Has it been a while since you last saw someone? Perhaps you’d like to reconnect or reach out to see how they’re getting on.
Well, you might think about using “long time no see.” However, is it the most appropriate choice in professional writing?
Luckily, this article has all the information to help you.
Is It Professional to Say “Long Time No See”?
It is not professional to say “long time no see.” It is informal and should not appear in any email between yourself and your work peers.
Technically speaking, “long time no see” is ungrammatical. Therefore, it is not proper English. However, it is a fixed expression in the English language, meaning there’s nothing wrong with writing it.
Also, you should only use it when you haven’t seen someone for a while. It also doesn’t work if you are only writing to say you haven’t heard from someone (i.e., they haven’t reached out via message).
Here’s a useful example to help you understand it:
Hey, Mark! Long time no see! It feels like it’s been forever since we were last able to discuss things!
- It’s a very friendly way to greet someone after a while.
- The interesting word order makes it a unique choice in most written cases.
- It isn’t grammatically correct (even though it’s a fixed expression).
- It doesn’t work well in professional writing.
Well, “long time no see” is clearly not the best professional phrase to use. So, we recommend finding some synonyms to help you sound a bit more formal.
Keep reading to learn other ways to say “long time no see.” We’ve also provided examples to help you understand each one.
What to Say Instead of “Long Time No See”
- It’s been a while
- Hello again
- It has been a long time
- It’s been forever
- We haven’t spoken for a while
- It’s good to hear from you again
- It’s been too long
- It’s been so long since we last spoke
- It’s nice to speak with you again
1. It’s Been a While
For a more formal synonym, try “it’s been a while.” It’s a simple yet effective way to highlight that you haven’t spoken to someone for a while.
Also, this phrase works much better via email. After all, “long time no see” suggests you haven’t physically seen someone (in person).
“It’s been a while” does not comment on “seeing” someone. Therefore, it works well when you haven’t spoken in general (both in person and over emails or messages).
This email example will also help you with it:
Dear Mr. Kingston,
It’s been a while since we were able to speak. I hope you’ve been keeping well lately.
All the best,
2. Hello Again
There’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple, either. You can use “hello again” to show that you’re happy to reconnect with someone.
Of course, this phrase is a little more conversational than some other alternatives. It’s still effective in business emails, but you should ensure you have a good relationship with the recipient first.
Generally, this works best when contacting old clients. It shows you’re happy to talk to them and might want a chance to catch up with them again soon.
Here’s a great example to help you understand it better:
Hello again! It feels like we haven’t done this for a while. Are you free for a lunch meeting this week?
3. It Has Been a Long Time
It’s worth using “it has been a long time” over “long time no see.” It removes the need to write an ungrammatical phrase while keeping things professional and familiar to the recipient.
Typically, you can use this when emailing former employers. It shows you’re happy to talk to them again, especially if you had a fairly good relationship with them while you worked together.
It’s very respectful and often suggests that you’re willing to reconnect. Feel free to try it when you reach out to someone you used to work with to find out more about them.
Here’s a helpful sample email if you’re still unsure:
Dear Mr. Martens,
It has been a long time, but I’m hoping you’ve finally made headway. How have things been going for you?
All the best,
4. It’s Been Forever
You can use “it’s been forever” as another way to say “long time no see.” It’s a bit more casual and friendly than some other choices, but that doesn’t mean it’s inappropriate in emails.
You can use it when catching up with old coworkers. If they left your workplace a while ago and you are only just emailing them, this is a great phrase to start with.
It shows you’re interested in hearing from them and want to catch up. Perhaps it’s worth asking them for a meeting at lunch to see how they’re doing and what they’re up to.
This email example will also help you understand it:
It’s been forever, hasn’t it? I feel like there’s so much we need to tell each other. Are you free for a coffee?
5. We Haven’t Spoken for a While
For a more polite way to say “long time no see,” try “we haven’t spoken for a while.” It’s highly effective as a direct and confident phrase in an email.
Of course, the phrase itself is a bit redundant. After all, the recipient will know if you haven’t spoken for a while.
Still, it’s good to include if you want to catch up with the recipient.
For instance, you can use it when emailing clients. If you haven’t been in touch for a while, a professional phrase like this will help you to reintroduce yourself.
Perhaps this sample email will also help you:
We haven’t spoken for a while, so I thought I’d reach out to see how you’re doing. Do you have any updates?
6. It’s Good to Hear From You Again
Let’s try something a bit different with this phrase. Instead of you reaching out to contact someone after a long time, imagine they initiated and contacted you first.
You can write “it’s good to hear from you again” when a colleague reaches out to talk to you. If they’ve moved away or haven’t worked with you for a while, this is great to include in your emails.
It’s very professional and shows you’re happy to hear from the recipient. We recommend using it if you’re looking to build a more friendly rapport with them.
You can also review this email sample:
It’s good to hear from you again. I’m so glad you decided to reach out today, as I have a few things to tell you.
7. It’s Been Too Long
Let’s try out something more casual this time. You can write “it’s been too long” in business emails when contacting former colleagues.
It’s a fun and interesting way to catch up with people you used to work with. It suggests you miss their company and might want to reconnect to see how they’re doing.
Naturally, since this is more informal, it’s not appropriate in every case. Only use it when you already have a friendly relationship with the recipient.
This email example will also help you understand it:
It’s been too long. Please tell me how you’ve been getting on at your new job. You’ve been missed.
8. It’s Been So Long Since We Last Spoke
You might reach out via email if you’ve missed speaking or meeting with someone. Especially in the workplace, reestablishing old connections is a great way to network and explore new opportunities.
That’s where “it’s been so long since we last spoke” comes in.
It’s useful when contacting old clients. Perhaps they moved away or decided to go with a different company. Whatever the case, this phrase allows you to reach out.
You can even refer to this example if you’re still unsure:
It’s been so long since we last spoke. Did you finally get around to completing the project they wanted you to do?
All the best,
9. It’s Nice to Speak With You Again
Finally, you can use “it’s nice to speak with you again” as a formal synonym for “long time no see.” It shows you’re happy to hear from an old colleague.
Typically, this works best when someone reaches out to speak to you. It shows you’re happy to respond to hear more about them and how they’re getting on.
Of course, this phrase works whether you were good friends or barely knew the recipient. It has just enough of a friendly tone while still remaining professional.
You can also refer to this email sample:
It’s nice to speak with you again after all this time! I’m so glad things are finally looking more positive for you.