Learning to speak English? Our Everyday Conversations help you practice. Click the audio link to hear a native speaker pronounce each word while you read. Key terms are explained, in your language, at the end of each conversation. Today’s conversation is about informal greetings and farewells.

Jane: Hi, Helen! How’s it going?

Helen: Fine, thanks — and you?

Jane: Just fine. Where are you off to?

Helen: To the library. I’ve got a history exam next week and need to start studying. Ugh.

Jane: Oh, no. Well, I’ll see you later then. Good luck!

Helen: Thanks. See you later.

Language notes

“Hi” is an informal way of saying “hello.” Notice that the “i” sound in “hi” is extended, to show that Jane is very pleased to see Helen.

“How’s it going?” is an informal way of saying “How are you?”

“Fine, thanks — and you?” Notice the rising intonation on “and you?” This shows that Helen is interested in what Jane has to say.

“Where are you off to?” is an informal way of saying “Where are you going?” Notice the falling intonation since this is an information question, not a “yes/no” question.

“To the library.” Notice that Helen does not say “I’m going” here because that information was already established in the question “Where are you off to?”

“Oh, no.” is a way of saying “I sympathize with you” or “I understand you are not happy.”

“See you later” is an informal way of saying “goodbye.”

Ready to learn more English? Our materials can help.  And the U.S. Department of State has great resources for English teachers and students of all levels.