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I just felt like typing "hello" in Chinese in a chat room (with no Chinese speakers in it but what the hey...)

Halfway through it struck me that there's "你们" (nǐhǎo) for hello, "你" (nǐ) meaning you, and what about "你们" (nǐmen) being more or less a plural "you"? In Spanish for "welcome" you can say "bienvenido" to one person or "bienvenidos" to two people, so there could be similar in other languages.

Well my IME suggested "你们好" as first option when I typed "nimenhao", so that made me think it actually is used?

So I come here to ask of ye experts, What actually is the story with "你们好"?

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Yes, 你们好 is actually used for greeting multiple people at once. Similarly, "how are you all?" => "你们好吗?" – Stan Jan 9 '14 at 16:32
I should've stated in my question that I ask because I've never come across it in the teaching materials, phrasebooks, or websites I've used. (I have not studied Chinese seriously though I am currently in China.) – hippietrail Jan 9 '14 at 16:36
A couple of answers mention 大家好 ‘dàjiā hăo’ or ‘Hello everyone’. I like this one, it is more chatty and doesn’t presuppose any relationship with the addressees. The characters literally mean 'big family'. – neubau Jan 13 '14 at 17:55
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes it's in actual use.

But you need use it carefully, because "你们好" is always used when famous people meeting their fans, or teacher meet there students. If you are meeting elders or in honorific expression, you should use "您好" to each person, even if there are many people at the same time.

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That's interesting! – hippietrail Jan 10 '14 at 4:24
@hippietrail : Yes there are more interesting things in Chinese, enjoy! – 夏至夕陽 Jan 10 '14 at 5:40

Yes, there are a whole range of greetings similar to "你好", including "你们好", “大家好”, “老师好”, and so on.

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I feel 你们好 is a little stiff sentence, and I believe that people prefer to say 大家好 instead of 你们好.

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Yes, see also: – Starnuto di topo Jul 24 '15 at 6:36

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