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I know that in general people say

How are you?

I find out that people used "are" for showing politeness and respect to the person.

But one of my friend always say

How is you?

so, can I ask "How is you?" for not showing respect and politeness to the person.

Sounds bad, though it is singular question. Should it be "is" or "are"?

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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, Kris, Matt Эллен, tchrist, Noah Sep 11 '12 at 16:58

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1  
Q: Can I ask, "How is you?" A: You can, if you're a cat. –  J.R. Sep 11 '12 at 12:20
    
ok! Cat is an animal and human is also an animal. –  Sb Sangpi Sep 11 '12 at 12:27
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Your friend is wrong.

If you look at the verb to be here, it is you are or he/she/it is. In the question form, the wh- is tagged on the front, and the subject and verb swapped around.

Hence:

How are you?
How is she/he/it?

Note that the are has no connection with showing politeness or respect.

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