How to Answer “How Do You Do?”

Have you ever been stumped by the question ‘How do you do?’ and didn’t know how to answer it? Read our article to learn the meaning and best how do you do reply for different situations.
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Have you ever heard “How Do You Do?” and wondered how to reply to it? Even though we don't hear it generally now, it's still important in formal situations.

How do you do? is a polite way to say hello and show interest in the other person.

In this article, I will explain the meaning of the phrase “How Do You Do?” and give examples of how to reply formally and casually. You can make a good impression by learning how to answer how do you do.

Let's get started and improve our greetings!

How do you do reply

Meaning of “How Do You Do?”

When someone says, “How do you do,” it's just a way to say hello and acknowledge your presence. It's often used as a formal greeting in many cultures, especially in business or when meeting someone new.

“How do you do?” is a polite way of saying hi and showing interest in the other person. Your response to this greeting can help set the tone for the rest of your conversation.

History Of How Do You Do?

The phrase “How Do You Do?” has been around for a long time, and it was often used as a polite greeting in the past. People started using it in the early 17th century, and it became more popular in the 19th century.

Nowadays, you don't hear “How Do You Do?” very often in everyday conversations, but it's still used in formal situations or when you meet someone new. Knowing the history of this phrase can help you understand its cultural significance and how it has changed over time.

Even though it's not used as much as it used to be, “How Do You Do?” is still an important part of our language and manners.

How To Answer “How Do You Do?”

How Do You Do? Reply in Formal Way

When responding to “How Do You Do?” in a formal setting, it's important to use a polite and professional tone. Here are some examples of appropriate responses:

“How do you do? I'm [name]. It's a pleasure to meet you.”

This response is a classic and formal way of replying to “How Do You Do?” in a business or professional setting. It shows respect and interest in the person you're talking to. It's also important to keep the response brief and to the point in a formal setting.

“How do you do? I'm doing well, thank you. How about yourself?”

This response is polite and appropriate for a formal or semi-formal setting. It's important to keep the tone friendly and professional and show interest in the other person's well-being.

“Good morning/afternoon/evening. It's a pleasure to meet you.”

This response is suitable for formal occasions where “How Do You Do?” might be too informal. It's important to use a respectful tone and show that you're pleased to meet the other person.

Remember to keep your response brief and to the point in a formal setting. Avoid using slang or informal language, and be mindful of your tone and body language. A polite and professional response will help you make a good impression and build positive relationships with others.

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How Do You Do? Reply in an Informal Way

In informal situations, you can respond to “How Do You Do?” in a more relaxed and casual way. Here are some examples of how to reply in an informal manner:

“Hey, what's up?”

This is a casual response that shows you're friendly and approachable. However, keep in mind that this response may not be appropriate for all situations.

“Not bad, thanks. How about you?”

This response is more conversational and allows for a bit of back-and-forth between you and the other person. It's also important to match the tone of the response with the level of familiarity you have with the other person.

“Good to see you”

This is a friendly way to acknowledge the person who greeted you and shows that you're happy to see them.

Remember to keep your tone friendly and relaxed when responding to “How Do You Do?” in informal situations. The response should match the tone of the conversation and the relationship you have with the other person.

Different Situations Where “How Do You Do?” Might be Used

  • Job Interviews: When meeting your potential employer for the first time, “How Do You Do?” is a formal and polite way to greet them. Respond with a positive tone and show that you're enthusiastic about the opportunity.
  • Networking Events: When meeting new people at a networking event, “How Do You Do?” can be a great way to start a conversation. Respond with a friendly tone and try to find common ground with the other person.
  • Formal Occasions: At formal occasions like weddings, galas, or other social events, “How Do You Do?” is an appropriate and respectful greeting. Respond with a formal tone and show that you're grateful for the invitation.
  • Casual Encounters: When meeting friends or acquaintances in a more casual setting, “How Do You Do?” can still be used as a friendly greeting. Respond with a more relaxed and informal tone that matches the context of the encounter.


“How Do You Do?” is a traditional and formal greeting and it is still significant in modern-day conversations. Knowing how to respond properly can help you establish positive relationships and leave a lasting impression on those you meet.

Whether formal or informal, a polite and professional tone will go a long way in creating a positive interaction.

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