A: Alessandra, let me introduce you to my colleague, Simon Hastings.
B: How do you do? Pleased to meet you.
C: How do you do?

What does "How do you do" mean in this context?
What is the phrase "Plased to meet you" for? I thought How do you do? was used instead Nice/Pleased to meet you.

Thanks in advance!
1 2
Hi Dominik,

You asked:
What does "How do you do" mean in this context?
'How do you do' is a formal greeting inquiring as to a person's health, etc.
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Hi Englishuser,

Thanks for the reply. Don't you confuse How do you do? with How are you?

Mayby How do you do? means Good morning in this context?

I know what How do you do means and when is used but I haven't met with How do you do together with Pleased to meet you.
I thought that How do you do? = Nice/pleased to meet you.
Charles Riggs
in alt.usage.english

Saying 'How do you do?' when meeting someone is a formal way of
acknowledging someone's presence and the fact you hadn't met the
person before. It is not a question nor an inquiry into the state of
the person's health, simply a formality. The only acceptable response
in all forms of English I'm aware of is a returned 'How do you do?'

Any variation on the traditional response would be gauche and could
even be considered impolite. 'How do you do?' is the socially
acceptable response.

Now if someone asks 'How are you?' that's a very
different matter. Then you can say 'Fine, thanks', 'I'm fine, how are
you?', 'Fine, how are you?', 'Just great, how you doin?' or any number
of other things.
Hi Dominik,

You asked:
Don't you confuse How do you do? with How are you?
I don't think I do. My reply is in accordance with the Oxford English Dictionary, the foremost authority on the English language (and the greatest dictionary in any language).
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Hi Marius Hancu and Dominik,

The Oxford English Dictionary seems to support my view, and so does the New International Webster's Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language:

How do you do? What is the state of your health?: a phrase often used as a greeting when being introduced to or meeting a person.

However, even though the phrase has this meaning (literally), it doesn't mean it wouldn't be used the way Charles Riggs describes.

Try: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/how-do-you-do

And: http://www.dictionary.com (search for 'how do you do')
Hi Dominik and Marius Hancu,

'How do you do?' can also be used as a greeting, so your (Dominik's) assumption that 'how do you do?' means 'good morning' in this context is correct.

'How do you do?' can also substitute 'how are you?', but this is not commonly heard in modern English.
Have funEmotion: smile

Best Society has only one phrase in acknowledgment of an
introduction: "How do you do?" It literally accepts no other. When
Mr. Bachelor says, "Mrs. Worldly, may I present Mr. Struthers?"
Mrs. Worldly says, "How do you do?" Struthers bows, and says
To sweetly echo "Mr. Struthers?" with a rising inflection on
"--thers?" is not good form. Saccharine chirpings should be classed
with crooked little fingers, high hand-shaking and other
affectations. All affectations are bad form.

Persons of position do not say: "Charmed," or "Pleased to meet you,"
etc., but often the first remark is the beginning of a
For instance,
Young Struthers is presented to Mrs. Worldly. She smiles and perhaps
says, "I hear that you are going to be in New York all winter?"
Struthers answers, "Yes, I am at the Columbia Law School," etc., or
since he is much younger than she, he might answer, "Yes,
Mrs. Worldly," especially if his answer would otherwise be a curt yes
or no. Otherwise he does not continue repeating her name.



AS explained in the foregoing chapter, the correct formal greeting is: “How do you do?” If Mrs. Younger is presented to Mrs. Worldly, Mrs. Worldly says “How do you do?” If the Ambassador of France is presented to her, she says “How do you do?” Mrs. Younger and the Ambassador likewise say “How do you do?” or merely bow.



Emily Post (1873-1960). Etiquette
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