Hi, Sir/Madam

Discussion in 'English Only' started by HOUYI, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. HOUYI Member

    China
    Chinese
    When I greet to a stranger,can I say,"Hi,Sir/Madam."
    Will it be considered as impolite?
     
  2. Majorbloodnock Senior Member

    South East England
    British English
    Yes. They'd expect you to be able to tell their gender just by looking. ;)

    OK, I'm being flippant, so I'll also answer the question I think you're asking.

    "Hi" is informal, whilst "Sir" or "Madam" is formal. No-one will be offended if you put the two together, but it will sound wrong. If you're going to use "Sir" or "Madam", I would suggest you use "Hello" with it instead. If you're starting a letter or email, and don't know exactly who will be reading it, then "Dear Sir/Madam" would not be offensive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  3. Gary45 New Member

    english
    Thank you for the explanation!
     

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