Hi, hey, hello!
In this blog post, we’ll look at different ways of introducing yourself in formal and informal settings. We’ll also look at how to respond to introductions.
Even though one of the first things you’ll have learned when studying English might be “Hello. My name is Sarah,” we don’t actually tend to use this expression in real life.
When introducing yourself, you’ll be more likely to just say, “I’m Sarah.”
How about, “Nice to meet you”?
This is an expression we use when meeting people in a formal situation.
To mix it up a little, you could also use, “Pleased to meet you,” or “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
If you’re meeting someone you’ve spoken to or emailed with, you could also say, “It’s great to put a face to the name.”
We often get rid of the “It’s” and just say, “Pleasure to meet you” or “Great to put a face to the name.”
You could even just say “A pleasure!”
When Meeting Someone for the First Time
- Hello, my name is Sarah.
- I’m Sarah
- Nice to meet you.
- Pleased to meet you.
- It’s a pleasure to meet you.
- Pleasure to meet you.
- It’s great to put a face to the name.
- Great to put a face to the name.
- A pleasure!
Other Ways to Greet in English
However, in a more casual situation, you’d be more likely to receive a question back than you would a “Nice to meet youds.” For example:
When people meet for the fist time in a casual setting, they can greet each other with, “How is it going?” Instead of “Nice to meet you.”
Instead of “How’s it going?” you might also hear, “What’s up?” or “Alright?”
Americans tend to say, “What’s up” or just “s’up?”
But if you’re talking to a Brit, you’ll be likely to hear “Alright?” or “You alright?”
Again, you’re not expected to respond with more than just “Good, thanks. You?” You can even repeat the expression back to them!
Notice this time, how John just stated his name. He didn’t use “I’m” or “My name is” and this is a very common way of introducing yourself in a casual setting. In this context it’s clear that you’re stating your name.
It’s polite to repeat the person’s name back. You could use it when you greet them, or ask them a question like in the first example. Not only does it show that you’ve listened to their name, it means you’ll be more likely to remember the name once you’ve said it.
Okay, so that’s our verbal introduction out of the way. What about physical?
In a formal situation, you’d be likely to shake hands. A firm handshake is said to leave a good first impression, a weak one not so much.
If meeting in a more casual setting, you might just wave or you might even fist bump. It depends on you and the other person!
In my experience, men are more likely to shake hands with other men when meeting for the first time. Of course, with the global pandemic and social distancing, apparently “elbow bumps” and “foot taps” are the new greeting.
Hopefully now you feel more confident introducing yourself for the first time, in both formal and casual situations.
See if you can practice with an English-speaking person. Listen and see what language they used to introduce themselves. Good luck!