How informal is "hey"?

Moderator: JackFrost

User avatar
Woods
Posts: 412
Joined: 2007-11-14, 12:43
Gender: male
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

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?

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 23396
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

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

User avatar
Woods
Posts: 412
Joined: 2007-11-14, 12:43
Gender: male
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: How informal is "hey"?

Postby Woods » 2019-04-02, 9:15

Thanks!

JohnBrooke
Posts: 5
Joined: 2019-04-13, 6:54
Real Name: John Brooke
Gender: male

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
Posts: 1
Joined: 2019-06-25, 14:13
Real Name: elshaday
Gender: female

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.

Versus
Posts: 13
Joined: 2019-05-15, 20:19
Gender: female
Contact:

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.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 23396
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

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

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 24476
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

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?


Return to “English”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest