “I miss you.” without saying it.
Good morning.

Good afternoon.

Good evening.

It is customary to use these greetings at certain times of the day. 

So if someone says “It’s nice to see you!” Feel free to respond with “It’s nice to see you too!” If they say “It’s been a while!” respond with “Yes, it has been a while.” Of course, if you simply mirror someone you are signaling to your conversation partner that it is their turn to continue the conversation… but, you can also ask them a question back if you want to have a more detailed talk.

Try adding “What’s new with you?” or “What else is new?” and you might have the start of a full-blown conversation! Good conversations in English start with knowing how to say “hello” and how to respond, but it takes some practice to move past the greeting. 

Are you having trouble making conversation in English? Try Lingoloop… you won’t believe what our students are saying about us.

Not sure? Sign up for a free trial class today to learn about our unique approach to conversational English learning!

 

“Hopes” and “Wishes” for the New Year!

Happy New Year!

Have you made any resolutions yet?  Is there anything that you’d really like to do in 2018?

You could start a new job!
You could get healthy!
You could learn a new language (like English)!

We often use the words “hope” and “wish” to talk about things we would like to do or see happen.  They’re very similar, but the way we use them can change their meaning.

***

“Hope” is a word that we use to describe something we want very much, and we think is possible. Hopes are REAL. The grammar is the same for the time that each hope is in. For example…

A hope in the present is in the present tense.
“I hope that I pass this test. I studied really hard!”

A hope for the future is in either the present or future tense.
“I hope that they will have cake at the party.”
“I hope that there is cake at the party.”

A hope from the past is in the past tense.
“I hope that his plane arrived on time, the weather was really bad.”

So to recap:
hopes in the present are present tense
hopes in the future are future OR present tense,
and hopes about the past are past tense.

***

“Wish” is a little more complicated.  Wishes are usually about things that we want, but we’re either not sure they’ll happen or we’re sure they won’t.  Wishes are UNREAL.  The grammar of “wish” reflects this, so “wish” kind of works like a conditional.

A wish for the present uses the past tense, like an unreal conditional.
“I wish I studied more, I never feel prepared for exams.”
(They didn’t study, and now they’re regretting it!)

A wish for the future uses the word “would”, like a second conditional.
“I wish he would quit smoking, he smells terrible.”
(We know he’s not going to quit smoking, but we want him to anyway.)

A wish about the past uses the past perfect, or a past-tense modal verb.
“I wish the teacher had spent more time on conditionals, I still don’t understand them.”
(The teacher didn’t spend a lot of time on conditionals, but we wanted them to.)

So to recap…
wishes in the present use past tense,
wishes in the future use “would”,
and wishes about the past are past perfect.

***

Let’s try some examples.  It’s almost 2018, and…

“I hope I learn more English this year!”
or
“I wish I learned English this year!”

It’s your choice, real or unreal?  “Hope” or “wish”?  You decide!

Are you wishing or hoping for your English speaking to improve? Sign up for a Lingoloop Free Trial Class today! Our expert teachers are ready to help you feel good speaking English.