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  1. charliedeut's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Spain
      • Current Location:
      • Spain

    • Join Date: Oct 2009
    • Posts: 5,560
    #1

    Are you OK?

    In BrE, would it be natural to ask "Are you OK?" used as a greeting, meaning "How are you doing?", "How are you?" or anything of the like?

    Or should I understand it as the speaker really asking me about my health?

    I interpret it as the latter, but wonder if the former would be possible.

    PS: The speaker was a girl from London, in her early 20s.
    Last edited by charliedeut; 31-Jan-2014 at 07:31. Reason: One comma too many!
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • UK
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,814
    #2

    Re: Are you OK?

    It is used casually as "Hiya, you OK?" It doesn't necessarily mean that the speaker thinks there might be something wrong with you and wants to check, it can be taken to mean the same as "How are you?" You'll also hear "Hi, you all right?" in the same way. I don't recommend that learners use it unless they are near fluent and can say it in the offhand, casual way that native speakers do.

    I doubt that the girl who spoke to you was enquiring after your actual health any more than someone in the UK who says "How are you?" is. Generally, the polite and expected reply to that question is "Fine, thanks. And you?"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #3

    Re: Are you OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    In, BrE, would it be natural to ask "Are you OK?" used as a greeting, meaning "How are you doing?", "How are you?" or anything of the like?

    Or should I understand it as the speaker really asking me about my health?

    I interpret it as the latter, but wonder if the former would be possible.

    PS: The speaker was a girl from London, in her early 20s.
    Since there are endless possibilities for an initial greeting, if the opening were "Are you OK?", I would assume that she suspected a problem. It might not have been health related; it might have been based on a lengthy period of time during which there had been no contact.

  4. charliedeut's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Spain
      • Current Location:
      • Spain

    • Join Date: Oct 2009
    • Posts: 5,560
    #4

    Re: Are you OK?

    Hooray! I love a great debate in the evening!
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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