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Old 08-03-2012, 06:16 PM   #1
blueygh2
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How are you VS How are you doing?
Hi.

Being an english linguistics student, I would like to know whether to you, there is a difference between "How are you" and "How are you doing".

I have been told there is, but I would like to get "real" results.

If you comment, please tell me how they differ to you and what kind of english (american, british, australian,...) you are speaking.

Thank you very much.
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Old 08-04-2012, 12:28 AM   #2
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American (Texan) English speaker here--there's no difference for me, except that "How are you doing?" MIGHT have more emphasis. But really, I can ask "How are you?" with the same amount of emphasis, so I don't differentiate.

Interesting that some people think there is a difference. Hope you'll share what that might be.
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:01 AM   #3
Jan in CA
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I just speak American English. I live in Southern California.

I think they mean the same thing really, but they might be used in different circumstances. I think I'd use "how are you doing" to so done I know and "how are you" with someone I just don't know or know as well although either would work fine in both situations.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:53 AM   #4
salmonmac
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American speaker here. Yes, "How are you?" seems slightly more formal in comparison with "How are you doing?".
Also "How are you doing?" uniquely fits the situation where you're checking on how someone is progressing with a task or dealing with a situation.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by salmonmac View Post
"How are you?" seems slightly more formal in comparison with "How are you doing?"
That's funny, Mary Anne, because I would have said the opposite, that "How are you" sounds more casual. Here in Massachusetts (America), I often hear that used very casually, like by the cashier at the check out line.

blueygh2, to answer your question, to my ear it means the exact same thing, and people always answer it as if it is (although they'd be more honest if it was asked sincerely, than if casually). In the statement "How are you?," there is an implied "doing?" at the end. I don't even know what it would mean to ask someone "How are you?" without that implied doing. Are there other implied meanings in other countries?

"How are you feeling?" is also implied. If someone isn't feeling well emotionally, they aren't likely to answer, "Great." They might say "Okay," or "Pretty good" in a flat tone, if they don't want to get into the details with a stranger.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:53 PM   #6
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I speak american english - both yankee and southern : ) I am a science major, not an english major so take my answer with a grain of salt.
I would say that "how are you" has almost become a casual greeting and most people expect you just to say - "great, and you?" I seldom answer the question when asked by strangers. To me if I am talking to a friend and know they have been dealing with a situation I will say "how are you doing (today, this week, or with X situation)" I think what you say is less important than how you say it and whether or not you look the person in the eye and stand still to hear the answer to the question.
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