How informal is "hey"?

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Woods
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How informal is "hey"?

Postby Woods » 2019-04-01, 23:58

How informal is "hey" instead of "hi"? Would you use it for example when talking to an older lady, but you want to be friendly?

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linguoboy
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Re: How informal is "hey"?

Postby linguoboy » 2019-04-02, 0:29

I wouldn’t. I would only use it with strangers if they were of equal or lower perceived status and I was trying to project informality and solidarity or contempt. (“Hey you! Put that back!”) Basically circumstances where I might use “du” in German.

I chiefly use it with family, good friends, and long-standing colleagues that I also feel a rapport with and more often to get someone’s attention than as a greeting. (In other words, it is not a substitute for “hi” in regards to register or pragmatics.)
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Woods
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Re: How informal is "hey"?

Postby Woods » 2019-04-02, 9:15

Thanks!

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Re: How informal is "hey"?

Postby JohnBrooke » 2019-05-24, 4:01

I will never use 'hey' except very close known ones with my age or friends, instead I will use Hi or Hello.

el.shaday19
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Re: How informal is "hey"?

Postby el.shaday19 » 2019-06-25, 14:28

in my country "hey" or hi or hai or hello or hallo are to tell to people that closer, rapper and friend in the same ages.

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Re: How informal is "hey"?

Postby Versus » 2019-07-23, 20:16

el.shaday19 wrote:in my country "hey" or hi or hai or hello or hallo are to tell to people that closer, rapper and friend in the same ages.

Same in my country.

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linguoboy
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Re: How informal is "hey"?

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-23, 20:37

el.shaday19 wrote:in my country "hey" or hi or hai or hello or hallo are to tell to people that closer, rapper and friend in the same ages.

"rapper"?
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: How informal is "hey"?

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-10-09, 6:38

linguoboy wrote:
el.shaday19 wrote:in my country "hey" or hi or hai or hello or hallo are to tell to people that closer, rapper and friend in the same ages.

"rapper"?

Maybe they're saying that rappers in their country are informal with their audiences?

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Re: How informal is "hey"?

Postby Gormur » 2020-05-11, 16:12

There's this small girl, probably not even 10 years old who hangs around outside her house a lot. I happened to pass her on my way home which hers is a few houses up from mine, noticing her say hi and I replied with hey

Hopefully that helps you. I think it's the only situation where I'd use that word as it's very informal. Using it between adults might even seem odd but not weird; just idiosyncratic like how some people give nicknames to each other :hmm:
Eigi gegnir þat at segja at bók nøkkur er hreinferðug eðr ønnur spelluð því at vandliga ok dáliga eru bœkr ritnar ok annat kunnum vér eigi um þœr at dœma


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