how are you

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Alternative forms[edit]

  • HRU (initialism)



how are you?

  1. (idiomatic) An informal greeting, not requiring a literal response. In form a question, and thus followed by a question mark. Typical responses include:
    I'm very well, thank you. How are you? (formal)
    I'm fine, thank you. /
    Fine, thanks. (informal) /
    Fine, and you? (informal)
  2. (idiomatic, Ireland) (Following a noun phrase; stress on are) An expression of derision, that the preceding referent is unworthy of the name. In form an exclamation, and thus often followed by an exclamation mark.
    • 1967 July 20: Questions. Oral Answers. — Free Travel for Old Age Pensioners. Dáil Éireann debates
      • Mr. Dunne: "A small point", says the Minister for Justice.
      • Mr. Ryan: Justice, how are you! He would not recognise it in this world or the next.
    • 2013 December 31, “'Christmas how are you! We'll remember this one for a while'"”, in Gorey Guardian[1]:
      'Christmas how are you!' exclaimed Jim O'Hanlon ruefully. 'We will remember this one for quite a while anyway.' He was grateful that at least no one was injured in the incident.