I've encountered a question about the verbs "greet" and "welcome." While both seem to involve acknowledging someone's presence, I'm not entirely clear on how they differ in usage and context. I'm seeking clarification on a few points:

  1. What are the key differences in meaning and usage between "greet" and "welcome"? Are there any specific situations where one is more appropriate than the other?

  2. How do native English speakers typically use "greet" and "welcome" in everyday conversation? Are there any idiomatic expressions or common phrases that include these verbs?

  • I have yet to meet a native speaker who uses either of these in "everyday conversation" under an informal setting. "Welcome" while making a speech? Yes, but that's exclusively formal.
    – Rakib
    Commented Jan 9 at 11:41
  • merriam-webster.com/dictionary/welcome seems pretty clear on the various meanings
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 9 at 12:28
  • You greet a friend when you see them in the street, but you don't welcome them because the street isn't your home. Commented Jan 9 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


Typically, one welcomes a person on that person’s arrival. So if Mary is at a restaurant when John shows up, each can greet the other, and she can welcome him, but he cannot welcome her.

Another restriction is that if the restaurant belonged to John, then whenever either arrived, Mary couldn’t welcome him (to his own restaurant). In fact, even if she arrived before him, it would still be okay for him to welcome her once they were both there.

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