How to Say “Hi” in Greek: Formal and Informal Ways, Tips, and Examples

Greek, a beautiful and ancient language, has several ways to greet someone and say “hi.” Whether you’re planning a trip to Greece, meeting Greek-speaking friends or colleagues, or just interested in learning new languages, knowing how to say “hi” in Greek can go a long way in building connections and showing respect. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to greet someone in Greek, providing tips and examples along the way.

Formal Greetings:

Formal greetings are used in more official or respectful situations, such as when meeting someone for the first time, addressing someone of higher status, or speaking with elders. Here are some formal ways to say “hi” in Greek:

  1. “Καλημέρα” (Kalimera) – Good morning
  2. “Καλό απόγευμα” (Kalo apogevma) – Good afternoon
  3. “Καλησπέρα” (Kalispera) – Good evening

These phrases can be used in various situations, and it’s important to remember to use the appropriate one based on the time of day. For instance, “Kalimera” is used in the morning until around noon, “Kalo apogevma” in the afternoon until early evening, and “Kalispera” in the late evening and at night.

If you want to add a touch of politeness and respect to your formal greetings, you can use the word “sas” after the phrase:

“Καλημέρα σας” (Kalimera sas)

“Καλό απόγευμα σας” (Kalo apogevma sas)

“Καλησπέρα σας” (Kalispera sas)

By adding “sas,” you demonstrate extra respect and formality towards the person you’re addressing.

Informal Greetings:

Informal greetings in Greek are used with friends, family, or people you are on close terms with. They reflect a more relaxed and casual tone. Here are some ways to say “hi” informally:

  1. “Γεια” (Ya) – Hi
  2. “Γεια σου” (Ya sou) – Hi (to one person)
  3. “Γεια σας” (Ya sas) – Hi (to multiple people)

These informal greetings are widely used in everyday conversations among friends and peers. “Ya” is a versatile word that can be used at any time of the day, unlike the formal greetings that have specific time contexts. “Ya sou” is used when talking to one person, while “Ya sas” is used when addressing multiple people.

Note that “ya” can also mean “bye” in Greek, so it’s essential to consider the context and the tone of the conversation to avoid any confusion.

Tips for Proper Greetings in Greek:

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when greeting someone in Greek:

1. Smile and Use Eye Contact: Greeks value personal connections, so maintaining eye contact and greeting with a warm smile is highly appreciated.

2. Use Appropriate Titles: When addressing someone formally, it is customary to use their title and last name until invited to use their first name.

3. Practice Pronunciation: Greek pronunciation may be different from what you’re accustomed to, so take time to learn the correct sounds and stress patterns.

4. Be Polite: Politeness is crucial in Greek culture, especially when using formal greetings. Add “sas” to show respect to people you don’t know well or those in higher positions.


  1. Formal:
  • “Kalimera sas! Eimai i Nikoleta. Me sas lene Yorgos.” – Good morning! I am Nikoleta. They call me Yorgos.
  • “Kalo apogevma sas, kyrie! Pos na sas voithiso?” – Good afternoon, sir! How can I assist you?
  • “Kalispera sas, kyria Dimitra! Posa xronia sas blepo na ksero?” – Good evening, Mrs. Dimitra! How many years since I last saw you?


  • “Ya! Ti kaneis, file?” – Hi! How are you, friend?
  • “Ya sou, Maria! Eisai edo? – Hi, Maria! Are you here?
  • “Ya sas, paidia! Tha kanoume mia volta sto parathiro.” – Hi, guys! Let’s take a walk to the window.

Learning how to say “hi” in Greek opens doors to cultural understanding and friendship. Whether you opt for formal or informal greetings, your efforts will be appreciated by Greek speakers. So, give it a try and greet someone in Greek today!

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