Difference in register between hello, hi, hey and haya I came across this: http://vk.com/wall-33489538_468109 I wonder which of these greetings are more formal and which are more informal. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English says: hello used when you meet someone, or when you start a telephone conversation. In everyday English, most people usually say hi because it sounds more friendly. You use hello especially when talking to people you do not know well, or to older people hi used as a friendly greeting when you meet someone start a telephone conversation, or at the beginning of an email hey (especially American English informal) used as a friendly greeting when you see someone you know well and you want to start talking to them hiya (informal) used as a very informal greeting when speaking to someone you know well Am I right that 'hi' is a bit formal, 'hello' is less formal, 'hey' is even more informal, and 'hiya' is the most informal?
Aug 12, 2013 8:37 AM
Answers · 3
Hello is probably the most formal. If I was answering the phone at my office, I would say "Hello, this is Alice" but not really any of the others. I would usually say hello if I was answering my personal phone too, because I might not know who is calling. Hi is a little informal, a little social. Hey is more informal, and also it is something that only younger people say. Older people might be a little insulted, because they might think you should only say "hey" if you are shouting at someone. "Hey! Get off my lawn!" Hiya is also informal, probably the same level of informal as "hey". The difference is that "hey" is a little more of a young person or aggressive style of speaking, in addition to being informal. People might say "hiya" but probably would not write it. I also think it is less common.
August 12, 2013
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