I can only speak for the UK.Hi
I understand younger generation in the US often use "Hey" as a casual way of saying Hello.
Is "Hey" a bit more casual than "Hi"? or are they almost interchangeable?
In addition, is "Hey" often used in the UK too as a casual way of saying Hello?
That's very interesting. 'Hey you' is what policemen say in the UK when they see the robber climbing over the wall with a bag marked SWAG. It's admonitory and distinctly aggressive.Yes, I think it is definitely more informal.
"Hey you" -- I say this often as a greeting.
"Hey what's going on/how's it going" -- Also normal around California.
Well, I guess it depends on circumstances and on tone of voice. It's very common for my 16-year-old son to say, "hey!" to a friend rather than "hi!" "Hi!" would sound a little distant, I think, between friends of his age. He wouldn't say "hey!" as a greeting to his grandmother, though; that would be rude. He says, "hey" to me all the time and I don't think it's disrespectful. If he were meeting someone not his age for the first time, I don't think he'd say "hey!" He'd be more likely to say "hi!" or "hello!" in that situation.Thank you guys for your help.
Hi, James. I sort of wanted to see the long answer too.
Neither would I. I don't use it but to me it's equivalent to the informal greeting 'Hi, there' as regards register. Of course, as KB says, ican be used differently, to attract someone's attention.I wouldn't call "hey" a dialect term in BE. It's pretty widely used, but perhaps in different ways by different people.
'Hello' isn't formal in BE.Hey is dialect. Hi is idiomatic. Hello is formal.
Annoyingly (to me) it seems to be one of various stacks of "hey" adopted by many of the younger AE set.Hey there is most often used to attract attention; it's not a usual greeting. Use it in a loud voice when you see somebody many yards away, who is not looking at you.
Your family obviously wasn't aware of the Cockney Alphabet:Annoyingly (to me) it seems to be one of various stacks of "hey" adopted by many of the younger AE set.
(I was brought up with the aphorism "Hey is for horses.")