How do you do?

  • strawberrytoot

    Member
    United States - English and Hebrew
    How do you do sounds a bit outdated, and "how's the going?" is incorrect.

    I would say: how are you?
    If you want to be informal, you could also say: what's up?
     

    vorticella

    Member
    English, USA
    As a greeting, "how do you do?" is very formal, and possibly a bit antiquated. "How are you?" would sound more natural. Your reply would depend on the context, however some usual replies to this are: "I'm fine, how are you?" or "I'm doing well, you?"

    "How's it going?" is a more informal greeting. Again, your reply would depend on context, but the usual replies to this are: "It's going well/fine, thanks."
     

    Maxzi

    Senior Member
    Français - Belgique
    Hello,

    I've read that it's very common to say "How are you going?" in Australian English.
    But it probably sounds very odd to English and American ears.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    As a greeting, "how do you do?" is very formal, and possibly a bit antiquated. "How are you?" would sound more natural. Your reply would depend on the context, however some usual replies to this are: "I'm fine, how are you?" or "I'm doing well, you?"

    "How's it going?" is a more informal greeting. Again, your reply would depend on context, but the usual replies to this are: "It's going well/fine, thanks."
    The expected reply to "How do you do?" is "How do you do?" It is only because the greeting has fallen out of favor that you now find people who have rarely encountered it treating it as if it is an actual question needing an indicative reply (as "How are you?" and "What's up?" do).

    Addition: Note that it is the formulaic character of this greeting that led to the phrase morphing into the greeting "Howdy," which retains the character of being answered in kind but has lost the question mark--the expression "How do you do?" while retaining the question mark has lost the question intonation.
     
    Last edited:

    bangla

    Member
    Bangla
    please, Is it right to say how do you do or how's the going? how should one reply to that?
    Hello thales1982,
    How do you do is a formal expression. Whenever you meet anyone for the first time you could say "How do you do" and the answer should also be How do you do. and the second one how's the going is incorrect. you may say How is life going on, How's everything going on, How have you been and the like. These are formal expression too. So you can use these.
    If you want to speak informally you can say what's up as well as how's life.
    Thank you:)
     
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