Greeting - How you going? [regional?]

Henryk

Senior Member
Germany, German
Hi dear native speakers of English,

I'm wondering about the commonness of "how (are) you going" as "how are you". I've observed that an Australian I often chat with asks me that every time. Since I "correctly" expected it to mean "how are you" (I had to find it out after turning the table since there's no entry in my dictionary), I also said this to a mate from South Africa, but he didn't know this way of saying that. I know for sure that it's said in Scotland since a Scotsman confirmed it for me.
 
  • petereid

    Senior Member
    english
    I've heard it but usually "How're you going?" I woudn't use it because it can mean "How are you travelling".
    "How're you going?" "I'm taking the train"
     

    Violet Green

    Senior Member
    English. Ireland
    I find "How're you goin' " more common than "How're you doin' " in Ireland.
    Other expressions are "How're thin's" and "How's she cuttin' ".
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    difficult cuss

    Senior Member
    English England
    How're you going? not one I know, I avoid Aussie soaps, wherever possible.
    How's it going, now that I've heard all my life.
    Alright mate?
    How's things?
    How are you doing?
     

    difficult cuss

    Senior Member
    English England
    When we (BE) ask each other "how's it going?" "how are you doing?" "how's life?" etc. we do not actually expect an answer that wavers much from..."alright".
    Whilst in the US, I tested out whether or not the AE speaker would give a different response...in general they did "Pretty good" was most often heard, but "Hey, it's getting better everyday", was one of my favourites. (my off-the-cuff survey took place in Utah, Colorado and Nevada, in case things are different elsewhere).
     

    RocketGirl

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Having lived in Australia, I assure you that "How you going?" is the most common greeting you'll hear down there. When I first moved there, this was an insult to my Canadian ears, but after about 6 months I found myself greeting friends, strangers and everyone in between with "How ya going, mate?"

    I still do this, even now that I'm back in Canada and it drives a lot of Canadians mad :p
     

    nitro

    Member
    English / UK
    but after about 6 months I found myself greeting friends, strangers and everyone in between with "How ya going, mate?"
    Until you wrote it like that (with "ya" and "mate") I couldn't imagine an Australian saying it, but now I definitely can.
     

    Hockey13

    Senior Member
    AmEnglish/German
    Where I grew up (right near NYC), the two most common (even sometimes trumping "what's up?") are:

    How you doin'? (always without the G lest you be confused for a tourist/foreigner)

    How's it goin'?

    I go to school in North Carolina and I've realized that whenever I go for a sub around here (which is a painful experience as a snobby New York-eatery buff), the interaction always goes like this:

    Sandwich lady: Hey, whatchu won't (read: want) on ya sub, sugah?

    Person before me from Ohio: Hi, can I have ham and cheese on white bread?

    She fills the order and I get up...

    Sandwich lady: Hey, whatchu won't (read: want) on ya sub, sugah?

    Me: Hey, how's it goin'/how you doin'. Can I have a footlong Italian with turkey and swiss.

    I've noticed that people from my area are more likely to use this as a greeting. The presence and lack of question marks indicate inflection. People from where I'm from tend not to ask...they state. :)
     

    Ntar

    New Member
    English-Ukrainian
    Hi, I just bumped into some American friends (here in an American school in Kyiv) and said "how are you going?", who did not know what I was talking about. So yes, it is very Australian, and I thought quite common, but apparently not. Also I would generally use it in the sense of "how's it going" (i.e. how is life going? how are things?)
    nat from sydney




    Hi dear native speakers of English,

    I'm wondering about the commonness of "how (are) you going" as "how are you". I've observed that an Australian I often chat with asks me that every time. Since I "correctly" expected it to mean "how are you" (I had to find it out after turning the table since there's no entry in my dictionary), I also said this to a mate from South Africa, but he didn't know this way of saying that. I know for sure that it's said in Scotland since a Scotsman confirmed it for me.
     

    Connector

    New Member
    Russian
    Sorry for my bad english.
    How to answer for this question "How are you going/doing?"
    I get this question every day, but don't know how to answer correctly.
    Thank you.
     

    bluegiraffe

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "Alright, how're you?"
    "Alright thanks."
    "Not bad thanks."
    "How's it going/how're you doing?"

    In my part of the world at least, we don't really expect an answer from this question, it's not the same as asking "are you alright?", we tend to use it instead of saying "hello".
     
    I'd say it's very common in America to say "how ya' goin?" as a greeting to people you know well instead of saying "good morning, good afternoon, etc.," and that it is not an actual question to sit down and have a heart-to heart talk about how you are going/doing in your life now, which to me is the understood context of it.

    I also agree you would expect a quick non-committal reply of "ok, pretty good, fine, not bad, etc., as a negative reply sounds like, once again, an invitation to discuss your problems...so a reply could be just simply something like "Ok, you? (Fine, and you, how ya doin' yourself?)

    To me it is very similar to the quick French "ca va?" "it goes?(well/not well" where again there are huge things understood, it being your life, I suppose, and used as a quick greeting/salutation, not a real question.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I'd say it's very common in America to say "how ya' goin?" as a greeting ...
    I grew up 200 miles from your location and I've never heard that.
    I've also lived in New Orleans where some people say "Where y'at?" to which the answer is "Alright".
     

    JuicyJew

    Senior Member
    English
    I just want to add as an Australian that people pronounce it differently, but most commonly it is said "how YOO going?", not "how ya going?".

    I've travelled a lot and grew up pretty familiar with the english vocabulary that varies around the world (thongs, prawn, sunnies, togs etc). But this phrase is definitely the one that really shocked me that other English speakers genuinly did not understand. For me it's so utterly self-explanatory and until I moved to the states a few years ago I had no clue at all that I'd constantly be met with blank stares saying that. I just couldn't believe that people who said "how's it going" wouldn't get it. So I had to deliberately get used to saying "it" instead. At first I really had to think hard to wonder if other Australians even say it much, because it's so inconspicuous.

    It's no different to How are you, how's it going, how are things etc.
     

    changwecanbelievein

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    thank you guys.

    My question is if "How are you going" has two different meanings.

    Meaning 1: In greeting speech, it means "What's up?"

    Meaning 2: it is used for asking the way of traffic. For example, -"How are you going?" -"By air".

    Is my supposition correct?
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Meaning 1: In greeting speech, it means "What's up?"

    Meaning 2: it is used for asking the way of traffic. For example, -"How are you going?" -"By air".

    Is my supposition correct?
    Yes ~ see post #4 above:) For meaning 2 you can also say How are you getting there? if you think there's any chance you might be misunderstood to mean meaning 1:)
     

    Embonpoint

    Senior Member
    English--American
    Dale says "how ya going" is common in America, but I have never heard this and I have lived in many states, including Texas. How is it going? is common, as is "How are you doing?" As a foreign speaker I would not use "How you going?" in the U.S. I would think you were asking me what route I was taking to go somewhere.
     
    I withdraw the comment on the grounds I must have very tired and had gotten lost in the thread!

    No, I've never heard "how ya going", only "how ya doing'" or "how's it going" as greetings.


    "how ya going" makes no sense as a greeting, and I could only understand that in a conversation about travel plans to mean "what means of transportation will you use?"
     

    JuicyJew

    Senior Member
    English
    How are you going, makes just as much as much "sense" as how are you doing. Its just a matter of what you're used to.
     

    Merbeinman

    New Member
    English
    I have lived in Australia since I was a toddler 45 yrs ago.
    I had never realised there was a more common greeting than G'day until hosting a visitor on his first day in the country. almost everytime we greet someone, friend or stranger the first words are "How ya going?". meaning how are you today?
    out rates G'day ten to one. I am amazed to realise that.
    We also use it to enquire progress on a task... "how ya going?" (with the task yr doing) ie are you coping ok?
    Can also rightly be used to ask the mode of transport for a trip someone has told you of.

    Gday mostly comes in when passing a stranger or a local you dont know so well. In the street its a passing G'day. But when stopping to transact or talk its "How ya going? hands down number one greeting.
    One thing about Aussies... in the corporate world there are bosses and employees, but in the street everyone is "mate". Not much social heirarchy at all.
     
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