Difference Between Hey and Hi

Hey vs Hi

Hi, hey, and hello etc. are commonly used words to greet each other upon meeting. People hardly pay attention to the word that is used to refer to them. While it was hello that was used all over the world as an accepted way to greet each other till recently, more casual Hi and Hey seem to have taken over the email using generation of today. While most people use these terms interchangeably without thinking much about their differences, others feel that the two are not same or synonymous, and there are differences between them. Let us take a closer look at Hi and Hey.


Hey is a word that is rather informal but increasingly being used by young generation these days to greet buddies and even strangers. There are many who find the use of this word offensive and rather cold. They say that to say Hey is to treat a person as if you do not care much about him. Hey is a term that is casual and laid back.


Hi is a word used to greet people of all ages. It is considered more formal than Hey though somewhat less formal than Hello. This is the reason why it has become acceptable among people of all classes. It is also a term that is respectable and does not offend people of old ages.

Hey vs Hi

Hi and Hey are both words used to greet others but whereas Hi is formal and commands respect, the same cannot be said about Hey. Some people feel that it is rather informal and cold. Some even go to the extent of saying that Hey is offensive and more suitable to catch the attention of a person as in ‘Hey you’ when a policeman shouts when he sees a man running away after committing a crime. If seen in this light, hey becomes aggressive and admonitory, but for those who make use of Hey while chatting on the internet, it is a word that seems cool and matches their style.

  • reza

    really thank u