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  1. #1
    nhatruc30 is offline Newbie
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    Question Is the phrase "How are you getting on" similar to "How are you"?

    Dear all.

    I read a letter, but I can not understand this phrase "How are you getting on". I think by myself that it is similar to "How are you". I don't know if my thought is correct. If someone knows, please explain it to me. I would appreciate your help.

    Your sincerely,

    Truc.


    =====
    This is the original letter.


  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Is the phrase "How are you getting on" similar to "How are you"?

    It's similar, but it sounds as if the person really wants some information about what you're doing.

  3. #3
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Is the phrase "How are you getting on" similar to "How are you"?

    It would be unnatural to ask 'How are you in Melbourne?' - so it's not just 'How are are you[ - and, by the way, we both know you're in Melbourne]'. The question's asking about the details of the recipient's progress in that particular place.

    b

  4. #4
    TheEditor is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is the phrase "How are you getting on" similar to "How are you"?

    Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but as an American, I have always understood "How are you getting on?" to mean, "How are you getting along?" It seems to be a British expression, and I'm guessing that the letter writer is from the U.K.

    Thus, I would take, "How are you getting on in Melbourne?" to mean, "How are things going in Melbourne?" or "How has your life been since you moved to Melbourne?"

    I've also heard it used in relation to people, such as, "How are you getting on with your new boss?" -- meaning, "How are you getting along with your new boss?"

  5. #5
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Is the phrase "How are you getting on" similar to "How are you"?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheEditor View Post
    Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but as an American, I have always understood "How are you getting on?" to mean, "How are you getting along?" It seems to be a British expression, and I'm guessing that the letter writer is from the U.K.

    Thus, I would take, "How are you getting on in Melbourne?" to mean, "How are things going in Melbourne?" or "How has your life been since you moved to Melbourne?"

    I've also heard it used in relation to people, such as, "How are you getting on with your new boss?" -- meaning, "How are you getting along with your new boss?"
    Yes, both of those phrases mean the same thing here too. It's more than "How are you [going]?" Basically, it's asking, "How are you settling into your new situation?" - whatever that situation is.

    The original letter tends to indicate that the writer doesn't really care, but really only wants information. But it would be rude to not show some interest in the person you're writing to. And asking how they are getting used to their new situation is a way of showing some individual (though feigned) concern.

  6. #6
    Psiconaut is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is the phrase "How are you getting on" similar to "How are you"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It's similar, but it sounds as if the person really wants some information about what you're doing.
    Can it be considered rude in any situation?

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Is the phrase "How are you getting on" similar to "How are you"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psiconaut View Post
    Can it be considered rude in any situation?
    Not usually.
    One could think of contexts. For example, a boss who demoted a former executive to working in the truck-loading bay, is unlikely to be experienced as being polite if he asks the former executive, "How are you getting on in distribution?"
    But if your intentions aren't rude, I don't see that this expression could be considered rude.

  8. #8
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Is the phrase "How are you getting on" similar to "How are you"?

    We generally don't use it in AmE.

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