Greetings and introductions will help form a first impressions, and its important to make a good first impression. There are numerous expressions that can be used when first greeting people. Some are very formal and appropriate for greeting guests and some are more informal and should only be used with friends or co-workers.
Obviously, employees of the hotel industry should use the more formal expressions, however the less formal expressions will also be presented to give learners a well balanced repertoire to choose from.
Expressions for greetings and introductions
Good morning (sir/ma’am).
Good afternoon (sir/ma’am). Welcome to (name of hotel/shop, etc).
Good evening (sir/ma’am).
How are you this morning (afternoon, evening, today)?
Less Formal Expressions
How’s it going?
Of course, after the greeting, the conversation must be continued, and what is said then depends on the situation. When interacting with hotel guests, that continued interaction usually involves determining what the guest wants or needs.
A couple of standards that can be used in the hotel industry are:
How can I help you today Ma’am (sir)?
Can I be of assistance?
How may I assist you?
May I assist you with anything?
What can I do for you today?
Staff: Good morning Ma’am. Welcome to the (…Spa)
Guest: Thank you.
Staff: How can I help you today?
Guest: I’m here for a (….massage).
In normal social situations, to continue an interaction after a greeting, it is customary for people to introduce each other by giving their names (assuming of course they are meeting for the first time).
But remember, that not all hotel employees would normally exchange names with a guest. For example, a bell man would not usually tell a guest his name, but a waitress in a restaurant may, as part of the standard restaurant greeting (such as “Welcome to the Beef House. My name is Rebecca and I’ll be your waitress tonight”). Guest service representatives who interact with VIP guests may be more inclined to make a formal introduction as part of the extended service provided VIP’s.
Dialogue- Introducing yourself
Staff: Hello, I’m Ms. Jabdee.
Guest: Hello, Ms. Jandee, I’m Susan Appleton.
Guest: My name is John Grey.
Staff: Nice to meet you Mr. Grey, I’m Mrs. Martinez.
Guest: I’m George Franks. What’s your name?
Staff: My name is Sophia Hakam. It’s a pleasure to meet you Mr. Franks.
Guest: Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Frank Jeffers.
Staff: I delighted to meet you Mr. Jeffers. My name is Hyo Sonn Kim.
This last example is a very formal introduction and would not be used unless meeting a very, very important person in a very formal situation (such as a ball in the government mansion while meeting the governor).
On occasion, you may find yourself in a situation where you have to introduce one person to another. Look at these possible expressions that are used for this.
Dialogue- Introducing Others
Peter: Sam Kellogg, I would like to introduce Miss Helen Cranston.
Sam: Hello Miss Cranston, nice to meet you.
Helen: Nice to meet you too Mr. Kellogg.
Bob: Marina Chernoff, this is my friend Betty Watson.
Min Ju: Hi Ms. Watson, a pleasure to meet you.
Betty: Same here.
Alice: Harry, let me introduce my supervisor, Mr. Lee.
Harry: Mr. Lee, it’s good to meet you.
Mr. Lee: Good to meet you too. But please, call me Sammy.
Point to remember
Many beginning learners use the expression “Nice to meet you”, even when they interact with a person they have been introduced to before. This expression (Nice to meet you) is only used at a first meeting, not after that. Instead the person could say “Nice to see you again”.
Practice Activities, greetings and introductions
Remember that one of the best was to improve your English skills is to use the language over and over again. It may sound boring and tedious but it works to make the language readily accessible for use when needed.
1. Whole Class Activity- Greetings
If in a class, have the students walk around the room greeting each other, by using the expressions above for greetings.
2. Whole Class Activity- Introductions
If in a class, have the students walk around the room and introduce themselves to other students, using the expressions above for introductions.
3. Small Group Activity- Introducing others
If in a class, have the students work in small groups of three or four, with one student introducing another students to others, using the expressions above for introducing others.