Hi vs. Hello

Difference between hi and hello

When people meet, they make use of either Hi or Hello; these are the two most common greetings we use to begin a conversation and are often used synonymously and interchangeably. What most people do not know, though, is that there are certain situations when it is wise to make use of one greeting over the other.

According to a dictionary, Hello means “greeting used when answering a phone”, “a motion or manifestation of greeting”, or “an expression of surprise”. The word ‘Hello” is believed to have been derived from an old High Germen word “halâ” which was then utilized to call for a ferryman. This greeting is often used when meeting a person or a group of people.

On the other hand, “Hi” is another expression of greeting in lieu of hello, however, it has a more informal nature and is defined by the dictionary as a more relaxed and casual alternative for hello and is used to call attention to oneself. In using ‘hi”, there is no necessity for the recognition of authority and is used among friends or significant others. Since it is has an informal connotation, its use would not be recommended for a formal event or situation.

Though they are both expressions of greeting and used synonymously, the correct use of Hi and Hello will depend on the given situation. As already mentioned, “Hi” is more casual, thus its use is recommended for informal settings where one is with peers; “Hello” is used to address persons of authority or importance, such as ambassadors or government figures, it is ideally used in more formal settings like a formal dinner or a public speech.