10 Other Ways to Say “Long Time No See”

You’re in a meeting with the big boss. It’s been a while since you’ve seen them, and you want to greet them in a way that reflects this. You would usually go for “long time no see” but it feels a little too casual.

We’re saving the day with this list of alternatives. 

Other Ways to Say “Long Time No See”

  • It’s been too long
  • It’s been a minute
  • I haven’t seen you in ages
  • How long’s it been?
  • It’s been forever 
  • It’s been years 
  • Hey stranger
  • Look what the cat dragged in
  • It’s been so long since we last saw each other
  • It’s been a while


  • “Long time no see” is a set expression used as a greeting. While it’s not traditionally grammatically correct, it’s appropriate to use.
  • As a more formal alternative, you can try using “it’s been too long.”
  • As another informal option, you can use “it’s been a minute.”

Stay right there! In the next section, we’re going to discuss our choice of formal and informal synonyms for “long time no see.” Moreover, we’ll provide a few useful examples making use of these phrases.

Afterward, we’ll discuss the correctness of the phrase. Is it considered offensive?

It’s Been Too Long (Formal)

A formal alternative to “long time no see” is “it’s been too long.”

When you use this phrase upon greeting someone, they will understand that it means “it’s been too long since we last saw each other” without you having to complete the whole sentence. Here’s an examples:

Hello Mr. Dune, how are you? It’s been too long.

Additionally, you can use this synonym in a professional setting when you are speaking to superiors or people with whom you wish to maintain a formal tone.

When you’re talking to a boss or anyone you need to impress, this is a better choice than the more casual “long time no see.”

Furthermore, the use of “too long” adds an element of flattery to a greeting, as it indicates that you have the desire to see this person regularly. If you’re requesting a meeting, it can also add a sense of urgency.

Consider the email example below:

Dear Ms. Chatsward,

I look forward to our meeting next week, as it’s certainly been too long.

Please see my comments on the file below. We can discuss them in person.

Kind regards,
Angela Cleat

It’s Been a Minute (Informal)

Another way of saying “long time no see” is “it’s been a minute.”

This is an idiomatic expression, as it doesn’t literally mean that a minute has passed. It instead means that rather a long time has passed since something has occurred.

In the right context, this can be a long time since you’ve last seen someone, like in the examples below:

It’s been a minute since we got together to talk about social media analytics – should we meet on Friday?

Hello Taamir, it’s been a minute! How are you finding the new role?

As an idiom, this expression has a more casual feel. However, it’s still polite and appropriate to use in a professional environment when you’re speaking to colleagues you have a friendly relationship with.

On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to use this expression when addressing a superior.

Is It Correct to Say “Long Time No See”?

The phrase “long time no see” is not grammatically correct. However, it is still a commonly used phrase in English and has been accepted colloquially.

English speakers use the phrase “long time no see” as a type of informal greeting when meeting someone they haven’t seen for a while.

Additionally, “long time no see” is not considered offensive in general. That being said, it is best suited for casual interactions and should be avoided in especially formal circumstances.

So, it’s acceptable to say “long time no see” if you’re speaking to someone you’re friendly with. However, if you don’t feel comfortable using this phrase, you can go for one of our alternatives instead.

If you found our list of alternative phrases useful, why not bookmark this page so you can find them easily whenever you need to?