Hi vs. High – Homophones, Meaning & Spelling

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

We love homophones around here. Two terms that sound exactly the same but have entirely different meanings are always fun to explore. Like hi and high, these two short words have exact pronunciations but separate definitions. The word high even has multiple meanings and uses. So, let’s get into it!

Hi vs. High Meanings Explained

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These homophones are often confused in writing, not just because they sound the same, but sometimes the word hi is used in place of high in a more relaxed or slang context.

The word hi means hello, but in a shorter version.

But the word high actually has a few different intents, depending on the situation. The word itself means tall or elevated. But you can use it in different ways.

  • Elevation: Mountains are tall, but you could also say they have a high elevation.
  • Heat: When boiling water, you need the highest heat setting.
  • In quantity: People with heart issues can have a high level of lipids in their blood.
  • Drugs: When someone has been smoking marijuana, for example, you could say they’re high.
  • Music: My daughter plays piano, and some of her favorite notes are the high ones. High notes are ones that are elevated in pitch.

Is Hi a Real Word?

Absolutely, it is. It means hello and is pronounced the same way as high, hai. You could also say hey or yo.

How Do You Spell Hi?

If you’re talking about the shortened expression to say hello, it’s spelled H-I. If you’re referring to the word that indicates something is high up in elevation, then you spell it as H-I-G-H.

Is It Hi or High Five?

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The saying is actually high five because of the action itself. Just think about it; two hands collide in a capping sound when you’re excited or want to cheer each other on a job well done. Your hands are in the air above your heads, aka high.

How Do You Use High in a Sentence?

  • Those cable wires are so high up; I’m not even sure the ladder will reach them.
  • Look at his eyes and how red they are; he’s totally high and should be grounded.
  • I am flying high after getting that fantastic job performance review.
  • Please don’t put my favorite snacks on the high shelf because I’m only five foot five and can’t reach them without a stool.
  • Her safety product knowledge is very high.
  • The ceiling is too high to clean, so I need a ladder or a step stool.
  • Use a high temperature when cooking that meat.
  • My husband just got the results from the doctor, and his triglycerides are really high, so we have to change his diet.

How Do You Use Hi in a Sentence?

My aunt came to town and didn’t even stop by to say hi.

  • “Hi, there! How can I help you today?”
  • Just keep walking, don’t say hi or even look in their direction.
  • “Hi, my name is Candace Osmond, and I’m a writer.”
  • “Hi, there. I just bought these skateboarding shoes, and they’re already falling apart.”

High or Hi: Don’t Mix Them Up

So, remember that “h-i-g-h” can be used when talking about several things like height, temperature, music notes, etc. And the word “h-i” is simply a quick way to greet someone. Please don’t mix them up because it changes the dynamic of a sentence and makes it incorrect.