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August 19, 2010 6:48 AM Subscribe
Different "how are yous" in different languages?
posted by dave99 to writing & language (31 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In English, there are certain ways of asking how are you, which are only "allowed" in specific circumstances. For instance, "How are you going?", is acceptable any time. But "How are you feeling?" is typically used for someone you know who has recently been sick. It would be odd to say to a stranger. Conversely, "Are you OK?" is typically when someone's fallen or is hurt, but can be used with a stranger.
While the phrases are similar, they have quite distinct usages. What are some examples of set phrases for different circumstances in other languages? The more specific the circumstance, the better!