Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!



Date: Oct 16 2009

Themes: How To, Travel

Grammar: Conditionals with "Unless"


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

If you ever visit the U.S., get ready to do some serious hugging. Americans love to hug, and it’s customary for friends and acquaintances to throw their arms around each other when saying hello or goodbye. Of course, you wouldn’t hug a total stranger or someone you just met at a business meeting. But you might be surprised by how often you find yourself locked in a close embrace.

All this hugging can sometimes lead to awkward moments, like when one person goes in for a hug and the other person isn’t expecting it. Plus, not everyone has the same attitude toward hugging, even within the U.S. Some people hug across the board, while others reserve the hug for their closest friends and family members. Find out whether Devan and Ella would hug you if they met you.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

Log in to Listen

2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Devan:  So I know you’re planning on going to Paris soon. I was wondering, over there, do they hug when you meet someone?

Ella:  I think they do the kiss on each cheek thing.

Devan:  Have you ever had an awkward situation where you went to hug someone and they weren’t accustomed to doing that?

Ella:  Yeah, like in Asian culture hugging’s not very normal unless you’re friends or family, so it’s more like bowing or just being respectful. But it’s kind of hard to remember that when I’m here in the States, ‘cause I hug everyone. But the only awkward moment I had was like hugging an ex.

Devan:  It’s hard to tell sometimes if it’s appropriate to hug or not. Some people are very touchy-feely, other people just need their personal space and it’s like, “Woah, you’re getting in my bubble,” you know?

Ella:  Yeah. Have you ever noticed there’s a whole bunch of different types of hugs?

Devan:  Oh yeah, totally. Like the way girlfriends hug is different from the way guy friends hug, like guy friends will do the bro hug where they lock arms and do the pat on the back.

Ella:  Or like couples, they’ll hold the waist, and then someone will hold the neck. There’s so many styles!

Devan:  Yeah, like the awkward mom hug where she pats you on the back and you’re like “Why are you patting me?”

Ella:  Exactly.


Grammar Point

Go Super to learn "Conditionals with "Unless"" from this lesson Go Super!


Go Super to take Quiz Go Super!


Lesson MP3

Go Super to download full lesson MP3 Go Super!

The iTEP® test

  • Schedule an iTEP® test and take the official English Practice Test.

    Take Now >


Go Super to Listen Go Super!

Different countries have different ways of greeting people. In the U.S., people sometimes hug when they meet. In France, where Ella will soon be going, it’s more common to kiss on both cheeks.

Ella loves to hug, but her family comes from Thailand, and she says it’s less common to hug people you don’t know well in Asian culture. Devan thinks it’s hard to know whether you should hug someone no matter what culture they belong to. Some people like to hug everyone, like Ella, but others are protective of their personal space. Even for people who like to hug, there are different types of hugs depending on the situation.

How do people greet each other in your country? Are you touchy-feely, or do you need lots of personal space?



Log in to Comment




In China, only the relationship between intimate girl can hug each other, hugged each other,Hug is not suitable for both men and women.

06:20 AM Mar 30 2014 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Well in Iran the first time people meet each other usually shake hand and mostly they hug each other when they need some one emphasize them and it’s more common among women because they are more sesitive!

and about my self…actually i like hugging ang i hug my friends alot because that time i feel relax and comfortable!also it reduces my stress when some one presses me!


05:35 PM Mar 12 2014 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I like hugging but without kissing.I prefer to just shake hands .

02:05 PM Oct 02 2013 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

in all the days i should i hug my best friendsLaughing

06:50 PM Nov 20 2012 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

hi, in my country hugging is only between family and close friends, boy and boy, girl and girl. we dont kiss unfamiliar people.

08:42 PM Jul 08 2012 |

1 person likes this




Ola33  Yes, time ago  I have seen a video shoot in Europe  ,some people , both genders , with placards on which it was written ” free hugs” . At first passers by  were taken by surprissed  at the bizarre  situation , but slowly ,they  started to hug  the bearers  of the placards.  Interesting . 

11:41 PM Dec 27 2011 |




Julito, totally agree that there’re more hugging people in Argentina than in Canada. North is North :) That’s why to “melt’’ a little bit :) we’re recommended to get a hug, which is hard to imagine. I think a hugging compaign will help, but it’s in Europe.

09:38 PM Dec 27 2011 |




If you ever visit the United States   keep in mind that there they respect the personal space, if you are introduced to a person ,no kiss , no hug at all at the beginning. In my country  we are more relax  ,personal boundaries are not so strict. 

08:17 PM Dec 27 2011 |




Holiday spirit flagging? Go out and get a hug! Smile

07:21 PM Dec 27 2011 |




I heard that “hug is a great gift – one size fits all” heh but for me its good for close friends and family

in Poland its more common to shake hands for man and to kiss on cheek for girls who know each other already

04:50 PM Aug 20 2011 |




In Belarus the type of greeting depends on people. in my collage most prefer kiss on check, in some companies just shake hands. I like hugging. I think it’s the best way to show your feeling to dear person.

03:41 PM Aug 11 2011 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

in my country, between friends & family it’s normal to kiss both cheeks & shake hands, hugging is for some people who r soo close,
and for strangers or bussines meetings just shaking hand, guys with guys, girls with girls!! about a girl & a boy when they don’t know eachother and if they r religious, they just bow down! :)
i’m a kind of person who need personal space in fact… i really do’nt like someone who i’m not so close to her/him kiss or hug me!!! just shaking hands is so comfortable act for me!!!i want to kiss & hug just a few people i know… i’m completely not a touchy-feely!!!

09:30 PM Aug 07 2011 |

Алина Татиева


In our country girls kiss on chek each other. Sometimes people shake hands or say “Hi” )))

01:04 PM Aug 07 2011 |




in yemen greeting is by kissing on each cheek !

08:05 PM Jul 24 2011 |



actually kissing on the both cheeks became more dangerous after swine flu.

so no-one should do it. replace it with hugs .

that's safe. :D:D  

10:23 PM Feb 03 2010 |




Here in the philippines. we often hugging and kissing with their relatives and close friends. We are doing "mano Po" unless hugging or kissing them.

03:22 AM Jan 20 2010 |



In india when we meet people usually we do Namaste so times we hug also.  

12:23 PM Nov 30 2009 |


Cote D'Ivoire

in cote d’ivoire, we hug the first day of year. and when someone we have not seen since years comes to visit you or when you go to visit him.

03:18 PM Nov 16 2009 |




I am not sure about the way of greeting people that is appropriate here in my country, I guess it's just saying "Hi" and sometimes shaking hands especially when you get acquainted with somebody. I don't observe much hugging and kissing around.

10:56 AM Oct 23 2009 |



We usually use cheeks kissing, shaking hands and hugging with friends and family.

02:43 AM Oct 22 2009 |

Likes (60):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast