Is It Correct to Say “Good Afternoon All”? (2023)

In any language, it’s essential to know how to address people. However, when talking to groups of people, it can sometimes be challenging to know what greetings to choose, so how about the greeting “Good afternoon, all”? Is it grammatically correct, and when can we use it appropriately?

It’s correct to say “Good afternoon all” if you greet a group of people after midday and before evening. The indefinite pronoun “all” encompasses everyone present — or everyone receiving the communication in writing — and would be appropriate in a polite but informal setting.

This article will explore the meaning of the salutation “Good afternoon, all” and how we can use it. We’ll also look more broadly at salutations in English and the use of the indefinite pronoun.

What Does “Good Afternoon All” Mean?

In the English language, we use “afternoon” when it’s after 11:59 a.m. and before sunset. Saying “Good afternoon all” means that you are greeting multiple people or a group when you first see them during the afternoon and means the same thing as “Good afternoon, everyone” (source).

The salutation “Good afternoon” without any pronouns is more formal and familiar. Some think it originated as an abbreviation of the original saying, “I wish you a good afternoon.” When we add “all,” we refer to the whole group someone addresses, and most use it in a collegial way.

Here are some situations where we might use “Good afternoon, all”:

  • In a work environment: “Good afternoon, all; Let’s start the next session now.”
  • Teacher entering a class: “Good afternoon, all; please take out your books.”
  • When giving a speech: “Good afternoon, all; welcome to Jack’s retirement party.”
  • In a public place greeting unknown people: “Good afternoon, all!”

Indefinite Pronoun “All”

In the context of this greeting, “all” is an indefinite pronoun, which means that it takes the place of a noun while not referring to a specific person or thing (source).

When we say “Good afternoon, all,” we greet everyone in a particular group. The group includes all those who are listening or receiving the communication. In this specific context, “all” and “everybody” or “everyone” are interchangeable.

If we use “all” in the greeting at the beginning of an email, for example, we would refer to everyone the email addresses. If it’s spoken, then we’re addressing everyone present. If there’s any doubt about who it includes, it would be wiser to be more specific.

For more on this topic, read our article “Is it Grammatically Correct to Say ‘Dear All’?

“All” vs. Everybody and Everyone

In the context of “Good afternoon, all,” we can substitute “everybody” or “everyone” for “all,” and the meaning will remain the same. Here we are referring to the totality of people.

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However, this is not always the case because “everybody” and “everyone” can only refer to people, while “all” can work for objects as well as people. Another difference is that we use a plural verb with “all” and a singular verb with “everyone” and “everything.”

Is It Grammatically Correct to Say “Good Afternoon All”?

It is grammatically correct to say “Good afternoon, all” when greeting a large group of people. It is technically not a sentence because it doesn’t contain a subject or verb, but we would classify it as a salutation.

A salutation is a type of exclamatory sentence that functions as a greeting, generally at the beginning of a written communication or speech (source).

If the greeting is in writing, you should use a comma after “Good afternoon” because there should always be a comma between the greeting and the person/people you’re addressing. In the same way that you should write “Good afternoon, Jane,” you should also write “Good afternoon, all.”

Which Is Correct: “Good Noon” or “Good Afternoon”?

Noon is a specific point in time of 12:00 at midday (source). Any time after that would be “afternoon.” It’s not grammatically correct to say “Good Noon,” and the correct choice would always be to say, “Good afternoon.”

Is It Correct to Say “Good Afternoon All”? (1)

We don’t use “good” with any specific point in time and would likewise never say “good midnight.” However, we can pair any period of time with “good” to mean “I wish you a good day/morning/afternoon/evening.”

How Do You Use “Good Afternoon All”?

We use “Good afternoon, all” when it is clear who the “all” includes and when the greeting occurs in the afternoon. It would be unlikely to use this salutation in written communication unless it was to a small group aware of whom was receiving it.

In What Context Can You Use “Good Afternoon All”?

“Good afternoon, all” is usually a greeting to a group of people at the start of a speech or meeting or, sometimes, it’s an opener in written communication. When functioning in the correct context, everyone must know who the “all” refers to. It always applies to more than one person, and it’s polite but not overly formal.

As with many other greetings, “Good afternoon, all” can also work as a farewell or closing statement. For example, you could say, “Good afternoon all,” at the end of a speech or meeting or even as you leave the office for the day.

When Can You Use “Good Afternoon All”?

The sentence “Good afternoon, all” can function in any situation where you want to greet a group of people in a friendly yet polite way during the afternoon. We would most often use it in spoken settings, but we might use it in specific written communication too.

(Video) Good Afternoon All

The salutation would often apply in work, school, or other settings addressing a large group. For instance, you may walk into a meeting or assembly and say, “Good afternoon, all,” to refer to all the people in the room.

When Not to Use a “Good Afternoon All”?

The most obvious time not to use this salutation is when it isn’t afternoon. If it were a different time of day, you could use “good morning” or “good evening” instead. Also, you should avoid using it when it isn’t clear who the “all” encompasses.

When we use “all” in this context, we refer to all the members of a specific group. If it is all the people in a room, then it would be appropriate, but if we are only talking to some of the people present, it wouldn’t be appropriate.

Using it in written communication, such as an email, would only be appropriate if the recipients know who the “all” refers to. If this isn’t clear, it would be better to spell out who it addresses and use something like “Good afternoon, board members” or something similarly specific.

“Good afternoon, all” is a polite greeting, so it may not be appropriate in a very casual setting, such as with friends. Here, you’d likely choose something more casual, such as “Hello everyone.”

Additionally, you wouldn’t use “Good afternoon, all” in a very formal setting because the “all” would be too generic, and you would need to address your audience more intentionally. In a formal setting, you could still say “Good afternoon” but would follow it with something more specific than a generic “all.”

Is It Professional to Say Good Afternoon All?

There is nothing wrong with using “Good Afternoon, all” in a professional environment so long as the context is clear. However, because the pronoun “all” is indefinite, its use can sound somewhat impersonal, so it’s important that the context is appropriate.

In a work environment, you can avoid the risk of sounding rude by being more specific in your greeting. For example, you could say “Good afternoon, colleagues” or “Good afternoon, fellow doctors” or anything more specific.

If you address a group of people in a formal environment, it may be more appropriate to say, “Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.” Your opening greeting, whether in writing or spoken, will set the tone for what follows and can work to show respect to whomever receives your message.

Using “Good Afternoon All” in a Full Sentence

The phrase “Good afternoon, all” can also function as a full sentence. Most often, this would be in written dialogue.

Consider the examples below.

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  • Good afternoon, all, and welcome to our Sunday show.
  • Good afternoon, all, and thank you for donating money for childhood cancer.
  • “Good afternoon, all,” said the principal to the assembled students.

What Can You Use Instead of “Good Afternoon All”?

If you’re not sure if it’s appropriate to use “Good afternoon, all,” you can try avoiding the phrase completely by using an alternative. You can use many substitutes for “all” and many greetings instead of “Good afternoon.”

If you want to be more specific, you could abandon “all” and use any of the following:

  • Good afternoon, everyone.
  • Good afternoon, students.
  • Good afternoon, colleagues.
  • Good afternoon, friends.

If it isn’t afternoon, or if you think the greeting sounds too formal, then you could use any of the following:

  • Hello, everyone.
  • Greetings, everybody!
  • Welcome, students!
  • Greetings, all.
Is It Correct to Say “Good Afternoon All”? (2)

Formal vs. Informal Speech and Writing

We often speak about formal and informal language, and it’s important to understand that they differ in tone, structure, and choice of words.

In general, formal language that we would use in professional and academic environments is less personal. It avoids colloquialisms and contractions and doesn’t make use of first-person personal pronouns (source).

Informal language, by contrast, is much more casual and is best when communicating with family or friends or even in informal business environments. Here, the tone is more personal.

Here are some examples to illustrate the difference between formal and informal language.
Informal language: The changes can’t be implemented due to the impending lawsuit. Formal language: The changes cannot be implemented due to the impending lawsuit.

Informal language: She’ll never get over her mentor’s death.

Formal language: She will never recover from the death of her mentor.

Informal language: I floated a few research methods for this study.

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Formal language: A few research methods were considered for this study.

In the case of “Good morning,” we would see this as a formal salutation, so we might avoid it in casual contexts where you would more easily just say, “hello.” However, the use of “all” in “Good morning, all” is potentially too vague, and there are other choices that would be more formal.

Greetings and Salutations

Greetings and salutations are an important part of any language, and we use them daily in both professional and personal contexts. A greeting can be just a nod of the head, a kiss, a handshake, or a wink, but it can also be spoken or written.

There’s a lot of history behind the greetings we use in English, and context is very important in choosing the correct one. Greetings can be formal or informal, depending on the status and environment of the people interacting.

A greeting is something friendly or polite you say when you encounter another person or a group of people (source). It’s an act of communication between humans to intentionally show attention and the status of their relationship.

What Type of Clause Are Greetings?

When we use salutations such as “Good afternoon, all,” it’s useful to know what part of a sentence it is and which of the following four basic clause types it fits under.

Clause TypeExample
Declarative (statements)The dog is brown.
Jane is married to Tom.
Interrogative (questions)Where is your passport?
Do you like apples?
Imperative (orders/instructions)Sit on the chair.
Have some chocolate.
Exclamative (exclamations or interjections)Good morning!

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Grammarians classify salutations as exclamations or interjections. Exclamative clauses generally express an emotion, and we often follow them with an exclamation point. Sometimes, they are just one or two words, and then we call them interjections.

Final Thoughts

Because we use greetings every day, it’s important to get them right and understand when and how to use salutations such as “Good afternoon, all.”

“Good afternoon” is a formal way to greet someone in the afternoon, and the choice of “all” encompasses a broad group of people. There are many alternatives to choose from if you want to be more personal and informal.


Is it OK to say good afternoon all in an email? ›

“Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” and “Good evening,” are reliable and inoffensive email openers. These polite, generic email greetings are usually used when emailing groups of people for professional reasons or impersonal, semi-formal emails.

How do you say good afternoon to all? ›

In this case, you can say “Good afternoon, Jim.” or “Good afternoon, everyone.” If you include another salutation beforehand, include a comma between that salutation and “good afternoon.” For example, “Hello, good afternoon.”

Is it good afternoon all or good afternoon to all? ›

It's correct to say “Good afternoon all” if you greet a group of people after midday and before evening. The indefinite pronoun “all” encompasses everyone present — or everyone receiving the communication in writing — and would be appropriate in a polite but informal setting.

Do you capitalize good afternoon all? ›

What about “good afternoon”? Typically, “good morning” is capitalized only when it's used as a salutation at the beginning of a letter or email. The same rule applies to “good afternoon.” Don't capitalize it unless it's a salutation in a letter or email.

How do you greet multiple people in an email? ›

Whenever addressing one, two, or three people, state each person's name in the salutation, e.g.:
  1. Dear, Tom, Mia, and Jim.
  2. Good afternoon Jose and Camila.

How do you greet a group in an email? ›

Email greetings to groups
  1. If it's a group of people you know really well, you can use something more informal such as “Hi all,” “Hi team” or “Hi everyone.”
  2. If it's a more formal email, you can use greetings such as “Dear Coworkers,” “Dear Colleagues” or “Dear Hiring Committee.”
Feb 13, 2022

Is it correct to say good morning all? ›

'Good morning, all' is just fine - and it means 'good morning (to) all'. Both phrases are acceptable.

What is the meaning of all afternoon? ›

the period that starts at about twelve o'clock or after the meal in the middle of the day and ends at about six o'clock or when the sun goes down: [ C ] She works three afternoons a week at the library.

What does good afternoon everyone mean? ›

something you say to greet someone politely when you meet them in the afternoon.

Was good afternoon a rude thing to say? ›

“In the 1800s, 'good afternoon' was a sick burn,” explains Present. “It more or less meant f— you. Extremely graphic.” In reality, the innocuous phrase is not a historical insult.

Is it correct to say hello all? ›

As an informal greeting to a group of people , “Hello all,” is fine but “hello to all” would not sound English in the least.

When should you not say good afternoon? ›

For example, “Good morning” is generally used from 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. whereas “Good afternoon” time is from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. “Good evening” is often used after 6 p.m. or when the sun goes down.

Do you capitalize all in a greeting? ›

Capitalize the first word and all nouns in the salutation and complimentary close of a letter. Capitalize all words in a salutation when the receiver is unknown.

Is it OK to say good morning all in an email? ›

Yes, it is polite and appropriate. You can say, “Greetings” or “Hello” “Hope you are well” if you don't know what time of day the email will arrive.

Is Good evening all capitalized? ›

The opening greeting in a letter also known as a salutation is always delivered capitalized, and since good evening is so commonly used as that first greeting it is commonly delivered with both words capitalized.

How do you greet a group of people? ›

When you are greeting a group of people – for example at a meeting – you can also say something such as: Good morning, everyone. I hope you are doing well this morning.
How have you been doing? / How have you been?
  1. Great, thank you. And you?
  2. Very well. How are you?
  3. Good thanks. How about you?
Dec 7, 2022

How do you address 4 people in an email? ›

When you're wondering how to address an email to multiple people from the same organization, it is common to use "Dear colleagues" or "Dear team," followed by the individuals' last names, as in: "Dear Colleagues, I am writing to let you know that I am resigning from my position." But if they share the same email ...

How do you write a formal email to many people? ›

When writing to one recipient or a group of people, you may simply write their full name and job title or the name of the group. If you're writing to multiple recipients at the same address, you may list each of their full names and job titles separated by a comma.

What is a good opening sentence for an email? ›

Good morning/afternoon/evening. I hope your week started well. Thank you for the timely response. I'd be eager to get your advice on...

What is the best greeting sentence to start an email? ›

If You Need Something Formal
  • Allow Me to Introduce Myself.
  • Good afternoon.
  • Good morning.
  • How are you?
  • Hope this email finds you well.
  • I hope you enjoyed your weekend.
  • I hope you're doing well.
  • I hope you're having a great week.

How do you greet a group of people for the first time? ›

7 Golden Rules for Meeting and Greeting
  1. Stand Up. When you're greeting new people, do so face-to-face. ...
  2. Look 'Em in the Eye. Making eye contact indicates engagement and focus. ...
  3. Smile (and the World Smiles With You) ...
  4. Take the Initiative With a Handshake. ...
  5. Say Who You Are. ...
  6. Observe the Hierarchy. ...
  7. Get the Name Game Right.
Feb 19, 2018

How do you wish good morning to all? ›

Rise and shine love.” “Good morning. Hope you're ready for a brilliant day ahead.” “Hope you slept so well and are ready for a great day.”

How do you say good morning all professionally? ›

Different Ways To Say Good Morning
  1. Rise and shine! – This is usually said when you are in the process of waking someone from sleep.
  2. Top of the morning to you! ...
  3. Good day to you.
  4. Have a great day.
  5. Hello there!
  6. Wishing you the best for the day ahead.
  7. How are you this fine morning?
  8. Isn't it a beautiful day today?

What are different ways to say afternoon? ›

synonyms for afternoon
  1. siesta.
  2. teatime.
  3. P.M.
  4. cocktail hour.
  5. post meridian.

Does afternoon have plural? ›

afternoons - Simple English Wiktionary.

How do you use afternoon in a sentence? ›

I'll see you again tomorrow afternoon. It was early/late afternoon when I left. She spent the/her afternoon at the library. I remember the many rainy afternoons I spent reading at the library.

Which is correct good afternoon everyone or everybody? ›

There is no difference in meaning between everyone and everybody, but everyone is more common in written English, and everybody is more common in spoken English.

Is it good evening everyone or everybody? ›

The short answer is, there's not much difference! Both of these words mean "every person," and in dictionaries, the meaning of everyone is often given as everybody, and vice versa. However, it's worth mentioning that many people think everybody is a little more casual (more informal) than everyone.

Is it polite to say good morning everyone? ›

But 'Good morning everybody' is more casual and can be used when you are referring to a small group of people. 'Good morning everyone' is formal and refers to a wider sect of people.

Do Americans say good afternoon? ›

Co-workers often greet each other by saying good morning. Americans say good morning from sunrise until noon. Good afternoon! "Good afternoon" is both a formal and informal greeting.

Is Good afternoon formal or informal? ›

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English good ˌafterˈnoon ●●● S3 formal used to say hello when you are greeting someone in the afternoon, especially someone you do not know → good evening, good morningRegisterIn informal everyday English, people often just say Afternoon.

Do people say good afternoon in America? ›

Yes, we do greet people with the word “Good” for morning, afternoon, evening, night, day, etc.

How do you greet all? ›

Formal Greetings
  1. Hello!
  2. Hi there.
  3. Good morning.
  4. Good afternoon.
  5. Good evening.
  6. It's nice to meet you.
  7. It's a pleasure to meet you. As you may have assumed, these last two only work when you are meeting someone for the first time. We hope you enjoy putting these new English greetings to use!

How do you say greetings all? ›

Formal Ways to Say Hello
  1. Hello. This is the standard opening word that everyone knows. ...
  2. Good Morning. This is a very polite greeting. ...
  3. Good Afternoon. ...
  4. Good Evening. ...
  5. It's Nice to Meet You. ...
  6. It's a Pleasure to Meet You. ...
  7. Greetings/Greetings and Salutations. ...
  8. Good to See You.

Is there a comma between HI and all? ›

When the salutation in your email starts with Hello or Hi, you should put a comma before the name of the person you're addressing. It is also an accepted practice to put a comma after the name of the person you're addressing.

What can I use instead of dear all? ›

What Can You Use Instead of “Dear All”?
  • Good Morning, All,
  • Hello, All,
  • Good Evening, All,
  • Greetings, All,
Jan 14, 2022

Do you capitalize the word all in a sentence? ›

When it comes to the word “all” in title case, this is a term that should always be capitalized. Even though it is only three letters long, it is a major word because of its part of speech. Major words include nouns, pronouns, proper nouns, adjectives, and adverbs.

What is the meaning of hi all? ›

Hello all! Hello everyone!: Greetings to each member of the group!

How do you greet someone professionally? ›

How do you greet someone professionally?
  1. "Dear Sir/Madam"
  2. "To [title/designation]"
  3. "To whom it may concern"
  4. "Dear Mr/Ms"
  5. "Dear [first name]"
  6. "Hi, [first name]"
  7. "Hello/Hello, [name]"
  8. "Greetings"
Aug 9, 2021

Which is correct good morning all or good morning to all? ›

GOOD MORNING TO ALL vs GOOD MORNING EVERYONE. A complete search of the internet has found these results: GOOD MORNING TO ALL is the most popular phrase on the web. More popular!

What is the best way to end a professional email? ›

Nine email sign-offs that never fail
  1. 1 Regards.
  2. 2 Sincerely.
  3. 3 Best wishes.
  4. 4 Cheers.
  5. 5 Best.
  6. 6 As ever.
  7. 7 Thanks in advance.
  8. 8 Thank you.
Feb 6, 2023

What is a closing salutation? ›

“Sincerely,” “Yours truly” and “Cordially” work well for most forms of correspondence. However, if you know the reader well and the tone of the message calls for a more personal ending (for example, an email to congratulate a colleague on a promotion), you could use “Best wishes,” “Regards,” or “Warmest regards.”

What should I say in an email instead of Good afternoon? ›

If You Need Something Formal
  • Allow Me to Introduce Myself.
  • Good afternoon.
  • Good morning.
  • How are you?
  • Hope this email finds you well.
  • I hope you enjoyed your weekend.
  • I hope you're doing well.
  • I hope you're having a great week.
Jan 30, 2018

How do you say all good in an email? ›

I hope all is well with you. I hope you are having a productive day/week. I hope you're happy/healthy. I hope you are doing well and are safe.

Is it polite to say good morning all? ›

'Good morning, all' is just fine - and it means 'good morning (to) all'. Both phrases are acceptable.

How do you say good morning everyone formally? ›

It is also common to say “Good morning, sir/madam” when greeting someone in a formal situation whose name is unknown.
4. Good Morning / Good Afternoon / Good Evening
  1. Good morning, Mr. Houston.
  2. Good afternoon, Ms. Partridge.
  3. Good morning, Tom.
  4. Good evening, Kelly.
Feb 7, 2023

How do you say all is good in a nice way? ›

18 Ways to Say “All the Best” In a Conversation
  1. Good luck.
  2. Best of luck.
  3. I hope things will turn out fine.
  4. You were made for this!
  5. You are going to be amazing!
  6. You'll do great!
  7. Wishing you all the best.
  8. Wishing you lots of luck.
Dec 16, 2020

Is all good informal? ›

idiom Informal. everything is fine, despite any indications or fears to the contrary; there is nothing to worry about (often used in an insincere, dismissive, or resigned way): Yeah, I got knocked around a bit, needed a few stitches, but it's all good.

When can I say all good? ›

The expression all good is used often to say no problems, no worries. If someone apologizes to you, you might say “oh, it's all good,” just to show that person that you are not offended by what he or she did to you, and that everything is ok.

How do you say good afternoon in stylish way? ›

Good Afternoon Message for Her
  1. Good afternoon, enjoy this amazing afternoon. ...
  2. Good afternoon my shooting star.
  3. I hope and pray that God will give us more time together to share the beautiful thing we have. ...
  4. Good afternoon the queen of my life.
  5. Hello Darling, I hope your day is as bright as you are.
Apr 11, 2022

Can I say good afternoon in USA? ›

'Good afternoon / Good evening'

more formal but always well respected and implies a very polite greeting. And these are your tips for today. Now, you just need to practice your English to write like a native speaker.


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