How do you do?

How do you do

Notice that, while “do you” is unstressed, we don’t reduce it as far as /ʤə/ because this is a formal greeting.

It’s a formal, or very polite way of saying “hello” when you meet someone for the first time. Surprisingly, the correct reply is to repeat the question, not to answer:

“How do you do?”

“How do you do?”

We usually say this while shaking hands.

I’d like to say “How do you do?” to Buzzy English. Or if that’s too formal, Hi there! I like your site too! There’s a link on the Useful Links page if anyone wants to take a look. Email me, Buzzy English!

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