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In this video, I explain 4 different ways to greet someone, to say hello, depending on the context. Whether you are with friends or strangers, you can adapt (and sometimes you should) the way you greet someone. It is not appropriate to say "Hi" or "Hello" to people you don't know, for example.

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  • 0:00 - Introduction
  • 1:03 - The common way
  • 2:31 - The formal way
  • 4:15 - The familiar way
  • 5:27 - The "street" way, in slang

Discover this other article on the correct use of the word "bonjour" in French.

Transcript of the video

Good morning to all of you. I hope you are well and that you are having a nice day. Today, we are going to see together 4 different ways to say hello, to greet someone depending on the context, depending on the situation. The first way is the most common way, the most common. The second way, it will be a way to say hello in a formal way, in a sustained language. The third way is going to be the more familiar way with your friends, with your family.

And finally, we'll see one last way to say hello, which is more of a "street" way in slang. Before you start, remember to turn on the subtitles. It will make it easier for you to understand the video. To see all my videos, think of subscribing to the "Hellofrench" channel. The most common way to greet someone is simply to say "hello" during the day and "good evening" at night. There are some languages where there is a different word for the afternoon.

In French, this is not the case. We say "bonjour" all day long and from more or less 6 pm on, we say "bonsoir". If you have to know only one way to greet people, it is this one. It is by saying "good morning" during the day and "good evening" at night. This is what you will hear or say most often, most frequently. You can say "hello" or "good evening" at the store, when you meet new people, when you arrive at work, for example, this is really the most common way to greet people.

For example, you can say, when you arrive at the bakery: "Hello, a baguette please". Or at the cinema, you can say: "Hello, two tickets for James Bond please".

Let's move on to a more formal, polite way of saying hello. In fact, it's very simple, you just add "madam" or "sir". For example, you can say "good morning madam" or "good morning sir", or "good evening madam" or "good evening sir". This formula, this very, very polite way of saying hello, you will use it with strangers, but especially in situations where you have to be very polite. For example, if you are going for a job interview, when you arrive, you say "good morning madam" or "good morning sir".

The same thing if you visit an apartment to rent, you say to the real estate agent "good morning sir", you want to show that you respect this person and put more politeness. For example, you could say to the doctor when you arrive, you speak to the secretary: "good morning madam, I have an appointment with doctor Dupont". In writing, you can even just put "Madame" or "Monsieur". You don't use "good morning" in a letter or in a very formal email. So, in very formal language, you would put "Madame" and then the text you want to write.

Same thing, so you put "Sir," and your text. So you don't need to put "good morning".

Let's move on to a more familiar way of saying hello, that is the way you will greet your family, friends, colleagues you are close to, etc. There are different words in French that you can use both orally, when you speak, and in writing, when you write. The two most common words for greeting, for saying hello to your friends and family, are "salut" and "coucou". So, for example, I'll say to my sister, "hi, are you okay?" or I might say, "cuckoo, are you okay?". More and more in French, especially among young people, we also use the English "hello" to say hello. For example, when I arrive at work in the morning, I say: "hello, ça va? We also use, but a little less often and it's a little more written "Hey".

The last way we're going to see today to greet someone is in a "street" way, in slang. It's more like young people who will use this on the street, outside of high schools. It's a slang way, in very, very familiar French. The two most common ways of saying hello are "yo" and "wesh". For example, I'll say, "yo, tu vas bien?" Or "wesh well well?". Sometimes, in very, very colloquial language, we say "well or good?" You ask someone if they're okay, but it's a way of speaking or implying that the person can't be wrong, so it's like they can only be okay. It's a very street-smart way of talking.

That's it for today, I hope you liked this video, if you liked it, put a like and above all, remember to subscribe to the hellofrench channel to see more videos. See you soon.

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