How are you? How do you do?

What’s the difference between:
How are you?
How do you do?
In which circumstance can we us them?
Thanks to all.

The conventional greeting is: How do you do? when you are first introduced to another person, to which the reply is also: How do you do?

How are you? is a question you put to someone when you are asking about their health or how they are feeling.

Ive never really thought o such a difference between these two phrases... I think it may be even easier to use "Whats up?" Though it isn’t always suitable…

[color=blue]Well as a matter of fact is easier to ask “what’s up?” in an informal greeting whereas " who are you?" is usually found in a formal context, at least IMHO.

I can’t agree with these comments, I’m afraid. I presume you mean HOW are you? But then that would usually be restricted to someone you already know and not for the first time meeting. What’s up? to me means: What’s going on? and doesn’t really fit with the idea of greeting.

I’ve noticed that ESL speakers all too often confuse the meaning of How do you do with How are you? Grammatically the phrase How do you do is a question but it simply means Pleased to meet you and as Alan has said the answer to How do you do is just How do you do. Fortunately enough the largest mobile phone company in the world has been spending millions of pounds on teaching their customers the most popular phrase of the English language. Do you know what company I’m referring to?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A family meal[YSaerTTEW443543]

No, but I really would like to know :smiley:

That’s a quite funny topic!
By the way, I was told that in grade 10 or something…

Sunny, you must have heard of that company - it’s the largest mobile phone service prodiver in the world. Their name starts with V and ist made up of two parts the which one of which is actually a Slavic word meaning ‘water’.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: An electrical technician[YSaerTTEW443543]

Maybe exchange the how with what and think about it one more time.

Uwe, so you mean we should replace how with what and then we get a new question? Then instead of How do you do you get What do you do. Now we have three questions:
How are you?
What do you do?
How do you do?
OK, as has been established the third one isn’t really a question but just a phrase. However, I must admit I haven’t heard it so often. Here in Canada most people would simply say Hey, how are you?

It is the largest mobile phone company in world in terms of turnover. When it comes to subscribers that company is ‘only’ number two because China Mobile has 220 million customers. Interestingly enough the largest mobile phone company in the US is only number 6 in the world, that is the five biggest mobile phone service providers in the world are non-US companies and I think this is because mobile phones are not as popular in the US as in other parts of the world.

Okay. It is clear to me now :slight_smile:

I don’t want to confuse anybody but here in Edinburgh people usually say “How are you doing?”.

Hi Nel,

That expression is not only restricted to Scotland and is used throught the UK.


first i want to write that this is my first participation in this
perfect forum
I want to thank you a lot my teachers and thank abumashal for asking such an important question.


Let me just point out that ‘What do you do?’ on its own means ‘What’s your occupation/profession’, i.e. present simple for a repeated or usual action.

It is often mixed up with ‘What are you doing’ (at the moment/next weekend, etc.) i.e. present continuous for things happening now or in the near future.

Happy New Year!