How to reply to

Good day, sir

in the beginning of the conversation as a greeting?

  • It depends on whether "Good day, sir" is said as a greeting, as a parting comment, or as an abrupt dismissal. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 14 '15 at 12:54
  • @TRomano I asked as a greeting – Mrt Oct 14 '15 at 12:56
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    You could respond with "Good morning" or "Good afternoon". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 14 '15 at 12:58
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    It would be anachronistic in many parts of the English-speaking world. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 14 '15 at 13:03
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    I'd reply with ANY beginning-of-a-conversation greeting as well. (i.e., 'Hi', 'Hello', etc.) Why? It is the beginning of the conversation after all. – shin Oct 14 '15 at 23:31

This is more a question of etiquette and personal style than language. It's polite to acknowledge the greeting somehow. A simple "Hello" is sufficient. If you do wish to engage in conversation, then add a question or a bit of small talk. Examples:

Hello, how are you?

Good morning. Lovely day, isn't it?

Hi, Bob, how's the wife and kids?

  • The answer has run-on sentences and mismatching subjects and verbs. "Hello! How are you?" "Hi, Bob! How are the wife and kids?" – urnonav May 30 '18 at 21:33
  • It's perfectly cromulent idiomatic American English. Answered 2 years, 7 months ago. Have a nice day. – whywasinotconsulted Jun 1 '18 at 3:31
  • Idiomatic would mean the construct is considered acceptable for formal writing. However, this construct is not. LA Times This falls under colloquial misuse and shouldn't be prescribed, in the same way that the following sentence, while totally intelligible to a most native speakers, shouldn't be prescribed on a forum about English language: Cz its tots cray!" – urnonav Jun 1 '18 at 14:32
  • I understood the question to be about conversational English, not formal writing. – whywasinotconsulted Jun 4 '18 at 5:21

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