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How to Say Hello in Greek (And 30+ Other Greetings in Greek)

Hoca

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Γεια σου! (yia su!) That’s how to say “hello” in Greek!

Is it really that simple? Yes and no. While you can get away with saying Γεια σου, in most cases, your Greek conversation will likely (and hopefully!) continue after saying hello.

Plus, it’s also common to use different words to say hello depending on the time of the day.

As a long-time Greek learner and language writer, I’m going to show you all the Greek words for hello, common greeting and parting words, and other ways of saying hello!




Table of contents​

How to Say Hello in Greek​


“Hello” in Greek is Γεια (yia). You hear people saying Γεια σου (yia su) or Γεια σας (yia sas) all the time.

The difference between them is simple: you use yia su to address one person, most likely your friend, someone you know well, or someone close to your age. You say yia sas when you’re greeting a group, a person you don’t know, or someone you respect due to their age or status.

Γεια σου (yia su)Γεια σας (yia sas)
Is it informal or formal?InformalFormal (when used while addressing one person)
Singular or plural?SingularBoth
Who can I use it for?
(When singular)
Friends, family members.Boss, older people.

More Greek Words for Hello​


When greeting a friend, you also say yia su followed by their name. In a formal setting, you can say yia sas followed by Ms. or Mr. and their surname. That said, using yia su and yia sas on their own is also very common.

Here are some examples:

  • Γεια σου (yia su): “Hello” (informal)
  • Γεια χαρά (yia hara): “Hi there” or “Hey” (informal)
  • Έλα! (Ela): “Hey!” or “Yo!” (also used when picking up the phone)
  • Γεια σας (yia sas): “Hello” (formal or plural)
  • Χαίρετε (herete): “Hello” or “Greetings” (formal)
  • Γεια σε όλους (yia se olus): “Hello, everyone”
  • Γεια σας, κυρία Ανδρέου (yia sas, kiria Andreu): “Hello, Ms. Andreu”
  • Γεια σας, κύριε Ανδρέου (yia sas, kirie Andreu): “Hello, Mr. Andreu”
  • Γειά σου, Άννα (yia su, Anna): “Hello, Anna”
  • Γειά σου, φίλε μου (yia su, file mu)*: “Hello, my friend”

How to Say “How Are You?” in Greek​


A “hello” can quickly lead to a “how are you.” In some cases, people might also start the conversation by saying ti kanis (“how are you”) instead of yia sou.

There are many different ways of saying “how are you” in Greek, depending on the formality level. Here are some of the common ones:

  • Τι κάνεις; (Ti kanis?): “What are you doing?” or “How are you?” (informal)
  • Τι κάνεις σήμερα; (Ti kanis simera?): “What are you doing today?”
  • Τι γίνεται; (Ti yinete?): “What’s happening?” (informal)
  • Έλα, τι κάνεις; (ela, ti kanis?): “Hey, how are you doing?” (informal, used between friends)
  • Τι κάνετε; (Ti kánete?): “What are you doing?” (formal or plural)
  • Τι κάνετε σήμερα; (Ti kanete simera?): “What are you doing today?” (formal or plural)
  • Τι νέα; (Ti nea?): “What’s new?”
  • Πώς είσαι; (Pos ise?): “How are you?” (informal)
  • Πώς είστε; (Pos iste?): “How are you?” (formal or plural)
  • Καλά είμαι, εσύ πώς είσαι; (Kala ime, esi pos ise?): “I’m fine, how are you?” (informal)
  • Καλά είμαι, εσείς πώς είστε; (Kala ime, esis pos iste?): – “I’m fine, how are you?” (formal or plural)
  • Πώς πάει; (Pos pai?): “How is it going?”
  • Πώς σας πάει; (Pos sas pai?): “How is it going?” (formal or plural)
  • Πώς περνάς; (Pos pernas?): “How are you doing?”
  • Πώς περνά η μέρα; (Pos perna i mera?): “How is the day going?”
  • Πώς περνά η μέρα σου; (Pos perna i mera su?): “How is your day going?” (informal)
  • Πώς περνά η μέρα σας ; (Pos perná i méra sas?): “How is your day going?” (formal or plural)

Meeting Someone New in Greek​


When you’ve just met someone new, you might want to follow up your “hello” with a “nice to meet you.” Or if you haven’t caught their name yet, you might also ask it right after saying yia su.

  • Πώς σε λένε; (Pos se lene?): “What is your name?” (informal)
  • Πώς σας λένε; (Pos sas lene?): “What is your name?” (formal or plural)
  • Ποιο είναι το όνομά σου; (Pio ine to onoma su?): “What is your name?” (informal)
  • Ποιο είναι το όνομά σας; (Pio ine to onoma sas?): “What is your name?” (formal or plural)
  • Από πού είσαι; (Apo pu ise?): “Where are you from?” (informal)
  • Από πού είστε; (Apó pou iste?): “Where are you from?” (formal or plural)
  • Με λένε… (Me lene): “My name is…” (Say me lene followed by your name.)
  • Το όνομά μου είναι… (To onoma mu ine): “My name is…” (Say to onoma mu ine followed by your name)
  • Χάρηκα (Ηarika): “Nice to meet you”
  • Χαίρω πολύ (Hero poli): “Nice to meet you”

How to Say Welcome in Greek​


Imagine that you’ve invited a Greek-speaking friend over for dinner. In this case, it will be more relevant to greet them by saying “welcome” instead of “hello” as they arrive.

  • Καλώς ήρθες (kalos irthes): “Welcome” (informal)
  • Καλώς ήρθατε (kalos irthate): “Welcome” (formal or plural)
  • Χαίρομαι που είσαι εδώ (herome pu ise edo): “I’m glad to have you here” (informal)
  • Χαίρομαι που είστε εδώ. (herome pu iste edo): “I’m glad to have you here” (formal or plural)

How Do You Say Hello in Greek Depending on the Time of the Day?​


Like in many languages, greetings in Greek can also change depending on the time of the day. These include greetings such as “good morning” or “good evening.”

Morning​


Kali or kalo mean “good” in Greek, and mera means “day.” Kalimera means both “hello” and “good morning.” Most people use it to say hello during the day, before 12 p.m.

  • Καλημέρα (kalimera): “Good morning”
  • Καλημέρα σας (kalimera sas): “Good morning everyone”

Noon​


Mesimeri is noon or lunchtime in Greek. During mesimeri, some people take a nap, while others go out for lunch. Although not all, some shops in Greece might close between 1pm and 4:30 p.m.

  • Καλό μεσημέρι (Kalo mesimeri): “Good noon/good afternoon”
  • Καλή όρεξη (kali oreksi): “Enjoy your meal”

Afternoon​


Kalispera comes from the combination of kali and espera, which means afternoon. After lunchtime, you can start saying kalispera instead of kalimera. Another word that means afternoon in Greek is apogevma.

  • Καλησπέρα (kalispera): “Good afternoon”
  • Καλησπέρα σας (kalispera sas): “Good afternoon everyone”
  • Καλό απόγευμα (kalo apogevma): “Have a good afternoon”

Night​


“Good night” in Greek is kalo vradi or kalinihta. These words are rarely used as a greeting — instead, you say kalo vradi or kalinihta as you leave a venue or go to bed. If you want to say hello to someone at night, you can use yia su or kalispera.

  • Καλό βράδυ (Kalo vradi): “Good night”
  • Καληνύχτα (kalinihta): “Good night”
  • Καλησπέρα (kalispera): “Good evening”

Seasonal Greetings in Greek​


Spending Christmas in Greece? Or Easter in Cyprus? Besides making yourself familiar with local traditions, you can also learn some festive greetings.

  • Καλά Χριστούγεννα (Kala Christuyenna): “Merry Christmas”
  • Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Έτος (Eftihismeno to Neo Etos): “Happy New Year!”
  • Καλό Πάσχα! (Kalo Pasha): “Happy Easter”
  • Χρόνια Πολλά (Hronia Polla): – “Happy Name Day” or “Happy Birthday”
  • Καλό καλοκαίρι (Kalo kalokeri): “Have a good summer”
  • Καλές γιορτές (Kales yiortes): “Happy holidays”

How Do You Greet Someone in Greek?​


You can greet someone in Greek by saying yia su or yia sas.* Alternatively, you can also say kalimera or kalispera depending on the time of the day. Friends often give each other a hug or a kiss on each cheek.

For people who have just met, it’s more appropriate to shake hands and use formal language, especially if they’re older. For example, instead of yia su it will be yia sas, or instead of pos ise (“how are you”), it will be pos iste.

How to Write “Hello” in Greek​


Since the Greek alphabet is different from the Latin alphabet, learning how to read and write might take some time. To write the word “hello” for example, you use four letters:

  • Γ (Γάμμα): “Gamma”
  • Ε (Έψιλον): “Epsilon”
  • Ι (Ήτα): “Iota”
  • Α (Άλφα): “Alpha”

In block capitals, it’s ΓΕΙΑ. In lowercase, it would be γεια, with the letter “gamma” slightly different from its capital letter version. If you add σας (sas) to the end, your γεια becomes formal or plural. If you add σου (sou), it becomes informal. That said, it’s also fine to use γεια on its own.

The block capital version of sas is ΣΑΣ, and for sou it’s ΣΟΥ.

How to Say Goodbye in Greek​


Every hello has a goodbye. As we near the end of this article, let’s learn some words that mean goodbye in Greek.

  • Αντίο (Adio): “Goodbye”
  • Τα λέμε (Ta leme): “See you”
  • Να προσέχεις (na prosehis): “Take care”
  • Καλό ταξίδι (Kalo taksidi): “Have a good journey”
  • Πρέπει να φύγω (Prepi na figo): “I’ve got to go”
  • Καλή συνέχεια (kali sinerhia): “Enjoy the rest of your day”
  • Καληνύχτα (kalinihta): “Good night”
  • Όνειρα γλυκά (onira glika): “Sweet dreams”

Other Polite Phrases in Greek​


In addition to greetings, it is important to know about some polite expressions, especially in formal settings.

  • Παρακαλώ (parakalo): “Please”
  • Ευχαριστώ (efharisto): “Thank you”
  • Ευχαριστώ πολύ (Efharisto poli): “Thank you very much”
  • Συγγνώμη (signomi): “Excuse me”
  • Παρακαλώ πολύ (parakalo poli): “You’re very welcome”

Say γεια to learning Greek​


Saying hello in a different language is often the first step of learning.

Now that you know how to say hello in Greek, it’s time to browse more resources to improve your Greek, be it vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, or conjugation.


The post How to Say Hello in Greek (And 30+ Other Greetings in Greek) appeared first on Fluent in 3 Months.
 
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