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This sentence is from Kanji in Context Workbook 1.

お嬢さんが近々結婚すると言って、隣の人が挨拶に来た。

I get that basically it means that my neighbour came to visit me and announced that his/her daughter was getting married.

I understand that 挨拶 generally means "polite speech". Here, does 挨拶にきた just mean it was a friendly visit, or does it suggest that the real reason was to make the announcement (out of courtesy)?

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There are a few different types of 「[挨拶]{あいさつ}」.

Type I: The Everyday Kind:

「おはよう」、「こんにちは」、「さようなら」、「どうも~」, etc.

Type II: The Short Speech:

If you have someone (an important guest, sponsor, host) making a short speech at an event, we call it あいさつ.

Type III: The Visit-And-Pay-Your-Respect Kind:

This is the type of あいさつ described in your sentence. On the more special occasions in our lives, we must, out of courtesy, pay a visit to certain people to "officially report" your news. It could be about relocation, new employment, graduation, marriage, pregnancy, etc.

From that sentence alone, we could not know how "friendly" or "formal" the visit was, but since it was between next-door neighbors, I would assume that it was a fairly casual and informal event.

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  • That was very useful! This example sentence was essentially on its own.
    – Viridian
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 15:34

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