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Is there any difference between both expressions?

Nice to meet you.

and

Glad to meet you.

If yes, when or why use each one? Also, there are some variations as

Nice to see you

or

Nice to found you.

This rule apply to this greetings too?

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Nice to meet you.

This is short for it is nice to meet you.

Glad to meet you.

This is short for I am glad to meet you.

Generally, they mean the same thing. When meeting someone (usually, for the first time), it is a positive experience. As such, I am glad has a bit more of a personal touch, I think: you actually refer to a personal emotion of being glad, whereas it is nice is more of a general observation. The difference is subtle, though, and probably most people might not notice it. Compare for instance these two sentences:

It's nice weather today.
I like the weather today.

They roughly mean the same thing, but the second one is more personal. (And of course, if I like weather that is not usually considered nice, they may mean something different.)

Nice to see you.

Short for it is nice to see you, you use this when you meet someone you already know; as a rule of thumb, use meet when you meet someone for the first time, use see when you are acquainted with them.

Nice to found you.

This sentence is grammatical, but it means you enjoy creating someone. If you mean you are happy about finding someone, make sure you use the verb find, not the verb found.

Nice to find you here!
Glad that I found you!

These are both correct uses of find, and express happiness about having encountered someone (at this specific location).

Glad to is followed by an infinitive, so glad to found you would refer to the verb found as we see it in the foundation of a company, the Founding Fathers and the founder of a city. The man who founded a city is not the same as one that found it!

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Nice and Glad in this context mean the same thing - meeting someone, you are delightful, happy or feel happy/pleasure.

The expression Nice to see you is used when you see someone after a long time or out of your expectation. Say, you meet Mike after 4 years or at party, you did not expect Mike to be there.

Also, nice/glad to meet you talks about meeting someone and is generally used at the first encounter. On the other hand, nice/glad to see you is normally used when you are already acquainted with someone but feel a bit surprising (happy) looking at them at the place.

Nice to found you does not fit in this context (and yes, to+found is weird here). It may mean the person was missing!

  • This was a good answer until your explanation of Nice to found you. oerkelens gets that part right. – 200_success Sep 17 '14 at 8:28
  • @200_success No worries. The context is greeting someone and I did not want to stretch my answer discovering all possibilities of using an English word. We use the same word in more than a dozen way, don't we? – Maulik V Sep 17 '14 at 8:34
  • @MaulikV: found in that sentence cannot be read as a grammatical form of the verb find... – oerkelens Sep 17 '14 at 10:28
  • @oerkelens That's why I edited it with to+found. – Maulik V Sep 17 '14 at 11:15
  • But "nice to find you here" is perfectly fine! nice to found just has nothing to do with finding someone or someone that was missing. "It may mean the person was missing"? No, it may not mean that, not in English! Nice to found you does not contains anything to do with finding people. – oerkelens Sep 17 '14 at 12:49
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There are very specific phrases which glad features in, where other words are less fitting. For instance:

"I'm glad you enjoyed it."

But "I'm glad to meet you." is--at least--in American English, a bit awkward. "Nice to meet you." or "Pleased to meet you." or even simply "A pleasure." (wink) sound less stilted.

Trying to reverse-engineer a rule for why...I think that "glad" tends to feature more in a sense of expressing relief. It's as if there was a bad outcome to be compared to.

"I'm glad you got here in time!"

In fact, the marketing campaign for Glad trashbags has used contrast explicitly in their marketing. A poor quality trashbag would collapse, while a Glad trashbag would not, so they say "Don't get mad, get Glad(tm)."

This would draw a subtle difference between "I'm glad I met you." (because of some good outcome that wouldn't have happend vs. not having met you), as opposed to this "Glad to meet you." which isn't really clear what you'd be sad/mad about.

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