This greeting is very casual and used typically between individuals that are already acquainted, and may have met before several times. It is most often used by younger individuals when speaking to others similar in age. Sometimes, “Hey!” is used by itself as a friendly greeting with a friendly nod. However one should remember that in English, the word “hey” can also be used as an attention getter to focus someone’s attention. Therefore, it is best to use the phrase “Hey there!” as a polite greeting.
Kathryn Reilly is a veteran English teacher with freelance writing and editing experience. While teaching students from diverse backgrounds and learning abilities, she has created many educational aids and implemented new lessons to enhance their learning experience. She has created online educational tutorials as well as content articles for a variety of clients.