First impressions are important.  So, what is the first thing you say when you meet a person?  Do you say, “Nice to meet you”?  I’m not surprised if you do.  Most of my students use this phrase right off the bat.  Many textbooks suggest it.  However, it’s not natural and it might be a little awkward


Japanese introductions have two common phrases: 

はじめまして (Hajimemashite)

よろしくお願いします (Yoroshikuonegaishimasu)


The common structure for introductions in Japanese is:

A: Hajimemashite, Kenji desu.

B: Hajimemashite, Jeff desu.

A: Yoroshikuonegaishimasu.

B: Yoroshikuonegaishimasu.


For English introductions, there is only one phrase: “Nice to meet you”.  So, if we use it in the beginning on the introduction, what will we use at the end?  The phrase “hajimemashite” is basically equal to “nice to meet you”. There is no English phrase for “yoroshikuonegaishimasu”.  So, Japanese introductions and English introductions must have a different structure.  Speaking English requires thinking differently.  


This is a common, but unnatural student introduction:

Student:  Nice to meet you!  I’m Kenji. 

Teacher:  Hi, I’m Jeff.  Nice to meet you.

Student:  Nice to meet you too.  


Have you done this before?  You probably have.  Many textbooks make this mistake too.  So, its not your fault.  

Here is a more natural conversation:

Student:  Hi!  I’m Kenji.

Teacher:  Hi!  I’m Jeff.  Nice to meet you.

Student:  Nice to meet you too.


If you like, you can say: “Nice to meet you” at the same time.

A: Hello.  My name is Masa.

B: Hey.  My name is Kara.

A + B:  Nice to meet you!


There are some alternatives to:  “Nice to meet you”.

Good to meet you.  <– This sounds a little more casual.

It’s a pleasure to meet you.  <– This sounds more formal. 


We all want to make a good first impression.  By using this natural introduction, you will be off to a good start. 


Natural English used in this post:

Right of the bat = immediately

Off to a good start = to start well

Awkward = uncomfortable in a social situation



Often my students have difficulty talking about FUTURE EVENTS.  

In lessons, I hear students use phrases like these:


My friend will come to Japan AFTER two days. .

I will go to Hawaii two weeks AFTER. 


Both of these may get the point across, but both are UNNATURAL when talking about future events. 


There is a much easier way to talk about future events –> using “IN”

Here are some examples:


I will go to Hawaii IN two weeks.

My flight is IN 20 minutes.

We will arrive in Honolulu IN two and a half hours. 


So,  when you are asked about future events, try answering with “IN”.


A: When are you going to New York?  

B: I’m going IN three weeks.


A: When will you finish the report?

B: I will be finished IN 30 minutes. 



Now, you may be asking:  How can we use “AFTER”?  

We can use “AFTER” when talking about TWO events. 

Here are some examples:


I will make dinner AFTER I finish watching this movie.

AFTER visiting Italy, I started studying Italian history.

Let’s go for a drink AFTER work.

AFTER you finish the report, hand it to the manager.  


So the structure can be:

(Event # 2)  AFTER  (Event # 1).


For example:

Event # 1 –> Eat dinner.

Event # 2 –> Pay the bill.

I will pay the bill AFTER eating dinner. 


Event # 1 –> Charge my phone.

Event # 2 –> Call you.

I will call you AFTER I charge my phone. 


For the opposite structure, use –> THEN

The structure can be:

(Event # 1)  THEN  (Event # 2).


For example:

Event # 1 –> Eat dinner.

Event # 2 –> Pay the bill.

I will eat dinner THEN pay the bill. 


Event # 1 –> Charge my phone.

Event # 2 –> Call you.

I will charge my phone THEN call you. 



So, when is your next vacation? 

When is your next break? 

When will dinner be ready?

Try answering this questions about FUTURE EVENTS using “IN”.


Next time, we will learn phrases for PAST EVENTS.

See you then!


Natural English in this article:

Get the point across  = To communicate, to be understood.

Go for a drink = This phrase is used when inviting a person for an alcoholic drink.  The phrase indicates having only one drink, but in reality more than one drink may be consumed. In Western culture, the drinking alcohol is often downplayed.

Hand (verb) = To give something to another person.