a big hi


Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
Hi, I saw 'say hi to him' with 'hi' used as non-countable in the following. I've been saying something like 'I just dropped by to say a big hi to you' with 'hi' being countable. Is it okay to say 'a ( ) hi' when it is coupled with some adjective?

I texted him last year on the anniversary, because I get so many greetings from people associated with that moment, either as fans or just some people internally on that date. Last year I thought, Let me just say hi to him. I texted him and he texted back. (June 13, 2012, The New York Times)
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    I hear combinations like "a friendly hello" etc. occasionally. When I do, I interpret "hi" or "hello" to mean "greeting".


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, I think it's fine. It's the same sort of thing when you add an adjective to a proper noun (which also normally doesn't take an article).

    • I saw Peter yesterday.
    • I saw a sleepy Peter yesterday.

    As JS says, 'Hi' is an exclamation, but here it is a kind of shorthand for 'an exclamation of greeting' (and therefore functions as a noun).
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