Hi vs Hello: Difference and Comparison

The English language constitutes many words and phrases that may or may not be used commonly in day-to-day lives. These words tend to be used for forming a sentence or to fit them into a sentence.

In other words, it is a way of communication. Language has been a part of communication ever since it came into existence, and thus the words may contain formal or informal contexts. But the condition for their usage is the situation they are used in.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Hi” is informal and casual, while “Hello” is more formal and used professionally.
  2. “Hi” is used among friends and acquaintances, while “Hello” is appropriate when addressing strangers or superiors.
  3. “Hello” can be used as a greeting in phone conversations, whereas “Hi” is less common in this context.

Hi vs Hello

“Hello” is considered more formal and is used in more formal situations, such as in business meetings or when meeting someone for the first time, pronounced with a flat or even tone. “Hi” is more casual and informal, used among friends, family, and acquaintances in informal settings.

Hi vs Hello
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Hi is an informal term used to start any casual conversation with a second person or third person. The term’s context is restricted to only informal ways, as it is used in front of friends or family.

The way of pronunciation of the word is as follows – ‘Hahy.’ And according to the Oxford Dictionary, the term was originated around the late Middle East.

Hello is the formal term used to start a conversation with a second or third person. The term can be used with any known or unknown person but must be informal context only.

The different pronunciation forms of the word are as follows – ‘hel-oh,’ ‘he-lot, and ‘huh-lo.’ According to the Oxford Dictionary, the term is said to be originated during the late 19th century.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHiHello
What it isAn informal way of greeting someoneA formal way of greeting someone
Pronunciation ‘Hahy’Three different ways – ‘hel-oh’, ‘he-loh’, and ‘huh-lo’
TypeInformalFormal
Origin During the late Middle EastLate 19th Century   
Plural FormAbsentPresent
ExampleHi! Radha, How have you been? Hi! I am Kartik. What’s your name?Hello! Do you mind helping me? Hello! Will you play with me?

What is Hi?

Hi is a very common term used daily to greet someone or as an exclamation. It is used as an informal form of communication.

The term is used in the conservation with a second or third person, and the context must be informal or casual. The use of the word is in front of friends or family.

The pronunciation of the word ‘Hi’ is as follows – ‘Hahy.’ The collocation of the sentence to use the word ‘Hi’ is – ‘Hi’ (name of the person) + the rest of the sentence.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is expected that the origin of the word ‘Hi’ was recorded during the time of the late Middle East, and at that time also, it was used as a natural exclamation. Also, unlike ‘Hello,’ the term doesn’t possess any plural form.

Some of the examples referring to the term ‘Hi’ are – 

  • Hi! Dolly, Where were you going?
  • Hi! Prateek, Please have a seat.
  • Hi! The place is very nice. 
hi

What is Hello?

Hello is another common term used in daily life for greeting someone and as an exclamation in any sentence. The basic use of the term is in the formal way of communication with the second or third person.

Even though the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary has stated a definition for the term as well, which is as follows – ‘a word used for greeting a second or third person, bringing attention towards self, or while answering any call or message in person.

Accordingly, there are three different ways stated for using the term that is – 

  • used for greeting a second or third person
  • bringing attention towards self
  • while answering any call or message in person

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the origin of the term ‘Hi’ is mentioned from the late 19th Century; during that time, it was used as a modified version of the two words – ‘holla’ and ‘hollo.’

The plural form for the term Hello used is ‘Hellos.’ The pronunciation of the word is as follows – ‘Hahy.’

Some of the examples quoted referring to the term ‘Hello’ are as follows – 

  • Hello! May I know who’s on another side?
  • Hello! Samarth, How are you?
  • Hello! Raj, Where are you lost?
hello

Main Differences Between Hi and Hello

  1. Hi is a term that is used in the form of informal greeting while comparatively, on the other hand, the term Hello has been in used as a form of formal greeting. 
  2. The pronunciation of the term ‘Hi’ is somewhat as follows – ‘Hahy’ while comparatively, on the other hand, the different pronunciations used for the term ‘Hello’ are as follows – ‘hel-oh,’ ‘he-loh,’ and ‘huh-lo.’ 
  3. The type of term ‘Hi’ is informal while comparatively, on the other hand, the term ‘Hello’ is termed as the formal greeting word.
  4. The origin of the term ‘Hi,’ according to the Oxford Dictionary, is around the late Middle East and is a natural exclamation while comparatively, on the other hand, the origin of the term ‘Hello,’ according to the Oxford Dictionary is said to be around the late 19th century and is a modified form of the two words – ‘hollo’ and ‘holla.’
  5. It has been found that the term ‘Hi’ doesn’t have any plural form, while comparatively, on the other hand, the term ‘Hello’ has a plural form that exists. 
  6. The examples used for referring Hi are – “Hi Alex, Nice to meet you!” or “Hi Prashant, That must be you” while comparatively, on the other hand, the examples used for referring to Hello are – “Hello Ram, I am Laxman!” or “Hello students, Nice to meet you all.” 
Difference Between Hi and Hello

References

  1. https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A713676&dswid=-2615
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9781137489715_1
  3. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/iral.1985.23.1-4.177/html
  4. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6878853

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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