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Greetings before a Conversation

Sometimes you stop and talk for a minute as you say hello. This type of greeting is followed by a conversation. Close friends often hug when they greet each other, especially after a long time without seeing one other. Men sometimes give each other a hand shake or a high-five (touch palms above the head).


  • Stand near a person and say hello.
  • Express happiness to see a person.
  • Ask a question or begin a conversation.
Useful Phrases:
  • Nice to see you.
  • Long time no see. (I haven't seen you in a while.)
  • What have you been up to?
  • How are things?
  • It's been a while. (It's been a while since I've seen you.)
  • What's new?
  • Not much. (answer to What's new?)

Pair Practice (casual between friends or coworkers)

Listen and read:

A: Hi Corey.
B: Hey, Jennifer. Good to see you. (hug)
A: You too. How've you been?
B: Busy, you?
A: Pretty good. How's your new job?
B: It's okay. There's a lot to learn. What's new with you?
A: Not much. The kids are back at school.

Note: Between very close friends it's uncommon to use names in a casual greeting. Sometimes nicknames or short forms are used. (Cor and Jen instead of Corey and Jennifer).

Further Practice for Pairs

  • Add a third speaker and create your own lines.
  • Add an unexpected interruption (bus arrives, friend comes out of a store, child fusses).
  • Write the next four lines between the two speakers.
  • Write an inappropriate line and explain why it should not be part of the greeting.
  • Create a new dialogue that takes place between people who start up a conversation.

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