Can 'greet' be used when someone is 'saying hello' to someone they are coming up to. I have seen it used in the opposite order, as in greeting a visitor. Can it also be used for the visitor?


Said by someone with people coming to him:

The pub-owner greeted his guests when they came though the door.

Said by someone going to others:

Lisa had just moved in and went next door to greet her neighbors.

  • 1
    "Greetings, earthlings!" the Martian said. – Damkerng T. Jun 28 '15 at 22:03

Greeting can be used irrespective of movement, or who is moving and who is stationary.

However, it would normally be a host who performs the greeting and not the visitor. Thus, although the second example may be heard in common usage it would technically be incorrect.

The more correct forms would be:

Lisa had just moved in and went next door to meet her neighbours.

Lisa had just moved in and went next door and was greeted by her neighbours.

or even (with some context):

She read the note on the doormat, it said "Come round and have tea when you arrive. Your new Neighbors".
Lisa had just moved in and went next door to be greeted by her neighbours.

  • The latter option seems unlikely. Lisa has no right to expect a greeting, nor does she seek a greeting. "...to meet" sounds much more natural. – Brian Hitchcock Jun 29 '15 at 8:45
  • @BrianHitchcock. Hmm, yes. Perhaps I'll have to make it past tense. I'll cogitate on it some more. Thanks – Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩 Jun 29 '15 at 8:47

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