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English Communication- Don’t Shake Hands Yet- But Do Greetings and Goodbyes

English Communication: Don’t Shake Hands Yet – But Do Greetings and Goodbyes, part A

Important for this blog Wednesday, May 5, 2021, don’t shake hands yet. But do these—

 ‘What’s happening?’

 ‘How are things going?’

 ‘Good evening, Sir/ Ms (‘Miz’).’


 In the culture of the North America, these are usually ritual greetings.  If someone asks you “How are you ?”  or “What’s up?”, it is a simple “hello.”   The other person is expecting a one or few word reply.

 This is different than many other countries, such as Romania, where a greeting is invitation to talk about the well-being of each person.

So many choices in North American greetings and goodbyes! Determine the who, when, how, and context so that you know better which to choose.

Here are ptions for expanding your ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’:

Formal Greetings

Use for business setting, public speaking, or in the service professions, such as restaurants and retail.  

  • Good morning/afternoon/evening (Answer: ‘Hi’)
  • Nice to meet you – Used when meeting someone for the first time. Can be used in informal settings with new acquaintances. (Answer: ‘Nice to meet you too’)
  • It’s good to see you again – Used with someone you have met before. (Answer: ‘You too’)

Formal Goodbyes

Use in business setting, public speaking, or in the service professions

  • It was nice to see you again (Answer: ‘You too’)
  • Take care  – This is also often used with friends and  used especially by females. (Answer: ‘Thanks, you too!’)
  • Stay safe. — Popular due to Covid pandemic. (Answer: “You, too.”)
  • Have a good day/week/weekend/trip – This can also be used with friends. (Answer: ‘Thanks! You too.’)

Informal Greetings

Use with friends

  •  Hey! (Answer: ‘Hey’)
  • What’s up?  (Answer: ‘Not much’ or ‘hey’)
  • Hey! Long time! (Answer: ‘Yeah, it’s been a while.’)
  • How’s it going? (Answer: ‘Hey!’ or ‘Pretty good. You?’ or ‘Not bad. What about you?’, “Hanging in there.”)
  • Hey! How are you? (Answer: ‘Pretty good. You?’)

Informal Goodbyes

Use with friends

  • See you later (Answer: ‘Yeah!’ or ‘Later.’)
  • Later (Answer: ‘See ya.’ or ‘Take care.’)
  • So long. (Answer: ‘ Catch you later.’)

Later in the upcoming blog will be more on avoiding confusion with ‘How are you?’  

If you want more direct practice with the clear speech mode, catch free You Tube videos at Youtube.com/ClearTalkMastery — English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  .

 Contributing editor: Amber McKinney

copyright Clear Talk Mastery Inc 2021 (140625)

Modern Slang

English Communication: Modern Slang

American slang.


Every era has a pattern: a group of people — the young, pop stars, social media influencers– create new words or phrases. It can be helpful to know this slang in order to understand what people are saying.

While understanding slang is not dangerous, be careful in using them unless you are confident you know what they mean. Mistakes can be embarrassing.

Here are some slang words you might hear:

  • YOLO (Acronym for a sentence): ‘You only live once.’ Often used as a reason for deciding to do something–perhaps enjoyable or perhaps risky. For example, ‘I probably should save the extra money I have, but I’m going to invest in a gold mine instead. YOLO!’
  • Peeps (Noun): People (especially your friends). For example, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘Oh, just hanging out with my peeps.’   In American vocabulary, we describe the chirping sound of a baby chicken to be “peep, peep.”  Thus use this if you are young .
  • Swag (Noun): This word has multiple uses, but a common meaning is ‘style: being cool in how you talk, dress, and present yourself,’ For example, ‘Look at that jewelry. She’s got swag,’
  • Fail (Noun or interjection) Used to express disapproval. For example, “My internet keeps cutting out. Comcast fail!” or “I left my phone at work. Fail!”  
  • Hater (Noun): Someone who is negative and criticizes others. For example, “Don’t be a hater. You’re just jealous.”  You can follow up with a change in topic in the conversation.
  • Meh (Interjection): Wikipedia calls this term ‘an expression of indifference or boredom.’ For example, “Do you want to go to a movie?” “Meh. I’ll go if you want to.”  
  • Whatever (Interjection): Used to express “It doesn’t matter” or “I don’t care what you say.”  For example, “I really wanted that job, and I didn’t get it. Whatever,” or A: “You need a haircut.” B: “Whatever.”

So the next time you’re browsing social media or conversing,be on the lookout for this slang.  It’s never a bad idea to increase your English vocabulary and cultural literacy… and maybe gain a little swag while you’re at it.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercises.

Contributing editor: Amber McKinney, MA

copyright Clear Talk Mastery 2021


Make Conversations and Presentations Pop with Analogies

Make conversations and presentations pop like a balloon with analogies

People remember vivid mental images, like an exploding sun, longer than they remember words. Analogies, like the best Swiss or Italian or Peruvian chocoate, make your case or argument memorable.


Best Body Language for Virtual/Zoom etc & In-Person Meetings & Interviews

Best Body Language for Virtual/Zoom/Skype/Teams & In-Person Meetings & Interviews


What’s the most important body language during virtual and in-person meetings and job interviews?

  1. Once you have entered the virtual meeting or physical room, do not adjust your clothes which can be interpreted as lack of self-confidence.  Check your clothes before the appointment. 
  2. Good posture means square shoulders and straight back. Slouching makes you seem disinterested, bored, and unprepared.
  3. Keep your arms in an open position, and don’t fold your arms across your chest. You can be interpreted as not flexible, or stubborn or belligerent (i.e., warlike).
  4. Do not rub your neck or back of your head. That can be interpreted as distracted or uninterested.
  5. If in person, do not overdo perfume or cologne. Consensus is to not wear any. A great fragrance to one may be abhorrent or allergenic to another. 

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  on YouTube/ClearTalkMastery for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Low budget but want to level-up your English speech? Check out $19.95 per month subscription called ClearTalk Weekly, www.subscription.cleartalkmastery.com. You get a new lessons each week with videos, different audios and written lessons. Do one month, then cancel if you want. Or do the subscription the next month. This subscription launched April 2, 2015. Tested and proven effectiveness

Blog March 27, 2021 copyright 2021 Clear Talk Mastery, Inc and Dr. Antonia Lawrence Johnson

5 Things to Say When Reaching Out to a Friend Right Now

BLOG #194 FOR FRI. FEB 26, 2021    

 — 5 Things to Say When Reaching Out to A Friend Right Now

  1. Start simple with a note with invitation to chat:
    •  “Haven’t talked in a while. Do you have a few minutes for a phone call?”
    • “A month has gone by.  Too long.  Do you have a few minutes for a phone call?”
    • “Thinking about you a lot.  Do you have a few minutes when you might be available?”
    • “We haven’t spoken for awhile.  Do you have time for a phone call in the next few days?”                     
  2. Nice reaching-out is to make sure there’s enough time for both of you to share the good and bad.
    • You can ask, “Is this still a good time to talk?”  The person might tell you about how much time they have to talk, for example, by saying, “I’ve got another appointment in 20 minutes.”
    • When you are close to the time you must leave the phone call, you could say:  “I’m so sorry, I’ve got another appointment in five minutes.”    That allows the situation for a change of topic or prompts the other to ask how things are going for you.
    • Satisfying communication for both people often happens when both people communicate meaningfully.  Sharing about what you have been working on lately,  family, or hobby build connectedness and rapport.
  3. Consider the greeting “How’s it going?”
    • This question focuses on circumstances.  The question “How are you” in the North American culture is most often answered as if it were a greeting and most often answered with “Fine”.  In contrast, “how’s it going” allows the other person to share event details, both bad and good.
    • When a person, perhaps you, has ongoing difficulties, “I’m hanging in there” is a brief colloquial or casual talk response.
  4. Mirror their emotions.  Ask questions.
    • Mirroring is the behavior of one person unconsciously imitating the gesture, manner of speech or attitude of another.  It seems to establish a sense of empathy.
    •   Use what the other person is saying as the natural guide in giving ideas and cues about what you might say or ask.
  5. Allow yourself to be accessible, to reveal some things about yourself, including the not-so-good.

 Copyright 2021 Clear Talk Mastery, Inc.