Distinguishing Between Hey & Hi

Hey vs Hi

Hi, hey, and hello are all common greetings people use when meeting each other. Although hello was the standard greeting worldwide until recently, the more casual “Hi” and “Hey” have become popular among the email-using generation. While many people use these terms interchangeably, others feel they are not synonymous and have differences. Let’s take a closer look at “Hi” and “Hey.”


Hey is an informal word that is increasingly used by the younger generation to greet friends and even strangers. Some people find this word offensive and somewhat cold, as it can give the impression of not caring much about the person. Hey is casual and laid back.


Hi is a greeting used for people of all ages. It is considered more formal than “Hey” but less formal than “Hello.” This is why it has become acceptable among people of all classes. It is also a term that is respectable and does not offend older people.

Key Takeaways

  • Hi and Hey are both used to greet others, but Hi is formal and commands respect, while Hey is considered informal and cold.
  • Some people feel that Hey is offensive and more suitable for catching someone’s attention in a more aggressive manner, such as when a police officer shouts “Hey you” at someone running away after committing a crime.
  • For those who use Hey while chatting on the internet, it is seen as a cool and stylish word.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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