Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
      • Home Country:
      • Vietnam
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Nov 2016
    • Posts: 30
    #1

    Is there "another" meaning of "How are things coming along?"

    People might ask you the question "How are things coming along?". It could mean that you had previously told them about something, for example, a business project or a school assignment you were working on. If so, they might be asking you "How is it progressing?". I understand this meaning. However, someone asked me this question in a different situation.

    (ex) A few days ago, I saw my neighbor in my building. He asked me, "How are things coming along with you?". Before we met in the lobby, I had never told him about a project or any type of assignment I was doing. In fact, I have not been busy with anything big. I didn't know how to answer his question. I just smiled at him. Then, we walked away from each other.


    Does his question mean "How are you?" and "How is it going?" in my example? Please explain it. Thanks a lot.

  2. probus's Avatar
    Key Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 3,573
    #2

    Re: Is there "another" meaning of "How are things coming along?"

    We Canadians are very accusomed to having a lot of new Canadians, and we like it.

    Given the context, I think it is pretty much equivalent to "How's it going?" with the slight qualifier of "Given your newness." I.e. he was asking whether you might need a little extra help in settling in.
    Last edited by probus; 22-Dec-2016 at 04:22.

  3. Newbie
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
      • Home Country:
      • Vietnam
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Nov 2016
    • Posts: 30
    #3

    Re: Is there "another" meaning of "How are things coming along?"

    Thanks, probus. I may be new to the forum but not new to Canada. I have been here for seven years. I don't think he was wondering whether I needed any assistance in settling in. Your clarification helps me understand that it's equivalent to "How are you?" or "How is it going?". Thanks again.

  4. probus's Avatar
    Key Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 3,573
    #4

    Re: Is there "another" meaning of "How are things coming along?"

    Well David, I spend a lot of time in the United Sates, and I would never say "How are things coming along" to my American friends if I meant "How's it going?"

    Evidently there is something Canadian about this "coming along." I am sorry I have not identified it to your satisfaction. Any other Canadian teachers care o join in?

    My opinion is that you think seven years in Canada is enough to erase your newness, but your neighbour disagrees.

  5. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 11,626
    #5

    Re: Is there "another" meaning of "How are things coming along?"

    Given the very large immigrant population of Canada, it's possible the neighbor was not a native Anglophone.
    I am not a teacher.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-Sep-2016, 21:30
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 17-Sep-2012, 04:23
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 20-Aug-2012, 07:43
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-Jul-2012, 19:53
  5. Meaning of "angelic","reckon","bow"
    By Adam Cruge in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22-Jul-2010, 11:04

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
  •