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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Czech
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      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Nov 2014
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    Is 'How are you' a speech act?

    Hello,

    I would like to know if the question 'how are you' is a speech act or just an expression. Thank you for your answers

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    Moderator
    Other
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,062
    #2

    Re: Is 'How are you' a speech act?

    What is a "speech act"?
    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. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jan 2015
    • Posts: 7
    #3

    Re: Is 'How are you' a speech act?

    A speech act is an utterance that serves a function in communication. We perform speech acts when we offer an apology, greeting, request, complaint, invitation, compliment, or refusal. So 'How are You' is a speech act.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
    Moderator
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    #4

    Re: Is 'How are you' a speech act?

    In most cases, it is a greeting.
    There are times when the person asking genuinely wants to know how the person is doing.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 25-Jan-2015 at 04:21.
    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. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 68,401
    #5

    Re: Is 'How are you' a speech act?

    Even if it is functioning as an expression without much meaning, it is still a speech act IMO- part of a greeting.

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