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 formal greetings.

James: Good morning, Professor Austin. How are you doing?

Professor Austin: Good morning, James. I am doing well. And you?

James: I’m great, thank you. This is my friend Emma. She is thinking about applying to this college. She has a few questions. Would you mind telling us about the process, please?

Professor Austin: Hello, Emma! It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m more than happy to speak with you. Please stop by my office next week.

Emma: It’s a pleasure to meet you, professor. Thank you so much for helping us.

Professor AustinDon’t mention it. Hopefully, I will be able to answer your questions!

Language notes

• The greetings good morning/good afternoon/good evening are used at different times of the day to greet people. “Good evening” is often used after 6 p.m. or generally when the sun has set.

• “Good night” is not a greeting: It is used when leaving a place or group of people. Thank you and good night!/Good night, and see you tomorrow.

• When people meet in the United States, it is customary for them to shake hands. A handshake should be firm and usually lasts for about two to three seconds — which allows enough time to say “Nice to meet you.”

• “Don’t mention it” is another way of saying “You’re welcome.” The phrase “You are welcome” is more formal. However, responses such as Don’t mention it/No problem/Happy to help are informal ways of responding to a thank you.

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.