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Thread: HI and Hi, there

  1. #1
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    HI and Hi, there

    What is the difference between Hi and Hi, there!

    Does Hi, there! necessarily imply there is a physical distance between the speakers?

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Alexsms....okay, from my teenager's point of view... "Hey there" (and not Hi there) is more when you are talking to one person directly and "Hey" is when you are talking to a group of people. Now me being an old timer, I learned the phrase from the old Mickey Mouse Club intro (on reruns, I'm not THAT old). You can use Hi there, Hi, Hey or Hey there, whichever you like, there is NOTHING wrong with any of them. HOWEVER... when I am writing, I will to put the person's name if I am using only the "Hey" or "Hi" but if I am speaking, I might leave out the name. If I am using Hey there or Hi there, I don't always use the name when writing.

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  3. #3
    Hanna
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    "Hi there" is more American. It sounds more informal. I think it sounds a bit cheezy so I never use it.
    In England you don't hear it a lot - mainly just from people who try to sell you something: "Hi there, can you spare a few minutes to talk about supporting Amnesty International...." and so on.

    I think people say it more over the phone or with strangers, than face to face with somebody they know.

    If you want to sound informal with friends, I agree with rockzmom that "Hey!" sounds nice. It's got an American feel to it but in a nice way. I use that sometimes.

    Alex, I would recommend you not to use "Hi there". I know some non-native English speakers (Indians) who use it and it sounds silly together with their foreign accents.

    Just say Hi, Hello or Hey - it is more universal.

    Hello is slightly more formal than "Hi".

    I often start work emails with "Hello" instead of "Hi" when I want so sound just a tiny bit more formal.

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    I never say "Hi/hey there." Maybe if I forgot someone's name this might fit the situation. Just say Hi or Hi + NAME.

    Hanna, "slightly" more formal? Like, I mean, how much more formal than "hello" can you get? =:^) (Oops, I forgot "how do you do?" Now just when was the last you used that old anachronism, anyway?)

    Use of hi or hey depends on region, I think. In the South where I am we say "hey". There was a special Monet show at the museum here, and the advertising told you to go and "Say hey to Monet."

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    BTW... when I was growing up and would say "hey", my mom would always say "Hay is for horses."
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom View Post
    BTW... when I was growing up and would say "hey", my mom would always say "Hay is for horses."
    Like in Russian: "Эй — зовут лошадей"

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    >my mom would always say "Hay is for horses."
    Hey! Mine too!

  8. #8
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    Hanna, "slightly" more formal? Like, I mean, how much more formal than "hello" can you get? =:^)
    Well, "How do you do" when meeting a certain type of people socially or for business.
    The response is to respond with the same question.
    I.e.

    -How do you do? (extend his hand)
    shake the hand and say:
    -How do you do?

    (Note: Nobody actually responds to the question! Strange, isn't it?)

    It is the sign of a well-bred polite English person to respond in this way. Whatever you do, don't say anything else - it singles you out as a foreigner and/or not well bred person. I am not sure if this is used in the USA or not. I can't remember hearing an American say it, but I don't meet a lot of Americans on the other hand, so I might have just missed it.

    (This is more of a "male" thing. Women can say shake hands and say "how do you do" in business, but socially, with people who greet in this way, it's best to just smile, nod and mumble "How do you do?" This type of people sometimes "air kiss" strangers too. Just go along with it, even if you don't know the person. First left, then right chin.

  9. #9
    Увлечённый спикер
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    Back when I lived in Scotland, virtually everyone was saying "hiya".
    Kamka

  10. #10
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    I remember hearing 'hiya' all the time in Wales.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Note: Nobody actually responds to the question! Strange, isn't it?
    you meant native speakers obviously
    I'm actually feeling a little uncomfortable if somebody says "How do you do" to me. I'm always in between answering "Hello", "I'm fine" or actually answering the question
    Can you please relieve me from this burden and tell me what should I answer and why?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    you meant native speakers obviously
    I'm actually feeling a little uncomfortable if somebody says "How do you do" to me. I'm always in between answering "Hello", "I'm fine" or actually answering the question
    Can you please relieve me from this burden and tell me what should I answer and why?
    Answer it in any way you would answer "How are you?" It's the same statement with an active voice, <<do you do?>> instead of <<are you doing?>> Another analog is <<How do you fare?>> (from old-world "How farest thou?" and so on) but no one ever says that.

    You can say "Wonderful, and you?" and I don't think anyone would bat an eye. This is only my take, from personal experience as a native.

    It would feel odd if someone said "How do you do?" to me, and I didn't respond.. I'd feel compelled to respond.

    "How do you do?" probably makes everyone a little nervous. I know it does me. You're totally normal.
    luck/life/kidkboom
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    Thank you

  14. #14
    Hanna
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    It's true that Hiya is also used a lot. Just respond with "Hi! or "Hey! or something similar informal.

    There is no reason to feel uneasy if someone says How do you do.
    Just shake their hand and repeat the phrase back.
    That's all you need to do.

    The Hindu : How do you respond to "How do you do"?
    It depends on which side of the Atlantic you are from, I guess. People from Britain usually respond by saying "How do you do?". For them, "How do you do?" is an expression which is normally used when you are introduced to someone for the first time. "How do you do?" is not the same as "How are you?" For the English, the response to "How do you do?" is "How do you do?" It's like our "namaste". When somebody says "namaste", we respond by saying "namaste". Americans, on the other hand, think differently. You will find that many Americans do not always make a distinction between "How do you do?" and "How are you?" So don't be surprised if an American responds to a "How do you do?" with a "Fine, thank you", or "Doing good".
    An English person would get a very high opinion of a foreigner who responds correctly to this questions. In the USA I really wouldn't know what to do. The reason the Americans don't respond correctly is probably because they are not familiar with this British expression. In the UK it's considered rather unsophisticated to say anything other than the same phrase back. (I know, because I've done it and been told off by my then fiancee). Up to you what you prefer!







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