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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    How's tricks? I can't kick.

    (House of Cards, American TV drama)

    Frank went to a BBQ joint, and talked to Freddi, the boss.

    Frank: How's tricks?

    Freddi: I can't kick.


    Questions:

    1. How's tricks = how is business?

    2. Is it wrong to say "how are tricks"? I don't understand why the link verb is singuar there. Please explain.

    3. I guess "How's tricks" is used between familiar people, but not serious businesspersons, especially they met jut first time. Am I correct?

    4. I can't kick = so so? neither bad, nor good?

    5. Is it wrong to say how is trick?



    Thank you!

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: How's tricks? I can't kick.

    I say "How's tricks" all the time.

    But I have no idea what the the response means.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: How's tricks? I can't kick.

    "I can't kick" is slang for "I can't complain".

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    #4

    Re: How's tricks? I can't kick.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    3. I guess "How's tricks" is used between familiar people, but not serious businesspersons, especially they met jut first time. Am I correct?

    I would definitely not use it when meeting someone for the first time, and would only use it with friends or people I know reasonably well.

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    #5

    Re: How's tricks? I can't kick.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    "I can't kick" is slang for "I can't complain".
    A new one to me- I haven't come across it in BrE.

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    #6

    Re: How's tricks? I can't kick.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    2. Is it wrong to say "how are tricks"? I don't understand why the link verb is singuar there. Please explain.
    How are tricks would be OK, but How's tricks is more common. Sometimes we use things that are incorrect deliberately, like If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: How's tricks? I can't kick.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I would definitely not use it when meeting someone for the first time, and would only use it with friends or people I know reasonably well.

    Yes, thanks. I should have said that also.
    And I would never say "How are tricks?" Only the set phrase "How's tricks?"

    There's also "How's by you?" which is utterly non-standard in its grammar but common in some regions/dialects nonetheless.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: How's tricks? I can't kick.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Yes, thanks. I should have said that also.
    And I would never say "How are tricks?" Only the set phrase "How's tricks?"

    There's also "How's by you?" which is utterly non-standard in its grammar but common in some regions/dialects nonetheless.
    "How's you?" is used in BrE. We would of course sometimes use "How are you?" but we would never say "How are tricks?"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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