“Hi There” – What Does “There” In “Hi There” Mean?

When it comes to greetings, no other language could beat English. It has greetings in formal and informal contexts. It also has greetings for people who you have just met or people that you haven’t seen for a long time. For different people, different relationships, different context, and different situations, you will find a proper greeting in English.

For informal greetings, you can have a wide range of choices. It can be as simple as “Hello”, “Hi” or “hi there”. The last phrase is a very interesting case. Have you ever wondered what “there” in “Hi there” mean? I am sure that we often say “Hi there” when we greet our friends. But there will be just a few of us have ever questioned about the meaning of the word “there”. If you are interested, take a look here for more on “Hi there” and the reason why there is the word “there” in “Hi there”.


Hi There!

“Hi there!” is nothing more than a greeting. It is informal. You should only greet other people with this greeting if it is not the first time you meet them, even if the setting is familiar and friendly. Don’t say “Hi there” to the person whom you are about to be introduced. It would be quite rude if you do so.

You can also say “HI there” if you want to attract the attention from other people, especially who are younger than you. For example, if you want to call out the attraction from a younger boy sitting next to you on a bus, you can say “Hi there”.

You shouldn’t also say “Hi there” to a person who you have a formal relationship with such as your boss, your parents or your teacher.

Another situation which you can use “Hi there” to greet other people is in a quick passing-by. It is when you come across your acquaintances on the street but you are in a hurry and couldn’t stop to have a conversation. Hence, a quick “Hi there” will be enough, especially when you don’t recall the name of the people who you meet.

Other variations of greetings that you can use instead of “Hi there” are “Hi/ Hello over there”. The small difference between them is that “Hi/ hello over there” is used when the distance between you and other people is greater.

Besides using “Hi there” as a greeting in a conversation, you can also use this term to start an email. When you write an informal email or letter to your friends, you can start the letter by saying “Hi there”. This term wouldn’t be suitable for a formal letter or email.

What does “There” in “Hi There” mean?

The word “there” in “Hi There” doesn’t mean anything but the location of the people who speak it. You can see various popular examples such as “Hi there” and “You alright there!”

It is only in the sentence as an interjection. It is also used to attract attention when you call out for someone, especially someone who you don’t know the name.

Another reason why people use “there” in “Hi there” is that their greetings seem to be friendly this way. It is even friendlier than just simply saying “Hi” or “Hello”. To many people, the phrase is warmer and hence, less abrupt.

Other informal ways to say "hi"

• Morning: A shorter and more casual way in comparison with “Good morning”

• Hey/ Hey guys: A very informal greeting which can be used when you meet 1 or more than 2 people of both genders.

• How is it going? A greeting to show that you not only want to say hi but also want to know more about the current life of other people. Other similar questions include “How are you” or “How are you doing?” as well as “What’s new” and “How are things recently?” The question “How do you do” is more formal and old fashioned.

• Alright mate? A British way of greeting.

• Yo/ What’s up: A very informal way of greetings, typically used among younger people.

After carefully considering the common greeting “Hi there”, you will realize that it has more meanings and uses than you think you know. You can use this greeting as an informal and friendly greeting. It is also used for you to attract attention from other people. In addition, you can use this phrase to exchange quick greetings without getting into a conversation. There are other several ways which you can use to greet other people. You can simply say “Hey” or “Morning”. You can also start a conversation by asking a few questions. I hope you will find all of the information above resourceful and interesting.

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