Americans usually hug when saying ‘hello’ or ‘good-bye’. But sometimes it’s a handshake instead — and sometimes it gets awkward! In this video, Rachel goes over when to hug and when to shake hands in American culture.
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In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to talk about the cultural use of hugging.
There’s something I’ve been wanting to make a video about for a while, and that’s hugging. It’s mostly because I think it must be weird for non-Americans; sometimes it’s even weird for me. If you’ve spent much time in the US, you might have noticed that Americans hug each other a lot. We do it in saying hello to someone and in saying good bye.
You don’t do this with someone you’ve never met when meeting, in that case you probably do a hand shake.
>> Hey Hilah, this is my boyfriend David.
>> Hi David.
>> I’m Hilah.
>> Nice to meet you.
>> Nice to meet…
Also, you don’t hug in business settings.
>> Hello, Ms. Smith. I’m Tom Kelley. Thanks so much for coming in.
>> It’s my pleasure. Thanks so much for meeting with me.
In business settings, you shake hands when meeting or leaving someone, unless it’s more causal, like someone you see every day at your office. Then you can just say ‘hello’ or ‘good-bye’.
>> Morning Tom.
>> Hey. Morning, Rach.
But when it’s a friend, you hug when you meet up or part ways with them.
>> How ya feeling?
>> Long time no see.
>> It’s good to see ya.
>> How are ya?
>> Good. How are you?
>> Good. Thanks for having us.
>> Hey Rick!
>> Hi. Good to see ya.
>> You too.
>> Bye HaQuyen.
>> Bye Rachel.
>> It was great to see you.
>> It’s always good to see you.
This can happen even when you’ve just met someone. Let’s say you’re at a small party, and you meet someone for the first time.
>> Rachel, this is my friend Jacob.
>> Hi Jacob.
>> Hi, nice to meet you.
>> Nice to meet you. Thanks for having me.
At the end of the night, when you say goodbye, you might hug that person.
>> Bye Jacob.
>> Nice to meet you.
>> Nice to meet you!
Men and women alike hug as a greeting and as a good bye. Though sometimes, men do something more of a slap than a hug.
>> Alright, man.
>> Talk to you soon.
>> See ya. Bye.
It can get awkward through. Some people are less comfortable with hugging, and might offer you a hand right as you offer a hug. In these cases, you just have to figure out what to do. If you’re not sure what to do, you can try to wait for the other person to initiate.
>> Oh… hi.
So, in America, we hug when greeting someone, and when saying bye.
What is the custom in your country? Let me know in the comments below.
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That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.