My teacher told us that if you want to start a conversation or greeting in a not necessarily formal way you should say the phrase "it's really nice seeing you" after saying hello.

Do native English speakers use it in real life with their friends or family members?

  • 2
    It's more common to use "to see" instead of "seeing". and you may replace "see" by "meet", i.e. "It's really nice to meet you" (for example, when you meet someone for the fist time).
    – Graffito
    Oct 25, 2016 at 20:39
  • Hello, Graffito. But isn't this phrase you mentioned used to say to someone you've not seen or met before or for a long time? It sounds a bit formal to me Oct 25, 2016 at 20:44
  • For someone already met, just add "again": "It's really nice to see you again". With friends or family, people are less formal and may simply say "Hello, nice to see you!"
    – Graffito
    Oct 25, 2016 at 20:47
  • So based on what you've experienced between native speakers, my answer is " NO " .Isn't that ? :) Oct 25, 2016 at 20:56
  • 2
    "It's good/nice to see you" would be used on greeting someone who you've met before (but not for a while). "It good/nice to meet you" would be used when meeting someone new. "It's been nice seeing you" would be used at the end of the meeting.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 25, 2016 at 22:11

2 Answers 2


The "really" feels a bit over-the-top for most contexts, and "to see" feels more natural to me than "seeing". And some of us still cringe at "nice", having been warned against it in childhood because children over-use it; "good" is more grown-up.

But context is all-important. Is this encounter a surprise, or something planned in advance? How well do you know each other, and when did you last meet? If you're both students attending the same course, and you've seen each other every day this week, then saying "it's nice to see you" would seem very strange, almost implying that you previously failed to notice the other person's presence.

Possible variants:

"It's good to see you again" - if it's a long time since your last meeting.

"It's good to see you here" - if you wouldn't normally expect to meet the other person in that particular place.

"It's always good to see you" - if you have met frequently but not as a matter of routine.

"It's good to meet you at last" - if you've previously communicated, but haven't met in person.

  • +1 for striking a blow against really and nice!
    – ab2
    Apr 15, 2019 at 23:42

It's really nice seeing you.

Very idiomatic.

It is used to communicate genuine pleasure at re-acquaintance. Easily implied by prosody as well is that you wish the separation had not been so long. Consequently, you wouldn't usually say this every time you met someone - unless they were a very special someone.

Comments already made describe how usually people will say something less personal like

It's (really) nice to see you (again).

...seeing you... suggests 'here and now'; 'you and me'; informality; connecting.

...to see you... is often used in a warm and friendly way (with supporting prosody). But it's a more formal usage that easily allows a polite, guarded and impersonal tone.

  • Thank you, Dan . You settled my mind's argument. :) I appreciate it. Oct 26, 2016 at 8:08
  • To me it’s conflating two idiomafic expressions: present tense “It is really nice to see you”and past tense “It was nice seeing you”.
    – Jim
    Oct 26, 2016 at 23:10
  • 1
    And I really disagree with the updates about “to see” being guarded and impersonal.
    – Jim
    Oct 26, 2016 at 23:11
  • @Jim - The way the words are said is crucial. To my UK ears It's really nice seeing you is much less used but distinctively intimate and can only be so. It's really nice to see you can be used ambiguously leaving a person unsure whether the remark is truly felt, or simply a polite formality.
    – Dan
    Oct 26, 2016 at 23:31

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