There has been no unanimity among scientists with respect of correct case for Ukrainian salutations.

"Old school" language scholars (Prof.Oleksandr Ponomariv, Prof. Nataliia Shumarova) insist that:

  • for morning salutation, (Genitive case) is correct:

    Доброго ранку

  • unlike afternoon and evening salutation with correct Nominative case

    Добрий день (Добридень - abridged),
    Добрий вечір (Добривечір - abridged).

Genitive case for afternoon and evening salutations are acceptable in such constructions as:

Бажаю вам (тобі) доброго дня, доброго вечора (I wish you a nice afternoon/evening).

On the contrary, many modern linguists tend to consider both forms for every salutation mentioned are acceptable and even interchangeable.

Kindly advise if you are aware of the most recent updates with regards to the above-mentioned.

UPD. In Poltava region where I come from Доброго здоров'я! is widely used instead of special morning, afternoon and evening salutations.

  • 1
    We also have it in the reverse word order: день добрий, just like in Polish and Belarusian; here's some reading Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 2:38
  • 1
    In addition to your links: two other for O. Ponomariv and one for O. Avramenko.
    – Sasha
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 18:58
  • What about also доброї ночі or добра ніч/добраніч?
    – XperiAndri
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 6:48

2 Answers 2


Well, it's hard to answer a question when different linguists say the opposite things. Especially, not being a linguist myself. Still, I try.

O. Ponomariv, N. Shumarova and O. Avramenko are right in that forms “Доброго дня!” and “Доброго вечора!” were originally untypical for the Ukrainian language (I mean as a separate greeting, not as part of “[бажаю] доброго дня/вечора комусь”). At least, they're almost never used in the Ukrainian literature until the second half of the XX century.

Still, in modern literature that forms are widely used. M. Stelmakh (1951), O. Chornohuz (1977), A. Dnistrovyi (1980), R. Sambuk (1981), E. Rostovtsev (1985), V. Drozd (1989), Ye. Hutsalo, M. Medunytsia (1990), V. Savchenko, Yu. Vynnychuk (1999), V. Nestayko, O. Skrypnyk, (2001), M. Mednikova (2002), N. Tysovska (2004), O. Dermanskyi, N. Sniadanko (2006), L. Denysenko (2007), A. Chekh (2008), V. Lys, Yu. Soroka, O. Volkov (2009), L. Dashvar, M. Riapolova (2010), M. Brynykh, T. Malyarchuk (2012), V. Slapchuk (2013), N. Humeniuk (2014), S. Talan (2015) use them — and the closer to the present time the more they're used. Please note M. Stelmakh, who is not only the first in this list by time, but also one of the major Ukrainian writers. BTW, it's even used within a book name: “Доброго дня, Ярино!” by M. Ishchenko (1960). The short story “Скажи людині: ‘Доброго дня!’” (allegedly) by the other major writer V. Sukhomlynskyi was recommended by Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine to be used in kindergartens and elementary schools to teach children (courtesy and etc) and is present in several manuals for children's teachers — therefore children are, in fact, taught to say “Доброго дня!”.

So, on the one hand these linguists are right that Ukrainians didn't use such greeting forms originally. On the other hand, they are widely used today. Therefore it's only your decision whether you are going to be a linguistic purist or no.

My personal opinion is: Despite all my respect to O. Ponomariv and others, I won't follow to concretely this their advice. Language is how people speak, not how linguists think people should speak. Yes, during the last decades (or centuries) the Ukrainian language was strongly influenced by Russian and sometimes other languages, and some of its peculiarities received due to that are ugly and should be rolled back. But “Доброго дня!” and “Доброго вечора!” seem to be neither ugly, nor a result external influence. They look like results of natural unification between explicit wish (“доброго дня/вечора вам”) and traditional greeting (“добрий день/вечір”). Thus I don't see any reasons to “protect” language from such changes. Unlike, for example, a trend to use “вірогідний” (reliable) instead of “імовірний” (probable) due to similarity between the former and the Russian “вероятный” (probable).

Timeline of “Добрий ранок!” is almost the same as of “Доброго дня!” and “Доброго вечора!” (i.e. second half of XX century). Still, my personal opinion is not so permissive for it: it neither appears to be an intermediate point between an explicit wish and traditional greeting, nor sounds naturally for my ear (I suspect possible influence of a Russian) — but that's only my opinion.

P. S.: The answer, probably, won't be full if I don't provide proves that “Доброго ранку!”, “Добри(й )день!” and “Добри(й )вечір!” are found in the Ukrainian literature before the second half of the XX century. Here they are:

  • — Добрий день, Когуте, ти, співуча птице! А Когутик каже: — Добрий день, Лисице! //I. Franko «Лисиця сповідниця» (1893).
  • І як учорашній козак став коло віконечка й сказав їй «добрий вечір», Галя на одвіт йому ледве вимовила свого «доброго вечора». //M. Vovchok «Дев'ять братів і десята сестриця Галя» (1862).
  • — Добривечір у хату! — привітали всі москалиху, що стояла посеред хати з ключами в руках. — Або доброго ранку, — одказала вона. //P. Myrnyi «Хіба ревуть воли, як ясла повні?» (1875).

We should separate general, official and Christian/holiday greetings.

General greetings:

  1. Hello (general greeting): вітаю.
  2. Hi (general greeting): привіт, also агов can be used but it's recommended to use also if you are talking with your good friend.
  3. Good morning (morning greeting): доброго ранку, добрий ранок.
  4. Good afternoon (afternoon greeting): доброго дня, добрий день, добридень (rare use).
  5. Good evening (evening greeting): доброго вечора, добрий вечір, добривечір (rare use).
  6. In some regions (mostly in the villages and small cities) Доброго здоров'я! or Здоровенькі були! (Good health!) are used as a general salutation.

In the official communication, regardless of time of day, it's highly recommended to use general or afternoon greeting.

Don't use good time of day (доброго часу доби) greeting!

There are few general Christian salutations:

  1. Слава Ісусу Христу! (Glory to Jesus Christ!) - traditional Christian greeting. The answer can be Слава на віки Богу! or Слава на віки!.
  2. Дай Боже щастя! or Бог в поміч(God to help) - salutations to people that are doing some work. The answer should be Дай Боже й вам (God to help you too).

Short greeting are Слава Ісу! or Слава Йсу! (answer is Слава Богу!).

During holidays you should use specific greetings:

  1. На Різдво (Christmas): Христос народився! or Христос рождається! (Christ was born!) - Славімо Його! (Glorify Him!).
  2. На Водохреща: Христос хрещається! (Christ is baptized!) - В ріці Йордані! (In Jordan river).
  3. На Пасху/Великдень (Easter): Христос воскрес!Воістину воскрес!.

After 2014 Ukrainian Revolution (aka "Revolution of Dignity") the patriotic greetings also became popular:

Слава Україні! (Glory to Ukraine!) - Героям слава! (Glory to heroes!)
Слава нації! (Glory to the nation!) - Смерть ворогам! (Death to enemies!)

  • 1
    Today is Sunday and one more recall. In Poltava region on Sundays people greet "З неділею, будьте здорові!" But you will never hear "З понеділком, будьте здорові!" as only Sunday has "next to holiday" status, Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 8:47
  • Similar greeting is used on "Храмове свято" - "З Храмом, будьте здорові!". Храмове свято (Temple holiday) - a special holiday day the date of which depends upon what laity people go to. E.g. people in the village go to St. Andrew's Church, thus the Temple holiday is on the St. Andrew's Day in this village. If there are more than one church in the village/town, then there are more Temple holidays (depending upon the laity). Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 8:58

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