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Is there any kind of rule that the first greeting to a person should be 'good morning' irrespective of the time you meet that person. Whether its afternoon or evening. Please clarify with with facts and proof.

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marked as duplicate by choster, Kristina Lopez, Benyamin Hamidekhoo, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, Kris Oct 25 '13 at 6:18

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
This is not a question about language, but one about etiquette. –  Colin Fine Oct 24 '13 at 17:41
    
Relevant closed question: english.stackexchange.com/questions/52332/… –  MrHen Oct 24 '13 at 17:54
    
What a lot of things you want to use 'Good morning' for! –  Edwin Ashworth Oct 24 '13 at 21:20
    
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about conventions and culture -- not quite about the English language. An earlier post with the same question was closed as 'not constructive.' –  Kris Oct 25 '13 at 6:18

2 Answers 2

No, good morning is only used in the morning. I am not sure how I can get facts or proof for this other than the following NGram which shows that other phrases are also relatively common:

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As you can see, while good morning is indeed more popular, that is likely because working hours are in the morning and greetings are most commonly offered at the start of the day.

In any case, I assure you that if you were to meet someone at 9pm and say good morning they would look at you strangely.

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I do nonetheless regret that it is modern practice in Britain for telephonists and others, from one second past noon to start saying 'good afternoon'. My recollection is that back in the 1950s it was normal to carry on saying 'good morning' until after lunchtime. As someone, perhaps Rumpole of the Bailey, once opined 'a gentleman's afternoon begins after he has taken luncheon'. –  WS2 Oct 24 '13 at 21:33
    
@WS2 I quite agree, to me morning is until about an hour and a half after finishing my coffee. I still wouldn't say good morning after the sun has gone down though. –  terdon Oct 24 '13 at 22:57
    
'Morning' is of course also the time of day when people take coffee. In polite circles (at least in Britain) tea is taken in the afternoon. –  WS2 Oct 25 '13 at 20:11

For proof, I submit that "morning" is a particular time of day (usually from before sunrise until about noon), so "Good morning" applies only in the morning. You really wouldn't say "Good morning" at night.

Nor would you say "Good evening" at 9 o'clock in the morning.

Fortunately, we hardly ever have occasion to say "Good noon" (applicable to only about one second of the day).

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