Results 1 to 8 of 8
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 596
    #1

    How are you?

    Hi, I' d like to know from native speakers if it is true that shop assitants say "How are you?" when customers enter and that customers don't answer simply because it is not a real question, but a way to greet people.....

    Thanks Rip

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,479
    #2

    Re: How are you?

    Shop assistants sometimes say 'How are you?'

    Customers' responses differ. I say 'Fine, thanks.'

    Rover

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,307
    #3

    Re: How are you?

    It is not just shopkeepers who might greet you with a question like "How do you do?"

    It's not usually an actual question, but a polite greeting. If your back hurts and you missed the bus and you burnt your toast, they don't really want to hear it.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 596
    #4

    Re: How are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    It is not just shopkeepers who might greet you with a question like "How do you do?"

    It's not usually an actual question, but a polite greeting. If your back hurts and you missed the bus and you burnt your toast, they don't really want to hear it.
    Do they really may say "How do you do?
    I thought it was a formal way to introduce yourself ( and that one should answer "how do you do?"), not a way of greeting....

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,307
    #5

    Re: How are you?

    You are correct. My point was that this type of question is not necessarily meant to be answered.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #6

    Re: How are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    You are correct. My point was that this type of question is not necessarily meant to be answered.
    I was quite surprised to find, when I first started to work with Americans, that they would sometimes say/ask 'How are you?' and appear not to expect an answer.

    In BrE, at least for my generation (60+), the question is always answered, usually briefly and with follow-up question: 'Fine thanks, and you?'.

    Shop assistants in Britain are unlikely to ask the question unless they know you.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Jul 2010
    • Posts: 5,098
    #7

    Re: How are you?

    Actually, I was once very surprised to see that a British lady was surprised after I'd started detailing my latest experiences to her in response to her naive question.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 596
    #8

    Re: How are you?

    Italians would always answer a question like "How are you?", even if they don't know the person asking.......
    When you enter a shop we say "Good morning, good evening" and the answer is the same............


    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Actually, I was once very surprised to see that a British lady was surprised after I'd started detailing my latest experiences to her in response to her naive question.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •