Virtually each day, we’re requested, “How are you?” The query—and its widespread variation, “How are you doing?”—seems in emails from strangers and acquaintances and in well mannered face-to-face dialog. However what do we actually find out about this ubiquitous phrase?
What’s the distinction between “How are you” and “How are you doing?”
The phrases sound related, however in sure contexts, they might have subtly totally different meanings.
Reading: How are you doing today
How are you? makes a barely extra private inquiry about somebody’s well being or temper. It focuses on the individual’s situation. It’s additionally a bit extra formal than “How are you doing?”
How are you doing? is a normal inquiry. It will probably ask about what’s occurring in somebody’s surroundings (much like questions like, “How’s your day been so far?”) or in some contexts can imply “How are you faring?” or “Do you need anything?” (Consider a server approaching your desk at a restaurant and asking, “How are we doing here?”) It’s thought of a bit extra informal and conversational than “How are you?”
In an audible dialog, the perceived variations between the 2 phrases can range regionally. Take this instance from a discussion board dialogue on the subject:
In my expertise as a local speaker within the Center Atlantic area . . . “How are you?” is a bland greeting for somebody you haven’t seen for some time, whereas “How are you doing?” . . . could also be an precise inquiry. The latter is extra frequent when there may be some expectation that the topic may not be doing properly.
For instance: “Hey, haven’t seen you in ages! How are you?” versus . . . “How are you doing: is the new baby still keeping you up all night?”
—cricketswool on English Language & Utilization Stack Alternate
When spoken, each phrases convey distinctive meanings relying on which phrase is accented. “How are you?” may come throughout as a one-size-fits-all greeting, however “How are you?” would have a extra private or honest tone, and even one in all concern. A fairly flat “How are you doing?” can grow to be outright flirtatious when spoken, “How are you doing?” (particularly if you drop the “are” and have an effect on your finest Joey Tribianni accent.)
Which is extra skilled: “How are you?” or “How are you doing?”
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When you write an e-mail or different textual content greetings, the stakes change a bit. Which phrase sounds extra skilled?
Each phrases are acceptable for work correspondence, however follow “How are you?” in additional formal settings. It’s additionally higher to make use of “How are you?” when you don’t know the correspondent very properly—it’s generic sufficient to be thought of a well mannered (if fairly meaningless) gesture.
5 Options to Writing “How are you doing?” and “How are you?” in E mail
As a result of they’re so ubiquitous, these phrases can disappear into the background or, worse, sound like insincere filler. And but, typically you wish to begin an e-mail with a little bit of well mannered banter. Right here are a number of choices.
1 It was enjoyable to stumble upon you at [event]. Did you come away as fired up as I did?
If you know your contact, think about beginning with one thing extra customized. A shared expertise like a convention is all the time an excellent start line, notably if it’s related to the dialog to comply with. Search for frequent floor and begin from there.
2 I hope your day has been upbeat and productive.
Who doesn’t need an upbeat, productive day? Take into consideration the opposite individual’s work setting and give you a number of enjoyable or intelligent methods to want them properly. One other instance can be . . .
3 Are the concepts flowing together with the espresso?
Strive one thing like this out on a Monday morning to beat the back-to-work doldrums.
4 I loved your about [topic].
If you comply with your contact on Twitter or keep watch over their weblog, you can’t lose with a remark about their skilled tweet or put up. Simply be certain that your remark is a pure lead-in to the subject of your e-mail or your remark will appear irrelevant.
5 Hello [Name],
You don’t have to begin with any pleasant preamble. In truth, individuals who obtain a whole lot of e-mail will recognize you getting straight to the purpose.
3 Methods to reply “How are you?” in Dialog
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Most individuals agree it’s finest to not take “How are you?” too actually. Though everybody asks, few folks need you to recite a laundry listing of the day’s occasions or private struggles. Context clues will inform you whether or not the individual asking is making a honest inquiry about your welfare or simply participating in well mannered chit-chat.
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1 I’m superb, thanks. How are you?
By far probably the most socially acceptable response to “How are you?” is “Fine, thanks” with a reciprocal, “How are you?”
2 I’m having a type of days. How about you?
One of these alternate is acceptable if you’ve encounter somebody who appears to be having a difficult day and you wish to share slightly pleasant commiseration. Be warned, although, that if the opposite individual isn’t additionally having “one of those days,” you might sound as if you’re fishing for consideration.
3 Happier than a seagull with a french fry!
If you’re in an excellent temper, there’s nothing improper with sharing it. You may brighten somebody’s day within the course of. Can you suppose of some intelligent similes to make your personal?
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